Tag Archives: dreams

Hypotheticals

A whole bunch of my friends are moving to, or have already moved to, America. It’s strange how many people are going there! I can’t imagine any reason that Matt and I would follow suit and go too, studying or working in America has not much appeal for us. However now that so many people are jetting off to the Western Hemisphere I’ve started imagining the upsides to living in America. And ’cause I like making lists here, I thought I would share a hypothetical list with you:

Things I would do if I lived anywhere in the USA

– I would visit all my American friends, and my Aussie friends who are living there for the moment.
– I would go to New York and find all the locations recognised from films and Geography case studies.
– I would go to a Five Iron Frenzy concert.
– I would eat lots of Mexican food (I’m sure PK could set me up with a list of places to eat!).
– I would go to Disneyland.
– I would buy clothes and shoes at much cheaper prices.
– I would make sure I was somewhere snowy in the winter. At Christmas even!
– I would take regular trips to Canada to visit friends there and explore all the beautiful things.
– I would go semi-regularly to watch the baseball.

This is all I can think of right now. It’s a shorter list than I expected, which makes me feel OK about not planning to live there. Are there any other important hypothetical activities that you think I should have included?

Tugging at geography heartstrings

“Spatial theorists working in the fields of social and cultural theory have demonstrated how we occupy multiple landscapes simultaneously: fragmented and multi-layered, existing in different dimensions including those of the senses and the imagination. These are ‘geographies of the possible’ (de Certeau, op. cit.), not rational nor confined to actual places, but suffused with thoughts and feelings: ‘a geography of memory as much felt in the body as seen’ (Tonkiss 2000, p.2).”

Jocey Quinn, Learning Communities and Imagined Social Capital, p86

I’ve said it a million times – literature reviews usually frustrate me so much that I want to tear out my own eyeballs. But sometimes I read things and my heart melts from the beauty of the idea or the language. Sometimes both the idea and the language. That just happened then, while reading this book for an evaluation of a Community Education program we are running out at Mt Druitt. Just the phrase “geography of memory” makes me want to drop everything and sign up to try my hand at being an official human geographer. I want to sit somewhere in the academy, in a nice ivory tower, where I can read beautiful books and spin beautiful phrases and lose myself thinking about imagined spaces. Sigh.

At times like this I need a reality check.

1. Alison – remember how frustrating you find reading about 98% of the time. That is what it would really be like!
2. Remember how relevent this book actually is for helping people in the community! be thankful that you get to do applied research! (Actually, the book is pretty relevent – but only because other researchers have done some more pragmatic work to make it all applicable!)
3. Now, spend some time reflecting on that look that 3rd year PhD students get in their eyes when they just want it all to be over.

Hmm. It’s almost working. It probably will have completely worked after about 5 more minutes of working on literature review.

Doors and windows

God moves in mysterious ridiculous ways.

I have never had problems making decisions. It’s always just happened that everything falls into place and I’ve never really been faced with competing options. Uni course? Sure. This one looks good. Date a guy? Oh yeah – this one is very nice and he likes me. Marry the guy? No stress. Get a job? Thanks Natalie for lining up the best job in the universe for me. Kids, Career, Place to Live? Now Matt and I are just chilling with a nicely organised five year plan, blissfully comfortable knowing that God will take care of us after that. People always talk about doors opening and closing, and stages of life and stuff and it seems to foreign to my situation. So far my doors have opened and closed like the credits in Get Smart and I have just kept walking straight ahead.

Last night I hung out with some friends and we were talking about our plans for the future. I was the freak who knew exactly what she wanted and how things were going to go from now on.

Today I got a phone call that suddenly spun things out of control – not in a particularly drastic way and definitely not in a negative way – but it is still a potentially massive shakeup to those plans. For the first time in my life I have two doors open and I’m not really sure what to do about it. I don’t even know how I am supposed to pray about it!

Dream jobs

I was off work sick yesterday with a headache exacerbated by allergies. In the morning it was a relief to stay home, but by the afternoon I was missing it and ready to go back.

Despite previously mentioned struggles with writing, I really love my job. I’m feeling it today when the writing has cultimated in completed reports. Two of them have reached some kind of end point today. The first one has been sent off to its stakeholders for review, and the second one is being beautified for public consumption. It feel so great when you can look over completed documents and think: here is the fruit of my labour.

Now that the writing is done, I have returned to GIS to fix up a series of maps so they are pretty enough for presentation. It’s nice to be on this software again, there hasn’t been any significant project work that required maps for a couple of weeks. But it’s taking an awfully long time for everything to load, which is bad news for my fingernails. At times like this, I just sit and gnaw at them absent-mindedly as I wait for the screen to load. So it seems a bit more fruitful now to open up notepad and work at an entry. My fingernails are grateful.

Being a researcher and GIS-pro is fantastic, and it’s nice to reflect on all the ways that God has prepared me for this through uni, and my personal interests, and the people who have influenced me. But there are some other dream jobs that I also wouldn’t mind having if I had the right skills and I didn’t have to go through even more training at TAFE or uni.

I love growing things, and I would love to have an outdoorsy job, like a landscape gardener or a conservationist job with National Parks and Wildlife services. Unfortunately, I have heard stories of the enourmous amount of work that my brother-in-law does as a greenkeeper and I’m sure that I don’t have the stamina for it. So my compromise is to wish that I had a more promising green thumb and a little bit of earth (like in The Secret Garden) to grow my own things.

I love making things look nice, and I would love to be some kind of graphic designer. It would be amazing to understand how colour works, and to be a little bit aesthetically sensitive. But I have realised that although I can appreciate things that look good, and I can sharpen up things so they look a bit better, I don’t have the streak of creativity that’s needed to create things from scratch. So I guess for the time being I will enjoy making things look good in the capacity I have: making maps and charts at work and making icons at home.

I love the adrenelin of the stage, and I would love to have a job being a part of it in any way – a musician, a set designer, a sound engineer, a director, a stage hand. As long as it was in the background. I have a big problem with nerves! But where do I even start getting skill sets like these?! And the contacts that I’d need to find a job! And similarly to my problem with being a designer – I lack the particular type of creativity that’s needed here. I’ll be content then with my mum buying me ballet subscriptions (she is fantastic) and trips to see chamber orchestras and gigs and musicals and dance classes at the Sydney Dance Company. Those things are awesome fun in themselves anyway.

I love helping people understand more about who Jesus is, and I would love to do that all the time. The thing is, I already strive to do it all the time. The question I’m only now beginning to ask myself is: Do I personally want to actually do that as a job? (Am I already doing that working for Anglicare?)

For the time being, I am so happy here at Anglicare. I love that my hobbies are my hobbies, and my work is my work, and striving to serve Jesus and the church and his world is a permanent reality that pervades it all. Yeah, I think that is what I have arrived at, and it is good.