I’ve been reviewing my writing that isn’t on this blog from over the years, but particularly from the beginning of this year. One thing that stood out for me has been my long standing desire to continue building communities around things I find collectively fascinating.
I’ve thinking about the narrative for my own life. Like millions before me – and probably everyone right now – I too question the reason for my existence. Is there a divine purpose to life? Or is purpose what I give to life? I’ll write when I find out. But I digress.
The idea of community has had a profound impact on my life for as long as I can remember. Especially as a young adult, I spent ridiculous hours creating spaces & events for people to get together. For at least five years, I helped organise the Christmas fete at the local church, drawing tens of thousands of people to get together. One particular year, I remember being the only one on the church grounds, desperately trying to get a few last tents set up while everyone else had headed home for Christmas lunch!
For the last two decades, community-based events have been what I’ve turned my attention to unconsciously, especially when work was meaning-less. This year, right in the thick of pandemic-induced separation, I expanded a weekly discussion forum that I help curate at work. It draws ~100-150 people to devote an hour to listening to an interesting speaker talk about their ideas. The feedback from the few people who reached out after these events has been that they’ve looked forward to every one of them, even when the topic of discussion wasn’t directly related to their employment, because it helped them grow their understanding of the world a little bit more.
What’s the point of this all?
I’m not sure yet, really. But that’s the point of this blog: to write out my thoughts publicly & unashamedly about things, while I look like a pig in mud, grappling with ideas & discovering for myself.
could will be forgiven for thinking I’d fallen off the end of the world, given the relative inactivity of the last few months here.
Millions of words have been written about how 2020 was (it was apparently worse than 2016, which was worse than… you know the drill). I’m not going to add to that potpourri.
I’m grateful. Maybe feeling a little bit guilty.
I have ended up at the other end of this year relatively unscathed, job still in hand, food on the table, no need for much of my wardrobe or shoes, commute reduced to <60 seconds. The people I care about & who care about me have stayed healthy, or recovered from the virus. Many new connections have been formed through the pixels on my screens, while old ones that had not been nourished with the time they need have re-flowered.
I learnt to solve the Rubik’s cube, thanks to the encouragement of my colleagues, & can solve one in about 120 seconds. I taught what I learnt to a couple of kids over the Christmas holidays – who picked it up in a day!
I’ve re-learnt to write with my non-dominant hand for about a month, focusing on flow & movement over form & aesthetics.
I learnt to finger-pick a lot more songs this year, and made a few submissions to the open-mic sessions at work.
I set up a series of talks at work, inviting colleagues to talk about their passions or their areas of expertise, helping build communities bigger than what I could do when I was actually in the office.
I wrote in my journal very frequently (not daily as I would have wanted) – at least 5 times a week. I wrote a reflection for my team every week since August .
My goals this year were to exercise every workday. I joined a gym near work, & even did a public post proclaiming my intent. While the gym membership hasn’t particularly been a good investment, I still managed to walk/jog most days with my wife. With fresh air blowing over the worries on our minds, we returned back home refreshed. The added time we have together has been a blessing to us.
As the year comes to an end, with an enforced longer-than-usual holiday, I’ve had much time to write, reflect, celebrate Christmas appropriately socially distanced, read & philosophize. I will continue this exercise of rejuvenating the mind & soul, while the body gets disproportionately fed.