Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012, here I come

Couldn't resist this image

Happy New Year! If I can still be saying that at this late stage of January. Let us hope that 2012 will shine as an outstandingly good and happy year for us all.

Those that are in the business of prophesy, scrying, card reading etc have promised a year of great changes. Well, the year has certainly started that way for me. I have made a decision that, had you told me a month ago, I would have thought you mad.

Having been disappointed in my attempts to gain even an interview let alone employment (despite what I think is a very good resume), I have decided (cue drum roll) to go to uni. I understand from the media that I am not alone in changing careers at this seemingly late stage. I'm hoping to enroll in a combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching course but am yet to hear whether my application for admission has been accepted. I should know by Friday - fingers crossed.

OMG! A fortnight of trawling the internet, of hair tearing and gnashing of teeth over poorly designed websites and worrying over my application and all I end up with is one tiny paragraph. *sigh*  The bureaucratic hoops that have to be jumped through are enough to put all but the most fervent future student off study forever and I admit that the Centrelink application form for Austudy was sufficient to bring me to tears. I dare say that it won't be the last time either.

"Why be happy when you can be normal?"

There's a book I want to buy. It's author is Jeanette Winterson and I've borrowed its title for this post. Despite the recommendations made by friends, I have never read any of her work......that is until today. An edited extract appeared  in the magazine section of today's paper and it was this question that struck a chord. Except that I would (and have) asked it the other way around "Why be normal when you can be happy?"

 It was this question that had me leave the corporate world and Sydney and move to a little town in regional NSW where no-one looks askance at hippies, ferals or any other non-normal person. Art and music proliferate and there is a grass roots movement to a more positive, sustainable, community centred approach to life. Yes, it's all very idealistic and the competition for who has the biggest income/superannuation fund/house etc has been replaced with who has the most sustainable lifestyle, who buys the most organic and how big your permaculture vegie patch is and whether you have your own chooks*.......(sigh) Nevertheless, I am happier here than I ever was in the city, wearing the corporate uniform and playing the role (which I think I did quite well) while in my quiet moments I felt lonely, out of place and living a lie. I wanted to grow my hair long and let it knot into dreads (not that I did), I wanted to wear tie-dye dresses and leave my face devoid of make-up, throw my basic black courts in the bin and run barefoot and wild along beaches and take dips in almost pristine creeks and feel that I had found my "tribe". To an extent I have succeeded. 

So it saddened me the other day when I went shopping for an interview outfit to find, despite my stated intent to buy bright and colourful clothes that could pass for appropriate office wear, myself back in the corporate uniform and immediately feeling the heaviness and dread from memories of that earlier time.

Colourful is, I suppose, another word that could be used to describe this town - most of the time. As a result of visioning workshops run by Transition Bellingen we now have a new festival. One to celebrate the river that runs through our town. It was held last Saturday, a perfect Spring day. There were canoe races, entertainers, musicians, storytellers, interactive circus for the children and in the evening there was a loy krathong ceremony (which, unfortunately, we missed) and lantern parade led by carnivale style drummers and dancers.  We had a great day and I for one hope they hold it again next year

(This post was meant to be put up in October 2011)

*Chickens, for those not up with Aussie slang. Googs are what they lay, (Don't ask, I have no idea.)