I learned. For one thing I’ve learned not to use such terrible English, or to at least spot it, as “I learned”. From my time in this house I’ve learned. I think it’s nearly two years with six months in a day job. The time spent in the job and out of it I think I’ve developed as a human being.
After some news just recently, good news, I decided that I would get myself unsober. That was actually six days ago now and whilst I’m tired, it’s only the third time I’ve drunk a thing this year and I also don’t feel as bad mentally as I would have done usually. It’s true, my celebrations for the news were done with complete strangers on chat roulette, never wise, and a little bit of truck driving on Euro Trucker 2 or whatever it’s called. I must say, the crashes have improved. If my memory serves, the crashes were non-existent when I first tried it. The point of this paragraph was to say that I have learned a little about my body and sobriety. I already knew drink messed me up, but, and I know I’m not the only one in the world, it’s a lesson I won’t learn until I’ve done it several hundred times. Well maybe several hundred more. For that to have been my second drunk of the year is an astonishing record to me and I think it’s come from the peace I’ve found in living alone and hardly ever going out. I’ve not really had the money to go out.
That said. I do want to go out. I’m not in denial about my age, I try not even to venture that far. More numb than anything. I block it out. Other things I don’t block out. I’ve not achieved much at all in my life, certainly not given back to the community but then I suppose I focus heavily on the negatives of humanity so I’m not all that enthused to give back. It’s not a lie when I say I respect those that do, though, not because I think other people deserve it, but because it’s a reflection on them. Those are the people that deserve something being given back to them, those that care in the first place.
It’s an inner peace I think. At least a peace I needed to find. I’ve never gone out much and I’ve said that a lot. I don’t enjoy being around others enormously. I have been told that I’m depressed. I think it’s a mix. I think I’ve settled with this life in many ways, but I’m extremely unsettled too. Maybe I’ve settled with being unsettled and anxious and desperate to find more. I’ve not really learned to cook, and I know it’s very hard to get myself to eat healthily, which is a block to many things like more energy. I think. The trouble with food is that unless there’s an immediate effect it’s hard to know the result will be there the next time you do it.
I’ve also learned that it’s possible to be a good person yet assume you’re driving people mad. I write a lot and I think it must be a little much for people, especially for those who, like me, feel the need to respond even if one wasn’t required. I don’t like being around people but I do need to express myself. To someone. And I’m grateful for those people who have put up with me on Twitter and WhatsApp.
All the talk of learning, I still don’t know where I’m heading. Whilst I am probably small minded in some ways, I’m also very open minded. Sure, most people annoy me, but I accept them. I might not use many words with them but I care. I think maybe I’ve learned a thing or two going from half way in my thirties to nearly thirty seven as well. A small gap, but a lot of it’s psychological and 37 looks so much closer to 40 than 35 does. In my head I’m already 37 so I’m already prepared.
I think I’ve learned of some red flags when it comes to employers as well. And human beings within the place. To have someone exaggerate things, to turn conversations and messages into something that they’re not, to twist them, well it might be petty of me to still look back at it, but I’ve learned from that too. I think almost everyone I’d worked with previously didn’t have a malicious bone in their body — apart from one woman who shall remain nameless — to have experienced how caring and nice people can be and then to come across this other woman was such a shock. It would have been shocking enough but for her to be taken seriously. Anyway…enough. I’ve learned. I also made a very good friend in that place, an instigator of change in my life, and for that I am grateful. The reflection, the negative, the positive of that woman’s negativity does exist. And it’s not me. It’s people who really put the effort in with people, even people like me, and I am grateful.
I’ve also learned what it’s like to live with no money. I’ve not been homeless, thank you DWP, but I have never known a poor like this. It’s not so bad, you know. Well, heh, I’m spoilt as I have my computer, my games consoles, my poncy phone. Stuff I’d bought previously and was lucky enough not to have to sell. I’m grateful for that too.
I’ve also been blown away by the kindness of my family. It hurts when you borrow money. The amount of money I have borrowed genuinely hurts. I will do all I can to get it paid back, but it could take decades. I am grateful to them.
One thing I’ve learned also is that I’ve not yet been ready to leap into freelancing, but, I do think it’s worthwhile for every developer to have some kind of freelancing fallback if their jobs go wrong. Something I intend to work on in the future. Uncouth has only just been born!
