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Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Snow covered footpathFirstly: I’m alive! And fine, and happy and stuff. (and the proud owner of a new red sofa! Yay!)

But, as I eluded to in this post, this is my most introspective time of the year, so I have many thoughts and ideas chasing around in my head, none of which are ready to be structured, which also means they’re not quite ready to be shared.

The effect is that I feel like I don’t have anything specific to say. Yet. Soon there will be a flood of ideas and thoughts and observations.

A lot of these thoughts have been around my experience of 2009, and hence what I’m heading into in 2010. What is apparent is that 2009 was about being tossed around on the waves in a boat with no paddle, seeing where the currents took me with the occasional large wave washing over the boat and causing chaos. I think 2010 is shaping up to be time when I get a paddle and start to steer the boat again.

I’ve been too passive (necessarily so, while dealing with so much change), but I’m feeling the desire to become more active again.

Hence I’m changing gears. Thinking about livelihood and social life and what I need to be happy HERE, rather than what made me happy in Sydney. I can learn from my past, but I can’t replicate it.

I’m also questioning my assumptions about how to earn money, thinking about what my skills are and what I enjoy doing, rather than what career I want. A subtle but important difference.

I hear you saying: “this is all well and good, but why can’t you keep us updated with what you’ve been doing?” Mostly, it all got a bit overwhelming. I wanted to upload the Christmas photos before I talked about Christmas, and that took more than a week, and then the overwhelm of writing about 2 weeks of life, and then the stress/frustration of going back to work, and then work has been (pleasantly) busy ever since. So, I promise to have some sort of “What I Did over Christmas and January” type post up by the end of the week.

In the meantime, a brainstorming request: Let’s pretend you had the funds and could hire me, on some sort of basis to do something for you, or make something for you, that you know I’d be good at, better than most other people you know. What would that be? (non-smutty answers only please). I’m trying to gauge what sort of things other people perceive that I am good at, as often we have blinkers on this aspect of ourselves.

Also, what sort of things would you seek my input on? Advice? Specialist information? e.g. I have a questions about X, I know I’ll ask Karinne!

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Yes, apparently it also works the other way around. Or maybe that’s just me. What I realised this week is that I always, always, always need somewhere to call home. It stabilises me, keeps me centred, grounded, happy.

I was very homesick last week. Physically, wistfully homesick. Specifically for a certain house in Newtown, the one I used to live in. The only place I really called home in 10 years of moving through rentals all over the Inner West of Sydney. I remembered its light and airy quality, its smells, its colours, but most importantly the sense of purpose and control I had living in MY HOME (with my fantastically awesome flatmate).

Since then I’ve not lived in my home, always someone else’s. My sister and her fiance wonderfully gave me somewhere to live while I waited for my visa to come through. But, that was her home, and I was an itinerant rellie living out of a suitcase.

The place we’ve been living in Redhill has not been home. It is too crowded – 3 of us in a two bedroom flat, with a 4th every 2 weeks. This means 3 people sleeping in the same room every two weeks. There’s no space when we’re all at home, which actually leads to isolation as people carve out their own silences whilst sitting right next to each other. This makes breaking down barriers even more difficult. A lot of the things around the place are left-over from previous (male) flatmates, cast offs and hand-me-downs and the vibe is very bachelor pad/student flat. Which I vowed to never go back to once I started earning a decent amount. It was making me hit the edge of depression again. Very worrying.

It was supposed to be temporary. A stop on the way to a shinier future. Only the temporary dragged on, and on, and on, for various reasons.

One of the results of the week of rest and low drama was that I had mental time to shine a spotlight on this and realise WE NEEDED TO MOVE! Our place, our space, a lovely house.

Thankfully on Friday we found a place, further up the train line towards London, but not quite in London (like being in Strathfield – it’s a rapid train trip of 10-15 minutes into the centre). 2 bedrooms, so L now has her own space and won’t be sleeping on cushions at the foot of our bed. There’s some back steps for sitting on and drinking hot drinks (I’d seriously missed an inviting back step, the backstep here is too dark, cold and yin for me to spend time there). It’s a 1st floor converted flat in a big Victorian terrace, with a bay window at the front (our bedroom) and has ample storage space. Oh, and the rent is fantastically cheap, which was Jed’s major stress.  We’re moving in mid-November.

I’ve spent the last few days running around smiling, saying “Housey-house!”. Jed says that I’m laughing again, and it had been so long that he’d forgotten what that laugh sounds like. He looks a lot lighter, happier, like he did while we were in Sydney.

Hence the title: Heart is where the home is. My heart went missing while it didn’t have a home to be in. Shortly I will have a home again, and hopefully it should hang around for quite a while.

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The other major news of the week is that Jed has decided to go teetotal for the 2 months to Christmas. This was also the result of the week of rest and low drama. I realised that holding on some sort of grim desperation that it would all get better if I kept waiting patiently and not rocking the boat was not actually affecting any change.

He’d become reliant on alcohol to address life’s frustrations.  It was seriously affecting both of us. Anyone with a FB account will probably have noticed Jed’s side of the story. My nature is to remain stoically brave and patient and cheerful. Early last week I came close to running out of my ability to carry the weight.

He’d rather not live that way, I’d rather he didn’t live that way. We don’t need to live that way.

The change has been fantastic, even in one week. A bit rough for the couple of days afterwards, as was to be expected. I’m very thankful and very proud that he made that decision after realising there was an issue, after realising what was most important to him. As each day goes by my level of trust that he can do this and in the wonderful promise for our lives that existed when I first arrived increases and becomes more solid.

-Oh, and did I mention: HOUSEY-HOUSE! 😀

Edit: As an addendum. I realised last night how much of the stress of the past few months was a direct result of an underlying personality clash with my flatmate.

The horrible, hiding stress came back last night and I realised that the only thing that had changed was a 1 hour session in which he talked at, over or around everyone else in the room and made some very passive critical remarks about the living arrangments. Which made me realise that the stress/depression started soon after he moved in.

I’m relieved to work out (but also a bit annoyed) that we almost gave up the most important thing to both of us because we needed to manage our relationships with a 3rd, temporary person in our lives. And absolutely releived that it will only be another 2-3 weeks.

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