One thing that I enjoy about blogging is the ability to go back and read my past reflections that encapsulate a moment in my life. Yes, sometimes this can be embarrassing and cringeworthy, but it's a moment in time captured through words (and sometimes images and videos).
By the same token, Blogjune is a whole month captured in words. So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to look back at my past forays into Blogjune...
Whilst the tradition of Blogjune began back in 2010, when I think back to that year, it was the year that I first started to really disengage with the sector...
I didn't start officially participating until 2014, though it's interesting to note that in June 2011, I felt like I was on the verge of leaving the profession for good, and in June 2012, I was already back in a library job in Melbourne, and in June 2013, I was halfway through my first overseas AVID assignment, in Alotau.
June 2014: After a year of hopping between working overseas assignments in PNG and Vietnam, performing at arts festivals in Melbourne, and working casual public library shifts in-between, 2014 was the year that I was making my triumphant return to the library sector, managing a swish school library in the inner suburbs of Melbourne (again). June was a pivotal month for me - clearly I was having a lot of thoughts about whether this was right for me, and by the end of the month, I'd decided to give it all up, and move back to Vietnam to take up a 18-month contract with an NGO in Hanoi.
June 2015: A year later, and I was no longer in Vietnam! The role wasn't a great fit for my skills and experience, which happens, but I think I made the best of a less-than-ideal situation, and still have many positive memories of my time there. On the plus side, I'd been successful in a securing a place in the UN Volunteer program at the UN Mission in Kosovo as an Associate Information Management Officer. Through this month, I was still processing a lot of initial impressions of a new country, dealing with feelings of failure from my previous assignment not working out the way that I'd liked, and trying to maintain a balanced perspective of working in a developing country... clearly I was already mindful of my own mental wellbeing, and the challenges in managing it in these situations.
June 2016: Another year on, and I was coming up to the final month in my UNV contract. The first week comprised of me using up the last of my leave to travel around the UK, volunteering at the Hay Festival, and visiting lots of places on my bucket list, such as Cardiff, Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford. I was also getting to the point where I needed to figure out which direction my career would continue - whether that would be in libraries or maybe another foray in development.
June 2017: Turned out, it was libraries. By June 2017, I'd finally ticked off another career objective, and secured an ongoing position at the National Library of Australia. It was also a month where I really started reengaging in the sector - I joined ALIA again, after a six-year absence, went to the New Librarians Symposium, and signed up for the ALIA Mentoring Scheme - all things that set me on the path that has led me to where I am now.
2018-2021: Blogjune fell by the wayside, but a lot has happened. I'll reflect more of these in coming posts.
However, it's interesting to note that June has, in many ways, marked some real turning points for me in the past. I wonder if June 2021 will be remarkable in a similar sense?