I am still in the process of out-shining many years of avoiding paperwork.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Every life is different, every lifestyle is different, every person is different and every moment is different. So I do not believe that there is a universal right way or wrong way to live your life.
For a while I lived on the edge of society – to some I was “homeless and unemployed” and to others I was “squatting and performing poetry”. I was happy most of that time but rat piss and cold winters were an issue. That did not push my own personal boundaries as much as working full time with people I didn’t get on with did. But taking a short moment to relax has helped me maintain emotional stability while I pushed my boundaries for more financial stability.
Now that I am no longer living the life of a vagabond gypsy poet, HMRC know that I am self employed, I have to keep a record of all the money I earn. Will I remember to write down every CD I sell at festivals? Even the ones sold round a fire at 4in the morn for a few quid and a good conversation? Saying things like “This is all very counter-intuitive for me” is simply retelling a story that doesn’t help me. I believe this is what some call “reification”, making something that is not real into something real with an independent nature. My years of not filling out forms is not a ‘thing’ that can hurt me or prevent me from filling out forms now. It may just feel like it occasionally.
Years of avoiding and replacing, and I was happy during those years I avoided bureacracy and replaced it with squatting. But it had it’s ups and downs and that was an unreliable solution. The laws on squatting changed, sometimes the squat had to change and we’d all have to move, sometimes there was no money of electricity and no way to rig it. Sometimes there was no water. Avoiding and replacing does not lead to consistent mental and emotional stability.
Saying things like “I don’t even like talking about money and I don’t like filling out forms and I don’t like being in cahoots with the Government” is re-telling a story that doesn’t help me. I guess the poet in me just wants to be understood. That’s why I tell these stories and share these emotions, I want people to understand why I feel the way I feel or may be feeling too sensitive to be sociable and ‘normal’. But someone that always wanted to be part of society is hardly likely to understand someone that never wanted to be part (and spent a good part of his adult life plotting ways to bring it down.)
However if both people rely on open intelligence and stop thinking from their individual points of view they will understand each other and what they don’t understand they will accept.
You do not have to share experiences with someone to accept them, you do not have to agree with someone to accept them. It may help if they are not forcing their opinion on you but it doesn’t have to.
So I didn’t like the government and I don’t like filling out forms for a corrupt hypocritical system. But I do like 4 walls and a roof, I do like central heating (not as much as our fire place though) and although I disapprove of invading other countries to steal their natural resources I appreciate the fact that we are not being invaded. So I thank society for the luxuries it offers me. But I still reminisce about the days chopping wood and fetching water occasionally. Data, data, data, what am I actually trying to say?
I am in the process of out-shining years of avoiding paperwork. I really don’t like doing it for a multitude of reasons, I feel restricted by the bureacracy, my life never fits into the boxes they set out, I feel like I am collaborating with a government that exists to make the rich richer and the poor poorer especially if those poor people live elsewhere and especially if those poor people are brown, I feel intimidated by forms and paper-work, always scared I’m going to say or write the wrong thing… and filling out forms is boring. But preferable to being homeless, or going to court.
The red tape and bureacracy are just another reflection from my mind. And each form to fill out is just another ever changing cloud in a never changing sky.
And at least if I decide to go off-grid again I’ll aim to have enough cash for decent burner and a decent sleeping bag and I won’t be so judgmental of the ways other people are living. Every life is different, every lifestyle is different, every person is different and every moment is different.
One moment at a time. One day at a time.