After three weeks of training, this week I returned to my home studio to begin work. On my bus home after the first day, dread rose up inside of me like evil helium. I realised I'd be getting the same bus home every night, after a day working in the same place, wearing the same uniform. I had succumbed to a routine.
I know all routines aren't malevolent bastards - but the word does have negative connotations, especially with younger generations. At worst, a job of routine and monotony is repetitive and underwhelming. Although, who wants a routine at my age when some graduates are travelling around Asia?
I have some idea where this reluctance for routine was born. As a student, a two second discussion can turn a night of 'One Tree Hill' into a night out, routine isn't a familiar word. It was actually a word I scoffed at. I remember watching The Office, which was based on dead-end jobs and miserable middle-aged men. My scornful laugh would be full of pity and hope. Now, as a 21 year old gradate, I've surrendered to the curse.
Either I'm a snob who thinks I'm too good for a routine, or I' simply not the kind of person who adheres well to having to do the same things every day. I hope it's the latter. I'm resisting it already, hence coming home and writing this.
Yesterday, me and a colleague stood in store, waiting for customers. The music was low, the shop was empty... it was The Office without desks and David Brent. That 'life is passing me by' kind of feeling was present, except it wasn't so funny. All we needed was a rain cloud over us. I started scrawling on the back of my hand, ideas for this blog post.
I've observed that, with this job, all I do is anticipate what the future will be like. I wonder what the job will be like when I'm familiar with the way everything works. I wonder what it will be like at Christmas time. I wonder what I'll be doing this time next year - will a job in writing finally have come to me? Placing myself in the future is very unproductive, especially for someone studying Buddhism.
Yesterday, a customer came in with his family. I would've placed him in his sixties, he would have told me he as 30 if I'd asked. He was from the area, but moved to Australia when he was younger, and has lived there ever since. Of course, this moment was full of opportunity - someone who lived on the other side of the world could give my brain temporary relief from my unending routines. So, first things first, he cleared up my misunderstanding of the size of Aussie spiders. "No worries, they're only the size of your hand!" I must've turned green because he then corrected himself: "more like the size of your palm, really!".
I may have done the same things yesterday as I will do today, but it's the little opportunities (like finding out about the Australian bug population) that make each day special. Did you know that Australia don't have wasps?!