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I don't know abut others, but my life has never been straight forward, it has always been filled with doubt, hesitations and analysis from many possible angles. A friend once told me that all these things came from being an impulsive and emotional nature at heart, and from being trained at a very young age that these were lesser qualities to have, and since I was also considered fairly intelligent, a close male relative once compared me to a noble metal that was at the same time impure. (he was Polish, and the Poles are prone to categorizing, romanticizing their taxonomy and then trying to excuse it all by a patina of logic, in this process it's probably important to remember that what came first was a knee jerk emotional bias, which started the whole damn thing)

Anyway, I'm always partially ashamed of being slow and introspective when it comes to the big things, the things in which you should be clear and cut cleanly and swiftly with a sharp blade.

It can take me such time to realize why I feel or think a certain way...and it scares me that there may be people out there who are so fast. So very fast, and yet still make the right decisions.

I think a life crisis is just like that when it comes with years, not with particular triggers or blatant happenings. We discover what our subconscious didn't want us to discover, or we see things from angles that we didn't see before and it can be a really heavy experience.

There are certain films and books I come back to when I feel at odds in this particular way, I guess there is a whole collection. They are just there to kickstart certain thoughts or emotions..I could give you a list, probably more impressive than Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion by Austen, but Austen can really take the short cut into this swamp for me.

In Austen stories there are these long silences, in which nothing happens, in which all the pauses are meaningful and in which choices are extremely important and often set in stone once they've been made, so in the rare occasion where a character is given a second chance, it is gently climactic. And everyone and their dog is analyzing everybody's feelings, except the bad guys. That's actually what sets bad and good guys apart in Austen stories, the bad guys never analyze, they just gossip and tend to their own urges without a second thought. And they are swift, their decisions are always very swift, have you noticed that when reading or watching Austen?

Austen's stories always divide people by certain lines, the women for instance, are mostly young with flowing hair and full cheeks, and then you become a matron with one of those white bubbly indoor lady-caps. Children do not count and aren't very interesting in these stories, but the spinsters are, even though there are very few of them and they eventually also get married in the end. The spinsters however, are always portrayed in a thoughtful and many layered way..lingering around thirty, having made many sacrifices and had such abundance of time to think and analyze what went wrong, why and in what way.
The men can be interesting too, except that they are not vulnerable to age in the same way as the women are. They too, often carry lots of emotional baggage with them which is not explained or revealed until pretty far into the novel, which in retrospect explains why they were odd or rude or whathaveyou.

I don't know why I came back to Jane Austen today. It's been a few years I suppose, and I have piles of new, interesting stuff to read or watch, but Austen it was. I've been quite a bit under the weather the whole week, which hasn't been easy while hiking with kids in the foothills.
It was also enlightening to quest-lead a group that was fairly functional and talented, it taught me that in spite of that, I'm still not sure this job is for me in the long run.

There are so many things I should like with the work, and I do truly respect and like the vision of the company...but in the end I'm left feeling pretty hollow and hesitant.

I can do the acting, I can do the paperwork (and lord knows there is plenty), I can do the camp leader bossy thing, I can do the security thing, I can do the physical thing, I can do the role playing rules, I like kids in general...but in the end...I dunnow.

I'm trying to figure it out, maybe the simple truth is that I'm a sissy or something.
One thing that struck me as interesting the other day though, was that I find the pauses in the job, the hardest to endure. The times where I have to pretend camp spirit, where I feel I should be peppy and energetic with kids and adults while not quest leading. It made me understand why I find acting on the stage easier than this.

We'll see what happens. This post is unfocused and maudlin and truly makes me nostalgic for the old days of LJ..when I felt I could write these without shame. Still, for the love of LJ, which I will never leave, unless it's shut down for apocalyptic reasons, I'll start posting in F minor again in this shack.

I like all your songs

Date: 2009-07-10 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mojodragonfly.livejournal.com
I'm always hanging out "way over yonder in the minor key"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIlddMExDNI

completely likewise

Date: 2009-07-10 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
oy, Darren, that was perfect. It made me feel like writing poetry again - which currently feels rather ominous...
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
I saw us in that video, I did. Odd, that poem in PS couple of years ago, when we where injuns, was kinda like that, and in sepia.

Date: 2009-07-10 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] idemandjustice.livejournal.com
I can't seem to read Austen. Not even with the zombies. It's not that I don't have time. It's that I'm finding I loathe it with every fiber of my being. I cannot read it.

