Too much energy or too much optimism

IMG_7151I must admit I have overflowing energy from having not let out a tangent for a week or so. Matched with optimism, I have made myself sit still for bit to tangent some thoughts. So, bear with me.

It is just I or is life really, really good. In the last fortnight not only have I felt like I’ve achieved more than in the last year, I’ve been working with some incredibly inspiring individuals leading legacies I wish our forefathers implemented yonks’ ago.

First up, is about one of my work mates, a young and sometimes too witty budding scientist. I’ve had an interesting experience working with Joel Hayes for the last year on coastal community outreach projects. It has been challenging, fast and creative, and all at the same time. Working in coastal community engagement presents many tricky situations, especially with minimal resources. Which brings in creativity to get over the line and still deliver deadlines within tight time frames. Just when we’ve felt like we are breathing, we are still only treading water to keep our buoyancy afloat to stretch our outreach capacity along Gold Coast’s beaches. Though, at the end of the day we pinch ourselves ‘cause not only are we working on some really cool projects that we are passionate about, we work with dedicated community champions and along amazing beaches, which makes a coastal life evermore blissful. Joel adds much to that equation, as we recently accepted the Australia’s Cleanest Beach award on behalf of the many involved in keeping Currumbin the cleanest. Awards like this don’t happen overnight. But hey, all those long nights, early mornings and turning challenges into fun pays off. Cheers to passionate perseverance!

Second is about one of my amazing friends Jordyn De Bor. She is an inspiration and her dedication for raising awareness about plastic ending up in the ocean matches my passion for dunes. She has partnered with another amazing individual – Tania Potts – and have co-founded a community bag share project called Boomerang Bags. From idea to idea, they’ve created immense community strength to combat the use of single-use plastic bags. With little expected in return, we all owe them much appreciation for putting their ‘life to a little less plastic’ passion into action.

Next up, is about this dude I only just met the other week. Mr Ryan Adams, Co-founder of Keep It Surreal. Simply speaking, he is stoked on positive community change. I instantly got him and knew with my enthusiasm for organising initiatives and his ‘Yeskandoo’ attitude (sorry that’s a well worth pun) we could achieve what we have both been keen to do – launch Responsible Runners Gold Coast. Yes, within a fortnight we’ve organised Responsible Runners Gold Coast, attracted media, found needed resources and now will be promoting fitness and clean beaches. As of next week we’ll be ripping and cleaning up The Spit!

So, you see. Where there is an issue, there is an opportunity and each of these salty souls recognise that. They are community catalysts, creating opportunities for you and others to get involved and combat coastal issues. From dune, beach, ocean and community health, by connecting we’ve been able to collaborate even further – ideas, energy and stoke.

Too much energy or too much optimism? I think both and for a good reason.

I know I once thought

It time to work on my own opportunitiesI once thought life would be simple. Play childhood games, build sand castles, go to school, follow through to university, get a job, find love, teach a pet a few tricks, travel, buy a house, marry, deal with children and breathe freely along the way. Somehow I thought this was simple. I think this is far beyond from simple.

We are constantly working harder and faster or so it seems. Live connected 24/7 and build on from each day, open opportunities and tie up loose ends. Amongst all be alive or if that lacks, find a way.

All while thoughts fly in and out, a FIFO mind. A, then B, but what about C and D?

Me, I know I think too much. Probably read too little and laugh loudly. Giggle to myself and spend too much time thinking about what’s next rather than what is. Though, I am accustomed to such a way of thinking as this is who I am, as I know I am and am OK with that. I know life on the other side isn’t any greener than my side, and as I know that I am OK with that.

My thoughts create such a life to tangent here and there to help consolidate my thoughts. Sometimes about rather nothing or a life I never expected, or didn’t even know. Expectations are a funny thing, right? I bet you’ve already made an expectation on this very tangent. Or probably lost or am losing you.

For today and me, it’s really about here. I am flying across the vast nation of Australia. From the east coast to the west coast coasts’. What a privilege, I know and am grateful. Even that I saw a sunrise this morning and will see a sunset this afternoon, both over an ocean.

While I know I am grateful, I do act out symptoms of a lost mind. A mind full of creativeness, and rest (most of the time) due to my own over-to-lack of time management ability. Two symptoms for a ‘what’s next drama’ staged in my mind. If only there was a director.

I really did think life was as simple as the ‘This is Your Life’ continuum. But as I know I am different, how can life be simple (making the assumption normal people have normal lives)?  I embrace this thought (a lot), which brings me to discover what do I need to keep being different. I like being different.

Despite the fun and achievements I have had the privilege to share, I know I need to keep moving forward in my own unique way. More so jump into something different, be the community catalyst I now know I am and found more privileges to share.

It almost seems ridiculous that I am thinking of such. Is it? Considering I am heading to the west coast to meet and greet coastal community leaders and celebrate their achievements. And I’m one of them, as I’ve been part of creating such coastal opportunities along my coast. So, isn’t this enough?

No, it isn’t. It’s time to work on my own opportunities.

A PhD is now more than a fleeting thought. A thought I never expected, but yet again, I don’t tend to expect. As I know it’s best not, just to keep that excitement unexpectedly here and there.

A broken promise for a good reason

I’m in one of those states of mind. When it’s probably best to not share my thoughts being infused with good wine, inspired by great company and now tired. But yet again, I can always justify a tangent, and tend to sleep better with one less thought going around and around in my head.

I was extremely fortunate to be in incredible company with some of the creative minds from the Griffith Centre for Cultural Research. Humorous, passionate and questioning individuals, who almost seem to come across as being starved of knowledge from their eagerness to learn – more. Who, what, where, why and how community engagement and conservation conversations happen?

My creative mind was let loose. Speaking as myself from nowhere else besides were I was present. My thoughts became empowered and instead of just being typed across this screen, finally shared in a creative welcoming space. Or simply shared over a table with a few academic crushes and passionate environmentalists…

There are too many thoughts to wrap and tie up to send them off across the world in one tangent. Rather, here is a dot point summary I promise to elaborate at a later date:

  • Challenges of communicating conservation conversations to activate change and motivate responsible behaviour
  • The he said, she said counterbalance act between mis-informed communities, media and decision-makers
  • Rules of negotiations and transnational to micro cross cultural communication
  • Can media coverage be used as a measure to hold decision-makers accountable of transparency?
  • Issues with loss of public spaces to have open conversations

I’m attending their Communication4Conservation Masterclass and Workshop today. So, expect a tangent/s about the experience. Pumped, is how I feel.