i know, i know. i’m twenty six but sometimes it feels like i’m a hundred.
leaving my personal neurosis aside, i want to write about something i’m excited about. last week, al + i moved in together… and it has been so good. it just feels right.
we’re living in a beautiful, spacious one bedroom apartment in one of sydney’s most densely populated suburbs. it reminds me of new york! less than twenty steps away, we’ve got cafes, bars, supermarkets, the gym, parks and the waterfront. not to mention that i get to see my man whenever i want! i hate to sound crass, but i am feeling really lucky. we’ve fitted our space with some dang fine mid-century furniture + my grandfather’s chocolate leather couch, and there are expansive, high ceilings and big windows that look onto a street filled with people we can look at without them even realising. already i have noticed weird neighbourhood quirks – every afternoon in an apartment across the road, pigeons ravage a window in search of food. it’s probably the residence of an elderly person who feeds them every day, or someone accidentally left some food on the windowsill one time and is forever paying the price.
when i walk on the roof i am reminded of one of my favourite books. it’s a huge space made of white concrete. it is minimally adorned. there’s not much up there aside from some hills hoists for your laundry and one table with two chairs. during the day, the sun reflects ferociously against the white concrete, not only heating up the roof but also making it difficult to see. when i am up there i am reminded of the opening pages of Albert Camus’ ‘The Outsider’ when the lead character, Mersault, is walking through the Algerian desert after maybe committing a murder (although that is beside the point) and as he is walking he is blinded by the sunlight.
as much as i relish this new change, i can’t help but feel a bit like i’ve dumped my grungy lover (newtown) for one that’s shiny and new (new hood). but then i know i’ll always be a bit of an inner west hippie at heart. though i know my priorities are changing but friends remain so important to me and i realise this even more so when they’re not around or feeling sparse on the ground or when they all move overseas at the same time – that’s when i become anxious. what matters more to me over quantity though, is quality of friends – i want to nurture the friendships i have, the ones that really mean something, not the ones i have to struggle consistently to maintain.
i don’t really want to ‘grow up’. it feels strange and unnatural. i’m not sure i’m very good at acting like an adult. it feels false, perhaps everyone can see through it. is it an act? probably. i just want to sit on the floor and draw pictures with my friends while drinking wine. or lie in the park with friends, eat pizza in bed, listen to music in my underwear. or smoke in the bath. or stay up late reading about things that don’t matter to others but that resonate so deeply with me. and yet, this feels like an adult apartment. an adult neighbourhood. but thankfully there’s still a bit of grunge, a bit of naughtiness to keep it real. i want to find a way to integrate this part of me into my ‘professional self’. because i am professional, but i don’t want to lose my personality within this person.
my beautiful grandfather recently told me that we never really ‘grow up’. that he still has the same internal monologue he had as a boy, chasing balls and playing with his enormous alsation puppy. you’d think our mind would make us better equipped to deal with the complexities of life as we age – that our mind would age with us to help accommodate new ways of thinking. instead, i’m coming to realise it’s not the case. that it’s all too easy to get lost in past moments, past friendships, past memories of sheer freedom. but things change and although they become more complex, they also become more rewarding. i think. or maybe we just become so physically tired that we just need to settle down and go to bed early.