I haven't started the zombie one yet

Date: 2009-07-10 10:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
Austen's not for everyone, I discovered that years ago. This was not in any way a book recommendation post, it's just a personal quirk connected to various emotional states. Perhaps you also have certain books or films you come back to when you want to trigger certain patterns of feelings & thoughts?
Edited Date: 2009-07-10 10:48 pm (UTC)

Re: I haven't started the zombie one yet

Date: 2009-07-10 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] idemandjustice.livejournal.com
I was just jumping on an opportunity to complain about the book club book. I voted for it, even. Oh well. I look forward to getting together and ranting about how much I hate it. :)

I have my happy movies and such... I haven't reread a book since I was a little kid. Something about it just stopped working for me for some reason. Even if I miss some characters like they're old friends, I feel the need for it to be new, I guess. I recently started rereading some books I had really loved back when I was in high school, and they just don't have the same magic anymore.
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
I have another friend who's just like you when it comes to re-reading.
For me, Austen triggers a certain form of melancholic/hopeful reflection, it's not happy, just an aesthetically pleasing way of re-hashing old brain foods.

Date: 2009-07-11 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lizardek.livejournal.com
Austen with zombies palled quickly. Amusing for about 2 chapters.

Date: 2009-07-11 03:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
Booo, I had hoped it would be funny! I can totally see how it could get old fast though.

Date: 2009-07-10 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamezm.livejournal.com
If you keep writing, I'll keep reading.

Date: 2009-07-10 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
Likewise, always.

Date: 2009-07-10 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hooveraardvark.livejournal.com
lovely post. i love your analysis of austen. i must admit to only having read pride and prejudice - thoughts on other austen books i should read?

Date: 2009-07-10 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
Read Persuasion! And if you haven't (but I suspect you have) watch Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility.

(and the BBC 7 hour version of P&P from the 90's, not the film with Kiera)

Date: 2009-07-10 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hooveraardvark.livejournal.com
thanks for the recommendations! ha, everyone tells me to watch the bbc miniseries.

Date: 2009-07-10 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
haha, yeah, you'll see why, when you sit there with yr favorite foods, the hours to spend, and you see Mr Collins strutting in and spewing his hilarious junk around, and then Lizzie's stubborn chin against Darcy's look of silent iron-jawed indigestion, and in the midst Mrs Bennet bumbling around, looking like a fiftysomething male in drag from 1806!

It cannot be explained, it has to be seen!

Date: 2009-07-11 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hooveraardvark.livejournal.com
will i finally understand colin firth's appeal??

Date: 2009-07-11 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
Given your initial leaning, probably not, peeps drooling at him in a wet shirt were already into him I think. He's a good Darcy though, really grumpy (which I find sexy in a Darcy, I hate hate hate Darcys who go low on the grump, it's like Audry Hepburn not having stylish clothes or Brando being intellectual)

Date: 2009-07-11 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aquilinum.livejournal.com
Really? Persuasion is my least favorite Austen. I just... ugh, just wanted to smack her (both protagonist and author Her) upside the head.




I refuse to watch the new Pride and Prejudice, because... just because bleh. But then my problem with the '90s BBC version is that the actress playing Elizabeth is soooo much prettier than the one portraying Jane — which wouldn't matter in any plot that didn't so continually emphasize how much prettier Jane is supposed to be to compensate for her blandness. Aaaarhghghgh.

Date: 2009-07-11 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
heh, well, persuasion is usually the favorite or the least favorite, because it differs so from the rest of them. I take it you like the more feisty heroines then?

(yeah, I think Lizzy is prettier than Jane in the BBC show as well, although I don't have any particular beef with Jane)

Date: 2009-07-11 02:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chocolatebark.livejournal.com
I find the best way to take jobs, any job really, is a day at a time--as much as that's possible, anyhow.

Date: 2009-07-11 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
That's a good general way of doing things, and the only way I could survive these weeks I've had with the quest leading...but on this particular job..I find myself feeling such a huge mixture of relief, exhaustion and anxiety about the next day, that it seems unhealthy. My emotional pattern is that of someone who should have a much more intense and taxing profession. (I'm thinking something with high power or high risk here..)

Although, 3 people have quit this summer, so it is a tough job I suppose...

Date: 2009-07-11 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chocolatebark.livejournal.com
High turnover = a tough work environment in general, usually. Especially in economic tymes such as these.

