Winds of Change: 323-317 days to go

Today I have 316 days to go (DTG) for a year of abstinence from pornography. I am also 16 days away from celebrating my second year of abstinence from masturbation! The post that follows was written yesterday to summarise the whole of last week. In it I discuss my thesis, nudity & nudism and some other things.

Please remember to take part in the poll. There is only one week left and so far only four people responded.

I’m sorry that it has come to this, but my time is not my own anymore. I’ve been working late this whole week and have been too tired to write every night. So from now on, until my situation changes, I will post once a week.

Changing approach

I realised today (318 days to go (DTG)) that the reason I struggled with writing my literature review is because I’m trying to make my ideas fit into a mould that is foreign to me. It’s not my style. Let me explain. My research is based on previous student’s PhD and MSc theses who wrote his literature review in a certain way. I’ve been trying to copy that format with great difficulty because my writing style leans more toward narrative writing. He described the biological big picture of his PhD thesis and then the individual elements he studied followed by the theoretical framework he applied. But, my natural inclination is to describe the individual elements as I encounter them during my description of the big picture—as you would do when relating a story. When introducing a new character in a story, the story teller usually gives a brief description of the character as well as some background information. That’s how my articles were written during my internship.

So, tomorrow I will go to my co-promoter and ask her opinion. But, my literature review has been a laborious exercise up to now. And I usually like reading and writing review articles.

My experiments went well last week. We have to repeat one of them though. During a meeting I had with my promoter (a.k.a. my professor) on Friday (319 days to go) I saw while we were going over the results that he was giving me advice on how to write up that experiment in my results chapter. I don’t know why it didn’t register before. I was most probably trying very hard to decode what he had asked me to do in terms of future experiments.

During Friday’s meeting, he asked me to do a calculation but my mind went completely blank. I really struggled to do it. I didn’t expect him to ask me to calculate something—a very simple thing, I might add—on the spot! Nada. Nought. Zilch. Nil. Absolutely nothing went through my mind. I did try to answer the question though but my answers were all wrong! Surprisingly I didn’t feel like a failure.

Fatal attraction to complexity?

During this week I discovered that I am drawn to complexity. Nudism offers a lot of complexity because it and the nudity it celebrates affects a person and society on so many levels. Some keywords associated with the philosophy are freedom, health, sun, surf, acceptance, confidence, body image, non-sexual, sexual, perversion, moral, amoral, immoral, choice, judgment, legal, and self-control, to name just a few. As you can see from this list, nudity engages us in the religious, moral, legal, psychological, spiritual, sexual, health, and political spheres all at the same time. Which sphere is more affected depends on the situation in one finds oneself and the values with which you judge nudity. As I have said many times before, even ad nauseaum, I am not a propounder of social nudism because it breaks the gender segregation taboo which I believe is a moral principle. And even if the gender segregation taboo is not a moral principle, I cannot in good conscience break the taboo while I retain membership in a church that upholds it. It would be hypocritical of me. And I am not a hypocrite.

You can see how easily a discussion on nudity and nudism can let me go on a tangent. So, what I wanted to say is nudity and nudism are complex topics which my mind is drawn to in order to figure them out. I am inclined to dissect the issues they create and those that created them in all the spheres of life. This would ultimately make me an expert in nudity and would lead me in the direction of gender studies which I also interests me. I just decided to stop gathering information. I have other complex things that need my attention.

So, after I decided to quit studying nudism and the body taboo, I read some more articles on it. I also contacted nudist organisations in my area to ask if they know of any places remote, unofficial, nudist-friendly places where I can skinny dip and sunbathe nude without having to worry about shocking people and embarrassing moments. I am still waiting to hear from them. I also contacted places I would like to vacation at in the near future to hear whether the owners or managers are okay with nude sunbathing and swimming. The owners did not have a problem.

I felt uncomfortable contacting owners of holiday accommodation asking them whether it’s all right to sunbathe, swim and lounge around nude. I didn’t want them to think that I was a nudist. And I worried how it would impact my witness for Christ. So, I just decided that I wouldn’t ask owners about this anymore. It gives the wrong impression. I asked the owners if they permit these activities because one nudist on an online forum had said that it’s a good idea to call the management of your remote, unofficial nudist-friendly accommodation and alert them to your intention of being naked during your stay there. I’m not a nudist, won’t be naked all the time and don’t want to give the wrong impression so I won’t be contacting any more owners or managers.

Library expansion kit

On my way home from school on Friday, I picked up three books at a discount store for US$1.00 each. One book is Simon Cowell’s autobiography while the other two are novels: a literary fiction novel of a Muslim guy and a story about a man who runs away when disaster strikes or when he messes up. Today (317 DTG) my uncle lent me John Grisham’s The Innocent Man which is based on a true story. I have to finish Jack J. Blanco’s Witness: A fresh look at the New Testament church and its book review as soon as possible.

One step closer

Today (317 DTG) I also bought steel wire for my future sculpting endeavours. All I need to buy now are calipers, wooden planks, clay, foil and masking tape. I’m pretty excited. I will tell my parents about my desire to sculpt when I go to buy the planks. Clay will be the last thing I will buy.

In summary

Not much happened between Monday (323 DTG) and Thursday (320 DTG) except for me analysing data, preparing a report for the meeting with my professor and figuring out things related to nudism, as already discussed.

I had a wet dream yesterday morning (318 DTG).

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