i am going to go swim laps look at me going to go swim laps here i go to swim laps in a bathing suit to go swim laps in public to go swim laps i am terrified to go swim laps why am i going to go swim laps but off i go to go swim laps stomach, jiggle, and all, going to go swim laps
I had lunch with with a girl I met in Big W (equivalent to Walmart). We were both looking for full length mirrors for our new places. She was from Portland. I was from Toronto. We were both in Melbourne. See where I’m going with this? We bonded instantly. 30 minutes later, after both searching for ‘skinny mirrors’ we were sitting in a little, cute, Melbourne cafe.
Two coffees skinny-flat-whites later the good, old, topic of weight and weight-loss came up. I should mention my new friend, who was about my age and height, must weigh in around 300 pounds. Give or take. Obviously I am not a pro at guessing people’s weight. Anwyho, so yes. There we sat, chatting about how we both wanted to lose weight. She mentioned to me, “you don’t need to.” False. I do. But I thanked her, and told her, for me, for my body, I really do. I’ve lost my wardrobe of clothes, and I feel my recent weight gain all over my body, and how, well, I just feel gross. For me.
I wanted to tell her I thought she didn’t need to lose weight either, but the reality of the situation is she does. Not for appearances. But for health. So I just sat there, and didn’t say anything. Then she started talking. And I started listening. I heard how much her weight affects her life, how badly she wants to lose weight, how badly her mom wants her to lose weight. How she’s been ‘this way’ since she was little. How mean people were to her growing up. And again, and again, how she’s tried, and is trying to still lose weight.
Then. Then she went and bought herself a huge pastry, delight thing.
When she sat back down she made a joke about it (totally what I always do when i order bad food. Defense mechanism? Check), and she went on to tell me how she joined a gym, hired a personal trainer, has made schedules for the gym, is trying to walk more etc.
I saw myself in her so much. Really, I did. It was actually so bizarre how much I related to this girl I had literally met a mere 40 minutes before. As she talked to me about her weight, wanting to lose weight, and her plan, I could see through it. She wasn’t ready to actually lose it. She isn’t ready. She hadn’t 100% committed. Simple, really. I know she’s going to fail at whatever routine she is on now… why? because everything she said, also came with an excuse.
I have a trainer, but she can’t make me sweat too much because I have work after (RED FLAG).
Well, calories don’t matter because I work out (RED FLAG)
I’ve tried everything! (me: Calorie counting?) No. I hate writing things down
My mom, sister and brother are all over weight. It’s in my genes (RED FLAG)
Did you know it takes more calories to burn certain fruits, than eat them? (RED FLAG)
It’s 50% food. 50% exercise. (HUGE RED FLAG)
Honestly? To me? Sitting with her today it was so obvious that yes, she wanted to lose weight, get healthy, feel better about herself and all that jazz, but had she absolutely, 100% committed? No. She was still looking for an easy way out. And until she accepts weight loss is sacrifice, hard word, consistently doing things you don’t want to, she won’t lose it. She wouldn’t be in the right mindset to.
And actually, I’m still looking for an easy way out. Despite my last 3 years being proof there is no easy way to lose weight. How no one will do it for you. And how yes, everything and every day counts.
I ran tonight. Then I ate that salad in the below post, and then I ate cheese and an apple. But. Not just a little, normal sized bit of cheese… I ate, like, a lot of cheese, like, umm, half the packet. I felt I deserved it. I did not deserve it. I don’t know. It’s such an annoying feeling to want something so badly, but feel deep inside you’re not 100% committed. Frustrating, really. But I suppose very few people claim ‘I’m going to lose weight!” and then from that day forth lose weight every single day, until they perfectly land on their goal weight.
Which is somewhat of a relief for me, I must admit. Knowing how I’m just like most people. Just like the girl I had coffee with today. Struggling to commit, struggling to reach her goals. Planning, and thinking, and then trying to do. I don’t know where I’m going with this, I suppose it’s nice to think I’m not the only one fighting myself every day, the only one half-assing it at times, sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who hasn’t actually done it. I don’t know.
I am so emotional today. Like shit. Ups and downs. Then downs and ups. I am happy one moment. Freaking out the next. Have seconds of everything will be okay. Then fear and loneliness sweeps over my body. I am all over the place.
This morning I lay on the ground listening to the radio and staring at the roof. Then Avril Lavine’s Complicated came on the radio. It had nothing to do with my life whatsoever, but something about it lifted me up. But then while doing dishes in the kitchen, my heart nearly stopped with fear of the future.
Today marks exactly 1 month of being in Melbourne. One. Whole. Month.
The last month has been emotional to say the least, but also so, soo, sooo good. I am happy. Overall, I am more than happy. Happier than I was in Toronto, which means the move was the right decision for me. But the biggest, most important, thing on my to do list, “find a job,” has yet to be done - which is scary as hell when I watch rent cheques slip out of my account, and $20 here, or $48 there quickly add up.
That’s the final piece to the puzzle. The job. Then I can breath easy, watch TV without feeling guilty, and, well, just be.
