Birthdays, for me, are a time of reflection. I started this Blog on the 7th of September 2009, which means I have just missed its one-year birthday. That makes it due time to reflect and evaluate this blog: where it’s come from, where it’s going, and why. And I would like your input.
This blog’s subtitle was initially a quote from the Alchemist, “When you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it”. It has evolved over time. For a while it read, “A Pursuit for Truth, Beauty, Love, and Lasting Satisfaction,” and now it reads more simply, “A paradoxical journey toward Truth.”
Be it through photography, travel, sharing life experiences and through more academic research, everything that I am doing appears to ring true to this purpose: a quest for Truth. I realise the paradoxes surrounding this pursuit: is there such thing as Truth? Won’t your truth always be relative to mine? And these paradoxes make this journey of life every so much more fun.
Where did this blog come from?
One year ago I had already spent two years quenching my thirst for knowledge and understanding of the world. Rewinding these three years, I guess my “search for truth” began when I packed up my apartment in Tokyo, abandoned my slow-building career in Vienna, and moved into my Opas house. I knew modelling wasn’t a long-term prospect, so I had to figure out what I was going to do with my life. It was time to “skill up” as I called it. At my Opa’s place I studied to be a Pilates teacher, a photographer, and I taught myself history and evolution and about other religions – all the other things I missed out on at my Christian school. Six months later I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I followed my Dad’s advice: I went back to uni. Unlike the study I’m sure he had in mind (more boring money-related disciplines like business, finance, law, and marketing – my undergraduate majors), if I was going back to uni, I was going to learn about life.
I was going to study something that wouldn’t help me get a job, but would be fun: The Arts. Majoring in “Peace and Conflict Studies” offered me the broadest base of life subjects: history, psychology, politics and philosophy, all presented in relation to what seemed to be at the crux of all human issues: conflict, violence and peace. This blog started three-quarters the way through this Masters degree. If you were to read this blog from the beginning you would tune into the thought processes that began as this episode of study was coming to an end.
Where is this blog going?
As I learn, I will share. Even without the scholarship I had hoped for I have decided that I’m not going to give up my research aspirations and dedicate my life to money. I will continue in academia, paying my own way through. So when it comes to this blog, it will surely continue along the lines of a pursuit for Truth, contemplating the paradoxes that arise along the way.
Before I share my current research, I think it is beneficial to revisit the foundations of my research – the two-years of the search for truth from before this blog. I shall dedicate blogs for the month of October to “Mastering Conflict”. Using old writings and journals I shall tell the part of the story that has thus far been missed. I shall revisit the core concepts of Peace and Conflict Studies, which you will might find useful to apply to various conflicts in your own life.
November onwards, this blog will probably take a philosophical turn, following the thoughts and discoveries of my new research project. As I’ve mentioned previously, my new research will be for a Master of Philosophy (still in Peace and Conflict Studies) – focused on Narratology (the study of stories), Process Philosophy/Theology (the idea that nothing is ever static) and Panentheism (the idea that everything is inside “God” ie God is the personification of The Universe, and whatever might be outside our universe too).
Last question: Why?
You may wonder why am I dedicating my time to “search for Truth”. Why search for something you will never find? The answer is quite simple: because I enjoy it. I love learning. I love writing. I love increasing my understanding of the world, and I love being able to share that. I figure it is rare to land oneself in a position where they can do this, so I best make the most of the opportunity. I have this chance only because I was born in Australia where they provide an allowance for people living and caring for the elderly. By moving in with my Opa I lived like a retiree for two-and-a-half years – reading and reflecting on life. These factors, combined with the fact that my childhood dreams have already come true (modelling, fall in love, travel the world), leave me the remaining 70-or-so years of live to dream even bigger. And there ain’t no bigger nor more impossible dream than Truth.
I would love to know which entries you enjoy most – the peace/conflict ones, the photos, travel stories, religion, relationships, personal life? Please email me or add a comment on this site or on facebook and let me know.
I am very happy to tell you that viewership of this site is growing and today I checked google analytics and it said that in the last 30-days there have been 999 “absolute unique viewers” and 1633 visits!!! (I’m pretty excited!) So… I would like to thank you for reading. I would also like to say a special thank you to those who leave comments – I’m sure everyone else appreciates reading your views too.
I would love to grow these numbers, but this depends on you guys. If you like this blog then please make an effort to recommend it to a friend or two so that more of us can share the paradox-filled journey.
Taken on 25/12/2006 – the Christmas I shocked my mum by turning up on her doorstep after about 100 hours on trains, buses, taxis and planes in transit from Vienna to Paris to London to Singapore… I wouldn’t want to do that again. For Christmas with the family after years away, a hot Aussie summer, and a major change in life trajectory – it was worth it.
HAPPY BLOG BIRTHDAY… I think it’s the best out there and feel lucky to have met you babe…please keep going- you make me think about things I’d forgotten to think about, pick me up when I’m a bit low and do all the things I wish I had the time and motivation to- You’re great and will never know the difference and change this blog has brought about- I’m sure that it has. Jx
Thank you Jem xoxo