Posted on November 28, 2017
Another day, another drama, is what the New Taylor would say if the farmers could be bothered to give her new album a go – of course they like the Old Taylor better, go figure; girls speaking up for themselves, and taking what they deserve? Out-fucking-rageous. Anyway, this is not about Taylor; hell, it’s not even about me – which is weird, because I was pretty fucking sure the world revolved around me – it’s about another amazing dinner table conversation. I haven’t decided yet if I meant that sarcastically or not. We’ll see.
Still at my gig as domestic help on a cattle station, I’ve been having lots of talks with both my employers, i.e. the family I work for. The wife is lovely, and talks to me about easy, safe things like work, boys, travel, the Kardashians. The husband, however, is totally different. He loves stirring the pot, engaging in discussions about politics, feminism, and ethics. Even though there’s lots of things he says I don’t agree with – at all – we had a pretty interesting discussion about work ethics, achieving, discipline, and you know, life. Thankfully, I wasn’t the one whose life we were discussing – wait, again something that’s not about me, this needs to stop.
Let me paint you the picture: we have an all-Australian bloke, farmer for most of his life, believes in the whole ‘women do women’s things and men take care of women’, straightforward – bit rude at times – and father of three. On the other side, there’s a German backpacker, early twenties, doesn’t really know what he’s doing/should do, travelling Australia to find himself – eye roll, because even if I am learning a lot about myself, I didn’t come here for the sole purpose of smoking weed on the beach and thinking about what I possibly maybe could do with my life (that doesn’t sound too bad, actually; maybe I came here for the wrong reasons). Topic of discussion: literally the guy’s life – I told you he’s straightforward and a bit rude. Our German has decided to move on, continuing his soul-searching travels after a mere three weeks. He just wanted some extra cash, and the job isn’t really his thing. Of course, Father Farmer isn’t too pleased with that, because even if I get the feeling he doesn’t really like him, he is losing someone that only just now has started to know the ropes. Father Farmer thinks the German lacks character, discipline, a winning mentality. Does he really, or is he just smart bailing when he’s over something?
The cultural and generational in this discussion were clearly visible. Today’s 50 year olds grew up in a totally different environmental landscape than millennials – and then I’m not even adding the whole farming situation; 50 years ago, when your Dad was a farmer, and you were a boy, you were a farmer. 50 years ago, there was no picking and choosing study paths and career options the way we handpick majors, minors, extracurricular activities, and internships these days. Everything is tailored to the millennial idea of being anything you want to be, setting goals, chasing dreams. You can literally be anything in the world – and that is bloody amazing, but also very fucking terrifying. However, this guy is picking option number three: just doing whatever the fuck he wants. No commitments, no plans, no nothing. He’ll see what he does tomorrow, tomorrow.
If Father Farmer had been younger, he would have said he couldn’t even. Maybe it’s because I grew up on a farm, but I kind of agree with him – but also not really. I believe in sticking something out, finishing what you’ve started, pushing yourself to make something happen. Even if something is difficult, not that great, or downright shitty, you committed to it, you’re going to finish it – ironically, our German didn’t understand the word ‘commitment’, go figure. Am I wrong? Am I stupid for sticking with something? Is he smart to walk away? Or, as the boss man said, is he never going to be able to make something happen for himself because he never learnt how to get through difficult times? If quitting is his go-to, how will he ever win?
Maybe I’m missing the point. His whole idea is probably not about winning or losing; it’s about getting through the day, trying to have as much fun as possible. We’ve been told that’s not how life works, but maybe it is, and maybe people are too afraid to try it that way. He said he doesn’t set goals, doesn’t want to hit targets. His idea of achieving is not something he worked for, it’s something that happens to him. Maybe he’s on the verge of finding true happiness in life, or maybe he’s just one fry short of a Happy Meal, who knows.
In the meantime, I’m sticking with it, sweeping my days away, setting a goal to run 10K by the time I go back to Sydney.