I’m actually doing this on a computer today, not my smart phone. This means that there will be more typos that I have to look out for and correct. It’s been a bit of a productive day. I started my Storytelling for Change course. It’s offered by a company called Acumen who offer a range of courses to build people’s knowledge, skills and capacity in working to alleviate poverty. I found them through my wife, who did another course that they offer about human-centred design. I thought I’d try it.
I’ve not talked about my work much, this blog is more about my exploration of myself, writing for pleasure, developing writing muscles etc and I don’t see my work as part of that process. Suffice to say that I work in community services and I really enjoy working with people to make positive changes in their lives and their community spaces. So this course may help me build my skills in presenting to people of influence, who might fund projects or activities or might be involved in the development of government policy that could affect our funding overall and therefore affect my work.
So I had to write about my ‘life map’. It’s a concept that I don’t really have a lot of practice at. I’m much more of a ‘take everything out and examine the bejeebers out of it’ kind of person, so stopping and trying to write the moments of influence that took me to where I am right now in my community activism (and really life; the personal is political) was kind of difficult. I suppose that one of the major influences was the fact that my parents brought me half way around the world when I was three and a half and therefore I grew up in a country that I wasn’t born in. It offered a whole lot of opportunities to me that I think may have been much harder to achieve in my birth country – where class is much more a driver of success – and although I may have squandered some of the opportunities I have certainly grasped other ones with gusto.
Some of the things that have made a real difference to my life, taken me to where I am right now, are listed below:
Going to University – the first time I went all I did was hang out in the women’s room, mooning about after this woman (but not knowing that I was), dating inappropriate men and drinking beer with the engineers. I did do some study but in the end I decided that this wasn’t what I needed for me (I chose the wrong subjects) and left halfway through. I’m back now but this time I have a purpose and a real idea of what this degree will do for me. It feels right and getting 80% on my first subject hasn’t hurt my positive feelings either.
Parenting – It wasn’t planned but it was embraced. It is so hard, so bloody difficult, you constantly worry if you are doing it right. It took me a while to get the hang of this thing called parenting, I respect my parents more and more the older the pup gets, though I certainly parented the pup very differently to they did me.
Finding the right love – It took me a while and I broke a few hearts along the way (and had mine broken too). I used to think that the instant attraction zing was what I needed for love. It took me a bloody long time to realise that this was my heart playing tricks on me and that as a result I kept choosing partners that were never going to last. I’ve now found myself in a relationship where I am loved and accepted for who I am – there are no refrains of how I might change to better suit their idea of me – and I can return that love without feeling like there is a catch. We work really well together. It’s taken me a while to get here.
Working in Community Services – a path that I didn’t think that I would go down but then I had no real clues about where I was going. I thought I’d be a scientist, a mathematician, but that proved to be a false sense of where I was headed (choice made for parental approval rather than genuine desire) and I really just found my way through chance. It was an education path that had me working for a telephone counselling and referral service and it all just clicked. A lightbulb moment. I’ve never not worked in community services or public service since then. Working with people to make change, create opportunity, right wrongs, re-align lives; that’s what I love doing.
So, there’s my little list. Now that I have finished my blog post for today I need to go on to the next tasks – listening to my teleconference about better body image and preparing for our town’s community planning meeting.