Can you count on the past? We think of past as it is preserved forever in our memories but the thing about memories is they fade and they're wrong. The small memory cracks leading path to our complete past is the only way to recollect the memory, as we'd like to remember it.
I was still troubled with the idea of going back to work during the pandemic. The fact that I was one of the high risk population was stacking up the odds against my favour. I knew that If I would have been infected by it, the likelihood of me making it out alive was quite slim but one day at a time is all I had got. That's what everyone's got if taken literally.
I was not as lucky as my resident Australian friends, where the government came forward to aid. The majority of the population got financial help from the government while immigrants like me were left for chance.
The demarcation was never so obvious. It opened my eyes to the bigger picture of how it's all about categories in our society. We like to think that we all are humans and have the same rights and deserve the same sort of things but reality is far off the utopia. At the end of the day, it all comes down to one's identity and category.
Your race, nation, different financial capacities of humans play a large role in determining the scale of preservation you'd be placed upon, if a calamity is at shore.
Being in a foreign nation made me realise that even if we are the same species, there are a lot of differences that have been created in the society over decades, forgotten, often ignored in your daily life but present themselves in terms of how much support we can get or who will come to our aid if things turn south.
Out of all the chaos, I believe the only thing that turned fortunate for me was the fuel stations being deemed as essential service. I still had my job and had a way to pay for my bills during the pandemic. I have never considered myself a charity case. I have worked to put every single thing I bring to the table but observing the whole situation I would not hesitate to say that the biased financial aid from the Australian government had failed me, and the plethora of immigrants who find themselves sailing in the same boat as me.
Then maybe, I am only looking at the situation from my point of view while the government's perspective might be different than mine. It might be reasonable for them to make the decisions they did, keeping in view their voter base.
While I was scared for my life every day, the news was making things worse. I noticed the news which showed how diabetics in America had to ration their insulin because they couldn't afford it. The face made me thankful towards what I had being in a country like Australia.
Things were starting to get back to routine. I was promoted as the Site Manager at work and I was working full time hours. I got to hire my own team. It was about time for another high tide.
One fine day, I got told by the company that the fuel station is been franchised out to another venture. It was declared that right from the moment, everybody was out of their jobs except me. The new venture had offered for me to stay, but with a demotion to which I respectfully declined and walked out.
I believe out of all the series of events, stepping in a pandemic and getting hospitalised during it, made me realise the value of being near family. I decided to move back to Nelson Bay. The struggle of finding jobs was real. I got offered a couple of jobs but one thing or the other didn't work out and I found myself out of the front door again.
During all this while, I had been planning. Out of all the greeting customers, taking food and beverage orders and submitting food orders to the kitchen staff. some where I stepped back and looked at the path I was heading to, and I figured something was not looking right. I had to take control of my career and my life.
I decided to go back to University and finish my degree because waiting for better time wasn't helping me. It has not helped me in the past and I realised waiting for the right moment wasn't gonna help me in future as well. I took a leap of faith and got admission in Bachelor of Biomedical science after waiting for almost 8 years to start my studies, full time.
At this point, I am weaving dreams about going back to college, this time with a wide vision and learned self. I am quite hopeful about my future. I have landed upon a job I love and the coworkers who are very supportive. I guess life is kind right now and I aspire to make it better.
I hope you do too.