New home. New writing spot. Old rituals.
I’m sitting on the balcony of our new Victorian terrace in Redfern, the ‘grown up’ share house shared by Paul and I, Paul’s former housemate Mo and Tam. A country kid, and Anglo-Indian (Me, though I use the term loosely), a Pakistani prince (Mo is yet to admit it, but we have our suspicions) and a bolshy Jewess. It’s SBS sitcom-casting heaven.
We have no furniture downstairs, save for a couch and a giant stainless steel fridge that an old uni-mate offered to sell me for a song when I put a call out on Facebook. The fridge is the size of a small car and takes up half of our 60s red-brick kitchen, but I’m growing even more appreciative of it, even though it’s daunting to realise that friends are nailing the ‘grown up’ game even more than you, when their cast-offs as so much nicer than your good stuff.
In many ways, this house is everything I dreamed of as a repressed suburban teenager: I always wanted to live with friends (like in ‘Friends’) in an inner city pad. I always dreamed of a having a red front door and a balcony to perch upon to fulfil my Carrie Bradshaw fantasies.
This week I have been living out of boxes, rediscovering long-forgotten items of clothing and reviving them for the projected joy of my workmates. Bucket hats have featured heavily.
Today I plan on turning the pile of boxes taking up the bedroom into a working wardrobe. Home is where your T-shirts are folded.
The house is otherwise empty. The only other sound I can hear is of junkies arguing in the park in front of our place and tinny low-fi of Thelonious Monk playing though my iPhone speaker.
The mates are busy, doing life, and I’m very happy about it. I needed to find sanctuary this morning, peace in solo rituals: a large glass of warm water with apple cider vinegar, a quick breakfast of protein shake with enough substance to allow me to start writing and not have to come up for air until the late morning (a banana, peanut butter, coconut milk, quinoa flakes, yoghurt. The result tasted kind of like cake batter - and I was not mad at it), and coffee - strong and served in one of the only two mugs in the house I will drink from (both identical merchandise from the Gaultier exhibit at the NGV. I wish I'd bought more).
Tam has just texted to suggest we go to the markets to fill the new fridge, but in my Maslow's hierarchy of household needs, sorting my mental space on the page and physical space out of boxes seems so much more urgent.
Usually I would write in a journal, stream of consciousness style, the way Julia Cameron has told me to and I have done in my journaling since 2004. Now that I’m looking to fill my recently launched website with more ideas about my own process, I’m going to experiment with taking my writing off-paper and onto screen.
It may lead to nothing, it may lead to something, but I had the daunting realisation two nights ago that I am only now finding the courage to step into my sharing of ideas in a more public forum in a way that I have yearned to do for over a decade. ‘Where did my Twenties Go?’ is a topic for another blog post, but in short, at thirty-three I am now feeling emboldened enough share my ideas in this way. It's either the result of hitting 'the Jesus Year' - or what happens after enough time is spent maintaining enough sobriety to start asking questions about your place in the grander scheme of things. Ironically harder to feel self conscious when you realise your potential insignificance.
It may lead to nothing, it may lead to something, but I am definitely no longer afraid of what it means to try.