Day 24: Hindsight

Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your very first post.

If I may be so bold as to link to myself, I wrote a blog post not too long ago in which I mentioned self-contradiction. It’s something we’re all guilty of to one degree or another. And now, rereading my very first post, that’s what pops out at me – the self-contradiction.

That post reminds me of a Tracy Chapman song lyric. I forget the song and I forget the lyrics, but the gist of it was the irony of how there could be so many people in the world and yet so many people suffer from loneliness. In a nutshell, that’s what I was going through at the time. I was recently returned to a city that I had lived in for eleven years, where almost every corner held a memory. I knew plenty of people, moved in a decent number of social circles, yet I couldn’t shake a sense of bone-crushing loneliness. My solution? Go off to a place where I knew not a single soul, spoke not a single syllable of the language and understood not an iota of the cultural nuance. Nice. Enter self-contradiction, Tracy Chapman and animal slaughter.

Right, that last point. I recently read a hilarious blog post titled To Sing With Goats, by a woman who is troubled by her conflicting desires to shelter and care for animals as well as to slaughter and consume them. “I want meat, but I want it to be good meat. I want to know that the animal only had one bad day…” says she. The last part had me LOLing because even though I will always be an animal-eater rather than an animal-lover, I related to the post on the thematic level of having conflicting desires within oneself. I don’t think it’s something of which I will be cured anytime soon. Just off the top of my head I can cite a few of these conflicting desires that have made a public park of my mind these days. To settle down and build a steady life, or continue to explore the world? To be around people as much as possible, or go off for silence and solitude? Then there are those timeless ones. My favorite: to be bad or to be good?

I’d like to think it doesn’t have to be either/or, but that’s not the reality. Take, for instance, to build a dream career or to build a family? That horse has been beaten to death and we all know where it’s buried. Oh the joy of the ambiguous sentence! Verlyn Klinkenborg of The Trouble With Intentions would have a field day with this, no pun intended. I’m sure he’d approve if I said simply “You can’t build both a dream career and a family in one lifetime.”

Gross. Long live ambiguity, not-so-distant cousin of contradiction. Long live contradiction, self or otherwise. Long live the gray/grey, all shades of it.

What self-contradictory desires do you have?

What’s the first word that comes to your mind when you see this picture?


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