actuality.log


Saturday, October the 22nd, 2005

I know we’ve been through what I’m going to get into a few times, but you’re going to have to sit through it yet again. If you’re leaving, rejoice in the news that there are a bunch of stellar movies playing sporadically on TV now.

Meet Joe Black, The Others, Phone Booth and Mallrats.

If you have the time and haven’t seen them, do. If you don’t have the time and haven’t seen them, make the time and do. If you have seen them before, see them again. I don’t use words like stellar often, and there are few hotter than Claire Forlani. No, I’m not kidding.

Rather than being packed with hyperglycemia and balloons (as they ought to be), birthdays have now become the new hotbed for critical (and often depressing) life evaluations. By now, you’re familiar with the depressing bits (which recur often, highlighting the numerous things I haven’t achieved), but today I’d just like to point out that such introspection also helps one clearly articulate a lot of things:

What it is they really want, what they want to become, what they want to make of this life, … and other things of this nature.

This has been further fuelled by a bunch of recent workshops, where I’ve had to attempt to put down on a piece of paper the answers to the questions—”What do I want to do?” and “Where do I want to do it at?”.

During the course of my life, since when I was a kid, I have wanted to be different things—a teacher, a singer, a composer, and a chef—at various points of time. With time, this has narrowed down to one of those, and today, almost all of what I do is geared toward learning things and preparing to share what I’ve learnt. I am genuinely passionate about certain things, and don’t consider it a chore to learn in these areas, and am just as gratified by the thought of being responsible for another understanding those ideas from me.

So, it seems perfect that I want to be an academician—an explorer, researcher, teacher, mentor… and so on.

Entering graduate school, I had vague ambitions of doing all this at a “distinguished institution” (read top tier research school). Now that I’ve seen the sorts of stress and additional (not necessarily fun) responsibilities involved, I’m seriously rethinking the prospect. I sat down and carefully pondered over (REALLY hard) what I really wanted, and it dawned on me—I want leisure. All I really want is freedom from (wordly) responsibilites and the time and space to do exactly as I please, in my own pace. All I ask for in return is food on my table (and for my family, if I can’t find a partner who’s OK with footing all the bills) and a warm bed.

It saddens me when I realize these utopian dreams may never materialize. Where am I going to find a line of work that pays me to do what I want, without any guarantees of anything useful in return?

I didn’t want to compose or sing. I didn’t want to bake or cook. I didn’t want to learn or teach. I just wanted the space and time to sit down and ponder over stuff without any worries as to “real” needs. Actually, it’s not that I “didn’t want” any of those things. I really enjoy them, I just didn’t want to be doing them on someone else’s clock, with someone else keeping tab of my (rate of) progress and toward someone else’s ends.

I just want the freedom to work, think, play with anything I want to, with no greater end in mind.

I know I am going to be so disappointed with my life.

Fun “science”: It has just come to my attention that pollution makes for more girls. Really, pollution is a reproductive stress, and the human race tries to repopulate itself the only way it knows how, make more women by skewing future births’ sex ratios toward the fairer, more attractive, sex.

All I have to say is, gentlemen, start your (big fat noisy inefficient) SUVs. Ladies too, you know you want to.

This is a printer-friendly version of the journal entry “All I want is leisure” from actuality.log. Visit http://emphaticallystatic.org/earlier/all-i-want-is-leisure/ to read the original entry and follow any responses to it.

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