Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'm going to force myself to write this blog post, even though I'm sitting at my desk at work (with nothing to do, as usual) and thus feeling uninspired. I've had a couple of posts floating half-formed in my mind for most of a week, though, and this is the time I find myself free to write them, so I might as well have a go. I make no promises about the quality of whatever follows.

I think I know what's really going on here. I'm referring, obliquely, to my earlier post about doing a new Windows/Linux installation, but also to other things. I've been mentally overhauling my entire life lately: my computer, yes, and also my space, my time, my plans, my intentions, my projects, my stuff, and myself. I'm looking at everything I have and everything I am and thinking, what of all this do I want to keep, and can I get rid of? What serves me and my ambitions, and what doesn't? It's becoming a minor obsession, which it'll need to be if I want any chance of actually making these changes real. It's going to take an awful lot of work.

You've read all this before, I know, and no doubt you'll read about it again (and again, and again) in the coming months. It's the one thing that's "going on" in a life in which presently not much seems to be going on -- and is, in fact, the reason why I'm not doing much else. All my energy is going into it, building up momentum for a Big Change.

I suppose I'm fortunate to find myself in this position. It's not uncommon, I think, to hit your 30s and discover a desire to completely change your life; but I, having avoided any major obligations or responsibilities (no spouse, no kids, no mortgage, no career) am free to actually do it. It's the one really good aspect of being an inveterate slacker: I am free as a proverbial bird. Not that I want to undo everything I've done, and not that I'm looking to re-invent myself in any sense. I like what I've done so far, and I like myself, and I'm comfortable carrying my identity forward. But I'm trailing too much crap from my past behind me, and it's holding me back.

So everything in my life is potentially on the chopping block, everything is in question: possessions, relationships, habits, assumptions, old dreams, old resentments, all of it. If it doesn't help, it's gone.

And yeah, okay, re-installing Windows XP is a pretty meaningless way to express that drive. I mean, if I had my preference I'd buy another machine entirely, something better suited to my work, and doubtless sooner or later I will; but for now, this is as close as I can get. The small changes are really just signifiers for the bigger changes, although they're very helpful in their own way. Going through my books and scrapping the ones I don't care about enough to haul them over the Rockies might have slightly more symbolic significance, but it's hardly transformative. Getting rid of my car (or at least working towards it) is a bigger thing, and one that points to a number of deeper, more subtle changes that have already been taking place for a while now. Starting to think seriously about what I want -- my space, my work, my tools, my associates, my comforts, my day-to-day life -- and chipping away at even minor details in an effort to make it all real, is what's really going on.

But yeah, I'm lucky if this is how I get to experience my 30ish upheaval. I've seen it happen to a lot of people, but most commonly it seems to come about through destructive, chaotic means -- divorce, disaster, illness, bankruptcy, big awful things that happen to you more than for you. And obviously any of that could happen to me, as well. But at least I get a chance to do it because I want to, the way I want to, and make whatever I like of it; and not because it's being forced on me by circumstance. It takes a lot of work, though; it's a big project that requires a lot of fussy little sub-projects, some of which seem pointless and inconsequential. But it's also those details that are getting me through, the little things I can do right now that get me incrementally closer to where I want to end up.
3:28 PM ::
Amy :: permalink