Sunday, February 28, 2016

Moving to Sydney and Back (in less than a week) // A Lesson in Growing Up


Freshwater Beach, 27/02/2016

As always, posts on this blog have been quite slow, however, life has not been.

At the start of February I applied for a position at a  Liberal Arts College in Sydney. It seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to study something I have a genuine interest in, explore a new place, form a new purpose and escape some of the stress of living in Brisbane etc. I got accepted straight away thanks to the help of their staff (who I would like to point out are a very friendly bunch), and proceeded planning a tentative move to a state I had never been to. In calculating costs, I knew I wouldn't be able to afford it unless I got a bursary. I was lucky enough to obtain a scholarship in the end which would cover the majority of my costs of living on campus for a semester. I was only positive about the move though two days before I actually left, so the time before and during that was a total nightmare. It's safe to assume I was the ultimate shrew to all those around me... There was a lot of "stress-tears" and stress in general. I'm not sure whether these tears were caused by not knowing whether I would be able to go (I'm not a fan of uncertainty), or the fact that I wouldn't see my loved ones and friends for a long time and I hadn't fully grasped how real it was all becoming. I was trying so hard to stay honest to myself that I became very confused. I believed in this so much that nothing was going to stand in the way of me moving or finding a way to make it happen.

I grow attached. when I love people, I really love them, even though sometimes I'm not the best at showing it. The same goes for affection, I'm painfully awkward at showing it to the people I love, so I avoid it in general when in reality, I think it's a vital part of human growth, development and feeling as though I belong. I had grown attached. Brisbane was where I had planted my feet at the beginning of 2015 and flowers had just begun to blossom and curl up around my ankles.
Anyway, so my friends hosted a going away party for me and there were generous gifts and lovely words said (because it also happened to be my 19th birthday the day after I was to arrive). Everything seemed rushed and blurry, uncertain and new. I felt like I was balancing on a tightrope above a huge drop that had an unknown surface, and there were two posts on either side with signs both saying "COME THIS WAY" . It was stressful, and it felt weird. And when I hugged people for what should've been the last time for a while, it felt odd because I wasn't emotional at the time.  I caught a flight early on Tuesday morning and was jittery the whole hour and a half. I arrived in Sydney shaking with excitement - Ah, a new life! A place I had never been to before! What an adventure! SYDNEY!

Sydney hadn't disappointed me! On the contrary, I was awestruck by pretty much everything I saw - from Hyde Park and the Archibald Fountain, to the stunning Cathedral  of St Mary in the CBD. Homesickness is crippling though, and cannot be cured with prescription drugs or a few days rest. It can't be cured really unless you're willing to fully grasp your changed environment as perhaps an improvement to your last. Moving to Sydney made me realize how much I loved Brisbane. It wasn't always easy for me, but I loved it nonetheless and, that first night when I was alone in my dorm room, everything about Queensland became appealing: from the regular coffee customers at work, the humidity, to my room mates, family and friends. I know now that moving to Sydney was something that wasn't right for me at this moment in my life, and crying nonstop in an unfamiliar place by myself for the time I was at college, albeit 2 whole days, was something I don't ever want to relive, as "character building" as it would seem.
After swollen eyes were assessed and hours of phone calls to the people who love me, and I, them, I decided that perhaps it was time to come home and face the music: I was simply not ready for something like this in my life yet. I spent the weekend with my brother, eating Italian pastry and coffee and exploring a few more sights before flying out on Sunday evening after hanging out with good friends and going to a beautiful Latin mass at Lewisham.

I've learnt a lot about myself in the last few weeks. Firstly, that it's okay to change your mind. It's okay to make mistakes and look like a bit of a dingbat for a while. It's okay if you're not ready to do something. It's great to test one's boundaries, but it's also okay to admit to yourself that you're not ready and seek comfort and explore your capabilities later when you're more equipped to handle it. I am proud of myself, I know that looking back on this will be a tiny speck in my 80+ years (finger's crossed I age like a fine wine) of living, but at least I understood that being 19 has its obstacles and sometimes spontaneity and "fresh starts" aren't always a good idea if they're used even partly as a way to escape unsolved problems. The fact that I even moved to Sydney so suddenly is, I think, a testament to my evolving character because I assure you that I would NEVER have even considered that when I was 16/17.

If I want to be the best Maria Clare Savage I can be, it's all about understanding and being honest with myself and what I am capable of at points in my life... And at the moment, at 19, I'm not ready to move to Sydney.
I'd love to live there one day though, because it's beautiful and exciting and I think that's what life should be like. Beautiful and exciting.
Brisbane is home - at least for now.

P.s: If you read this whole thing... please reward yourself with a cup of tea. Or a pat on the back. Or listen to some Louis Armstrong (or do all of the above anyway). Thanks for reading though. Also, I know this post is a shambles, but it isn't showcasing my writing capabilities, more so an example of how I am going through a very confusing period in my life right now, and I like to share things because I know that there's someone else out there too (there's gotta be!) who could be experiencing the same thing.


The Harbour Bridge, an Italian Patisserie, Archibald Fountain

1 comment:

Shannon Boyce said...

It is wonderful that you were able to learn so much in such a short period of time. You're right. It IS okay to change your mind. To wait until the timing is right. Until you feel ready. And it takes a very brave person to recognize that. <3
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