My life, as far as I can remember it, has been documented, regulated, consolidated and (let’s be honest) made elated, by admin. My day has typically been enhanced by the satisfaction of having nagging admin which I can have a little grumble about and then get sorted nice and efficiently. In fact I’d say a day wasn’t complete without it; perhaps I’d even become an admin queen! But in the last month, everything’s changed; admin has become my enemy. Every day for the last 4 weeks I’ve been suffocated by the need to do necessary admin for my move to Melbourne. When I was applying for this exchange in December I didn’t give a second thought to the amount of preparation we’d need to do, but ohhhh muma I was naive. Speaking of Muma, the reason I said ‘we’ is because my lovely Mum, driven by anxiety, has become my admin wingman. I think both of us would’ve given anything for the admin to be someone else’s burden. Now I see how the term ‘agmin’, meaning ‘aggrivating admin’, came about. Visa, course choices, health insurance, travel insurance, finances, luggage allowance, whether or not to take a hair dryer…
Throughout the 2-day long trip to Heathrow airport (the length due to lovely stop-offs with family and flatmate Tor Bennett) admin-related worries and considerations were a whirl in my head. I probably would’ve had a panic after saying goodbye to my lovely Dad at the airport if I hadn’t have had my money belt on, reminding me that even if my suitcase AND hand luggage got stolen, there would be no POSSIBLE way that anyone could steal EVERYTHING I own unless they stole me too. At least with the latter it definitely wouldn’t be my fault! Thankfully the emergency money belt did not come into use, as there were no disasters on the journey to Oz. (Unless you class sitting next to a man who snored for one of the flights a disaster; debatable.)
My first plane landed in Singapore, and the second took me to Sydney, where I’d arranged to stay with my Uncle Phil, Colette and 2 little cousins, Joshua and Amelia, from the 5th-11th. A couple of hours before arriving in Sydney, admin-related worries once again overwhelmed me; what if Phil wasn’t there at the airport?; what if they forgot to put my suitcase on the second flight?; I’m tired; what if the dodgy wheel on my suitcase comes off and I’m stuck in Sydney airport forever! But as the plane started to descend I glimpsed the breathtaking sight of Sydney by night, and squealed, exclaiming to the man next to me (by whom I was ignored)! In that moment I realised; I’d won!! I’d triumphed over admin! Every single piece of admin I’d done was totally beaten by this sight, and the sunrise which followed, and I wasn’t even on Australian ground!! This is what it has all been about. And the week that’s gone by has affirmed that in my mind. Stroking a koala and a wallaby, feeding an emu and being pooed on by 2 exotic Australian birds at Featherdale Wildlife Park –that beats admin. Walking along Sydney harbour, with the bridge on one side and the opera house on the other – that beats admin. Going to the jungle to fight dinosaurs in a helicopter and extinguishing fires with my little cousins on an almost daily basis – that definitely beats admin.
And so, with a flight to catch to Melbourne tomorrow, I’m no longer wrapped up in the practicalities and the potential issues, because I’ve got life to live! Yes, I’m still yet to consolidate where I’m living for the year (although I’m getting ever closer to sorting it), and I really have no idea what lies ahead, but Jesus said, “Who, by worrying, can add a single hour to his life?”. Aka admin sucks – love life!! And with that, I head off to my new city, triumphant over admin.