Broken Shack 

Okay, so it has been forever since I last posted something here, and really, I am not too sure what to say about it. I guess I needed some kind of hiatus because of the demands of school have been a little much. As for December, it was nice just to have the break and "veg" out.

But, thinking further, perhaps the most difficult part of the last couple of months has been the emotional adjustments I have had to make to my new life. I'm in a transition in more ways than one.

For example, I went from having a regular source of income (okay, student loans, but still it was nice) to an income that is significantly smaller and a bit less reliable. I am eminently grateful for any amount of cash I can scrounge, but not having as much as I would need to live as independently as I would like has been a major stressor. Career-wise, I am in the midst of retraining from an Literature Academic to a "creative," which is what people who work in the field of Graphic Design apparently call themselves. That bit of jargon seems little arrogant to me because it seems to imply that everyone else in the world of work is somehow less creative, which of course is not true. For example, the creativity needed to keep a mindless job like flipping burgers or pumping gas interesting is significantly huge, and the creativity needed to please an insane boss is about as creative as one can get. But, as they say in academia, I digress. Essentially, I have been in an emotional malaise, in which depression plays it meager part.

In our North American society, a man my age has typically built up a series of resources and accomplishments: a steady job, a savings account, a retirement fund, a house or a car, a family, etc. And yet, it seems like I am still preparing for all of that. As much as people try to reassure me that these materialistic goals aren't the ultimate purpose of a life, they don't seem to acknowledge that not having them is a major distraction from finding or following that other true purpose. Once your basic needs are met (food, clothing, shelter, etc), you can move on to thinking about your emotional needs, and once those are met you can move on the next step and so on and so on. Now, most of my basic needs are being met (thanks to the generosity of others), but I worry because in a single moment, all the security and things you depend on can be taken away just like that.

This ability for things to change drastically (and not for the better) in a single moment is deeply unsettling. This was what I learned from my experience in graduate school. The course of my life significantly changed when I left it. So, um... so yeah. I am still trying cope with all of the realities of life that are a result of that experience and the current place I find myself.

There are a few things that I think I need to do. In no particular order, they are as follows: cook healthy food for myself, develop a regular (and reasonable) exercise schedule, develop a regular time for working and doing homework, develop a reliable time for relaxing from that, and developing my personal life to include more friends. I guess the basic message is that I need to take care of myself. In some ways, I feel like an old shack with broken slats that is leaning over, or a jumble of old and ragged clothes. I know I can turn things around, but it's hard.

25 February 2008