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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Higher Purpose? What’s that?

21 Mar

Perhaps one of the most significant reasons that I fail to update this personal blog is that I repeatedly try to assign it a higher purpose. Perhaps it’s time I stopped that, at least for a while, and just focus on documenting my personal journey, whatever that may be.

And here I lie at just-shy-of-4am, fully recovered from a rather unfortunate experience involving neglecting to take my anti-depressant medication with me on a day-long vacation during which the entire world became an experience in vertigo. My arms are bundled around my pillow in a somewhat unreasonable attempt to get some degree of proper posture, and giving two-finger typing a fair shot on my iPhone keyboard. Why not, eh?

Where to begin (or rather, where to go next)? My depression, assuming I remember to take my medication, is largely licked for the moment, and my orthopedics are doing wonders for my posture, even if they occassionally make my calves feel like hell. Diabetes is steadily under control, approximately, but I’ve yet to commit to logging it, a supposed requirement to make the transition to a pump if I decide that’s what I want to do. Realistically, giving someone an impression of my control based on more than just my understanding of my control is theoretically vital to making sense of anything. Ick. I promised myself I wouldn’t turn this into a D-blog.

And why not? Sure, I have a general revulsion of the diabetic community. The prevalance of useless acronyms (PWD? People With Diabetes? DOC? Diabetic Online Community?) has me utterly jaded as to the seriousness of any communication with the community itself or it’s members. There is the rare exception, which I hesitantly make, but largely I avoid the drama associated with my unpopular opinions. What kind of opinions? I don’t believe that diabetes is a cause of depression or stress any more than work or relationships. I don’t believe that a cure is a reasonable investiture of time or money when control and prevention are so often overlooked. I would willingly turn down a cure to diabetes if it meant something like cancer, AIDS, or a similar ‘real’ problem could be cured. I don’t believe that doctors or ‘diabetic educators’ can truly help you control diabetes, but rather can only give you some of the tools necessary to do so. Even then, most of the educators I’ve been involved with have had an unhealthy bias to their own views, and have outright refused to think outside the box. So why bother complaining or looking for support from others when, truly, I feel I have nothing to complain about?

Work is going great. I still fundamentally love my job, and as of the next two weeks, I will be adding Seattle, Washington and Cleveland, Ohio to the list of cities I will have visited. I’m becoming more and more of a globe-trotter, albeit mostly the states, and I can’t say it’s not enjoyable. I get to interact with a variety of people, companies, and implementations of software, which to me is practically essential to enjoyment of my position. I like variety. I have yet to complete the processing of my Visa, but I suspect the final requirements will start coming through soon.

My personal relationships are still strong. My primary partner is there for me almost constantly, and despite the occassional communication issue or grievance, I still feel that she’s one of the biggest constants in my life. My secondary is still a great enjoyment for me, and I recently was given the benefit of spending some quality time with, and inadvertently, working with her. She visited my home and stayed with our family in order to attend a convention that I volunteer for, one Furnal Equinox. Once again the most populated furry convention in Canada, and 13th in North America, we had a fantastic year hosting a bevy of awesome people in Toronto. I look forward to next year as passionately as I can, as the experiences I’ve gained here make me swell with pride and camaraderie like little else does right now. Despite working for the con, I do very little active socializing in the fandom currently, mostly through personal lack of interest. I’m looking to increase my social commitments in an effort to engage myself with quality friends as opposed to the general masses, but this is an ongoing project.

So where next? Wherever I want to go. Let this blog be a blog, without assumptions or requirements, just about me and my personal story.

 
 

My Jet Set Life and Social Definitions

13 Oct

Well, it’s been an interesting 30 days. In the past month, I’ve flown to NYC and stayed in a (rather crummy) hotel not far from Times Square. Following that, I flew down to Washington, DC (quite by accident on the part of the travel agent), drove across three state lines (Virginia / Maryland, Maryland / Delaware, and Delaware / Pennsylvania) to get to King of Prussia in order to spend a little under a week there. All of this for training, with some fantastic students, and I’m beginning to get used to the idea of spending some time away from home. It definitely makes me miss those people most important to me all the more, but it gives me the chance to experience different regions of the world, even if I start with the continent I call home.

Moving on, I had the (mis)fortune today of being caught off guard by an acronym I saw scrolling past on my Twitter feed. Puzzled, I inquired towards its meaning. A new three-letter acronym had been commandeered to identify an Online Community on Twitter (and beyond), which struck me as odd. I suppose this comes partly from my bias towards the particular subject and the communities that revolve around it, but also from my bias towards communities in general. Communities as a whole don’t need to be organized, structured, or restricted. I find it only makes it more difficult for the members of such a community to feel like they belong, and be more likely to feel entitled compared to people outside of the community.

Belonging, naturally, is a positive. Entitlement, more along the lines of a negative. Being part of a community entitles you to nothing more than access to a group of like-minded individuals at most, and to a group of people aware of a common interest at worst. Adding acronyms to this only adds to the miasma of confusion around social networking to begin with, as opposed to making people aware of your cause and feel inclined to join. Is this because it’s a “friends only” group, or because those who want to join should know what such an acronym means? Growth is focused around ideals and beliefs, not acronyms and definitions. I think that’s part of what does not endear me to such groups. I have enough responsibility in life to begin with, and serving a group with a specific purpose is not an added responsibility that I require.

So where does this put me? Confused, primarily. Somewhat offended, even though I have no justification to feel such. I’ve been invited to hundreds of thousands of communities in my lifetime, and I ignore most of them to begin with just because I don’t understand or relate to their ideals or beliefs. Why would I spend any time on figuring out what an unexplained acronym means to figure out what your ideals or beliefs are? Do I want to have that acronym assigned to me, and need to explain it to others, or would I be better off just sharing your belief from a distance?

These are the thoughts that go through my head. What are yours? If you were invited to a group that refers to themselves as an WOC, would you spend the time looking into what that meant? Is the savings in number of letters worth the alienation of the masses?

~ Aiden

PS. My hypothetical example could be “Women’s Online Community”, or even “Wombat Online Community”. Assume for the example that you don’t know, and it’s not obvious, what the acronym stands for.