Thursday, February 7, 2013

Where the heart is

I'm desperate to be back home. My mum is sick, and I hate not being there for her. Not being able to make her cups of tea, or go with her to appointments, or hold her hand and make her feel better. This week, my home has been Hobart, because that's where my heart is.

It's times like this I regret moving away. When things are good, they're great. But when things are bad, I may as well be a million miles away. Then even if I'd stayed in Hobart, my dad left. Many of my friends left. I would still find myself away from the people I love.

Because the best way to solve puzzles is to draw a mind map - you'll have to imagine a picture with my heart in the middle. My heart has four branches:

Hobart, where I spent twenty one years of my life learning how to read & write, make friends, ride a bike, drive a car, dance, sing, drink, fall in love.

Melbourne, where I've lived for four years, and found freedom, self acceptance, cafe breakfasts, cider, a beagle named Shaun and my soul mate.

The Sunshine Coast, home of my dad and wicked step mother, my favourite cousins and their beautiful children and my grandpa and his girlfriend, Joan.

And New York City, where I spend three weeks in 2010 and still haven't ever been able to move on from.

So if you look at it one way, I'm a lucky girl with a big heart full of love. OR you can look at it this way (this is the way I am looking at it today):

Now, no matter where I live, my heart always be broken. I'll never be totally at home in one place. I'll never be able to drive the streets anywhere else like I can in Hobart, remembering walking home from school to my grandparents house, where I had my first kiss, the doorsteps I curled up on while having a nap on a drunk walk home, the church I dreamed one day I would buy and convert into a trendy loft for me and my friends. But, if I live in Hobart, I won't have the lifestyle I have in Melbourne, the family I have made for myself here. I won't have the job opportunities, Cere's cafe, Sydney Road and Shaun won't have Brighton Beach or Albert St Park.

If I move to the Sunshine Coast, I'll be closer to my dad, but further from my mum. I'd be hot, all the time, and I don't do sweaty well. I'd be greasy from the sunscreen I'd be forced to wear daily due to my alabaster skin. I would also have to hang out with Queensland people. But I'd get to spend the precious last few years of my Grandpa's life being someone more than a stranger. I'd get to see my little cousins grow up, be a real part of their life. And I wouldn't have to wear stockings in winter.

I'd move to New York in a heart beat, except for the fact I would have to leave everyone I know and love and everything I'm good at and Shaun behind. And I don't have a green card. How long would  NYC be the city of my dreams if I was broke, and alone?

Because ultimately, my heart lives in people. It lives in my mum and my big brother. It lives in my old friends from Primary school, from High school, the people who knew me when I was in cargo pants and a red, polar fleece vest with skate shoes. It lives with my new friends and family in Melbourne, the people who helped me find the person I wanted to be. It lives in Shaun and Mr McGoo, the best roomies a girl could hope for. It lives in every member of my family, Dad and Sally-Ann, even those in New Zealand, Sydney,  England. It lives in Steve in Canada, in Tracy in England and in Chris wherever decides his next home will be.

So maybe we can't be everywhere at once, but if we're lucky, we can find love wherever we go.