Last year I was stuck in Cambridge, unable to travel because of immigration restrictions, and I decided to make a list.
I sat in a cafe I disliked in a town I hated with a piece of paper and a bleary pen. I outlined where I wanted to be, and what it would take to get there. The specific destination was less important than the philosophical imperative of change - profound, brutal, transformative, necessary.
Back then I didn't like my life, so radical departure did not pose a threat. Transgressions are immaterial if you have no expectations.
The initial list of a dozen practical goals grew into a knotty, thwarted miasma, but I am both diligent and sanguinary. I had nothing to lose - in case you missed the point, my life so far, while entertaining, has been entirely difficult in every possible way.
So I did it. Here I am, on the other side. And this life is really good.
The only surprise is a shift in notional propriety. It seems that my schematic of belief was less chosen than received, and indicated not much more than a strategy for survival.
Apparently (and this was truly a surprise) I have hidden reserves of rage. What does this mean in a practical daily sense? From now on I will defend what is mine with an unexamined, reflexive ferocity. Poachers and haters beware! My time, sympathy, and material resources are fenced and guarded.
My bad reputation is deserved, and deserving.