Free Association

Free association in China

This is the first of a new line of entries that will be categorized under free association, If your seeking fluency of thought and coherent arguments you may do better to venture elsewhere fellow netizen! Happy reading

Text wrestling – I always kind of liked the idea. Sitting down and fighting with the thoughts in your head – trying to get the same message conveyed with the words you choose. Perhaps that’s impossible, no two people think alike and as accommodating as one can be there will always be a degree of variance in understanding. I suppose it’s no mystery therefore that good listening skills and real understanding aren’t as easy to come by as we all would like them to be – and in turn why it’s so valuable when we find them.

Free association was my first introduction to the concept of free writing. I guess that made sense in that your thoughts were allowed to freely intertwine and the resulting garble was regurgitated onto paper.. or, more likely nowadays – a digital document. Then again it also may inspire an artificial degree of extravagant association whereas I prefer to write simply as my mind moves – not to push it to move and associate in odd ways for the sake of novelty. Maybe that’s just me.

I’ve been really cold the last 3 days, I’m not sure why but I’m beginning to believe my haircut has something to do with it. I cut it as I normally do – short – but perhaps I should have taken the unseasonably cold weather into account when choosing the time to cut. Anyway I managed to get back into my office today where I had stashed my beanie and gloves after I returned from the states. I was relatively certain at the time that both A. I was never going to use them in China and B. I was a numskull for bringing them all the way over here. The powers at be however seem to have a different opinion on the matter. I guess I’ll have to add this to the list of small lessons I’ve learned about surviving here – I’ll file it next to… dammit I had something clever to say… lost it.

Hey that reminds me I’ve yet to write about the improvements with my “train of thought” problems I’ve been having in the last year or so. I reflected on my experiences in China the two years prior and my life overall and made a simple but important decision. I deserve to be happy. Of course its more complex than that in action however the fundamental principle is what’s important. I suppose it’s not so much that I’ve never made this decision before but rather life has shown me from various positions just how necessary this belief is and more importantly how wrong lives can go if we do not adhere to, and build upon, this confidence.

My decision is not a made in a vacuum but rather in context – I see it as a culmination of my experience – a necessary and undeniable conclusion about life and how to live it. It makes things at once clear and simple – which is nice in a world where most of the things around me are anything but.

I believe I still suffer from a degree of cognitive dissonance as I have for much of my life. A part of me desires a simple life, simple pleasures, normal achievements and levels of success, a wife I love beautifully, and children I cherish and treasure. Taking pride in the emotional success and development of those around me as I traverse a humble path at a comfortable pace. A part of me desires disgusting sums of money and power so that I may experience a world very different from the real one. A world defined by ourselves, each acquiring the same flaws as it’s creator. Master of your own fate with your strengths and deviser of your own demise through your failings. I imagine it would be an incredibly enlightening experience – If I don’t lose myself in it.

A part of me is unshakably confident and resolute about the rights and wrongs of life, as if there where no other way. He acknowledges his points of weakness as he is inexperienced but is particularly confident when it comes to managing relationships – more particularly personal relationships. Friendships, family relations, romantic partnerships, acquaintances, etc. To him the decisions that boggle those around him at times are so obvious he needn’t wait for them to finish explaining their conundrum before offering the solution.

As with most those relationships that are closest to me are the most troublesome to deal with properly and objectively – as one ought to. It is hard to harness the confidence found through loving oneself to do the hard and right things when it concerns those that are – very much – a part of you. I try though, and though I’m very rarely satisfied, I am proud of myself when I take a moments to look back at my triumphs in those small intimate arenas of my life.