Wednesday, 27 January 2010

people do things

i am still thinking in blog, a lot of the times. so, there have been many beginnings or even full blog posts for the past couple of months. yet: many of them didn't appear here. i kind of used them as thinking tools for myself or discussed them in person with others offline.

so, it's been rather quiet. let me see, if that can change again.

one of the more persistent thoughts over the last week or so is one of amazement and surprise. it's a little game i've been playing with myself and which now is fairly explicit: what are the things that i do not need?

i don't like the virtue of frugality that this seemingly establishes. and i don't think that's what it's about. instead, i like it to be about the boundaries of what is normal and taken for granted.

looking back, i know fine well that among the best things that happened were two significant moves, one when i was thirteen and then when i first arrived in glasgow in the mid-1990s.  both of them were difficult, often lonely and in many ways fraught as they threw myself back onto myself and myself only.

and alongside, they became about the social ways in which normality is constructed:

'this is how things are to be done'
became a
'this is how some people like to do things in this place and in this time'.

office for sale

so, my thinking of the things i do not need is whispering to me: you leaving academia is going to be alongside those two moves one of the best things you've ever done. it's a quiet whisper currently, but it's been getting louder as i'm busy cancelling taken for granted unpaid administrative chores, begin to ignore esteem indicators and the 'must-do' calls... all taken for granted, for normal, as the things one cannot do without.

... in this particular place and time.

leaving that particular place, time and institutional context is making that explicit. and even if it is going to be only for a short time, i'm excited by my tax return, the mindmap of future work for the year and the fact that i now worked out a day rate for my work.

boundaries? made by people, mostly. need a good go at stretching, extending and if sensible, ignoring.


SamArtDog said...

Gesa, wandering through your posts first thing in the morning changes the rest of the day. Must be art.

Jeanette said...

You're right. Pushing and stretching those boundaries is good but many are scared to try. Congratulations on being brave. And yes, it will be another journey you won't regret.

Gesa Helms said...

:) and thank you!

i know: it's about the scary stuff and i also know that that's perfectly okay to decide not to do scary...

ach, the things one learns in a life.