But I am also really proud of myself. In the past month I have done something I’ve dreamt about doing since I was in high school. I moved to new city, country and continent, and somehow found a place to live (with two great roommates), met some incredible people (through this blog, and otherwise), found a favourite coffee shop, drove Great Ocean Road with friends, went to fesitvals, and small beach towns, high end restaurants and taco trucks, took photos, went for walks, went for runs, was introduced to a the sport/world of footy, found a running group, went to some gorgeous beaches, and even went on five dates with some very, very Australian guys.
Overall the transition was easier than I thought it would be, and that is hugely in part because of the kindness of strangers. So thank you to Maeg, Luke, the lovely ladies of my hostel, all the people who have met up with me for coffee, and my two roommates (who don’t even know about this blog - should I tell them? Hmmm) for making me feel so welcome.
1 [emotional, but bad ass] month down. Many to go…
Remember that time I was all sorts of dodgy when it came to updating Little Blog? Perhaps it’s because I’ve been sweating my cahoonas off in this country they call Australia, or because I have been doing this, and that, and this, and falling head over heels in love with this new city I get to call home, and really, truly not being able to find time to blog! I know, whoa.
I’ll dedicate this post to all you lazy readers out there (you know who you are) and will thus photo bomb my blog for you.
Let’s start with Barwon Heads. I was lucky enough to have an old friend (he did an exchange with my university in Canada 6ish years ago) invite me to his beach house for a night. Lucky me! And as this was when I was still hostel-livin’ it was a wonderful, and welcome opportunity to have a room with my own, personal door!
He made a delicious dinner. I tried calamari. I tricked him into thinking he was the one who wanted ice-cream after dinner. Mooohahahha. And I read. A lot.
Side note: Don’t tell my family this, but heading to his beach house was the first time since I arrived in Melbourne I could see myself living in Melbourne, like, permanently. Shhhhh. Our secret though, mmmkay?
Then there was the St. Kilda festival. Pretty much there is a festival or something on every weekend in this city. I sat on the lawn and slowly got day-drunk (which turned into night drunk) with a friend, while people watching and watching an Australian flag fly in the wind. Every time I see the Australian flag I get soooo amazed. Oh my god - i’m in Australia!
Anywho, I ate street meat (NOM) like a champ, and vaguely remember getting home. Classy, I know. Although I do remember talking to a whole bunch of tween girls on the tram, where I accidentally offended them by saying, “Justin Beiber wasn’t one of Canada’s finest moments.” Apparently he IS Canada’s finest moment, and I’m a terrible person for thinking otherwise.
Then there was Victoria Night Market. Which is, you guessed it, a huge market with all sorts of delicious food (WIN!) on Victoria Street. It was massive, and hot, and full of people, and so, much, fun. I can’t believe more cities don’t offer night markets like this one. Cheap(ish) food, a fun atmosphere, arts n’ crafts, and people everywhere you look!
I also went to my first “Footy” game. Which yea, I too had never heard of before I met Australians. Pretty much it’s a made up Australian game, which I found (in my extensive Sports knowledge) to be a mix of rugby and football. To say the people of Melbourne are devoted to this sport would be an understatement, which meant it was a requirement from the day I got here to go to a game, and choose a team to support.
And? It was awesome. With the exception of hockey it was one of the first times I genuinely wanted to watch a game. It’s only pre-season now, but I’m excited for the huge games, apparently the fans get all sorts of rowdy and fun. We also went for pancakes after out meat pies. I know, I know, but holy hell - best. pancakes. ever. ((And Miss Jess! I’ll email you today! Still so excited you spotted me!!!))
And then there was last Saturday. Saturday was a beach day. Saturday, to me, was a cliche Australian day. Which yes, means a very good day. I remember over Christmas, when it was cold, and snowy at home, I would think forward to what was in store for me in Australia. I would imagine days like Saturday. Sand that burnt my feet, a cold, super-salty, ocean, fish n’ ships, beers on patios, and a kiss(!). All followed by a night of vodka, wine and beer (true story - so classy, I know), on a crowded patio somewhere in Melbourne.
AND. And of course I should also mention I am trucking along at real life things too. Like running, and job searching, and drinking delicious coffee, and trying to make new friends, and trying my best to eat healthy. The whole job-search thing is terrible too, and pretty much consumes my days, but I’m trying to stay positive about that one, and still enjoy (not feel guilty about) life. I also found myself a running group (woot!), and have my first run with them tonight, and I made myself a sexy running schedule for my next marathon…. training started yesterday. So yea… missed my first run. Hush you.
Anywho, that’s about it from me. I’m going to try my bestest to keep this Little Blog updated from now on, as I really do like having a record of my days. I’ve actually been writing a TON lately, but just seem too self conscious to post those emo-type-what-is-wrong-with-me? thoughts. Hmmmm. BUT THEY’LL JUDGE ME FOR EATING THE ICE-CREAM and STAYING IN BED TILL NOON and THINKING THAT or DOING THAT. My drafts are about to hit 400… perhaps I’ll word-bomb my blog soon. Perhaps.
Pssh, whatever, I’m going to write this anyways. Soooooo, I was, like, thinking… (oh shut it you, sometimes this is a gooood thing) anywho, so yes, I was thinking and enough is enough of this (online) pity-pity party for me-me-me. For Christ’s sake, I am in MELBOURNE, A. U. S. T. R. A. L. I. A. That’s, umm, like, awesome.
