Binging is a symptom of modern society, we acknowledge and accept this.
I understand that this kind of behaviour is frequently if not always associated with psychological inadequacy and inarticulateness. Yet, knowing this does not prevent one from falling victim to such patterns of consumption.
I am aware that my erratic insatiable inexorable consumption is abnormal and quintessentially damaging. I am engrossed in an inner battle, as half of me wants to perpetuate into positivity whilst the other half is on mission to sabotage. So I ask the only mature question I know: why?
Having succeeded in generating many positive changes in my life and striving to improve the quality of my life, why am I trying to counteract this. When I should be celebrating in my accomplishments why am I creating opportunities to self-criticise.
My iPhone just auto corrected Tottenham to Rotten ham. iPhone autocorrect unwittingly says a lot really. The people in and around Tottenham amaze me, their attitudes alone would provide hours of quality observation. Take the little college girls, all have this ghetto persona, dress like sheep i.e they all look they have come back from a hiphop video audition, no style and no character just standard stereotypical how attire. Fashion and sense of style is practically non existent, it’s straight up an down hoodlum and hoe uniforms for all.
I never realised what a great location it is though, so close to central and other trendy areas. I was dining in a stylish restaurant on commercial street by Spitafields market after a few minutes on a bus. Yet undeniably the two places are more than minutes apart.
My whole experience with the school is also overwhelming, especially when compared to my previous experiences in private institutions. The child in a private institution is not there to be disciplined but to be guided; the state school, contrary perhaps to popular belief, seems to me to have a sterner approach to discipline.
Today was my first day temping as a teachers’ assistant in a primary school in Tottenham, and what a day it was.
The first thing that struck me was the atmosphere in Tottenham, it’s so surreal, a place alive with soul and movement. One thinks of those ‘ghetto street’ scenes in Hollywood movies and they don’t even compare. The people, the sounds, the smells, the colours all alive, all full of life, the very essence of being and existing reverberates through the area.
Walking through Tottenham, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington and back again, I found my self exposed to things I had never seen before. I saw a man with a diamond encrusted watch hustling women with gold teeth, gambling all together on a street corner, wads of money flying to and fro, as he tried to hide the ball from them and they tried to find which cup it was under. I saw a drunk man throw a full can of larger into the sky and watch it pour over him as everybody else casually walked along. People with mean looking dogs walking around, men on street corners selling incense sticks, mothers ushering their large broods along, endless colourful fruit and market stalls, there really is no end of things to see in Tottenham.
The buzz was definitely awe inspiring, there was nothing to say that this was a community terrorised by the riots last August.
My day assisting the teacher and class was equally as insightful and if not more satisfying and rewarding than anything I’ve done in a long while. There were 29 children in a class, a big active class. The children all of different cultural backgrounds, varying levels of ability and all mainly ESL learners. The teacher obviously had a lot to handle, managing an active and large group is not easy by any means. Trying to activate and engage them all at the same time I assume is the constant battle teachers must fight daily. This young teacher did an amazing job of finding a way to get the children to complete tasks in rotating groups.
Today I saw the people of Tottenham as they are now, and in my time in the classroom I saw them as they will be tomorrow.
“If expensive things cannot bring us remarkable joy, why are we powerfully drawn to them… Because expensive objects can feel like plausible solutions to needs we don’t understand. Objects mimic in a material dimension what we require in a psychological one. We need to rearrange our minds but are lured towards new shelves”—Alain De Botton: The Consolations Of Philosophy
There are times when we doubt, and that doubt stagnates our growth. The very act of doubting our own abilities becomes the very reason our abilities our stunted. As a result the self is divided in two, the self that wants and the self that doubts, the inner conflict only leads to inevitable self destruction. Ultimately man becomes nothing but an ironic self fulfilling prophecy.
Then there are times we want, and we dream, picture possibilities, will opportunities in to existence and achieve that which we wanted. Our belief and hope in the achieving self is strengthened and we stand stronger against doubt.
Doubt is a dangerous thing for I believe that if we do want; we should seek. If we seek and do not find, we should not doubt our ability to seek, we should question the motivation with which we seek; and seek further in to the self.
“Being lower-middle class and from the suburbs, where poverty and pretension go together, I can see how good the middle class have it, and what a separate, sealed world they inhabit. They keep quiet about it, with reason; they feel guilty, too, but they ensure they have the best of everything, oh yes.”—Hanif Kureishi, Intimacy
If I had to state one thing I had learned from all my experiences in 2011 it would have to be that sometimes things happen naturally almost without causative intentions. Deciding to stop smoking is for me an event that has taken place with no overt causative intention. Admittedly there was a will, a drive that led me to seek assistance and guidance of some sort, but the rest just happened.
It’s day three of being smoke free, that’s 72 hours nicotine should have left my body, my breathing is supposed to improve and my energy levels are meant to increase. I however am unable to notice any of these effects because I can’t perceive past my own joy and optimism. I never thought I would feel as happy as I do to be smoke free. Today should have also been my craving peak, yet I felt nothing and I am not sure if this is down to the Champix or just…
The group sessions do help, it’s interesting to see how they are coping, how removing one nasty habit from their lives leads them to continue making progressive decisions. It’s motivating and I feel it’s more encouraging than trying to go it alone.
Today I attended my second stop smoking session, it’s really interesting to see how people are coping with it, their reasons, motivations, frustrations and so forth. I am naturally a very impulsive person and the decision to stop smoking and all the rest that has followed has pretty much been on a whim.
So here I am day 4 on Champix, a growing distaste for cigarettes and no fundamental epiphanic reason for actually wanting to quit other then I just want to. Day 10 is quit day and it’s only 6 days away…
“He would have changed the circle if he could,
The circle that was the grass track where he ran.
Twenty times a day he ran round the field
And still there was no winning post where the runner is cheered home.
Desperately he broke the tune,
But however he tried always the same melancholy crept up from the background”—Patrick Kavanagh, The Great Hunger, IV
“The realm of love, reason and justice exists as a reality only because, and inasmuch as, man has been able to develop these powers in himself throughout the process of his evolution. In this view there is no meaning to life, except the meaning man himself gives to it, man is utterly alone except inasmuch as he helps another.”—The Art Of Loving - Erich Fromm