What are you Hiding from Yourself?

Very early in 2018 I had a super weird realisation: I’m a details person. I delight in details. I get sucked into and lost in details.

Time and time again in 2017 I noticed people saying things to me like “thanks for all the detail you put into this” or “you spent way too long on this, it’s only a small detail for this report!” or “you’re a great [physiotherapy] client because you’re always asking so many questions and pay attention to all the details” . I kept putting it out of my mind, but I could feel a little pull that there was something important here. It took me almost all year, but eventually the common theme got through to me: on things that matter to me, I go into lots of detail.

This was a mind blown moment for me. For some reason I’ve always thought of myself as a big picture person who stayed up in the clouds and didn’t like detail. When I heard descriptions of ‘dreamers’ and ‘details’ people, I always identified so much more with the ‘dreamers’. I think part of it is also that somewhere deep inside, I feel that it’s somehow ‘better’ to be a dreamer than a details person so I willed myself to be a ‘dreamer’ so I could be better. Pretty dumb right? Talk about a [story I’ve built my identity on].

I asked a few of my close friends about this and they were all surprised I didn’t realise I was a details person. They told me that the difference with me and a ‘classic details person’ is that I tended to start big picture, then sink right down into the detail to get something done. Apparently other ‘details people’ always start in the detail and have trouble ever coming up to big picture.

All of a sudden I’m free of this story. I’m not a dreamer. I am capable of getting into details (so capable that I do it all the time without even meaning to!) I’m not just a slow worker - I’m getting bogged down in detail. Now that I realise that’s what’s happening, I’m able to catch myself much sooner than before. I’m able to use my details-power for good! It’s very exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with this new knowledge.

All this got me thinking. What long-held truths about you aren’t true? Is there anything pulling at your awareness right now that might change your story of who you are?

Alone in Paris

My sister is in Paris enjoying some time exploring on her own.

My feet are dusty and sore, my cheeks are red, and my hairline is sweaty. I am dishevelled. I sip the water in my bottle. It’s warm.

She describes my experience of European summer well.

I think about the muscles and bones in my feet, and the trajectory of weight through them as I walk, and about how I’m probably getting sunburnt. I gaze at buildings and the river and the other people walking and shimmering in the heat.

We are so very alike my sister and I. One thing I notice every time I go to Europe is that it's a lot harder for me to get sun burn than at home.

The art makes me think and feel. Things I don’t have words for. Things I don’t have to find words for because I am alone.

One year when I lived in Sydney, I had a theatre subscription, and most times I went alone. I would walk home from the plays in the dark, thoughts and feelings rattling around in my head, changing me ever so subtly. That I went alone and walked home alone felt precious to me. Solitary in the same way as reading a novel.

The walking, the museums, the river, the dusty feet, being in Paris alone feels like this to me.

A beautiful description of being alone but enjoying it.


On Friday, I tried to buy tickets to a concert.

I played the game that we all know all to well. I sat online ready to purchase well before the release time. The tickets went on sale at 09:00, the time ticked over, I sat waiting for five minutes while the site dealt with the volume. I got in after five minutes, only to discover that there were zero pairs of seats available for the concert. The standing room tickets were sold out, and even the super expensive tickets that I can’t afford we’re gone.

I rolled the dice, and came up with nothing.

I wish someone would come up with a better system for this kind of thing. Currently, it’s based on random chance. There’s nothing I could have done to increase the likelihood of being let into the site when there were tickets available. This time I was unlucky, other times I’ve been lucky.

I don’t know what the solution is, but it’s not a good system.

That said, a system where one can pay more isn’t a good system either[1].

I wonder, has anyone come up with something better? Are ticketing companies trying to solve this problem? Are they incentivised to solve this problem?

  1. Arguably that already exists with the hugely expensive tickets that don’t sell as quickly.  ↩

Generation Y Are Unhappy

This article describes something that makes sense when you mash a large group of people together. But it doesn't really fit with any one individual that I know.

And this idea of Facebook image crafting being new is crazy. Sure, the medium by which we are developing that desirable image is different, but this has been going on a LOT longer than Facebook has been around.

Generalisations piss me off.

Riff week wrap up

A couple of weeks ago I completed ‘riff week’. During riff week, I came up with a total of 7 ‘riffs’ and shared them on this website.

In total, it took me an average of 20 minutes for each riff from sitting down with the guitar to uploading it to the website. That means I’ve spent 2 hours and 10 minutes or so being creative over the week.

But riff week is only the beginning.

I spent riff week smashing out all my ideas as soon as I had them.

In the next week, I’m going to churn on those ideas, and make whole collections of related ideas and lyrics. I’ll churn for at least 20 minutes every day on the 7 riffs I came up with last week.

The experiment: churning

In the context I’m using it, churning is a process of going over and over the ideas so that I can come up with and record all the ideas and directions possible. The idea is that I will do this at the start, and decide on a direction for the riff at the start, rather than trying to work out the direction the whole way through the idea development.

If, after the churn process happens, I come up with other ideas, then they will be written down/recorded as stand alone new ideas.

The Result

The result I’m trying to achieve will be 7 riffs with fully developed ideas surrounding them that I can work on in the future. I won’t necessarily be posting any of this ‘churn’ to the Tom thing, but see if I can figure out a way to record progress.