My life can basically be broken into three phases, which helpfully, correspond to the close to three decades I’ve lived.
Roughly 20 years ago, when I was 7, pretty much all I did was play with Legos. On the one hand, I pretty much always built what was on the box top. On the other hand, I didn’t just build what was on the box top, I linked all my various City Theme constructions together into a unified metropolis.
The variations were endless, and I was always looking to expand my cityscape. I made other forays into Knights, Space, Pirates, and eventually Wild West. Perhaps the fact that my dad was an architect fueled this urge to construct and order. Maybe it was just in my DNA.
I was quite the little builder.
Roughly 10 years ago, when I was 17, pretty much all I did was play music. Sometimes it was songs others had written, but eventually I began writing my own. Eventually, I linked all my sonic constructions together and recorded my first album of self composed music.
The variations were endless, and I expanded my compositions and recorded another album within the year. I had graduated from building with plastic bricks to building with perfect 5ths. The recording process entailed me basically doing it all myself. I laid the foundation of drums and bass tracks before adding the guitar and piano and ordering the architecture on the sonic landscape just right.
I was quite the teenage builder.
Right now, as I am almost 27, pretty much all I do is read and write. Most of the time I synthesize and comment on the thoughts of others, but other times I write down my own thoughts and ideas (this is happening as we speak). Eventually, I link all my conceptual constructions together and write a massive paper on it.
The variations are endless, and I’ve finally arrived at the point of creating a capstone composition in school. The road has led me from building soundscapes to building thought space. The landscape and raw materials change, but the impulse seems to stay the same. It is somehow in my wiring.
I am quite life long builder.
I’ve found in working on my thesis, the hardest part is the architecture. It makes or breaks the paper, and it honestly the design phase takes more time and creative energy than writing and researching combined. It does take long to select the appropriate building materials, but to put them together in a tightly constructed way that is also aesthetically pleasing requires hard work. In a way though, I’ve been training for such a task since my Lego-building days.
The way I’ve come to conceive of it though is that constructing the conceptual architecture of my thesis is more or less like single handedly constructing a building in my mind. I’ve got helpers for specialty tasks (i.e. my primary sources), but I alone am assembling this edifice into a free-standing structure. The paper itself is just the guided tour I offer you after I’m finished. It points out many of the details and leads you through all the rooms, but it can’t say everything. Some things you’ll just have discover on your own as investigate the structure yourself.
In the end though, I’ve come to realize that all the tasks that have consumed me seem like the Y chromosome I got from my dad expressing itself. This stage of life is just another in a long line of adventures in architecture. Not sure what the next might look like, but there’s good chance it is going to involve building a home, which will hopefully lead to little builders of my own.