There are places I remember

Throughout our lives we carve ourselves liminal spaces like the grass that grows between the cracks in the concrete; little bits of ourselves nudging their way into the boundaries between the dichotomies of social construction. These places stick in our minds, little pieces of space – of air, water, land, memory, embedded into our identities that leave their mark, just as our presence will permanently be a part of them. Little children make their spaces in bedroom corners and under beds, in cupboards they hide in. Who teaches a child where to play? No one. They make this space, edging into it and widening it with their growing imagination and expanding identity, their little personality bursting at the seams.


As a child my brother liked to sit on the bottom shelf of the cup-board, this was space that no one else was allowed to sit in (or was small enough to sit in). I on the other hand, woke up in the morning and went to the kitchen to sit on a steel container of flour, watching my grandmother make chapattis. The sunlight poured into the kitchen windows and the air was crisp with that early morning zing to it. There was a texture to the air that I’ve only ever experienced in India. This was my place and I knew it, to this day there is still a dent in the lid of that container and my presence remains in it. It brings to mind the Beatles song ‘There are places I remember’, and a wave of nostalgia washes over me. My childhood needed no rose-tinted spectacles, perhaps champagne pink at times, but the small concrete walls of my early childhood echo with the laughter of little children, lego boxes and jigsaws I hid from my brother.


Even if the places disappear, our memories of them remain, having a positive or negative impact in our lives. How do you let go of the house you grew up in, had seven children in, filled with a lifetime of memories, and watch it being sold to strangers who repaint the walls, build up a fence, chop down the trees – or worse – knock it over? Places taken on an identity of their own, becoming part of our family much like human beings. We can have a love-hate relationship with our homes, loving their security and comfort, taking pride in our maintenance of it, and hating the walls that constrict and restrict is, the rooms that witness our grief like a prison. Factory workers go back to see their deserted factory years after its closed down, like the sound of the morning bell still rings at 6am, the ghost of this place, like a family member that has passed away, still haunting them with the memories and sense of belonging they had in it. But not all spaces are physical, the body is a place and in our minds we have many spaces of our own creation.


These spaces we build in the borderlines, the liminal ground between reality and our imagination are unique because we own them, in those early years of not owning anything. When circumstances change and families break up, and we sense our own powerlessness, these spaces give us our sense of ownership and control we otherwise lack. Yet for the minorities who still lack the rights we take for granted, these liminal spaces are still their means of carving a niche for themselves in this world of ours. For those who aren’t hetero-normative, minority ethnic groups, refugees, asylum seekers, women, transgendered people; these spaces are their means to make a mark on the world and own a space that is their own. Spaces become less physical and structural, taking the form of internet chat rooms, activism groups, feminist Facebook pages and protests. It is through these spaces that are minority groups make their voices heard and widen the borders created by society. Social constructs of gender, sexuality, status and ethnicity are diluted and delineated in these boundaries, breaking down the walls of Us and Them dichotomies we have been raised on and take for granted.

I imagine a seven year old boy standing in front of a mirror. With a tentative hand he touches his own reflection and watches the shape of his hand, his androgenous neck, and the ugly black school shoes he wears with grey shorts pulled up high and his clean cotton t shirt. He shrugs them off quickly and holds his sisters pink dress in his hands, peering at himself under shaggy brown hair that curls at his neck. He looks at the way the pink matches his pre-pubescent lips and rubs the soft material on his skin. Looking around him quickly, he glances at the closed bedroom door and quickly pulls the dress over his head and his arms out the sleeves. He stares at himself, scared, but excited, and finally smiles. With a shaky hand he draws on his mother’s red lipstick and hands strings of pearls and beaded necklaces around his neck. I hope this space grows wider, I hope he pounds on the ground and kicks the walls and pushes those boundaries so he can breathe in them, build a house, make a life.


There are places I remember, some that I never will. Whether physical or imagined, these spaces we carve for ourselves in the liminalities of male and female, straight and LGBT, legal and illegal, will change the way these categories are made in the future. Why there are categories at all, I do not know. But they do exist, and its only in pushing these boundaries, that we can create colours between the black and white, spaces within the lines that we created along the way.


