It’s been a long time between drinks. Around 23 years or so. 1994 was a life changing time and then life took over and now I’m looking at another transitional period.
Life changes daily though. It seems slow but every detail matters somewhat, and if you care to remember it.
Right now I’m sitting in an office, getting paid and doing very little work of reward. The kind that is emotionally unfulfilling. But right now, I’ll take the money, thank you very much.
Somehow, over time, you learn that working for ‘the man’, as opposed to working for yourself, is something that must be exploited to the full. I managed to get myself into a position at one point of not doing any work-related activities at my job and started doing my own hobbies in company time. Somehow I was also well paid for this. It was always slightly precarious and eventually, it came to an end. Then it happened again – and with the same company to boot. I do thank you, although I wish it could’ve been more rewarding for both of us, to our mutual benefits. Perhaps I feel guilty. I know I would sometimes get annoyed when I actually had work to do that was interrupting my personal time and that’s not a good place to be.
The more depressing it became, the more I strove to distraction. I ended up being very productive. I could never make that jump though, to make money from doing the things I enjoyed. I am envious of people who have been able to position themselves in this way. I’m lacking in artistic talent, not through want of trying. Often lacking in concentration, born on the cusp of distraction entertainment as I was. The advent of new technologies only makes this worse and now that even they have surpassed my knowledge and I am like the old man programming his first VCR with only a 3 button remote, I sometimes pine for those days again.
My nostalgia is aligned with depression. I was deeply unhappy for periods of time that I now reminisce. That depression was an artistic motivation, a driving force. The actions often more thrilling than the results.
Right now, I am biding time again. In this strange period of inertia, the feeling of anticipation is immense and I am highly conscious of the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence. Hence to take time enjoying the moment, the present, the now. I visualise vividly a relaxing future whilst aware of the constant need for ‘work’ whether in some paid variety or just the work of remaining alive and managing the mundanities of life. I hope to derive great pleasures from the digging of weeds or painting of walls but worry that I will start to ignore the dust that settled in the corners many years before.
Luckily I have an outside motivation, my wife, Amy. Could I do it without her? Probably, but without so much pleasure, enjoyment and fulfilment.
The bones of the tale are this. In 1994, I relocated from small-town England to small city Australia. Sydney and thereabouts. In 2018, I will relocate from small city Australia to small-town Thailand. In 1994, I documented my time in transition. I have not looked over those diary entries since, but the intention is to add them here alongside current musings. Let’s see how they compare. Let’s see if I have really gained some wisdom in the intervening years.