In the face of progress

Posted on August 29, 2010


"All the voices in my head and all the people I meet,
They're all trying do hard to make a man out of me"

It does seem this pressure mounts. Though I can't say for for certain, I feel the technical environment has something to do with it. It feel like being in a technical field goes in hand with having the message "cut your hair, get a job" constantly broadcast at me. Because apparently academic achievement isn't enough to win a place in acceptable society.

My resolve has been weakened by endless work, deadlines, stress. I have had some time to blow off steam, and reflect. I have an excellent internship, one which I am being pushed towards making permanent.

Which I will not do. As I generally do, I define myself in terms of what I am not, rather than what I am. So this is something I will not do. Four months, and I will have what I need.

I am free, and not just because of the "classic" reasons  – background, education – but because I am willing to contemplate a kind of life which people close to me seem to struggle to even understand, let alone endorse. But it is hard to face this kind of dismissive attitude from those you turn to for advice. Hard knowing that in one more aspect of my life I am setting said alone.

Of course I am not alone in my views, in my aspirations. But this journey is frequently one that must be made alone, even though the destination is a lively place. Each of us setting sail from the shores of conventional society, each from our bit of coast, to reach that promising land (not promised – important distinction).

Conventional society, with its expectations, its traditions. Advice from a bygone age, opinions that will hold us into a future without change, one flat and uninspiring, as bland and uninspiring as the food it eats and TV it consumes.

I must admit I have taken a sabbatical leave from my beliefs. I would say I'm ashamed, but I won't because I refuse to feed shame or guilt over who I am. I regret not fueling this fire more, spreading it to the people I meet.

Incidentally I've discovered a new point of view, and i think one of the hardest ones to discuss with. Its a bizzare problem : how to discuss with people who agree with you. On reflection thats getting its own post.

What it boils down to is this. I always knew my life was of my choosing. But somehow it only recently I internalised this knowledge. Beleived in it i guess is the word. Though the turns, U turns, and changes in my life have been the result of my desire, somehow they lacked an element of will, of driving volition. Of course its hard when you don't know your end goal, when there are too many choices and when compromise between opposing goals is inevitable. But now I will have that most valuable resource at my disposal: Time. Enough to arrange my affairs, and my thoughts.

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