Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Worries

Dear No One in Particular,

I'm returning to the blogosphere bearing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. I'm a college graduate. You have no idea how wonderfully bizarre it feels to type those words. In fact, I don't think it's fully sunken in yet; I've been so preoccupied with my trans-Pacific move that I haven't had time to really absorb the fact that I no longer have to do homework! My nights are free! I can read for pleasure! ...at least until grad school, which is still a rather nebulous option.

I was going to write up my thoughts on the whole graduation process and what it feels like to be a new graduate, especially a new graduate in such a rough economy, but I've decided against it. The whole thing would be so mentally- and emotionally-masturbatory and consist me gazing at my navel, which is fun for no one. Instead, I'm making the conscious decision to change the course of my life. (This is not to say that the following post won't involve some navel-gazing. I'll try to keep it to a minimum.)

I live entirely in my head. I'm rather introverted and enjoy mostly solitary activities. I tend to space out a lot, daydreaming of alternative futures or working over past events. I live in a world of words and thoughts, rather than a world of action, and for the most part, I've been pretty happy with this. However, I've grown increasingly tired of working things out in my head. Every sentence, every decision is a complex puzzle to be solved -- which often leaves me in the dust of opportunities that have flown by while I pondered every possible outcome.
I've decided I'm going to follow my intuition more; I'm going to stop over-thinking every little thing and just start doing. I've been told time and again that my gut instinct is my best option, and it's high time I start utilizing it.

A couple of months ago, my wanderlust kicked into high gear. My parents are big on travelling, so I feel that the itch in my feet comes from them. My mother is especially bad when it comes to impromptu travels: she moved to America 30 years ago just because she wanted a change.
Anyway, I woke up one morning yearning for a change of pace, but without a particular goal in mind. I tumbled countries and cities around in my mind, but couldn't really commit to one place to visit. I'm not a huge fan of "hopping" when I travel; I like to stay in one place and really get into the feel and rhythm of the culture. After a few weeks of hemming and hawing (Peru? Puerto Rico? Prague? Turkey?), a word/a name/ a country flashed into my mind.


I'd never had any inclination to visit the country before. I mean, I wouldn't have turned down a vacation if it were offered, but there were so many other places I had on my top ten list ... so why Australia all of a sudden?
A couple of days later, I was reading a blog when Australia popped up. The original post had nothing to do with the country, but someone in the comments mentioned that their time in Australia was just incredible, and they longed to revisit. I thought nothing of it.
A couple of weeks after that, I purchased a magazine only to find an 8 page spread on the Australian outback.
A couple of days after that, a long-awaited book arrived. A chapter in, the author mentioned going to grad school in Australia, and how it was the best 2 years of her life.
A week later, a news program mentions Australia.

It seems the universe was trying to tell me something.

Going on a dream vacation after graduating is something of a tradition in my family, and I've been so lucky and so grateful that this has been possible. My mother and I talked briefly about what my grand graduation present would be this time around. She was planning on sending me to South America, but had forgotten all of her brochures and travel information. Sensing an in, I mentioned the country that had been appearing in my dreams. Apparently, a good chunk of my extended family has immigrated to Australia and have recently purchased homes in Melbourne. Here's where it gets freaky, folks: I really, really want to visit Melbourne -- not Sydney (though I'm sure it's lovely), but Melbourne.

I've spent too long thinking about what this could all mean, but I've decided to stop worrying over it like a string of prayer beads or a rabbit's foot. I'm grabbing my life by the reins and steering it toward Australia. The universe has put a hand at my back and is pushing me down under. I don't know why, but I do know that I need to go. Something is waiting for me there. I'm scared as all hell as to what it could be, but so excited to see what it is.

Ok, enough about me.
I've kept up with blogs as best as I can, but what's going on in your lives? Good news, bad news, weird news -- I'd love to hear it!

Also: I think I've finalized what's going to go into my care packages for my lovely readers. Things are finally starting to fall into place on my end, meaning that I suddenly have time for things like visiting the beach! And reading! And, of course, sending out little packages of my affection and aloha for the people who make me feel like I'm saying something worth listening to. Watch this space, dolls -- I'll be asking for your addresses soon.


[all photos: mine; Honolulu, HI, May 2009]


Diana said...

these pictures totally go with the story somehow, the feet moving, trying to discover, to the lights suddenly becoming aware...perfect.

it seems like no matter where you go, i hope you have an amazing time. plus a lot of the bloggers we know of in the bloggie world are from melbourne- i know you can find out info from them as well.

btw, congrats on your graduation!! you deserve it!
not to be nosy, but what about you and the boy? is he coming with or is this self discovery?

amanda said...

Thanks on all accounts!

The Boy will be coming with me. He's been really great and understanding about this whole thing.

Brittney said...

Wow! That's totally awesome. I'm excited for your graduation, and also your plans to have adventures. I have rellies down under myself, and plan on living and teaching there for a few years... Though my Uncle just sent me an email filled with photographs of spiders eating birds. BIRDS. So I'm maybe rethinking that. Slightly. But still! Excitement! You'll have to tell me all about it.
I love your posts, and your photographs are wonderful.

Vanessa said...

Congratulations on your graduation! That's so exciting-- I can't even imagine. I'm sure you'll have an amazing time in Australia. I hope that you'll take lots of pictures of kangaroos and echidnas and the like to share with us :)

Seriously. You must.

mighty jo said...

congratulations on graduating!
i got goosebumps reading about your sudden urge to see australia. that sounds perfect. i love to follow my instinct & go where the wind blows me. being trapped in wisconsin--i will think of you as you follow your dream!