Mumbling the presence

The joy of reading, discussing.

Tiredness.Constant exhaustion.

An overarching anxiety.

Social desire.

These are the modes in my presence. I wish I could stay in the academic world forever.

I wish I could stay in the academic world forever. There is something ungraspably appealing about the discovery of a different way of thinking and perceiving reality. Challenge, discovery opens up a new vision and a different way of relating to the surroundings.

Yet, life in the metropolis is a never-ending rut if you attempt to engage. I know that I won’t be here forever. And perhaps, for the first time, it is bringing me peace rather than misery. A humane desire to attain and be in the middle of the best, the most exciting, the most giving something, the…, which is reachable by hand, is unsustainable with natural rhythms.
It can turn one into a constant consumer and steal away the ability to create and invent…

The time is precious.

A constant desire to be on top, to be in the middle of everything and the limited resources. Limited material resources that are depleting by months, weeks, days or even hours…

The natural need to connect, to be touched and touch. The need to be known and know. The need of an understanding and comfort. The need of connection.

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Words as signifiers

Ubiquitous – existing or being everywhere at the same time :  constantly encountered :  widespread <a ubiquitous fashion>

Discourse –

  1. 1archaic :  the capacity of orderly thought or procedure :  rationality

  2. 2:  verbal interchange of ideas; especially :  conversation

  3. 3a :  formal and orderly and usually extended expression of thought on a subjectb :  connected speech or writingc :  a linguistic unit (as a conversation or a story) larger than a sentence

  4. 4obsolete :  social familiarity

  5. 5:  a mode of organizing knowledge, ideas, or experience that is rooted in language and its concrete contexts (as history or institutions) <critical discourse>

Ontological – relating to the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being:

“ontological arguments”
Sediment – matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid; dregs.

Old is better

A friend of mine offered to go and travel to another country. Another friend offered to go to youth conference. And one more other friend offered to go to yet another youth meeting. But all I want is to revisit and re-explore old places.

Two years of travelling (with some breaks of course) and changing continents, countries, jobs, apartments and everything that comes with that, and for the time being living in an 8+million city, I feel that my heart is aching for the old. It is aching for the opportunities to go deeper; invest, cherish and get to know the places, get to know faces beyond the ‘official’-get-to-know way, to know the cracks in the tiles on the way to work, to know the history of the buildings around, to laugh and share small daily joys and cry together when being hurt. with the same people. I love.

Constant newness is exhilarating. A glimpse of diverse lives – fascinating. And overwhelming at the same time.
It takes energy to get to know people. Knowing someone takes away a piece of one’s heart. Life becomes just pieces of fragments loosely connected. Connected just by you.

J.K. Gibson-Graham write about Anthropocene – an alternative way of living in this world. When human-nature dichotomy is replaced by belonging within the world. It is no longer them against it, but it becomes a part of you and you become a part of it. Recognising that a human being is not superior to nature but a part of it restores the perverted relationship that is dominated by human exploitation of their environment. The new relationship brings back the elements of care and love and replaces consumeristic approach of expropriating all possible value and constant requirement of newness. Everything can be appreciated more, renewed and looked after.

I wish to revisit and rediscover old places; reestablish my relationships, not into the ones that I used to have but into those that can drown me deeper, challenge, reward and enrich.

Illusions & Wine

Right now I am at home and am pretending to write an essay for my Theorizing the Commons class but the attempt is a failure so far. So, I am reading Medium instead.

This post on women and drinking inspired me to retrospectively look at my time in London – the city of everyone’s dreams – and to make some New Years resolutions.

It is always interesting to notice some habits within a culture. The very first time I came to London, I could not but think that this is such a drunkard culture – all the pubs and clubs around. 5 and a half years later, has my view changed? Yes and no. Most of the people who frequent pubs visit them to socialise. It is usually after work or later in the evening, so it’s a bit too late for coffee, and a bit cheaper than having dinner, and gives you a feeling that you earned it (and after some stressful days at the competitive environment seems to be needed.) Yet, even taking into consideration the fact that it is a common way for chill-out, still, there is a bit too much of casual drinking within the culture (or maybe just my environment).

Here are two examples when I found it to be too much:
After the last class of the Fall semester, which happened to be a museum visit, our tutor invited us to the pub. Well, nothing too wrong here, but the fact that the pub didn’t serve either food nor had any tea & coffee is. It was a pity to see my Asian classmates uncomfortably cornering in the pub with those pints of beer. And frankly, I wasn’t up for any alcohol that afternoon either.

