Dad forwarded an email to me recently. “Fw: Job application – lesson to learn.” The first line read – “This is a powerful message in our modern society. We seemed to have lost our bearings & our sense of direction.” He’s been sending me not so subtle hints since our last conversation, hoping to nudge some sensibility into me.
“What do you mean you’re not going to apply for a job before getting back?!?” I heard him choke on the phone. His jaw must have set a flock of birds aflight when it hit the ground. I imagine a trickle of sweat falling onto the receiver, sending shockwaves down the spine of every dole bludger within a 10km radius. Like every parent, he was naturally panic stricken when I told him I had no idea what I wanted to do upon my return to Melbourne; that I have yet to apply for jobs and am simply going to “wing it“.
But its not just my dad who probes me on my future plans. Friends, relatives, ex-colleagues, strangers at BBQ parties and random twitter tatters are just as concerned, if not, curious.
“What are you going to do when you get back?”
“@Sky_bambi You’ve got work lined up?”
As a non-planner, I’m seen as an incredibly irresponsible individual for some reason, void of ambition and a flashy car. Perhaps its my happy-go-lucky attitude and my (as dad would describe) “lack of hardship”, that has cultivated my nonchalant nature in dealing with any future plans. Perhaps I’m just not keen on getting caught up in the rat race, or saving enough for this and that to impress so and so. I might be taking everything for granted and who knows? I may do it all right, have my 5 year plan in check and still be left hungry one day; lonely and miserable in a tiny one bedroom apartment, slumped on a couch soaked in cat pee.
Despite all the concerned looks, queries and confused head tilts, I remain stubborn and oblivious. Only thing I can envision myself doing when I get back is my first trip to Vic Mart for Oysters, rearranging my room and a quick trip to Ikea to replace a wobbly 3 year old shelf. I might continue freelancing, go back to working at bars, join an agency or finally take up a design course – I don’t know, and to be completely honest, I like not knowing. It works well for me – deciding on a whim to ditch plans (or not plan at all) and do something completely different, resulting in a string of unanticipated fulfilling experiences.
I’ve watched sun sets without any agenda. Traveled to cities without maps. Got on a train to where ever. How did you think I ended up here in the first place? I packed my life into a suitcase and a trolly bag for a 3 month stint that lasted 3 years. In that time span, I travelled around Asia, got lost in Camden market, fell in love with an unlikely soulmate, ate crickets by the Mekong river, posed as a hair model, had my first illustration published, was reunited with my biological mother – all of which would never have happened if I didn’t get on a one way ticket to come-what-may.
All I’m planning for now is good times, fond memories and a stroke of serendipity.