I went for a run tonight and while neandering (right word. see comments) along it occurred to me I can panic, and freak out, and blog about this n’ that being hard and shitty and crappy until I’m blue in the face, but nobody is going to find that job for me, lose the jiggle off my ass for me, make friends for me, or create a good life for me.
Sounds so obvious, I know. But I do this thing where I just wait… and wish… and hope.. and do NOT actually DO, like I’ll sit on the couch and eat ice-cream while wishing I was skinny while watching the biggest loser (#truestory happened yesterday) or wish I had a job while watching Vampire Diaries (#swoon Damon Salvador), ORRRRRRRRR I can make lists, and goals, and not refresh facebook a billion times a day, while trying to creep do my (unpaid) private investigator work on facebook, when I have jobs to find, friends to charm into inviting me places (YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO MELBOURNE PEOPLE), and new running paths to explore.
So yup. Hello Internet. I am back. And ready to FIGHT. Bahaha. That sounds so lame, but whatever, I’ve done some soul searching in my bed at 11am the past week, and figured I gotta change, and as the proof is in the pudding, I do better when I DECLARE TO THE WORLD (you) MY GOALS.
So here they are. I wrote this list January 3rd, 2012:
Move to Melbourne, Australia One-way ticket booked January 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm
To create a new, good life for myself Find friends Find a new house Find a job
Running Find a running group in Melbourne Great Ocean Road Marathon - May 20, 2012 Gold Coast Marathon - July 2, 2012 (depending on $$) Melbourne Marathon - October 2012 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon Races
Cross-Fit/Weights Join a bootcamp or cross-fit group Run and do weight training / cross fit / swimming?
Weight To settle into a healthy routine by watching what I eat and find a doctor-approved healthy weight (one twenty five).
Dating put. myself. out. there. more don’t be such a picky asshole take chances
Travel save money to travel ALL of Australia after Melbourne New Zealand?
I know, I know, I’m a little late to the New Years Goal department, but whatever, better late than never, I’m ready to be productive, not wish, but do, and find a balance in this little life I lead. After all, this is the only time in my life I’ll be this young, this fabulous, this awesome, and all that jazz, so gotta make it count!
On finding a running group: It’s harder than I thought it would be. For starters I am definitely at a ‘beginner’s level’ status, and most of the online running groups look H-Core. Really I just want a running buddy who lives close to me and will work from a 5k level up to full marathon level. I work well with schedules, and groups, and guidelines. I’m finding it really hard to run just for the sake of running…
On blogging: My serious lack of posts the last few weeks could easily be blamed on the whole no-Internet-at-home situation. But. But I admit there is something else too… my lack of desire to blog. My life is in such a transition phase right now, and there isn’t much to say, and the mean comments and forums have ramped up their uniformed thoughts on my life, so yea… sometimes it’s just nice to take a break.
On that date: It was. What was it? He was 6’4” tall. Nice in the beginning. And funny. And he put a huge amount of effort into the date. Wine. A picnic he had cooked. Cheese. Grapes. Playing cards. And we sat in the botanical gardens for 6 hours together. Then he kissed me. Cool. Whatever. It was actually a good kiss. And then tried more. Quite aggressively. And I peaced out within 3.2 seconds. There seems to be a pattern with guys here lately…
On making new friends: This is hard. And easy. I find it’s easy to meet individual people, but hard to meet groups of people. I feel like I know a lot of individual people here, but no more than two of them know each other.
On finding a job: I’ve officially started looking and I can’t say I’m that good at it. Looking for a job is full time job. And it’s hard. Really hard. I’m going through a temp agency, so hopefully that’ll help, and applying to jobs I find online, but each one takes so long. I pretty much spend my days in the library…
On weight: I guess this is similar to the running point. I find I am lacking motivation to care about it. It’s a pain in my ass choosing clothes that fit in the morning, so of course I want to lose a chunk of weight to get my wardrobe back, but meh. I just don’t seem to care these days. Or I get greatly motivated, “yesss! I am going to eat healthy, and lose weight, and rock at life,” but after a few hours I seem to forget about that motivation and eat something I shouldn’t.
On goals: I’m hoping to run two full marathons this year, and a couple of smaller races. Despite my hatred of running, I do really love races, plus, they motivate me to run. I was thinking of also joining a cross fit group here when I find myself a job…
On me: I think I need to step away from the Internet, from guys, from trying to make friends, from blogging, from all of it for a while. I need to stop beating myself up for not running, not choosing a salad, feeling lonely, and just, simply be. The last 3 weeks have been emotional and I realize how the ups then downs, then up again posts could come off annoying. It’s hard because I love Melbourne, and Australia, and am truly so happy I’m here, but the adjustment phase it just hard. And so, my friends, I ask that you bare with me, while I find my ground here in Melbourne :)
i am fighting off sleep as i type these words. but for whatever reason i feel the need to record this moment. whatever this moment may be. i have so much going through my head right now.
truth be told when i got out my laptop to write this post it was going to be about how i feel like i’m living in a movie. how the days keep passing, and how each one gets better, and better… but as i stared that the blank word document i was overcome with an intense feeling of uncertainty.
i miss home.
i miss the people so damn much.
i love melbourne though, i do. but there are no words to describe the desire i have to see, touch, hug, and be with my family and friends. to be with the people in this world that know me best. i am so far away from home right now. and the time difference… sixteen hours. well, it’s hard.
i suppose this is the pattern. the days are good. so good. and then night falls, whether it be 9pm or 2am and it’s then, when i’m laying in bed, they i feel lonely. I have friends here, I do, but… well, do not take the people who know you best for granted.
