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I’ve figured it out: I’m both a literalist and an idealist at heart. Quite a tricky combination really.

There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about things, is there? Or is there? Maybe one can be too passionate? Yeah, I think that’s me. Generally giving a shit about everything in my life and potentially a little too obsessively.

Sometimes that’s okay, other times it’s hilarious in retrospect. Like, how after my tram incident last Friday, I woke up surly and stressed out but didn’t once consider not going to my sister’s birthday lunch that day.

After all, I was bringing the cake.

And a gorgeous cake it was, too. A Mississippi Baked Cheesecake, which just meant it was covered in chocolate, with mountains of chocolate icing on top.

Gorgeous day, last Saturday. A true summery Melbourne day, not a cloud in sight and of course that meant a huge increase in traffic heading down the coast, where I was going.

Not so helpful for a crabby and nervous person post a mid-tram-almost-accident but ah well…

Of course, it wasn’t going to be as simple as that. Nope, had to almost end up in a three car pileup where I would’ve been the meat in the sandwich. On a freeway no less, where the cars in front of me came to a dead stop (seemingly for no reason). Even with the distance between me and the car in front, I was worried that the car behind me wasn’t going to stop.

So I took evasive action, hitting the brakes hard then lifting my foot several times to make it clear I was braking. Luckily they got the message. But it was a little more than I could take! Especially when I realised the beautiful Mississippi Baked Cheesecake had hit the floor (hadn’t thought to put it there in the first place). Yup… it was smooshed.

You could say I was a little distraught at this point. I still needed to pick up my sister’s present. Also, I had this idea I needed to buy a second cake (perhaps just a little one) that looked okay for the photos. Crazy I know, but I guess I wanted to fix the cake, fix the two scares in two days and try not to spoil my sister’s birthday.

All this while trembling like a leaf. No wonder people were surprised to discover I’d been living with PTSD! All that time I was so busy trying to keep the outsides together, the insides never stood a chance. Heh…

Surprisingly, my family were actually really nice to me when I turned up looking distressed, accepting a beer just thirty seconds after arriving and bursting into tears when I tried to explain the two cakes. And there were multiple niece hugs, which always helps.

Did a lot of sleeping on Sunday. And eating. And it was hot, so I did little else. Which was probably a good thing.

Then, today I discovered that my workplace isn’t quite as idealistic as I’d been led to believe. I mean, it’s still a great place to work and all. But I was advised that the end-products we’re creating are third priority behind managing our external and internal networks to ensure we get future funding.

So it is about the money in the end. Sure, they create good digital learning resources, but of course (doh!) the organisations they create it for are the bill payers and end-clients. And the company I work for is entirely dependent on their funding.

Which is… reality. But no one had explained to me (until today) that my main priorities for these projects needed to be turned on their heads. Really, I’m delivering future funding for more digital resources. Which are in great demand and they’re important. But hopefully we aren’t delivering them just to ensure we get more funding for the next round. Hopefully…

And as such, I need to adjust my approach. It’s not about getting the project team to do their assigned tasks in a timely fashion. Apparently, it’s more about the touchy-feely, making everyone feel good and “bringing them along on the journey a little”. Uh-huh…

Although these are some of the nicest people I’ve worked with in a long time, still some corporate bullshit exists. Of course. And it’s the education sector so there’s massive amounts of hierarchy and politics and making sure you say the right thing to people in the softest, most intensely polite way with many thanks and much gratitude for their help.

The tiniest use of the wrong word can cause an uproar. Ah… not my forte. My words and thoughts are not always aligned with my heart, as much as I wish I didn’t have to admit that… I’m having to think much harder about what I say and how I compose emails. It’s probably good for me. Maybe?

I think I’m rambling now. But I just wanted to let y’all know I’m okay. Even rode a tram today.

~Svasti

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