Date: 2009-07-11 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
yeah, even the peeps who love the job often think it's not easy. To be fair, I do think that to like this job it takes a certain mixture of qualities and even if I have most of them, I lack at least one or two...

Date: 2009-07-11 05:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flightviolation.livejournal.com
It can take me such time to realize why I feel or think a certain way...and it scares me that there may be people out there who are so fast. So very fast, and yet still make the right decisions.

oh baby. i am so in this camp.

Date: 2009-07-11 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
There was always a vibe between us baby, there was always that special something...Us impulsive slow goers need to stick together.

Date: 2009-07-11 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] browniegirl322.livejournal.com
i am fast and impulsive and most often don't choose "right." but the thing i find is that it doesn't matter. It might not have been "right" had i chosen something else either.

I am not that in control, all i can do is decide and make it work regardless.

Does that make sense? So I usually go with my gut after weighing out options.

Date: 2009-07-12 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
Sounds like I would have been a little more like you, had I not been caught in the cycle of weighing options a bit too much. I think..sometimes there are situations where the time frame itself (taking too long) can mess up the choices, even if there wasn't a clear right or wrong choice to begin with, that's what I've experienced as the downside as to I work, anyway.

Date: 2009-07-12 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] browniegirl322.livejournal.com
and sometimes taking "too long" is a good thing because new options present themselves, which is something I miss out on too often.

Date: 2009-07-12 09:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolfchilde.livejournal.com
You should not be ashamed to post any and everything you want to here! We, the people who adore you, want to hear it all! If we didn't like what you write, we would not follow! And...in less than 48 hours, I will be in Boulder!!!

Date: 2009-07-12 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
I've emailed you and Elizabeth all my phone numbers. I will unfortunately be working during the week, but I start early and get off mid-afternoon early, so we can totally do stuff. Call me when you get settled!
Edited Date: 2009-07-12 03:22 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-07-13 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lelain.livejournal.com
Hang in there! It's easy to get into a job that seems perfect at the onset but then once in it to ask yourself, 'What have I done?'. And don't be ashamed to post on lj - better to be honest with someone somewhere than to hold it all in until you explode. Count down the weeks until the camp is over and then if it's not something that is right for you then chalk it up to a learning experience.

I do have to wonder if it was that unpleasant experience with the initial training that shut you down to and walled you off from any good coming from the job. Just a thought.

Date: 2009-07-13 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
I do think that particular experience affected me a bit, but I also think I might not have quite the right temperament to be truly rocking this job..we'll see, thanks for the encouragement and understanding tough.

Date: 2009-07-22 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zombienought.livejournal.com
I have reflected upon it, and I don't think
I've ever read any Austen. I read some Bronte,
though. Does that count?

I just watched the Sense & Sensibility with
Thompson, Rickman, and Winslet, and liked
it well enough. But I *did* feel that Mar-
garet got short shrift in the whole story.
I think I liked her character the most, and
was disappointed that she didn't get to goto
London.

I also watched the Emma with Paltrow a month
or two ago, and didn't feel much one way or
the other about it, except that Emma was kind
of a self-centred idiot.


What's wrong with the job? Simply too tiring?
Too much outside? Are you too much a creature
of archives and stacks and computer screens
and dimly lit rooms, only venturing outside
for *fun*, as opposed to work?

As much as I loathe children, I kind of think
I'd like your outdoorsy job -- if my health were
way better than it's been since I was sixteen.

Date: 2009-07-22 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sealwhiskers.livejournal.com
Bronte is a different animal from Austen, I'm afraid, and I actually like Austen better. You should watch the BBC mini series of Pride and Prejudice from the 90's, it's the best adaptation of any Austen novel ever! (the one with Colin Firth)

..I like the outdoorsiness of the job, and I actually like quest-leading quite a bit..but the rest..the paperwork (blech!), being campy and social with games and camp-leading shit (in between questing)..that takes its toll on me. I think..on evaluation, that I can successfully be a performer, but that I suck at being a complete extrovert between those situations, and on top of that I'm very self critical, which is a pretty hard combo.
I've managed the job fairly well, but I can't do many other things afterward, I'm just too gassed, mentally moreso than physically.

I'm still grateful to have it, it has taught me a lot about grownups, kids and myself. I'll still work for them now and again, we'll just see how much.
Edited Date: 2009-07-22 11:26 pm (UTC)
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