Catherine, what I would give to watch a movie on your couch with you, while looking at boots on pintrest, and discussing how cute Sally and Maple are…
Angela, to sit with you at Starbucks and hear in person the dozen red roses you got for valentines day!! and to help you plan for your new, big purchase!
Chris, to hear how school is going, simply to talk to you on the phone… i should have visited you while I was at home. so sorry.
Maria, to not have to write emails back and forth, but simply sit at a half booth at fynns and simply just hear how you are. to laugh with you again, like the old times.
Kavita, to eat delicious food with you, watch a movie, and wear elastic pants with you.
Sarah, to be in nyc with you, and I’m complete ass at fb, but I am so flattered you chose one of my ny pics.
and then there is my mom, who won’t ever read these words, but I’m pretty sure I’d sell a part of my soul to be with you right now, if not just for a moment…
i miss home.
and I am so, so far away.
sometimes i get scared i’m never going to want to settle down somewhere. like. umm. i’m always going to be looking for something that doesn’t exist. or that nothing will ever be good enough for me. i actually think about this a lot.
i used to blame everything on my weight. it was such a cushy, safety to my little life’s problems. but now i’ve realized life has very little to do with the way i look, my weight, my eyeliner, or the perfect size two dress, it’s about relationships, and people, and being happy. i am so happy in Melbourne. but my people. you people, you’re all so far away.
i don’t know. i hate how i’ve found a place i love, but it’s lacking the most important thing in this world to me, my family and friends, my support system, my life. but of course i knew all this coming in. it’s just, well, i hope home knows how much i miss them right now. that’s all, i suppose. xoxoxo
There were no guidelines, no rules, no list of tasks to follow when I decided to move from Toronto to Melbourne. One day I was in Toronto. Then the next day I was in Melbourne. I even booked my Melbourne hostel four hours before my plane took off to show you how little planning I did.
Before I left home I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew I wanted to do it, and so I did.
As I’m sure most people would quickly figure out, and I did within hours of being here, I needed to get the following asap:
A local phone number (done!) Open an Australian bank account (done!) Find a place to live (done!) Find a job (in progress…)
And then there was my secondary list
Find friends/company/people to entertain me Learn the public transport system (done) Find a running group
So yea… that was pretty much my entire “moving to a new city” list. Pretty simple, right? The past 17 days have been a whirlwind, I still remember the feeling of walking through the city alone on my first day here - I felt so little, so lost.
I was a nobody, who knew nothing.
But as the days ticked on, I started to learn new things; little and big:
where the best beaches are who makes my favourite cup of coffee the good areas. the sketchy areas where my local library is (even got a library card!) how to set up Australian Internet (takes foreva) how to get a tax ID number how to get an Australian photo ID (pubs only take foreign passports) the drinking age (18) the driving age (18) how an accent makes everything easier that I can drive on the right side of the road how it’s the law to wear a helmet here when riding a bike what the good local newspaper is what tv channel hosts all my fav American TV shows which electronics work here, and which don’t (blew out my blow dryer. tear) where the cheap, but good clothing stores are here to look right, then left when crossing the road (although I mess this one up daily) catch phrase differences (saying “excuse me” here is rude, and “it’s alright” means it’s good) where to find Internet in this city (harder than I would have ever thought!) what’s open late besides McDs
So yup, there that all is. I also have to mention the kindess of people here have blown me away and made this transition smoother than I could ever have imagined. I lucked out in the roommate and friends (I’m looking at you Maeg/Luke) department, and have been fortunate enough to have everything go fairly smoothly. I’m still learning, still putting pieces together (job search. job search. job search.) but slowly, and surely, my new little life is coming together, and what I dreamed of way-back-when is becoming a reality. (!)
I don’t really know what the point to this post was, except that I wanted to share that I didn’t know anything on Jan 31 when I arrived here. Anything. I learnt it all, one day at a time. One mistake after another.
I often get emails from people telling me they want to travel, or move to a new city, but don’t have the courage, don’t have the guts, wouldn’t know where to start…. But I’m living proof that that doesn’t matter. You do it. Then it’s done. And then you learn. Little, by little, day by day, pieces will fall into place.
Actually, come to think of it I’m not sure anybody knows exactly what to do when they leave home, but they figure it out, and if that’s what you want to do, I promise you, so will you.
I decided today I can't hate/complain/be annoyed/unimpressed/disappointed with myself for being overweight if I'm not putting the required effort in to change it. Because complaining I'm fat and wishing for a change doesn't create one.
Today. Oh what a day today has been. A good day. A normal, regular, life day. This, of course, is assuming-you’re-a-f-unemployed-bum like me, then it’s a regular, normal day.
