Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To the well-organised mind.

I'm going through a massive Harry Potter phase right now which makes me wonder about a whole lot of stuff I've never really figured out. I consider myself a part of the Harry Potter generation (as opposed to say the Star Wars generation, or the Flower Power one, or Elvis, or some other cultural marker-related age bracket...) and it seems entirely regular for people to define themselves through something that they feel gives their life more structure and meaning. And often that's a movie, book, musician, celebrity, political figure, artist... But what does that mean, really? These are all such haphazard elements added to our lives through chance encounters and the contributions they make to our states of being are so variable, how can we judge them as so important? Especially considering the gravity of so many other occurrences in our lifetimes and the comparatively lesser attention paid to them. All the while the contemporary culture of the day, or even retrieved relics of bygone eras, are- sometimes solely- invoked to characterise our existence. I relate the feelings I have toward Harry Potter to my childhood, the people around me, and the messages and morals I feel are relevant to my consciousness and lifestyle. But in a hundred years we'll all be dead and what will it mean then? Why is it so important to me to define myself through this thing that's so irrelevant in the Grand Scheme of Things?

This is not a new question. I think most people have wondered about things like this from the time they fully comprehended their own mortality, for some of us it wasn't for a long while and for others like my younger sister it was when they were around six. And there is that ever-lingering question in everything that we do; why else the emphasis on not procrastinating, and being happy, or experiencing love? We are constantly told to spend our time wisely. Nothing is precious unless there is a finite amount of it. So it is curious to me that we choose to spend our time so differently, or even more interestingly, in the same way. If you added together all the hours people my age had spent reading Harry Potter or watching the film adaptations (not to mention talking about it), you could create a lifetime for every character mentioned in the series.

Is it positive or negative that something so superficial- a woman's imaginative narrative- has absorbed so much of our time, captured our attention so much more than fleetingly? Should I be happy or proud of being obsessed with another person's words and mind for years? The inevitable follow-on from worrying about this is; if not a children's story, what is worth spending my thoughts and moments on? If I'm worried about being remembered as part of the group who worshipped tales of a bespectacled wizard, what would I feel more comfortable with?

And I don't have an answer to that. If it comes to leaving this life knowing my contribution was as yet another voice praising J.K. Rowling, even at nineteen or ninety when I should surely have grown out of reading about Harry's antics, I think I'll be satisfied with that. I don't know what the meaning of life is or how I was supposed to spend mine, but the human experience is so complex and the desire, shared by the Bronte sisters and Virginia Woolf and even this far, far less brilliant girl, to define oneself by the writing you adore, feels too comfortable and comforting for me to deny. When thinking about all the great deeds I could be doing with my days, I find motivation to wax poetic about Potter pandemonium far more readily than that to do anything else.

And, mortal or not, who am I to deny nature?

Saturday, December 4, 2010


My discovery that there was a movie of Hypatia's life was something of a surprise.

The film adaptation made by Alejandro Amenabar, starring Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, is simply extraordinary. I was excited and frustrated when I learned of the existence of this film because it was there but I couldn't see it. As is heartbreakingly, unbearably, gutwrenchingly common in Australia, we didn't receive this film until long after other audiences had seen it. Agora is getting a very limited cinematic release in Melbourne a full year after its world premiere. As a pop culture addict and spoilt brat, having to wait for any length of time for... anything to do with the media- is absolute death. Worst of all, when forced to wait long enough, I convince myself to forget about the whole thing and repeat an inner monologue along the lines of "I don't care all that much anyway." And if I had kept with that way of thinking I might have missed out on this mind-blowing film. Luckily my mother wanted to see it and also desired company. I was more than happy to oblige.

The movie is extraordinary. I was captivated by Rachel Weisz as I always am but there is always an air about her that there is something she's not telling you and that was absolutely essential to a character as inherently inscrutable as Hypatia. The script and direction perfectly mirrored her focus on something bigger, broader and more mystical than potential suitors and religions nitpicking each other's shortcomings. I love that Hypatia was imagining things so beautiful in the sky and in the mind that obsessed and enchanted her but she was accused of being too rational, too questioning, and incapable of believing in anything. Truly, though, there is nothing more fantastic than the theories she put her faith in. And she knew that every step of the way which is why she told one of her former students, now a bishop: "You don't question what you believe. I must."

There are so many messages in this narrative. A discussion of the persecution of intellectuals and what a society loses when it cuts down those who seem to know so much more than us. The fear demonstrated in that action and the uselessness of taking a person from the world for the small reason that they disagree with us. Which bleeds into the other warning about the dangers of fundamentalism of any kind and of religious intolerance leading to the damaging or eradication of other cultures and people.

