I had not intended to write a blog, but it seems like the right place to record all the feelings and decisions that I have made over the last six months. Going home, back to England is a huge decision, and it still hovers over my days like black cloud. Some things are clear to me. I have made the decision now, so whether or not it is the correct decision for me, I need to follow it through.
England is not home anymore, and I realise it is not the same country that I left over 20 years ago. On the other hand, Australia has never been my home. I love the sun; I love the beaches, but I can’t stand the way those who do not fit the box marked ‘family’ are excluded from everything. And I don’t fit in the box. I never have. When I tick off the ‘Hallmark Card’ days; Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Australia Day, Anzac Day and even Valentine’s Day and Christmas Day, there’s no place for me; no person I celebrate with or for. Even New Year’s Eve is pointless to me. Unless you are part of a group, unless you have someone there for you, to make you a valid part of the Australian Family, it is better to close your door firmly and pretend it is not happening. While we are on the subject, don’t ever watch TV here because this will not only compound your isolation, it will turn your brain to soup, and the diet of cooking shows will make you fat. Being a childless woman here is considered a sin and crime. You are blamed even if it is not your fault.
So I ticked off the options. Stay here where it is warm and comfortable, and 80% of the time unspeakably dull and elitist, or go and find something else. Should I risk the cold, the uncertainty and life in an overcrowded country seething with tensions? To stay here is a life not fully lived, and then quite suddenly five months ago, the last string holding me down was cut forever, in a heart beat. My friend, and that is the only word to describe the many facets of my turbulent relationship with M, was dead. In a moment. Gone and there was no one here that I trusted anymore. No ties to bind me here. It took time to see but suddenly it was clear that the memory of my life with M, before he became so drunk he made no sense, was too painful to bear. The places, the sights and extraordinary world we had both belonged to, would go on hurting me, unless I cut the ties and found somewhere else to go.
His ashes are still on the shelf in his parent’s house, and I am angry. With him for dying and with them for not putting him to rest. I endured the funeral and then a few weeks later, a memorial. I sent him off with my love in the only way he wanted, by playing the music that was at the core of his being. He was in the wrong country too, and that was the bond that held us close together. He was American, and I gave him as my final gift, the music he loved, the blues, pure and simple. Looking back on those two days, I am amazed how I stood up and spoke of my love for this funny, sad, flawed human being, without screaming in rage for my wasted time and the damage he had done to my life. So he is gone, and it makes no sense for me to hang around anymore.
So getting my head around the journey to come, bit by bit, day by day, blog by blog.