Minor details I woke up sweating my cahoonas off, because, well, sh*t. This country is smokin’ hot right now and then combined with their serious lack of air conditioning everywhere I, Liz, am an unhappy camper #spoiledpeopleproblems.
Anywho, so I rose and shone and gave God the glory-glory way too early this morning and changed into my running pantaloons and top. I must admit I was worried by clothes wouldn’t fit around the new lard which has made itself at home on my waist, y’know - given my recent increase in cheese consumption, but I’m pleased to report all was good. (thankyouverymuch elastic shorts. PHEW.)
I didn’t run with my camera, so here’s a post run photo. Remember kiddies, if you look hawwwwwt post work out, you didn’t work hard enough.
Notes from my run.
The run was 5.3km and it went like this in my head: RUNNNNNN!!! A RUNNER IS COMING TOWARDS YOU. RUNNNNN. Phew. No runners WALK. OH SHIT. The mommy-walkers are going to overtake me. RUNNNNNN. FIND SHADE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHERE IS THE SHADE? I wonder if it would look odd if I veered off course into the sprinklers on front lawns? Hmm tempting. I WANT TO STOP. I HATE THIS. RUNN LIZZIE RUN. I am not Forest Gump. Shut it inner-skinny-wannbe. Walk. Stop. RUN. Jog. Walk. WHERE THE HELL AM I? OHMYGOD I AM NOW LOST. Where the hell has the river gone? Runners coming - RUNNNN. Look like a real runner. RUNNNNNN. Pretend to tie shoelace to not puke. RUNNNNN.
It was one of the hardest runs of my life. OF MY LIFE.
Totally because of the heat. Totally. And totally not because of my severe lack of movement the past few months and new relationship with Australia’s goat cheese that blossomed from pastures where God’s goast live. Nope, not at all.
I’m pretty sure I was the only running skirt on the playing field this morning. Melbournarians, wait, Melbournites, whatever, follow my lead, running skirts are cool, mmkay? insert shifty eyes here.
Did I mention the sun beating down on my head and how I spent the majority of the run searching out shade? Because I really, really did.
I must also say the run was all sorts of pretty. I ran along the river, and through the botanical gardens, on a well known path called “The Tan.” Whether it’s called “the tan” because of the colour (tan) of the path, or the Australians have once again shortened the word boTANical down, I am not sure. But yes, it was just lovely. I am not skinny/hot/sexy/tan enough to run anywhere near the beach YET.
I ran with a water bottle – thank God. (And. This is your Too-Much-Information gem of the day: Australian tap water and my stomach do not get a long. Fun fact, I know. But like, I would have thought it wouldn’t affect me. False. So false.).
ANYWHO, then I came home and showered up a storm in one of the worst showers my bod has ever graced (and yes, lucky me, this shower is in my new pad). The water literally falls around in a big circle and you can stand in the middle and NOT GET WET. This cannot do. Money spent on a new shower head will happen this week. You’re welcome Roommates. Oh-oh-oh, and. My new shower is across from the mirror. And because it’s a million and one degrees here I had a cold shower, which meant no steam, which meant I could watch myself shower. God that was awful. Must. Train. Myself. To. Look. Away. From. The. Car. Wreck. ((Note: I still have a pretty intense tan line around my ass I did not know about))
THEN. After creaming and lathering and blow drying the shit out of my hair (all while still sweating bullets). I popped my laundry in, and headed to the grocery store.
Look at me WINNING at this day. The Twitter does not lie.
The above is what I bought at Woolworths. It cost me AUS$51. That’s C$56. That’s US$56 (poor US$). Effing pricey if you ask me. Anywho, then I made a delicious lunch and am now obsessed with flavoured tuna cans. I’d tell you how many calories they are, except Australia doesn’t work in calories (SAY WHAT?! <— you. I KNOW <— me). I didn’t even know there was another system, they use KJs whatever the bollocks that is.
Anywho. Below was my lunch. That’s right. You should be jealous.
And then I tidied my room and hung clothes and took photos to show you. BOOM. My new place.
Where the magic happens. And by magic I obviously mean sleep.
The kitchen/eating/chillin area
The Nomming area and balcony equipped with a sexy BBQ
Close up of dee view looking out over South Yarra (for Melbs peeps). Not picture my HUGE HUGE HUGE gym and HUGE HUGE HUGE LONG pool.
And my two new roommates are da bomb (remember Little Blog, we’re bringing that term back), they even got mats for the washroom toilet with all our initials on them. SO CUTE. LSD. What a classy non-drug-supporting trio we are.
And now I am job searching the shit out of… OH THE LIES. I am blogging in a café in Prahran (again, for Melbs peeps), which I am entirely not cool enough for. I’m looking at you… Piccolo Espresso and Wine Bar. Lucky you make delicious coffee.
But on that note I should actually be job searching. What’s that, You?! You have a financial job for me in Melbourne?!?! Ohhhhhhhh…. firstname.lastname@example.org! :)
Today is Valentines day. A year ago I was moping about in Toronto, still in my desk job, with a fairly dented heart. Today I am in sunny (sunny-sunny-sunny!) Melbourne, Australia, single and happy and loving everything about my life. Amazing what a difference a year makes.
