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It is necessary to the happiness of a man that he be mentally faithful to himself. – Thomas Paine

These past few weeks have been difficult for me.

Difficult in a way I’ve never experienced before.

If you look at my life from the outside, there is little I could ask of life.

I have a great job, one I’ve looked forward to for a long time. I enjoy most of my day at the office. I’m being steadily given more responsibility as people discover where my abilities and limits lie, and being asked to try things that are genuinely challenging.

I spend a huge amount of time with all my friends having a fun time, regardless of what we’re doing. I have people that I can phone on a random day to make plans and people that will phone me. Now that we have means of our own, many new avenues are opening up to us.

I have a great opportunity, through HKU Jessup, to be involved in something that I’m passionate about, and find great fun. I have a different role, and a more limited one, but I’m enjoying it all the same. The joy I gained from Jessup is something I want to share with others, and help them achieve.

I received in the post yesterday my first publication. A minor contribution to Lexis Nexis’ loose leaf securities regulation text about the history of security regulation in Hong Kong.

If you look at my life from the inside, there is little that feels  right.

Instead, it seems that everything is slowly decaying, without marring the polish on the surface. Like furniture eaten through by termites, that appears perfect to the sight, which will collapse into dust if you  give it a stern prod.

I have the sensation that I’m not being mentally faithful to who I am and what I stand for.

As I adjust to this new paradigm of work and life outside the structures of the school environment, I find that the old rules don’t seem relevant. The old strictures don’t seem to fit, and the new ones don’t fit with the old ones.

Many of the old comforts are no longer there. I no longer find myself satisfied with my faith, its implications for my life or its suggestions about the cosmic order. I no longer find myself satisfied with keeping people at a distance, indulging my casual misanthropy. I no longer find myself satisfied with books, which have become a rare indulgence. I no longer find myself satisfied within the realm of pure ideas, of interesting tangents and random intersections.

For the me of old, that paragraph above is akin to knocking three walls from a house.

I am left with this paradox, this circle that must be squared. Who I am is changing, the values by which I judge who I am is changing, and the direction of change is changing.

It’s not surprising that I’m confused; that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.

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One Comment

    • James
    • Posted December 2, 2008 at 8:34 pm
    • Permalink

    I’m not alone
    I wish I was
    ‘Cos then I’d know
    I was down because
    I couldn’t find
    A friend around
    To love me like they do right now
    They do right now

    I’m dizzied by the shopping malls
    I searched for Joy
    but I’d bought it all
    It doesnt help
    the hunger pains
    And a thirst I’d have to drown first
    To ever satiate

    Something’s Missing
    And I don’t know how to fix it
    Something’s Missing
    And I don’t know what it is
    And I don’t know what it is

    When Autumn comes
    It doesn’t ask
    It just walks in where it left you last
    You never know when it starts
    Until there’s fog inside the glass around your
    Summer heart

    Something’s Missing
    And I don’t know how to fix it
    Something’s Missing
    And I don’t know what it is
    No I don’t know what it is
    At all

    I can’t be sure that this state of mind
    Is not of my own design
    I wish there was an over-the-counter test
    For loneliness like this

    Something’s missing
    And I don’t know how to fix it
    Something’s missing
    And I don’t know what it is
    No I don’t know what it is

    Something’s different
    And I don’t know what it is
    No I don’t know what it is

    Friends – check
    Money – check
    Well-slept – check
    Opposite sex – check
    Guitar – check
    Microphone – check
    Messages waiting on me when I come home – check

    How come everything I think I need
    Always comes with batteries?
    What do you think it means?

    – Something’s Missing, John Mayer


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