I’m writing this blog in April 2017 after accepting the offer for my job as Data Assistant with the Division of Nuclear Security at the International Atomic Energy Agency. I have set the visibility on Private, with the intention that after I am no longer an International Civil Servant, i.e. once I REALLY retire, or, in case anything happens to me before, that I have recorded my thoughts and feelings about these times.
Now I have even just recorded a brief Vlog, so you can see what I looked like and I think, even sense how I felt, while writing these words.
I have an incredible sense of “historicity”. Even though sometimes I even proclaim my, now I struggle to find the right words, inferiority, no, not really, discrimination, yes, a bit, I want to express the feelings I went through, when all my brothers had a bicycle and I didn’t, when I was a business leader in Sydney, but business lunches were introduced after I was no longer there, when I was living in Seebenstein and the international missionary director, Rev Chun Hwan Kwak, came to visit a few days after we moved to Linz. I have been aware of a certain feeling of always missing out. As a child, I never wanted to go to bed when we had visitors for fear of missing something. Then when my parents went overseas, leaving me in charge of the household and my older brother’s friends were all still hanging around, but he decided to go to bed, I could not take the same liberty and just leave them, or kick them out.
That’s the wording I was looking for. I couldn’t help becoming aware that I somehow suffered a certain deprivation complex. I thought I was missing out. I thought others had it better than me. I thought I needed to make up for something. When I went to High School, I asked my mother whether I could repeat should I fail the matriculation exam. She said “Of course not”, meaning that of course I would not fail, but I just wanted the security and reassurance that I could if necessary. In fourth form I got the Commonwealth Scholarship, only two of us out of 200 students! I was so proud. Then we were asked to apply for University Entrance to ANU (Australian National University). I asked my mother whether I should apply and then didn’t. Janet McPherson, who was the other one who got the Commonwealth Scholarship with me, received the ANU Scholarship. I didn’t apply. Then I was quite sick during the Matriculation exams. And when I decided to go to work instead of repeating, my mother was baffled and couldn’t understand why I was not repeating?!!? A short testimony to my relationship to my mother during my teenage years.
So I am all the more grateful that my youngest son Nathan is getting on so well with her. After all, she did not have an easy life either. She didn’t have four brothers. In fact she had no brothers, or sisters! She grew up and felt like an unwanted child. She said her parents didn’t even know how she happened! And even though her mother wanted to have another child her husband was adamant, he did not even want the one.
So funny that I then stayed with them in Munich in 1973. I was 19 years old, just like Nathan, when he left Europe to go to Australia. I am really glad that he is having his adventure in Australia. I had mine in Europe. I spent 12 months, first with my grandparents, then visiting relatives in Czechoslovakia, then working in Switzerland, then travelling multiple countries on Interrail, ending up in Turkey with colleagues from work in Muri, Aargau, landing on an army beach resort during the invasion of Cyprus, when we had planned a day trip to Aisha and Marmara.
I could tell you stories. In fact, I will. But later. This was going to be about other things. But I had to spill out all my other thoughts and since no-one is listening anyhow, it doesn’t really matter, does it?