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Na, man, it's perfectly reasonable for you to break up with someone if they're not putting in the same level of commitment. Within reason, obviously. If you bust your arse to make time and she doesn't, there's a mismatch of priorities that won't get any better. Plus it's the principle of the thing - that they don't think it's a big deal is often more of a big deal than the thing itself.
It seems like the last Pubski was a couple of days ago! Let me look back through the mists of time and see what I've gotten up to...
Not a whole lot, really. Working down at the sister's house - underfloor pipes are now fully down. There's not really anything to do until the floors go down, so the old man put me out the back spraying algae-killer on the walls and digging moss off the pavement. It was a lovely sunny day and I was happy to be outside.
I was working on Saturday and Sunday night in the pub (bank holiday weekend on account of Easter, so a lot busier on Sunday night than usual). Everything was fine until the suggestion came up to head next door (to the hotel) for a quick after work beer, but in the end we couldn't get in, so we returned to the empty pub and had hours of conversation over a rake of beer, then upstairs to the boss-man's apartment for more. Up on the roof doing impromptu 'acting' sessions, and then he cooked us some breakfast. I was destroyed; didn't leave until half-ten in the morning.
Then I went to a local Easter egg hunt event and spent a few hours managing the kids going on the bouncing castle, whilst dreaming of going home and falling asleep. Loooong day.
In a few hours I'm going out west to speak to some younglings about my walk. Dreading it; not very practiced with public speaking and not well prepared (I'm kind of going with a general list of stuff I want to cover rather than a stuffy monologue). So we'll see how that goes.
Tomorrow helping the old man unload a container of pipe and then heading off to the pub. It's good to be busy, anyway.
I'm rather anti-clutter so I'm actually pretty good at getting rid of old clothes, but I do have some bits and bobs I'll probably never get rid of.
Here's a very blurry photo of two of them. The first is a t-shirt I picked up at a Police concert back in 2006 - they were and are one of my favourite bands, and I was thrilled to be able to see them live. The second is a leather jacket my dad gave me when I was about seventeen; I have no idea where he got it, but I've worn it for years whenever I've needed a couple of extra coolness points.
This is an old pair of jeans that my then-girlfriend repaired after holes had worn in everywhere. She was mad into sewing and stuff so she threw all sorts of bits and bobs on it, and it now has 100% more pockets.
This is one of the t-shirts I wore on my walk last year.
Which brings me to the hat. I was given this by Sally, a lovely woman I met in Kenmare on my walk. For the rest of my walk, it only left my head when I was sitting down to sleep. I love this thing - it was great in both sun and rain - and now it evokes fond memories of adventuring.
Two more hats. This paddy hat was given to me in very curious circumstances. I was sitting outside a café in Dublin with a different girlfriend, and this dude walked past giving me thumbs up and exclaiming "Yeah! You're doing it! Keep at it, man!" We barely had time to wonder what he was on about before he turned back, told me he was my father from another universe, and said that this was the hat of David Hill, and if I wore it no-one would mess with me. I'm 100% serious. And no-one has ever messed with me while I was wearing it. Relax, I washed it first.
Finally, Yoongen's hat. He was a Korean golfer who joined our impromptu little gang on the Camino a few years back, and became a close friend despite our almost total lack of ability to speak to each other. He left in Santiago as we were about to push on to Finisterre, and gave me his hat.
Let's look on the bright side, folks: South Sudan has vaccination rates as high as some parts of LA!
On a more serious note, this anti-vaccination phenomenon is quite scary. Perhaps people have been fortunate enough to have forgotten that tuberculosis and polio really suck.
I can't really offer any advice but I think I can empathise with some of your feelings - feeling like a robot, a waste of space, a half-crippled life form that can't live properly. For what it's worth, you're not alone.
Seeking professional medical help is a tricky one. Generally speaking it seems like a good idea, but I've found people who suggest it often don't take the financial side into account. I mean, they're absolutely right when they say your mental health isn't something you can afford to cheap out on, but sometimes it's not something you can afford full stop. And to be honest I'm very wary of the ease with with medication is handed out. I don't know. Anyway your distrust of Russian therapists is another layer.
