I don't want to be a brick in a wall. All bricks look the same and they are cemented into place, kept in rigid order. And walls divide. And life is like banging your head...

Should I stay or should I go

Martin sent me an email:

Mr Ben! I had forgotten...

I was thinking that maybe you shouldn't be thinking so much about staying or going. Maybe it should be being or not being.... staying is being, going is not being. Staying is being creative and useful, going is hiding.
Going has a coming back, beer has a hangover.
Oh and by the way, the world is full of middle aged men in sad cars. I might be one of them....

I think you're too young for a mid life crisis.

check out my mate jane's blog http://legofesto.blogspot.com/


Staying is static, stationary. Surely the opposite of creative. I don't see this as running away, more running toward, headlong.

I've been thinking about why I am not satisfied, why when I get going on a career path I quit. Paradoxically, I think I'm finally growing up.

When I was young I used to imagine what it would be like to be an adult. To go to bed when you wanted, without having to be good, or quiet, or invisible to watch Starsky and Hutch, the news, and then Match of the Day. I wondered, from the age of 7, what it would be like to kiss a girl. I practiced on my arm, my pillow, my teddy bear. I dreamt of driving, smoking. I imagined what the inside of a public house was like.

But I kept on growing older. I learnt to smoke, I had sex. I drove a car. In that order. I went to college, moved in with my girlfriend, got married, bought cars, houses, dogs. We had kids, mortgages, credit cards, and do you know what I kept on wondering? I wondered what it must feel like to be an adult.

Being an adult, in my dictionary, is about making your own choices. I learnt to smoke because my friends did. I had sex because my friends did. I drove a car because my friends did. I trod the path because that's what people did. I arrived at the age of 37 without having to be an adult, without choosing what happened to me. I followed the pattern and the pattern became routine.

For the first time now, I feel adult. Choosing a different path to the one laid down for me has made me feel grown-up. I want to take my kids and show them the world; I want to educate them myself. I'm not travelling, or running away. I'm taking my professional teacher training to its logical conclusion. Kids don't learn in large groups housed in 21st century office style environments; they learn hands on and they remember what's relevant.

Being a conventional adult is about being a consumer. The criteria that marks people as adults lies in their capacity to consume. Adults can smoke, drink, eat what they want. They can earn and borrow money to buy new stuff to replace their old stuff. We consume water, energy and space. Adults consume ideas. All they produce is shit. Living here makes me feel fat and greedy.

Staying is hiding, Martin. Hiding behind style. Stylish clothes, cars, houses, gadgets. The latest. greatest. A culture of bigger, better, faster, more. We stay hidden. "Stay where you are". That's where it's safe.

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