The film demonstrates how passion of any kind is stunning and essential to a satisfying life. And, therefore, beauty is what we make it. Hypatia's love affair with the stars, the "wandering" planets, the sun and the earth's relation to it all is startling in its vivid invocation of emotion and an irrepressible desire to be closer to her beloved, only ever glimpsed at a distance; the answer to her mind's endless queries. Her good-natured struggle with her intellect's own shortcomings and final victory over her own close-mindedness is a lesson she is not the first to teach us. We can all make the choice to better ourselves, pursue a larger story than our own.

But, similarly, we are shown that obsession and fear and ambition can also turn us into larger entities, but not ones we can be proud of. Especially when we ignore the reverence for life that defines people like Hypatia, we are truly lost. The movie depicts weak or disadvantaged individuals who are susceptible to the mob mentality, who find peace in the deindividuation that religious or other groups can allow them, and are convinced of the validity of their destruction of others. Being part of the majority does not prove that you are right, especially if you are doing things you would consider evil if done by others- like they may once have done to you.

Which is another thing I respect about the film. It does not singularly demonise the Christians; it is as equally unimpressed with the initially smug and arrogant Pagans when they are in power. Whoever is in government sees it as their duty to punish or kill others for their perceived ignorance and only when they are thrown from their previously comfortable positions do they acknowledge that the needless violence and exaggerated sense of pride and honour was wrong. Even Hypatia herself is not perfect; a product of her time, she is prone to undervaluing and mistreating slaves. Her affection for her personal slave, Davus, does not stop her from insulting him or taking advantage of him. The director and actor's depiction of Davus' unrequited love for his mistress makes the audience feel more keenly the cutting nature of her bigoted remarks.

Aside from her personal shortcomings though, Hypatia is something bigger than either her beauty or her worship of knowledge. She is a symbol of feminine defiance, in many ways. The most obvious manifestation of that is her refusal to marry or take a lover, though in the film she is given at least one very suitable match in Orestes. Rachel Weisz imbues her character with a sensuality and conflicted nature, invoked especially in her interactions with Orestes. The dialogue allows her to muse on her choosing learning above love and where that has lead her- although, fittingly, she interrupts herself to continue researching and inadvertently answers her own question. Her independence as a woman in Alexandria hinges on being unmarried and allowed to teach and speak as she pleases without a husband present to clap a hand over her mouth, and her independence as a thinker hinges on her being free to imagine rather than entertain or have children or keep a home.

More than just her sexual identity though, Hypatia exhibits typically feminine traits in other dissident acts. Her sometimes lone hatred of war, violence and cruelty in the film could be characterised as a woman's hysteria but, in fact, it is what makes her the most human of any of the other characters. Her consistent pleas that mercy and reason be used to resolve arguments are what are now considered key elements to a civilised and fair society but were- then and even now- dismissed as soft, maternal ideas that inhibit progress and even justice. Hypatia's ideals of peace and tolerance are her most rational.

The destruction of the Alexandria library, then the largest in the world, was harrowing. The most depressing realisation of the scene, with scrolls being torn and burned, was that the event has taken place a thousand times since then. A pre-existing love of knowledge is still perhaps the first thing to be outlawed in reborn societies and the use of force to overthrow passive institutions continues to be one of the most distressing and repetitious tactics used by humans. This scene was, next to Hypatia's death scene, the film's single most disturbing moment if only because of its epitomising the overall theme of a film focussed on the tragedies of intolerance, violence and war: waste.

This blog has gone on ridiculously long but I needed to write it. I just needed to. After seeing the film this afternoon, I felt like I needed to talk about it all. If only to myself. I was impressed by the writing, the cinematography, every single one of the actors, the epic scope of some scenes matched with the heart wrenchingly small details of others. The moment where Davus disobeys everything he's ever been taught just to touch Hypatia- her foot, actually- as he has probably wanted to forever. The theories being formulated by curious students and teachers in bare feet and Roman dress compared with the realities we "know" now- although to follow Hypatia's lead, we should always question that. The overwhelming violence of the battle scenes overshadowed by the fervor of religious extremism.

I love that this movie was made. I love that this was made by a man about a woman so impressive and complex that after another millennium has gone by a schoolgirl like me will fall in love with her and want to know more about her and for everyone else to just know her- she will want all of this just as desperately as I did.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the "Come Home" Blues.

