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The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
Redraw? Rebirth? Reroll? Reboot?
From time to time I think about what it would be like to completely disconnect from the various online communities, pack everything away, and move to some other location to start everything anew. A new location, new hobbies, new friends, new online identity; a new life.

This reminds me of scenes from the movie Weekend where the guy talks about wanting to redraw himself yet people keep hiding his pens (he's an artist). I don't think any people are trying to hide my pens, but if I'm going to look at why I revisit this idea then I'm the one who isn't making it happen.

It could also just be a seasonal desire for change or a realization that my existing circumstances have become more habit than exploration. I've often had trouble settling down to a single location for very long. My time spent traveling parts of the country had a few mini-settle locations, but otherwise it was filled with frequent change. When I was in one place too long I started forming patterns, habits, and getting in a rut. As things died off my habits shrunk and the rut got smaller and smaller. That's especially true of living in just one place as well.

Trying to completely re-imagine oneself in a new location does have some obstacles and drawbacks. What happens when people start asking what you used to do? How do you explain why your internet footprint is so small? You'd lose all of your employment history and recommendations. There would be no safety net or help if something went wrong.

Current Mood: tired tired

3 comments or Leave a comment
legolastn From: legolastn Date: July 16th, 2013 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)
The thing about trying to start from scratch is that whereever you go, there you are.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: July 16th, 2013 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sort of? Technically?

If one were to leave behind practically everything, go to a place where no one knows them and they know no one, and get everything anew (or used), then it would reset or weaken a great deal of mental connections. It would also be quite a shock to the system.

You may still have the same past, but your present is completely changed and your future relies more on your changed present than a continuation or slight adaptation of your pre-existing past.
legolastn From: legolastn Date: July 16th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
As a social constructionist I guess I have to agree changing your social context is bound to allow for some kind of change, or at least potential for change. Certainly people who move to (or, really, even stay for a relatively brief period in) another country, for example, often come away with new perspective/beliefs/etc.

On the other hand, one's personality and character have been shaped by past social context, and there's little to no way to totally escape that (even amnesiacs retain certain personality/culturally-influenced characteristics, although they don't remember how they obtained them). Indeed, I think there's some truth to the notion that "who you are" as a person in middle-childhood-to-late-adolescence, although in many ways unfixed at that point (and, beyond that, at least some people retain some "plasticity" throughout life), is in some sense retained for the rest of your life.

While intended as a sort of light-hearted comment, I guess my gut reaction is that a life reboot is in many ways just an extreme of what I heard someone once call the "geographic fallacy" - which they used to mean the idea that many people have that they can "start over" or "have a better life" if they just move to a new place, but where the root of the issue is in one's own personal proclivities, which will follow you to a new place and re-set themselves up there, or conversely could be grappled with anywhere including the place you are now.
3 comments or Leave a comment