During an evening stroll the other day with my friend along West Vancouver’s Seawalk, the inevitable question came up: what next? I have the rough plans drawn up in my head: work for the summer on the food truck, travel in the fall around Eastern Canada and America, and then it’s home time. But then once I’m home, my thinking hits a dead end; a roadblock. I really don’t know where I will live once I return to Australia. I will of course fly directly to my parents on Magnetic Island, as it will be around Christmas when I return, but from there…
I guess the obvious answer and the budgeteer’s response is live at home, find a job, save some money. And although I do like this option, my parents live on an island, so there aren’t exactly an abundance of jobs. Then there is the chance of working in Townsville and catching the ferry to and fro every day, which is doable and a lot of commuters begrudgingly do the same, but I feel like Townsville just isn’t the place for me any more.
Do you ever feel like you’ve outgrown a place? That if you did go back you just wouldn’t fit in any more? It would be like two corner pieces of a jigsaw puzzle trying to connect – it just won’t work know matter which way you turn them. That is how I feel about Townsville.
It is where I went to high school, although I don’t really talk to anyone from those days these days. It is where I graduated from university, where I learnt the journalism craft. It is where I got my foot in the door with the local newspaper and a public relations company but felt defeated when the doors slammed shut.
It is the beach I walked along but never swam in due to the stingers. It is the nightclub street I frequented too many times once I hit 18. It is the memories in those nightclubs of dancing like no one’s watching, singing karaoke in that bar, getting free drinks in another, drinking shots from a teapot there and staying until you were kicked out elsewhere. That was a good part of my life, but it is the past, and I honestly don’t miss it.
I feel that if I went back there and tried to start a life in Townsville again, it wouldn’t bring me joy. Maybe it holds too many memories for me now, good and bad that belong in the past so I can make new ones in the future. I think we just don’t belong together any more; I have outgrown its mould.
So that leaves the question… where to in Australia? My head and heart say probably Brisbane, where I have both good and bad memories too (spending time with family = good, car accidents = bad). But we only had a year together, so I think there is still time and room for us to grow together. And if that doesn’t work out, it is onto the next. That’s the thing with outgrowing a city – you can just go discover a new place to grow in.