This is what my best friend has dubbed my current melancholy. She's right, I suppose; these feelings are of a completely different texture to those I experienced while away or before I'd ever set out on that trip. I drift between a desire to be working and at university and spending time with people and a desperate need to engrave the shape of my silhouette into my mattress, sink into the hole and never leave it, just sleep and read and journal and watch TV and listen to music without ever having to exit my fetal position pose ever again.

And although my depression is unique, the urges it gives me are by no means similarly individual. It sucks that although every person in the world that has ever felt unhappy had their own reasons, they all fall into the such narrow categories when it comes to how they dealt with it. But we all want to be seen as different. Sucks, doesn't it?

So while I could continue to characterise myself as a reluctant cliche (but then, consciously or unconsciously, that is always how I will come across), I actually wanted to write about some other stuff, not just my dark days and inability to find a job.

It is nice to be back on this blog though. I left off in such a horrible way which is sort of the proof I needed that my overseas trip was necessary. To recap: trip was good but hard sometimes, person I mentioned in my eight-month old last post is still letting me talk to them and family is still deliciously dysfunctional. And I mean that. My family are exactly the same as when I left but somehow I think I'm a little different, like an identical twin that is exactly the same as their sibling DNA-wise but still likes to part their hair to the other side. I promise better similes in my future posts.

Anyway, things are crazy right now purely because things aren't crazy. I have absolutely nothing going on. For the first time in my life, I'm not moving in any direction. No school. No work. No plans. No prospects. Sorry, that last one was rather Jane Austen. But basically, I am adjusting to being a Lady of Little-to-do. I would say "leisure" but that costs money and I have absolutely none. I am going to spend my summer reading library books, eating hummus straight out of the tub (or bowl) and browsing Melbourne markets where I can afford nothing, before riding into the sunset on my bike that I will abandon if it breaks because I have not the money or the means to fix it.

Who said I can't have a happy ending?

Monday, March 22, 2010

I just want you to be happy.

It's an unusual feeling, the one you get when you outgrow a friendship. I feel nauseous all the time when I think about it, there's no other way to be. Along with fears of abandonment, conflict and exclusion; also present in my heart is a fear of love. I could spend years discussing if my issues with both friendship and romance are a result of my upbringing or just my own persona, divorced from any external influence. But the reality is that I have to break someone's heart and my own and it's not the first time. I have a friend who put me on a pedestal and loved me more than I ever deserved. I, in turn, idealised them and treated them as cotton wool to shield me from the world. They built me up and both believed in and tolerated me at the very best and worst of times for me. When I was younger I needed someone to be that for me and for the longest time I thought I still needed that.

But I sabotaged that friendship recently; I have to believe out of a concerted desire to just bring out our demise rather than dread it any longer. I feel like an actor in our relationship because regardless of how much I love my friend, I don't love what I become every time I am around them. I regress and I allow their high opinion of me to make me obnoxious, too comfortable and too smug. I don't think our friendship is real anymore and it hasn't been for a while now. We're both putting on fake smiles and I think I'm figuring out why.

My friend loved me. Was in love with me. And, as arrogant and conceited as this may sound, will always at least remember those feelings when they look at me. In a sick way I think I have always known that and for a long time I enjoyed knowing I could be that sort of figure to someone. I've never been in a relationship, partially because nobody I have ever wanted has ever wanted me back and partially because I am incapable of dealing with emotions the way most people do. I think this friendship was a pseudo-relationship for me and the longer that I protested that everything was fine the more I realised that it could never be. Because though- at least for a certain period of time- I enjoyed the way my friend looked at me; I can't sit across the table from somebody who sees me that way. I never could. I ran from somebody I could have truly loved because of my inability to be held in that kind of mythical esteem by someone and I have run from more than one person who could have been a great friend to me for the same reason.

I feel sad that this might reflect the way I'll behave for the rest of my life. I am not behaving rationally or regularly and that may become a pattern I never break. I don't want to be idolised and I don't want people to put me in the centre of their world, not even in a good way (ha, as though there could be one). I am hypocritical because I have obsessed over people and loved them just as much as I claim to have been loved. How would I feel if my victims told me they were as unwilling as I am? But I can't help who I am and that is someone who is squiriming all the time because she exploits those who need her because it's the only way she knows how to be and it's hurting her, too.