- And I'll be moving on, like a good soldier that I am, even if I don't know why or what for.
Yeah, that's the thing. The resounding "What's the point?" that's with you right until your eyes shut at night. It sucks, is all I can say.
I'd tell you to try not to be so hard on yourself, but I've heard that a lot and I find it indigestible.
- I'm so hung up on looking for approval that it's unlikely I will ever be a good person, a good friend... or, shit, a good parent. I'm a useless human being of no positive product to the world or any particular person. There's no reason for me to stick around.
"I'm a useless person..." No, you're not a useless person. You feel like a useless person, and that's different. Not a great deal better, but still not the same thing. It sounds like a mushy platitude, but probably everyone other than, say, serial child molesters are loved. Probably even they are loved by someone. And I don't need to tell you that you're way, way higher on the invisible cosmic scale than people like that.
Firstly, you probably do add something of worth to the world, even if you don't feel like you do. And secondly, mostly an extension of that, most people don't add anything to the world. Not in a tangible, "positive product" sense. They just are. And that's how they add to the world.
Hang on in there, dude. If I find a cure, I'll let you know.
Guys. Guys! I actually finished writing an early, shitty draft of the first chapter of hopefully-a-book about my walk last year. I've been tremendously slow at writing it, though it's only a few thousand words so far; it's dismaying to feel like every word you put down is manure. But this, at least, is a beginning. I hope to keep at it and make some serious progress over the next few months and maybe even get it published. Fingers-crossed.
Before that I want to write up a big Hubski post about the journey. I'm only nearly a year late on that one.
This comes as I and a close friend were discussing creative endeavours and the ideal use of time. He's currently spending pretty much every waking moment writing songs, with the goal of becoming a commerical songwriter. He chastised me a few weeks ago for my laziness, telling me that if I don't sit down and do the bloody thing it'll end up one of those things that just never get done. To be fair, now is the time to write it, though I'm fairly unsure at times as to why I actually want to. It just... I know that if I don't I'll really regret it and wish I had? Like the other things I wanted to write and just... didn't. It hangs in my mind asking to be done and won't leave me alone until I have.
Most of the time I'm just super tired - I've been down at my sister's house a lot. Thankfully the painting phase is on hold because everything else has to be done before the final coat. This week we installed a new door and have been preparing the floors with insulation and the last bits of pipework. Next up are the underfloor heating pipes, and then the liquid concrete to get a nice smooth floor (but first a layer of plastic to stop the concrete from eroding the aluminium covering on the insulation). Then underlay and wood floors and tiling, and a couple of walls still to plaster, and the toilets and showers and the kitchen to fit, and the radiators, and the stairs to sand and varnish, and the outside of the house to clean and paint, then some things I've forgotten, and then it'll be finished and I probably won't know what to do with myself.
Today I was behind the bar, though, which is actually kind of my only social outlet. Other than chatting to some people there I'm only exposed to family members, which is nice and all, but I miss my friends. I don't really have any friends in this town. It kinda sucks.
I've regressed to being seventeen, I swear. I live with my mother, work part-time in a bar, work helping out my dad the rest of the time, and still can't drive a car, which is on the to-do list. I'm going to have to start thinking about my next move soon - can't live here forever.
Recently I started reading The Tin Drum by Günter Grass. It was recommended to me years ago by a friend and I have to say I'm enjoying it so far - I didn't expect it to be so funny. In general I'm a bit behind with my reading, though. I haven't been making time for it lately.
I did watch Rogue One the other day, though, which I actually didn't think was too bad. More unsurprising than anything. Now watching Casablanca for the first time. Set during World War II? Starring Humphrey Bogart? Looks promising.
I think this is less about informing the general population about scientific findings and more about collaboratively reducing the workload of individual researchers by improving their ability to navigate the terrain of past research. Pop sci might useful for a very broad overview but not quite technical enough in scope - I suppose it's a matter of balance between too simplified and too chaotic.