Tuesday, 1 February 2011

***WARNING*** Feelings and stuff contained below. ***CONTINUE AT OWN RISK***

I don't know why I always blog when I'm meant to be going to sleep.
I think it's because I'm more creative when I'm so tired my eyes droop and my fingers keep hitting the wrong keys.
And I actually had to stop and think to make sure I didn't write "and my keys keep hitting the fingers".
I don't know where the 'wrong' went in that, but I'm too sleepy to care.

On an unrelated note, I'm in Melbourne.
IF (intentional capitalisation) you don't know, I was born in Melbourne, and pretty much come back at least once a year.
This time, it's struck me really strongly how much I love it here. But a different kind of loving it to what I used to have.

Let me clarify.
Yeah, you can't stop me clarifying!

So, I lived in Melbourne until just after my sixth birthday, which means - if you don't know - I moved up to Canberra in June 1998. When I first found out we were moving, I was so upset. Leaving my friends, and my home and my everything and moving to this stupid place I'd never even heard of! Eugh! And I remember crying for hours because I had to go back to kindergarten.
[If you don't know, in Victoria (and some other places) kindergarten is the year or two before you start primary school: what is known in Canberra as pre-school. In Canberra, the first year of school (in Melbourne called Prep) is actually called kindergarten. So, in my mind, I was regressing intellectually, being forced back a year. It was very traumatic.]
And then once we were up here, I wanted SO BADLY to go back. I recall fussing and carrying on and trantruming because I wanted to live in Melbourne again, and I hated this stupid 'city' where nothing happens.
A few times, my mum got upset, because she preferred Canberra to Melbourne, and she felt more at home here, but to my pre-adolescent self, I couldn't understand any of this. I just wanted to move back HOME.
I was pining for my idea of a place that I was too young to understand. I didn't really know Melbourne that well. I was young enough that most of my experiences had been out of my control, and really, I couldn't remember a lot of them anyway. But, it was home to me, and where I'd grown and made connections, so I wanted it.

Unfortunately, the powers of a 9 - 10 year old girl over her parents' life-changing decisions is not as prolific as she might have hoped, and we stayed in 'Berra.
It took me a few years to realise that it was fantastic to be here.

Now, I'm not saying I love Canberra. I think it can be dull, and REALLY, nothing EVER happens here. But if I'd stayed in Melbourne, I know I'd not be the person I am today. The social influences on me would have been completely different, my parents may not have got divorced, or it may have happened differently, I'd have grown up around my family. I'm not saying I'm glad I didn't have these things, but if I had, I wouldn't be who I am now.
And I like who I am now.

So, I finally reached an age where I can appreciate being in Canberra, and the people I've met and the things I haven't done (because have I mentioned nothing happens there?).

But it was only really this trip to Melbourne that I fell in love with Melbourne for a different, if related, reason.
I love the people here, and what I have shared with them.
I love how special each and every memory me and my oldest friend Courtney have. We spend so little time together that every time we see each other, it's so much more special. And we laugh at random memories, like trying to eat a bath bomb this one time, and avoiding being captured in the naked videos that some other members of my family and Courtney's didn't avoid.
Not that I wouldn't like to see Courtney every day, but you get the idea.
And I love how when I go to Courtney's house, all her family and my family sit around and talk about the embarrassing stories we have about each other.

And I love that I can sit with my family and apart from the initial ten minutes after arriving, it doesn't seem like I've ever left. I can get as many hot drinks as I like from my pa, and my cousins just want to play and cuddle and my aunts and uncles are chatty about regular, family, normal things.

I come down here, and I feel comfortable. It's not about some deep connection I imagined or hoped to have as a child. It's not that Melbourne is just a hundred times cooler than Canberra.
It's just that no matter how stressed out, hot, bothered, annoyed or embarrassed I get here, I feel completely comfortable.

But don't stress Canberra folk! I feel that way with you too. It's just slightly more surprising being somewhere I don't live. Somewhere that isn't, despite the fervent wishes of my childhood, my home.

I don't know the point of this, so I wouldn't try too hard to figure it out. It was just some thoughts I'd been having that I wanted to share.


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