New home, new environment, kids happy in school, Lyn studying, everybody happy.
All we've needed to complete the sea change was for me to find a new job.
Let's be honest, working for the Tax Office was only the base line-- it was drudge work, more often than not, soulless and uninspiring, and whilst I might have liked the majority of people I worked with, it was no longer enough-- a 75 minute train journey each way to a workplace that was in great danger of becoming just another rostered call centre was not how I envisaged my working life. I liked the people, but the work and the infrastructure has become increasingly restrictive, increasingly unskilled and droneworthy. Something had to go. I had to go.
I've been looking. And I've found.
From tomorrow, I'll be the Community Development Officer in the Arts & Culture Office of the City of Rockingham. Ill be working with a team whose responsibility it is to enable artists within the local area to access the range of skill sets, grants, and busines structures available, to help them to become self-sustaining. I'll also be part of a team making sure the public art within the region continues to reflect and emphasis the values and attrributes of the City.
Cool job, but the title will look terrible on a t-shirt.
I grew up in Rockingham, at least, I lived there between the ages of 8 and 21. When we moved there, in 1979, it was a town of 26 000 people, connected to the somewhat-distant state capital by a bus service that can only be described as sparse. Now there's over 100 000 people in the area, it has its own University campus, and is a large part of a conurbation that stretches to Clarkson 100km to the North and Mundurah 30km to the South. Art flourishes within the region, particularly public art. It's a vastly changed place from the one I left 17 years ago, but then, I'm a vastly changed person.
The truth is, I'm 39 now. I've settled into the town, and house, in which I hope to spend at least the next 20 years as my children grow up and move into their own adult lives, and grandchildren begin to arrive on the scene. I want to enjoy my life. I want to create art, and be with my family. I want the space and time to become the successful artist I've wanted to be for a decade. To support these goals, I want to be at a job that rewards me and doesn't take 75 minutes just to get home from.
It's taken me until almost 40, but I might finally have found the final piece in my puzzle-- a job that satisfies me and gives me the chance to do something concrete in a field of endeavour that means something to me. Time will tell, but maybe, just maybe, I'm set.