Tuesday, 25 September 2012

This Cut is the Deepest.

Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to explain.

I have spent the best part of two years ‘stuck’ on the Sunshine Coast with no place to live on my own in Brisbane, but enough support to have ‘in home care’ at my parents' house. As of last Friday, the situation has reversed. I now have a place of my own in Brisbane, but the Queensland Government are unable to provide money for ‘in home care’ in the capital. Even though the locations are just one hundred kilometers away, my funding is not transferrable from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane. The humanitarians that comprise the Newman Government decided to cut my stream of funding for my impending transfer two weeks ago when they handed down their first budget. For me to move the bureaucrats at Disability Services Queensland (DSQ) will have to pull something out of thin air. The time line for my move is once again uncertain.

The politics of my particular circumstances are largely irrelevant, but my personal circumstances are not. Understandably the Housing Commission cannot 'allow' me to sign my lease unless I have ‘in home care’. It is an occupational health and safety situation you see. They cannot ‘allow’ me to sit in my own shit and piss without readily available access to food. But DSQ will ‘allow’ my mental health to be compromised by preventing my move to Brisbane, taking away my freedom of choice, my independence, and my basic human right to live my life the way I choose to live it.

In doing so the Government is stifling every aspect of my life: preventing new friendships from being created, limiting my ability to learn basic life skills, halting the progress of my academic career, and stopping me from achieving my most important goals. Am I angry about these things? Somewhat. But that is not what infuriates me the most. These circumstances are merely emblematic of my life as a whole. For every piece of good news comes bad news.

All I am asking for is what every other person my age takes for granted. I want to take control of my life. I wish to make my own decisions. I want to fulfill my own destiny. I want to develop more life changing friendships. I want my life to be mine. Instead it is in the hands of people who have never even met me.

If these all sound like reasonable requests then why are they so hard to achieve?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Lessons Or Thoughts I Need to Carry With Me

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  1. Listen to those who matter, ignore those who don't
  2. Patience will be rewarded...eventually
  3. You will never get the right answer unless you ask the right question first.
  4. Thoughts that I obsess over are not the obsessions of others.
  5. Sit, breathe, slow down and wait a moment. The right idea will come.

I really need to stick these somewhere.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Elipses

“Do I fear death? No, I am not afraid of being dead because there's nothing to be afraid of, I won't know it. I fear dying, of dying I feel a sense of waste about it and I fear a sordid death, where I am incapacitated or imbecilic at the end which isn't something to be afraid of, it's something to be terrified of.” Christopher Hitchens Mortality
About two weeks ago I read Christopher Hitchens final book Mortality on the train. It is an unfinished work, which is really the only way to conclude a book about death. It is only 100 pages long, I had a 90 minute journey ahead of me to a nervous destination. 'Reading Hitchens will calm me' I thought. I had to be intellectually impressive that night. I knew the book would make me sad. These were going to be my hero's last words.

The book took me an hour to read. It is not an easy read in any regard. I felt as if it took a piece of my soul as I turned to the last page. The train pulled up at Northgate Station and I started sobbing in a carriage full of passengers. The journey still had an half an hour left.  I just could not stop. I shouldn't have read it then, but I had to.

Just a day earlier I found out that a friend died. I had to find answers in a concept that had none. The most trusted source to me was Hitchens, after all he knew death was coming at a rapid pace, cancer slowly destroying his body, as he fought to communicate with every fibre of his body. The book was progressing nicely, and then nothing, he just stopped. The final chapter is full of incomplete thoughts waiting to be elaborated upon. It is one last glimpse into the mind of a man who I regarded as a genius. No goodbyes, no famous last words. Instead the pages had lots of space. Ideas that were like rare steak, still able to be consumed, but badly undercooked. This was not how I wanted to remember him. I wanted his last written idea to be grand and prophetic. I imagined something like 'Give me 5 minutes and I'll tell you I was right. God is not there.' Instead, all I read were a series of ellipses. Perhaps this was his intent all along?

Death seems to pop up everywhere now, even in my football team. Death seems to be stalking me tangenially. No beginning, no end, just a series of unfinished sentences.