I’m so very proud of my friend, and although we’ll all be missing her, she’s about to embark on a big adventure in her career and moving away for work. She’s taking on a role within a not-for-profit organisation and on her last day in Adelaide, we caught up for a picnic with friends. It felt quite bittersweet because of course we’ll miss her, but I am so very excited for her at the same time! There is still a longing in me for an adventure and although I am in the middle of one of the greatest adventures of my life - being a mum to my fiery little one - I'm hoping that there'll be a couple more adventures to be experienced.

I digress though. One of the things I'll miss are the deep conversations in which we find ourselves talking about all the things we hope to contribute to in making things better. It feels like there's so much we can do to help with poverty, climate change, inequality, among many others.

I’m a bit late to the term "woke" so naturally I went on a search on the internet to find out what it was all about. It seems that it's used in relation to being aware of the truth, almost presuming that there is some kind of awakening that has happened. I have to admit that I've had quite a privileged and almost sheltered childhood and now as I am immersed more into different cultures and grow close friendships with many people who have variously different backgrounds and experiences, I see things differently. Maybe I’m seeing it with my eyes truly wide open. Maybe it’s because I’ve become a parent and I worry about the kind of world that my child is growing up in and will be inheriting. I worry that I’m not doing enough. Pretty soon I find myself listening to audiobooks, podcasts, borrowing resources from the library to understand what needs to happen for the problem to be solved. I try and get in touch with experts, find out what they think. My social media feed is filled with content.

Have you heard this said before that, “we become who we love, we can also become who we hate”? My research looks at social identity and intersectionality, and so I also see prejudice and discrimination. I’m also a marine ecologist and care very much for our oceans. I think I’ll always care about things, but I also want to make space for empathy. There are much more important things than seeing others who don’t share the same values as complete adversaries; there are more important things to do. What’s important is finding out what my values are and focusing on the people and things that matter.

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.C. G. Jung


Tagged in What messes with your head, Student life, parent-student