The Account of a Lifetime

June 18, 2008

What I leave behind

Filed under: Cogitations,Reflections — xisor @ 1:42 am

“I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we’ve exchanged. Long after we are gone our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit that the part of me that is going will very much miss the part of you that is staying.”

It’s a funny, strange and often utterly bewildering world.

Since the end of April, I’ve been quite captivated by work. Not always working to full capacity, but it has underpinned everything I’ve been doing. It’s been a shadow, a source of energy, a source of inspiration, of comfort and of stress. It’s been a tremendous time.

In that time I’ve submitted my most lengthy (completed) project I’ve so far undertaken; An investigation of chaotic effects in pendula. I’ve written more code than I have in a long time, I’ve produced reams and pages of notes. I’ve compiled examples. I’ve read books (Murder on the Orient Express, Warrior Coven, Sirens of Titan, Wild Kingdoms). I’ve done plenty of stuff. I’ve been indecently inebriated and I’ve enjoyed a tipple. I’ve even been elected to the office of Provost (Venue Officer) on behalf of Doc Soc.

I’ve also seen many of my friends conduct the end of the time they’ll be spending here in St Andrews. I’ll be losing the company of a lot of friends. I suspect, however, I’ve also made the friendship of a fair few new people.

I’ve sat some pretty impressive exams. I’ve done terribly, I’ve had my first near total blank in an exam; terrifying. I’ve came out on the other side. I’ve wasted time, I’ve annoyed people and I’ve probably done myself and others some serious wrongs. Conversely, I hope, I still bring a little cheer to more life than just my own.

Exam results came out. I got a job. I even got a (touch wood) promotion! It’s a strange old world.

But that’s just it, as you move forward things change. Things have to. Our situation is always changing and not always for the better. But, for myself, I find it quite impossible to judge my situation nowadays. I look back, back through as far as I can fathom and I see things lost to me. Things that will be gone essentially forever. But yet, things still surprise me. I met a friend from school I hadn’t seen in years only a few days ago…we chatted as if nothing had changed. As if everything had changed. It didn’t really matter!

Considering a brief overview there’s so much a single person will leave behind. What I leave behind is really significant for me. I’d even like to imagine that my experiences have been something remarkably unique. Well, not unique, but quite uncommon. I know I’ve tales that others aren’t aware of. I know I’ve tales I’d probably not want to share. There’s elements of my personal history I’m ashamed of. Similarly, there’s so many things that so strongly and heartily outweigh those I feel like they’re almost afterthoughts.

It’s really rather introspective…as bloody usual!

What are we leaving behind?

For one, we’re leaving ourselves behind. The me of yesteryear is not the me of today and neither am I going to be the me of tomorrow. Or now, in fact. I’ve already changed! Less vacuously, of course, there is the fact that the core of ourselves regenerates, deteriorates, grows and decays. We have a little control over our journey in life, it seems, but ultimately it’s quite a terrific adventure.

There’s family, there’s links, there’s friends and there’s incidental people we meet once or twice in our lives. I’m not one to propose a massive and meaningfulness interconnectedness of all things, but similarly I’m not going to tell myself that life isn’t full of surprises. I’ve no idea what the root cause behind much of the happy (and horrid) coincidences of my life are, and I fear I’d be a fool to try to explain them. But regardless of that, I think I probably will always keep trying to keep explaining things. I think that means I’ll also probably continue being a fool.

What to do and where to go?

Nowhere, really. We leave behind small groups, ideas, jokes, laughs, pains and terrors. I think it’d be folly to divide them into arbitrary camps. Describing them, sure, but to really believe that the distinction has some greater meaning is something I feel I, myself, should avoid.

Where I am today

I’m sitting on a lovely set of exam results that can very easily be improved upon by simply working harder. I fully intend to do so! I’ve been enjoying life with my lovely girlfriend and (academic) niece, though I’ve been physically separate from her for three weeks and it is more than a little intensely distressing! I’m presently living with my eldest nephew, Martin, and some other chappies in Fife Park. I’ve met a bucket-load of really cool people, and worked with them for a very pleasant few weeks. Bizarrely, though, I’ve left them behind too to go and work in the DRA Office. It’s a little more boring and less relaxed than the cleaning I’d been doing before, but it pays a little better and, truth be told, I think I’m probably a bit better at being someone’s dogsbody than a cleaner. Hopefully I’ll be able to go and speak to one of the lecturers tomorrow about possibly picking up some academic stuff to be doing over the summer. It’s a very strange old world, but even as I move on within it and feel things are falling apart around me, I’m quite reassured to see it all sticking itself together again in quite new and wondrous ways.

I just hope these wonders won’t become terrors. In all honesty: there’s no telling what comes next. Interesting or terrifying, I do hope it’ll be fascinating.


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