When I was 12 I wanted to be an archaeologist, I wanted to go to Egypt and did up mummies and ancient tombs. To this day I have yet to come across another person who wanted to become that. But if memory serves correct, one year later I had wanted to become a writer. In grade 8 we had this assignment to understand ourselves. I remember a question asking ‘How do I learn things’, my answer it takes me a couple of times to learn it. Meaning I often don’t get it on the first go. Though that only applies for some things. Another question was ‘What did I want to be when I grow up?’ My answer a writer, that’s the earliest time I remember that I wanted to write stories. I don’t think anyone else in my grade wanted that and throughout high school I didn’t think I could be a writer, as I had come from a rural area and writing wasn’t a ‘real job’.
But near the end of grade 12 I went to the guidance counsellor for the first time to look at my options. After some tests that I didn’t like the answers for, as I was both creative and analytical which opposites are apparently. He suggested to me journalism – I didn’t like it, to me it meant being shot at. Though I knew it was just an excuse journalism didn’t appeal to me, I liked creative writing more. He was the one the affirmed my desire to be a writer, as looking back it never occurred to me that it was a possible reality. It’s a bit of backward thinking, but in my opinion rural towns are like that, never seeing much progress as the world lies in cities. And because I lived there that rubbed off on me. Since attending and finishing university I realise that I can achieve my dream and not only that but I have the tools within and around me to do so.
Whenever I tell people that I want to be an author their usual first response is ‘really?’ Like they weren’t expecting that response, well what response were you expecting, something dull and boring? I had classmates going off and do accounting, law, business and medicine. Right now they are ether getting their first degree related jobs or in some cases abandoning that career path altogether and getting a random job. And what about me? I got a very specific degree qualification that will not get a job in an office, but I got to do a degree that I enjoyed, challenged me, definitely prepared me for rejection of my craft out in the ‘real world’. It is now solely up to me to sink or swim. In my last post I talked about Sara Skinner, if I had been in her place I wouldn’t have any confidence in succeeding as an author, but know I have confidence in quantative spades, I have a realistic grasp of what I have to do and according to one teacher (USC was a small uni) I have improved in the three years since I began. I can look at my work a say not good enough and make it better, before I wouldn’t have been able to do that.
The other day my Mum and I were talking about my years at uni and how they were finally over, she mentioned how if I hadn’t gone I’d have all this money in that bank and a car, well that wasn’t the road I drove down. I drove down the one where I lived on Youth Allowance payments, with top ups from Mum and Dad, public transport and 63% of my income going to rent (it took me like 5 minutes to work that out, I have forgotten basic maths skills since leaving high school, my bad for not maintaining them). Plus looking for a job that doesn’t pay cash to uni students is for some reason very difficult find. Also note that hospitality jobs in Brisbane only pay about $12.5 to $13.5 an hour in cash, while on the books ones pay up to $22. I hate working hospitality jobs, the hours are late and I rely on public transport. Also the work is physically tiring after being on my feet for hours I then have to clean up, I come out at the end of night sweaty and exhausted. I want to go into retail, easy set hours, air-con as well, but all the jobs on seek.com say that successful applicants will need work experience. I can’t get a job that I want because I need experience to get the job I need. Sometimes I feel the only job experience I have is dealing with Centerlink. I can see myself falling down unless I straighten myself up.