29 March 2006
Whoever invented the expression got the right idea. I’ve spent the past week jumping through administrative hoops trying to get my thesis submitted and examined. The UK-wide industrial action boycotting examinations and assessment seems to be more inconveniencing than effective, but I’m much less reactive than I might’ve been, even though the outcome has a direct impact on my current job, and I’m realising that people are using the action to retroactively justify not doing tasks which were to have been completed way before the action was instigated.
These days I’ve figured that things outside of my control just have to run their course. If I’m caught in the maelstorm, I can either glide along with the current and hope to land safely, or try to fight it and risk crackng my skull. Anyway, I’ve done my bit. Written the thing, and sent it in. The rest will have to take care of itself. If the examination is delayed and my current visa runs out and I have to leave the country before coming back in again, fine. Being a foreigner caught in an administrative tangle has made me appreciate the value of citizenship though; there’s something vaguely mystical about how a piece of paper can be a pathway or a barrier to employment, security and social services.
As a result, though, I am very grateful for the opportunity to re-visit old friends and relationships. I am only now realising I have more friends than I thought I did! This is hard for me to say since I always feel alone even in a crowd, but sometimes you need to have gone away to be able to see what you never realised you had. That’s the benefit of detachment, I suppose. What I’m going to try and cultivate is that awareness and detachment in the present, not merely in hindsight.
I wonder how my aloe vera is doing?