Writing has always been more about catharsis for me than entertaining, informing, or even broadcasting. My first newsletters in 1995 were mostly an easy way to “ping” all my friends around the country from high school and college who I missed during my first years in Austin. My first real writing of my life (despite having voluntarily written hordes of pages throughout childhood and on to adulthood – yes, hood to hood) was what I wrote the last week of my dad’s life. I never published those pages but I did send them to a few select friends because I believe that to write well, you need an audience in mind who you are telling your story. The effect of the writing was not that my audience loved it or that the metaphor was unique or insightful, but that every word was 100% honest, direct, and without a mask.
My writing over the last year and last few months has been just the opposite. Last year for the first time I wrote for a specific external purpose, all around my Ironman campaign for Transplants for Children, and sharing my story of a transplant recipient turned distance athlete. I enjoyed that writing, and there were many moments where the exhaustion of my training led to some amazing things coming from my keyboard – specially amazing to me, because I wrote things I realized that I didn’t even feel, which is again the point of why I write. It’s a lot cheaper than counseling.
Of late my writing has been more of a journal sprinkled with my personal brand of cynical humor and filtered internal monologue. But it’s done nothing to teach me anything more about myself, to make me a better person, or make me feel like the minutes I spend here are more than proving that I can express myself without having to use 140 character updates or press a “Like” button. Some of that is because a blog is a public forum – my blog is not widely followed and in some ways I’d like to keep it that way. But because it’s public I don’t really have control over the audience.
So I’m going to cut down the amount of public stuff that I write – I’ll keep this blog straightforward and share the stuff I’ve always shared. But to steal a phrase from Dexter, I need to find a vent for my dark passenger. Keep your accusations of over-dramatization to a minimum, I’m not a serial killer or a smack addict. My dark passenger still keeps a tidy glove box.
They sound like such small numbers given last year, but I cranked out 5 runs for a total of 20K (work is 4K away, so basically this is “training while commuting” for half of my trips to/from work this week). 20K of running used to be a medium-sized run on a Sunday morning, not the week’s accumulated mileage. But just like starting training last January, you don’t climb the ladder too quickly or you end up on the Performance Wellness table getting your knee parts moved around. This week I’d like to swim once if I can find a way to fit it in. The bike (and all our other “stuff” like clothes, dishes, camping gear, etc) may be here in 10 days. I have committed to kissing the top tube once I have finished assembling it. And no, that’s not a euphemism.
The Internet! The Dining Room Table! No more underwear in the front room!
I’d never thought that having decent internet would be such a victory, but a ton of people in Sydney had cautioned me that it could take months (yes, you read correctly) to get an internet connection set up in our place in Paddington. Since we live in an older suburb, it compounds things, but the general number of options for tv, internet, etc is usually “1”. For example, right now our satellite TV (yes, our only option in this place) is not showing anything thanks to the crazy rains outside. Thank goodness pay TV comes with a free DVR. And DSL is the only broadband option in our neighborhood. But you adjust to limited choices quickly and are thankful that something exists – just being online without having to turn on the wifi on my phone feels like a miracle.
The last two days have completed the final basic things we need to live shopping – we hit IKEA, where we buy the lower end of their selection. And at Office Works yesterday we bought a $29 DVD player. If it works proportionally as well as the $12 fan we bought at Woolworth’s, it should stop working in about 29 days. You get what you pay for is still a universal rule. But having a dresser so our underwear is not stored in the bookshelf in the dining room will be a pleasant change.