Self-definition

I’m wallowing in a funk of self-definition these days, or rather, a funky lack of self-definition. The principal building block of the self, in my culture, is what you fill in the blank with in the sentence “I am a _____.” And i have little these days, and seemingly less day by day, with which i feel i can fill that blank. At times, the most suitable gloss seems to be: I am a blank. Which can leave me feeling rather empty and useless.

Oh, there’s plenty i want to full the blank with, or feel i ought to fill it with. “Writer” is a big one — t’would be great to pontificate to the masses as one’s job, one’s outre (but still respectable) social function, treading those delicious lines between fame and influence and privacy.

Then there’s “environmental activist,” “entrepreneur,” “Zen adept,” “teacher,” “drummer,” “performance poet,” and more. I have yearnings in all these directions, and ability and potential. What i don’t seem to have is the je ne sais quoi — discipline, maybe, or narrowness — to latch onto one of them and hang on long enough to, with luck, establish a blank-filling reputation, if only in my mind. (But then, my mind is every mind, in that i’m the perfect reflection of my surroundings.) So i pick up one of them for a while, when the spirit moves me; but then the spirit moves on and i’m floundering again.

Strangely, the main flounder factor is not so much aimlessness as being restless with the aimlessness — the feeling that life is zooming by and i’m not engaging with it, in the beer-commercial or adventure-race sense (where every moment is jam packed with whole-hearted FUN or riveting ACTION or even simple, bone-deep HAPPINESS).

Bah. Written down, this puling limns its own “solution.” It’s written down right here in the box, compleat:
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Simple, no?

goals and means

This is one of those things that, if you get it, you get it. But i have only one objective on this little trip: To get away from the coast for at least two months. Not that Ucluelet is a terrible place to be, but a small town at the end of a long road tends to limit one’s perspective after several years. I hear there’s a world out there, and i aim to reconnect with it.

I have (and this is the part people are having trouble with) no fixed departure date, no agenda, no plan, no destination beyond visiting my mother in Winnipeg and my sister in Montreal. Apart from that, everything is open.

For the record:

  • last day of having a fixed address: 31 October, 2007
  • last day of work at the Westerly News: 18 April, 2008.
  • last morning in Ucluelet: 25 May, 2008.

I am homeless, jobless, and dependent on the kindness of friends and strangers, and the benevolence of the world at large — not a comfortable position for me. But i’m not without purpose; more on that later.