25 November 2009

A Few Changes

I'm supposed to be writing an essay, so instead I am going back and forth between this blog and facebook. Very useful of me.*

Moving and meeting up with old school friends (how is that the people I first met at fourteen have now known me more than half of my life?) has pushed me into thinking a bit more carefully about what I'm doing with my life. That's not quite accurate - I am quite happy about what I am doing this year and most of next. It's more that I have been confronted with my own and, what's stranger, other people's memories of what used to be my priorities. I'm now asking myself, and asking rather urgently, why I gave up so much that I loved.

I don't yet know whether this is just the common or garden variety of nearly thirty-ish angst that will slide back in to general content without much fuss or whether this is a prompting into a more genuine inquiry as to what exactly has happened in the past six years.

I have been worried about talking about myself too much on this blog and I have been attempting to write about what happens in my life in a generalised and universalisable manner. How well I have succeeded in that is questionable. That is really neither here nor there; my point is that I am going to stop doing it as a general rule because it feels false. I'm tired of falseness. I don't want to force myself into omission and elision. I'm not sure whether I want to continue with a pseudonym. I would never have done that in the past. I've been infected with fear of consequences and a desire for what will only ever be a rather spurious kind of respectability. After all, how respectable can one really be if one is periodically mad?

All this inner turmoil has prompted me to change things around a little here. I was planning to wait until the one year anniversary of this blog came around to make changes but I've done it now because I wanted to. I've changed my picture so that I'm now identifiable to anyone who knows me. That's as close as I'm going to come to getting rid of the pseudonym for the moment - that's as close as is comfortable right now.

I had to get rid of the green. It is my favourite colour but it needed to go. There was so much green in my old apartment and it made sense there but there is nothing green in my new one. I decided to do something different and go modern or, as I have dubbed it, 'plebian moderne'.** I had the cheap but older and pretty arts and crafts period furniture that one can so easily find down south. Here I've gone a little closer to derivative Bauhaus. This is not to imply that my blog ought to match my flat: I'm just tired of looking at green things and have been purging them.

So, yes. I am just going to go ahead and write and not be so paranoid about rogue identifying details. I'm not going to worry about being egocentric because the way I have been writing about things has come to feel very stilted and I can't keep it up. If I sound self-involved, so be it. It would be better than the didactic, sing-song tone that leaks in so often. As I tell myself frequently, there is no point in doing things other than the way in which I would do them. I've hated myself for so long that I still don't believe that doing things the way that I would do them will ever be anything but a disaster, however trivial the act in question. I still don't believe that it's ever right to do what I actually want to do. I've been trying to trick myself into thinking otherwise for more than a year now with notably uneven results. I haven't given up.***

The idea of being honest and not pretending that I have greater equanimity than I actually do and that I am not as much of a mess as I actually am scares me. Nonetheless, here I go.

*I do have a draft and two more days to finish it - I'm not always as useless as I make out.

**Yes, I am the kind of person who would come up with a name like that - unbelievable, isn't it? I am very prone to that slangy manner of talking about art, clothes and furniture. It's like a game for me. Scoring points with obscure references and that.+ Rather obnoxious, isn't it? Especially when one hasn't been drinking.

***And in writing about myself I may yet, like Charlotte Bartlett, reveal 'depths of strangeness, if not of meaning'. It is strange to worry about whether one is being selfish if one is the only person wanting to get off at one's home bus stop and to be daily relieved when somebody else rings the bell first. That's something I do, every single day.

+Speaking of which, nota bene the quotation in footnote three.


  1. Almost-30ness is tricky. I don't like it one bit, but I guess it is good to stop and reassess priorities.

    I'm impressed by the changes around here, and the honesty ... I wish I was that brave sometimes.

  2. I've been reassessing stuff too recently. Must be something in the water :-D

  3. I can't remember the almost-30 feeling. I think I had my hands too full at the time. I can certainly report that the almost-40 feeling is possibly the most angsty of them all!
    I'm impressed by your 'honesty' resolution. I think it's the dilemma of most intelligent bloggers - the desire to be truthful yet non self-indulgent. Secretly though (although not now since I'm about to say it), it's the personally-revealing posts that many of us look out for and find most interesting. It's a little like always reading the guardian and scorning the 'gossip' mags yet slyly indulging in them on a visit to the dentists!
    I'm sure you have plenty of equinimity, so much so that - just like me - you find it difficult to 'make a fuss' by admitting that it is 'challenged'!!
    Look forward to coming posts - as always.

  4. I worry about being egocentric on my blog, but then I remember that none of my thirteen followers would read my blog if they didn't like it. People vote with their feet (mice? browsers?) on the internet.

  5. I like the new look. And Kate's right, honesty makes interesting. Looking forward to future reading.