Midnight (or so…) 1st January 2017, Bangkok, Thailand
The Big ‘ol time clock has just clicked over to 2017. And what a year it has been!
So many deaths – celebrities, innocent civilians around the world, refugees seeking asylum, so many needless deaths of those who happened to be born, or to be, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. I am sorry for so much loss, for so many. Somehow, I am still here and so grateful for all that I am, all that I have.
At the beginning of 2016, I worked as a casual academic in a Melbourne University. I desperately tried –for more than 10 years, to apply for the ‘holy grail’ – to be a tenured – ongoing academic, doing what I loved to do, improving what I was doing, and to just have someone say – give her a go … she deserves it. But it was never meant to be. In my 40s I was energetic and passionate, I would have done anything to be what ‘they’ wanted me to be. OK, I never did establish my ‘expertise’ in any particular genre or discipline, I just wanted to work at something I felt passionate about – I could have become whatever ‘they’ wanted me to be.
In March of 2016 I turned 50 years old and actually felt very happy to be where I was. I was never sad about what I hadn’t done, I was proud of what I had achieved, and particularly proud to have two incredible children, to have achieved my PhD, to have a house to live in and food in my fridge. I paid my bills, I had savings in the bank, I lived near the beach and I had opportunities to follow another of my dreams, to volunteer again – this time in South East Asia.
I finished my work at the end of 1st semester, and prepared to pursue my next dream – my escape? My saving grace? An adventure that I so missed? A real challenge? An opportunity to take a chance and to draw on my experience, my passion, my abilities, my desires, my spirit? I had finally managed to succeed in a job application to work as a volunteer in Laos. With thanks and eternal gratitude to Pol, my daughter’s father and guardian, and Rani, my son who would now have to look after himself (and my house), I was able to pack my life away in the shed and embark on a dream.
So at the beginning of a New Year, I am so happy about the last, and hold so many hopes for the next. I just ask for more of the same – joy, adventure, challenge, gratitude, and good (enough) health to get me through. I give thanks to my family and friends – old and new – and want only the best for them too.