XXXX

That’s not a reference to anything at all inappropriate, unless you’re a beer snob.  The XXXX Brewery is where I spent the majority of my night, at least thus far.  It’s the quintessential Queensland beer, and it serves as a shining example of one of the things Australia lacks.  Namely, good beer. Nonetheless, I spent an enjoyable night there with a group of my coworkers, so it gets the title.  It’s funny that even during my first visit here, back when the old boyfriend studied here, I thought their beer was bad.   I guess not that much has changed.

I am writing with a few beers in my system because it seems to be the only way I can get myself to write on this blog these days.  Between establishing a fairly narrow scope in what I wanted to write about, and being alert to some segments of my audience that I want to keep unruffled, I have felt my writing take a bit of a hiatus.  In reflecting on it, I want to write a more uncensored type of blog, but I worry about it more than I did just a few years ago – and that saddens me.

In the weeks since I have been back in the lovely land of Australia, I have felt a relatively profound shift in my attitude towards this place, as was probably reflected in my last post.  In coming back here from a vacation, it occurred to me that I need to stop acting as if this life here is the vacation and start making it more of a home.

It’s a bit funny to say that, because I feel more invested in many parts of my life here than I EVER have in previous jobs or relationships.  I find that the work I do is engaging and I am taking ownership over things so much more than I did as a Plebeian division order analyst in a mid-sized oil and gas company.  Here I find myself working overtime and on the weekends – I actually want to work and enjoy the challenge and engagement of caring about my job and wanting to do it right.  It’s wonderful.

I feel myself settling here in many ways, but there remains a sense of unmooredness.  I have like 8 friends here, if I am generous with my counts.  Many of those, in fact most, are through work. The one non-work friend I had just moved to Melbourne.  That needs to change.  I am sure I will delve into this more, but I am already bored of my own whining about it.

In other news, Rick and I have an upcoming trip planned to New Zealand for a few days of hanging out in Queenstown and checking out NZ skiing.  I won’t lie.  I don’t have high hopes for it, but I will happily take ANY skiing after going through a season without touching ski to snow.  I feel such a strong pull to the snow and the culture of skiing – I guess I was meant to be in Colorado.  Perhaps it will call me back someday.

It’s funny how fate has a way of bringing you to places that seem pre-destined.  It’s like a level you must pass through to move on to the next phase.  I passed through Colorado and the trials that came with it – I guess it took me two tries.  Now I am on to Australia.  What challenges lie here remain to be seen.

I have been thinking a bit about the self-imposed challenges as I have been reading the book “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.  It’s a story about overcoming her own demons on the Pacific Crest Hiking trail.   I will admit I was quite skeptical of it at the outset, perhaps because she’s a St. Thomas grad (my college’s rival down the road) but as I have read further (and been forced to stoically pull myself together to prevent teary outbursts in cafes) I have developed a grudging respect for her storyline because I identify with parts of it.  Not the heroin parts. Not the parts about being married and divorced by your mid-20s. Not the parts about losing your mom to cancer at age 45. Not the parts about growing up in a cabin with no plumbing.  Mostly the parts about feeling trapped and lost in your life despite all the good things going for you like someone you love, support of friends, etc. and being unable to pinpoint the source of your ever-present restlessness.

I could relate to that voice from my past in more ways that I am comfortable admitting.   The way she discussed those feelings, they felt so shockingly familiar that I was taken aback.  Her despair and personal necessity for a drastic change mixed into a volatile cocktail of woe.  I kept thinking “Yep, I know that one.”

My life hardly paints the picture of someone in the throes of rebellion, but I have had my wild child moments – as some of my best friends, sisters, and old loves can attest to.  More than anything, I have struggled to find and accept my need to take my own path.  I realize that I’m not alone in this, that most people struggle with it.  I guess I can just really relate to this woman who became unmoored from life temporarily and needed to go away to find herself.

Alright, on that note, my toiler boyfriend, the one that has moored me and appropriately channelled my wildness, has finally returned from a late night in the office (on a Friday!).  Time to enjoy the night out!

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