It’s the little things about Sydney that I miss the most... The loud noise of Aeroplanes at 6am that I cursed in the past, the big issue guys trying to sell their magazines on every corner down on George street, the fast trains that get you from A-B in a sec, the buskers in central tunnel giving you guilt trip looks for your spare change, the bus driver speeding off and leaving a poor student late for class running with his hands in the air, grabbing an early morning coffee on the run, the cheap $10 meals in a vintage 100 year old pub in Surry Hills, the taste of beer on the back of a ute down at Maroubra Beach and the everyday feeling of opportunity and freedom.
On 30th of December, I packed a suitcase full of god knows what, with red swollen eyes to move back to North Queensland forever following the death of my mother. For the past two months I have been living back in a town I never thought I would return to until a later stage in my life.
When I arrived in Sydney last year on Valentines Day to begin my life in the big city, It was raining and miserable, the traffic was fast and my mind was racing. When leaving in December, it was another rainy morning, but this time I left the city I had come to love without saying a proper goodbye.
I moved away from the Atherton Tablelands; The place I grew up, the first moment I could. At the age of 17, I packed up and left to pursue an unexpected year of study at James Cook University in Townsville, and as time passed I found Radio 4k1g and volunteered my time. Eventually I built my way through the organisation from volunteer with one hour a week, to full time breakfast announcer in just 5 years. At the end of 2009 and after years of doing the job I set out to get, I felt enough was enough and moved to Sydney.
A lot of people asked me why? Why leave a good job, a comfy flat, good wage and friends and family behind to live in a city full of danger, a city I didn’t know, without family, on a student budget and living out of a hostel all year. The answer is simple. Growth.
We as humans are programmed to survive everyday of our lives. We all have a family, maybe a partner, maybe children, a house/flat, a job, study or some form of purpose that keeps us going. We live our lives based on what life presents us and what we set out to achieve. Only few really honestly set out to make the most of their lives and go on living their comfortable daily lives just for the sake of materialistic pleasures we want and feel we need. Nothing is wrong with any of it, just in my instance, I felt I needed change.
Leaving Townsville was the best thing I could’ve done, as it allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, take a chance in the big city and pursue the dreams I had. I achieved so much more than I thought I would and although it was the hardest year of my life being a fulltime student in a big city, It made me grow as a person and has lead to me where I am today as my 13 year old brothers full time carer.
Up until this point, I have lived a selfish life of work, career, money and play. I’ve only ever had to me to think about. I’ve always been independent, but surviving the year I did in Sydney has enabled me to survive anything and be prepared for anything. Without that knowledge and ability to be able to take life challenges, I wouldn’t be capable of looking after my little brother as I am now. As much as mum's death has changed my entire life and affected me in every possible way, I believe everything happens for a reason and know the life lessons I learnt up until this point have prepared me for the role I have been given now with my brother.
A lot of people have been worried about me since mum’s passing and what will now happen to me and my career. Since the age of 17, I have been chasing a dream and chasing goals. I can honestly say that I chased it all and achieved all I set out to achieve... As proud as my mum was of my achievements in radio and with all that I had done in my life, I know she would be even prouder of me doing what I am doing now, continuing on with her hard work. As much as people worry about me, the fact of the matter is, I needed to be here around my brother and around my family, just as much as they need me...
Since my brother arrived into our family as a foster child (He’s my mum’s sisters biological son) of just 8 weeks, he has been my little brother. He and I both don’t know any different. My mother is the only mother he has known and my sister and I are his siblings. This is just the way it is, so there was no hesitation that with mum now gone, that he would go anywhere else but with us... Those were not only her wishes but what we as a family want and need. We are his family and he will always be our/my responsibility.
My brother is a bubbly kid who majority of the time, you will find smiling. Like me, he loves his music; he loves to dance and has a lot of friends. He’s interested in our culture, he loves camping, fishing and being independent. As long as I am breathing, I will love him and be here for him in every possibly way.
My career for now is taking a much needed break. I will always have goals and strive to live my life to the fullest because when I do, my spirit and soul feel good. Money, possessions and life’s extra’s are always nice to have, but if I’ve learnt anything since making the life changing move to Sydney last year is that life is unpredictable and at the end of the day, none of that will matter when a loved one is lost. Family is what is most important. My journey has reached a new stage,and now it feels like I am rebuilding it from the ground up. A new start...
On top of grieving for my mother, I’m living in a place that I haven’t lived in for a very long time and it’s taking me a lot to adjust too. From the bustling streets of Sydney, the cars, the money, the lifestyle, to the complete silence of a suburban neighbourhood street in the country, the birds waking becoming you’re alarm clock every morning, walking the dog in the afternoon, signing school forms and having another life to take care of day today besides my own. These are adjustments that have taken time to get used to and am slowly accepting.
In the past two months, I have had time to think and analyse every inch of my life and have come to accept a lot of the changes that I have been faced with. Mum would never have wanted me to give up my career and I’m not, it’s simply taking a break. After nearly 10 years away from this place, I am back, a different person in a tough spot both mentally and emotionally, but I can either live a half decent life like the rest seem to live here, or I can keep my goals in sight, slowly start to achieve and be happy once again with my brother by my side and live an EXTRAORDINARY life. Time will tell...
The road isn’t an easy one. Add it all up and life right now is stacked against my brother and me, but our mum taught us both to face adversity and beat it, and that we will do together, side by side
One Love, One Life ♥