Self Portrait in Three Colours

Archive for January 2011

I am feeling more and more compelled to write at the moment so I won’t hold back, I’m on a good roll!

Paul & Andrew came up to our place for a BBQ today. It was nice having them out as they’re great guys with a good sense of humour, so lots of fun to muck around with. We met them at the top of the hill and hauled our stuff, including an eski, three bags of ice and all the food and drink, all the way down the driveway (stupid thing isn’t finished yet so we can’t drive down). Got very boggy as it was raining this morning so we ended up about three inches taller by the end of the walk because the soil had stuck nice and tightly to our shoes. We had a little look around, got the fire going, and had a really nice BBQ lunch.

As we were finishing our second and third sausages, Aaron said, “Shall we just go for a wander up the back hill?” We were all up for that so we ventured over to our little forest of silver wattles to find our way down to the old bridge over the creek. Aaron and I were absolutely blown away when we got there and saw how much they have grown in such a short space of time. These little guys shot up almost right before our eyes last year, and it doesn’t seem like long ago that we were marvelling at the fact that some of them were as tall as Aaron. Well, now they’re about twice or three times that size and really do resemble a forest, except they’re all about 10cm apart and you have to push and duck your way through the branches to get through. I’ll post a photo once I get them up, it’s just incredible.

Somehow we made it down to the creek (after navigating through the silver wattles and climbing over and around fallen branches and shrub), tentatively crossed the creek on the narrow metal bar that is really all that’s left of bridge, and resumed much more bush bashing before getting up onto some clearer land. We just could not believe the amount of growth since we had been there last – it is now close to impossible to maneuver through and we only did it because we didn’t want to go back the way we just came.

We found the spot where Aaron and Paul once camped (and where Aaron and myself had a picnic with his lovely dog Barney back before the fires) surprisingly easily. The dead log that always ran across the ground near that area was still there, but instead of being completely bare as it used to be, it was completely covered by new growth shooting up from the ground beneath it. You could hardly even see the log, it was incredible. Another amazing example of the regrowth in the last few months because the last time we were there, none of that existed.

Heading back to the tent and BBQ area I was a little skeptical about how we were going to make it back across. We knew we didn’t want to go back the way we came so instead we found an area of bush to jump down into that ran back to the creek, where there was a log that we could easily cross. In hindsight it may have been better to go back the way we came after all! It was absolutely the thickest section we’d come across so far and I really had no idea how we were going to make it through to the creek. The trees were twice our height and only centimeters apart, and there were wombat holes all over the place that we had to make sure we didn’t fall in. Anyway, we did make it, but not without numerous cuts and scratches on our legs and a growing fear of snakes. It was almost a relief to get back to the campsite (but secretly I really enjoyed the whole experience :P)

It was an interesting little wander nonetheless!

Anyway, I’m fairly stuffed. We’re at Aaron’s mum’s place down the road right now, but I won’t be surprised if I’m asleep in the tent within the next hour (despite it being 6pm and bright as day).



Why did you start your blog?

I started this blog for a number of reasons:

1) To serve as a personal outlet for my thoughts and feelings (and all that other gooey stuff)

2) To preserve the past and keep memories intact

3) To revive the enjoyment I once found from writing and being creative.

4) I’ve had other blogs in the past (DeadJournal, GreatestJournal, LiveJournal etc) but I felt like I needed a new place to grow and stretch my legs, and WordPress has been a great place to start!

I’m hoping this challenge will help me reach these goals!

So I was just trawling the front page when I stumbled across the PostADay Challenge… and I’m officially intrigued. I think it could be just what I’m looking for.

That being said, I think I’ll just sign up for the PostAWeek challenge because I’m already trying to take photos every day and I don’t want to bog myself down in commitments. So once a week (or more, depending on how I feel) it is!!

Stay tuned.. (god that’s lame)

A few more things that are on my mind tonight:

– Today I felt very comfortable wearing clothes that I have not felt comfortable in for months. It is a small yet significant achievement to have reached, even though I’ve been lighter and still felt uncomfortable in similar clothes before. To put it out there, I am now right on 67kg. Yes, I still have a fair whack to work off before I’ll be happy with where I am, and yes, I had planned to have lost more by this time already (I blame it on Christmas), BUT the important point here is that I am losing weight and I am feeling healthier, and I am getting fitter. And to be honest this is a lifestyle change, not a short-term scurry to drop as many kilos as I can, and I have been feeling just awesome in every way over the past couple of weeks. I have loved our bike rides and I loved playing golf with Aaron and Mum & Dad the other day, and I really enjoy the EA Sports Active More Workouts Wii game – it’s amazing how exhausted and sweaty I can get after a 20 minute session on that thing! So it’s all positive and I’m happy for the weight to take a little longer to come off, as long as it does eventually.

– As positive as I am about doing a community services qualification this year and studying from home, a little part of my mind is still saying “Are you sure? Are you doing the right thing here?”, which is fair enough. There are aspects of uni that have been fantastic this year – very enjoyable. The people are generally really great and I’ve loved being in an ensemble and playing music. But I’ve gotta keep thinking of the future and not just the here and now. Plus there’s a lot to be improved in the Monash music program (namely the practice room situation, the all-too classical approach they take towards the jazz program, the pointless essays) and I think it’s very easy to forget those things and glorify the whole degree there. I guess we’ll see how I feel throughout the course of this year.

