Following Christmas celebrations and Boxing Day’s luring discounts and sales, amidst threats of Omicron variant of Coronavirus which did not diminish the festive spirits of the general public as they are accustomed to coexisting with it for years now, we will be heading in a few days’ time into a new year, 2022. I am not sure how others feel about 2021, however for me it is a time for reflection as the year has been both productive and unproductive. It is ironic that while I have a long list of achievements to record, I am still known for my nonperformance as I am not economically prosperous, and the world regards only the one who makes money as successful.

The year commenced with a notification of having obtained a pass in all my Graduate Diploma in Information and Library Studies subjects, except in one subject as the practicum component was linked to it. In a few months’ time, the Practicum Equivalency Committee of Curtin University Bentley took my ten months librarianship at a Sydney school into consideration and having gathered enough evidence of professional development, circulation, cataloguing and stock take etc., exempted me from the compulsory practicum component and I received my academic transcript in March 2021. Meanwhile I continued accumulating certificates on the completion of training sessions and webinars in records and information management offered by Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia. Grappling with economic hardship, I continued to apply for 8-15 jobs per reporting period to keep the government provided support payments falling into my savings account and attended a few interviews in which I was unsuccessful.

A ray of hope came to me in May 2021, with my appointment for the sixth time as Group Leader for the 2021 Naplan Marking operations, and the successful completion of the project proved once again that I was employable despite the myriad challenges I encountered each day. COVID-19 restrictions were hardly conducive for a person in my situation with lockdowns cancelling my next chance at employment as Test Administrator or Invigilator as schools were closed for prolonged periods, remote learning occurred everywhere, and COVID Live’s statistics did not look promising at the time. Corruption charges on ministers and a few suspensions, ICAC’s efforts to expose corrupt practices leading to the then NSW Premier’s substitution with the new, whose skill as a treasurer during the pandemic or crisis time did not go unacknowledged and unrewarded and I finally found the nerve to gain double vaccination after heated debate about the effectiveness and minimal side effects of AstraZeneca and Pfizer.   

Amidst frustrations, anger, tirades, dissensions, seeking employment opportunities and Microsoft Team interviews, I successfully graduated in GD-INFLIB and received my testamur via post besides completing twenty training sessions in records and information management which provided me with the opportunity to apply for the role of RIMPA Mentor and became successful in my venture. Trials and tribulations of all sorts continued to plague me, and I thought, if this pattern continued I would soon become a misanthropist. Beliefs in systems which emphasized the implementation of ethical practices, anti-discrimination, professionalism, and protection of privacy and personal information on paper, were long gone, however that did not stop me from adding laurels to my crown.  I added three free short courses from Charles Sturt University to my list of achievements which fetched me credits for a subject and an invite to a postgraduation course, Master’s in Information Security. My varied interests in many fields, though like jack of all trades but master of none, made me eligible for memberships in several professional organizations and writing and publishing organizations.    

A HELP loan of $18,000 incurred for GD-INFLIB course has not fetched the desired result yet, and many unsuccessful applications, which failed to cow down my spirits, instilled doubt in my capabilities in those dependent on my ability to generate income. Constant economic instability and insecurity interfered with my creative projects as a great deal of time was spent in drafting essential criteria for many GLAM related professions. While I participated in National November Writing Month which made me feel like a winner as I wrote almost every day and accumulated badges I stayed on track, and after November, the speed dwindled which needed picking up. I consoled myself that as readers have plenty of new books to choose from, in December, and since mine would not stand out in the books galore, I would not be penalized for delaying my project by a month especially with the likelihood of editing consuming most of the time, and the inevitability of title change for ‘The Esoteric Elan of Chargee d’ affairs’ became a certainty due to the project nearing completion and manipulations in the storyline. I learnt my lesson that investing time and effort on two simultaneous projects was a bad idea and that discarding the strategy would be beneficial in future.

Limited supply of alcohol brought temporary solace to my grief-stricken mind and I persevered in my pursuits to upskill myself and to understand myself and the people around me better. The belief that unjust consequences were meted out to me without substantial evidence, the deliberate removal of the context, and the manipulative schemes of influential schemers with ulterior motives who deserved chastisement more than me, made God my foe. I did not witness the restoration of poetic justice in the face of adversities and hence avoided the temple of God for a few years. Not even to celebrate the birth of Christ, which being a Christian and a catholic, was unthinkable to most.

Although I know that hope is a worse flatterer than death and that world has not come to a standstill as we believe in a better tomorrow, I continue to look forward to a progressive future. Besides, I am the most important person in the world, and nothing can gain more significance than me in my life. Toast to me! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL THOSE WHO DARE TO TAKE RISKS

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