Mostly I want my friend to be happy. They're amazing and they will have a great life with or without me. It's time to not be friends anymore, at least for a while. I am sorry for my inability to tell them in any softened way and for the way this realisation has happened but I can't apologise for what I know is the right thing. We stopped being good for each other a while ago and though I could continue pretending for our sake or our other friends' sake, I won't let my life be a shadow of what it could have been because I continue to make decisions based on other people rather than myself. I owe us both the opportunity to grow up. This is not an opinion I wish to discuss or defend or alter. It is one I have fought enough myself. It's time to articulate it and move on.

If I wrote "Mission Accomplished" as a closing note, the irony might just kill me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yippee ki yay.

My family continues to be a powder keg. Sometimes I think I'm the flame retardant standing by and sometimes I think I'm the spark. Friday night saw more yelling and slamming doors. Shelley's apartment today smelled like the holiday units we've stayed in during previous summers. I remember those places as neutral environments that acted like blank canvasses, clean slates, somewhere for our family to be different than we were before. And every year we'd come home again and find ourselves unchanged and miserable as ever, always one moment away from blowing up. I spent this weekend wondering whether, while I'm gone, my father's juvenile behaviour will subside in the face of my sister's indifference and mother's exhaustion. What do I do for my family dynamic that I will not be here to do for the next few months?

Andrea has taught me that the key to a good action movie is explosions. I guess I wonder if my actions, in leaving or just being a part of this family, make me the villain or the hero. And whether the aftermath may justify the lighting of our fuse.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A heart plus a heart.

You're never going to lose me. I'm made out of glue.

You stitched me up when I was falling apart and loved me more than I could ever have asked to be loved. You placed my head on your shoulder every day of one of the hardest years of my life. You held my hand, giggled at my jokes, stroked my hair... you were everything that I needed at a very dark time for me. I manipulated you, I think, promised you - through lies of omission - something that I couldn't give you. I wasn't able, at that time, to give much of anything to anyone. But I'm sorriest of all for the things I wasn't able to give you. I will always be jealous of anyone you love the way you loved me. And anyone you love more than you loved me.

You're not boring. You're not forgettable. And you're not mine.

I'm going to go away and learn to be the person you always told me I could be. You've always believed in me and idealised me in a way that I needed. I can never thank you enough for thinking I am better than I am. Your over confidence in what I can do will most likely put me over the line in the days I am sure to feel like I want to give in to the voices in my head that tell me I'm worthless. But I'm going to try my hardest not to miss when you saw a light lining my shadow. And I know you're never going to see that there again.

I think we're both going to have to be okay with that.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Things are looking up, oh finally.

Things that might be good rather than bad:

* The possibility of a Canadian working visa.
* A different trip than I'd planned. One that puts me in Canada for the summer.
* Angry rants at certain long-suffering friends.
* A day off work here and there. It offers possibilities of baking and chai lattes in the city.
* A haircut. Oh, gawd, the mullet is getting gross.
* Cancelling travel insurance, UK visa application and long-standing beliefs.
* Rearranging everything. Everything.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Louder than sirens, louder than bells.

My week. Hmm. My week.

I stepped on a small piece of broken glass in bare feet. I realised I most likely won't qualify for a working visa so will have to rely on my wits in Europe. My wounds from the fall I had over a week ago are still healing rather slowly and the scab on my knee just gets grosser. I got downgraded from full time at work to two days a week. I'm not sleeping properly. I owe my parents a lot more money than I am currently making because I was given an hour and a half's notice that I was losing a lot of work. I'm lonely all the time and it's so much more my fault than anything else's because I push everyone away at the worst possible times and then cling to them without explanation.

My mood is refusing to improve. I'm trying, I really am. I have this deep set belief that what you project, good or bad, is what is returned to you in life. So I feel like all of this is happening because I've made mistakes or been cruel or selfish. And I know that if I continue to be negative and nasty and useless that it'll only get worse. It's just so hard to ignore all of the things that are hurting so much right now.

If I was happier and friendlier at work then maybe this would *stop* happening. Maybe they'd find the hours for me. If I could get my teen angst together and get over myself, people would want to hang out with me and I'd want to hang with them and we could enjoy whatever time is left for me here in Melbourne. Maybe I could be more careful with my body and my mind and the hurts would stop finding me so easily.

It's all about hope, really. Every single terrible thing that happens, and every single great thing too. All that is present in my life right now and all that is coming. I'm trying to process and articulate experiences with that in mind.

