Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Epilogue eight

Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face? Do you realize we're floating in space?
Do You Realize?? - The Flaming Lips

A sense of purpose

This year - if I haven't mentioned it already - has been pretty rough. One consequence of being permanently doped up on drugs that make you feel unwell and prevent you working, is that you lose any sense of narrative of what you are actually doing. I started to find that any social occasion was increasingly awkward, as I didn't have anything to say. Other people talk about work, or family life or the amusements and trivia that come with city living. In response, who wants me to divulge how dreary it is, sitting at home feeling like shit? It doesn't take long before one is actively avoiding social interaction.

We're all well aware that we are often judged by our work.
"What do you do?"
Being ill is not much substitute for a career.
"Er. Thalidomide? Pneumonia? Groaning?"

I was dwelling, on a beach lounger, what it would take for me to address this. I came to two realisations.

1) There must be more to me than being a guy-with-cancer. And that requires me to define some roles for myself and then work to grow into them. Having purpose matters. A friend has recently had a book published. As well as being inspired by her writing, I've also observed how she has established her identity as an author. I would like to hope that writing could be a defining role for me too, among other things. But I'm not going to run before I can walk here... the first step is to invest meaningful time in meaningful projects, in order to establish a new purpose for me. I need some reinventions.

In the past, I've tended to shrug - knowing the most lucrative thing I can do is to continue my consultancy business. And many of the side projects have faded away. However, if it is, first and foremost about identity, then the money hardly matters.

2) If a second SCT demands some reinvention of me, then that will need to involve some things ending, as well as some beginning. To an extent, that explains why I've chosen now to wrap up this blog. At the same time, I have taken myself off social media. And I'm in the process of re-inventing, re-articulating and re-launching my business. Because I need some space. I need some news, that isn't myeloma related.

I'm not sure yet what all the beginnings are. I've been having fun writing bits for a novel (I've harboured pretensions in that direction for a long time... at least now I have some actual output to show for it). My recently-published friend is being very supportive and pushing me along. Who knows where this will lead.

I would like to spend a bit of time supporting local enterprises and organisation in South London. Having lived here for more than twenty years, I am passionately in love with the diverse community I live in. (Brexit, these last two years, has served to reinforce that in my mind. Half the country appears scared of precisely what makes my community great.)

And I'd like to put some energy back in to a cause that matters, in particular, into Sub-Saharan African development, being the area that is closest to my heart. When I am through this SCT, I will be seeking a way to do that.

Writer, South London community worker, Africa promoter.

Or something like that.

1 comment:

  1. Will you create a new blog when you are re-invented? I for one would love to know how a South London writing, Africa promoting, community worker is getting on. 😊