Friday, 5 September 2014

Return of the Vengeance

Hello again.

Right now I have a deadline to meet: my first essay for my Masters in Sustainability is due on Tuesday Monday. Naturally that means that I have decided to blog about it first in order to procrastinate get my thoughts in order.

I also just had a long, hot shower and washed my hair. This is important to mention because there is no technique known to human kind that stimulates and connects ideas better than a long hot shower (washing the hair makes the ideas sink in better I find). I couldn't just sit down and bash out an essay after a shower like that - it would be far too full of everything it didn't need and nothing of substance that it sorely would need, so instead I am dumping my jangling thoughts here until order can be restored and academic writing may then commence anew.

Last week, the start of September, was quite a doozy for me. I made some big decisions, and then I reversed them. I threw some crazy ideas at my boss, and had mixed responses. I decided I could try out the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship thing after all. I cried a bit. I drank lots of great wine (thanks delivery boy) to compensate and I am really truly grateful that there are a few wonderful individuals still coming to that going away party I organised, even though it has been renamed Nicole is (no longer) going to Mackay - come anyway! (it's on tonight if you're in town).

Truly I am.

The topics I take to heart, and tend to get fired up about the most, are usually to do with the ways in which I see the world being broken. My personal ontology if you like (I learned this word at university. Isn't education wonderful?). I have been unwittingly constructing my own ontology through this blog by vehemently espousing all the notions and positions that I think are worthy of others reading about. Things like connectedness. Things like sustainability. Universal health care. Treating people with respect - all people. Women, asylum seekers, black people, indigenous people, basically anyone who is ignored or given less respect by the bigoted white men who run our world. There I said it. I'm fired up already.

What I came up with in the shower was that the decision to move to Mackay kind of went against my own personal ontology, which is probably why I took the offer to reconsider and then rescinded the job offer last weekend. Mackay is over 11 hours away from Brisbane by car. It is at least 11 kinds of socially different to Brisbane in terms of culture. I had decided I wanted to move there because, wait for it, I would earn more money.

Yep. Dollars. Find the blog post about how Nicole thinks money is the answer to all her problems and I will move to Mackay tomorrow.

To those loving people who supported my decision, next time I come up with a plan as silly as this, will you just slap me in the face and tell me to wake up to myself? A special mention to Martha who did just that. She was gleeful when I told her I had decided to stay. We're gonna go to yoga classes and sweat together now.

Turns out having a strong link to community and a sense of place are very important when it comes to thinking about, and writing essays about, sustainability too. I mean, what do you really have to sustain, and therefore preserve, if you are not connected to anything? May as well float around like a free amoeba in space and hope for the best if you aren't planning on being anywhere long term.


For most of my life, well, pre Brisbane settlement life anyway, I was that little amoeba. Floating from here to there to job to city, to overseas, to wait, maybe Antarctica would be a good place to work, or Christmas Island? Yes dear reader, I applied for both of those locations. The flip side of being free to float is that you don't get to gather moss. You don't get to know any place. Therefore expecting to come in and have your opinions on how to deal with problems created by class difference, or watercourse management, in your local area, is kind of rich. Especially when you've only been exposed to the issue for less than six months. Sure, having an "outsiders perspective" can sometimes be a good thing in intractable problems, but only if you are invited to give them by those who are already locked in conflict.

I feel the ability to coherently argue in academic prose returning, sentence by sentence...

The truth is I have put down roots in Brisbane, like it or not, and this time, those roots have been what has kept me from being blown all the way to Mackay on a sudden urge to "get ahead" financially.

Oh, and that crazy idea I threw at my boss? It's being looked at, seriously, by the sustainability guy at head office. I might just be able to get what I want and stay in Brisbane after all. It just took a whole weekend of long showers and essay preparation to bring me to my senses.

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