And at the end of it all, you're waiting there in my head. Like a shadow standing in this ambiguous doorway that I want to be ready to step through but aren't yet. I want to come with you but I need to find you properly first. I've never been sure about you, of who you really are, but I know you're perfect for me. Or perfect for who I plan to be. When I've evolved enough, sorted all this out- sorted me out- I want us to be together. Whatever that means. Wait for me. Or find me first?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We're still holding hands through a catflap, aren't we?

I had my tarot read last night and it was beautiful. It was frightening and mysterious and confusing. For what it was, it was beautiful.

I also learnt about Buddhism, meditation and the inner lives of two of my good friends.

It's too soon to talk about it. It was too soon last night and I don't know when I'll be ready. But I want to be ready. A lot happened yesterday, the details of which I can't really articulate. But it was magical in a really melancholy, unexpected way.

Today I simply recovered from everything I discovered last night.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Please destroy me this way.

You told me we shouldn't talk and it's the last thing I want but I'm doing it. And now you're everywhere in my head and this isn't new or unexpected. I'm trying so hard to let you go because I truly believe it's what you want. But is it possible I'm doing something wrong there, too? I hope not. I hope you're well. I love you, always, regardless of what I say or write to contradict that statement. Really.

I fell.

So now I'm off work and sitting on my bed, alone, since Trina left me happier than I can remember being in some time. We had tea, ate too much cake and she gave me a lot of gifts, some physical and some not. One was a book. Another was the realisation that there is hope. For her, especially, and for me also. I'm $120 poorer for staying home today but I don't feel it.

I think I will make dinner for my mother tonight. She's been impressing people for almost a month now and I think it's exhausting her. I need her to know she is loved here, too, though maybe not so blindly. I think that's better, really, and I hope she does too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Morning comes and you don't want to know me anymore.

My credit card application was just approved so I can begin my long awaited descent into debt. One of my closest friends in the whole wide world arrives back in the country tomorrow. I fell on my arse today... in public... while wearing a short dress.

It's the litle things.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Protect me, protect me.

This time last year, I had just got my first adult job. Goodbye bright blue t-shirt with a hideous logo on the breast, hello ID cards and smooth telephone pick-up ("City morgue", my home phone greeting, was deemed inappropriate for the workplace).

I spent Valentine's Day in 2009 with a girl who loves to hold my hand and that was more than enough for me. We sat in corners of Melbourne and talked about various painful experiences we'd had recently. I wish she was in the country this year to be with on Sunday. I get to hug her soon, though, and that's enough for me.

If you want to find me tomorrow I'll be standing outside a bank with a humungous cup of tea and a terrified look on my face. Don't ask.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Copper boom.

In four hours it will be February. And thus, it will be around fifty days until I leave the country.

The whole world is orange at the moment because the sun is on its way down and I have terrible eyesight. Either that or the stress has actually begun to impede my vision.

I've been doing that thing I do when life gets to me. I picked a fight with one of the people I love most in the world. I either eat nothing but crap or nothing. And I am excruciatingly dull, most especially when writing blogs. Even I get bored listening to me talk. Seriously. I don't even want to finish these sentences because I know they're no better at the end than they were at the start.

I have fifty days to decide what I want. What I will do.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Shame is the shadow of love.

It's the morning of Australia Day and the air in my neighbourhood smells distinctly like burning. It makes me wrinkle up my nose but I'm sure other people associate the scent with barbeques. I hope it makes them smile.

I was disgusted the other day to realise that I have unwittingly accrued a slight tan this summer. How I did that I can't be sure but it's disappointing nonetheless. Thank goodness I'll be in England soon enough where, try as it might, the weather can't affect people's skin. Only their moods. Last night my neighbour talked to me about how when he was in England people went to the pub at lunchtime during winter in order to offset the boredom and loneliness they felt walking home from work in the dark later in the day. I wondered if he knew that I see so many people in the city doing that all the time while the sun still shines brightly overhead for the entire day and most of the night. What's our excuse?

I want to feel patriotic but it is a feeling I'm not entirely familiar with. The things I am proud of in this country are present in basically every other culture in the world, somewhere, and that's what I focus on when I think about things in this world that are beautiful and worth celebrating and fighting for. That being said, I am thankful for a country that gives me public holidays on which I can sleep in and catch up on reading and thinking and cooking. And I am thankful for a country that gives me the privileges I need in order to get organised for a long overseas trip. Right now I am mostly thankful for a country that is gracious enough to let me leave it and come back whenever I want.