I am behind on blogging. Like whoa. So unlike me, I know. BUT I NEED TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL THE DETAILS OF MY LIFE. A big post of last weekend is to come, but as a sneak peak it involved a pretty, beach house, a music festival down by the beach, and a big (big!) move —> you guys, I now have a home!!
Last night was my first night in my new home. So yup, umm, sh*t just got real. When I was staying in the hostel I didn’t feel like I was living in Melbourne, but rather traveling through Melbourne. Waking up this morning in my new (big, beautiful) bed, was, umm, weird, scary, and super exciting.
I feel like it’s a very North American thing to add the adjective of “super” before everything.
I kissed a (new Australian) guy and I liked it. Also, I think I am going to delete my okCupid account. I really don’t have the time for it and (as if I am going to say this) I really don’t think I’ll need it. Accents are honestly the best, way, ever, to get picked up. :o
The final thing on my “To Do” list is now "Find. A. Job." Which of course was also the most crucial thing on my To Do list. That’s procrastination for you…
When people told me Melbourne had “four seasons a day, so be prepared,” I somewhat brushed it off - sure, whatever, we’ll see… but holy hell. I cannot even express to you how quickly the weather changes here. And how it goes from sunny to windy to rainy to blazing hot to freezing cold within minutes.
In the last week I’ve been soooo adventurous with my food! I’ve tried Kangaroo (I know, I know), calamari *surprisingly enjoyed it,* and prawns. Look at me being an adventure eater :)
My Couple Friends (who I am imposing my hot self on tonight for a Vday dinner) are leaving Melbourne soon. SOOOOOOOO SOON. This makes me so sad, I cannot even talk about it.
When you move to a new city everything is new. Everything. Which means everything must be learnt. In the last 2 weeks (as if I’ve only been here two weeks!) I’ve been on trains, buses and trams. Learned the suburbs of the north. The suburbs of the south. Driven on the left side of the road. Found my favourite coffee shop already. Learnt the horrors of Australians calling “filets” “fillets,” and pronouncing “mocha” as “mocka.” Everyday I learn a little something new about this new city I live in, and build a little more of a good life for myself.
I went on my first Australian date today. Hmmmm. Before I label every Australian guy in the world as “BOLD,” let me explain what happened.
On Tuesday I was sitting in the park reading. Dude approaches me. Sits with me. Asks me for my number. At this point I am neutral. I give him my sacred number.
On Thursday Dude, who has now become “Park Guy” in my phone, asks me for coffee on Friday. Still neutral, say yes, because why not?
On Friday I meet Park Guy for coffee. Wait, now it’s beer. Within 3.2 seconds my judgmental self vitos him from…. from, umm what? Australian fling? Future of my beautiful, smart, children? Neither nor, I don’t know, I just didn’t like him like that. Status now not neutral, but downgraded to meh.
2 hours later of (actually quite good conversation, mostly because I was a rock star and carried the ‘date’) he takes my hand in his. WHAT THE WHAT? That’s not awkward at all. Very bizzarre given the casual style coffee place we sat at. But whatever, maybe this is what Ozzy guys do. Status still meh, but also confused given hand-stroking thing happening.
2 hours and 5 minutes later Park Guy KISSES me. BOLD BOLD BOLD BOLD. I had literally given him NO signs. None. Zip. Zero Zilch. Also, the kiss was soooo meh. Sloppy lips, if you will.
2 hours, 5 minutes and 18 seconds later he says smuggly, “I saw the signs.” And let me tell you folks, THERE WERE NO SIGNS, except for maybe I was nice, and smiled, and was there with him.
Anywho, eventually he drove my awkward ass home, but not before getting all up in my grill and trying to feel me up by his car (so classy, I know. and for the record I let him know that was a no-go). After 10 minutes he texted me “Thanks heaps for this arvo. It was great getting to know you. When would you like to do this again?” (Side note: All Australians say “arvo” which is short for afternoon)
Okay. End. Of. My. Story. And end of him. So yea… ARE ALL AUSTRALIANS THIS BOLD? OR JUST HIM? AND WHY AM I TALKING IN CAPITALS? HMMM. AND I WANT ICE-CREAM, BUT THAT IS NEITHER HERE NOR THERE AS I TYPE THIS FROM MY BED WITH MY TEETH BRUSHED.
Despite having a place to move into this Monday (high-five! high-five! for that), I still feel like I’m traveling through Melbourne, as apposed to living in Melbourne. This, of course, is probably because as I type this I am surrounded by five other beds, with five other girls sleeping on them.
Hostels. Hostels are da bomb (deal with it, we’re bringing that phrase back). I have stayed in a colourful array of places since September - some clean, tidy, just-like-hotels-really, and then I’ve stayed in umm… I shall not speak of Cambodia’s hostels (cough rats cough).
ANYWHO, so a few days ago there was a turn over in my hostel (PHEW. As we had a serious snorer in here) and four lovely ladies moved in with me: Maileene (19 / Holland), Jasmine (24 / Swiss), and Cathy (42 / Irish) and within a few minutes of meeting we had hashed out a plan to rent a car, and hit up Australia’s Great Ocean Road.
Spontaneous trips? One of my favourite things in the world.
Firstly, I was one of two drivers and y’all - with the exception of a few “wait. is this the wrong, or right side of the road? OHMYGOD I’M ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD” moments I was a complete rock star and we all arrived alive.
