The web has changed a lot since the early days of this journal. And in many ways, I miss the way things used to be. I guess it’s that nostalgia that brings me here today.
A lot too has happened in my life since I stopped updating the journal regularly, but here are a couple of the highlights. First, I got engaged to Stacy,
and I am to be married later in the year!
Second, I quit my job late last year to try and make it on my own. I was quite brave and sure of myself when I first quit, but after a couple of months of making little progress on my ideas, I’m starting to get a little antsy.
I guess that’s how it is with life. It’s trivially easy to keep things emphatically static. Change, on the other hand, takes serious effort and is as daunting as it is exciting.
Oddly enough, I have a feeling it’s all going to work out just fine.
A few months ago, there was a wonderful episode of This American Life—#454: Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory—in which the show featured the experiences of one Mike Daisey’s visit to an Apple contractor in China. The show was an emotionally super-charged look at the deplorable conditions that workers in electronics factories endure every day, to produce the shiny gadgets that you and I enjoy Angry Birds on.
Recently, This American Life released another wonderful episode—#460: Retraction—after discovering that Mr. Daisey had fabricated many of the details making up the heart of the previous piece. This episode, rife with awkward pauses, attempted to separate fact from fiction as the host and correspondents of the show confronted Mr. Daisey.
Huzzah for journalistic integrity, if that is something you care about. But that’s not how we roll here on actuality.log, where the story is always more important than the facts.
I leave you with a select quote from Mr. Daisey that adequately captures my feelings on the matter:
“I think I was terrified that if I untied these things, that the work that I know is really good and tells a story, that does these really great things for making people care, that it would come apart in a way where it would ruin everything.”
A lot has been going on in my life but I’m finding it difficult getting motivated enough to write about things. After mulling over this for some time, I’ve now decided try my hand at publishing over at Google+ for a while. I’m hoping that the change of scenery will give me the motivation I need to write. I am not sure if it’s worth giving up the anonymity of this journal, but I plan on experimenting anyway.
If you’re interested in following further happenings in my life, add me to your circles on Google+. If you aren’t on the network and would like to get in, here’s an invitation.
I am fine and was at home during the blast in Oslo. I felt/heard it happen, but all the damage was localised to about a km away from here.
I have a trillion neurons firing in my brain. Why should I have a single, fixed personality?
Imitation is the sincerest form of creative bankruptcy.
The time is about: 3.14 15 54/60. Happy Pi day!
“Whatever, just calculate something.”
The new year brings along with it a new lifestyle. Details at 11.
This is manifestly par for the course, but I recently found myself starting to retreat into my head again in an attempt to process a wide range of feelings. That isn’t to say these are particularly hurtful or negative feelings—you know, about relationships and intimacy and insecurity—just that they’re very intense and demand some attention.
While retreating into a shell often works out (perhaps after some turmoil), there are times when I concede that I just can’t do it alone. I lack the life-experience and a certain width in my world-view to truly grasp and work through the happenings around me. So, on occasion, I do the next obvious thing: turn to the people I’m close to and try talking to them about it. Unfortunately this hurts just as often as it helps.
Therefore, I’ve found myself trying something different these past weeks: turning to popular culture to see current society’s take on affairs. I figured maybe I’ll then realise I’m not so special. Maybe my experiences aren’t actually so out of the norm. Maybe all the ecstasy and turmoil I supposedly go through every day are just regular moments in an average person’s life.
This has led me to voraciously consume a lot of media: the quirky wit of Woody Allen’s movies, the blatant awkwardness of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the pithy realism of Marc Maron’s comedy, the intellectual frankness of Noam Chomsky’s writing. (Why is it that older Jewish guys seem to have a monopoly on neurotic, egocentric cynicism?) And maybe I’m cherry-picking my sources, but their observations seem to suggest that what I’m going through isn’t so abnormal. It is just that life isn’t always easy, and expects some degree of openness to change; not everyone has this. Honesty and intimacy in relationships doesn’t come for free; not everyone is willing to put in the effort. People know that they should pay attention to their heads, but listen only to their hearts at important moments. In short, it is clear that life isn’t perfect.
All I need to realise, I suppose, is that being happy comes when you decide to look beyond the imperfections and appreciate life for what it is.
I bought my first ever app on the iPhone: Rage HD. Now if I could only make the time to play it!
I did not take very many pictures in England when I was there earlier in the year because I wasn’t in the frame of mind to do so. What I did instead was to take a few portraits of people that mattered to me during my stay. Here are three such portraits; released now because I felt the journal could do with a splash of colour.
Ubuntu is an ancient African word, meaning “I can’t configure Debian.”
Wave after wave of emotion have washed over me these past days. A Skype marathon with Stacey that began Thursday evening lasted well into Sunday night. The conversation was deep, raw and revealing, and resulted in a discrete jump in our closeness. Not all that was said was easy to swallow, but I’ve begun to see much deeper inside her. And it only confirms what I already knew and acted upon: I love the woman inside.
The conversations have also made me realise something about myself. For far too long, I’ve been confusing being isolated with not having social skill. In reality, I am a deeply sensitive and socially aware individual who’s fully capable of handling himself around people. Most importantly, I seem to have a gift for understanding people and being supportive of them. And this is giving me confidence to face life that I knew not I possessed.
I talked to her for a long time. I explained to her that she caught me at a particularly low moment in my life when she called a couple of days ago, and apologised for not answering the phone then. I explained to her that things are a lot happier, and that whether I am happy or sad, I have people who care about me to communicate with what I am going through. I asked her for a lot of time to grow up, and to learn to recognise and appreciate when my life is good.
I don’t think she understood entirely, but I think she feels better about how I am doing.