May 7th, 2010

Bug Alien

Who the what now?

It is funny how sometimes the best mirrors in life come from re-discovering people who have known you well, for long periods of time, but haven't talked to you recently. While I was in California, I met up with someone who I had last seen when I was a very little kid. N. was an astounding human being, and one who I owe a great deal of correspondence. As an adult, I have a completely different view of, and interest in speaking to this person, than I did when I was wee.

I've had a couple re-connects in the past week, that have left me wondering who, or more specifically, what I have become since last I saw them. Our society so often labels people by profession. From that angle, I guess I am a technologist - but that is also a part of who I am, and what I am about. It seems an inefficient container - all cellophane and impossible to open without a screwdriver and a jackknife. I'm more than that - I write, I game, I volunteer, I take pictures, I answer questions... Mostly, I try to make people laugh. I haven't thought about doing that for a living when I was a kid, back before I first met Neil.

I think the central challenge to that whole "What am I?" connundrom comes from work - spending more time than anything else on a given week doing something so that the remainder of the time can be spent fed, in shelter, preferably with additional ameneties. I don't know how to make a transition from thinking of myself as a patchwork quilt of interests and talents, to a holistic picture of a person. I'm good at some things, I suck at others - I've never wholly dedicated myself to any one interest, talent, or aspect of my life - I think that has kept it interesting, for sure, but it has also left me wondering if I'm missing something. Given unlimited funds, I'd be an entropenour, instead of a technologist, and, shortly thereafter, I'd become a bartender at the best bar that never turned a profit.

I've always kinda wanted to be a blacksmith - I bet that would probably create some pretty holistic changes...

Part of all this crap is why I am going back to school - to get that one thing that says "someone formally recognises you are a smartypants about this one thing". I think that is pretty dull, honestly, and am kind of dreading the process - most of my academic pursuit, at this point, is limited to preventing opportunity denied. Beecause that "work-mirror" refuses to see people for what they have done, but, rather, focus first on if you have gone through the expected processes, then, second, where you did those things, and eventually, you come around to "so what experiences have you had?". I like to think that the patchworks that I am is what makes me interesting, and that the experiences and wild stories are far more important than the things so many people have in common, with blends of tiny difference.

I need to make some lists, and get some shit done - hopefully, I can hold off my life preventing me from finishing them, as it often does. The two big things on my horizon are Maine and Moving - after that, I should be in the gulf of summer, which has always been a productive time for me - hopefully I can tap that to bring some of these half-developed embreos to ambulatory disasters.

Hopefully. Seems odd writing it. I've always been a pessimist - my greatest comfort being that the real world has to work really hard to come up with scenarios that match my "worst-case". Maybe that needs to change too, for me to get through everything I want to, in the time alloted me.

Maybe. I don't know. If anyone finds the user's manual lying around, please forward me a copy so I can dig up that answer.