I hit the “on” button

I soon turn 31 years old, and I’d like to reflect on the past year.

At the beginning of 2017, I was working full-time in my own retail business, and also part-time in office administration. The business had stabilised into a steady downward trend, and I thought there was nothing I could do to fix it, because I had already given it 100%. I tried to be creative in marketing and provide a unique customer experience, but at the end of they day, I was limited by the location of the store, and the products I could stock. I didn’t know what the future would hold for the business, but it wasn’t looking good.

In the week before my 30th birthday, I was playing around with the idea of converting the shop into an escape room. I wanted to design an experience. I had had enough of selling physical objects, designed by someone else, manufactured in a third-world country, and delivered in bubble wrap. I needed to have more power over the offering. My escape room idea was essentially a zombie-horse-outbreak scenario, to capitalise on Halloween and my location in Flemington, during the Spring Races. Virtual reality seemed like a far-off thing, so I didn’t look into it much.

I had somewhat of a crisis that week, cleaning out the storeroom of the shop. I was preparing for my birthday party with close family, and considered playing some old cassettes that had followed me through the ages. These cassettes have recordings of 1990’s radio (yes, the commercials are hilarious) interspersed with me singing nursery rhymes and “Aga-doo, doo doo, push pineapple shake the tree” – a song banned from the BBC in 1984 for being shit. The crisis occurred to me while thinking back to myself as a 7-year-old, how many crazy hopes and ideas I’ve had since then, and how little I’ve done. Twenty-three years of random activities amounting to not much at all – it wouldn’t have meant anything to that naive kid, but it meant something to me as I approached 30.

I did what any rational person would do: enrol in university the next day.

From the first day back at university, until now in late Summer 2018, I’ve completed 10 units: 9 core and 1 events. I’ve taken the lead in all my team projects, I’ve engaged with teachers, barely missed a class. I got credit for 6 prior units, and completed 2 summer units – which means I finish my degree in 2 years, not 3. I got a tonne of High Distinctions. Why the hell did I drop out all those other times?

 

I guess I woke up and hit the “on” button. And now I don’t want to stop.

I’m joining a dodgeball team so I can get fit and ponder a dodgeball-like virtual esport. I constantly keep 5+ books checked out of the library. I’ve spoken with a virtual reality creator from Japan, and considered being a sales representative. I’ve attended a Google Tiltbrush tournament. I’ve attended esports business networking events. I’ve tried out a VR zombie experience, and applied to work for them. I’ve started a blog. I walked in a gay marriage march down the city streets.

What’s in store for 2018…

This year will be all about Marketing. I am taking all second and third year marketing units in a single year. I’m looking for part-time work in VR or experiential marketing. I plan to graduate in 2018, get married in January 2019, and travel to Tokyo in 2020.