– Aaron and I went with Mum and Chris to the Heide Museum of Modern Art (or something like that) today. Lovely place with a cafe situated amongst natural bush and parkland. We had a coffee in the grass under the shade of a big tree and then went to have a look at the drawing exhibition. Now I don’t really get the whole art thing, and there was no exception today – 70% of the art either looked like scribble or consisted of words written on a page in the style of a 10-year-old, and it sparked a big discussion in the car on the way home on what people consider art and how you could really consider anything to be art (which is absolutely true… one of the pieces was a scrunched up piece of grey paper.. sorry, going a little too far for me!). That being said, I still enjoyed looking at the pieces because it felt like I was opening up my mind to this new and separate part of the world that so many people participate in and yet that I do not understand. It really makes me think that there are so many things in this world that I will never know or take part in, and yet there are thousands, if not millions, of people who invest their entire lives in these things. It’s the same as a non-musician trying to comprehend how to read and interpret music, and yet it is something that has been my entire life since before I can remember. It’s a mind-blowing concept. So I’m glad I was able to witness these pieces of “art”, even if I do disagree about their legitimacy.

– We are watching the cricket tonight, Aus vs England, 1 day match taking place in Sydney. I’m actually only glancing up every now and again but its comforting to have it on and I do actually really enjoy watching it if it’s an exciting game. It’s a very relaxing way to spend a Sunday night.

– There’s a few other things I could talk about right now but I think my writing energy has been officially sapped. I’m sure if I did this more often I’d get some chops back but I think I’ll have to work up to it! 2 posts in one day is not a bad start though πŸ™‚ I’m off to explore some blogs!

Argh, I need to be writing more! So many things are happening in my life at the moment that I just don’t think to do it. Not that we’re busy every second of the day (far from it) but I just don’t seem to do it. It’s silly because I love the creativeness that comes with spilling words onto a page (webpage that is.. haha…) Maybe this year I’ll have more time!

Which leads me to my mid-life crisis and its potential solution. The past few months I’ve been feeling a little itchy, a little nervous, about my chosen career path and my current pursuit of a degree. There’s no way I can do this music course full time again this year.. firstly, because things will be happening with the property and the house this year and I want to be as involved as possible in the whole affair, and secondly, it drove me crazy only working three hours a week last year. I missed teaching, I missed having the headspace to devote to the kids who really deserve it. So the original plan was to go back and complete the music course part-time, which means that I would have to be at uni for at least another 3-4 years just finishing one degree. It hasn’t felt right but I really thought I had no other option.

Until a few weeks ago, when I was thinking hard about the whole situation, and it dawned on me that I hadn’t really thought about any other career than the one I’m currently pursuing (pursuing? no, I’m already teaching! I’ve already got my career!) And as un-humble as this sounds, I have always gotten pretty decent grades in school and could really be doing basically anything I wanted to. As much as I love teaching, the career itself is extremely unstable, as instrumental music teachers are not seen as “real” teachers, and therefore while we have a great hourly rate, we can’t ever get on contract so only get paid for the hours we do. No annual leave, no sick leave, no maternity leave, no benefits. No contract also means we can get laid off at any time. It would be fine if it was only one of us having to deal with this, but both Aaron and myself are music teachers and that’s a little scary for the future. So brainstorming time ensued.

I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of thinking and I think I’ve decided I’d like to go into community services. It’s not an “intellectual” job per-se, but it’s a stable job if you’re working with, say, council, and it gives me the greatest of satisfactions to know that I could be making a real difference to people who’ve got it tough. We’ve dealt with a few great people from council and the like after this whole bushfire ordeal, and they have given us more comfort and support than they could possibly know. And I like the fact that I could be doing the same thing.

I also like the fact that “community services” can mean a whole range of things, which keeps my options open and potentially offers variety. Helping homeless kids, planning community events, working with the elderly… just to name a few.

So I’ve found an online diploma where I can work at my own pace and can complete between 1 and 3 years if I like. There’s a requirement to complete 240 hours of work placement at sometime throughout the course, which is exciting, and the rest of the assessments etc I can do in the comfort of my own home. This excites me to no end! It means I can still work 2 days or so a week teaching and spend the rest of the time studying. I’ll defer my music course for a year, get this done, and then I’ll have a qualification without the pressure to find a job straight away (because I can keep teaching). If I really want to go back to music, I’ll finish my degree, do a dip ed, and then I’ve got plenty of experience and variety under my belt and I’ve got the option of, say, going into classroom music teaching (more stable but less enjoyable). But I’ve also got the option of going into council or DHS or whatever and doing something different. See? Keeping my options open here!

I know this sounds long-winded and ramble-y, but believe me when I say we’ve done a lot more talking about it than what’s written on this page. I’m quite sure I’m doing the right thing, but if I’m not, then I’ve only lost a year making sure. It gives me hope for our future and our (currently fictional but probably one day perfectly real) family.

Enough out of me for tonight! Tomorrow our friend Paul and his friend Andrew are coming out to the property and we’re having a BBQ. Really looking forward to it because they are both great guys to spend time with, and it will be nice to be out there again (we haven’t been out there nearly as much as we should have these last couple of weeks).

I will strive to be back here again very soon!

I'm Monica - a 21 year old Aussie girl trying to understand life. Teaching music and studying to be a primary school teacher. Blogging about everything and nothing!


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