Workshop my life


English: Offices of "The Scottish Widows ...

English: Offices of “The Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance Society” In Change Alley, EC3. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is another possibility I realise.

Many times in my life I’ve striven to achieve things from a competitive instinct and sense of ambition that seemed outside of me. They were there, and so I wanted them. Maybe it was satisfaction I sought, or a sense of achievement, even status, though I can never really recall thinking any of that. It was more simple, see it, do it, own it. Sometimes afterwards I would be left to ponder if I really wanted what I worked so hard to get.

If that was not what I really wanted, what did I really want?

This is the question I ask now in light of my last post, and the post a few days ago. Throughout I’ve considered it from the position that by and large, this was the real me, badly flawed, inclined to fuck up, and perhaps occasionally apt to adopt a role to make it work for me. What if it goes back further than that though? What if the man I am now isn’t the real, or original me? What if I’ve forced myself – for reasons I can’t begin to understand here – to become the person I am, and that, in effect, I have for years since acted from a position of hubris? When did I dam that river, or change its course – and why?

I’m considering something quite radical in my life. In my professional life, I’ll often conduct workshops on issues of vital importance to the business. We’ll sit down, I’ll ask questions, posit scenarios, and between us we’ll pull things apart and put them all back together again – hopefully in a much more meaningful and efficient way. That’s what I’m thinking of doing with my life. I’ll get some close friends together one Sunday afternoon, crack a few bottles of wine to help with the candour, and proceed then to pick me and life apart, and put it back together again. Who am I? I see myself one way, but others see something different. What are my strengths, my weaknesses? I’ll be calling upon opposing perspectives to frame my place. What do I need to change, what should I promote? Who is the core H, what do you love about him, and what don’t you?

From this I hope to get a more rounded and accurate perspective on myself. I may not like it, but then that’s the value in the exercise. Need to understand, and own up to things, before I can act on them. I’m at a certain stage of my life when certain subjects are more pressing. I’ve gone this far professionally, but should I go another way now? If I ditch the hubris, the pride, what does that tell me? Personally, what do I want? Do I want to screw around or settle down? How do I do that? What should my expectations be? Need some reality.

Now I don’t know what will come of that. And don’t know how true my speculations are. Am I am who I am? And who then is the original, if not the real, me? And can I go back? Do I wish to?

I don’t know the answers to that. I know all of us change as we go along. Whether the change in me has been natural or forced I do not know. I know that if I have made of myself something different that it would not be possible if the base elements were not in existence – I can’t make something different of myself if the materials do not exist. I may be different, but it may also be just an elevated, and slightly skewed, evolution of who I began as.

I’m curious to know though, can’t wait to learn: what do I really want?

Hard thinking


Duality of Mind

Image via Wikipedia

Once upon a time it used to be quite normal for me to head out the front door and go for long walks through the streets long after dark. Often times I would walk for over an hour taking random paths as I went, and often not returning home until after midnight. These nocturnal strolls were the outcome of a restlessness I could not contain. Invariably the restlessness was caused by the thoughts going through my head, things I needed to figure out or understand, decisions that must be thought through. It must have been a strange and possibly troubling sight at times for others as I wandered by in the dark, tall and lean, as I was then, intent on my own thoughts, my mind fuelled it seemed by the simple action of taking one pace after another. It was the locomotion in the dead and quiet of night that allowed me to think clearly and to resolve action.

For the first time in quite a while I found that urge returning to me last night. I felt terribly restless. I wanted to read, but couldn’t. I thought to sleep, but knew it wouldn’t come. I turned on the TV to deaden my mind, and though that worked to a degree it was unsatisfactory. I thought of taking myself into the dark, but refrained. Eventually I switched off the light and gradually fell asleep.

The fact of the matter is that I’m under the most intense pressure of my life. Mostly I manage to keep it at bay and forge forward, but sometimes it gets to me. It did not get at me last night. My mind, my demeanour , was cool. All the same I was aware of the huge challenges I face, and the ever-diminishing bag of tricks I’ve been using to meet them. Nothing I have done has made much difference. You wonder at times if there is any point continuing. Aware that doing the same thing again and again expecting a different outcome is the epitome of foolishness I try new things, different angles, I strive day after day to make something different. All to no effect.

I might have walked last night and looked to conjure up some new tricks, but that was not really in my head. In truth nothing was on my mind. I just felt it. Had I walked though and felt the movement pump through me to my brain I’m sure I would have ruminated on what it means for me. Here I am in a point of time. I remain positive by living in the moment, in being thankful for what I have now. There’s no value on dwelling on what I have lost, or might lose. Time will pass. At some point this will be history. At some point I will prosper again. I know that. Right now is now though. To get to there I need to get through this first.

For me, now, it becomes somewhat of an existential question. By day I must to battle with the pressing practicalities of the situation. By night I wonder where I am being led, and what path I should choose. Somewhere inside me I wonder what I am being told, what I am learning, what wisdom I should take from this. By day I worry myself with the material realities, by night my soul seeks expression.

I have no answers here. I am reporting what is rather than explaining what will be. The immediate future looks bleak. If I’m lucky I’ll pull a rabbit out of my hat just in the nick of time. By day I seek. I explore all avenues. I think creatively. Where can I find a hat? Still, little time remains. I remain positive, but realistic. The realism bruises. I look upon it dispassionately much as one might look at a photo of some disaster, with a kind of morbid fascination. Could I endure that? I wonder. Can I? I don’t know if I can. And if I can’t, what then?

I’ll survive, but I need to find a way. So by night, unbidden, my mind floats clear of me and these ugly realities. While reality presses and must be faced, the larger question, ultimately the more important question perhaps, is examined night after night, with no answer yet.

It is a hard time.