Today, for the first time since I arrived in Melbourne, I’ve taken a step back to breathe. Day twelve of a new beginning, knowing nothing and no-one, hundreds of thousands of miles from my Mum. And I love it.
I live in a warehouse and walk the length of Oxford Street every day. I crunch over autumn leaves as I walk to work and drink coffee that makes me weak at the knees. In the studio I grind fresh beans for a morning brew before talking coin pockets, zippers, leather and latches. Then I write about them.
I work under a window with a desk that can be little or big, so sometimes I sit, and sometimes I stand. My colleagues and I ‘jam’, talking concepts, language, brands and how we can be better in everything we do. I share my day with folk that are honest, and a team that needs me.
I read inspiring articles as part of my role, and nap in a sleep pod if I get tired. I take a break with the crew at noon, sit in the kitchen, and shoot the breeze over noodles.
I eat everything I’m offered, from Rockling burgers to Coffin Bay oysters, avocado smash to whipped goat’s cheese. I’ve realised I really like radishes, and coffee with sugar. I’ve even forced down a vegan prawn. Never again.
I’ve found a place to live, and a flatmate that smiles. I go to yoga every other day, and practise with driven teachers in a studio that sings. On Wednesdays I do laps in a 50m outdoor pool with friends from work, and I feel as strong as Ian Thorpe.
I’ve said yes to going boxing, and no to going home early. I’ve found wine from a vineyard called Trentham, and fallen in love with Pinot Noir. I’ve been out with the lads, and hit the town with the girls. I’ve been to a restaurant called Easy Tiger, a café called Proud Mary and a secret bar that’s run by a ginger Scot.
I’ve bought a duvet cover with pink flowers on it and a teapot called Barry. I’m the proud owner of a bike, retro helmet, bed and new toothbrush. And I’ve seen more hipsters and beards in a week than a Cornish lass sees in a lifetime.
I’ve been given complements and kisses. Cuddles too. I feel old, but with age I have more energy than I’ve ever had. I feel far from family, friends and a pup that’s no longer mine. And I miss them, enormously, but I don’t want to sob like a thunderstorm.
Somehow, I feel right at home.