I haven’t read Henry David Thoreau’s “Waldon” but I’m pretty familiar with it, and its themes.
Man goes into the woods for 2 years, 2 months and 2 days to discover life, both internal and external.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.
— Henry David Thoreau
But it’s 2019, and I have the internet, so I’m not naive. I know Thoreau was a wealthy man of means, with wealthy friends and benefactors. His personal declaration of independence was flawed in many ways (like, he *did* leave the woods from time to time), but he can be forgiven for that, right? I mean, it’s not like he was Jesus, or Greta Garbo. He was performing a social experiment, and in the end he went back into the glitzy world and wrote a famous book that people still read and revere today, 115 years after it was first published.
Let’s back up a bit, and talk about the famous recluse, Greta Garbo. She shunned the paparazzi, but she didn’t exactly shun friendship? Turns out, no. She hung out at the White House just days before JFK was assassinated. The woman wasn’t exactly a hermit, just picky.
And then Jesus. Not exactly a recluse, but he did spend 40 days and nights in the dessert with just the devil for company.
So what about me? In the suburbs of Melbourne, no super close friends and very few acquaintances. It’s lonely out here on the deck with all the cats and dogs and the husband inside.
I left Ubud, a little of a week ago, feeling pumped, enlightened even. Ubud is a magical world where people, ideas, food come together to make something, to be. It’s full of expats, of course. I have no idea what it would be like to be a local in Ubud. Since Ubud, I’ve been inhaling information. I’ve been reading, learning, engaging with people about this and that on Facebook – people I don’t know, for the most part, but that’s the internet age, I s’pose. My world has been broadened to include astrology, moon rituals, Human Design, crystals, natural remedies, paganism, (Sicilian) witchery. It’s opened up a new world that’s helping me make sense of mine.
Let’s start with Human design. Early on in the Ubud trip, I happened upon the Paradiso, a cinema and events venue. I came across a lecture by Duncan Bertschinger about Human Design (get your free chart here). I mean, I was in Ubud to seek, not relax. I got my free chart on my phone then and there and sat, slack jawed, and nodding, as Duncan explained.
According to my Human Design chart, I’m a Projector. A Projector is a teacher and a learner.
Here’s my chart.
Projectors are Jacks and Jills of all trades and revel in the process of finding shit out. But here’s the kicker – a projector must wait for an invitation. That means, no matter how much we learn, how much we know, how much we’re bursting to share our mad skills with others, we simply have to sit the fuck down and wait until someone asks us to share it with them.
Now, that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything. I mean, I can blog, post a video on Instagram, learn how to make a video or a podcast, knit, sew, learn tarot. But it seems I can’t share it with anyone, can’t even soundboard anything, because I have to wait patiently until someone asks me to share my talents with them. Not doing so results in bitterness. The story of my life.
Only 20% of the world’s population are Projectors, and of them, elements of my chart are shared by a tiny few. I’m a rare bird.
This is all lovely, and my ego is nicely stroked, but it also means I’m hella lonely. I’m surrounded by Generators, who make up 70% of people, Generators are do-ers – they’re the workers, they pretty much make the world function, but they generally don’t like being told what to do.
I love telling people what to do!
I live with a Generator, and I’m pretty sure all of my cats and dogs and employees are Generators. So if Generators don’t give a fuck what we Projectors have to share with them (until they give a fuck, which could be tomorrow, next century or never) – they nod and “uh huh” all our new ideas and plans – and, well, it feels like a stand off. Generator on one side of the room with their fingers in their ears l “I’m not listening”, Projector on the other side sending out “pick me, pick me” vibes that nobody wants to pay attention to just yet.
I’m a woman, I *get* the idea of waiting. It’s like shopping. You’re on the Gorman website (or whatever your shopping drug of choice is), and you see that Mirka Mora dress is on sale so you chuck it in your cart. Then you remember that your glitter socks are holey so you add two pairs to you cart and that colour block cardie you’ve been eyeing off for ages. In the meantime you’ve checked out some courses on Udemy and want to do the photography and tarot courses. Both are in the cart. Then you follow “the rules” and go about your day or week WITHOUT CHECKING OUT. Then you go back in a day or two and decide if you still want what’s in your cart/s.
Thing is, what if they’re all sold out? Now you’ll never get that colour block cardie. FUCK.
That’s kinda what being a Projector is like. By the time someone is interested in what you have to give, you may not have it any more. And that’s sad, because it was probably really interesting.
But that’s Human Design, I guess. I can fight against it and live an inauthentic life. Or I can just embrace it and become the most bitter woman on the planet.
So to avoid bitterness, should I just do a Thoreau and build my Walkden? Disappear for a while? Should I stop inviting people? Stop trying to talk to people about what I’m learning? Stop telling them about how beautiful the Pink Full Moon was on Friday? Stop asking if they want to read a book with me so we can chat about it together? Should I stop sharing? Where’s (my) Walden?
The thing is, learning without a collaborator, someone to share it with, feels super indulgent. And lonely. It’s like Greta Garbo in her East Village apartment, surrounded by her Renoirs and Kandinskys and all these ideas about them but with nobody to talk to about them. It’s like going to Uni to study linguistics but not having a study partner. I loved my study partners at uni. We discussed concepts, we challenged each other,we grew.
Now before anyone goes all “them’s first world problems, missy” on me, I agree. They are. But guess what? Here I am. I’m a privileged immigrant living in a nice house in Australia, with a nice husband and tonnes of nice pets,nice artwork on the walls, and a nice business. And therein lies the rub. Surely, we can want more than “nice”. Surely instead of reading Harry Potter and watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race, we can spend the few precious minutes we have in this body being more than average, more than “nice” and “happy”. Surely we don’t want to waste too many of these minutes entrenched in “entertainment”. What’s the point of that? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Survivor and My Kitchen Rules, even a bit of GLOW (there’s more, but you get it). But sometimes it feels like I have the keys to the kingdom in my hands, and when I try to share some of it, all I get is “not now, I’m in the middle of XYZ Generic Trilogy” or “he kids need me”or ” heck out this cute cat on YouTube”* And then the bitterness and loneliness set in.
So why am I doing this? Why bother?
I’m seriously just so tired of working – think that’s lame and I’m lazy? You’re probably a Generator, or just a unicorn. But seriously, I’m tired of plodding away, even at my own company that is successful, fun, dynamic, personal. After a while, even the most exciting work feels like an assembly line, and resentment sets in because, you see, I’m not my parents – I’ve gone to uni, I’ve travelled, I’ve broadened my mind and traipsed through forests and raves.
BUT… What’s the point of all this knowledge and learning if you never get an invitation to share it, and don’t have a collaborator?
What is an Ego Projected Projector to do?
- Learn to edit videos for your YouTube channel and tell your customers
- Write blog posts that nobody but your closest 1-2 friends will read (maybe)
- Take photos and post them on Instagram for your 114 followers
- Learn how to make a podcast, and maybe even record a few
- Redecorate and hope the vibe in the living room improves
- Smudge the house and burn Palo Alto incense
- Watch the cats play with each other
- Laugh at the dog doing zoomies in the back yard.
Seriously, what am I to do? All suggestions will be considered**.
* I love cute cat videos on YouTube
** Maybe some of them. Depends.
PS. I am an absolute Human Design novice. There’s probably a lot wrong with my theories, so go forth and Google.