Well, a few of you have asked me why it’s been so long since my last blog and it has not been due to lack of interest. I usually find that each year from mid October onwards I’m madly trying to finish researching for and writing an essay and then studying for final exams in mid November. This year, once my exams were finished on Nov 23 I did have a couple of weeks where life did calm down a bit and I caught up on long overdue appointments, started Christmas shopping and preparing for my son’s 7th birthday party. Then life took a sharp turn that I did not see coming due to all the fog of my chaotic life: my DH landed a great position in Brisbane. Luckily I’m in a position where I’m transportable (ie. undergraduate study) and my children are young enough to have a change in school that won’t mess up their education and I knew instantly that day-to-day life wouldn’t change much. So looking at the big picture I wasn’t worried about the move to a new city.
What has been challenging is trying to find what area of Brisbane to live in that feels like home to us, then trying to find a school that has a vacancy in that area and trying to find a rental house with 4+ bedrooms (we want a spare bedroom so our family & friends will come and visit us) that looks presentable enough for corporate entertaining (help!) and a small backyard. After a couple of day trips to Brisbane for research we’ve found the area we like and schools but the stumbling block is the backyard: so many houses we consider have literally no backyard – a pool yes, an outdoor entertaining area yes but an actual small area of grass for our dog and children to use is proving difficult to find and so is a bathtub! A house may have up to 3 bathrooms (excessive I know) and sometimes none of them will have a bathtub! These are houses that are costing a small bomb to rent – more expensive than our house in a well-to-do suburb of Sydney, however, we’d never do corporate entertaining in our current house (it’s in need of renovation) and our suburb is 20km out of the city so that’s why our house is cheaper to rent out.
Another aspect of this move that I’m finding challenging is my sentimentality. I grow so attached to people and places that I really like or make me feel good and happy – who doesn’t? The thought of not being on my university campus a few times a week gets my tears welling up, the thought of not going to my son’s school everyday and seeing the familiar faces and his happiness gives my heart pangs, the thought of not having weekend drinks with our neighbours on our front lawn leaves me empty. It’s the familiarity and contentment of day-to-day life and wondering will we all feel as content with our day-to-day lives in Brisbane that has me worried. It’s the lack of regular face to face contact with our family and friends that makes me sad. The history you share with the people you love and like is so important – they ‘get’ you, they understand your sense of humour, they understand you have really strange interests or hobbies, they know of the tough times in your life and helped you celebrate the good times. Apart from my brother and his lovely wife and a couple who are close friends of my DH’s parents we don’t know anyone in Brisbane. I dread the thought of never ending small talk with people until those people become familiar or even friends.
Yes, there will be benefits to our moving and most especially with my health as the ‘winter’ in Brisbane will be very short and mild. I know this move will be good for us but as I’m packing away the last nine years of our life in our current house I’m constantly reminded of memories good and painful and how much of our lives are intertwined with people and places. What memories good and painful will we produce in a new city?
What has been your experience with moving cities? What did you find difficult about it and what turned out easier than you expected? I’d love to hear from you.