Warning: this post contains cringe-worthy cliches about changes and lessons learned.
Exactly a month ago, I did a very quick (and thus mysterious - sorry) post about some rather big changes ahead. It was written amidst lots of stressful packing - packing up a somewhat feral, but cherished house on a beautiful 18 acre property in the tiny sugar cane farming town of Childers, Queensland, to move into a tiny rental in the inner suburbs of the capital city of Queensland on a 600 square meter yard. Confronting.
If I had have been a better blog updater who wrote about personal stuff, I wouldn't be pondering what parts of the story to say right now. The story is a long one, and it's been a huge journey for me - one of those experiences that people tend to insert cheesy quotes in to make them seem more inspirational. But, while I don't regret it and it has shaped so much of who I am today (oh dear, oh dear, cliche already), it was utter shit.
My parents broke up towards the end of 2013, when I was about 14 and a half, roughly around the same time my older sister moved out of home; the house was to be sold; my mum got with a guy who lived in Brisbane; my dad seemed to have had a midlife crisis - I had a mid-teens crisis - we consoled each other; my mum and her boyfriend did slow, painful, hard work on the house to help sell it; it was sold; my beautiful horses went to a new (but lovely) home (hardest part); we moved. Condensing that down was hard, leaving so many of the details that made it so difficult: the depression/boredom (due to situation/location/isolation of living in Childers - I had two friends, one 2 hours away, another in America) that I had been dealing with even before my teen years - a year or so of me mostly lying on the couch, off in my own little world, hiding from the real world that seemed both too big to deal with and too small to be interesting; trying to sort out all the confusing emotions I suddenly did and didn't have about the situation, while going through puberty, worrying about pimples and boys and wondering if my left boob would catch up with my right (update: it did, but then the right one grew again and we're back to where we started - thought you might like to know); being confronted by the idea of living with someone who wasn't family, whose ways of communicating were so different to mine; days, weeks, months of my mum and I feeling stuck, talking in a numb attempt at sounding hopeful of "when we're in Brisbane".
Gosh, this sounds very whiny and negative, I know - and it kind of is, but it's also honest, much like my previous post in January. But now that that explaining is out of the road (I know I didn't need to, and I hope you're not too bored, but it was something I wanted to do - even to just look back on), I can tell you that while I'm still feeling raw, it feels as though all those little painful details that those years were comprised of finally feel like they can be let go: the pain now feeling more like an old husk and the lessons learned like a tree whose fruits will sustain me for the rest of my life. Also: Brisbane is fucking awesome. And I have plans.
I moved here with my mum Susan, our three chickens (Shiva, Gretel and Victoria Peckham), our 2 dogs (Abby and Cocoa), a bearded dragon named Gadzooks, and my mum's boyfriend Robert (has nicknames) on the fourth of February, and I'm still getting settled, but I'm also excited - really excited. So far it's looking like I'm going to be raising three more chickens while I wait for a course to start, then a Hospitality course at Tafe, after that I will hopefully get a decent job as a barista or waitress, then use my free time to focus on my creativity and enjoy all the culture Brisbane has to offer. Making friends and getting my driver's license is in there somewhere too.
Some more updates for clarification: my parents' relationship is still wonky and hard to deal with; my relationship with my parents (and my sister) is fantastic; my dad and I have gotten on top of our crises and are significantly less confused about life; my dad is happy; I am happy; my mum is happy; my mum's boyfriend and I still struggle with the combination of his non-confrontational attitude and my very-confrontational attitude and overall (accidental) bluntness, but we connect through a mutual appreciation of puns and wordplay and dogs; the horses have settled into their new home with lots of other horses, and my childhood pony Gerrie has himself a girlfriend, plus we can visit them whenever we want; my dogs are still confused about the concept of an 'outside pets only' house rental agreement; since checking 15 minutes ago, the left boob has not caught up with the right.
Something I'd like to add: This blog, the internet and the blogging community have been a total lifesaver for me - I am so thankful for it and am very much determined to keep this blog updated (if you're not too tired from this lengthy post, for a more eloquent praise of blogging, see here).
About the photos: The pictures were taken by me, and they are of my mum Susan, snapped early in January in the yard of our old house. They are un-edited, except for the black and white ones. The lovely golden duppy in the photo second from the bottom is Abby.