The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Illusion Of Stability …
February 20, 2011, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Comment

So I’m back in Sydney. Home. Well, kind-of.

What’s funny is that within about 10 seconds of landing here, I sort of automatically reverted to the life I led when I used to live here, 7 years ago.

Maybe it’s because I’m on my own … or maybe it’s because that while many aspects of my life have changed, certain elements are exactly the same … but I did catch myself in quite a few deja vu moments, especially when I was loading myself up with bad documentaries, ha!

To be honest, it felt good.

Normally when I re-visit a place I once lived, I feel a stranger … weirdly disconnected from everything around me, even though it’s pretty much the same as how I left it … but this time, it felt better and for a sentimental fart like me, that’s a wonderful feeling.

Then I had dinner with my friend.

This is a very important person to me – a person who I’ve gone through thick and thin with and who has continually offered support and friendship beyond the call of duty.

To be fair, I think I’ve done the same for them which is why I was devastated to hear the unbelievable dramas they’ve had going on in their life for the past 12 months.

Because we’re in regular contact, I knew quite a bit of what had been going on – and had naturally offered my support as best I could – but seeing their eyes as they recounted terrible situation after terrible situation broke my heart, not just because no one should go through the shit they’re going through, but because I was devastated they hadn’t felt able to tell me everything they had been going through.

That sounds incredibly selfish – but I’m not saying it because I didn’t feel important – I’m saying it because they’re an amazing person and all I want for them is happiness, health and success and the fact they were being slowly pushed down by situations not of their own making – and doing it alone – upset me massively.

Of course I understand why they kept these details to themselves – they’re personal and tragic – however friendship is about being there in bad times, not just good so I’m just glad I now know before it’s too late … which leads to the point of this post.

Life is never going to be all sweetness and light.

We’re all going to have ups and down, good times and bad … which is why I hate how society has been sort-of brainwashed into thinking the airing of any concerns or worries makes you weak or a failure because not doing so is actually more likely to make that outcome a reality.

Of course my industry doesn’t help.

Not just because they use fear to drive materialism which, in some circumstances, contributes to some people’s problems, but because they rarely ever acknowledge life is good and bad and has ups and downs so there’s this message put out that life should be like Disneyland and if you’re not feeling that way, then there’s something wrong with you.

I’m a big believer things can start to change with conversation.

I’m not talking about the superficial or simply spouting words out and not really hearing the reply, I’m talking about having a real conversation … where one person talks and the other listens and then they respond directly to what has been said rather than simply take things off on a tangent that is either about them or away from a subject they feel uncomfortable with.

As I wrote here, good things can happen when you talk about bad … and we should try to remove the stigma of that and whilst I genuinely believe adland can contribute to it, it is nothing compared to what we can do on our own with our friends.

I’ve said it many times, we all have 3 sides … personal, professional and private … and if you think you can really know someone without knowing bits of every side, then the person you’re kidding the most is yourself.

It’s a great pleasure to be back in Sydney and I’m genuinely excited about the Communication Circus, but all that takes second place to the fact this trip has reminded me that friendship needs more than just interaction, but connection.

36 Comments so far
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Timely post. Not only is the illusion of stability reckless but our amnesia for history is on the gain. I suspect this year is going to be a bit more volatile than just Egypt which I hinted at before the event with my 1968 post. Not that I know the future but there’s definitely a sense that history is changing. I don’t mind drilling down on some of the themes of change but I don’t want you tapping me for gazing into a crystal ball. It doesn’t work like that.

All flows – Heraclitus.

Comment by Charles

are you seriously comparing this post to the egyptian situation? fuck me charles youre in danger of making campbell sound like kate fucking adey.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re such a drama queen Andy. I’m saying that the illusion of stability stretches from the macro-geopoltical to the micro. I could be talking about your life changing in a puff of smoke or riots on the Streets of Mecca. Like I said. All flows.

Comment by Charles

You lost him at drama queen, let alone marco-geopolitical. 🙂

Comment by Rob

This is a good post, especially the bit where you talk about the importance of real conversations not what we pass off for it most of the time. I hope your friend is OK.

Comment by Pete

sweetness and light. Matthew Arnold zomg?

Comment by Aditya

Talking on this blog about what makes a real conversation is like a fat guy talking about healthy eating. Nice post though Rob.

Comment by DH

I had spotted the irony.

Comment by Pete

So had I!

Comment by Rob

ya fucking hoo. excellent post, rob.
and i’m glad that you got to really, properly be there for your friend. andy will die when i say this, but no amount of screen resolution beats eye contact.

perhaps it’s because i am also home and reverting to old behaviours, but the importance of presence and attention is becoming more and more urgent in my life. as awesome as all you guys are, it’s actually the f2f shit that matters more (for which this blog has been an exceptional facilitator).

sydney can be a right bitch when she wants to be, so i hope she’s kind to you this week.

Comment by lauren

are you going to meet the fucker lauren?

itll be similar to the reaction jill gets when shes in bed with him, a great big fucking anticlimax.

