Sunday, 14 October 2007

Let me explain.


After every major seismic activity the shape of the Earth changes. In itself that doesn't mean much, but it does have the interesting effect that it changes the speed of the Earth's spin. That in turn changes the length of a day.

It's not by much: a few milliseconds at most. I believe the Boxing Day Eathquake the year before last added three milliseconds to the length of the day. Just three milliseconds.

It's the type of thing that comes out in the wash. After all the length of a day is constantly changing. Daylight comes and goes, sleep steals hours. Three milliseconds will be lost after the next eathquake, or the one after.

Now imagine it wasn't the length of a day, but something more fixed. The mass of the Earth is pretty much fixed. I mean sure it has small changes: meteors come, satellites go. But overall it is fixed and so gravity is fixed.

Imagine it changed one day. It shifted by a Newton, or two. Would you notice? Would you shrug off the feeling as a bad night's sleep or a particularly good night the day before?

Or would it niggle at you? This weird feeling that something, somehow, was off. Not something you could necessarily put your finger on, just a feeling of wrongness.

This is the best explanation I can find for how I feel. A weird sensation that something inside is off somehow. I don't know what it is, I don't know how it came about, it's just not quite right.

When I started writing this I decided on rules, most of which I've adapted already:
1) All entries must be handwritten in this book.
2) At least one entry per week.
3) Copy them out into a blog.
4) Write them in London or outside of Southampton.
5) The full jist of the book and the blog must be the same.
6) No set routine.
7) Challenge myself once a week.
8) An entry a month should be about the year in total.

You can forget 4 & 6. They're conclusively gone, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that anymore. Hell, I think it's a good thing.

But I also think I shouldn't remove a rele unless I've got something to replace it with. So:
4) Plan more. Take the time to actually think things through as much as possible in advance. It might help matters.
6) Do something.

Now I know 6 is pretty obvious, but it's probably the most important. As you may have guessed this is this month's year in total entry, mainly because after a month and a half I haven't really got anywhere.

Basically I don't feel any different, but then why should I? A month and a half is not enough time to overhaul your personality. It's barely enough time to start and I'm not sure if I've even done that.

Except I guess I have. Twice in the last week I've had two conversations that, frankly, terrified me. One was about learning to drive and one was about getting therapy. Both were about fundamental changes to my life and if I'm not ready to face that then what is the point of this?

All the changes have been small so far. I guess the most profound has been getting together with old friends. That's as much circumstance as anything. Being in London I don't get to see my current friendship circle as much as I'd like, but I do get the chance to see people I haven't seen in years.

Yet it also gives me an opportunity to visit old periods of my life and see what I got from them. Some old friends are just that: friendships that are old. Gone and lost for a reason. Some are just twists of fate, lost for a reason but not a good one.

I've said before I've never felt like I've really belonged anywhere. What I have done is leave behind me a string of friends I care about, but don't necessarily see.

Our decisions and actions define who we are. They make us. So we decide and we act and we leave an indelible mark on the world.

Who we are, who we choose to be, is the sum of these actions. It's automatic, ingrained. Something we control and something that controls us.

So maybe I've been going about this the wrong way. Maybe I need to decide where I want to be at the end of the year and decide howe to get there rather than take the time to look at who I am.

Because although knowing who I am is important, it's so natural to me that I don't really know how it works. I'm so used to it that I don't even realise it's there most of the time.

Like Gravity.

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