So as some you may have seen or vaguely remember a post around the start of April saying that it’d finally happened, I was leaving ‘sunny’ Australia for ‘wet and miserable’ England, and then nothing. Well, life certainly enjoys throwing some curve-balls and it really is a matter of whether you swing and hope you hit the damn ball out of the park, or duck and pray it doesn’t hit you.
I did go, and I attended my first-cousin-twice-removed’s 100th birthday, it was awesome! She remembered who I was, we talked about her and my Nan in days gone, and she thanked me for coming to see her. She passed 6 weeks later and as with any passing my world feels a little dimmer without her in it. It was shortly after her birthday that it was apparent I would have to return to Australia for a little longer, just as well I had a return ticket! Now several months later I’m waiting to leave, permanently, on a one-way ticket. For anyone who’s immigrated you’ll understand this strange bittersweet situation, a daily procedure of doing things that you would on any regular day, only in the back of your mind is this niggling thought ‘is this the last time I’ll do this?’, or ‘is this the last time I’ll see this person?’. It’s truly bizarre. Everything suddenly feels intangible, not quite real and ever so slightly out of place, as if you’re stuck in your own surrealist artwork – which for a writer is a true mind bending series of moments. I’m living in a stream of consciousness novel and I have no idea who’s doing the narrating!
But I digress.
It’s been 5 months since I returned to Australia, 5 months in which I’ve lived not knowing when I’d be leaving again, or on some of the less great days, if I’d be leaving. It’s never really been an issue, I’ve always known I’d go, but not having a date has been something of challenge. No control. For someone who likes to plan everything out to the nth degree this is a nightmare, the plans don’t have to go 100%, but having a plan has always been a good thing in my book. For 5 months I’ve had no plan. No strategy, no idea if I was even still in the game let alone sitting on the bench (can I get any more sports metaphors in here?). So as of this moment I’m sitting at what used to be my dining table, writing a blog post that’ll go live in just under 3 weeks and wondering what could happen between now and then. Or should that be then and now? Who knows. What I do know is my checklist is getting shorter, all the things I had to do; cancelling bills, changing names on accounts etc, and saying goodbye are becoming fewer and fewer. I’m not dying, the internet has made things so much easier to stay in contact with friends and family near and far. But it’s not the same. For most of my friends this is it, I won’t see them again, sure we’ll write, we’ll email or use Facebook, but there won’t be any more coffee’s or beers and a catch-up, I won’t be at their birthdays or family parties, and it’s weird sense of loss that I feel at that thought. Like many others who’ve done this move before me I’m focusing on what’s coming, a new life really is only the tip of the iceberg. New city, new living arrangements, new car, new… everything! It’s scary as hell. Some days I wake up almost in a blind panic questioning what the hell I was thinking signing up to do this, then I take a few moments and remember why, because I’ve always wanted to.
For those of us with an adventurous spirit, the kids who had to climb to the highest part of the tree to look out from the topmost branches, or who’d swim out the furthest in the sea when at the beach, this is part and parcel of our lives, the yearning to know, to experience, to understand what it is that lies just that bit further ahead where we can’t quite see or reach. But that doesn’t mean we’re not terrified that we could strive too far. This is a classic case of that sensation, wanting desperately and being fearful that the experience could come at a tragic cost, but the temptation still out weighs the risk. So for the next 25+ hours when this goes up onto my blog I’ll be winging my way across from the southern hemisphere to the northern one, two long haul flights, hopefully a LOT of sleep as I’m already exhausted, and my adventure begins in earnest, in the meantime I’ve cued up some music videos of songs that have either amused me or meant something to me along the way. I hope you enjoy them and don’t judge me too harshly for some of the dodgier choices. Until the next live post may all your travels be smooth and your smiles heartfelt.