The Exam Time Dreams of a University Student

In the period during exams, overwhelmed with anxiety about those objective assessments of who we are compared with the rest of our peers, I am often bestowed with vivid dreams that are about as dramatic as dreams can get. They are as realistic to me as they are hilarious to everyone else – and even to me…in hindsight.




# Naked 


The paper before me blurs, a swimming pool of letters and numbers shuffling to a dance of their own and drowning each other out with their buzz of chatter. There is a throbbing in my temples and my fingers find that nerve pulsing on either side of my head and I press it hard, willing it to go away. The pain pushes past the back of my eyes and suddenly I can see again. The blur clears and I stare at my exam script on my desk, but it still doesn’t make sense to me. Suddenly I am aware of the sound of people sniggering and choking back on lewd laughter. I glance down and am surprised to see the stretch marks on my bare thighs. Scratch that. Creamy coffee-coloured even toned thighs. Even as I look down at my naked body I am aware that this is a dream, yet my dream self feels the rise of bile in my throat as I squeeze my legs together and hunch into myself, the laughter of the other students hitting me like shards of glass. I can’t make out the words but I know they are all laughing at me, the girl who is naked in the exam room. I stand up, pushing my desk out of the way and tears flood my eyes as I run for the door. 

“Hahahha nice box gap anushka” one boy calls, and I cringe with embarrassment, even as I self-congratulate myself (sigh. One can dream you know. Hmm I wonder if you could have dreams within dreams….and like layers of dreams? Wooow I think I’m onto something – maybe I should make a movie out of it!) I run from the room and end up in the cloak bay of my year six class room in primary school. No longer 10, but 22, and with apparently with an ass to go with it. 



# Scared


The wind whistles past my ears as run through the forest, stepping on pine needles and cones, the pain searing through my sensitive skin. My short hair bristles in the cold night air and the ground flies in front of me as I dodge trees and manage the uneven terrain. Sweat beads on my forehead and my neck is damp but the fear sits like an iron weight in the pit of my stomach, slowing me down. I’m flying but my feet feel like they are dragging milestones with each step, like Jean Valjean dragging his feet through the sludge as a convict. He’s closing in on me and the adrenaline pushes me just a bit faster as I self-preservation comes instinctively. Suddenly his footsteps disappear and after another half a kilometer I slow down as I realise the chase is over. I sink down on my haunches and rest against the truck of a tree. I suddenly feel the numbness in my foot and look down to discover there is a hole hollowed out in the sole of my left foot, the white bone gleaming in the moonlight, brighter in the pool of blood that surrounds it. 


# Hitchhiking 


I wake up with panic beating like a caged bird in my chest as I realise that there is daylight streaming through my blinds. I turn to look at the clock on my wall in horror. Its 8.30! I must’ve missed all three alarms I realise and try to stay calm. My exam starts in 45 minutes, I still have time to make it if I hurry. I jump out of bed and run out the front door to get my shoes which are drying outside. It shuts behind me with a loud bang and I realise with a sinking heart that I do not have the keys to get back in. Banging on the door and on the bedroom window fails to wake my parents even though I attract the attention of the five year old child next door who is probably curious about the girl standing in her garden in a cow-print onesie. Gritting my teeth I realise I will have to hitchhike to Uni. 


Thirty seconds later I am standing on the side of the road with my thumb stuck out like a hitchhiking leather-clad mini-skirted girl in Europe. However I am not wearing leather. Or a mini-skirt. I am wearing a cow-print onesie and am surrounded by the remnants of my dignity. Recently destroyed. Cars honk as they drive past and a couple of kids make faces at me and point. A kind man with a well-lined face picks me up and offers to drive me into town. I accept gratefully and we share the ride in silence. He is true to his word and I rush into OGGB with 15 minutes to go, running past stunned students to my exam room. I feel nauseous as I realise its Comlaw 301. And all my take-in notes are at home. I scab a pen, a pencil and a spare calculator off an eager student who has three, and attempt the exam with my memory alone. Whilst all around me other students delve through pages of legislation I look at wistfully. 



