I have been full of wrath this week. Dingo is not a place for peaceful reflection or art, here you work hard and you get dirty, and that’s it. Even as I write this, my fingers are black with sawdust, wrinkles outlined with dirt as if charcoal sketches.
And what’s worse than the realisation that this isn’t where I belong, is that to leave I have to stay for another seven weeks to afford the next stage. The isolation and sadness to it all seems amplified in the quiet starry evenings and there’s nothing to turn to but the thin walls of the caravan, and in on myself.
I’m angry that I’m wasting my time in a place that doesn’t deserve it, humouring small-minded people and being taken advantage of. I’m letting myself care about all of it a little too much. I’m angry at him, and for living on overpriced chips and plain spaghetti. Still no car and thirty miles between us and the nearest sign of useful civilisation.
Everyone needs a purpose or they go mad, or so I’ve heard. I chose to go in search of that purpose in Central Queensland, and instead of finding something relevant and worthwhile to direct my attention to I have let the setbacks drag me down, the negatives overwhelm my view of this country, and the hopes for the next step overlay the experiences of this one.
I’ve let it become about short-term people, friendships and relationships, tried to find love in travelers, escapists, tried to translate my priorities into new surroundings and failed, tried to re-think what I want from people, how I want to shape my identity around others, and sacrificed a lot of good people in the process. I spent a lot of money and became bait to tourist traps and second year visas and instead of pursuing the truth, I am working in a timber mill being treated like an idiot, for just enough money to pay myself back the savings I wasted in the first place.
Despair is running high. Focus is what is lacking.
And once again, quite obviously, it has just taken some reading and conscious thought to reflect, to calm me again and notice what has to be done. I have been flailing and it’s been noticeable, today there has been some clarity.
My reflection has changed. Do you ever just look in the mirror and realise you look different? I’m not really sure I recognise the person looking back at me; I feel sharper, grainy. I haven’t worn make-up in months and I feel better somehow.
“For we are gods, and we are lonely, so we shall create…”
To produce something worthwhile and intentional for the outside world, you must first re-settle the boundaries of yourself; find clarity and direction in belief, in set principles. Recently I have been indecisive, spent my time consuming rubbish media, bad films, arguing and giving in for an easier time. Everything has been a battle and I am tired of it.
What is needed is to embrace the unpredictability of travel, and ride the wave once more. What I have found so far, is that Australia has no flow, no speed; There is no adrenaline to ride, no frontline to global improvement or energy to hold. This is what I hope to gain from the East most, rather than pinpointing specific cultural or social aspects; a momentum, direct feedback for each action, this is what draws me in.
Ironically there are no waves here in Australia, and I am eager to move onwards.
Recently I have been considering the idea of visiting home; wondering whether it has been long enough yet, or if it would be seen as running home with my tail between my legs. I’m not sure I should even care what it looks like to others any more.
I still hold a calm resentment for my country’s political stance, the clash between nature, youth and freedom, and process, illogical routine, and a country run by people prioritising separation and money over empathy and fairness. The truth is long gone, lost behind the desperate need for financial gain, stability and power. It seems as if only a few of us are still in pursuit of meaning.
I miss my family and friends but I know that we are still not on the same page, that we might never be. I know I will have to fight to find acceptance or understanding for my vegan lifestyle and sexuality.
My home, although romanticised in the distance, will not be cuddles and kittens, love and comfort. For the last ten years it has been a struggle and will be no different in December. I am still resolving the fact that my brother is holding himself to small ideas and shielding himself to the chaos, I am still learning that I can’t fix this for him on my own. There is still dishonesty between my mother and I, a lack of respect for her decisions, a lack of empathy and understanding on both sides I am sure. But having said all this, it might be good to have a Christmas in Wales and the time to prepare for China well. It might be good to relax for a moment and start fresh.
So. NEW PLAN.
Quit my bitchin’, realise this place and it’s problems aren’t my fight and for the next 50 days the focus needs to be on the experiences I will get to have with the money I earn from being here. Each hour spent working here is is a day in Thailand. I know it’s easier said than done but if you stop caring whether you’re progressing fast enough for other people, writing enough, reading the right books, watching the right YouTube videos; if you stop trying to impress everyone else and focus on your own happiness, things really will end up much better, of that I must find my comfort and direction. It’s very cliche but happiness can only be found within yourself, and of course this too shall pass.
So… I will work my butt off at this saw mill, and in Melbourne, and get all the things I want from this year. Meanwhile the shallow, unambitious people who inhabit this town will still be stuck here in their ignorance being drunk and miserable for generations to come, and from this time here, I will get the time to read and reflect, the freedom to travel the world, and the means to evolve and improve myself and actively push towards a better world, and that is how this fight is won.