In which I enlighten you with comic wit, dark charm and self-deprecating humour.
Many of the ideas in the blog posts that are to come have been rattling around my brain for a while, and they were gently teased out and then beaten into shape by the events of the last few years, in particular the last two months. At the end of July I moved from Perth, West Australia to Melbourne, Victoria with my partner and my brother, a journey which was both cathartic and very hard work.
You can see where the hard work part comes in, and Google maps lies: it most certainly does not take 36 hours
The three of us packed up or sold everything we had, piled the essentials into the car and drove four days over the Nullarbor to get here. Highlights included: fitting three people’s worth of stuff, including two motorbikes, into a station wagon and trailer, freezing cold nights in gross hotels across W.A. and S.A., stopping at the Bight to watch whales and their huge adorable calves, eating greasy roadhouse food, spending nearly a grand on fuel, and arriving to a house that is bigger than anywhere we’ve ever lived before.
Dreaming of red dust
That wide open sky
Still on that wide open road
At the Bight
Spot the whale
Dawn: beautiful & freezing
It was an adventure, one that I’m glad is over. Building a life in a new city is satisfying but exhausting, and realising that achieving your lifelong dreams could take a few years is at first crushing, then a relief.
All the food we brought with us. We have saucy priorities
I lived in Perth basically because I had to; I couldn’t stay in my tiny country town after finishing high school, and Perth was pretty much the only option. I rarely felt at home there, and after living in that city for six and a half years I only found a solid community of friends in the last two. I moved house four times, I tolerated an array of terrible housemates, suffered what felt like endless loneliness, and in turn endured some awful friends and romantic partners in attempts to allay that loneliness. There were of course good times there, but they were never quite equal to the bad times, and after a while the bad memories permeated so strongly into the corners of that city that I felt like I could never be home there.
For the last two months in this new city I have been addressing and un-learning every bad thing that I have been carrying around with me from my time living in Perth. It’s amazing how quickly you can leave those things behind when you start the process. The next step, alongside and above moving on from the bad times, has been expanding and exploring my creative abilities, as a writer and as a person. Part of what helped me tease some of these ideas into shape was reading Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, which I loved for so many reasons, not least of which is that it is completely, appallingly honest and unabashed. She writes that nothing is gutsier to her than someone telling their story because they believe it deserves to be told. I am an introvert, something it has taken me my entire life to come to terms with, and have felt for a good chunk of my creative (and personal) journey that what I have to say isn’t really worth saying, and is certainly not worth listening to. I’ve deconstructed where this feeling comes from, and it has its roots in many different factors that ultimately meld into a big lump of I’m-not-that-important-and-the-world-isn’t-interested-in-me. Reading Dunham’s memoir was the crucial and final step in my realisation that it doesn’t matter a fart whether the world is interested in me: I’M interested in me. And so the website and blog that I have been trying to begin for years has finally taken form, and you are now reading it, so I guess that means you’re interested. But, more importantly, I enjoy writing it.