netpositive: (firehand)
We, so tired of all the darkness in our lives...
    Some years ago, I realized that the concept of
    “noblesse oblige” was strongly ingrained in me
    almost to the point of deformation of character,
    traits and abilities. That in some way one (I)
    is always required to do the “highest” duty one can –
    that one must devote oneself to the most complicated,
    abstract, mentally-intensive work one is capable of
    performing – because there are many people who can't
    do that kind of thing, and it's unfair of one to not
    live up to one's potential when others can't do it.

    So I felt like I was not supposed to – or more like,
    allowed – to do things that “just anyone could do”.
    Or anything that might be the only thing someone
    else could do – that I couldn't take anyone else's
    job away from them.

    Of course, there's a lot of definitional questions of
    what that would involve (or exclude). Mostly it seems
    to involve concrete thinking (anyone can read or write
    simple things, add numbers together...) or practical/
    household skills (anyone can clean a room or polish
    furniture or dig a hole...) or physical techniques
    (anyone can do rudimentary sewing to repair clothes,
    or paint a wall, or drive a car, etc.).

    So there are many things I'm not supposed to waste my
    time learning, much less doing, because I am “too smart”
    for that.

We are young but getting old before our time...
    I was pondering this because my dad, specifically, is a
    very “handy” type of person (he worked as a machinist
    mate in the Navy, and then was a mechanic in the Martin
    airplane factory before he went into teaching). Yet
    while I helped him with several home and/or car repair
    projects, I don't feel like I ever learned much in the
    way of actual, systematic repair skills or techniques
    from him – i.e. how to analyze a concrete problem and
    then either troubleshoot or resolve it.

    Did I ask my dad to teach me? No, but I'm wondering if
    that was a subtler version of my “don't bother someone
    if they are busy” fear. Could he have taught me that way,
    those things? I have no idea, though the times I watched
    him as a teacher or heard him tell stories, I know he's
    very emphatic and intent on teaching people things that
    are applicable to their lives.

    Either it just didn't dawn on him that he could (or should)
    teach me those type of things (but certainly he did share
    other things with me) – or maybe he tried to and I didn't
    have the capacity to learn that kind of thing (though I
    do like to solve things systematically) – or maybe, as I
    perceive it right now, the expectation was that I should
    be learning the highest-level abstract things I possibly
    could so that I could aspire to bigger and better things
    than being a janitor or repairman or farmer or factory worker.

    Similarly, my mother went to college and became a teacher
    because she was intelligent, and that was an intellectual job
    that was acceptable for women back in the 50s, not to mention
    the fact that my father was doing the same thing and she wanted
    to be with him.... but she didn't like teaching, it wasn't a
    good fit for her personality. The rest of her jobs went
    “backwards” from that – from basic office/clerical tasks in
    my grade school, to being a meat cutter/cashier at the local
    grocery store, to her last attempt to work as an expert/
    salesperson in a craft store... where my own perception is
    that she panicked at the added responsibility, began to feel
    like she had failed/was about to fail, and got sick in order
    to quit.

    Which goes back to, I'm not supposed to take someone else's job.
    I'm not allowed to do simple work or tasks. I feel like I have
    to do what other people expect me to do, or need me to do because
    they can't. That I am trapped into doing intellectual work, or
    thinking academic thoughts, all the time, and forever.

    I fear that if I take any time off – or if I stop doing this
    type of work for any reason – I'll be perceived as quitting,
    or irresponsible, or failing my potential and not fulfilling
    (others') expectations. (Also that if I then try to go back
    to doing it, I will have lost all ability for it. I already
    have a lot of that fear just in the fact that I've done little
    explicit user-centered design or testing in the last year.)

    I don't know that I would want to stop doing it completely and
    permanently – I am good at it and there is some value in it –
    but I've been in some version of the “information sciences”
    field for over 25 years (if you count my library assistant/
    grad school years, it's been 26 years where this has been my
    career path) and am now feeling quite a bit exhausted by both
    the constant change, challenge and pressure of having to learn
    new things to “keep up with the field”, and the parallel feeling
    that actually both the problems and solutions just keep getting
    recycled rather than actually resolved.

We'll leave the TV and the radio behind...
    At this point in the formal essay-writing process, the
    expectation is: having discussed the fundamental issue,
    one should now propose realistic ideas or suggestions
    to resolve the problem and not play “yes, but...” with
    the reading audience. However, I don't feel able to
    find solutions or possibilities that aren't radically
    drastic and thus perceived to be unrealistic since people
    don't dramatically change all at once – if they think
    they do, it tends to be a “Flitcraft moment” where they
    move out of their pattern briefly but eventually lapse
    back into the same type of existence they ran away from
    previously. Because as Buckaroo Banzai and all the Buddhas
    say, “Wherever you go in life, there you are.”

Don't you wonder what we'll find
Stepping out tonight--

    I don't feel like I can stay the same.

