I could steer this entry in so many ways –
+Turn Left for embracing singleness.
+Turn Right for embracing culture where you live.
+Take the ferry to embrace friendships in the now.
+Continue ahead for all the above.
Lets go with the latter. The directionless-yet-all-directions-can’t-decide option.
When in Rome, do as Romans do.
It was the light hearted response Dad always gave, usually to justify that next glass of red wine because he had a direct view of vineyards.
Little did I realise it would become my motto as I left the vineyards for coastal living.
Candice you’re going to come back so snobby!
…. so pretentious!
…. you’ll forget about us!
…. become a kale-eating-activated-everything-charcoal-mouthwash-organic-hippy!
Okay, apart from the kale apart, the last part has a scary amount of truth to it. I kid you not, my breakfast is full of organic-activated-magic and I don’t even mind. I’ll have me a decent steak and veg meal at the local pub one night, and a vegan-activated-organic-blah-blah brekkie bowl the next day and regret nothing. I’ve become dependent on my morning Tumeric&Matcha teas, and i’ll defend my life choices more than I should.
I’d have rolled my eyes and disputed any claim that I was about to engage in any of Sydney’s coastal culture 3 months ago. And I had no idea how much of a pretentious country person I had become! Just because country people are better (#jokingnotjoking), doesn’t mean coastal culture isn’t worthy, and the people aren’t less awesome.
As soon as I stopped differentiating whether someone was just a happy-go-character or just high on weed, I could suddenly breathe (weed-free, i promise Mum!) – and actually allowed myself to enjoy my hippy brekkie bowl.
I’m off track, #rewind.
The 3 month rule. Again, I eat a generous slice of humble pie as Mum was right. When I wanted to chuck the towel in? She told me to wait 3 months. I wanted to chuck the towel AT her face, she never let me give up.
Realising the new found confidence of wanting to ride horseback to tackle the world would end up in feeling unsettled in only a capital city by car, is just annoying. Mum was right – MORE humble pie, no wonder I can’t pull off that bikini. Despite the great times i’ve had since moving, theres been short seasons of despair as I wonder how I ended up here.
The honeymoon of #freshstart had ended, and I started to miss what was. I missed the best friends I no longer had in my life. But don’t pity me, I was only being ignorant, I just didn’t want to believe a spring clean was needed to make room for those who were already there, and those who were to come*. I think friendships can have a much greater effect on us than we ever dare to admit, because who wants to acknowledge the vulnerability it subjects us to? Those closest to us shape and mould us, whether we like it or not, we really do become who we surround ourselves with. No one likes dusting off winter-thick dust, to find treasures you’ve outgrown and have to part with, but it can be just as liberating. I had no idea who would fill my metaphorical house of mates, but i’ll save you the details of that one.
Before I bore you to pieces with ‘Candice gets on her cardboard box and preaches’, i’ll get back, #rewind.
Its been 3 months since I moved to Sydney as a pretentious country lass, somewhat resistive to culture here, and its taken me 3 months to let that go.
Go.Get.Cultured. (with or without acidophilus)
Wherever you live, coast, country, damn Iceland, get cultured. Embrace where you have been blessed to live, and remember who you are. For all those on Instagram and Snapchat, #sorrynotsorry for my recent spam. In the year of self discovery and identity crisis, I decided to date myself, learn about myself. And why not do that while getting cultured, and getting to know this place I now call home. I wish it was my idea to get cultured, but it was basically a demand by who I call my best friend nowadays.**
I’ve had mad chats with cutesy cafe waitresses on the Northern Beaches, admired tourists on Manly ferry, been in awe of handmade linen/lace sun dresses at The Rocks, felt the sand between my toes on Rose Bay, been surprised that I like vegan-plant-based-Tumeric-dark-chocolate-ice-cream on Bondi Beach, and eavesdropped far too many conversations on public transport – the highlight:
“What makes a good golfer? The expensive clubs, or just pure skill?”
The country might not have fifty-three cutesy cafes scattered on street corners with a beach view, but theres still a strong culture to embrace – ask any farm kid. I mean, country kids are swimming in irrigation channels while coastal kids are swimming in pristine beaches. Both are just fabulous, it is what you make of it. Theres no reef fish in irrigation channels, but i’m sure carp can entice your imagination. At least in an irrigation channel you’re hardly fighting half of the country for it, like I fought half the country for Bondi Beach yesterday. The channel has an unspoken fine print of belonging to you and your neighbour, regardless of who actually owns the water allocation – don’t question the rules made by farm kids, they’ll win, hands down.
So its taken me 3 months (to the day, what sort of magic is that Mum, honestly, I can’t even) to embrace being a single, thought-she-was-friendless lost in a big city, and just what the heck, make the damn most of it.
And as soon as I did, I’ve met some people i’m convinced i’ll have for life, cherished those that were already there, and brewed a second Tumeric&Matcha latte. As we go into Summer, I remind myself that life will have seasons more than the four weather-patterned ones we’re all too familiar with, life seasons will ebb and flow. Embracing the now, this new transformed faith, this lifestyle- I hope I can be kinder to myself, and remember my true identity in Christ, regardless of the season.
*Be there for those who are hurting and suffering, but look after yourself. You’re just as worthy for love, but don’t take the fall. Don’t break yourself for another, don’t lose yourself, it’ll consume you. Its a balancing act, and if you work out how to perform the world’s hardest juggling act, please flick me a cheat sheet.
**The person in the background. The human thats just always been there, the one you forget has had such an impact on your life. The one that saved you from the mouse under your bed at uni, the one who taught you to live out of a backpack, the one who inspires you to be the best version of you-inside and out, and the one who has challenged your comfort zone from the beginning. She also taught you how to stir onions without burning them, and has loved you from day 1 unconditionally. She planted a seed in you years ago to want to explore, just waiting for it to flourish – she’s patient. She’s a goddess in her own right, and i’m sure you have one, hold them tight.
Pictured is the vegan ice cream, enjoyed by Bondi Beach.