Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I want two things out of my life. 1) I want my life to have meaning; 2) I want to be able to comfortably earn enough money to pay everything that needs paying and still have a bit left over at the end of the fortnight. So far I'm a far stretch from either of those goals.

I'm not a greedy person, and I'm certainly not aiming for anything unreasonable. So why is it so hard? Why do I keep stuffing up so badly along the way? I have all these dreams and aspirations, but only rarely does anything positive come out of them.

I'll be 24 in 3 months. By the time my mum was 24 she had a 5yr old child (me), was working a dead end manual labour job to pay the bills, and usually didn't quite manage to pay them. But she was independent, she made things happen, and she was reasonably happy. She's still pretty much in the same position now, except now she's a single mum of 3 kids under the age of 12, and still working labourous jobs she hates and never being able to stretch the money far enough.

I look at others my age, those I went to school with. Around 95% of those I know about have partners and/or kid(s). Those that don't have steady jobs that they've been working in since not long after leaving school. I look at the jobs they have - beauty therapist, miner, police officers, retail assistants, childcare worker. These are the jobs these people wanted, and they went out and got them. Me - I wanted to be a high school maths teacher. I dropped out after 18 months of that course. I was failing because I hadn't been going to the classes. I couldn't handle those social situations. The following year I ended up start a primary ed degree, and loved it. Decided being a primary teacher was definitely for me. Then I got introduced to the world of research, and decided that is the career path I want to follow. I also realised that no matter how much I may want it I can't hack the school staff environment. So now I'm a qualified primary teacher but research is the career I'm pursuing. But then I wonder whether I've got it right this time, or if it'll only last until something else strikes my fancy?

Which brings me back to where I started... I know it's a financially viable option, but will a career in research contribute to giving my life meaning, and making a difference in this world? Something to contemplate further another day.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ridiculously misplaced jealousy

It was my little sister's first day of high school today. She's the next youngest under me. She did awesomely. She woke mum up at 6.50am screaming "it's ten to 8, I'm going to be late!!", but then when the time came she very confidently got on the bus, said hello to the bus driver and sat with a group of kids and started talking. From what she said she had a fantastic day. She loves her new teachers, already has a large group of friends to hang out with both in class and at lunch time, and managed the two-bus trip home without any worries. She was beaming and bouncing with energy when she got home.

I'm so proud of her and so happy that she is so confident and sure of herself, and so socially capable. I'm really really glad it has been such a great start for her. I love my sister to bits and always want the best for her. But part of me is incredibly jealous of her. I know how ridiculous it is for a 23 year old to be jealous of an 11 year old, but it's true. My entire first year at high school was absolute hell. From day one I dreaded it. Teasing, bullying, verbal and physical abuse, being the 'weirdo', being put in the 'special class' for those that had 'social problems'. That year was absolute hell. But my little sister just breezes through it.

It's strange. I don't wish that I was like her, it's not that kind of jealousy. I'm happy with who I am. I accept that I will never fit into the 'normal' category but I also know that I am a good person, and am very successful in my own way. But a horrible part of me feels like, why should she get it all? Why does she get to be so 'normal' and fit in so easily, and be the one that everyone adores? If she can have that why can't I have it too? Mentally I realise how pathetic these thoughts are, but I can't help feeling this way.

Every since my sister was born, we all knew she was 'special', in a really good way. She was the one everyone wanted - her dad's first child, her grandparent's first (and only) granddaughter. She is talented in music and art, and academically gifted also. She's the sort of kid that everyone loves and gets along with straight away. She really is a great kid.

On the other hand there's me... mum got pregnant with me when she was 18, to a druggo who beat her up. After I was born he would take all the money to buy drugs, and mum had nothing left to feed herself or pay for baby formula for me. Eventually my grandfather (Pa) realised this and dragged her and me out of there. She went back at one point... but when the druggo threw a bookcase down and it nearly crushed me, she decided to leave. That's the story I've pieced together over the years... how accurate it is I will probably never know. Apparently he kidnapped me at some point also. I don't remember him at all, but I always knew about being kidnapped, even before I was told about it. Must be one of those things that stick with you I suppose. Anyway, point is I wasn't exactly planned, expected, or even wanted. My Pa was the only one happy about me being born. I really miss him.

I'm the screw up, the weird kid who never fit in, and never really tried to. Even now, I can't hold down what my family consider to be a 'normal' job (fast food, customer service etc) due to my poor social skills and social anxiety. But they don't get that. They think I'm just not trying. They don't understand how hard it is for me, how much energy and mental energy it takes for me to do the things that come to others so naturally and easily. Things that are so natural and easy to my sister. She's a lucky kid. She's the one who will go far, if this underclass family doesn't bring her down first.

I know that I'm very capable and successful in my own ways, in my fields of expertise. It would be nice though if my family could understand that, even just a little bit.

Normal is overrated. It's unfortunate so few others see it that way.
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