Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A private journal for public consumption

Welcome to my first step on a path that has been on my itinerary for quite some time. This first post is meant as both an introduction to those who chance upon my writings and as a sort of mission statement for what I intend to do. First, a little introduction into who I am and what brought me here. Then, a bit about the purpose of this space.

Like everybody, I am different things to different people. The most generic of my titles are husband,
son, student, confidant, lover and friend. I believe myself to be inquisitive, irreverent, open and mostly honest. To some I can be abrasive, ignorant, stubborn and thoughtless. To others I am a source of companionship, mirth, incredulity, strength and/or weakness depending on happenstance. But these are words that apply to most, if not all, of us.

More specifically, I am a Canadian student currently living in Brussels, Belgium. I am pursuing my PhD in International Relations. My research areas include Middle Powers, ethical norms, and more generally international society. I am keenly interested in what keeps this world turning, the formal and informal rules that try to bind people, institutions and states on a common trajectory. Much of this interest stems from my wandering through various parts of the world. I have lived abroad since I graduated from university in 1997. I have lived and traveled through much of South East Asia and am currently trying to see as much of Europe as my current resources will allow me. My companion in these adventures has been Deanna, who comes with a plethora of titles as well (Wife, best friend, lover, anchor, to name but a few).

I am most alive when I have someone to debate with in a congenial manner on a range of topics: from politics to relationships, technology to cultural differences, minutiae of daily life to grand cosmic schemes, conspiracies to moments of zen. It is here, I believe, the only truth that exists can be found, in discourse. Probably the greatest epiphany that I have had to date is that an inherent contradiction exists in all people. We all have 'truths' that we believe to be self evident. However, these are very often in contradiction to what others believe to also be 'true'. It is easy to put these conflicting beliefs into conflict without problematizing our own. Yet , it is when these opposing beliefs are discussed with an open mind that bits of truth can sometimes be glimpsed if not really grasped.

It is to this end, that I have started this blog. It is a private journal for public consumption (and comment). It is a place where I hope to express frustrations in my research, random insights into life, Aha! moments, and questions worth pursuing. I hope that you will comment and become a participant in this endeavor.

I would also like to thank Linda Broughton for nudging me on to this path. I also highly recommend reading her blog EU for US. I was also encouraged by the thoroughly entertaining blogs of my zany cousins Angie (Tales from the Pants) and Kaare (Stories of Kaare's)