I’m sitting in my living room, 53 days into this new home. I’ve been thinking a lot about transitions, finding my place and some form of familiarity in this city.

Home still somewhat doesn’t feel like home even though I’ve laid in the same bed, tucked under its sheets; found my local corner store, created a ritual of making dinner, plonking myself on the couch, turning on the TV, wash, rinse, repeat. 

I want to feel newness, surprise and the present moment, but my anxiety usually clubs it to death if it dares show up. 

People often ask me what it’s like living in this city. It’s the prelude to almost any and all my conversations –

So, how’s Melbourne?”

Yeah… it’s fine. It’s exciting, I guess, being in a new city, discovering things and your favourite cafe.” 

Oh! You must love it! All the cafes!”

All the cafes. All the fucking cafes. And so fucking what. 

Cafes do not make a home.

A new beach and corner store do not make a home.

And I am tired of wanting to be excited by the things that excite other people. I can’t seem to be in awe of graffiti on the wall in a piss-covered alley. I am not a coffee snob and cannot appreciate the $32 coffee.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days and moments and scenes that take me away; ones that help me forget the fear of starting over and they are not all that rare. But it does take conscious effort to pause, reflect and remind myself, “Hey, I exist and am privileged to be experiencing this”. 

But if you know what it’s like to be human – we are forgetting machines and pausing is often too big of an effort to include in our routine. It reminds us to be less entitled pricks so we tend to avoid it. 

I guess if I had to describe what transition currently feels like – it’s like being in a new school, where no one knows you, where you wish someone did, where your first few lunches will be you, awkwardly seated at the corner of the cafeteria, knowing it’ll get better but hoping ‘better’ would arrive soon. I’ll admit, it isn’t always doom and gloom but neither is it all “yay, new adventures!”. It’s mostly somewhere in between where everything is okay and moving and there are no complains but a lingering sense of ‘missing-ness’ (yes, totally a word) you can’t shake. 

But if you know what it’s like to be human – we are forgetting machines and pausing is often too big of an effort to include in our routine. It reminds us to be less entitled pricks so we tend to avoid it. 

And I’m trying to fill that space – with trips to the museum and new friends. Mornings at the gym and evenings at the park; with my favourite markets and the reminder that I am lucky to have people rooting for my happiness, those who want me to succeed and find home in my body. 

So… how’s Melbourne?

It’s new and it’s scary, like all journeys of transitions.

It’s a reminder that I’m in the middle of all great stories – where change happens, where the main character is challenged and has to rise up; that when they emerge from this scene, the next will be one of sweet victory. 

There’s still much to be discovered.

Plenty to see and people to meet.

Aloneness to be felt and an ally to make of my fear.

Weather to comment on and hailstorms to run from.

Friendships to forge, art galleries to be visited. 

Oh and of course, all the cafes. 

It’s a reminder that I’m in the middle of all great stories – where change happens, where the main character is challenged and has to rise up; that when they emerge from this scene, the next will be one of sweet victory. 

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Daytime copywriter. Co-author at Pens&Lens. Skilled at befriending strangers just so I can pet their dogs.