There is a (very catchy) Professor Pez song that starts like this:
“I know everything about space and magic flutes
and I play a decent Trivial Pursuit
but ask me this, I’ll turn into a mute:
what do you do?”
And I love it, because even though I know next to nothing about space and magic flutes and my memory for facts is rather useless, I don’t know what to say either. Truth is, I don’t do much, and that’s the way things have been since I moved to Athens (two and a half years ago). I survive partly on the kindness of my parents and partly on the occasional kindness of assorted relatives, as well as the occasional part-time job here and there. I told you: officially, I don’t do much.
Except what I do feels like quite a lot to me.
What is it, though? Well, gee, I don’t know. I used to write and make web pages for Friends of the Heroes regularly. And there have been jobs of course. I worked for a psychologist, as something like a secretary/organiser. I’ve worked for mic.gr as something like a junior webmaster, which was less impressive than it sounds (but nice). I’ve worked as a web designer, for some people who design sites for the most computer-illiterate people you can think of. That was a combination of exciting, annoying and terribly stressful. And I have worked for the phone company as an incoming call center operator, which would have been nearly fun had it not been for our boss. (The least said about this person the better.)
What else? I try to finish that damned course I ended up in. I’ve made a couple of websites (one for my brother, which isn’t finished, and one for the Occasional Flickers.) I made this blog. I was part of a team that organised a few gigs (the Clientele is our fourth one) and (largely unpopular) parties. I try to keep my house tidy, my laundry basket half-empty, my fridge half-full. I go to the market on Friday mornings. I try to cook something healthy(-ish) on most days any given week. I read a lot: books and blogs mostly, on a variety of subjects ranging from indiepop to home education and autism. I try to understand things. I talk to people, often about the things I read, usually about the things I am trying to understand. I talk to my mum on the phone, to friends on the internet and even real life sometimes, to the boyfriend in all sorts of ways.
Then I talk to the boyfriend some more. I’m working on some sort of RDI program with him — In fact I have been doing so all along without knowing it, and much as this is great, it takes up a lot of time and energy. I try to keep in touch with penfriends. (Yeah, yeah, I know. I could be trying harder.) I go to five or six systemic psychotherapy workshops a year, and a group art therapy session every other week. I still make web pages for Friends of the Heroes, occasionally. I think of writing too. And I travel a lot. A lot of the time there’s somewhere else I want / have to be at: Thessaloniki, the Netherlands, even England. And among these, I am preparing for next year. That is, for getting married, spending the summer in the Netherlands, then moving to England, finding a place to live, a job for Martijn, becoming a student all over again. There a lot of thinking, planning, filling in forms and worrying, hoping, dreaming involved.
And I do it all, and then some more. You see, I need a lot of time. I’m slow, or lazy, or both, or something completely different that doesn’t have a name — I don’t know — but I need to do thinks slowly, with lots of time to think and dream and ponder. I can’t even seem to get it done. So I am slow, and things take forever, and I always feel I have to be doing something; but also I feel a little more true to myself and a little closer to the boyfriend, and to that elusive state called happiness, each day.
And that, my friends, is what I do.