Me = Trafalgar2 (Squared, that is)

July 16, 2008

Dear All


I have music! I have FINALLY got somewhat more used to noise, most probably aided by my first trip on London’s famous Underground, and last night, though it was hardly Metallica or anything, I had a sudden urge to listen to music. I opened my iTunes, and found the perfect song. If any of you have 79p spare, go to the iTunes store, and buy Bob Dylan’s ‘You’re A Big Girl Now’. For a guy with a voice like Dylan to sing with such poise, elegance, and beauty is a remarkable thing.

One of the verses:
Bird on the horizon, sittin’ on a fence,
He’s singin’ his song for me at his own expense.
And I’m just like that bird, oh, oh,
Singin’ just for you.
I hope that you can hear,
Hear me singin’ through these tears.

I just sat there in my towel, listening to this song. I can still hear it in my head.


Work came and went, much as it did before. I still don’t have enough to do, even with my new-found sense of endeavour and enthusiasm, and I am still more than aware that I am working in the wrong field. To make things worse, someone I work with quit yesterday. Note to self: You won’t be doing this for long.


Actually, I have been thinking about the next step quite a lot. I am conscious that I shouldn’t make any big decisions in the first few months of things, but my mind is absolutely overflowing with thought and idea. I can’t move for the possibility of… possibility! I still would very much like to be involved with some sort of bursary/charity fund, to aid people who need to, but can’t afford to, do what I have just done. I have been given a gift – a gift of life! – and it seems unfair that this should be so just because I, or someone else I know is wealthy. I am due to speak more about this on the 29th.


More and more, however, I am thinking about becoming a counsellor. I have, in my life, experienced a number of things and events which I am pretty sure would lend themselves to this practice. It is quite a lot of study, but there is no reason why I could not do this at the same time as something else – perhaps like the above. Unlike many of the things I have thought about going back to school for in the past, I don’t see a disadvantage in being that bit older – most likely 32 or 33 at the point of graduation – in fact, quite the opposite. I can’t imagine a know-it-all 28 year old provides much comfort to anyone.


So, these are things to think about in the coming weeks. I may have to act soon, though, as the school year starts in September, and time is short. Oh, and Open University (where I would most likely have to study) aren’t my biggest fans since the ‘I’m not doing your English degree any more, so I’ll just not pay you the money I owe you’ debacle.


Perhaps was the most notable part of my working days came during lunch, and then, just after.


Lunchtime arrived as it always does – things change, but sadly, I have no control over time – and I took up my usual stoop in the basement. To most, I am sure, this would conjure up images of an old man in a beard eating fish heads out of a bowl in something resembling a dungeon, but our basement is cool, airy and bright, with large tables, and a giant television that plays BBC Parliament around the clock. Unless someone’s been in there alone, and changed the channel so I am greeted with ‘Cash In The Attic’ or something.


So anyway, being that for the moment, I have given up disappearing into my iPod over a lunchtime, (and on the tube for that matter) I decided that lunchtime was a perfect opportunity to close my eyes and do my daily (yes, it’s going to be daily) Quadrinity check in.


It’s a lot harder to do this thing for yourself. For one thing, the world of ‘ish’ and ‘om’ is a lot emptier when you’re by yourself with Gordon Brown prattling on in the background. And, perhaps the central flaw in the plan is that after relaxing yourself as you should, you then have to open your eyes, and press play. I hereby propose that Tim re-records the entire CD with the ‘ish’ and ‘om’ introductions before every track.


But nonetheless, I managed to do it (that 10 second instrumental introduction is good for calming the old ticker down) and felt much better. Where before, I would face the prospect of the second half of my day with dread, I was at once bright, awake, and totally relaxed within myself. It seems these things bring their own reward.


While in the house, I had decided to buy a copy of ‘Affluenza’, a book by Oliver James which was apparently instrumental in sending a number of people Hoffman’s way. One of my unresolved patterns (take a bat and a pillow and call me in the morning) is that when I find something I like or love, I try and find out every bit of information I can about it. Being that Hoffman worked out ok for me, I wanted to know Oliver James’ opinion, or just what he wrote. I left work at 4 as normal, and instead of heading straight home, I had decided to buy a copy of this book, and head to Trafalgar Square to read it for a while, at the same time once again re-enforcing my newly-found lack of self-consciousness. I was going to sit on one of the square’s famous lions while I read.


Unfortunately, the plan encountered some hitches. Firstly, Waterstones, the place where I had envisaged buying a copy of the book, has closed its Oxford Street branch. I hadn’t planned for that. A trip to the only other possible outlet that would sell it – Regent Street’s Virgin Megastore or whatever it’s called these days – didn’t prove much better. I did ask the sales assistant if they could check if they had a copy, but he looked at me as if I’d just asked him the square root of infinity. In the end, after some light perusal and the ruling out of any half-arsed biography of Johnny Depp or Rhys Ifans or The Stone Roses or something like that, I stumped for a copy of a book I’d always meant to read – ‘Catcher In The Rye’.


A short walk later, and I am indeed reading my book and basking in the sunlight in Trafalgar Square, sitting in the shade of a giant (and what I presume is bronze) lion. If it hadn’t have been for a desperate need for a bathroom break, I doubt I would have moved for some time.


I should note at this point how pleased I am with myself. However, unlike normal instances, where I am pleased with myself because I’m completely egotistical, (hello – a DAILY blog?!?!?) this time, it is with good reason.


I own a million books. And I have never bought anything to impress anyone. Whether it is matters of science, philosophy or psychology, I have bought them all with the express intent of reading them, not so I’d have something clever to say at a party if I managed to remember a sentence, but because I was genuinely interested in the subject matter. Unfortunately, for the past couple of years, my mindset has not been receptive to reading. I’ve tried, sure, but I would read too fast, and not take it in. I’d give up after 10, 20, 50 pages, or get frustrated because I knew I was kidding myself, or the noise in my head drowned out the words. No more. I read ‘Catcher In The Rye’ with a wonderful clarity, totally immersing myself in Holden Caulfield’s world. I understood subtext, made my own mental picture of the characters, and really felt as though I understood the narrative, and Holden himself. I don’t know that I’ve ever had such a connection with words. I’m assuming being 7 and reading Enid Blyton’s ‘The Wishing Chair’ doesn’t quite count the same way.

I got home, and instead of seeing a bookshelf of failure and frustration, I saw one of opportunity. I had spent a lifetime collecting books of wonderful knowledge, and now the door (or box, if you prefer) was open. I thought that was a wonderful metaphor for what I am currently feeling.


Until next time, I hope the doors are opening for you.


Yours, Closed Box






One Response to “Me = Trafalgar2 (Squared, that is)”

  1. Todd Says:

    Hi David,

    I’m impressed with your blog, and you certainly made me laugh, I rather like Cash in the Attic!

    I think that re-training / going back to school to become an counsellor is an excellent idea. Being young (28) should not be a block, it is the person behin the eyes and the ability to show compassion that count, in my opinion.

    Today, whilst walking along with my Ipod (a new gift from my wife) listening to Tim talk about are you happy in your career, I started to think, well actually no I’m not, I’m in a rut and I’ll start to take some time to truly think about what I should do next. I have to be careful not to get into Transference, (I was jealous of Dom training to be a Primary School Teacher) but I have always wanted to be a Teacher.

    So perhaps the next 2 to 6 months will be a time to reflect on life choices, just like it seems that you are going through, and I would guess most others are. I think that the Hoffman course is a milliion time more valuable than ever my MBA was.

    I’ll keep reading your Blog, as part of my reality check.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: