The grass isn’t always greener. Sometimes there’s no grass at all.
This is my first post since moving to a completely new city. So far its been a corrosive mixture of feelings. The most unsettling being the urge to turn my car around and head home. That’s the thing about options; as much as they help us when we fall, they can also be a hinderance when it comes to taking flight. Tony Robins said it well:
If you want to take the island, make sure to burn the boat.
I didn’t set my car on fire, but I gave myself some much needed rest after two days of solid driving – accompanied by no one but my own thoughts. For most of the way, I was going between 100 – 120km; they were racing at least twice that fast. I didn’t exactly know why I was doing this, but I knew what I was doing. I was running. I guess I didn’t learn from Tonga; you can run from anywhere, anything, and anyone … but yourself.
I opened the door to a standard Sydney-sized shoebox of a room. My bags barely hit the ground before the mirror caught my eye. There I was. Somehow, I expected the mirror, but not the person in it. But I didn’t run. I stayed because I believe that somewhere out there is the person I want to be. I might find him here. Or as I did in Tonga, I’ll at least find a few more pieces of the puzzle. I already wrote about a recent realisation regarding my parents. Likewise, so far this experience has also allowed me to see even more value in my friendships. “Thinking of you,” “Call me anytime,” and “I’m on your side,” are more than just words when you’re in a city of four million people and only know four; they’re a way forward. But making my way is still my responsibility.
In his Ted Talk, How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are, Andrew Solomon speaks about “forging meaning and creating identity”. Inspired by this, I’ve found strength in my own slogan: adding colour. (Shattering several stereotypes in the process considering that I’m the straight one.)
It’s like that phrase about finding the silver lining in the clouds. I’m faced with a silver wall of concrete to which I’ve taken it upon myself to add some colour to. Our perspective and personality truly are paint brushes. So far – based on my limited experience – this city seems dull and dark, but I know things can get brighter.
However, just like when it comes to working with an actual paint palette, I understand that not every colour will work. Compromises must be made and benefits must be balanced as we walk down this tightrope that’s made of time and a temperament towards snapping at any moment. ( I just watched an episode of Louie which had an unexpected death.)
And on the topic of walking, I’m a short distance from work, but far from comfortable in a house that has parts hardly standing. I’m paying little in rent, but not enjoying spending all my time in my room. I got the things I wanted, but it’s clear that they’re just not working for me overall. So I’m going to change my circumstances like an artist choosing colours. I can’t be certain of how my decision to move will affect my ‘bigger picture’… but hopefully my next post will be looking a lot better.