It seems that every couple of weeks I will come to a stage in my life where I need nothing more than to lay out my thoughts and experiences “on paper”. I don’t know what it is about writing, but putting it all down in front of me is a powerful expression of self; it feels like everything plaguing my head, heart and soul (hey- mind, body, spirit, look at that) can be removed from myself and looked at objectively. And that really helps. So I’m just going to write about what’s been happening in my life recently.
I suppose foremost, the job hunt resumes. It’s strange that I consider this the most important issue to write about- I argue with myself so often about the purpose of work, the nature of jobs today (as opposed to, say, three hundred years ago where getting a job wasn’t so much providing a useless service as making something worthwhile) and the effect of capitalism on the younger generations. And these arguments, fruitless as they are, need to be made. But sadly, thinking about it for hours a day doesn’t provide any income, so I’ve come to an impasse. There’s some huge level of resistance in me that begs me not to find a job, and I have no idea why. I guess it’s Thanatos- the instinct of Death that Freud theorised we all have. And so I spend my days struggling to find Eros- Life- in the form of meaning, purpose… You know, worthwhile-ness. Part of me says that I should be utterly content having food to eat every day, being healthy and with an endless supply of things to do. That I should be satisfied that I have everything I need to be happy. Yet, obviously, I am not. I don’t feel like I’m needed in the world, and sometimes it makes me wonder why I’m alive.
But you don’t need to hear about that. (FYI, I’m aware I’m delusional, and I have no intentions of making major life choices while in such a state of mind.) The reason that I’m compelled to once again search for a job is because that job at EB Games that fell into my lap fell right through me, into the void. Adam, the prospective manager of the store, was devastated to discover that higher management decided not to open it approximately three days before it was due to open. He tried to appeal it, but I conclude that nothing became of it in the end.
Training is going better than ever. Aside from being with Bethwyn, I’ve never loved anything so much nor been so happy. Wu-Wei Dao is such an amazing system with such thorough and rigorous training. There is something supremely pure about the body conditioning; jogging and sprinting for kilometers, doing dozens of push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, weight repetitions, squats and lunges leaves me trembling and groaning, but triumphant and enthused. And the training itself is so rewarding: learning techniques and their applications to finer and more skillful degrees means I’m improving every week, every session, every day. I can only imagine how much I’ll know and how well I’ll know it ten years from now, and I’m excited to be that person some day. There was a moment, and I say this less in vanity than in self-love, where I saw myself and I was awed at who I’d become. I had been practicing naifunchin over and over and I had taken my shirt off because it was just getting in the way, and as I glanced at the mirror I was taken aback by what I saw- the muscles (those that I have) tensed and rippling, the sweat shining on my skin, the accuracy of my technique, but most of all the sheer energy coming off me. I feel like I’m transforming, bit by bit, into a warrior. Grading is this Saturday (my first grading since joining Wu-Wei nearly a year ago), so I’ll be training rigorously (hopefully avoiding injury all the while) to officially earn my brown belt.
Veganism’s going pretty well- I’ve started cooking for myself a bit more. I’m more-or-less cooking for myself two or three times a week, which still somehow seems so infrequent. I can’t imagine how I eat all those other times, but I’ve been trying a new dish every fortnight or so, and so far they’ve all been either good or very good. I have been losing weight though- maybe a kilo a month or so for the three months I’ve been doing this. I’ll talk to my doctor about it and see how my blood levels are going, but it’s satisfying and healthy and with far less cravings than I anticipated. Like when I went vegetarian, after I adapted to the new lifestyle I stopped seeing opportunities to live the old one. Just like I no longer read meat dishes on a menu, I stop thinking about things that contain dairy and egg, and those odd cravings I have can usually be satisfied by a delicious substitute.
I was housesitting for a friend a few weeks ago. It was a last minute thing where he essentially called me on the day he was leaving and asked if I would mind feeding his pets that night. And the morning after. And the night after. And the morning after that. And, not wanting his pets to starve, Bethi and I dropped our weekend plans and went to stay at his house. It was very challenging. It was less clean than anything Beth and I were comfortable with, and we mostly left our shoes on because the grit on the floor made us shudder. The mosquitoes were pretty relentless, and in general the whole house felt dirty. We tried to sleep around 1am, but after a few interrupted hours for me, and none for Beth, we drove back to her place to recuperate around 4. I did the rest of the housesitting on my own, and it didn’t turn out too badly after that first night. I went for a run with the family dog (and it was great to get so much exercise though it saddened me to discover that I was much fitter than the dog was), watched heaps of movies, played a few games, cooked a few meals and wrote a few pages on budo. But mostly it felt sudden, frustrating and unappreciated. The person I housesat for didn’t acknowledge me at all for it until I asked him directly if there was a reason he wasn’t mentioning it, and he still has yet to thank me for it, but his partner and I talked a while and I’ve almost forgiven him.
I started playing Skyrim a little while ago. Having just completed Oblivion after some 123 hours, I was wondering whether I should take a break from first-person adventure games, but after watching my brother play it I couldn’t help myself. I played it pretty obsessively for a few days, and gradually my addiction has diminished. Still an awesome game, and I’m still looking forward to playing it, but I’m no longer compelled to.
And that’s pretty much my life right now. I feel really ambiguous- I yearn for direction and meaning, but for the moment I’ll just keep searching for a job, and trying to squeeze in a little spiritual growth and learning. Peace, friends.
EDIT: After much more contemplation, I have decided that all of my adult life (that is, since I was around 12-years-old) I have searched for meaning, and after all these years I still have no clue what it’s all about. But I can’t let that confusion make me baulk- even though I don’t know whether a job at IGA is going to fulfill my spiritual craving for purpose, I do need find a way to support myself. Life will go on, regardless of what I make of it, and I may as well get enough money to eat while it does.