For a long time, about Melbourne I’ve said – this is not my last stop.
I’ve never been on a mobile phone contract here.
Even when I was married – perhaps it was in how much time we spent apart – I thought mostly in relative terms of “when was the next stint apart?” Or “when was he coming back?”
When I quit junior college as an almost -17-year-old – I relished in the no-plan-plan.
My itinerant, semi-nomadic #lifeofanartist – a probable extension of all these selves.
And for the last eleven years, what I’ve done – was to not leave.
I am 5 months in to the job at Next Wave, and l find myself thriving.
There are days where it feels like I have been doing this my whole life; there is an ease about things. And then most other days, I am rightly challenged; and the thrill in which both fear and wanting wraps around – I lean into this life.
The most recent lockdown – the fourth in Melbourne since March 2020 – was a harder one. There was, like other times, such a gamut of feelings – but the one that stood out the most, was a quiet rage.
I watched the general disappointment and frustration of being back in lockdown – whilst completely valid a feeling – and felt anger at what seemed like complacency. That just because we have had it fairly safe, and had the taste of normal – that this global pandemic was far from over.
Until the day I can freely see my family again, this is far from over!
And even then – it is not lost on me – that many others, more than separated from their families, are grieving illnesses and deaths, missing weddings and births, and worrying about basic safety and survival.
Then it struck me – for the first time in a while now – to be afforded a rich work, social and cultural life is what I love so much about being here. It is what makes 6060km of this distance worthwhile – and yet.
I have missed the family so, so dearly.
The rage is perhaps more a reflection of my own measure. Like so many other lives lived, I have a tendency to do the right thing. For the most part, I have been calm, accepting and gracious about this situation. But like so many of those lives lived, I find myself wishing I was better at say, throwing a tantrum, or being erratic or reckless with my emotions.
And so instead – surprising myself – quietly, I raged.
But the comfort these days is that J and A make it easy to find home here.
This year, I find a stirring deep in my belly –
I think about work, and I dream about visions that exist in six-year iterations.
I have just committed to a five-year loan for a big aspirational purchase.
I am wrestling with my own thoughts about children.
The home space J and I continue to set up is warm and grounding. Amongst many other things –
it feels like I could be here for a long time.
And though I am terrified of the vulnerability this deep stirring requires of me;
I am right where I need to be
I’ve more than landed; I have arrived.
And for the first time since being here, it seems I am now – consciously –
choosing to stay.