She climbs on her soap-box and clears her throat….

It seems I ruffled a few feathers with my last blog post. (I guess that means that there’s people reading what I write – which made me smile!) I don’t write this blog to provoke, you know. Some of you might find that strange to believe – I provoke so much, but this is not one of those times. I write it to reflect, mostly. Sometimes to rant, sometimes to yarn. But a good thing came out of this horribleness. I got a chance to reflect on what I write, and why I write – all good things to do, I think. I talked about this to a few friends, and someone I trust summed it up really succinctly…. He said something like “Well, you’ve written something like you would put in a letter, but it’s where everyone can see it. And then someone has written their reaction to it, and then let you know. And it’s all instantaneous. And it’s just the way things are these days.” Actually, he said it in a much better way than that, but it made me do some more thinking again.

So before I go on, I want to clarify a few things.

  1. What I write here are my opinions. Not facts. Not judgements. Just opinions. And they belong to me.
  2.  I understand that you mightn’t have the same opinions as me.
  3.  Number 2 is ok by me.
  4.  If the world was full of Rachels it would be noisy and exhausting. And there would be too much hair.

There are various things that make me uncomfortable in life, and I will probably write about them. Inequality of education is one of them. I try to do something about this – but that is my choice. It doesn’t make my life any better or worse than others. I do not look for your approval. I will try to challenge you if I think you are wrong, but I do not judge you. If you judge me, that is your problem. Does my choice make you uncomfortable? It isn’t meant to. I am doing what I do in the education system because I love it, and am good at it, and I got that opportunity.

The way artists are undervalued is another thing that makes me uncomfortable. All artists – not just musicians. Sometimes I feel like I live in a subset of the community. Due to the choice I have made to be an artist I have given things up. Lots of money is one of them. ‘Normal’ working hours is another. Job security. Superannuation. Excellent mental health (I do not write that last little sentence lightly.) But I have got lots of other good things from my choice. I meet excellent people. I am creative in my decision making. And I am very happy in what I do. Given my time again, I would choose what I have done again. I do not regret this (well, sometimes when the car rego is due I do….) decision. And I do not look at others and judge them if they are a doctor, or an accountant, or a hairdresser, or a lawyer (maybe that last one. But it depends what sort of lawyer they are….). Really? I don’t really care what you do with your life, as long as you are a decent human being.

I do feel uncomfortable about the ‘excess’ in our communities. Big cars, big houses, lots of unnecessary packaging around vegetables, huge amounts of ‘stuff’. But if you choose to have this, then that is your business. It’s just I don’t. I have come to this discomfort by looking at the people who don’t have this stuff – and this difference is one I don’t like much. But it is not an attack on the people who do have lots of stuff. (I remind you of point one I wrote earlier…)

I am not angry as I write this, and I hope that my words don’t come across that way. I am not sad either, or rueful. I am proud of what I do, and who I am. I do not expect anyone else to be measured by the standards by which I measure myself. And I am too busy measuring me to measure you.

(She gets down from the soap box and goes to eat her breakfast…)