Find, then define yourself – crooked emotions

MONDAY, 25 JUNE 2007


You go on a “search” to “find” yourself because you believe you are “lost” – and then, as many people believe, you get to a point where you discover what you are supposed to be, or you simply see what is left after the “search” has eliminated what you had thought you were supposed to be. It makes one think of someone walking around in a mall full of clothing stores, not really knowing what they are looking for, but nevertheless trying to see as much as possible and then evaluating their reactions to what they see.

To define yourself is more like someone in the same shopping mall trying on clothes, putting together an outfit that will be an outward manifestation of who and what he or she wants to be. How did this person figure out in the first place who they want to be? By walking around, observing as much as possible, and evaluating their reactions to what they observe.


19:12 (Number Nine Crooked Village station)

It occurred to me that I go through quite a range of emotions every Tuesday at the language school at Number Nine. No other period of time in an average week can even remotely compare with it.

It starts with a fatalistic acceptance – from the moment I have to start getting ready until the 17:22 dumps me in the dusty hamlet that is Number Nine. Then it changes to miserable boredom, and my attempts to do something with my arms and hands, and with my voice, that could pass as English teaching. Then, more often than not, one or more of the children’s behaviour or their blatant disrespect drives me to the edge of a red-faced blowout and a very strong desire to throw something at the offending little gangsters in the back of the class. Then a softening of emotion when I remind myself that their behaviour probably still fits on the range of normal behaviour for pre-teens themselves bored out of their skulls.

Finally, at 18:59 comes the relief – that is to say if I am fortunate enough, like tonight, to be informed that the boredom will not last until past eight because the only student attending the second class is absent.

That brings me to the current moment, waiting for the train at Number Nine’s station. Within 30 minutes I will be back at home, with my routine and … let’s just say, a more limited range of emotions.