“Delicious Ambiguity.” ― Gilda Radner
90 days (or so). 12 weeks. 3 months.
I just passed the 3 month mark serving as an Atlas Corps fellow at the Foundation for Young Australians in Melbourne, Australia. An opportune time to reflect on the last 3 months.
3 months can be a really long or really short time and at different times it has felt like both. Really long because I feel like I have amassed an incredible amount of knowledge already and really short because I also feel like I just got here. I can genuinely say that I have already grown personally and professionally in so many ways that I could never have imagined.
The first 90 days have been about learning about this amazing country and my equally amazing host organisation; how things work, the work I do and the wonderful people I work alongside but most importantly it has been about learning myself.
My journey has been quite different from other fellows serving in the US. As the first Atlas Corps fellow serving in Australia, my experience has been full of challenges and opportunities. Exciting yet terrifying. An adventure of sorts. And anyone who knows me knows I love, even crave, a good adventure. That reads more dramatically than I intended it to but it simply means I love experiences. Everything….from the mundane to the extraordinary. I want to see what lies beyond the horizon. I want to do it all, everything that matters to me. I want to bask in the sensations of living. Discover all the things, people and places that I love while I can still experience them. Desire someday, to toast to a life well lived. And as I grow older and see more of the world, that means going back and holding onto those simple lessons I learnt as a child when my grandmother once told me that the most important things in life are to live one’s life with honor always, to believe in the impossible, to reach for the farthest star, to look fear in the eye and to fight it, to question even the truth, especially the truth, and then to stand for it. It means I must actively go out of my way to open up myself to all possibilities, whatever that entails…heart break, financial ruin, even physical pain. It means delighting in the feeling of not knowing and being content with that ambiguity. It is revelling in the uncertainty of it all but knowing for sure that my journey is beautiful because it is my own. That is the physics of my quest.
I haven’t always been like this though, the younger me always played by the “rules”, always thought poems should rhyme, thought that stories should always have a happy ending but life has broken and healed me so many times that I now know that life doesn’t always follow a straight, predictable path. That this thing called life is ultimately about not knowing how the story ends, not knowing what tomorrow holds, or if it even exists but being present, here, now, giving your all, to make it a little bit more beautiful.
This new experience has been much like trying on a new pair of good heels; fun, colourful, sometimes tiring, uncomfortable in some places, but never un-exciting. I look forward to what the rest of my time as an Atlas Corps fellow with the Foundation for Young Australians because it will be an awesome journey. It has to be!