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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Here's to Six Years

A sentimental ode to Melbourne

Today marks six years since my arrival in Melbourne. I flew in on a day much like today: high 30s, a piercing dry heat unlike anything I’d ever associated with the city down south. I remember arriving with my suitcase in tow at the hostel I’d booked a dorm bed in, on St Kilda Road. It was messy, and temporary, and I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t!

But I am proud that, since then, I have built a life here. I’m still transient; change never leaves us. I rent, I don’t currently have a partner, I’m always looking for new ways to expand my horizons, and some friends and I have fallen out of favour. But in the time I’ve been here, I have made many new friends, some of whom are very dear. I have lived in three different homes, all of which have meant new ways of being to me. I started this blog, and in its two years of existence, it has had over 60,000 page views. I have managed to find work most of the time, and in three very different industries. I have been the saddest I’ve ever been, and I think also the happiest. I’ve seen parts of this country that I never had before.

Most of all, through all my experiences and just through living life away from what I knew before, I have been able to figure myself out. I am more myself and more comfortable with me than I have ever been before. Perhaps that’s also something to do with my age – they say you come into your own, in your thirties – but I think a good deal of it is due to my time in Melbourne.

Melbourne is truly a city I have come to love. It doesn’t have the glamour of Sydney, to be sure, or the beautiful harbour. It doesn't have my family and the friends I grew up with. And it has more sport, which is definitely not a natural subject for me. But its shy glittery gown gets me every time I fly home: beautiful subtle lights, people among those lights, on straight roads, on charming trams, going to meet their friends in the laneway bars, on rooftops, at gigs, for coffee, for dinner at the newest restaurant. There is music and friendship and soul in Melbourne like I never knew in Sydney. I am so glad I made the choice to make it my home.

So here's cheers to six years - or, as my Nanna would have said, Happy days!