Friday, December 9, 2011

Kangaroo Roadkill


I watched the sunset through the window on the train ride home. Yellow faded into orange and then purple: it was beautiful. The train was crowded but I didn’t mind. I was listening to music in my headphones and enjoying the setting sun. Life is good.

 I was coming from an interview for a job bartending in a nightclub. The interview seemed to go well, but they didn’t give me to job on the spot. However, I left confident that I had made a good impression and done all that I could do to get the job. They said that they would call me by Monday either way, and if I don’t get the job, well, then it simply wasn’t meant to be.

That isn’t to say that I believe in predetermination, or a set-in-stone fate. However, the universe does tend to conspire to push us in one direction or another. This may seem paradoxical, but I am often able to find peace by answering ‘yes’ to a ‘this-or-that’ question. Just because our logical process can’t simultaneously grasp the truth of two seemingly dichotomous viewpoints doesn’t mean that there is not truth on both sides. I’ve been sitting here for fifteen minutes searching for a simpler, more succinct way to explain this, but so far have not been able to think of one. I will continue to search for means to express the ineffable, but in the meantime, please allow me to digress.

I saw my first Kangaroo in person. Unfortunately, it was dead, on the side of the road, and being eaten by a scavenger bird. Still, it was an experience that I won’t soon forget. I was in a moving truck driving to a job about an hour north of the city of Melbourne. It was amazing at how quickly the scenery changed from an urban landscape to seemingly endless tracts of yellow grass and farmland. Even though I was working, I still tried to absorb the landscape like an adventurer on holiday in a foreign land. While the landscape wasn’t exceptionally beautiful (as a matter of fact in reminded me of west Texas,) this mindset helped me to turn a mundane drive into a life-long memory.

I am greatly enjoying working for the moving company. It is physically demanding, but not overly so. I like the people who I am working with, and we are able to have a good laugh while we are working. Or, to use a bit of the non-American English I’ve picked up, we have a good crack whilst we work. My co-workers consist of an international community of locals, expats, and travelers, and the conversation usually sheds some interesting light on some foreign culture.

 In addition to the myriads of differing words between the various manifestations of the English language, I also learn quirky little tidbits about cultural differences. For example, a great deal is imported to Australia, from knick-knacks to cultural items such as movies and TV shows. However, the culture that does spring from the land down under takes on it’s own form. The hip-hop produced by Aussies is overwhelmingly political, the slang that they use is completely unique, and, in my opinion, they television shows they produce are atrocious. I must admit, I must admit my American upbringing makes me incredibly biased. Clearly, the TV production here is of lower production value, but also the Australian sense of humor differs from my own sense of humor in such a way that I don’t even appreciate the good bits in their shows.

So, again I am falling into the routine of a semi-normal life. I have been exercising through my current job, as well as becoming more regular in my Qi Gong and meditation practices.  Furthermore, I am looking out a few yoga and dance classes to supplement my not-so-mundane routine. I might be headed off into the outback to do some regional work (to qualify for a second year visa in the country) in the near future, and I want to get the most from my time in the city. Sometimes I have to remind myself what I really want out of life: happiness. Only you can walk your own journey through life, and only you know which roads will make you happy. For me, it’s a struggle to remain mindful and conscious of my priorities. Trust me, taking the time to think about these things is well worth it: it pays dividends. I'm always happier when I take the time to align my life with what my ideals.

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