The second example is the company’s Christmas party. We were doing Secret Santa. It cost me perhaps 5 hours of unwanted Christmas gift search to find something good to give to a girl I have never met. (I am new to the company). I chose something a bit boring but equally good to anyone (unless they don’t use smart technologies) and that that I would be happy to receive myself – an external battery. I was not obsessing over what I will get, but I was pleasantly curious to see what my gift will look like. And here you go. A bottle of champagne. To top it up – the company gave a bottle of wine to each employee as a Christmas present. And here I was – heading home with two bottles of alcohol. I was glad I had chosen to take a bus to the venue and not my bike – if I did – I would have probably broken at least one of the bottles. I guess, the gifts themselves are not that bad – I can always regift them to others, but the presupposition that everyone drinks – is.

To add a bit weight to my argument, another observation about the events at uni is that whenever there is a reception following any talk/book presentation/discussion it is either wine, water, juice and some crackers or just wine and water. Which shows that the one constant (with water option of course) is always wine. Where is the health promotion at UNI?

Thus the medium post and my observations prompted me to attempt to be more mindful of my own actions. I will try to:

1. Reduce the alcohol intake (I never really enjoyed booze anyway).
2. Drink less coffee (I am doing it too often and it is way too overpriced).
3. Wear a mask while cycling. (One of the things I noticed when landing in Lithuania, is how fresh the air in Lithuania is, and how polluted it is in London or at least SE London.)
4. Less procrastination.

Metropolises

Big Cities

  • space for exploration
  • a variety of people
  • any type of event you want
  • lots of opportunities
  • 30% time wasted from point A to point B
  • 30% of expenses on transport
  • triple the time to get to know someone in depth

A Life on a Rollercoster

I graduated from uni and stayed in my alma matter for 2 years as an employee. Like many recent grads, who start their careers, I entered happily into a so-called corporate world, or in other words, the world of professionalism.

Like many recent grads, who start their careers, I was happy to enter the real life. To use all the learned skills such as public speaking, creative and critical thinking to solve real problems. And then it hit. I was poorly paid. It was boring. There was not much future prospects. Yet, it was stable.

Not to discredit the experience completely, there were lots of great things about it: fantastic colleagues, lots of social and academic events, lots of spare time on hands (in comparison to student’s life). But that’s about it. Extremely under-challenged and very poorly paid. (Surprisingly, my two uni friends who stayed to work in the same place, also in entry-level positions, somehow were paid at least 20% more. I could not understand it. At first, I thought that my position was on a lower responsibility scale, but then, when my workload kept increasing and compensation did not I just felt used and unhappy.)

Money aside, I remember so many mornings walking to work and thinking ‘is there more to life than this’. All of the tasks were repetitive and no-brainers. So I started looking for new opportunities. Eventually, I got invited to an interview in a city of my dreams to a job of my dreams – travelling the world as a tour guide. I nailed the interview and I started the prep.

I quit my job (with tears for leaving an awesome community) and then it started. I felt flat on my face. Stressed out, disbalanced, crushed. A long recovery. It took me at least 2 months to feel normal again. I think my hormones were imbalanced and my body could not produce serotonin because of the prolonged time under extreme stress conditions. Eventually, I got back on my feet for a new challenge. This time was better, very different and way less stressful than the first one and accompanied by lots of learning. After it, a quiet, almost boring period again. Then, another challenge, this time infused strongly with joy + fantastic friendships. A peaceful period. Stress and adjustments again.

The moment I left my secure office (or desk more precisely), I crossed the borders 15 times. I lived on 2 continents. I was paid almost 10 more. I was unemployed and stressed out equally 10 times more. I was constantly challenged and reminded of how naive I was. I saw places and met people I have never thought I could meet. It gifted me with friendships in the most unusual places, yet, striped of my long-established friends and a safety net.

If anyone asked me if they should follow my path, I would not really know what to say. This rollercoaster of experiences allowed me to see, taste and live in places I have not dared to dream of. It often humbled me and made me realise how much I actually have had, and how much I did not know. It broke me and stripped away of the most precious friendships. Yet, it gave me eyes to see the world in a different way and walk alongside those I would have never thought I would be walking.

Ephemeral Existence

It feels I am living in a vacuum – in a new world where everything is like a game. New people, their hearts to conquer. New places to discover. Beautiful greeneries and leaves changing colours; bushes and hedges around unfamiliar houses.

And me. The same old me. Just getting older. With white strips of hair. And random tiredness combined with disinterest that comes with age and experience.

A new world of galleries, events and talks and London I am eager to know.

And everything wrapped in the temporality of time. This too shall pass.