I feel guilty for missing those who've left me so very much. I shouldn't want them back so badly, I should stop daydreaming about when they return. They will come back and I should be gracious and wish them well on their own adventures. They're travelling the world and discovering themselves and doesn't that sound like a familiar desire? And yet I count the seconds until they're back with me and I can claim them as my person, my friend. Don't cling so hard, Hannah, or they just might squeeze through the gaps in your fingers like sand. I stare at their postcards, pinned up on my cubicle wall at work, and imagine them. They exist only in my mind right now and, hell, that is a crazy place. Come home, guys. Please? I need you to be real so I can hug you and- I promise- let you go.

Today is waffle day, I've decided. So I'm going to go and eat my feelings. Try not to miss me too much, 'kay?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I felt the rush of a thousand heartbreaks.

I spent the first hour of my day today lying on a mattress in Andrea's lounge room eating popcorn and reading about places to go in Austria. I don't even plan to go to Austria. But it was fun to read about nonetheless.

Andrea and I had a movie night last night that she graciously let me fall asleep during at around 1am. That girl makes me really happy. Being around her means not bothering to put on an act or a persona. She's so low key in the best possible way. And she has a beautiful puppy who tries to eat your hand.

I miss having time during summer to go to the Australian Open and look at the pretty tennis players. I miss cooking all the time when I had flexible Uni hours. I miss having the presence of mind to miss things when you're not working all day and resting at night time because you're weak and lazy and ... me.

But mostly I'm good. I saw Ryan yesterday and he put me in the right mood to enjoy the rest of my weekend and actually sit down to write this blog. Hopefully I'll be up to writing something of substance after our next meeting, although knowing Ryan that'll be a while away. Ah well, see you in June.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oh yes.

Sitting in my living room watching musicals on DVD and researching travel insurance. Yay, my life.

I'm not happy. But I will be. I want to daydream through the woods in Wales and explore the winding streets of English villages. I am going to go swimming at completely inappropriate times of the year when my lips will go blue and I want to wear the completely wrong shoes when I go walking so my feet are covered in blisters. I want to eat disgusting meals I've bought in supermarkets and blow my last couple of dollars/pounds/euros/whatever on some time at an internet cafe so I can send emails lamenting my financial situation to the people waiting at home. But not home because home is what and where you make it and I plan to make it wherever I am for the next few months.

I want to hear strange accents that make me doubt that I've heard people right when they talk to me. I want to get lost in strange places while it's dark and raining and I just want to get somewhere warm and dry and familiar. I want to get so tired I fall asleep on trains and I want to get so hungry that I consider eating dairy again just because it's available. I want to just give up because everything's gone to hell and I want to come home and I miss what I had.

I want to come back to University desperate to study again because of all the life experiences I've had that have led me back to higher education. I want to outwear my welcome with people in other countries who I barely know but foolishly offered their couch to me. I want to want more than I can have in other countries and I want to want more than I can have from this trip.

When I feel completely overwhelmed at work and I resent the way I'm spending my summer, I remember just how greedy I am about my travelling plans. I'm not happy. But I will be.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Maybe someday you'll ask for me by name.

I could never forget the busy, eccentric local market or the way memories of my bedroom are of incense smoke spirals and folded, freshly laundered pyjamas. And sometimes they feel like one of my limbs, or my heartbeat; something essential to my life. I need to lose that feeling. I wonder when and how I will do that. But not if. Never if.

I'm going travelling in order to learn more about myself. I write for the same reason. But too often I feel like I'm not succeeding. So I stop writing altogether.


The closer I get to leaving Melbourne, the more I realise how much I owe to this city. I grew up thirty minutes from the centre of a mess of a metropolis. And I love that.

I love that my city stinks but people still like to sit by the putrid Yarra river and have coffee at filthy laneway cafes. I love that we all dress like we don't care (shopping at sales and Op shops and boutiques in the suburbs) and yet everyone is highly fashion conscious at the same time. I love the public transport in Melbourne and the issues that plague it (I finish my crossword while the tram sits in one place for forty minutes). I love being a walking stereotype and getting away with it at my wankerous inner-city university where lesbian, feminist, vegan Arts students are kind of the norm. I'll miss the Lord of the Fries store on the corner of Elizabeth and Flinders. I'll miss Brunswick Street where weirdos outnumber sane people. I'll miss the crazy arse weather in Melbourne that leaves you with a different season in each suburb you travel through on your way from one side of the city to the other.

I'll miss all those things but I won't. That's what happens when you change. You're rearranged and a little lost but you don't regret. I hope I feel that way when I'm walking around London in three months. And when I'm sitting in my shoebox of a bedroom. And maybe even when I'm remembering home.