Thursday, January 17, 2008

Things I'm glad that I did in my life so far

At the end of the 'Dear GB' email that I posted recently, there was a question:

"From your experiences, what are the things you were glad you did in your life? Road trips? Being drunk silly? Sitting under a clear starry moonlit sky?"

I didn't reply to that in the corresponding posting because I thought it would detract from the main issue. However, I thought that it was a good question.

Now that I've had time to think about it, I can confirm that there were occasions when I was glad that I did all of the suggestions :-). But I also feel that there are more serious, career-oriented things that it's right to include in such a list. So without further discussion, I reckon my list is as follows:

Learning how to program computers when I was a teenager at school: when I was at school, computing was an extracurricular activity. At the time, some of the other guys in my class thought that I was being stupid learning how to program in 'Basic' in my spare time. Back then, it wasn't obvious how important computers and subsequently the internet were going to be in all our lives, so in hindsight it's clear that it was an excellent decision!

Socialising with other students at university: meeting other students with very different backgrounds to my own broadened my mind enormously. But if I was to pick out one representative event to remember,Drunk students I'd choose the formal dinner that I organised for about fifty people, after which there was a party. The whole evening was very alcoholic and a huge success. It's still remembered by my university friends today. The evening ended for me as I was playing a drinking game with another student, however I don't remember the end of the game. Apparently I slid off my chair onto the floor and fell asleep completely drunk. Although I had the worst hangover of my life the next day, I don't regret a thing!

Studying for a PhD: after my undergraduate degree, I studied for a PhD because I was unsure about what career path to follow. I even had ideas of being an academic. Although my PhD has been of no use to me in banking, I enjoyed doing original research enormously and I certainly would make the same choice if I had my time again. Of course, the research I did was very obscure, but none the less the main journal paper that came out of my PhD is still occasionally cited by researchers in the field today :-).

Coming out as gay: I came out soon after I moved back to London. Like some of the guys who write 'Dear GB' emails to me, I didn't find it easy. However, the joy of finally admiting to myself the truth and the subsequent fun that I was able to have was absolutely fantastic.

Meeting boyfriend number 1: although things have been difficult between us for the last few years, we've had many good years together. The first holiday that we had particularly memorable because I'd never been on holiday with a boyfriend before, and previously I'd always been jealous of my straight male friends who were able to go on holidays with their girlfriends. We went to Morocco and hired a cheap car, then drove from town to town staying in one cheap hotel after another. At one particulary remote village it was fascinating watching the people we were staying with making hashish from raw cannabis leaves.

Meeting boyfriend number 2: the holiday that I had with boyfriend number 2 in Asia in 2005 was wonderful. Before that holiday, I didn't know boyfriend number 2 very well. The dinner we had together on the first night in the open air under a starlit sky at the luxury hotel where we were staying was particularly memorable.

Began blogging: although there are many other things that I could write, for now, the last thing I'm glad that I've done is to start this blog! It has been my therapy through the difficulties in my relationship with boyfriend number 1, and without doubt has played a major part in my recent personal development.

Because I'm currently on holiday with boyfriend number 2, I was able to ask him for his thoughts on this question. He also cited his first gay relationship, but the thing that he said which was the most different from all the things in my list was the memory of his first long distance air flight. It made him realise that the world is so much bigger than the city where he grew up :-).

Do any readers want to share with us a few of the things that they'd put on their list?


Anonymous said...

very interesting to read! What did you do your Phd in?

phraseit said...

Nice post! You are warmly invited to take a look at our blog and find about gay life in Tel Aviv... Who knows, you might even decide to come and visit: we can guarantee a great time. And bring No. 1 with you...

See ya,

Pnina & Liat

GB said...

Whenever I blog stuff about myself 'Anonymous' (whoever you are), if I don't divulge something then it's highly unlikely that I'll provide more information in response to a comment. Especially an anonymous comment.

Thanks for the kind words phraseit. Initially I was worried because your comment looked a bit like comment spam! But on visiting your blog I realised your comment was genuine :-). Good luck with your new blog.

GB xxx

RGB said...

I am currently working on a post graduates degree that I am probably never going to benefit from. It's great that there's a chance I won't hate myself the rest of my life for wasting my time doing all this work since you didn't regret it! haha.