I’m drinking a Flat White. It’s 28 degrees hot. I biked here on the left side of the road, and someone just said “see you this arv’”. Where am I? Home! A week after landing, it all still feels like a novelty, but the part of myself I left here, 3 and a half years ago, has been welcomed back. Traveling, as is well-known by addicts of the open-road, allows you to be whoever you want to be. You can leave behind past identities and recreate. Usually, if you’re gone long enough, you’ll run right back into yourself, but there’s still an element of anonymity, of character-play.
Here, back home, I’m the Lily my old friends know, the woman my family knows. My mother knows me almost better than I know myself, so there’s no getting away from it here. And it’s so nice. Not to have to explain, not to have to decide, who that is. I’ve got a few more stories and a few more scars, but essentially, I’m still me.
And in the same way, my City is too. Buildings have come up and gone down, the dramatic floods early in the year have altered it’s shape and shaken it’s stumps, but it stills smells the same, people still smile the same, and Kangaroos still graze in the morning fog. Some things never change.
I left Madison in chaos, and with a heavy heart. My world there was splitting off into two different directions – one outside, one inside – and rather than decide which to go in – I left them both.
Brisbane, this is where I know. Where my constants can be constant and leave me room to figure out the rest.Where working out who I am doesn’t get in the way of working out what I want. Where my city stands, and where I stand – afraid, brave, and intrigued – together.