It’s as if I’m standing in the middle of life as a time-line, and I’m wondering which is more important to who I am? My future or my past?

Friday, 22 September 1995  9:10AM

Woke up late, feeling groggy, still do as a matter of fact. Read more of that Sartre last night, and it’s provoking some self-examination that I think I probably would’ve been better off without. I suppose I should explain – this book “The Age of Reason” is sort of filled with this feeling of expectancy, a hesitancy and fear of imminent change, and it got me thinking about my job. Got me thinking about what I’m doing here, and how long I can expect to continue here. I had this vivid image of me still sitting at my desk in thirty years, while everyone else has moved on. Just me, surrounded by sparkling twenty-year-olds, like I’d been kept down at school or something. It made me realize that I can’t just stay here, it would be worse than standing still, it’d be going backwards. What am I gonna do? I keep looking at people, like fifty-year-olds working at newspaper stands on the street, and thinking “Will I end up there?” There’s really no safety net is there?

 

Saturday, 23 September 1995  5:44PM

I’m in here on Saturday.  Been in since 11am. Dad gave me a ride after fixing my taps.  He was knocking on my door at 8:30 this morning.  I appreciate him taking the time to fix my taps and all, but why does it always have to be at 8:30 in the morning?

Had coffee in “Klicks” with a girl from work who was in catching up as well. I wish she wouldn’t be so nice to me; I’ll probably start to like her. It’s funny how in the early stages of falling for someone, you’re probably aware of the process. I can see the warning signs, can watch myself doing it. It’s a weird feeling of detachment. Then comes the nervousness, and you know the tawdry rest. I don’t wanna think about it too much, I’ll just tie myself up in knots. I wonder if you can stop yourself from liking someone? It’d certainly be a neat trick. I’m always interested in how much we can control our feelings, the balance between heart and head, instinct and intellect. I suppose one just looks at the negatives, yeah?  Take extra notice of the chewed nails, the greasy forehead, the unkempt hair, whatever… Sorry I can’t make these letters more interesting, I know I go on and on about work and the people there, it’s just that I don’t do much else. I just read and watch videos, really.

Got that party to go to tonight. Simon is at the footy, which will end at 10:30ish, then he’ll taxi it to the party. I have to watch the live telecast (just the end) to synchronize our arrivals. God I hope he gets there before me or we arrive simultaneously. I don’t wanna have to hang off the one or two people there that I’ll know. Wish I was happy with my own company and didn’t feel compelled to go to these things.

Monday, 25 September 1995  9:07AM

New week, new thoughts. Tell me Sis ‘o Mine, do you think the essence of life lays in the past or future? What I’m getting at is: do you think existence is defined by experience (the past), or do you think it’s defined by potential (the future)? I’m not too sure myself. The Past option is basically existentialism, you know, defining reality by existence. The draw of the Future idea is that life comes to an end when you die, when, effectively, your future runs out. So if you can’t exist without a future, what role does the past/experiences play? If experience is the keystone to existence, it should hang around, like a record of sorts after you’re gone. That has an uncomfortable sort of stagnancy to it. This is all second-hand Sartre of course; I’m having a jolly old time with this “Age of Reason” book. It’s just so quotable – “I wonder whether the sole means to preserve one’s youth isn’t to forget it.” What a splendid idea! The attitude of youth is shaped by a lack of history. I dunno, I’m not expressing this properly. When these thoughts come to me first off, when I’m walking back from the video store or something, they fall in line one after the other in neat regimented lines, and they make perfect sense. When I try to dredge them up again later, they always lose that clarity as I try to hammer them into place, screw them down. It’s like trying to sculpt with dry clay.

Anyway, back to the quandary in hand, it’s as if I’m standing in the middle of life as a time-line, and I’m wondering which is more important to who we are, the future or the past. Should I look behind me to learn from what I’ve done – how to attack what I am to do, or should I look to the future, because without the future there’s really nothing at all? What do you think? And don’t go for the wussy middle ground, make a bold statement Sis, strike out!

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