Been a busy boy this week hence dearth of despatches here.
It’s been just under 3 months since I did summat crazy and walked away from my secure well paid job and ‘career’. It’s been a step into the unknown. I’ve always ‘worked’. From the earliest opportunity I was delivering papers to lonely old ladies; graduating in due course to retail assistance in a well-known-high-street-chemist on Saturdays [I knew far to much about motherhood at a tender age]. I worked out that I’ve been working constantly for over twenty years. Unceasing mental engagement with tasks which other people have been prepared to pay me to do. Trading my own preoccupations and desires for capital imperatives which are oblivious to my existence. Only now, after three months, am I starting to fully come to terms with what it means to have stepped off that particular conveyor belt. It’s hard to articulate but I think it boils down to ‘taking your life in your hands’. I’ve started to really understand what it means to choose the way you live. Whilst working, I handed over large parts of my day to organisational routines – institutionalisation, I think it’s called. I confess to having generally believed the hype: Get qualifications, get a good job, work your way up = happiness and fulfillment. Ahem. It aint so. At least not for me – and, I believe, for a lot of other people too. It’s been fascinating to not be at work when others are. To walk past offices full of people staring vacantly at computer screens. To see people running out of factories at 5 o’clock and racing to their cars. To be able to go to the supermarket in the morning when it’s quiet. To work late into the night because I choose to and not feel put upon. To be at home when the post arrives. To fathom the daily routines of local cats patrolling their patch. [Yes, they work to timetables] To finally catch the scumbag neighbour who’s been leaving his rubbish bags outside my house every week for the past six months. Simple pleasures. I’ve gone through several cycles of confidence > doubt > panic as I’ve been laying the early foundations of what I hope will be a profitable and creative future. The thing is that there are no rules. The mental adjustment that I am solely in control is still bedding in. I feel all powerful and extremely vulnerable within the space of an hour. Most of all, though, I feel alive – and happier in myself than I’ve felt in years. I may be wondering where my next mortgage payement is coming from but, at the moment, I’d far rather have that hanging over me than the thought of another day of corporate conformity.
“I hate to think of what the jacuzzi did to Jeremy’s sperm count.”
Germaine Greer, as predicted, deconstructs her Big Brother experience. [Realaudio]
Meanwhile I can’t help pondering why there are large pots of vaseline on some of the contestants bedside tables.