It has taken quite a long time for me to post anything here, and with good reason too. If I had of sat down and written something within the first few weeks of arriving in Melbourne I’m sure it would have gone along the lines of ‘My life sucks and I hate you all! Don’t look at me!’ While I now still believe that I am not living the best life, but after being in this city for over a month I am beginning to realise that possibly one day it could have the potential to be an enjoyable place to live. However, I don’t think that I will really be able to commit to that idea until the memories of London I have in my head are faded into a blur.
I still truly believe that London is ‘my place’ to fit in the world and having to leave there against my will was quite possibly the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Leaving my beautiful friends after an amazing Dalston summer filled with roof tops and beer gardens. Saying goodbye to my first love and optimistically hoping that eight months of long distance would work. Taking that last journey on the tube and making sure my oyster would tap off with a negative balance…
Arriving in Melbourne at 6am after a 13.5 hour sleepless flight with multiple screaming babies I was not in the best state of mind for my fresh start and my new life. I guess I took those first feelings of exhaustion and depression as a sign of things to come and after 200 grams of tobacco were confiscated from me at customs I had already made my mind up: I HATE AUSTRALIA. The drive from the airport to my temporary accommodation didn’t give me much more hope. Grass, trees, front lawns and letter boxes lined every street. After I finally had a sleep I was woken by a pack of birds outside my window (I still hear them today). Then it was time to hit the job hunt, surely this part would be easy. Apparently not, I was told that if I want to work in any kind of administration role I would need to do a course (yeah, I have been doing admin for five years). So the days were filled with struggle, calling all kinds of recruiters and employers who were telling me I wasn’t good enough to file, fax and type. As this was going on and I was struggling to keep hold of my sanity I heard from my boyfriend who was the only thing in my life keeping me happy at the time and unfortunately he informed me that we could no longer be together due to the fact that like me, he loves London but unlike me he has the opportunity to stay for good which he had decided to act upon. So that was it, that’s where I hit my rock bottom, I was jobless, homeless, broke and spending every moment wondering what the boy I still loved was doing back in LDN. Unfortunately this state of mind resulting in multiple phone calls to him telling him exactly how bad I felt (I cringe thinking back, like really really cringe).
When I was about ready to give up on everything and vanish under the depths of a duvet in my childhood bedroom back in Greymouth I received an invitation for a night out in Melbourne to celebrate a friend’s Birthday. Jessy and Pony were living a very similar life to me in the fact that they too were forced to depart London against their will and immigrate to Melbourne. I slapped a smile on my face and headed to Richmond to meet them. They both explained to me that they had gone through a similar down time after leaving the bright lights of London and downsizing on their party days, they told me I would get over it and that they now loved the Melbourne lifestyle. I felt like they may have just been saying this to try and improve my mood, it didn’t help to much but the alcohol certainly did. Eight beers and two bottles of wine later it was 5:30 and we were still dancing in a club as the lights were flicked on. Jessy turning to me, eyes slightly rolling back into her head, and said ‘See? who needs London?’
After that moment I realized that maybe I was putting too much thought into the good times I had and not the good times I was about to. London wasn’t always filled with fun, there was winter, rain, snow and you could not leave the house without spending 50 quid. So I added a little bit of optimism into my diet and things began to change for me. With Jessy’s help I got a job and am now earning a decent salary. I managed to find a flat with some decent people and finally have a bedroom where I can hang my clothes (gone are the days of the Shepherds Bush slug cupboard) I live just a short walk from work and the city and best of all Jessy and Pony live just around the corner.
It was hard leaving behind the city I loved so much but as the days go on I feel I am starting to get better and missing the British accent just a tad less. I really do still miss my friends and my EXBF, but to quote Ke$ha: “Tik Tok on the Clock but the party don’t stop no.” I know with a little help from my friends the party is only really just about to start.