# Sacked 


The fire alarm goes off at work and I usher the customers out quickly, pulling the shutter down behind me and we all assemble outside the glass doors of the mall, waiting for the building to be cleared by the fire fighters. It’s just a drill but we are told not to lock the door. It’s a summery day and as we go back into the building, I enter through the side door of Decuba and loiter in there for a while having a quick look at the clothes on sale. As I’m leaving, I pull the door and laugh. Oops it must be ‘Push’ I think to myself. Pushing the door, it doesn’t open that way either.  I run to the other exit, that door is locked as well, and the next, and the next. With a sense of doom I realise I am locked in the ground floor shop while customers are going back into the mall and my shop is still unlocked due to the fire escape. I pound on the door like a rejected boyfriend beating on the glass of the airport lounge only to watch his girlfriend get on the plane before he can tell her he loves her. Think that creepy little boy from Love Actually. It’s that bad. Other customers stare at me bewildered.

“Noooo! I can’t get out!” I yell and they just shake their heads tsking.

I call my boss quickly and explain the situation to her, “Nerissa, I don’t know what’s going on, the doors won’t open and the shops unlocked, I can’t get to it!”

“Why didn’t you just go straight back to the shop?” she asks worried

I am asking myself the same question

Half an hour later, when the doors are finally open, I rush out, racing past other customers and pushing people out of my way as I run up the escalator to our shop. I approach with a growing sense of dread and am faced with bare hangers and empty racks. The shop has been stripped bare of all its fittings like a bare tree in the middle of winter. They wasted no time in taking what they could. My other colleagues stand there in the empty shop and look at me, and I realise I have just cost 5 people their jobs. The shop is closed down. And it is all my fault. 



# Falling 


I run down the stairs of my primary school, deceivingly broad and wide but treacherous in reality. My feet are flying like UFOs in front of me I can barely recognise them as they stretch into strange saucer like paddles and I look like blade runner. Suddenly the spring in my foot-contraption pushes me forward and I feel a tug in my belly button as I am floating motionless in mid-air, spread eagled like a Tasmanian daredevil. My sweater sleeves pan out and act like a parachute, the air pushing up into my bat-wing arms. It slows the fall as I sink at a mind-numbing speed and I wake with a jolt, my entire body jerking out of my bed.






What actually happened during exams…


The night before my Accounting exam, I decided to get an early night. So I packed up my stuff at 1.30 which is the equivalent of a 7pm bedtime for uni students. Getting my stuff ready for the next day, I find a cluster of ants swarming all over the top shelf of my wardrobe. It seemed that they had found their way into a tin of wax. Who knew bikini wax tasted that good. Sighing I cleaned out the mess and the sickening smell of dead ants filled my nostrils before I finally went to sleep at 2am. The next morning, I thought I had seen the last of ants for a long time. Opening my Uni bag to check that my notes were all there, I discovered an infestation in the side pocket. A rogue throatie had escaped from the wrapper and turned into a gooey mess in my bag which I hadn’t touched in a week. It was probably ant Christmas down there. Then began the frantic transfer of everything important, trying to salvage makeup, nail polish, dried flowers, broken jewellery, ipod, earphones, and the other junk that I accumulated over the year. Without realising it, it was 8.30 and I had to leave for my 9.15 exam. 


I got back from my exam several hours later, wondering, like everyone else thankfully, how we had ever been expected to do that exam in two hours, and happy that our absentminded lecturer had accidently allocated three to do it in. Group study for the next paper only left me feeling like I knew nothing and everyone else were geniuses. Starving, I went for the kitchen, reassured that there would be amazing food there for me to eat. It turns out my parents had already cooked it. And my brother had eaten it. The greatest downfall of a Saturday exam. I then went on to talk about my current obsession, Jennifer Lawrence. My newest role model, following the likes of Jess off New Girl. 

“Omg Jennifer Lawrence is so humble and self-depreciating. I really like her”

My brother sniggers into his plate. “Deprecating”

If there as a word for this face =.=, I would say it. 


2nd exam. I rush into the exam room, the Maori murals on the wall highly distracting and find that I have nowhere to sit except next to the most god-like creature. Exam supervisors watch me like a hawk as I smile to myself and blush suspiciously. Along with phones, hormones should also be able to be turned off during exams. They too are subject to getting called at most inopportune moments. I go home in a daze, and get back to work to study for my last exam the next day…one that I have thankfully left behind 4 hours ago. 


