I was inspired by another blog I chanced upon where the gal does Five Minute Fridays. She provides a prompt each Friday, and if you choose to partake, you spend just five minutes writing, non-stop. No editing. No time for the inner critic to sabotage. A great idea. Feel free to follow suit.
The prompt today is “Present”. And here is what it unleashed.
Today. This minute. I’m caught in between places. I’m in the present with one foot most firmly planted in my past. A tiring habit. My heart is in London. I am in Melbourne with my family. The relocation is still so fresh despite having been here for just over one year. One year. A flash in the pan. A pregnancy, a new home, a new baby, near family again. I’m still in the bubble. And I find myself using the bubble as an excuse not to engage fully. I am resisting. Kissing farewell to thirteen and a half years of friendships and memories which are so deeply carved into the lines on my face and the tread of my step. I still can’t believe that we left. It was a momentous move. I made music there. I created theatre there. I sang and loved and partied and wrote and performed and laughed and shared and and found life-minded souls and travelled and slept in on weekends. I gave birth to our daughter there. And as I change nappies and respond to night wakings, I remind myself that I can be all of these things again and it is possible to find self-fulfillment here, to redefine myself again. Re-build. I need some courage. And not just the Dutch kind. I don’t want my children to find that their mum has lost her soul somewhere along the way; lost her energy for making things happen. I spent several months in therapy before we left London. It…she helped me with the grieving. I grieved leaving London, leaving my life. Because I knew I would find myself here, now, on this day, in this moment, mourning the loss of so many cherished faces, the life I had created for myself, for the places which had become my stomping ground, the challenges I had circumnavigated, the music literal and metaphorical that had been made. I knew that leaving would be desperately hard, but the pull of family was strong and it was a question of now or never. Before it is too late to spend quality time with my parents. Before our children are at school forming strong friendships from which we must wrench them. Now or never. Now there’s an ultimatum. Do it now or don’t do it ever. What a bed we make for ourselves when we choose to leave our families behind to try our luck on the other side of the world. Such a bed. To never quite make a nest because of the sense of allegiance and loyalty to ‘home’. Torn. Guilt. Oh the deepest guilt for leaving my brother, my mother, my father, for so many years. The guilt was and is horrendous. It is certainly part of the reason why I’m back here and have uprooted my family to join me. Guilt plays a tricky hand. Never quite committing but staying year after year after year. Until the return to ‘home’ is so utterly daunting that it throws up the most ludicrous feelings of helplessness. I fear that I might regress. That I may become a child again. I am someone else’s child and I have a net and my family step in and provide support and love and strong words and healthy, spirited opinions and we love loudly and argue and rub each other up the wrong way and laugh and embrace and feel it all because we are a great family and I regress a little…and somehow none of it makes me feel particularly safe. The net. It makes me think small. Something inside me feels that I’ve given up by returning here. I lose sight of my potential, my identity, my value. I’m here, in beautiful Melbourne, yearning to return to where the world moves quickly, where the tension and creativity seeps through the bitumen. Where, even behind a pram, I could still feel the pulse of opportunity. That’s where I’m at right now, in the present. My computer. A glass of wine. My babies in bed and my fella relaxing in the bath, dinner on the stove and of course life is good and I should kick myself. But this is the truth.