lunedì, gennaio 09, 2012

Agency, good and bad

This past Christmas was rather fucked up, as I've briefly alluded to, but ultimately not in a bad way. At the time it was bad. I was so homesick and uncomfortable with all the fucking carols about sleigh bells and shit when it was 40 degrees outside that I sat down in front of a box of chocolates and ate as many as I could. Which was only, interestingly, eight. A couple of years ago I could have murdered the whole box, no problem. I suspect my stomach is shrinking.

The chocolates helped, and then I basically threw myself into helping prepare for the big Christmas dinner - an absolutely inappropriate photo-replica of a northern European Christmas dinner, but oh well - and I realized, as I fussed over the angle of the napkins and the baby-ass smoothness of the tablecloth, that this might be why anal-retentive people are as they are. Distracting themselves from their misery by fussing over the sort of things that to my normal, non-miserable anal-expulsive self seem like absolute trivialities. Because it worked.

It's never an easy thing to be away from my family at Christmas, but this year was particularly difficult because summer-Christmas was no longer a novelty to me, and because the psychological distance between Australia and all my people besides the F-word overwhelms me sometimes, and because the F-word had some things out with some members of his family, members who are deeply unpleasant, and it got loud and ugly. That was obviously not a laugh riot at the time, and not conducive to me missing my own lovely family any less. But wow. It seems to have done him so much good. I guess he has a new sense of agency in his own life, by forcing a confrontation that could have never happened if he had just let things take their course. That's really interesting. And it's why, ultimately, Christmas wasn't fucked up in a bad way.

Aaaaaand my parents reacted to me feeling so homesick by telling me that they'll come meet me in Europe in June when I make a "business trip" back there after my business trip to Shanghai. Shanghai. Fuck, I don't know what the matter is with me sometimes. I'm struggling so much with Chinese but as we're planning on getting in the family way before long, I've also realized around the end of my awful, awful Chinese course is my last chance to comfortably go spend time there to consolidate the language a bit. So I've volunteered to spend a month at the Shanghai office training some new staff and being forced to speak that cunt of a language.

Sometimes my work ethic freaks me out. It's like my conscious self is lazy, laid-back Dread Pirate, who wants nothing more than a good book, a nice run, a beer on a hot day, good chats with friends, lots of fucking, and all those good things, and then my shadow is this middle-class British banker type who always wants things onwards and upwards, and grandiose exertions of her own agency no matter how fucking annoying that particular direction may be.

3 commenti:

Chris ha detto...

I'm thinking this work-ethic discrepancy you speak of is no different than the temporarily acquired anal retentiveness related to Christmas dinner preparation and setup. It's all ultimately a distraction which is hard for me to accept as well, even though I am consciously aware of it. Work gives us value .. take that away and some of us are left with very little, no matter how many hobbies or friends or whatnot we have. It's the curse of the A-type personality or whatever the heck you wanna call it.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Oh god, I think you're right.

e.f. bartlam ha detto...

Dread pirate has her priorities straight.

Just use the banker....hold him hostage, don't ask his name, don't ask about his kids. Just keep a gun in his face until you got the bread you need and then release him.

Set him free. Let him go.