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April 15, 2002
Scenes from the journey here: a moment in 1982
In 1981, I achieved my academic goal: I failed HSC. It required careful planning and a steady, unswerving vigilance, but I got there.
But my initial feelings of victory and satisfaction didn't last as long as I'd expected, and only a few months later I was bored and depressed and not sure what to do. I didn't really know who I could talk to about my options, or even if I had any options, so I paid a visit to my old high school to see Glenys Nall. Glenys had valiantly tried to teach me English the year before, and had underestimated the depth of my commitment to failing HSC. Of course, midway through 1982 I was older and wiser, and didn't want to hold that against her.
"I'm bored," I said. "What should I read now?"
"Well," she said, "do you want me to write you a list?"
"Sure," I said, "that'd be great."
And she wrote out a list of maybe fifteen or twenty books.
And then something else happened; something that I've always been very, very grateful for. Glenys gave me some advice. "When you read a book," she said, "make a few notes about it. If you can, write down what you thought about it - whether you liked it, and why. And if you do nothing else, at least make a note about how long it took you to read, and what date you started and finished it." (That last one is a trick, by the way. If you can get it together to record how long it took you to read a book, it's then much more likely you'll go on to add a thought or three about it. The hard bit is picking up a pen.)
I can't be 100% certain, but I'm fairly sure that she also planted the idea that I should keep some kind of journal.
So I started one. Possibly the same day.
In the twenty years since then I've been to 36 countries, and lived in more than 40 houses, and turned up, more or less on time, to a vast range of jobs. But the only thing I've consistently worked at has been writing down what I'm thinking about.
So part of what I'm doing with SoFo is trying to convince myself that I haven't actually wasted every minute of the last twenty years.
And the other part is simply continuing something I've been doing for a long time. But there's one difference, which is that I've found a way to share what I'm doing.
And, I have to admit, that feels good. And, in case I haven't made this clear, it's great to have you here.Posted by Sean Hegarty at 11:49 PM in the SoFo on SoFo category | Comments (0)
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