Happy Harsh Life-Examination Month!

Happy New Year, blogosphere! I have my post-holiday apathy under control, and am finally eating food that hasn’t been handed to me by a sixteen-year-old through a drive-thru window. Hooray!

New Year’s Eve was initially a pleasant family bonding evening. Mum, Dad and I checked into our usual low budget hotel, then took some time snapping some photos around Cairns in the late afternoon warmth before enjoying a tasty Asian dinner. We had plans to head down to the Esplanade to catch the 9pm fireworks show, after which Mum and I would make fun of Dad for going to bed early, before heading to bed ourselves about fifteen minutes later.

Somewhere between dinner and fireworks, beer happened to me.

Daybreak on 1st January 2014 found me rolled up like a pickled chrysalis inside a commandeered swag* on a concrete floor in an unfamiliar garage. I woke up to my phone beeping with a ridiculously chirpy text from my mother, full of smiley faces and vaguely sarcastic ‘darling child’s. I discovered I was sharing the cement with an old school friend I hadn’t seen in four years and have never been able to match drink-for-drink, as well as a shirtless fisherman pulling a bong in the corner.

You’d think that at 31 I’d have outgrown this shit, but apparently not. And that’s fine with me.

Around 6.30am my parents decided to head home, minus one absconded daughter (don’t worry, I’d sent Mum a text message at some point during the night indicating I was alive, if not exactly coherent) and on their way out of Cairns they noticed a parked four wheel drive with an obviously misappropriated road sign hanging off the back of it. Dad nearly stopped to take a photo, no doubt to skewer on his blog as an example of NYE idiot shenanigans. Many, many hours later, I turned up at the farm in my school bud’s four wheel drive, bearing a shiny 40km/hr speed sign with which to adorn the verandah. Daddy had never been more proud of me – I could tell by the vein twitching in his forehead.

A trip home to Far North Queensland is always an interesting thought experiment in What The F**k Am I Doing With My Life. 99% of my school friends are married with fulfilling family commitments, mortgages and kitted out camping vehicles. In contrast, I’m bumbling around Melbourne without a home or partner, and nothing that can be classified remotely as a ‘career’or ‘qualifications’ or ‘hobbies’. All of which doesn’t bother me too much in January, but I think I should be making plans now if I’m to look back at 2014 and feel like I’ve accomplished anything. Because so far, all I have is:

1. Theft of council property.
2. Successfully navigating back to Melbourne. Which I suspect had more to do with the pilot.

I just had so much fun last year, and I feel like I want to keep doing that – I mean, what’s life for, if not to enjoy it while we’re here? On the other hand, I’m a grown-ass woman with a strong passion for helping out the underdog, and I’m supposed to be contributing to society in a meaningful, compassionate way by now. Granted it’s possible to have fun and contribute, but the only idea I have is to bang ugly people. And I don’t think that’s a long term career prospect at the moment.

Existential crisis aside, Far North Queensland is a whole lot of love and laughs, and a brilliant way to kick off another year.

The new love of my life.

The new love of my life.

*Never, ever confuse an Aussie ‘swag’ with Justin Bieber’s.

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21 thoughts on “Happy Harsh Life-Examination Month!

  1. Well, you’re “only” 31. I didn’t get married until I was 32, so there’s still time … and at almost 53 I’m still not a true grown up, despite having some of the responsibilities of one.

    I fully believe that as long as you are not a burden on society no one has a right to tell you how to live your life, and there’s no wrong way to do it. You may as well have fun while you can.

  2. I have my post-holiday apathy under control, and am finally eating food that hasn’t been handed to me by a sixteen-year-old through a drive-thru window. Hooray!

    Laziness has become my new motto for that. Forget the Martha Stewart salad. In my house, never gonna happen. I just reach into the produce drawer, rip off the tops of the spinach, toss it into a bowl with salt and an avocado and I’m done. If I wait until I’m motivated to cut up veggies and take 30 minutes to make a real salad, I’m doomed. Screw it. Am finally eating healthier too.

    You are thoughtful and a good friend. I say keep having fun. Just keep in mind what next venture might lift you up if you get burned out at some point. When I became fed up with New England ecology, I looked into film and realized I wish I had taken classes ten years ago.

    Always good to try new things just in case.

    • Exactly, re. trying new things. So many cool things to try….and so many hours of life taken up with work. Oh well, I guess that’s what weekends are for.

      I’m a big fan of the half-assed stirfry, myself. Greens, tofu, soy sauce – done.

  3. Banging ugly people – it could pay well though, lol at first I read it as bang ugly, old people which could definitely be a community service on offer.

    Lol, you good girl sending your Mum a text at 31 years of age, I make my kids do that but then I still try to hold their hands when we cross the road as well.

    Definitely pull your finger and get cracking on all that fun stuff – as one approaching 50 I can tell you that time really does fly and it really did come as a bit of a shock.

    • There’s that Aussie documentary Scarlet Road about the sex worker who services disabled men…I mean, THAT’s some community service right there.

      Haha, now I’m picturing you wrangling your three adult kids across the road like toddlers. EVERYONE KEEP ONE HAND ON THE BABY’S PRAM.

      Thank you – I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking it’s all whizzing by much too fast!

      • I listened to a story on the radio not long ago about a woman who found a sex worker for her father who was old and disabled – awkward.

        It’s an automatic reaction the hand holding – or I put myself a step in front and put my arm in front of them. I did it to Lloyd a while back and he said – Mum, I’m going to South Africa next week by myself, so you should let me cross the road here by myself.

        • Oh, that’s awkward…I mean I love my dad and all, but he can source his own damn prostitutes thanks.

          Old habits die hard eh…well if you miss him while he’s away, feel free to come and help me to cross roads. I’m useless unless there’s a green man telling me what to do.

          • You ever see those old people darting across the road about 5 metres away from the green man – I feel like running them down. Actually having said that – I was hit by a car doing that when I was 18, ran across the highway at Newcastle to get to the McDonalds toilet on the other side. Luckily I ran into the side of the car and not in front of it but I have been very, very cautious when crossing roads since then. I always listen to the green man.

  4. I think it’s great that you are having a blast! I don’t know if there’s a requirement for a “successful” life….as long as you are enjoying life to the fullest…which it seems you are!

    What a beautiful pup! Dogs make the bestest buddies!

    • I love her to bits, I think I spent more time with her than with my parents. I’d love to have one of my own, but working full time plus rental property plus regular holidays equals Bad Dawgie Mama.

      I’m certainly enjoying life, but I still think I need to start laying some foundations so I don’t turn out to be a destitute eighty-year-old living in a cardboard box with my nine feral cats.

  5. Enjoy life now; middle age arrives without us realising it’s been creeping up; then it’s a click of the fingers before we’re “old” (though I’m pleased to see “old” is now a bigger number than it used to be).

    • I don’t even know where “middle-aged” starts now, let alone “old”. I heard an interview once with a bloke that spent a few weeks with a pygmy tribe somewhere in Africa, and the notion of age had absolutely no relevance to them. He said asking them how old they were was the equivalent of asking someone what their licence plate number is – they thought he was mental.

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