Archive for the ‘life change’ Tag

Writing, writing, writing

I am making Thesis Progress. I sent a draft of my methodology chapter to my supervisor today. I am halfway through the Lit Review. I have written two of my three ‘findings and discussion’ chapters. So I am feeling pleased.

Can’t sleep though. My head is too full. I need something like Dumbledore’s Pensieve, to extract thoughts from my head and make room for new ones. Or just stop them crowding me when I need to rest.

Writing about writing isn’t very interesting – hence all the posts on non-work related things. Most of my time is taken up with the thesis (just as well I am unemployed pretty much, these days). And what will I do when the thesis is done? I’ll need to find a job. Where will that momentum come from? I hear from friends who have been through this process that there comes a point where you can’t really see or imagine anything beyond the thesis. You can pretend… but nothing seems real.

Certainly for me, with all that has happened over the last couple of years, the thesis is the last big commitment I have to see through. Once it is finished, my life and my days will be one big vaccuum, ready to suck in something new. I feel little rushes of excitement when I think about this. Trepidation too. It is scary to have everything become so open. But I have been restless in my life for a long time now, so any new direction will be welcome. I’m certainly open to considering everything. I figure the offers won’t start rolling in until I’m truly free, so for the time being, it is back to the writing, to getting the work done and submitted and finished.

A year of changes…

I asked for a year of changes this year, acknowledging that my profound sense of restlessness seems to continue, unabated. The Universe has kindly responded.

As of Wednesday last week, I finished my job at the Orchestra. My role as Creative Director, Community Outreach, has been made redundant. I found out three weeks ago. I have learned that, no matter how conflicted your feelings about a job may be, redundancy is not a pleasant thing to go through. It’s been mighty stressful, and hugely distracting. I’ve been working there since 2000, and joined the management team in 2002. I built the Outreach program up from scratch, and have been its chief driver and creative visionary for all that time.

I had a wonderful send-off, despite my sadness at leaving, and was given a pair of quality tap shoes as my farewell (in response to my expressed desire to learn to tap dance once my Masters thesis is handed in). Musicians and staff were present, some warm speeches were made, and I ended the evening with a group of fun and supportive friends, eating a fine meal in Cafe Segovia.


A beautiful, yet telling, full moon in the background. And a tram speeding past. Thanks to the passer-by who captured this great shot.

So what shall I do with my year?

  • Start a self-promotion campaign, contacting all my contacts and supporters and toutine the many project ideas I have that I was never able to get off the ground with the Orchestra? Spend some time and money putting together the necessary DVD footage and images to give people samples of my work, and set myself up with a business card and website? (I need to do this anyway…)
  • Say ‘yes’ to the various one-day-a-week casual gigs that will come my way (have already started coming my way) – a bit here, a bit there, some interesting things, some new environments…?
  • Travel? Seek adventure and say “Booh” to the Global Financial Crisis? (Are my skills and experiences sufficiently well-established to take a Leave of Absence from the professional arena for some months?)
  • Go and be a volunteer in a developing country, and gain the experience that would enable me to apply for paid positions with NGOs?
  • See how I go living on much, much less money, play clarinet more, make more time to make more music, remind myself of the musician I am, and see what comes in from that?
  • Go and live somewhere else, recognising the limitations of thinking and  that seem to constantly rear their ugly heads in the arts and education in Australia? Get a bit more value out of my EU passport?

This could be a chance to re-invent myself. Trouble is, I am still figuring out who I want to be.

In the absence of a decent Plan A, I shall go with my Plan B – get the Masters thesis written and submitted in the next month, go for a week’s holiday in Byron and learn to surf (and do more yoga), then sit back and see what happens. I am so good at activating things for myself – I wonder what would come to me if I just stayed still for a time? Also, once the Masters is finished then I truly am free.