In the last entry to this blog, I finished wondering how it was that I will be remembered in the world. I actually spend a lot of time thinking about this – not in a ‘I’m going to be famous’ kind of a way, but in a ‘what am I going to be when I grow up’ kind of a way.
In this thinking, I also spend a lot of time writing. On scraps of paper, in diaries, making lists, writing on the computer. Much of my writing has a theme – what I am going to do, how I am going to do it, how I am going to be ‘the best I can be’.
As obvious as it may seem to others, it hit me just recently, that I am not just going to ‘be’, but I already ‘am’. Until now I have had some sense of ‘when I get a house’, or ‘when I start to write’, or ‘when I have a family’, that is when my life will start. That is what I am planning and waiting for, and that’s when the fun of ‘being grown up’ will begin. It occurred to me though, in the revelation, that my life has not only already begun, but it has been going for thirty years now! I feel like I have been preparing for something that is ‘somewhere, in the future’, whereas it is all really all happening right now.
My personal life, my career, my ambitions, are all being produced as we speak, either through action or inaction. My plan to buy my own little piece of land is in train, even though I am not spending my Saturdays trawling through house inspections, but I am reading and researching and saving. My ambitions as a writer need more action, and more access to readership, rather than to be furtive little secrets that only I can read!
My future from yesterday is happening right now. How I will be remembered is happening right now. There’s the opportunity for ‘someday’, for ‘future’, for ‘plans’, but there’s also the opportunity for ‘now’.
As all this insight was falling on my like a tonne of bricks, so too did an opportunity: to attend the 10thousandgirl planning workshop. It was like finding ten bucks in your jacket pocket, when you thought you only had ten cents – all the possibilities open up!
There’s little point in berating myself for the lost time, waiting for a new start, something better, or for the right time to make a resolution. Every action from yesterday is already having its consequences: what are the consequences of today’s actions going to be?
For me, I have decided the workshop is the perfect opportunity to think not only about the ‘future’, but also the present. What am I, can I, could I be doing right now? How am I going to educate myself, to make the most out of now, and ensure that I don’t look back, and be sorry?
I’m really looking forward to the workshop, to meeting other people who want to do the same thing I do – to be the best we can be, and get started straight away!
Rowena Southgate (aka ‘Ms Alchemy’) is based in Melbourne. While she would love to write as an occupation, she still needs to earn a living. This living so far has seen her work in research related to employment, in policy related to disability services, in HIV prevention in Vietnam, and also in the sexy world of communicable diseases. An acute observer and amateur photographer, Rowena likes to think twice about she sees in the world around her, and what it would take to make it a little bit different – for the better.