The Crisis of Identity and Destination

January 3rd, 2007

As it always does, the new year has come around again. This year began, like many years have begun in the past, with no one actually sure when the year came around. So, we did the “Happy New Year” bit twice. Once straight up, and once with a count-down (although I am pretty sure the New Year had actually come and gone!). The party was at a friend’s place. I am sure that if we had gone to one of the more fancy, ‘organised’, parties, we might have had a DJ or MC counting down for us. That would still have been no guarantee that the time would have been correct.

But now is the time for reflection. In short, the time has come to deal with the crisis of identity and destination once again. More plainly: Who am I and Where am I going?

My wife asks me every new year if I have made any resolutions. I steadfastly answer that I have not, and nor am I planning to. This for some reason seems to infuriate her. But I am not trying to be difficult. It just seems a pointless waste of time for me to make resolutions, when there are such bigger questions to ask. Are we alone in the Universe? Is the kettle boiling? Has George Bush made up a mind (since he doesn’t have one of his own)? And most importantly, what am I going to eat for dinner?

You may think I am being flippant, and rightly so. I am being flippant. The last year has taught me one thing: Whatever you expect to happen may or may not happen, but you can be sure that things you didn’t even realise might happen, do happen.

A year ago, today, my life was very different. My wife and I were in jobs different from the ones we are in right now; today she is on the verge of quitting, and I am disenchanted with my boss. Good friends we had, good friends we lost. People we thought we could rely on weren’t there, and the people we didn’t realise were there, suddenly came through. Old friends reconnected, some after so many years, that meeting them again was an adventure in itself.

Whatever the new year brings for me, I can be sure of one thing – keeping on my feet is going to be no less difficult than in the past, just different, in ways I can hardly fathom.

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