Because I am somewhat difficult, something has been nagging at me again. As with last time, I’d like to walk it through a bit, see where we can get. I will set the scene.
People who know me know that I row. A lot. As a consequence, it turns out I’ve gotten very good at talking about rowing. A lot. Or, if I don’t watch out, all the time. Sometimes, and lately especially, now that I’m aiming for one of Skøll’s[i] novice[ii] boats it can feel as if rowing is my “main thing”, and that all the rest (studies, Writer’s Block, friends, family) is almost peripheral. “Oh, right, need to take care of all of that stuff, too.”
And now, don’t get me wrong: that’s probably not the right attitude to have. I do think my studies are important, and I do take my task as editor-in-chief very seriously, and I do try very hard between juggling all of the aforementioned to keep in touch with all of the wonderful people whom I’ve got the honor of calling my friends and family. So sometimes I find myself taking a moment, dropping what I’m doing, and wondering: why do I love rowing so much? Continue reading “The Boy in the Boat”
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness. This year I started doing more and more things that I love, and sometimes that meant disappointing someone else in favour of disappointing myself. Sometimes people thought that was selfish. It made me think: what does it really mean to be selfish?
A few weeks ago I was at a housewarming, and while using a phallic-shaped bottle opener to remove the cap from my beer because it was, regrettably, the only one available, some guy said “I can see you thinking; this one is slightly smaller than what I am used to”. Because I didn’t want to make the situation any more awkward than it already was, I laughed, trying to mute the discomfort that echoed through the kitchen. Yet it was not enough. I could still feel a cringe starting to work its way up my spine. So I did what I would normally do when the uncomfortableness can’t be laughed away: I picked a spot on the wall opposite of me and stared at it, pretending to look straight into the camera as if I were on The Office. It’s not that I like to flatter myself thinking that my life is being documented in a The Truman Show-like way, but at moments like these I find that the only way to properly deal with the sheer awkwardness of daily life is by reaching out to an imaginary audience. This is not just a personal quirk but symptomatic for the internet-driven chaotic experiences of modern life. From Modern Family to Parks and Recreation, the look into the camera assumes a stance that reflects contemporary tendencies to fluctuate between seriousness and the remains of the 90s-like postmodern irony.