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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Initiating change

Wordle of Change

You know that space you often find yourself in when you wake up, that space where it's just you and the remnants of your dream? You might not be aware of where you are, or to a certain extent, 'who' you are. By 'who', I mean who you are to the world around you. Who you are in the workplace, who you are in relationships, who you are within that complex network of friends and family that exists around you.

I woke up in just such a space this morning. I was unconscious of the fact that my physical body was at my parent's house, unconscious that I was about to get married, unconscious that I have things I need to do today.

I opened my eyes, and seeing the cupboard beside my bed, so I became aware of where I was. With my location established, so my place in the world began to come back to me. There was the wedding. There was *Twinkle*. There was Joseph, in Orcop.

However, this morning It took a bit longer than usual to fit into the self-constructed id, and I found myself putting an arrest upon 'reality's creep'.

Hang on a sec, I thought, I don't have to be this person, I don't have to fit into this world that is a construct of every day of my life up until now.

I could change everything, now.

I could leave everything behind. Walk out of the door and start a completely new life. Go and live in Siberia (would have to take a wooly jumper).

A few moments later I'd had an opportunity to think about what I'd like to change in the reality I've constructed, and decided that actually, there was nothing I would change, and I am very happy to continue along the current path I have chosen.

However, this brief period of time spent in that space free of earthly concerns reminded me of the immense potential we all hold (those of us that are fortunate to live in 'free' societies), a potential for change. If we don't like our lives in any way, we can choose to change it, completely, with a single decision that could be made in a split second. We are only bound to our current situations by our own self-imposed limits, limits that give us an enormous sense of comfort by placing scary (limitless) possibilities out of reach.

I like crossing boundaries, I like big change. I like having the freedom to choose to act independently of a personal daytime reality, the reality that becomes our identities in the morning.

I think, in a way, this is one reason why I enjoy living in Japan. In Japan my id is far from concrete. I have good friends, but they are few (I can count them on one hand), thus meaning that I am free of any history when stepping out into the world. I'm free to be who I choose to be that day, with far fewer self-imposed restrictions. Just guided by what feels right.




It'll be interesting to see if the reality I create in Japan comes to mirror the reality I have in the UK. I suspect that it might, but it will be far more limited. I'm going to have to make quite an effort to form the kind of networks I have here in the UK. That's something I've not been too good at in Japan in the past. I've tended to keep my world small, revolving around a few close friends / my partner. I know I need to reach out, especially to the foreign community in Japan. With two notable exceptions, I've resisted that in the past.

Perhaps it's time for some massive change there.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Orchid64 said...

I think it's inconceivable to recreate one's world in Japan as it was back home. Mine is certainly very different, though not necessarily bad. I'm sure you'll do fine though at realizing whatever is best for your personal growth. The hard part is going to be remaining "Joseph" in the face of a culture which values conformity and having its expectations met.

In fact, the hardest thing at times is keeping your personal ethic intact and not playing the game because it makes others more comfortable if you just go along to get along.

By the way, when you get here, I'm hoping we can get together for some chat at our place. I know you'll be super busy though, and we have serious scheduling issues because our days off are so strange, but I'm still hoping you and Twinkle can come by and have dinner with us. :-) We'll call you "Mr. Twinkle" after you're married. ;-)

15/7/08 20:56  
Blogger Joseph said...

"The hard part is going to be remaining "Joseph" in the face of a culture which values conformity and having its expectations met."

Too right!

I had a little taster of that when working in the Oxfam office. It was stifling at times, and that was when I had no long term interest in 'fitting in'.

Thank you for your kind offer, that would be really nice! I'm sure we'll be able to find time.

Mr. Twinkle-to-be :-)

15/7/08 21:47  

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