Saturday, October 17, 2015

Life Metaphor

A Life Metaphor, is a meaningful metaphor for your life. It come up on the Slate CultureFest on Oct 13, 2015. Susan Krause Whitbourne wrote about them more intellectually in Psychology Today.  She liked metaphors like caterpillars & butterflies, or winding roads. 

I have a metaphor that I have carried with me from adolescence, and I thought of it when I was ten. It has evolved though. It is about defending myself, with originally, an anti-aircraft gun. I thought of it when a neighbor parent was at my house, and accusing my brother of some misdeed. The anti-aircraft equipment was impossibly complicated and always breaking.

As I grew older, I favored jet fighters over anti-aircraft guns, perhaps after I had gotten a car. Similarly the plane was impossibly complicated and always breaking; Just like my old cars. I also felt insecure in my early adulthood, like I was one auto wreck from homelessness.

When I got a job at a large company in a fancy research center, I imagined super-modern fighters, and while impossibly complicated like my conception of the adult world, they didn't break as much.

Later, I worked at an industrial site, and they were stripped-down and rusting. Competent, but with missing rivets, parts that I didn't understand, and always need repair.

Time marched on I got a bigger house, and I found it too dangerous to be flying around, I decided to shoot baddies down like Ronald Reagan with ground-based lasers. This isn't so crazy because my thesis work involved focusing and tuning big lasers. This fit my more sedentary life, and my unwillingness to get hurt. The lasers always needed fiddling with.

When I became a manager, I became way too busy, and I want to tear down the machines and build something that doesn't need fixing. Gleaming new machines with good software that I can fix and forget. Just turn it on, and the computer does it. I don't have time to fiddle with it. On the other hand, they kept needing upgrades just like my Mac.

Today, we are empty nesters, and I am looking for connection. I am interested in a network.  "It takes a village" to be okay. The neighbors and I each have 2-3 drones that work together, and our autonomous network of thousands provides safety for all.

So there is my life metaphor.