Unspeakable: legibility, the sum of all fears, and the Yay! philosophy

Or, "On a (not-entirely) self-balancing mechanism towards the implementation of an always-Yay! lifestyle"

My postings seem to follow in bursts. Minus the retrospective entry, it's been almost two months since the last one. And while I'd like to find myself writing more, I think it's rightly so: First, the blog is a hobby, a therapy of sorts, and as such, adding any sort of pressure to post regularly would defeat the idea. Second, coming up with a post I'm happy with can take time; sometimes I'll start a sketch, and let the idea mature over the course of many a month - until something happens which provides the necessary spark to go ahead. Besides this one now reaching the press, there are three other drafts sitting in the "unpublished" folder waiting for completion.

This observation serves as the connecting point for me to discuss consistency, continuity, or the absence thereof. Those familiar with this blog will find this subject somewhat recurring - indeed, from 2009, "The First Year of the rest of my life" and last year's "Euphoria, Delusion, and sudden rushes of perspective" discussed some of these oscillations, but I think there's more. I hinted this in the previous post: "those far more abstract things", "the subtle lacks of coherence": the journey without apparent legibility. While I firmly believe the alignment of one's lifestyle to his or her beliefs, goals and purposes to be a major key in reaching fulfilment - in all levels -, still, there is something to those departures we - willingly or not - take from our intended path. I now hold that embracing and accepting these deviations is an even more fundamental component that we must acquiesce to. Life will throw opportunities, temptations, misfortunes and force change of plans that must all somehow be worked into the script. Having a clearly defined view of one's goals should help one steer a fairly steady course, but still, a willingness to come to terms with the unexpected seems required if one is to truly find peace in him- or herself.

David Wong worded the above slightly differently in "How 'The Karate Kid' Ruined The Modern World". I may debate some of his conclusions, but the fact is that our lives don't follow a Hollywoodian storytelling narrative. We'll start from the bottom, failing most of the time, learn, do a little better, fail again, improve, trip over ourselves, and maybe, just maybe, eventually reach somewhere - perhaps only to fall again, or discover it was not where we originally intended to go, etc. As always, it's about journey - however tortuous it can be.

(Besides the Karate Kid piece, I was partly inspired by "A Big Little Idea Called Legibility", which you may find worth a read.)

A number of examples can illustrate this - the absolutely anti-climatic developments in doctoral research and the slips in my training regimen being two I'm most familiar with, but I could also mention the erratic ebb and flow of people, interests and commitments, all of which would make any movie or literature critic wonder why exactly that particular scene or chapter was included, if our narrative was to be filmed or published. Fortunately for the audience, or maybe not, most likely it won't. But this begs the question central to this post - how many biographies, in an attempt to make the story legible, ended up missing those seemingly irrelevant side stories which were, actually, fundamental in shaping the character's outcome?

At any rate, and onto those far more abstract things I've encountered throughout the last year - I figured how important technique was, and found out I had very little of it. I formulated a theory on how our strengths cause some of our weaknesses, my aerobic engine relating to my poor handling skills, and my supposed ease to learn abstract physical theories responsible for my complete disregard for proper schooling in more elaborate methods. I contemplated aiming higher than ever before, and found myself, more often than not, bitterly brought down to earth by my own limitations. I had to deal with some of the skeletons in my closet, and let some of them go, as I ventured into the hitherto unsailed waters of living with someone. I had to face, for the first time, the idea of losing one of my parents, as a tumour diagnostic emerged, and felt the joyful relief of being shared successively more positive test results. I realized that - still a child, student, son - I'm somehow a "grown-up", and, facing the end of my Ph.D., have to find a way to figure what comes next.

There were not few nights when one, or all, of these thoughts attempted to creep in. And yet, just as we know that the sun will rise again, I established that, all come and go as it may, still and nevertheless, the future will be awesome - and it just takes getting there. The conclusion, obviously enough, has been here for ages. By now, most of you know my status line by heart.

Yay!, always.