|My life encased in one hatchback|
On this day, August 13th, one year ago, I'd just landed in Burnie. Actually, by this point I'd gotten here, and promptly passed out from fatigue and nerves.
|Playing car-packing tetris|
I'd had two days of driving from Sydney, and one night on the Spirit of Tasmania, on which I'd run amok. The ship had been delayed due to tornados, so we had a few-hour wait in the Spirit carpark. I made a new friend who I went to dinner with, and once aboard the ship we made a point of visiting every bar, singing along with the lounge singers, playing arcade games, pretending to be pirates, and just generally acting like we were 13 year olds who were able to legally drink. It was great.
But as I drove into Burnie, the general seediness and fatigue faded into a minor panic over the fact that I had no idea where I was. I had no bearings. I didn't know where certain roads lead. Hell, I didn't even know which one was MY road. I deliberately hadn't done any research on the place ("It's going to all be like one big surprise!! Tee hee..."), so I'd had no idea what to expect. That day, and that day only, was the time when I freaked out about my spontaneous decision to move. I was scared, I was tired, and I really wanted some eggs on toast.
And here I am. One year later, still going. I've had the most incredible opportunities thrown my way - things that I never could have anticipated. I've been involved in an inspirational craft group, I'm part of an awesomely fun and funky market, I have a job that I really dig (even after a spectacular lack of coordination at the interview), I'm part of the blogging world, I'm back into graphic design... hell, I've even been online dating. I feel so lucky that this has worked out so well, and I have absolutely no illusions about the fact that every move would be this good. I'm just one of the lucky ones.
I think one of the hardest things about moving is removing yourself from your social circle, your comfort zone of friends, and trying to start afresh. It's bloody hard. It can also lead to moments of desperation, and extending chance encounters with chatty people into one hour dialogues. Those poor bastards - they had no idea what was coming.
My first friend that I made was, of course, the lovely Michelle. After being here for a few weeks, I thought "new home, new hair colour", so I took myself down to the local hairdresser. I sat nervously while waiting for my appointment, and then tried not to be too unco whilst settling myself in the hairdresser's chair. I anxiously tried to come up with small talk, hoping against hope that I wouldn't come across as a tool. Until my friendly hairdresser leaned over, and whispered conspiratorially into my ear.
"Do you sew?"
It was stitching-love at first sight. Gone were the nerves - I talked crap like nobodies business. She tried to deter me by burning the back of my neck with peroxide, but it didn't work. She was stuck with me. And from that chance encounter, I became part of Stitch 'N' Bitch, and we started the Made With Love markets.
And that's what makes me lucky. I've met so many like-minded people since moving here, and have been able to prioritise the things that are really important to me. I've been given the chance to start again, and although I've still found myself in a few muddles, for the most part I'm relishing the challenge.
So hurray for one year - I hope that the next brings just as much goodness as the last. With or without peroxide burns.