You know what's worse than not updating a blog?:
Teasing your readers by leaving a post unfinished, thinking up five more posts in the meantime, and still not writing anything!
I will start at the end - at the present - and work my way back.
Warning: ranting follows
I am sitting here wondering whether I really am a 'Sydney Boy' - or, more accurately, reconsidering whether I should be calling myself one. (If you want to engage me with ranting ontology I suggest you do, but not here - for today that's enough!) Sydney has always featured as the hub and my home, the centre and the default, of all my travel plans. It's like bar (think Tip - remember playing that?), but also a wall against which all other travels cast their shadows. You, my readers, are in the large a big part of that - my shadows are not just a perspective, they are being written here most literally!
Melbourne is bringing this on. No, I am not - not yet - falling in love with Melbourne Town. I'm just thinking about my plans, and these thoughts are bringing out with clarity the assumptions I have made about my locus, making me reconsider the authority of these assumptions.
You can take the student out of the university, but you can't take the anti-authoritarian bloodlust out of the student. ;)
Well this student is trying to 'work things out' in Melbourne, and the plan is needing to be changed. I expected to walk into town, pick up two or three choices of job, 40-50 hours a week - locally, I might add - and be fine and dandy. It is not to be! The reception I am getting, as someone planning to be in town six weeks (five now), is lukewarm at best. Most places aren't even bothering to take my resume off me.
So the plans are changing. But the change is good!
You so often hear about the importance of being positive and optimistic - opportunistic - when faced with unexpected and adverse situations. This, I can tell you, is more than smiling at the clouds and telling yourself you're happy for the garden... Having my plans slip away under the influence of reality is actually quite exciting: the plans are no longer failed plans, but memories making way for new plans.
I don't yet have those plans, I don't know what they will be - but I am excited, because they will be good. I am not hoping on it, I am working on it - I will make them good. That is exciting too - the agency.
That is one of the goals of this 12 months: developing agency. The kind of agency which not only develops the plans, but the kind of agency which refuses to submit to the default.
DO NOT ACCEPT THE DEFAULT. DO NOT LIMIT YOUR AGENCY TO THE BOXES OF EXPECTATION.
Bright was becoming a box. I did not express it to myself as such at the time, but I could feel it - I spent a week too long there, and it was not just because the town was getting quiet, it was because I was getting quiet too. The grass of Bright was growing beneath my feet, the grass that was defining the paths that I was walking on. I can't live in a place like that, in a job like that. I need a town that lives and changes of its own accord - and a job which does not sit still, a job which does not asymptote to a standard of excellency and that is That.
As long as I'm ranting, I will point out how this rant could follow the disestablishmentarian pathway; how I could vent against The Man who will be attempting to pin me down into being The Employee at every corner. But I won't, I will save you that. That rant is a box neither of us needs.
I will ask you, though: if what I am describing is the world that I am looking for, how can I go about finding it? Today, I am working towards agency - and I think I am doing alright, except that I am yet to hit on results. But in all the years to come? Is there some sort of stable instability I should be searching for, or should I always be looking to go 'the other way'?
As one last gasp (before I go under?), I want to thank everyone who is reading these, and an especial thanks to everyone who has responded to them, in whatever way - your responses make a world of difference. Thank you.
jsbaxter.com.au (coming soon!)