The Christmas Post (which is really me using Christmas as an excuse to write more about my PhD plans)

Only one more event and then I have made it through Christmas for another year. It is today’s event that I have been dreading. This is the side of the family I see least often so it is as if my siblings and I have never grown up. Never growing up that makes it a bit dull because I am treated as if I am still of an age where I am old enough to help with dishes but not old enough to be included in any conversation. However, this year I am dreading it because I am now obviously not a child but I have not, in the words of my grandma, ‘gotten a real job’.

The conversations at Christmas Eve dinner with the other side of the family really highlighted the irony in my choice of topic. My immediate family is the one that has been able to ‘live the migrant dream’ to a greater extent than anybody else in both sides of my extended family. Listening to my parents, it sounds to me like they started off their married life with clear goals around securing financial resources through hard work, having children, being able to provide their children the opportunities they did not have and being able to look after their parents. My immediate family really does seem to live this charmed life. Is my interest in what counts as success voyeuristic?

Christmas Day lunch was at work, which I enjoyed. When the guys at work ask me what I am doing next year, I feel like I am taking the easy way out when I explain that I plan to spend the next 3-5 years asking questions and thinking about ideas. When you are always zooming out you do not need to provide the practical answers, which means you get out of responsibility for not changing the experience of the individual. Here I was getting to enjoy Christmas in the role of fictive kinship, but the moment I choose to step out of that role I can. One of the contributing factors to me not seeing myself remaining in a direct service delivery role forever is that I get really angry at the system. I get angry that quality of life needs to be measured through a strictly individualistic criteria emphasising self reliance, but there is no real acceptance of difference. I get even more angry at the fact that such a criteria only applies to certain (marginalised) people. When people talk about how wonderfully client centred their models are I often wonder if they would apply these models to their own family members.

I better get moving or my parents will bear the brunt of enquiries as to my lateness.

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