life questions

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wojtek
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Sep 7 2015 13:52
life questions

Are you a loser if you don't leave your hometown?

How do you gather self-worth/meaning if you're in a shit job which society looks down upon? slightly riffing off this.

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
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Sep 7 2015 14:29

I suppose it depends on how you personally look at others people's work. A real common example would be street sweepers. That is generally looked on as the bottom of the pile yet not only do I think it's important to have clean streets but I also think there's a certain purity in that work - it provides one the the most important community services yet is straightforward and simple and a credit to anybody that does it well. Of course, if they don't do it well then fair enough considering the pay level and society's attitude towards it.
The other obvious example is footballers, pop stars, actors etc. I love football, music and films but do these lines of work have any more intrinsic value that that of a refuse worker? The value of these different jobs both in money and status is simply derived from the amount of profit the paymaster can extract from them which as an anti capitalist makes them meaningless.
In my own job I create extremely expensive architectural items for the super rich. The properties I work in are massively under inhabited and are really just status symbols for multi millionaires and billionaires. Regardless of how beautiful or well made the stuff I'm making is its value is totally negated by its end use, or rather, lack of.
As for leaving your home town, I don't see that as relevant in the least.

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jef costello
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Sep 7 2015 17:38

Define loser.
By some measures yes, but few if any that I think are worthwhile.

If you like your hometown then there's no reason not to leave, it's not as if you can't visit other places and contact people from all over. It's not like in the past where it could be seen as small-minded.

IF your job is not respected you can respect yourself either because the job you do is worth doing or because you're actually good at it, or because you're getting the best out of it in order to pay for your actual life. If you're living on the poverty line so your shitty job is barely keeping a roof over your head then I'm not really sure, console yourself with the thought that it could be worse I suppose...

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Auld-bod
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Sep 8 2015 20:24

I don’t think you are a loser if you don’t leave your hometown. As others have written it depends on the individual and the circumstances. There is probably regional differences to the cultural norms regarding ‘shooting the craw’. Among the Scots, leaving home for pastures new is not considered unusual. Conversely in East Anglia where I am now, many people stay put. I suspect there may be some here who have never left their home county.

I’ve found among a number of Scots expats a belief that to return home is shameful proof that you couldn’t hack it. Indeed I remember when in Glasgow the condescension being shown to a family who returned from Australia. A mixture of pity and contempt. There are exceptions of course, a metal worker I worked with, had spent several years abroad working in Artic conditions, saved his money, came back and bought a nice wee bungalow in Glasgow. He was admired for his thrift and foresight.

If someone’s in a crap, dead-end, low status job, again it depends on circumstances. If you’ve no choice then it’s about not allowing yourself to get ground down, knowing you can keep your mind free. Set a target for yourself. Henry Miller used work to eventually give himself some space to write. If you only piss it up against the wall make it your choice. Better still, think of the daily grind as a means to an end, while you plan your escape.

wojtek
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Sep 10 2015 03:25

thanks everybody. <3

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Serge Forward
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Sep 10 2015 06:09

I chose to leave my home town in the Greater Manchester area exactly 35 years ago. I must have been fucking bonkers! I've always missed the place and would be lying if I said I didn't have regrets. Still, leaving has been largely OK on account of the people I've been mates with, those I've lived with and loved and the kids I've watched grow up over the years. People are everything, as is how you fill your time. Location is secondary.

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sub lumpen filth
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Sep 16 2015 08:21

Work hard, die young. Viva la revolution.

Twenty Seven
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Sep 17 2015 13:20

I left my hometown about a year ago now, moving out of London so that I could actually afford a place to live. As for finding meaning in my work... Well, somebody tell me if they find out how!

elraval2
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Sep 17 2015 14:20

If you don't want to leave your hometown, you shouldn't feel obliged to, surely. It's your choice. I don't know where you're from - maybe it's nice there.

