Searching for expression

April 6, 2008

I know that I have something to say – actually, lots of things to say – right now, but I cannot find the words, and moreover, I am hesitant to release the thoughts to the wider web.  I know that this is a secret blog, but I am still terrified of admitting certain things to myself, let alone the rest of the world, oblivious or not.  For the moment, a few observations:

1. I went to a wonderful concert tonight.  It was incredibly whimsical, creative, sensuous, and beautiful.  Music makes me incredibly happy, and I miss playing music (finally have reached that point after quitting five years ago and never thinking I could go back).  I need to find a way to re-incorporate music into my life.

2. Dreading the work you have to do every week is a horrible thing.  Especially when Sundays are supposed to be part of the weekend, not an extended workweek.  And it is also terrible to feel guilty about not doing work at 1:30am on a Saturday night.

3. Many of my friends have started blogs recently, and this desire to create and be heard is an interesting feature of our emerging generation.  Just a decade ago, only those with “establishment” power were heard; now, anyone can be a famous blogger in the online world.  And you can have a whole community on the web – a following of psuedo-acquaintences who observe your life, interact through comments and their own blogs.  It’s an amazing alternative reality.  Why do people desire to publish?  What is so seductive about a blog?

4. My friends just purchased a piece of property in the country and I’m so envious – on many levels.  One, that they have the certainty of location – i.e., that they know they will be living in, or around, where they currently live for the foreseeable future.  Secondly, that they are married and have certainty in that.  Third, that they have a piece of property to go to, shape and make their own, and look forward to having generations of family return to.  I’m not sure what biology has done to me, but I am craving family and children, even though I know I’m not at a place in my life to think even remotely seriously about this.

5. I think I might like to keep a public blog in addition to my secret blog.

6. It’s amazing how much power information gives you.  I am currently working on a team of consultants who are writing a strategy for a large player in the independent sector and it’s incredible to think that if I (or anyone else) let something slip to the wrong person, the whole thing could get blown.  It’s similar to another situation I was in last year.  I love secrets.

7. People are fucking nuts.  Sometimes I think I’m crazy…and then I look around, and realize that everyone around me – at this high powered firm that is supposed to be all this and that – is even more neurotic than I am.

This article brought up a number of interesting questions for me, and I was fascinated by the state of research on such a non-research-y topic.  It made me think more about the “use” of religion as a social tool, and whether it is a man-made tool used to control and constrain human activity a la Emile Durkheim.  Extremely clever, if that is the case.  It’s interesting to think about the beginnings of religions (a clear modern example for the taking is Mormonism) – at what point does it shift from being a semi-crack-pot fringe group to a full-fledged movement?  In other words, what is its “tipping point?”  And why do people start religions (besides what people claim about the God interventions, revelations, etc.)?  Because if it is all about function as a means of maintaining broad social control, and by historical accounts, they start out as fringe groups with few members…is this compatible?  Some leaders impose religions as a means of social control, but at this point the religions are most likely established well beyond this fringe stage.

Gratitude Journals

April 1, 2008

I finally have started something I have meant to do for a long time: keep a list of things that make me happy and for which I am truly thankful.  I’m trying to learn how to become more positive, given my tendency towards cynicism and negativity (a combination of The Economist, my research background, my boyfriend, and the Age).  Included in today’s list is the powerpoint deck I created for our client – I’m very happy with the analysis that is presented and the presentation itself.  Finally, seeing happiness at work!

Things I love

March 7, 2008

Crosswords, art, music, baking, working out, being in nature, sunsets, beaches, mountains, black currant tea, statistics, getting into bed, sleeping in on a workday, sea shells, dark chocolate

Poetry by Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost.

After an hour and a half of soothing Brahms-like music on and some thought-provoking reading on the top educational systems in the world (courtesy of McKinsey & Co.), I don’t feel like getting into the details, but I do want to post what has been nagging me for months.  How do you deal with people with whom you just cannot get along?  I know that I take things more personally than most; however, I’m tired of putting up with, placating, and pleasing people who are insipid, fake, far too driven, stubborn jerks, irrational, and/or bigots.  For years, I’ve been concerned with pleasing everyone and – more importantly – not pissing anyone off.  But after months of therapy (at what insane cost per unit of “adjustment”?), I have had the good fortune of becoming more blunt, just as opinionated and sensitive, and only slightly less chicken of actually doing something about the situations I’m in (rather than just complaining more loudly and…bluntly).  As a result, I am just more angry.  Perhaps an important piece of growing up is learning how to deal with annoying people.  Perhaps my office is an overly positive, driven, crazy place with too many neurotic people.  It’s just pretty amazing how an elite firm that has such a great reputation can be so…disturbing and disillusioning on the inside.  I’m trying to remember that I will just take what I can learn while I’m there and move on after a couple years.  But here’s my cynical side: if this is supposedly the best of the best, what are the prospects for my next job?

Footnote:  I am really tired of crazy religious nuts who think – among other things – that homosexuals are afflicted with some sort of a disease.  One of my friend’s boyfriends thinks this – which is making me suspect she probably does as well.  And it makes me hate him with a substantial passion.  It’s pretty incredible that people can become so desperate in their own lives that they need to turn to religion as a safety blanket.  I suppose it’s easier, and cheaper, than therapy.  But it just makes people so self-righteous and presuming in their judgement of others.  Who knows if the bible is just a collection of stories that were morally and societally useful at the time at which they were written (think Emile Durkheim)?  Regardless, if god were really as amazingly influential as these people say, wouldn’t he (ha, or she) have more important things to worry about than whether one’s dick was in one hole or another?

Books to read to my children

February 25, 2008

Now that I have this blog set up, I’m too tired to write.  But, before I forget: books I will read to my children:

Anne of Green Gables (all 7)

Girl of the Limberlost

Pride and Prejudice

Letters to a Young Poet

Poems by Robert Frost

Love in the Time of Cholera