Monday, December 31, 2012

Punctuation in a Lifetime: 2012

This time last year I was in Berlin, bewildered and bemused by the incessant fireworks lit in the streets, shooting into the side of buildings, falling and firing at pedestrians, people with handguns firing blank bullets at cars driving past. Although I've always travelled alone, at this point I was lonely, I was exhausted, and facing nothing but uncertainty in my future.

2012 played out as I knew it would, in that nothing turned out as I expected. I've lived in amazing places and shit places simultaneously. Ullapool is such a sanctuary and haven of beautiful wilderness, of birds and flowers and the Arctic wind, but the shared housing that came with the job was not...amazing. Glasgow has ridiculous amounts of cheek and character, but this flat in Calton is bloody horrid.

I've met extraordinary people who have surprised me in both their kindness and the fact that I genuinely desire their company. They're in distant places, in distant countries, and I miss them and prize their presence in my life, however fleeting.

I've worked a shit job - if you prize the use of your arms, don't be a cleaner. I've worked brilliant jobs - freelance editing is wonderful and ghastly, contracting for a publishing house is confidence boosting and I just love reading. I've worked no job at all - despite six years as a public servant in a secure environment no one wants to touch me, not even for filing. Sadly, this does not make my resumé any more impressive.

I've not seen nearly as much of Scotland as I would like. Failing to break into temp work means no travel, no weekend flights to Barcelona, no drives along the west coast. I have explored St Kilda, however, and sailed through the Hebrides on a beautiful tall ship. I have roamed the Faroe Islands, and returned to that most breath-taking country Iceland and enjoyed days and days of live music.

I started the 365 project, and have not taken a photo every day. I did not expect to, and am surprised at what I managed to produce. When this entry is finished I will walk into Glasgow with my camera, and the last photos of 2012 will be taken.

I started writing again. This is perhaps the only thing I wanted of this year.

It cannot be denied that the largest, the most meaningful and profound change to have occurred in my life in the past year has been the presence of J. Have I ever told you of my forecasting? When looking into the future, I have always pictured myself alone. Not sad or bitter, simply flying solo, as I have always done. When I was little and assumed that getting married and having children was inevitable, I would try to picture this future, and in all such imaginings the woman with the husband and children was not me (she was white and had a perm for starters). Even when I was engaged this vision did not change, which should have tipped me off sooner. I kidnapped J, and J kidnapped me, and suddenly we have become a two-headed monster. To find that when I look into the future I can see the two of us getting old and remaining young together is a shock, is still a shock, is something worth struggling and fighting to keep.

Right now, I'm full; of love, excitement and hope. The first quarter of 2013 will be full of adventures and explorations with my partner in crime in places neither of us have ever been before. Then we'll be home, and I know now that yes, Melbourne is my home, my family and friends are my home, gumtrees and magpies are my home. There are babies to meet, weddings to attend, people to hug, and oh yes, future travel plans to be made.

There is so much to look forward to, and there is so much to dance about right here and now.

The sun keeps rising, and I keep breathing, and these terrible, wonderful things drag us on.

<3

3 comments:

Nadiecakes said...

Can I tell you how much it makes me smile to read these words?

Probably not. Wretchedly crooked, smirky smiles like mine are likely best left undescribed. ;)

But it does, and my heart is full for you. :D

Ben Payne said...

*love*

Happy new year, you most eloquent and wonderful little friend. Hope the new year is glorious.

Tessa said...

<3 to you Nadine & Ben. Much love.