The whole idea of Sydney and Home and Belonging (screw you Year 12) is still something I’m struggling with. I’m not sure if I’ll ever find peace with myself and knowing where I stand in the world, so right now everything is staying up in the air for a lot longer than I had hoped. I’m a girl born and raised in Sydney but now I live in Melbourne. It’s really not a very confusing concept but that sentence carries a ton of weight for me.
It’s been years now. And yet I often feel as if it was like I never left.
Oh my god, my writing is so terrible.
I’m constantly taken aback by how much things change each time I fly back. Stores that were pinpoints in my childhood disappear and swanky new chains I’ve never heard of before appear in their place. Maybe I’m just rubbish at dealing with change. Or maybe I’m just far too sentimental and nostalgic for my own good. It’s truly a combination of the two that makes me a pain in the ass to have around whenever I end up in the CBD with a friend. Thank god Pepper Lunch hasn’t been replaced. That’s high school right there.
My trips back up to Sydney are usually happy (albeit temporary) breaks from life for me. I like catching planes and I love staying over at friends’ houses. I get to both act like a tourist by hitting up every hipster cafe that makes the rounds on Instagram and lazily wander down George St like I did when I was younger. And I miss Sydney trains. Double deckers are really the best thing ever invented for someone who hates sitting opposite strangers and adores a window seat. There’s just nowhere to hide on Melbourne railways. I want to listen to music and stare at the trees fleeting past outside with no one looking in my direction – is that too much to ask?
Whenever I tell someone I’m originally from Sydney, the first question I get asked is, “Oh, so which do you like better?” Now to me that’s a difficult question. I could go with my heart or I could listen to my head. I could write up a pros and cons list. I could read articles about which is the more liveable city. I could basically flip a coin. I know that it’s not like the asker is expecting a deep, thorough explanation about my feelings on each place, but I feel like my answer is lacking and I always stumble as I desperately make a choice on the spot. At this point, I should probably write up a script that will appease both Sydney-siders and Melbournians. It seems like the politically correct thing to do but honestly I don’t know the right words to say yet.
The thought of moving back to where I grew up pops into my head quite often. It’ll be more truthful to say that it’s an idea I’m always going to hold onto. I’d love to no longer be known as the “high school friend that lives in Melbourne.” But that really does describe me. It could just be a case of Sydney grass being ever so much greener than over here and I expect I’d encounter a heap of difficulties adjusting to life far away from my family. Would I also stay feeling like a foreigner because I wasn’t around for more than four years? Living a life of “what ifs” is beyond torturous and I would hope that no one else’s list is as long as mine.
I love Australia. I am forever grateful that I’ve been able to grow up in one of the best countries in the world. To be able to say I’ve split my years in this life between the immensely popular states of NSW and VIC is even more humbling. I want to without a doubt travel the world and visit more countries than I can count, but I think I can only permanently reside here down under. I’m going to write more about this topic in the future, but this is enough for now. I think everyone out there has a lot of different thoughts on the notion of Home.
I love both Sydney and Melbourne for different reasons and I don’t think my heart will ever belong to just one place. Who knows if that will change in the future.