Wednesday, 5 August 2015


So upon reaching to the final leg of my now well-established A-B-to-B-to-bed routine, and after indulging in what I will allow myself hubristically (the word characterises itself, as chance would have it) to describe as a very worthy lasagne, I found myself outside of myself. I looked at myself, wearing my black cotton turtleneck jumper (it was "cold" by Brisbane standards), which might in its younger days have been considered pretentious in Brisbane (who knows, perhaps it still is), and I thought to myself, I've looked at this jumper before.

True to instinct, a quick search reveals that I not only saw myself in the selfsame sweater, but blogged about it, back in 2005, coming up on ten and a half years ago. Perhaps it came across in that post; perhaps it didn't, but I was happy with the almost revelatory sense of change ... progress even ... that the out-of-body observation gave me, the distinct and surprising impression of myself as someone so different to the person I had been not so long a year prior, and different again from the person two years prior. I'd gone from a kind of university hanger-on, working at the research equivalent of the frat house in Old School, to probably diagnosably depressed, to being an active and accepted part of a very different culture, community, lifestyle. The sense of change, of velocity, of trajectory (I won't pretend to intention), was invigorating.

So I saw myself from outside myself again tonight, but this time I wasn't surprised by the change. And that made me sad. Don't get me wrong; I haven't been sitting still. I now have an ongoing appointment at what I really believe is one of the world's great universities. For all intents and purposes I'm debtless, own my own domicile, and have no socially unacceptable addictions, habits or predilections. But I'd be hard pressed to tell myself that I've grown or changed substantially within myself over the last couple of years (an argument could be made if not successfully defended for the two preceding years).

I'm conscious, or at least suspicious, that I've felt this kind of dissatisfaction or ennui a few times. Perhaps once it led me to France, perhaps it led me back to Australia, and perhaps it led me to my current job. There has been a something of a cycle of a quadrennial renewal of vocation in my life whose catalyst restlessnesses might well have been more personal than professional.

My probation was a close-run thing; the dean ham-fistedly, and my more immediate supervisors in a much more informed and timely fashion, told me as much, and I was conscious of it even before those indications. Its been 4 years. Its very tempting to take my ennui and translate it once again into a change of employment as a substitute for addressing personal circumstance.

Hopefully I have the courage to address them separately.