there’s no place like…?

19 01 2010

it’s hard to find words to summarise the maelstrom of thoughts that have reverberated around my head this past few weeks since xmas.

after crying for a couple of days ‘post J’, G&G flew me up to Sydney, partly to help them fix The Shed’s server, but partly i suspect to rescue me from moping around in Melbourne over the NYE long weekend.  love those guys so much.

it’s was a complete and very welcome distraction. it’s been a LONG time since a trip to Sydney has left me wanting more, instead of being toey & anxious to return home from the rat-race.  for a while i wasn’t sure what that meant.  i even sent J a positive forward-looking email on NYE, and got a positive, if typically guarded, minimal reply the next day.  but then on returning to Sydney came the (small) crash, Mondayitis to say the least, & i realised Sydney had been not much more than a distraction.  or had it?

i’ve been in Melbourne almost 10 years now.  i’d probably say it regardless, cuz that’s what most of us seem to do when the passing of year(s) is highlighted, but not only do i ask myself “where did it all go?”, i also can’t help but think 5 years of dysthymia had something to do with that sensation.  so much lost/wasted time it almost makes me cry.  whilst i have little or no regrets about what i’ve done in melbourne, i feel like i have so little to show for it.

in bringing mum & dad up-to-date on the J situation (something they were very sad to hear, i think they were as hopeful that this would be The One as I was.  and i don’t think i’ve EVER used that expression before), they moved the conversation into broader issues of my happiness.  wow, if that isn’t the perfect time to bring them in on the depression history, as i’d planned to do on that trip, what would be?  they took it remarkably well, i think it was a penny-drop moment for them.  and i think they understood why i hadn’t told them about it sooner, that they’d only worry about something extra which they had so little ability to help me with, at least in a tangible way from 750km away.  i also learned my own brother has/had been on ADs because of a major trauma in his wife’s family a few years back.

back to the grind in Melbourne for 2 weeks, back to a client’s fucked-up & serially postponed server upgrade, thank you Dell, a story i’ll save for a separate post.

had dinner with J for the first time since he brought my little world – existing largely in my head – to an end.  despite nearly piking several times through the day, i persevered; actually it was OK.  suffice to say, he has issues, and he knows it.  i hope he seeks some professional help with that, and also reaches down and pulls out the big ones to draw the line with the festering domestic situation, which will come to a head in a month from now when he & ex go to Malaysia to bring his little brother over here to start uni, expecting a roof over his head for X months ’till he gets on his feet.  i don’t look at J beyond friendship now, a special friend for sure, but his circumstances will probably out-live this window of opportunity, and beyond which i sure can’t see with my own uncertainties.  that sucks.  really really sucks.

anyway, back to Sydney for my postponed xmas trip – another 4 days seeing family & friends, loving every minute of it.  but this time the emotional turmoil dial was turned up to 11.  borrowed my brother’s spare Jeep to get around – so butch!  with no iPod connector i found myself rocking away nostalgically to the classic 70s/80s/90s rock on Vega FM on the car radio.  so many familiar places and people and smells and memories and feelings and music, but in a place i’d still rather not live  (+ the higher cost of living up there), except for the superior weather.  sunday morning i had coffee on Bondi Beach with Raz Chorev (www.riding4acause.org), which was great, except for the population density.  there’s no fucking way i could live in that dense environment!  the inner west is my limit :).  but at the same time being in that Sydney buzz made me feel more alive. TORN!

but the biggest surprise was getting back in contact with ‘T’.  i met T via WhosHere iPhone app (as i did J, both over a year ago), and he came up to spend a few days in Byron Bay with me a year ago.  despite us strangely adopting the ‘boo’ term of endearment, that was a mostly G-rated time.  unfortunately we only spoke on the phone once or twice last year, but apparently i left some lingering impression on him.  T is a 25yo quintessentially gen-Y anarchistic-socialist, nurse, skater, good-looking and brutally honest & forthright – right up my alley is an understatement.  he met me at G&G’s and the warm, fond reunion quickly turned hot n steamy!  whoa, wtf?!?  i resisted, for a while – went to the pub to talk & meet G&G, and then a walk, talked & caught up on he & his bf, me & my issues.  says he’s been missing me all last year (and I him!), but we both accept the reality that while we live in different states nothing more than friendship can happen & neither of us wants to move.  but for that one night, we were in the same place at the same time, and the chemistry was utterly intoxicating. with the situation with his bf explained, i couldn’t resist, and a drought was ended :)

but could i *really* cope with such a handful as T, and with more than half a generation between us?  for a long time now i’ve felt like i was born into the wrong generation.  i vacillate between the Baby Boomer-ness of my heavily parentally influenced upbringing, and the tell-it-like-it-is reject-all-convention digital natives of Gen-Y, existing increasingly unhappily amongst my Gen-X “peers”, but as they and I age, feeling like i fit in less and less, a chasm of world-view, concerns and day-to-day interests growing between us.  it is driving me insane, restless and adrift.

the question has to be asked:  now that so many of my closest Melbourne friends have moved overseas, interstate, died, or just disappeared after years of dysthymic neglect, what is left here for me?  right this moment the thought of ripping up my now shallow roots all over again and moving elsewhere, or back to Sydney, makes me sick in my stomach.  but now that the fog of dysthymia has lifted, my feelings of loneliness and unattachment to Melbourne are a sharp splinter in my mind.  do i want to continue making a renewed effort to deepen my Melbourne roots?

oh yeah, and another old WhosHere / MSN Messenger contact (in Melbourne) has reappeared out of nowhere on MSN, seemingly happy to see me (and I him!). ‘A’, another mid-20s, employed, laid-back, once-was/occasionally dope-smoking cutey wants to meet.  at this preliminary stage i’m confident that so long as *I* don’t have possession, all is well, and he says he doesn’t smoke it much anymore, only on holidays.  we seem to get along like a house on fire online, and we’re both curious to see of that translates IRL, which will probably happen next week.

but underwriting all this dilemma is the need to maintain a healthy income to pay off my small mountain of debt.  i can’t just run away somewhere new and start a new life if it involves uncertainty or lowering of income.  i feel trapped – in one of the most livable cities on the planet – not just in place, but in career, one i don’t have a lot of passion for any more, but as yet with no freakin idea what to do instead.