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Where do you draw momentum from?

By Hannah Worsley

“Where do you draw momentum from?”

This was the question every TEDxCanberra speaker tried to answer in their presentation this year. Over the course of the day, I felt awe, joy, sadness, and amazement, and danced, sung, clapped, and laughed. Each speaker had a unique journey, but all had a common thread of drawing strength from somewhere, without looking back.

But this day has left me with a burning question, especially as I sit here, a week later than I had wanted to, trying to write a blog post. Where the bloody hell do I draw my momentum from?

After last year’s TEDxCanberra, I wrote about my slightly wonky study trajectory, and strangely enough I’m drawn to write about it again. There’s something about a TEDx experience that encourages you to investigate your own life, and to think about what drives you, why it does, and what you’re going to do with that drive.

My question of late has been “where has my drive gone”? I’m currently gap yearing/working hard and enjoying a brain break. And after almost 14 years of school/study, I’ve come to associate that with momentum. An essay a day is demonstrative of drive. A colour-coded mind-map shows motivation. Heading into medicine is off the back off my study momentum.

But TEDx taught me that momentum comes in many, many different ways. I was particularly interested in what photographer Grace Costa spoke about in her address. When she began to talk about horses, I guess I was instantly hooked. I’m still a Saddle Club kid at heart. And what Grace discussed about home gave me a deeper understanding of how I can be changing my trajectory, while still maintaining momentum.

She told us about how her mentor had advised against her idea to photograph horses at the old Mt Stromlo Observatory. But for Grace, horses had been there her whole life, they meant something to her, and they were representative of her home, hard work, and her family’s passion. Momentum comes from passion, and often, from the best parts of your past.

I think this is why I’ve come full circle and come upon primary school teaching. It comes from a passion for teaching, a love for kids, and a desire to go back to rural areas. I’ve really had to elucidate these meanings from the mess inside my head in order to find where I get that momentum from. And like Grace, my momentum comes from home. In my mind, if that’s where I get my passion and drive from, then that’s what I should be focussing on.

TEDx this year taught me that momentum is really good at hiding. Maybe confusion is part of the game. But eventually, a part of your past pops up so often that you can’t ignore it, and it makes sense to include it in your future too.