Onwards! To the coast!
The gang (L-R: Maleene, Jasmine, Mwah and Cathy) a mere hour or two into our trip stopping for some grub. And by ‘grub’ I mean pastries from heaven.
The actual drive is about 4 hours, but it took us 7 hours. Why? Because LOOK! STOP THE CAR! Photos. Photos. Photos. Photos. IT’S SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL. Kangaroo!! Self Portrait. Photos. I need to pee. STOP THE CAR.
Jasmine was very excited.
I’ve been lucky enough to drive Aruba’s coast, Croatia’s coast and now part of Australia’s coast, all incredibly beautiful in their own way. (Note: if you are ever traveling I highly recommend renting a car to drive the coast - you won’t regret it!)
Obviously this had to happen. Obviously. And don’t mind the dirty, dirty hair.
We stopped to sea (tehehe) a lighthouse and get whip lashed by the wind.
AND. Then our car broke down. And by broke down I mean spewed oil all over its hood. Luckily four British guys came to our rescue. We like to think it wasn’t the driving of a Canadian driving on the left, or an Irish who had never driven an automatic that killed the car. *insert shifty eyes here*
And then our little car was back on the road!
We missed sunset at the 12 Apostles by 3.2 seconds (true story), but still - it was gorgeous!!
Something I’ve realized-noticed-obereserved since arriving in Oz is how early everything closes. I’m used to 24 hour diners, Pizza Pizza, pubs serving food until close, but oh-no, not here. Which meant when we rolled into a tenny-tiny town at 10pm finding a place to rest our heads, and something to NOM on was incredibly hard. But once again, we pulled through, and I’m pretty sure I devoured the best. pizza. of. my. life.
It must also be noted that I tried and despised Vegemite.
And then suddenly we were back on the Great Ocean Road, learning about each others pasts, each others stories, and singing along to Gavin Degraw (seriously, the radio didn’t work and we only had one CD).
Here some of my favourite photos, from one of my favourite road trips. If you get the chance, I hope you dance drive Great Ocean Road. It’s spectacular!
take your shoes off and feel the grass between your toes say yes, but know when to say no listen to other people’s stories share your own eat ice-cream on sunny days stay in hostels, not hotels travel light never take bets tell people you meet, you’ll visit them [mean it] go for long walks where you get lost take photos [of people and places] stay out late sleep in get up early when you have to wear sunscreen [and reapply after swimming] always brush your teeth charge your iPod sleep on trains, planes, and automobiles go without the Internet for at least two weeks take chances wake up to see sunrises know there will be down periods [always followed by ups] skype your loved ones send postcards keep a blog don’t wear make up visit the toilet before boarding planes introduce yourself to your seat mate never put anything in the front, seat pocket put fun, bright markers on your backpack [and give it a name] take things with a grain of salt ask a local their favourite restaurant get people’s emails bring zip-lock bags with you [lots] always have a pen and notepad nearby get up high in new cities always have a good book with you go swimming feel the sand between your toes camp if you can appreciate everything count your blessings live, love, laugh.
One week ago from this moment I was on a big, jumbo plane moving my belongings, my life and myself from Toronto to Melbourne. I can’t quite pinpoint whether time has been ticking incredibly slowly, or the past week has gone by in the blink of an eye.
I wanted to write this post mostly because my blog posts the last week have made everything look so happy and dandy, and look at how easy it is to move to a new continent! And I do admit it’s certainly been easier than I thought it would be due to the kind people I’ve met, but there have been moments.
Moments where I’ll find myself nearly panic stricken with fright. Moments where I feel tears about to fill my eyes. Moments I don’t want to wake up in Melbourne Moments I feel so alone Moments I don’t know what to do Moments I haven’t written about on this blog.
The moments, of course, come and go and then I’m back to planning and emailing and searching ways to create myself a life, but tomorrow marks one week since I’ve been here and I still have no permanent place to live, or job to go to. I think a lot of my worry comes from money feeding out, but no money feeding in. Which of course we all know can’t last forever.
Apartment hunting is proving harder than I thought it be, and it takes a lot of time emailing, planning, and viewing places only to find out the people are odd, or place is not livable, which gets frustrating quite quickly. I’m using a temp agency to help find me a job, but may casually serve at a restaurant until I land a 9 – 5, just to earn some extra cash. So yes. It hasn’t been all wine, coffee and sunshine, I promise you that. Im also still living in a hostel (although I lurrrve my roommates), but it’s no fun sleeping with 5 other people in your room.
But. Despite the panicky moments, and terror that I’m sure sweeps over my eyes a couple of times a day, it’s been incredible and I have not regretted this decision for a single moment. The kindness I’ve received from strangers has absolutely amazed me this past week and I will forever be indebted to several people here (most notably Maeg and her husband Luke for welcoming me with open arms (and cheese)).
I’m already signed up for 20k team race with a bunch of people, have a high tea date with an old friend from college (who I completely didn’t know was here! Thankyouverymuch facebook). Had lunch yesterday with an Australian who did an exchange with my university in Canada - he also invited me to his beach house next weekend (so. kind.). Last night was invited to Maeg and Luke’s place for a homecooked (delicious) meal. This Saturday I’m meeting a group of friends who (wait for it…) are my sister’s friend’s boyfriend’s friends from when he did a semester here. Am having a (delicious) coffee with a guy someone from my running group knows here. And of course all the lovely people who have read this blog and offered me their help – I’m slowly making my way through the emails! Promise and thank you!!
