Another day, another anniversary. A couple of days ago marked one year since my return to Melbourne. One year since I left my perfectly decent life in Sydney.
Unlike my Memories of London post, this isn’t a reminiscence of a perfect experience. It’s about expectations versus reality. It’s also about hindsight.
One year ago, I was so desperate to escape my Sydney life. Why? I had a job, I had friends and I had a huuuuge flat. Seriously guys, it was epic. So, again you may ask, why?
I expected Sydney to be perfect. I expected Sydney to be easy. Now that I think about it, I expected Sydney to be London.
NEWSFLASH: SYDNEY IS NOT LONDON. Mind boggling, I know.
I had visited Sydney countless times before the big move. It was the source of many happy childhood memories. I often didn’t want to go back to Melbourne. The difference, was that I always did. I wasn’t trapped.
Before I go on, I feel the need to clarify that nobody was actually holding me hostage in Sydney. Clear? Okay, let’s carry on.
Arriving in Sydney, I expected to feel right at home. After all, I’d spent almost an entire lifetime a mere 878.2 kilometres away. How different could it be? Very, as it turns out.
Also, there’s that dreaded word again: expected. I was setting myself, and Sydney, up for failure from the very beginning.
Sure, Sydney doesn’t have the same food scene as Melbourne. It doesn’t have AFL-obsessives flooding the streets every weekend, either. It isn’t supposed to.
Sydney has a stunning harbour. It has iconic bridges and opera houses. There is even fluorescent yoga on the beach! It has its own identity. Yet, it wasn’t Melbourne or London so that was it for me. Sorry Sydney, try again next time.
Oh Melbourne, you are a pretty little thing!
Securing a job at the Sydney branch of my London company was supposed to be a good thing. Hindsight, however, suggests otherwise. It was simply enabling my London addiction. I was still holding on to the past.
Moving on to my next point…
If I hadn’t ended up in Sydney as a result of being forced to leave my job, my friends and my home all in one fell swoop, would things have been different? I am almost certain.
These days, Melbourne is not the same place I once knew. It refuses to give me a job and is holding me hostage in my parents’ home. *Love you mum and dad!* Suffice to say, things have been more challenging than expected.
Sounds familiar right? Yet, I’m not ready to give up on Melbourne. Sydney was unfortunately never shown the same tolerance.
I find myself thinking that a move to Sydney now, would yield vastly different results. Why? Well for one, the grass is always greener right? Secondly, it’s all in the timing.
When I talk about my time in Sydney, I rarely have a kind word to say. Now I see how utterly unfair that is. Gertrude & Alice; my favourite bookshop cafe nestled in bustling Bondi. Ampersand Cafe Bookstore in Paddington; with its delectable brownies and warming chai lattes, I had never felt more at home.
If we are determined to be miserable, we have a wonderful way of making it happen.
Sometimes I imagine giving Sydney a second chance. I picture myself settled in a cosy flat, tantalisingly close to the beach, saluting the sun and sipping Prosecco. It’s a nice picture.
Who knows where I’ll be one year from now; be it Melbourne, Sydney or across the Pacific. Wherever it is, I think I’ll leave my bias behind.
“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.” – Mandy Hale
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