What another wonderful set of moons to see pass in my 38th year of life with Venus or some other cosmic shit throwing a few things into the works for some challenges.
The last year had some ultimate highs and some worries as well – nothing health related, just to not seeing my wonderful partner and her son be treated properly but as the saying goes ‘todos conspirer para inspirar’ (all things conspire to inspire).
It might be a sign of my old age, now at 39, but I failed to get up for sunrise this morning for my birthday as I mostly done for the past 15 years or so but to be fair on myself sunrise in Japan is at 4.30am – land of the rising sun indeed! So it is now 5.30am and the sun is well up but the birds are still on their singing-in-the-shower-in-the-morning routine and set to have their coffee and read the newspaper by now.
The theme for 38 was certainly patience, responsibility, continued adventure (and privilege) and love.
I think it might have been the first calendar year that I have held a relationship, ever, and as always this is not in the conventional sense of actually being in the same place as that person (the beautiful Serafina) but at least being in contact on a daily basis.
Let me skip back 365 nights ago where I was drinking flaming lamborghinis in a swish bar in Kuala Lumpur, hip hop dancing and having present to hundreds of young global citizen enthusiasts in the day light hours previous.
In the year of being my preferred even-numbered age of 38 I was again fortunate to walk (bus and fly) the earth to Malaysia, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Switzerland, England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, India, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, China and South Korea. It was a usual mix of global citizenship education, campaigning, social justice and a very new element of formal post graduate education at university in Japan.
On the formal education, or anything formal, I have really struggled with the institutionalisation of education and learning academic rigour in what often feels like for no reason other than this is the way it is done and has been done for a long time. I’ve really struggled in an undynamic environment and gaining knowledge only through information not much through inspiration as had been my pedagogy of learning for the past 16 years from the world. However, the reason I surrendered two years of my life to this was to try something new, have a taste and most importantly see what I can learn in a new field in peace. Through gritted teeth and almost utter disdain for formal higher education I have managed to learn a lot about the subject of peace but even better connect with a group of human beings on a similar path of learning about peace and seeing what will do to put it practice – the Rotary Peace Fellows.
I have just one month to complete my course studies before I head off around the world again to do field work and research and write up a master’s thesis to be completed by this time next year. I’m looking forward to the freedom of learning from the world, matching with the valuable theory (but with context!) and seeing what comes out in the end to make me a more valuable human to be of service to the world in the field of peace – that is exciting and worth the two years of ‘giving up’ my life 😉
But the biggest highlight of the one time I get to be 38 (I hope, or at least in this skin suit) is to have grown a relationship that started with uncertainty, no idea of what it might be and pretty much terror in the face of commitment and responsibility, and is now a highly trusted, deeply bonded and ridiculously fun union with Serafina. It is a relationship that in my mind was never meant to work, impossible due to circumstances and being sure that I was a bad investment! It has proven otherwise and almost the greatest testament to this was two days ago when a two-page spread in the newspaper in South Australia printed the off-hand comment I had made to the journalist that we have made wedding dates with no idea what year it will be in the future – if we continue to get that far. If anyone had told me in the bar in KL a year ago that Serafina and my wedding dates will be published in The Advertiser I would have lost a lot of money if I was a betting man!
Thank you Serafina, opportunity and the world for a trying but hugely character-building 38th year and with a 39th year dedicated to buffing the polish on concepts, theories and action for peace I’m excited and intrigued to see where it will spit me out in a year from now…