Contrary to the norm, I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures of the view or anything I have found particular fascinating. Part of it is my subconscious rule that I can’t do anything that would treat this entire shindig like it were just any other trip… Because it’s not. Like starting a new diet, it is up to you to determine if this is going to be a one off fad and a temporary quick fix or if it is a “lifestyle change.” Sydney is my lifestyle change. It is OUR lifestyle change.
Stark was the one who brought it up – evidence, to me, that we both have these sort of subconscious rules about how to make this new chapter of our life distinct, different, and free of that overly nostalgic sense of living that at least I am very, VERY prone to. He said something about how this is a chance to start new habits. Ya know, like brushing your teeth twice a day, going for a run, writing in your journal kind of New Year’s Resolution level habits – ironic considering this is the first place a New Year ever happens for anyone on this floating ball of gas we call Earth.
So, I thought about it and because I’ve been more ADD than ever before, it went something like this…
Oh that’s a good idea. I should look at it like that.
Crap? Have I done anything toward my New Year’s Resolution this year?
What a good year.
WTF was my New Year’s Resolution anyway? I’ll have to look it up in my blog.
Man, my blog…
I’m sure it had something to do with health and learning stuff. If not, it should have. Being health is hard.
I’m 30 now…
Wow. I have a freakin epic “Year of 30!” I should probably start writing that blog NOW so I actually have it done on time.
I better catch up on those blogs.
THAT’S IT! At least part of my resolution was to learn new things each month and I sure as hell have to learn how to do this video editing stuff because that’s why I’m behind on my blog and all.
I should do video blogs. But, they say “writers write” so is that skipping the very part that makes me who I am?
I’m pretty sure it had something to do with a daily journal too. At least I’ve got that down to a T.
What does “down to a T” even mean?
Where was I? Oh ya, new habits. Hmm. I wish I knew what kind of new habits I want to have.
And so it continues….
Living in a half-way-house, regardless of how “un” half-way it is in quality or location, kind of keeps you from going all the way on letting something new really sink in. For example, we have a kitchenette but it is obviously set up for the business dwelling bachelor that just needs to reheat yesterday’s Chinese.
Meanwhile, it has taken most of the time we have been here for me to get a grasp on where the good, large grocery stores are that actually carry things I recognize at a prize that is less than the cost of my nearly albino seeming arm (those go for a lot in Africa you know).
While Australia isn’t entirely foreign to how any other Euro-style city is setup or even the side streets of New York City, when you know you live somewhere – I mean actually LIVE somewhere and aren’t just staying somewhere – you start to look at things differently.
Where do I get a bargain? Where can I become BFFs with a German butcher? How do I know what is the healthiest option when listing ingredients here is like a courtesy and calories are now kilojoules? How do I know what the “good” stuff is when none of the brands I am looking at are familiar to me?
Sure, there are easy answers. Kilojoules is approximately 4 times what calories would be and testing out brands for bargains is just going to have to be a trial-and-error for a while. At least I was able to figure it out to some degree in time for us to celebrate my Mom’s birthday (which just so happens to be Bill Murray’s birthday as well) by having a little cake and watching both What About Bob and Life Aquatic.
I have no complaints. This is the adventure in our journey, but being unable to really ‘settle down’ and start sifting through this trial and error life holds me back from creating any “new habits.” Instead, the only real habit I have created thus far is the habit of working overtime. Partially because I like to front-load the start of the week and taper off as my mind goes into irrepressible REM and partially because I have nothing else I can think to do, I’ve reached my 40 hours for the week by early Thursday morning.
The good news? I’m rockin it. Work is swell! Any worry anyone could possibly have had about sending a noob to the opposite side of the Earth to continue what seems like a mediocre job to most, I have kyboshed with super ninja power. To put it frankly: I. Am. A. Badass. But, I admit I have a problem.
I can’t really get out of work-mode if there is a to-do list of things I can actually be doing right now. My highly predictable mental capacity seems to fall into order as such: Organize everything in immediate sight and do all the dishes in order to be able to concentrate work > work on everything humanly possible until the email inbox is at 0 and the to-do list is wiped out from all possible yesterday, today, and tomorrow projects > me time!
Sometimes I tell myself there will be plenty of me time during the dozen or more lonely nights I’ll be spending in a new city by myself while Stark travels for work. BUT! I know better. When he’s gone I go one of two ways – total workaholic or binge television watching. Those personal projects? (See Above: “Man, my blog…” and “learn how to do this video editing stuff”) Ha…..
In real news? As of yesterday, we have a rental application accepted to a prime spot here on the North Shore of Sydney where we will have neighbors like Nicole Kidman’s family. The good news? I only had to go to 12 inspections for 9 different places! The even better news? In anticipation that we would have to move somewhere soon, regardless of where, we went on a LONG journey to find the basics – a bed, a couch, and a desk. 50km of walking (around stores!) later, we have it narrowed down for some quick decisions.
By this time next week, we will be finalizing furniture orders, buying dishes, deciding on the perfect Wok, scrounging for a crockpot with a timer, trying to discover where it is on this continent you go for basic home items like… plastic hangers. We will likely reduce ourselves to that of Mr. and Mrs. Smith as we boast “10% off honey…” while applying for things like a Costco membership, but by the weekend, we will have settled in well enough to turn on a TV, surf seemingly unlimited Internets, and have a home cooked meal that tastes warm and familiar.
Here’s to our first 2 1/2 weeks. Here’s to the next week to come. And, here’s to “Being 30 now…”
Footnote: *I should note that the header image for this photo Story is not our address and only somewhat close to where we came from. The significance of that address and photo is that it is the original address on the side of a very old, sturdy trunk that my Mom used to move to the United States from Germany when she was only 21. That was the address of her sponsors at the time. Now, that same trunk has made the journey from the Frankfurt area to Salt Lake City to Sydney. Little nuances such as these are all I need to feel at home wherever I go…