Watch this space while there’s nothing on it

It’s been a while since I’ve written on here. I suppose I thought I stopped. This was supposed to be an exploration of my time in Peru, my journey learning in South America, an exploration of that foreign identity, and now I suppose I’ve given up on getting back.

I’ve been trying to tackle redundancy and my future. I tried writing for this blog post but it seemed too negative, and not relevant to the theme.

But.

Okay. I’m not sure if I told you if I lost my job as a journalist six months or so ago in the murky months of Covid panic, but I did, and for most of that time since I’ve been stewing in the rental I leased alone. The lease ran out three weeks ago, and I decided to move to the big city…and close to the university I used to study at.

I’ve decided to return to uni. I’m 31. Maybe I might look like a confident 25 yr old but that’s neither here nor there. I’m going to study Government and International Relations because, in my months of doubt I wondered what the point of it all was. And I knew that one can never have too much education and if they have chances to further it then they should grab it. So I took an opportunity.

I want to represent Australia one day. I want to work in an embassy. But people keep assuming I’m going back to South American soon….and I’m apprehensive about that. I don’t think planning to do that is good for me.

A Colombian band I just discovered, and my favourite lyrics in my favourite song.

I’m trying hard to keep a bright face in all of it, but it’s all fitting in for the short term. I’ve found a share house near the uni, I just received the refund for my return airfare to South America that was supposed to happen in April, and I may have a sweet prospective part-time job in the new year. We shall see.

Of course, being in the city again I couldn’t resist but join Tinder again although I knew it would be a mistake because one can easily lose sense of one’s own identity by doing it. There’s also someone I like who I didn’t meet on Tinder, and although I am starting to question the future in it and the timing and all of that, I really don’t need the murkiness or distractions of Tinder to complicate my hopes. But on the other hand I need the reminder I’m my own person with no commitments and the opportunity for new experiences.

And I had a special experience. I saw a Colombiana on Tinder and I super-liked her and although she was aloof for a bit she began to realise that I really was fascinated with Latam, and knew a little bit of Spanish. This afternoon our lengthy conversation on the app was in Spanish and it’s put me in a bad mood. I’ve taken a spanish lesson each week with a Colombian teacher on Skype, but this was real life, not practice, and it made me feel that I had learned so little when it mattered.

I’m troubled by the whole thing though. I really don’t want a latina fetish, and I guess I want to move away from my south american fascination. It’s getting in the way of my life. Somehow every new conversation I’ve had in 18 months drags back to it.

And yet here we are. I’m a more colourful character. I’m passionate. Yet despite popular opinion passion is not sexy or desirable. Passion is alienating, because before you know it you’ve walked away from everything and everyone that could have been relatable.

Workaholism, comics and cartoons, and Gypsy Amy

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“Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not,” says Uncle Iroh, my favourite character from Avatar; The Last Airbender.

It is only recently that I have started watching the show properly, on Netflix, but I have been doing so in Spanish in an effort to try and learn through my own interests. I think it is helping. Everyone has been noticing some improvement; colleagues, friends, and my girlfriend.

Uncle Iroh.jpg

Yes, I have a girlfriend now, and she is Peruvian. We have basically been in a relationship since our  first date months ago  which I wrote about – but it took a while to become official. Mainly because I never intended to be in a relationship with anyone here. If anything, I wanted to gain more stories experimenting more with dating, but also…deep down, there is the inevitability of returning home to Australia, or to continue travelling the world. All things change or adapt, I suppose, but I suppose it’s just as important to let them in their own time.

I am much better a person to have someone in my life who cares for me, and vice versa.

Sometimes we speak in Spanish, but it’s mainly been through eating dinner at her family’s house and conversing with them without using English. Sometimes I have no choice given her father doesn’t know English (and yes! Meeting a traditional Peruvian father who has never met his daughter’s partner before should be its own blog post). At first I was getting really frustrated and exhausted easily, as I always was, but I am relaxing more now, and with that, enjoying it.

The other day I bought a Thor comic in Spanish…and that has increased my desire to learn (I better learn. It cost me bloody 98 soles). Now I try to learn one phrase a day if I can. Today, I wrestle with ‘No Se’ and ‘No Lo Se’ and their differences (I don’t know, and I think No Lo Se is more like…. I don’t know everything about the subject’. As in; is that true? No lo se.).

My life has mostly focused on preparing lessons for the history classes I teach, and to do so I need to learn more about the subjects. For three of the four grades the subjects have been about the Incas, and old Peruvian presidents. Learning about old political history of a foreign country in a continent across the world is fascinating, but rather difficult to gather as well given old news and facts are mainly in Spanish. I obsess other ways to improve my classes. I consider how I can improve things for my students. Ask my girlfriend how often I talk about work.

It’s sad really, given I left Australia to give up my workaholism. I thought that it was the nature of journalism that did it. But I think it’s just me. I remember ‘Gypsy Amy’ (my housemate) who gave me a tarot reading on the beach of Zorritos more than six months ago. One of the cards she picked up was ‘workaholism’. I can’t remember what she said about it though.

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I want Gypsy Amy to give me another reading. But Gypsy Amy lost her cards. I don’t know if there’s irony in this, or if this just tells us everything we need to know about Gypsy Amy’s free spirit 😉

I don’t need Gypsy Amy to tell me this though. Life seems so much easier for me when I focus all my energy on work.  Life seems so much easier feeling good about my work. And I know that’s not quite healthy.