There was a girl who hated being bored. She hated boredom so much that she liked to do the unexpected. She almost killed herself diving into the deep end, time and time again. It was an intense way of life. It had its benefits. It also took its tolls.
Surprise surprise, that girl is me: I’m home. As in, my home in Sydney, “Surprise!”
I feel like the boy-who-cried-wolf, but with surprises. It is the second time I’ve turned up in Sydney unannounced. I’ve booked tickets that transport me half way around the world with less than 24 hours notice. More than surprising others, I like to surprise myself. I like to keep myself guessing. Does that sound schitzo? Hm.
In the last seven months I’ve played the girl-who-cried-“I’m coming home” too many times:
I almost changed my return flight to last August, but then I pushed on. I was supposed to come home for Christmas, but then I extended for six weeks in Canada. When I added Nicaragua into the mix and I put the wheels in motion to change extend again, bailing on weddings, announcing my plan to study where it’s sunny and cheap. I was in no rush to return. Then at the last minute I decided not to change my flight, and not to tell anyone.
My sisters jumped out of their skins when they saw me. My parents were over-the-moon. I called friends and turned up at doors to say: “Guess who?!”
Why tell people you’re coming home when it’s much more fun to surprise them? Well, maybe with a little noticed I’d have a car and place lined up…
A week ago I was in sunny Granada staying at Pure Gym, teaching Yogalates twice a day, sitting by the pool sipping Pina Coladas most afternoons and partying a little at night. Now I’m in Sydney at my grandma’s house with a 9:30pm curfew, and waking up at 4am (the present time of writing) with jet lag contemplating my intentionally spontaneous behaviour. Will too many surprises one day also get boring?
I’m very happy to be home, but not so happy to be living the agony Carlin satirised in Stuff. Where did all these piles of stuff come from? I have some stuff at under mum’s house, some stuff in grandma’s garage, some in this room, that room, some in a box in Vancouver, some in Hickory, some in a car, and some still in my backpack, and all of that stuff is mixed with other people’s stuff.
Having somewhat lived out of a backpack for seven months it’s like Christmas, rediscovering all my stuff. But (like Christmas-time) it is also involving fake smiles and gracious acceptances. What was I thinking when I bought these things? What am I going to do?! I feel like I can’t do anything until I find a place for my stuff. I have NOWHERE to put my stuff!!!
So now I’m on the hunt for accommodation in the ghastly Sydney rental market – to find a place to house my stuff, simultaneously looking for jobs, figuring out cars, moving towards selling my scooter… all the boring stuff: cars, houses, money — then I’ll be ready to… buy more stuff — urgh!!!
Oh well, I guess you have to take the good with the bad. Travel comes with jetlag. Life in the 21st century western culture comes with stuff. And we need places to put it, and some way to save for our next trip. Work. Sleep. Spend. The cycle starts. The cycle continues…