Something is going on with me, and has been for a few months now. Some kind of … regression. It started when I moved house, although you could argue that my earlier purchase of an old Commodore Amiga computer was part of the same “syndrome.” When I moved house, I thought, Hey, let’s try life without the internet. Then I thought, Let’s try life without TV. And you know what? I like it (although I hate the way the TV license people keep sending me those OFFICIAL WARNING letters; boy, am I going to look smug when they finally send the inspector round).
Just lately, I’ve been thinking, Could I live without a car? After all, why shell out the guts of a grand per year on insurance, tax, MOT, repairs, fuel, when all I’m using the vehicle for 99% of the time is a two-mile trip across town to work? A decade ago, before I owned a car, I thought nothing of going to work on my bicycle. But saving money’s not what this is about; the main thing holding me back from selling my car is a strong desire to buy a canoe, and there’s just no way to bring a canoe to the water without a car.
But maybe the canoe is just another part of this regression. Maybe I won’t be content until I’m living in a log cabin beside a river, deep in some Irish forest. A while ago I decided, for some reason, to grow my hair long, and I haven’t been do a barber in nearly half a year. I’m also sitting here with almost two weeks of beard growth. Heck, I’m turning into Grizzly Adams!
But seriously – regression? Pah! This is really about stepping outside of the trappings of your culture and giving yourself permission to be different. I got rid of the internet because it was a bad influence on my life. I got rid of TV because 90% of broadcasting sucks, and the other 10% I can rent later on DVD. I’m growing my hair long because … well, because I’m a 1980s freak and I remember the days of glam rock (no, I won’t be putting on make-up). Being unmarried means I can have total control over my home environment, and I’m trying to create an atmosphere that is more conducive to creativity and holiness. When you take away the TV and the internet, it doesn’t leave behind an empty space that can only be filled with boredom; it allows you the space to do something better with your time. So far, so good.