Whilst living here I’ve also known paranoia. I’ve heard voices that weren’t there. I’ve not seen things but I have heard them. That’s a hard one to say you’ve learned from but I think I have. I have learned that there is a very real possibility that they aren’t there. Nobody can tell you for certain that they’re not there but I remember when I was going slightly crazy — I once could never understand how anybody got into such a state!!! — I thought I was hearing people outside and I eventually pulled it together enough to go outside for some smoke. I managed to calm myself down and slowly the voices morphed into the sounds of the living world. A living world that doesn’t give a damn about me. In a good way. Not a world talking about me. Not a world wishing me harm, or a world where people lie to each other about me. Just the world.
I’ve also learned to settle a bit I think. When I was in my teens I thought I’d end up with lots of friends, when I was in my early twenties I thought I’d move to London and have a great life. I thought I’d be living in London, probably making games! I’ve always hated the South West but you settle, right? You spend so long wanting a different life, then you give up on that life because you can’t change things and you settle. It almost sounds as if something inside you dies, but I think it can be healthy.
One thing I wish I could learn is that nobody really cares who you are. I mean the people who don’t know you. Those who live up the road. Maybe the thing is that they do care but you yourself shouldn’t give it a second thought. People are nosy. They may very well hear me when I do drink, slurring to myself or to whoever I talk to digitally, and it’s a detached house, so do I care? Yes. But I shouldn’t. I have a friend who really doesn’t give a damn. He’s lived in cities, though, I think that’s helped him.
Another thing I think I’ve learned but not put into practice is that consistency in healthy lifestyle and creativity related activities is so important. You want to be a painter? Do a little every day. Same with drawing, or playing music. I’ve struggled with that. I must do this with the piano and guitar or I’ll hit fifty and wonder why I never did. Yes I want people to hear it and be wowed. Because it’s that being wowed that inspires others to play as well and man…listening to somebody play, somebody who has really learned…it’s beautiful.
And yes I’ve also learned that I think I have Asperger’s up to a point. Despite a negative diagnosis I genuinely believe I have it where it’s not easily diagnosed. There are reasons and I’ve been advised to get a second opinion. Which I probably won’t bother with unless my issues hinder me in the future. Which they will but I mean as far as making money goes. Coz it’s kind of essential.
My vinyl collection has grown little since being here, and if not for birthdays and Christmases it wouldn’t have grown at all. I’ve got some great records. There’s an old vinyl shop in Brighton that sells records and they’re collector’s items a lot of them. Whilst there I discovered that they had so many records that you could get records worth a lot more than what you pay for them because they couldn’t keep track. I have a MotorHead album in a leather sleeve that’s worth around sixty quid but I think I paid about thirty at the time. I don’t know why I said that.
I think I’ve also learned that some people will never be interesting to you. Unfortunately that can make me a little prone to being rude. I think. Well I certainly don’t make much of an effort. Quiet people interest me. They’re an unopen music box. Hah…unopen surprisingly isn’t a word…I think it’s harder to find people who talk a lot interesting. Like me. I mean just look at all these words. Quiet people are like the end of the garden I knew in Upminster. You can’t always listen or see what’s going on, but when you venture to see or hear, there were some gems to be found. I think a lot of stuff got dropped down the bank, as we lived just next to the tube. That was interesting. I think I’d like that now. From my brother’s bedroom I recall you could see the platform. Like a private show. That would have been worth having a telescope for. Does that make me a weirdo? It’s people watching, that’s all! I found my old house on rightmove. I still want it back.
I’ve also learned that my writing is repetitive. It must be so boring for anyone reading my posts.
Oddly, despite not working in an office for most of the time that I’ve been here I’ve also learned a hell of a lot of programming shtuff and gained confidence in that respect. I always felt confident in my own projects, that said, but I’ve done some commercial work from start to finish with only me involved in the implementation and I’m kind of pleased with the work done.
Also. I miss window ledges. And a cat. I love cats. I have learned that I also love tigers and that zoo programme about chester zoo where they have all the animals being looked after by specialists. I’ve learned that I love that programme.
Holy Christ it’s half past three. Lock up when you go to bed…