Comet McNaught passed us by some time last year, but it was only on its outbound journey of the past weeks that I actually heard anything about it; and it was only because my sister happened to call me one night and mention she was watching it from her backyard that I had any contact with it whatsoever (see Kate, never mind credit in the sub-standard—I’ve given you credit on the Internet).
I remember how, when Hayley’s comet passed through in 1986, I had initially found the behaviour of a comet’s tail quite odd. The notion that as it left the solar system, the comet tail would actually lead out ahead of the comet’s trajectory was a difficult one to grasp. Surely the tail would always follow it; otherwise it’s not really a tail…is it? To me, it seemed like some odd dance where one partner stands in the middle of the floor whilst the other shambles in, circles their partner, and shambles back out, all the time facing their partner in the middle of the floor. Such was my reasoning back then.
Comets aside, I’ve been fairly busy lately, as it’s now pretty much a certainty I’ll be moving back to Canberra for another run in the public service as a contractor. There’s still a slim chance of a very choice job happening at Sensis in Melbourne, but a lot has to happen very quickly for me to get into that one. So to save myself from another disappointment, I am trying to lock myself into thinking Canberra is the one I’ll be going to. Not that I’m complaining, I do actually like Canberra, and the job will undoubtedly be a good one. But the prospect at Sensis is a much bigger notch on the belt, with more opportunities to do some really interesting and innovative work.
The other detractor from Canberra, of course, is that I left there nearly six months ago in the expectation I would soon be making my way to Spain to live for a few years, and beyond that, Latin America. Obviously, that worked out really well for me. Spain was such a focal point for me when enduring the long commutes to Brisbane each week during the closing months at the ATO; for why I stayed disciplined in my savings, and traveled so far to realise that goal. To have had to turn around and leave again, especially after experiencing such highs and lows from the job hunt, was a difficult experience to endure. I came back expecting that at the least, I would be able to move on, if not take a new direction.
Now, to be heading back to Canberra again, into a similar role to the one I left there, when I never really expected another opportunity to live and work there, feels too much like I’m pursuing the same course I did on the other side of my trip to Spain, except this time I’m going backwards in a way.
Just like the comet now leaving the solar system, I’m finding myself heading back out from the focal point of the last two years of my life, encountering the bits and pieces of my life I thought I’d left behind me in that time. I’m feeling like I’m stuck in reverse, chasing my tail.