A fork in the way?

I’m finding it difficult to know exactly what to put here these days. I’ve been putting off this entry for a little while and even now I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out.

So please excuse me if this all sounds stream-of-consciousness, it’s just the way things are ?

A fairly innocent conversation with Emily, a friend of mine (and co-worker of one of my ex-GF’s) has led me to (yet again) have a really good hard think about myself and those around me. This had it’s genesis in a fairly forward comment regarding my last ex (which included a term even I hadn’t heard of before).

How are you meant to feel when you’ve been told in a very straightforward manner that you’ve been played for a sucker for four years – and you know that deep down that they’re right!?

It’s led to me having to reassess not only how many of my old “friends” and acquaintances were the real deal and which were really in for their pound of flesh before disappearing into the milieu. Some have come up in my estimation, hinted by a sadness upon realising too many didn’t get their due, with others making me question my own judgement; wondering what the hell I was thinking.

To the former, I am so very sorry, hope you can forgive. The latter – I too can forgive, just promise me that you’ll not only be honest with me but especially with yourselves first!

I’ve done some self-reflection, naturally. I’m finding myself listening and observing behaviour far more carefully, trying to be more mindful too. I’ve still got my sense of humour but there’s a serious side as well of course – that’s just me I suppose. I’m also far more open with those close to me, moreso than I have for many years.

I’ve also realised I need a change – Work-wise I’ve been with the same company for seven years now, doing essentially the same job (due to changes in the company structure and other matters I won’t go into here, I find myself still doing more support work than systems admin, to my continued chagrin, as there’s plenty of folk who can do the former if they actually put effort into it). Fortunately I now have a greatly increased skillset and hopefully an opportunity to make good use of it will materialise, rather than it get buried in the drudgery of IT-related fire-fighting.

Personally, the openness will ideally break the mould I’ve previously unconsciously created for myself. The previous entry, interestingly, would be “late 90’s me” – I was a hardcore network geek, arguing standards compliance and best practices in lists and usenet (which I’ve not posted to in what seems like years, ever since PIPE here shut down their NNTP server). The Fedora stuff is a good challenge, especially with the tricker stuff (I’m still working on a Conquest RPM) but there’s more interesting stuff outside.

That actually helped me get where I am, but it’s a rather bland, robotic sort of mindset and no fun at parties ? . The Old Crew (you know who you are!) helped in the outset and I guess even the users, the hangers-on made their mark, in their own roundabout way.

Zen practice has helped, it’s made me more thoughtful and aware. Ditto the immense pleasure of some good friends over time (Steve, Stacey, Sarah, Nathan and Loz, Jen and now Bree, I’m looking at you!) but there’s more work to be done, more changes to be made, more out there to be seen. There’s a big world out there Hobbes – let’s go exploring…