Friday, October 21, 2016

Negotiating volunteering and the glocal

As of two days ago, I am one of the women behind the popular Twitter account of the Sydney Feminists. As with any lifestyle change, I am taking the time I need to readjust to the responsibility, the labour, and the fulfilment. Just because no one pays volunteers doesn't mean that they aren't doing hard work. I'm doing this because I believe in the organisation's values and it's rewarding, but also stressful. I'm still figuring out my identity as a Sydney Feminist social media assistant - which tweets I'm going to have difficulty ignoring, and which I will need to retweet despite initial hesitation. The possibilities are endless - we follow over 2,000 accounts, which means there's a constant stream of data pouring in. My job is to identify the choicest tweets for our purposes and amplify their voices. It's a position of power which I take very seriously, and I now understand what a good job the women before me have been doing in managing the account. They are my co-conspirators.

I'm writing this post at a Peruvian restaurant, high on the novelty of it all. There simply aren't that many Peruvian eateries in this part of the world. The decor reminds me of old Inspector Gadget cartoons, but suggest more class and sophistication between the brush strokes. I am forever searching for the best the world has to offer. There is a particular attraction to the continents I haven't let my eyeballs swish around - Africa, South America, Central America, the Caribbean. Due to money constraints and health concerns, I am unlikely to visit these places soon, so I'm actively seeking out connections with them through my local environment.

Sydney. It's changing all the time, yet sometimes it feels like we're stuck in unimaginative right-wing policy. So I focus within. I focus on my relationships with imaginative left-wing people. I nurture my romantic relationship here as best I can. It constantly surprises me in the directions it takes. I think this is a good sign. I'm reading again, devouring feminist literature by the eyeful. I avoid those who impose themselves upon me. Shake it off, baby. Shake it off. Life goes on, and it is more good than otherwise.


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