Monday, April 9, 2012

Take two.

At the advent of the non-event that was my 22nd birthday I took pause to reflect, as I am too prone to do, on what I was doing this time last year. After a weekend of misadventures - almost-robberies, lost wallets, boat rowing and small-town-kinda-girl syndrome - on the morning of my 21st birthday I'd just missed a ryan air flight from Barcelona to Malaga.

They say the way you spend your birthday is the way you'll spend that year. For the most part you could say 2011 was a year full of all the things that went wrong that weekend in Barcelona. That wasn't the last flight I'd miss, the last time someone would try and steal something from me, the last time I'd just be glad to be alive, surrounded by friends and getting home in one piece. It wouldn't be the last time I would be forced to grow up out of happy accident, laughing recklessness and friend-fuelled-adventuring.

This year I've retired my party-girl heels and become an abuelita. My feet no longer numb to the pain of 10cm of added height on 4am on a Saturday night, mostly because I am never out on 4am on a Saturday night. Finally, yes I'll admit, the post-spain-depression has begun to sink in. It's hard coming back home. Not because home isn't as comforting, familiar or warm as I remember it but because I've fulfilled the heinous crime at the root of all high school dramas - I've changed (Say it with a squinted look of shock and disappointed imagined on a teenage girl - "You've changed").

I'm trying not to live in the past, but nostalgia is so damn seductive. I'm trying not to live for the future either, but unknown possibilities have never looked so good. And the present? Well it's my own fault for making the Present an interim between the Past and the Future.

So here's my resolve, renewed. Being here, being present. Planning road trips around Australia, from the waterfalls to the hours of desert-like scenery from a car window, weekends exploring the city's bars and restaurants, the endless thai food and Japanese. I want to see my own country now that I'm finally back here again, before I leave it all over again and mourn for it's extreme heat and thunderstorms. Because everywhere I went in Europe, Australia was a code word for the exotic, the foreign, the far away, the wealthy, the opportune.

And I want to enjoy being here too, with all my family and friends and FOOD. oh, the food. I want to appreciate the full extent of its awesomeness before I board a plane without a return date and realise that, after all the excitement fades, it's just full frontal fear.

So let's toast a nice glass of vino tinto (because it's always night time somewhere in the world) to the Present. Take two.

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