As I sit on the plane waiting to arrive in Sydney in a few short hours, I cannot help but have all the memories cycle through my mind; ones that I have spent the last year recounting in this blog. Of course I immediately think of my first love – the country itself, and then come all the other memories like a tidal wave, both good and bad, of friends and moments that I can remember as if I had just left yesterday.
I am listening to Powderfinger’s Wishing on the Same Moon on my iPod and it has all become too much and I’ve begun to tear up. Dammit! No tissues!
What people, especially my family, do not understand are all the little reasons why I love this place so much, and if I had been presented with different circumstances, in an alternate universe, I would never have left. They draw the conclusions that I just miss my mates, but I do have great mates in Canada as well – ones that I love very much; it’s all so much deeper than that.
My mother angrily remarked at one point years ago that I must have been an Australian in another life – and I think she was right. From the moment I stepped off the plane it was an indescribable feeling, like I was finally coming home – and that was even before I met anyone or fell in love.
Australia was the first place that I really felt like I belonged. Before then, I had been so wrapped up in competitive sports that I really didn’t have time to be a part of a solid ‘group’ of friends and I dreaded situations where having one would have come in handy. Although I know she thought I was a little crazy when she first met me, Kayla was the first person I met that went to my new school and still to this day is one of my best mates.
Now The Whitlams’ Melbourne has come on. Fantastic! Where are the God damn tissues, Quantas?!
It was also the first place that I really got to explore who I was as an individual and as a young woman. It was where I got into some serious situations – ones that I do not regret but definitely apologise for, with all sincerity. It annoys me when people say about themselves, “I was a different person back then.” I don't really see how that's possible. For me, I was the same person then as I am today – just a whole lot wiser and a little bit fatter. That young woman is a part of me – and she had a big role in helping me learn from my mistakes and grow up.
When I returned a couple years later, I rented my first flat in Melbourne and except for a little financial assistance, it was where I truly became responsible for every aspect of my life as a young adult. Before that, I had lived either at home or on campus in nice little protective bubbles.
Machine Gun Fellatio’s Unsent Letter has just started. Seriously? Who picked these songs? Oh yes, me. :)
That song brings me to my final point that it was here where I had lost my heart for the first time. I have never met anyone else that had quite the same intense experience that I had with Jim, and perhaps that is why it is forever etched on my heart like a treasured battle scar.
Maybe when people remain in the same place whilst growing up and having all these ‘coming of age’ experiences, geography doesn't usually play a factor – but for me, they were mostly all experienced in a separate location from where I lived; all these memories are all wrapped up with a perfect little bow, and is why I cannot separate the country from the experiences – they are one, and always will be.
Melbourne, baby, I’m coming home!