Time passes…

Within the first two days she uttered to me the actual words said by Wen upon understanding the true nature of Time!  It was when I asked for a reduced rate because of course I did not sleep in a bed, and she said, “I was not born yesterday, Mr.Tze!”
–Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time

It’s been altogether too long since I wrote some ill-formed thoughts down in my blog, so, er, here goes.  Like I keep saying, I never seem to have time for things any more, but tonight being my weekly “night off”, I decided I’d force myself.  Not because I have anything to report in terms of my ten goals for 2014 (though I am at least reading e-books, studying Windows 7 and seeing someone for the second time tomorrow night, depending on your definition of “seeing”), but because, well, I’ve been re-reading my old diary (the one I’ve been writing since 1992), and now that I’m up to the post-postgrad era of my life, where I wrote short (single-paragraph) daily entries from 2005 up to 2011, it’s really hit me just how long I’ve been alive in this world… and how very different I am to how I’ve been in the past.

Think about it: am I the same person who used to eat heavily and get sick all the time?  Am I the same person who dreamed of being an astrophysicist — or, earlier, a volcanologist — and saving lives?  Am I the same person who, even before that, just wanted to stay at home and watch Doctor Who videos (leaving aside the march of technology and the death of VHS)?  Am I the same person who hated alcohol and the notion of sex outside marriage, who couldn’t listen to music with swearwords in, who thoughts girls were yucky, who watched cartoons every Saturday morning and looked forwards to Transformers and M.A.S.K. toys for his birthday?  Am I the same person whose best friends at primary school were a Japanese kid and a dyslexic kid?

Am I the same person who went to Florida three times with his mother, and to Michigan for eight months?  Am I even the same person who flew over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter last year, or who contemplated suicide in the preceding years, or who wanted nothing more than to write computer games and take the dog for a walk every day as a teenager?  Am I the same person who dated six women last year, and is he the same person who couldn’t even get talking to a woman on a dating site before that?  Am I the same person who watched The Big Breakfast every morning, including that day in February 1996 when they featured a crazy American thrash metal band called Gwar, and is he the same person who was later so offended by The Marshall Mathers LP that he wanted to tell his mother to take it back to the shop?  Am I the same person who thought vegetarians were stupid, and is he the same person who continued to eat Wine Gums and cheese containing animal rennet for years afterwards?

Well, I suppose the answer, in a doublethink kind of way (1984 is one of the e-books I’m reading at the moment), or possibly a Schrodinger’s Cat kind of way, is “yes/no”.  Thirty-six years is a long time, especially when you’ve got a good memory like wot I have, and the weight of my experiences sometimes scares me.  But it’s true to say that I’m not the man I once was, and tomorrow I won’t be the man I am now.

(No, don’t laugh, that’s me being metaphysical, not expressing confidence about any particular life-changing event happening — c’mon, I barely know her!)

Perhaps I spend too long looking back… yeah, I know, another amazing epiphany from the guy who is constantly surprised to discover he’s a partially insane sociopath.  However, it should be noted that my decluttering drive isn’t just an effort to reduce the amount of stuff I have to transport the next time I move house: I’ve also felt a certain relief by getting rid of things that remind me too much of the “bad old days”.  For example: since my dating coach got me to buy Vans, I was able to get rid of the ageing trainers I’d been wearing since buying them on that terrible yet wonderful day in November 2011 when I had my big breakdown.  It’s a shame in a way, because those shoes came to America with me last year, but I’m glad to be rid of ’em.  I’ve also sold a couple of things on, such as my original smartphone and the DAB alarm clock radio that annoyed me by going “bump” every night at 1am when it reset its time (though it always missed Daylight Savings changes, making it pointless).

I have a feeling I’m going to be selling Wii Fit Plus as well, simply because I think I’ve moved on beyond it in health terms after 400 days, and it’s getting rather frustrating that every night I seem to be hovering around 13st. and having to come up with another excuse for why I haven’t shed the pounds.  Yeah, I know, don’t shoot the messenger, but I hardly get to do the exercises any more anyway… well, I’ll try it out one last time next week, when I’m planning to take a bit of a break from going out in the evenings (this coincides with my personal torturer being on holiday), and instead play games and concentrate on my studies.  It’ll be a pleasure to not go out if there’s a Tube strike again, though (in exact contrast to late 2005) the Northern Line was the only one unaffected in last week’s strike, and the one due to happen this week was called off!

I’ve definitely got to study so I can pass my Windows 7 exam and thus begin the next phase of my life; I’m not anxious to do so, but time marches on, and I’ll have to face it sooner or later.  For now I just have to keep my head above water… yes, I’m glad I live in an area that hasn’t been flooded!  But one thing’s for certain: the guy posting in this blog tonight is someone you’ll never see again, and by the time I get around to posting something else, I’ll be a different person.  Especially if I keep up my current posting rate, apologies for the delay etc…

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