I have been in awe of people, really, it’s been incredible.
I haven’t yet felt lonely, but have no doubt in the next few months I’ll find myself hit in the face with it, and fighting off tears on a more permanent basis. Skyping my brother, sister and parents help, as do emails from friends, but that will only go so far. I also haven’t found time to go running (which always puts me in a happy mood! C’mon Liz! Go Run!!), find a running group, or even go swimming in the ocean yet! But all in good time, I suppose.
And so back I go, sitting in Melbourne’s public library, to emailing and emailing and emailing “can I live with you” requests, and reviewing my resume to hopefully land a job within the next month.
Oh! And of course, Facebook tells me it’s the Super bowl today! So happy SB N. America!
When I moved to Melbs all I thought was beaches beaches beaches sharks beaches kangaroos beaches spiders beaches SNAKES beaches, never remembering Australia makes some of the world’s best wine!
And yesterday I was lucky enough to hitchhike my way to Yarra Valley (wine country) with Maeg and Luke to enjoy the oh-so-very-close-to-the-city wine country Melbourne offers.
It was gorgeous. Like whoa, are you serious? gorgeous. Like, as if this exists gorgeous.
The highlight was probably the cheese platter (i’m chubs like that), but the company, huge blue skies, wine tasting, and stunning views were tied for a close second.
I’ll let the photos do the talking, because I could seriously ramble on, and on, about how amazing the day was, how much laughter there was on the road trip, how I DROVE US BACK ON THE WRONG OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD AND WE DIDN’T DIE, and how much I am loving Melbs.
Huge thank you to Maeg and Luke, for allowing my Canadian butt to share the day with them and their generosity!
Last night was my first night out (in the let’s drink too much and do stupid things way) with Australian people. And it was ummm, interesting.
Firstly, I must confess that since I arrived on Tuesday I’ve somewhat felt myself slip into the whole I am really not good looking enough for this part of the world thing. People here are beautiful. People here are fit. People here are skinny. Which has resulted in this overwhelming sense of not feeling like I’m good/pretty/skinny/fit-enough to live here. All very recognizable feelings which at some point in my life was the norm.
So yes. Back to last night. I met up with two friends (the twins), who I was put in contact with through a friend. They were ridiculously welcoming, and included me in their group of friends right away. Awesome. It’s hard to make groups of friends. (Y’know… with the whole girls being bitchy thing, and then guys just wanting in your pants thing. ANYWHO.)
I thought we were heading out for a casual night on the town, but was unfortunately mistaken – it was a high-end, high-heels, short-skirts, low-tops kind of night. I was not prepared. But as my entire outfit was all black, I figured I’d just wing it – but my new Australian friends would have none of it.
They wanted me to borrow their clothes. Eff. No. Wait. What. No. I’m okay. Thanks. But they insisted and in my head I was all like OH HELL NO. ALL YOU GIRLS HAVE A 0 OR 2 WAIST. THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL I’LL FIT ANY OF YOUR CLOTHES. And no. This is not a happy ending story. I was right - none of their clothes fit me and I was soooooooo embarrassed for it.
Of course they were polite after they saw that literally none of their dresses or tops slightly fit me, but still, the damage was done and I felt myself recede back to my grade 10 self of why the hell haven’t you just done it? you’re so useless etc. thoughts. I actually felt like sh*t about myself to an extent I couldn’t explain. It sucked. A lot.
Anyway. That wasn’t actually the point of this post. The point is this. None of us had eaten since about noon (we had spent the day together), which meant come 10pm I was hungry. Wait, shouldn’t everyone be hungry? I didn’t mention being hungry because, well, obviously, but then the topic of dinner still somehow came up. And this happened:
Girl 1: Tonight’s gonna be a liquid dinner!! Girl 2: For sure. That way we skip the calories Girl 1: Yea. The guys will probably order a pizza, but I find it embarrassing when girls eat in pubs. Girl 2: Me too!!
And then that was that. No dinner. Less calories. And I was starving, but didn’t say a thing. The rest of the night was actually still quite fun (thankyouverymuch accent), despite me feeling huge (and really, I know comments and everything will come in about how I’m not that big, and all that jazz), but I was without a doubt the heaviest girl at the three bars we went to. Without a doubt. So yea… I’m a little nervous of the pressures I’m going to feel this upcoming year living in the land of the beautiful.
Australia actually has a huge (PUN!) obesity problem so I know this was an isolated time and place incident, but moving here has somewhat started to give me a complex of, I’m not good enough….
BUT BUT BUT.
Hopefully once I find a place, job, routine, start running again on a regular schedule and eating healthy I’ll feel better about myself. I think that’s why it’s hard to see all the skinny/beautiful girls around, because I’m not even being that proactive about my weight, just wishin’ and hopin’ which we all know gets you nowhere.
And I should mention I am still loving this new city of mine, and don’t regret the decision in the slightest, despite it apparently giving me a complex.