An unemployed poet in a house of dreams

My brother recently bought a motion-sensing air freshener, which he has installed in our toilet. I keep forgetting it’s there, so when I walk in and I hear the brief hiss and puff of fragrance being shot into the air, my first thoughts are something along these lines.
“Noise. What was that? React, turn to face, raise hand and prepare to attack or defend. Wasn’t the toilet. Possible intruder through the window? Ah, no, relax. Lower hand passively to avoid startling anyone who might be watching. Just the air freshener. Again.”

In other news, I no longer work for PICYS. There are a multitude of reasons why I left, centering mainly around my anxiety, my lack of professional confidence and a loosely structured and bound organisational policy. I learned a fair bit too- not as much as I could have, but I’ve certainly grown from my experiences. I’m currently rostered to volunteer/do relief work, which I haven’t been called for yet, but PICYS still holds a huge amount of anxiety for me. I associate it with a place of stress and disaster, which isn’t healthy and will probably need working on. But for the moment I just want to get lots of distance from any work that involves dealing with people’s deep-seated problems. I want to focus on study mainly, even though it’s just a distraction. I want to get a job that is simple, honest and helpful in small ways. I don’t know whether it’s fair of me to say, but I think I may be experiencing some degree of burnout. I just don’t care about people- thinking about trying to work with them to solve their problems just makes me want to crawl into my room and lock the door for a few months. And even though it’s tremendously selfish, I really think that taking some space to get myself healthy is more important than trying to help people even though it’s killing me. As my (former) boss said, a carpenter uses tools like chisels and saws to do his work. In social work, we are the tools, and we need to take care of ourselves if our work is going to be of any high quality. We only make messes by forcing blunt tools to make delicate furniture.

This leads me to my next point. I never had a gap year, and I think my life has been worse for it. I never thought I’d want to take a year off to learn more about the world- study is all I’d known, and I figured if I could optimise my learning and get my degree quickly I could earn money sooner and start my adult life easier. Study I don’t mind a great deal, but there is so much more to life than assignments and social work. I just want to say “Fuck you” to everyone who wants something from me which I don’t want to give. I just want to experience pleasure, to enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing. My parents are asian- they place huge importance on productivity, status and money, especially in their children. I’m certain they’ll think I’m wasting my life if I’m not doing important work or important study to lead me to important places, but I just don’t care. Some people spend years of their life in drunken stupors or inebriated on every manner of drugs. I think wanting to spend a couple of months just playing video games and going for walks and being unproductive is a cheaper and slightly healthier form of reprieve. I feel like I need it. But I’m scared to take it because of the judgement. It’s socially acceptable to take months off to travel, but there’s nowhere I want to go. I just want to be me, in my space, without being intruded on.

Maybe in time I’ll just do it, leaving everything behind to go be myself. But for now, I continue to study and work sustainably as my mental health recovers bit by bit. Maybe I’m just being melodramatic and I’m having an emotional, grumpy night, and I’ll feel great tomorrow. Who knows.

In other news, the Hero Base is… I guess it’s had some setbacks. We have some difficulty getting the loan because the housemates decided by majority that they wanted to do this entirely on their own shoulders, without the help of our families. For this reason, we didn’t have enough collateral to secure a loan- if you’re going to borrow $500k, you need $500k worth of stuff to put on the line in exchange. Although I would have preferred to let others take the risk on our behalf, I respect the independence that we are achieving- we are in no one’s debt. This house will be ours, however difficult it may be.

Now the Hero Base has been converted into half business, half residence. Three stories for private living, two stories for income. One of these business stories is a workshop space being rented out to a company that makes props and technological wonders- they’ve built things like a working Tron motorcycle and a Dalek from Dr Who which they’ve sold for significant profit. They’ve also agreed to buy the land next door to build a multi-story carpark which they can use to access their floor, as opposed to walking through the front door of our home. They seem talented, and I’m looking forward to meeting them. The other business floor will be a convention space- there will be rooms for performing, for watching and gaming, for tabletop games and other such events. Adam hopes to loan this space out for conventions, and eventually to hold one himself.
We’re able to get the loan because it’s a business. With the help of a great many Government grants, we’ll have about $210k to help us on the way. The bank has agreed to give us a loan after that, and building can begin soon after. If all goes well, the house will be built by the end of the year. It seems absurd, but the team needs about 6-8 weeks from start to finish. I can’t wait to see if it’s true. Meanwhile, it all seems to hinge on whether we get the grants that we’re applying for over the next two weeks or so. Intense, right?

Well, I’ve got to get back to writing this assignment. It’s surprisingly enjoyable, though taking longer than I would like. I’m writing about the potential for poetry and story writing in a therapeutic setting, and as a result I’m writing a few bits of poetry and stories. It also got me reading some of my old poetry, and I’m surprised at the quality of my high school work which I had forgotten. Well, I think it’s good, anyway. I’ll post some up eventually, but I should probably get back to work if I am to submit this assignment tomorrow, nearly two weeks later than it was supposed to be due. Yosh, here we go!


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