Returning home to North Queensland after spending a week in Sydney is never an easy thing to do. Some people hate the city life and spend every working hour of their lives planning to escape it for greener pastures one day. I on the other hand thrive in it. The busy city streets, swamped crowds awaiting the green man at the traffic lights, the corporate women in their designer suits and un walkable high heeled shoes, the haze that hovers just above the city skyline and the everyday feeling of freedom and opportunity. City living isn’t for everyone but for me it’s my ultimate lifestyle.
This recent Sydney trip, I stayed in the suburb of Surry Hills. Close to the city and a mix of poor and rich, this suburb is funky, metro and vintage. The people of Surry dress how they want to dress. Clothing attire is individual and ‘screams look at me’. The artistic world takes its place with the people’s fashion alongside the old Terrace houses that line its streets. Big bold glasses, brown sports jackets worn with black boots and green skinny jeans, topped with a hat to the side with a feather on top describes the normal look for many who call Surry home. I had the pleasure of calling Surry home for a few weeks last year and found that I probably wasn’t cool enough to live in the suburb. Me and my 80’s style kicks tried our best anyways.
Walking down Crown Street, the second hand clothing stores are more popular than the designer label stores, and the organic food shops (as expensive as they are) are all packed with people wanting guilt free food for their insides. The trees stand along on the streets of Surry, often their bark is grey/white and the leaves barely green. As you take in the sights and sounds (and sometimes smells) of Surry Hills, there is an overriding feeling that you can be anyone you want to be in Surry Hills. It’s refreshing and rewarding to know that here, no one gives a sh*t what you think about them!
I spent Friday night with some of my awesome twitter girls who I want to give a shout out too; all outspoken, all incredibly smart, all down to earth and not afraid to hold back on a subject they are passionate about. A law student, a manager at a corporate accounting firm, a DJ, a fashion design student, and then me, a former radio announcer turned full time carer. Sitting around a table up the back of a loud and dark little cocktail bar on a Friday night drinking Margaritas’ and Majito’s with REAL WOMEN who speak REAL TALK was just what my soul needed. Thanks girl!!
Flying home after my 3rd Sydney trip this year was even harder given that tomorrow will mark 6 months since my mum passed away and 6 months since I made the move back to the country after living in the city I loved. 6 months later and my brother and I are good. We are healthy and alive. He is my strength everyday and we get each other through the good and the bad. 6 months feels like a long time ago, but it also feels like only yesterday when I think of my mum and my old life in the city. I miss her everyday and emotions are still as raw as they were since the day she left us. I think of all the things she has missed out on seeing this year, like my brothers first day at school, my birthday, my nephew starting prep, our dinners at Aunty and Uncles, family days at the creek and her 50th birthday.
I miss my mum more than words can say. There isn’t a day that goes by where she doesn’t cross my thought process. A smell, a song, a bath gel I saw of hers in a $2 shop are all the small triggers that will creep into my daily life to remind me that she is no longer here with us. Although I know she is always with us in spirit, but not being able to pick up the phone to call her or receiving a text from her or even just needing to call her for advice when I’m in a tough spot or someone is getting me down is the hardest thing to comprehend about her death.
The everyday things she would do as a mother are now gone and are now forced on me to do for my brother. A choice I do not regret and a choice I am embracing daily. I take every day as a new day and just hope that I am doing her proud with raising him on behalf of her. I will never be her, nor will I ever be good enough, but I am trying my best with the limited experience I have in this role as carer. I know that one day I will see my mum again, it’s just a matter of time, but until then, every day, every month and every year that passes will result in me becoming a little emptier without her in my life. This is my reality.
All I have time to do these days is sit and think. 6 months later, here, there are no busy streets; there are no power suits or high heels, no hazy city skyline, no Surry Hills attitude, nor the sense of opportunity or freedom. Instead there is me, my brother, our dog Ali, our 3 bedroom house and a lot of hope that we will one day again taste the sweet taste of success in our lives. Until then, I will keep the faith...
One love, One life.