Comment by andy@cynic

i am not suggesting youll go to bed with him. you might have tats, swear like a docker and find doddsy hot enough to marry but even you havent got taste that fucking shit.

jill is a scientist. the marriage is an experiment, it can be the only fucking justification.

why the fuck am i wasting my sunday writing on this pile of shite? oh i know, because the alternative is watching cowboy builders fuck up my other pile of shite. life is shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

Are you building the Empire State?

Comment by Billy Whizz

oh course im fucking not. the wife is.

Comment by andy@cynic

I couldn’t agree with you more Lauren.

Without wishing to insult anyone, but as much as I regard you all as “friends”, the fact our interaction is fairly one dimensional [despite all the tangents you guys take us on] means that the depth of our relationship can’t be like one where it has been built face-to-face over many years.

I know that makes me sound old and that the basis of friendships are changing, but I still believe connection through highs and lows of life is more meaningful than simply continued conversation / interaction around the thoughts someone writes on a blog.

That said, I do hope I get to meet you this week Lauren – even if Andy says it will be the beginning of the end for you, ha!

Comment by Rob

poor fucking lauren wont know whats hit her if shes stupid enough to meet. then if shes stupid enough to fucking meet you, she deserves all shell get.

Comment by andy@cynic

i’m just planning to meet him, you were fucking stupid enough to start a business with him. now who deserves all they get?

Comment by lauren

i also hope we get to meet this week. ask age, will, doddsy, seb and everyone else on here who has had the misfortune to meet me: it will be the end of you.

Comment by lauren

why the fuck is everyone being nice to campbell when hes bound to be the reason his mate is having a shit time. it was probably manageable when the campbell fucker was in china, rio, amsterdam, nyc but now hes on his australian doorstep, the shit has hit the proverbial.

face to face is always fucking better, thats why this blog shit pisses me off but as none of the sad fuckers who come on here are loaded (except campbell and even that isnt enough for me to want to see him, mainly because its my fucking money in the first fucking place) im more than fucking happy with our virtual contact.

now back to the post.

let me get this right. you land in fucking sun drenched sydney and the first thing you do is buy even more fucking fucked up docos? how many can one man fucking have? i tell you what campbell, youre one twisted bastard. didnt you even check on your balmain fucking empire first? no need to i guess, you have your fucking henchmen scaring all the poor fucking millionaire tenants with the threat of your fucking ugly mug landing on their doorstep. pol fucking pot could learn things from you,

good luck to the mate. i know who it is and they dont deserve shit after all you put the fucker through.

hope you get sun fucking burn and look an even bigger twat at the circus. apt name. you must be the fucking clown.

Comment by andy@cynic

And you know that actual contact would be in contravention of your various ASBOs.

Comment by john

I know your friend will be happy you’re there Rob. This is a good post, touching on many things we take for granted in our personal and professional lives. Thanks for the reminder and enjoy the rest of your trip.

Comment by George

excuse me george, would you mind awfully if you passed me the fucking sick bag.

Comment by andy@cynic

He will after your bank manager has stopped using it Andy!

Comment by Rob

Good post Rob! And nothing new from the cynic.

Comment by Jan (drjanroodt on twitter)

Are you calling me predictable and staid?

I agree with you … as would many others, ha.

Comment by Rob

That leaves me with a bat and nothing to bowl at – bugger!

Comment by Jan Roodt

Sorry, but that’s what happens when people have spent years telling me how bad I am, ha!

Comment by Rob

Dear Robert,

I have been reading your opinionated musings for a while now and I must say I love the fact you are such a sentimental and sensitive person. I love the outlook you have on life and the way you feel outraged when something bad happens to your friends. I love the way you speak about your mom (a love so transparent, powerful and obvious eventhough you are geographically far apart). I love the way you remembered your dad and honored him and his memory in your post and I love the way you love your best friend (eventhough the details may have been a little graphic…although it made me LOL).
My point – people like you are rare and it is great to recognize one in the flesh and even greater to count one like you as a friend (although we don’t know each other I hope that if you are ever in Israel – you look me up). Don’t ever change and please keep writing your musings.
Lots of love


Comment by Eva

I’ll leave Andy to comment on the reality of recognising him in the flesh.

Comment by john

im still in too much fucking shock to comment. who is this eva and why did the hospital let her use the internet. i fucking love that she mentions campbells best friends cock though.

Comment by andy@cynic

Hello Eva – how bloody wonderful to have you pop by. I have no idea whether I am worthy of such kind words because I don’t think I am rare at all, but it is so lovely to hear, I’ll happily take it.

Thank you my lovely, hope all is well.

Comment by Rob

I have a feeling it’s Mrs Marcus

Good afternoon

Comment by northern

what the fuck is marcus doing letting his betrothed be fooled by campbells fake niceness like that? if i was eva, id be kicking him swiftly in the bollocks for that.

Comment by andy@cynic

Youre a broad-sweep planner aren’t you NP, that’s why you didn’t notice that Eva is in Israel. On the other hand, perhaps Marcus walked there.

Comment by john

What are these things called ups to which you refer?

Comment by john

I think they’re like Santa Claus.

Comment by Rob

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