Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mid -Term Report

I've been in Oz now for three months. I've now got a house and I've been in my job for about 6 weeks and my dog is finally here, so I think its only about now I can feel qualified to talk a little more objectively about my experience in Oz, afterall this is only my experience.

I think its important to make a distiction betweem the 'tourist' Australia and the 'everyday' Australia. Im talking about the everyday living.

Three months on and there still isnt a day that goes by without me thinking about going home or at least making plans for when I do get home. Think Steve Mcqueen in the Great Escape. It's like I have a mental tally count striking off each day. It's fair to deduce from that, that I'm not entirely happy. Its true, but that is not to say I'm completely miserable either I just feel a little, for want of a better word, empty.

Maybe it goes deeper than my disapointment of Oz. Perhaps there is an element of anti-climax in realising an ambition? almost inevitably. From a young age I've associated 'success' with moving from the place where I grew up, moving on both literally and metaphorically. You see, I think i've always needed a certain amount validation and I always heard the local blue rinse brigade gossiping about x,y or z's niece, nephew or son (delete as appropriate) moving to, well, anywhere else and how there are doing so well. It was a kind of benchmark of success for some reason, but I bought into it and wanted to be seen as one of those people who are 'doing ever so well' of course the irony is not lost me, the fact that I cant be around for my validation by its very own definition.

Ever since I can remember my family members who are wieghed down by the burdens of modern life and full of regrets always used to say 'you dont want to stay here' or 'if I won the lottery' urging me, anyone, who can get out of dodge to do so. Perhaps it was like living out their unfulfilled potentional in someone else, namely me..perhaps. So now I dont just have my dissapointment to deal with, but the unenviable task of telling them that their dreams and hopes are not actually 'all that great'

Maybe (bear with me while I continue to digress, hell, its MY blog) when I was younger I wanted to be 'something' not a celebrity no, im not sure what exactly. But as I got older, I kinda told myself that this would happen when 'I lived abroad and fulfilled my potential' and now its here its not actually happened (think mid-life crisis in the twenties) ..alas

---- impromptu therapy session ends

So back to Oz. the long and short of it is that we still havnt made any friends, even in work I dont feel like a really fit in. Its not to say that people are unkind but people especially games people just get on with their 'thang' Brisbane as a place is desperately quiet. Though the locals think its the best thing since slice bread and I can't quite see why, I really want to but its like the Emporer's new clothes. The tourist boad in Oz really earns their crust. Lots of beautiful photos and extravegant blurbs but the day to day reality is very different. Dont get me wrong, when we do the 'Tourist Australia' its very good, in fact we've drawn up a plan to see Ayers Rock, Melbourne, New Zealand and The Great Barrier Reef. Hell, if the day to day version doesnt suit us, we'll see as much of the Tourist pre-packaged version as we can whilst we here and you never know, we may even make some friends

You may ask me why I just dont come home? We ask ourselves this too, but we wanna go home on our terms, when we are ready, rather than by default. Also I want to be safe in the knowledge that we gave it every opportunity as I know that on a cold miserable monday morning when Im facing an hours drive to work I'll look back with rose tinted specs and thinking why the hell did we go home, I have to know that I can answer that and not have the same regret as some of the people around me.

D+ must try harder

Jay, don't give up yet. Three months is too soon to know any place or yourself in relation to it.

I, a full-blooded Yankee as in the north of the US, moved south not quite 8 years ago. The first year was perfectly ghastly! I had a job I hated; I despised the blasted heat; I missed my kids and my students and my friends and my WOODS!

Thank the goddess I had my cats! My husband was of little use as his euphoria about retirement left him immune to my sorrow and despair.

Find an activity you enjoy or that you have always wished to try and go for broke at it. That is what changed the scene for me, in addition to which for reason of a dreadful diagnosis of an autoimmune disease (scleroderma), I had to quit the wretched job and reestablish myself as a teacher.

Please keep ME posted. I will be thinking of your struggle. You are quite perceptive and your brave nature will land you on your feet before long.

You are also correct that success is not somewhere other than in your head!!! Clever fellow to figure that one out!
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