Reflections and Ramblings on 2022

Reflections and Ramblings on 2022

It’s been over a year since I last blogged. Like Alissa McCulloch wrote in her latest post, I too am no longer ‘the prickly upstart new librarian shouting into the void about how nothing made sense in libraries, blogging furiously as an escape from the doom and drudgery of entry-level library work, gathering a moderate following from people glad that someone was saying the quiet parts out loud.’ I haven’t felt the need to blog.

I’ve been doing lots of other things though. 2022 has been a massive, busy, vibrant year with lots of big feelings.


I got married early this year. Covid restrictions were still in place, so I ended up cancelling my reception and halving my guest list. It was a small, quiet ceremony and ended up being perfect and more reflective of the quiet, introverted people that my husband and I are.

I read 43 books and wrote creatively. I sent pieces to publishers and received rejection letter that inspired me rather than disheartened me


Work has been a lot this year but in the goodest of ways. I’ve felt empowered and engerised. To work with great people wanting to make a positive difference is truly the highlight of my working life. I feel more content specialising in open education as it not only aligns to my values but also to my strengths. I published a guide on Enhancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility in Open Educational Resources and was consequently awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion. My guide, along with an open text that I helped an academic create was featured in Pressbooks list of favourite OER for the year.

I designed a OER Professional Development program as part of the excellent Council of Australian University Librarians OER Professional Development team that I’m part of it, and I took on extra consultancy work for CAUL. I presented with lovely Sarah Howard at the Enabling a Modern Curriculum and felt like I’ve inadvertently mentored a lot of inter-institutional colleagues in open education.

I also registered as a freelance writer, speaker, and consult. I spoke at the Lake Mac Glam Conference and did another presentation for NSW government employees. I started a university-wide Disability Network in the hope of creating more organisational disability confidence and inclusion. As part of that, I also made the decision that I would no longer be doing free labour regarding all the extra inclusion work I do (e.g., speeches for external organisations) and I started charging for my speeches (even though it felt wrong to do so at the beginning). I put a lot of work and time into my writing and speeches that I no longer have the energy to do it without compensation and didn’t want to set the example that other marginalised people, especially disabled people are expected to educate others for free and must do extra work to be recognised.

Even though I said ‘yes’ to many opportunities this year, I said ‘no’ to a lot more. It was my goal to get better at saying ‘no’ and to be more selective to the opportunities I undertook, and I achieved that. I said no to marking work, tutoring, and several research assistant opportunities and I took leave when I needed to rest and recharge, and I think I had a more successful year because of it.


I’ve had a big year medically too. I’ve had more medical appointments this year than I’ve ever had in my life. I underwent genetic testing, several respiratory tests, electrocardiograms, endoscopies and countless ultrasounds and x-rays. I saw many specialists including neurologist, ophthalmologist, gynecologists, gastroenterologist, fertility specialist, physiotherapist, exercise physiologist and geneticist. That is the reality of living with a rare connective tissue disorder. I’m currently battling a painful infection as I write this (and am on antibiotics). The medical to-do list is endless and exhausting.

My biggest medical success this year was being accepted into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) after years of rejection. This funding has been life changing and I’ve been able to access therapies I couldn’t afford but should have had. Consequently, my pain has gotten better, and I haven’t taken pain medication in several months.

The most difficult part of the year was going down the fertility road as someone with a risky condition who has a dominant gene with a 50/50 chance of passing it on. I’ve always wanted to undergo genetic testing via IVF to prevent my condition from being passed on. Sadly, I found out through genetic testing that they can’t test for my condition on embryos as I’m currently the only person in the world with my type of Stickler Syndrome. There are currently five types of Stickler Syndrome, and I am a new type that doesn’t match the existing types. It felt lonely to be someone with a rare condition to begin with but to be the only person with a certain type was a new type of loneliness. I’ve cried and agonised over decisions regarding children, and I’ve been so frustrated that no doctor can answer my questions because no doctor has ever heard of my condition. I feel like I am a doctor and a rare disease researcher at the same time I’m a librarian. There is also no research. I used my librarian-skills to search through medical databases and there is no research or evidence to assist me with my decision-making. I can only rely on a few research studies on Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (which is my sister syndrome).

I am medically burn-out and have cried a lot and have really appreciated the people who have cried with me and supported me through this. For 2023, I’ve volunteered to be a patient in a NHRMC-funded grant led by the University of Adelaide and my only consolidation is that although I might struggle to find answers, I can contribute to research so other people won’t have to endure the same barriers that I’ve faced.

Looking Forward

The best years often have so many good moments and so many bad ones, and 2022 was that. It was truly vibrant and one that I’ll remember for a long time. I look forward to continuing my work on open education and inclusion. I’m still hoping for a full-time permanent position in libraries as I’ve been only part-time permanent and/or contracted for my whole career in the LIS sector. Above all, I’m looking at travelling to Scandinavia and connecting with my family and culture on the other side of the world.

Thank You!

To end this lengthy rambling reflection, I wanted to thank you. Thanks to everyone who reads this blog and who sends me letters, emails, and messages on social media. They mean so much and I am blown away by your kindness.

Thank you to the people who have nominated me for awards, offered me opportunities and have mentored me professionally and supported me personally. I am so grateful for you all, and I wish you all a vibrant, amazing 2023.

Feature image from Pexels used under CC0 licence.


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