I was reminded recently that I began my career – I chose my university course, studied for years and then sought employment in the industry – with an ulterior motive in mind. The whole point, as I originally planned it, was to do something lucrative and yet not so far outside my interests as to be soul destroying. The purpose of my employment was to save up enough money to do what I really wanted to do. My current career was only ever meant to be a means to an end.

A number of times over the past few years I have forgotten this. Every so often, someone or something reminds me and I am shocked to realise that I had forgotten. Whenever I think about it, I don’t think that I have forgotten. I always have my plan ready to justify my most recent decision. But then I look back at my actions and realise that I have, again and again, acted contrary to my plan. I keep making decisions that make it harder and harder for me to ever achieve my goal and I don’t notice what I’ve done until much later.

It’s almost as if part of me doesn’t want me to succeed.

When I first started walking to work, I used to take the most direct route possible. After nearly being run down by cars and buses on numerous occasions, I decided to walk twenty yards further down the road to the pedestrian crossing instead. Every morning, after crossing the road, I had to fight a little internal battle to convince myself to walk twenty yards back up the road to the turning that I needed to take to get to work. Part of me hated turning back the way I had come. I wanted to keep going down the road. I lost the battle once and ended up taking a half-hour detour on my way to work. Even though I knew it was faster and easier to walk back the way I had come for a few yards, I really hated doing it. I’m beginning to suspect that this trait may have more significance than I thought.

Thanks to the wonders of Google, I’ve managed to find Jason’s blog. He gave me the URL before he left for Japan but I lost it. I’ve just spent a very pleasant hour or so catching up. Pleasant, that is, until my gallbladder exploded with envy. I’ll just sit in the corner and drip bile now.

Published in: on November 8, 2008 at 5:06 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Greetings Charles.

    On Awaji, it is pretty much free from the perils of capitalism, greed, selfishness that I see in London. What I am seeing here is how a community can live together as a unit. Crafts and art are highly valued as are artisans. The local gods are an integral part of daily life.

    It is a shame that somehow we have lost this in the West. I am intrigued to know how this will change my attitude towards London living.

  2. It is a shame that we have lost that. It is also remarkable how quickly we lost it. When my father talks about growing up in his village it is like he’s talking about another world. His father was a bricklayer and he often comments on the skill and pride of artisans of my grandfather’s generation, usually in comparison to some poor job that a modern builder has done. I think it is a quite new thing, possibly a post-WWII thing, that afflicts Europe today. I’m still not quite sure what it is though.

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