FREEDOM! (sort of)

WOOHOO. I just emailed off my submission for the Bus of Books case competition run by SAMM. That tops off a week of non-stop deadlines, where I submitted assignments worth 20% of my combined final grade in just 7 days! I haven’t slept that much so I should probably take a nap now before I get working on the mountain of other things I’ve neglected. (Sorry to anyone I said I’d email/call; especially to the lovely Enactus HR team and those going to Nationals..)

Instead though, I’m prancing around my room celebrating my temporary freedom from the oppression of deadlines! I’m told that it’s all just an illusion before exams come around but I think I’ll allow myself a few hours this afternoon. I’ve finished all my assessments for every subject except micro so it’s time to get started on exam revision but that can wait. [I lied, I unintentionally passed out for a few hours on my bedroom floor after taking a bathroom break from writing.]

I haven’t really been up to much in the past week other than churning out essays, nutting out group assignments over skype and google hangout, and playing with spreadsheets at the Melbourne Writers Festival’s basement office under the State Library, but I have been thinking – as I tend always to do. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with my time and how I can pursue my dreams, as fickle as they seem to be.

Let me start with a few new pieces of the puzzle. As anticipated, Deloitte rejected me for the summer vacation position I applied for. However, they have offered me a second interview in a different service line and so it looks like I might still get a taste of the corporate world this summer. As part of interning at the Melbourne Writers Festival, and wasting time reading portal notices I’ve come across a whole range of different publications and organisations that I could potentially submit to and get feedback from, which though daunting excites me nevertheless. I’m still looking into what conditions are attached to submission but I think I might stop writing creative and opinion pieces for this blog for a while and just try to get some stuff published if possible. Lastly, I’m going to dinner with Eyal Halamish, founder of OurSay.org this Wednesday night thanks to the amazing idea that is the Founders Dozen by Next Sliced Bread.

On to the thinking I’ve been doing. While walking home from the bus stop the other day, I began to think out loud about how great it would be just to do things, and write about doing things, and do things to write about, and just write about writing. I’d love to spend my time doing that. But before I get ahead of myself, I don’t want to fall too far into the arts either. Writing for me has always been a way of getting away from the world a little but also of choosing to see the world differently. I think any kind of creative endeavour is a journey into the further regions of the human existence, but such trips only have value if you can bring back something to reality. They say to write when you’re drunk and edit when you’re sober. Perhaps that’s because, any attempt to see what’s behind the door to your soul will be explicitly prevented by the voice of logic in your head, the voice that tells you to get over it, ignore that knocking and get on with ‘life.’ It’s only when your mind is a little clouded that you can freely step into the wonderland behind the door, and what you’ll find is a little crazy. It will be raw, and intense and probably painful. Much of what is behind my door is the stuff of Kafka but still there’s something joyously liberating about going into the depths on my soul and coming back out alive with little morsels of something “other worldly”, or perhaps “quintessentially human” would be a better descriptor. But when why edit those morsels? Why let my cowardly, logic, mundane sober mind spoil the pure unadulterated beautiful of emotion and the subconscious?

Because, too much of a good thing can ruin you. Because, if you surrender yourself to the mysterious and seductive depths of your soul like artists are generally wont to do, you no longer are gaining respite and courage to face the real world, but instead you are making reality more and more terrifying, confusing and difficult to navigate. Art shouldn’t be about rejecting one view of the world for another, but of showing the world in a different light. I don’t think there anything inspiring or beautiful about the tortured artist who becomes trapped in their own works and derides the general populace who cannot access their art. Art should be made to be consumed. That’s the kind of writer I want to become. I want my journeys into wonderland to have meaning and purpose in the real world, for the morsels I manage to bring back to become insights. I don’t want to write to escape and wallow in my own sorrows, but to understand and overcome my flaws. So how do I keep my head from floating up too far into the clouds? Maybe by tying myself down with practical projects.

I want to make things, and build things, something that will make a difference in someone’s life, maybe even a few people’s lives if possible. So I’m looking for ways to make something out of everything beautiful around me. Perhaps that’s why the idea of social enterprise appeals to me so much, because it’s not about me at all, because it’s about joining people with more ability to make an impact with those who need help the most. I’m looking for a way to meet more people with amazing ideas, and ways to make those ideas a reality. In fact, the Enactus World Cup probably was an important spark in igniting this passion, so I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity I was given to go to DC and be exposed to so many amazing ideas and their results. Since then though, I have been in a bit of a impasse as to how I could pursue a career in social innovation. I thought that perhaps the best thing to do was to work hard at becoming successful in the corporate world, and that then one day I’d decide I had enough money to start making a difference. In reality though, I can’t imagine subjecting myself to years of steady, stable career prospects. I’m a little too reckless and impatient for that. So instead, I’m looking for people to work together with in starting some budding ideas for social enterprises and maybe a team to compete in The Big Issue’s Big Idea competition. I’ve also realised there’s a whole lot of grants and start-up programs so maybe its time to let some of my ideas leave my mind and expose them to the critical eye of the practical real world.

The question of “where to now?” still hangs over me, but since I asking myself that question a few weeks ago, a million different answers have appeared where previously only consulting stood. It’s daunting to be sure, but I’m really excited to see what’s around the corner.

That’s all from my ordinary life. Thanks for reading.

P.S. I hope everyone is doing well and again I really appreciate the messages you send 🙂

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