As for your work, again, only you can make that decision. If you think it's shit and it generally pisses you off then start working on what you want to do. If you don't mind your job, what does it matter what society thinks?

I'm a writer but I need to work to pay the rent. I couldn't hack working in the service industry anymore, wearing a uniform, saying "have a nice day", and performing repetitive, monotonous tasks. I ended up getting really depressed. So I knew I had to get out somehow. I've always had a passion for languages and have taught myself a few, so I decided to take it more seriously and now I'm working as a freelance translator. Maybe there's a path you can follow, if that's what you want to do, of course.

All the shit jobs I've had actually drive me on because the idea of going back to waiting tables scares the shit out of me.

wojtek
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Nov 13 2015 14:47

auld-bod wrote:

Quote:
I’ve found among a number of Scots expats a belief that to return home is shameful proof that you couldn’t hack it. Indeed I remember when in Glasgow the condescension being shown to a family who returned from Australia. A mixture of pity and contempt.

What do you think of the character Sobgui's advice here (bottom of page 131)?

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Auld-bod
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Nov 13 2015 15:46

Wojtek #10

‘We often say that if you reach the point where you don’t know where to go anymore, retract your steps and start again. Come back to the source and grow’, thereby re-qualifying return as a new departure rather than a defeat.’

I feel this is good advice though it would take great strength of character to follow it. Swallowing one’s pride and admitting being lost (both figuratively and literally) is I suspect beyond many a pig-headed individual. Perhaps related, I read somewhere that many men hate to ask for directions when lost. Women are supposedly less inhibited.

wojtek
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May 15 2016 20:10

Anyone ever feel trapped/claustrophobic?

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The Pigeon
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May 15 2016 20:37

I felt very claustrophobic the other day due to the heat, though moslty I only feel trapped and deformed.

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Noah Fence
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May 15 2016 21:24
wojtek wrote:
Anyone ever feel trapped/claustrophobic?

Well, we're all trapped, are we not? Trapped by finances, trapped by family, trapped by authority. I guess it's how we should manage it that is the fundamental question.
I've mostly found effective ways to manage this shit. I can hate capitalist culture but not be made miserable by it. I now find myself trapped in a failing body and have a new thing to navigate my way through. Until I find that way then it's just putting one foot in front of the other. I guess that's how you start to deal with all problems?

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The Pigeon
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May 15 2016 23:02

Yes, unfortunately we must manage our predicaments. But I hope you are not feeling too trapped, and if you can get some fresh air, whether physical or emotional. It's hard in this world... too hard

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Chilli Sauce
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May 16 2016 02:25
wojtek wrote:
Anyone ever feel trapped/claustrophobic?

Of course man, I think everyone does from time-to-time.

Just to piggy-back on what others have said, maybe try getting out of the house. Go for a walk or a bike ride, explore the city, or make your way out to countryside for the day. That shit can do wonders to clear your head.

elraval2
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Jun 21 2016 23:33

What is it that is making you feel so trapped? Maybe you don't know the answer at this point.

Maybe you need to spend some time abroad somewhere. It doesn't need to be forever. A few months, a year, may give you a fresh perspective or a new direction.

I spent many years feeling trapped. I always knew that I wanted/had to leave the UK. Every time I got away something always dragged me back. I look back and feel sympathy for that (young) person who always seemed so frustrated and angry, however I do believe that times of crisis are great catalysts for positive change. Perhaps you need to feel these intense emotions right now in order to start building towards what you really want to do.

elraval2
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Jun 21 2016 23:40

‘We often say that if you reach the point where you don’t know where to go anymore, retract your steps and start again. Come back to the source and grow’, thereby re-qualifying return as a new departure rather than a defeat.’

Sound advice, imo. Patience and self-belief certainly are virtues. Two I continue to struggle to master...!!

JonnyMaddox
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Jun 22 2016 12:13

Typical symptoms of capitalism. I think you need some political activism.