    But I don't feel like I'm allowed to change, either.

    And there's damn little fruit juice in this bottle....

We'll be there in just a while...
If you follow me
netpositive: (firehand)
You're not supposed to settle for okay.
You're supposed to want to be the best.

-an unidentified voice in my head
    Well, not entirely *inside* my head, but from
    not too far away. Normally I can pin down from where
    (or whom) a particularly distorted viewpoint is coming...

    This feels externally imposed, and of recent vintage.
    As if I've been watching too many reality/game shows,
    and partially been internalizing the wrong values.

    In my own space, I've been circling around and finally
    landed on top of an important insight about my overall
    sources, levels, and efforts of creativity which can
    flippantly be summarized as "I write most when I'm bored."

    More precisely: the types of work I'm doing most within
    my current, half-chosen profession, require much the same
    type of perspectives that I (would) utilize as a writer.

    Unfort, I am not one of those people who is 100% immersed
    in a single consistent mindset, and so I can see one reason
    why I have the longing to write, but not the performance --
    I have been using up much of what I do have, doing my work.

    Now what to do about that, is still under consideration. :l

    Dear Tir'na na Nogth,
    Was it necessary to be so literal in my latest dream by
    having my car fall into a sinkhole and I escape upward
    to the light without being touched once by the mud? If
    that was supposed to be a nightmare, it actually failed.
    Though I don't think that was your intention. Sorry if
    I missed a cue to go on a spirit quest or something...
    I'm a little dense these days, but you know I'm working
    on being a less material being in a more spiritual world.

People living deeply have no fear of death.
-Anais Nin
netpositive: (firehand)
noblesse oblige [féminin]

1. Quiconque prétend être noble doit
se conduire noblement.
2. On doit agir en conformité
avec la situation qu’on occupe,
avec la réputation qu’on s’est acquise.

Dictionnaire de l’Académie française

Happiness is that state of consciousness which
proceeds from the achievement of one's values.

-Ayn Rand
netpositive: (Default)
On sharing expectations:
    I gave bread to a beggar.
    He thanked me and walked away.
    I never saw him again.

    I gave bread to a beggar.
    He thanked me graciously, and
    wished me a good day in return.

    I gave bread to a beggar.
    He thanked me profusely, and
    the next day, there he was again.

    I gave bread to a beggar.
    He thanked me curtly, and
    the next day, he expected wine too.

    I gave bread to a beggar.
    The next day, he asked me
    if he could help me make bread.

    Who was the giver here?
    What was the gift involved?
    And what do you do with
    the gifts you are given?

I use my time and energy where
it will create the greatest results.
netpositive: (Default)
Who would break a butterfly on a wheel?
The Cult, beginning of "Soul Asylum"
    It was a good enough weekend.
    I offered friendship and support as appropriate.
    I showed love and loyalty when it seemed needed.
    I did what I could to make others' lives easier.

    Oh yes, those things are valued, I know.

Not me, my precious child
The Cult, next line
netpositive: (stojko)
    My dad is a wonderful person.

    My dad has many laugh lines on his face,
    and often a smile or a joke on his lips.

    My dad gave me the ability to laugh and
    look at the positive side of things.

    My dad has wiry, wavy, now white hair that
    always looks like it's considering escape,
    no matter how much he brushes it down.

    My dad gave me his mother's hair. ;)

    My dad has soft, medium brown eyes that,
    even in a picture at age 8, give one the
    impression that he's going to raise hell
    once in a while - in the nicest of ways,
    of course.

    My dad gave me a twinkle in my expression
    that no camera can see.

    My dad can't walk a hundred yards in his
    home town without someone greeting him
    loudly and fondly.

    I learned from my dad how much a teacher
    gives to his students - even unknowingly,
    and even to the unknowing ones.

    My dad reads omnivorously, crafts poetry
    and now mentors a class in memoir writing.

    My dad tells everyone about his daughter.
    His daughter the librarian; his daughter
    the writer; his daughter the dancer, the
    martial artist, the householder; a busy
    daughter with her own life (but his love
    and support having always underlain it).
    I got from my dad curiosity, creativity,
    and the security of knowing I was loved.

    In his old age, my dad now has a companion
    who loves him, and gives him, a great deal.

    I learned from my dad never to shut someone
    completely out of one's life - if they're
    important to oneself, one gives what one can.

    Is my dad perfect? No, and neither am I.
    My dad has a slow but fiery temper, can be
    damn stubborn, hates to ask for help, and
    will go far too far so as not to hurt someone
    else's feelings. So he's imperfect. So am I.

    My (Leo) dad often jokes that I was his birthday
    present, as I was born on his (33rd) birthday.

    But I think I got the better of the deal, Dad.

    Because that would mean you're my present, too.
You are entitled to your opinion.

Even if it's wrong.

-my dad, with a smile


netpositive: (Default)

February 2013

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