Tuesday, 20 April 2004

Self Improvement

Something's happening to me.

I'm becoming clever again. I used to be quite clever as a child, went a little downhill in later secondary school, pretty much lost all my intelligence during university but managed to sum up one fantastic last bout of inspiration to get my degree before finally blasting my brain to pieces in the hedonistic years that followed.

But now, I think it's returning.

First of all, it's having to work weekdays in the morning, in a job that has mental demands. It means I don't drink heavily during the week. Recently, I've started taking a Korean class at 11am on Saturday morning, so Friday nights are out. But now, after last Saturday, I've lost the inclination to go out heavily at all.

Saturday night wasn't a bad night by any means, but just utterly standard. For the last 7 or 8 weeks, it seems I have some drinks in Communes, then finish off trashed out my face in Bubble Bar. It was fun for a while, but now I'm fed up. My Sundays are spent recovering from average and routine Saturday nights. This Sunday I woke at noon, and just sat and flicked through my TV channels all day. Nothing else. It was pathetic and a total waste of my day.

So I'm changing.

I'm on a language binge right now. I've started to really get into learning my Korean, and am getting up each morning at about 7.30am to study. On top of that, every Monday I've started to go to Spanish lessons that Kristi teaches (she was a Spanish teacher for 6 years). Plus, me and Matt have decided to learn Russian so are going to get a book and study it.

Getting drunk is just going to get in the way of this. I've decided that going out for a special occasion - a party or anything that sounds interesting - is fine, but just going out because it's Saturday isn't.

Also, I've got plenty of friends now, and I'm very happy with my group (the core: Matt, Eileen, Maebh, Kristi, Greta, Mik, Denise, Rebecca, Laura, Tim, Sara, Jesus Chris and associated spin offs). I'm with people not just for the sake of knowing people, but because I actually get on with them. Getting wasted on Saturdays in unnecessary, I prefer just to meet up with them for a drink, a film, a meal or something else.

There's also the orphanage which I started, and really enjoyed. Though my altruism may be questioned (CV/attractive girl motivations...) I got a real kick out of it. The kids were a little wary of this crazy bearded man at first, but by the time I was leaving they'd accepted me and I actually had the feeling I'd done something constructive. I enjoyed playing football, even though some tiny child totally outplayed me. The kids were all very sweet, and it was tragic to think they were orphaned or, more often, just abandoned. They weren't disruptive, far from it.

So, back to my new found intelligence. I've spent that last few years just enjoying myself and not really involving myself in anything too mentally demanding, so my brain was getting out of gear. But after a week or so of studying, I'm starting to sense it kick into action again. I'm understanding Korean, or at least when I'm seeing it, it no longer seem incomprehensible. Spanish, by comparison, is much easier.

Don't worry. I'll always be a drinker and a waster, but for the time being it's not going to be an active pursuit. It's time to learn a few skills and involve myself in something other than slow self destruction.

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