By 9.00pm I am ready to sleep like a baby and am tempted to hold my eyelids open with a device like the one in A Clockwork Orange. Sadly those might be illegal in at least 10 countries including this one. Sleep hung on my eyes like a spider just biding its time and eventually I succumbed to it. ‘Just half an hour…and then I will study again’ I think to myself. At 10.30 my brother wakes me up and makes me a coffee. It is the first time I have had coffee in years and I feel like I’m on drugs. My eyes bug out, my head feels like an anvil is pressing on both sides, I would say ‘to my brain’ but sorryyyy then Mr Blake for coming into the future and stealing my line. Reverse plagiarism should also be punishable. I study for a couple of hours, sneezing often and shaking like Ray Charles on heroin for no apparent reason. Finally at 1.30 I decide to sleep, but I can’t. I lay in bed tossing and turning, waking myself up every time I try to fall asleep as I congratulate myself too early on falling asleep and this then wakes me up. This is why I don’t drink coffee. The next day I feel invincible. Coffee is like my magic potion, my elixir of youth, but like Obelix I think I fell into it as a child….I must not drink any more. Nausea is the one word that stands out about this morning. I glare at a person about to sit in the last seat in the row as I covet it, hoping I won’t need to run out and throw up during the exam. Thankfully I don’t. 


3 hours later it is all over. 13 weeks of uni crammed into 8 hours of exams. Already it is but a dream 🙂 

Mimicry is the best form of flattery

An old post I wrote from October last year….


I watched my nine year old Guides shifting their feet, watching mine intently, as they copied my dance moves. We had a go at doing Zumba at Girl Guides which meant that I had to learn the steps for Shakira’s Waka waka and lead the group. It’s amazing how I have the courage to do something in front of my tweens that I’d never have the guts to do in front of people my own age. There was something comforting in their mimicry, not just the way they copied me dancing when they had to, but the times they copied me when they didn’t have to. I watched them copy habits I didn’t know I had, like raising an eyebrow at them and doing a Derp face, clicking my fingers when I think of something, and criss-crossing my legs when I stand.


These little shadows of mine watched my every move and for some reason decided that I was cool enough that they should copy me. When I finally realised what they were doing, a feeling rose in my chest like several Christmases, complete with the warm gooeyness of making a crib out of dough and baking it. I was not their mother, father, or cool older sister, yet for some strange reason I was someone who they met once a week and took them camping and they wanted to have my derp face and my clickyness and criss-crossing legs. They are not things I would hope to bestow on anyone particularly but I am honoured that they want these things from me.


It takes me back to the stories my mum tells me time and again, of myself as a toddler pointing things out to her and saying ‘Canoocheethat?’, meaning ‘Can you see that?’. Being constantly shown colours and objects and sites my mother thought would interest me and expand my curious mind with ‘Can you see that?’, this soon became my favourite phrase. I followed her like a puppy and copied her every move, sometimes she would hop instead of walk down the road or clap and jump, just to enjoy the sight of her little tail copying her along the way. She was my first hero and I showed her my adoration in the simplest way one can, through mimicry.


Human beings learn by imitation, copying their parents and teachers and people they look up to, they learn to read, write, they learn right from wrong, and are constantly being socialised to be normative little people in the society they inhabit. My mother sometimes used made up words while she talked to my uncle, and we were quick to pick up on these new words and soon used them in normal conversation, asking my dad ‘Wheres the hopatashpio ? I need to zuperag’. As much as I enjoyed the strange yet flattering realisation that my Guides were copying me, my mother enjoyed the sight of her children, these limbs of hers that walked and talked of their own accord, copying her every move.


The bond I feel with my Guides is stronger, reinforced by this realisation that they look up to me and not just as someone they have to listen to who is an authoritative figure, but as someone who they want to be like. I hope I teach them to be courageous, to follow their dreams, and be good kind young women who make a difference in the world. I hope they learn from me that being yourself can be scary, but it is the most honest way to live and be happy with who you are when you sleep at night. I learn more about myself from them all the time and I hope they only take my strengths, not my weaknesses. At 22, I have no children to show colours and objects to or toddlers trailing behind my feet with a steady pitter-patter. But I hope that one day I will teach my children by imitation, and watch them criss-crossing their legs, and if my mother has anything to do with it, maybe they will ask me for a hopatashpio too. 

Flew the Coop

Life in the Liminal Space

I flew the coop one day, eager to spread my wings and fly. I had grown restless in the familial nest and when I saw an opportunity to take a year off University and gain some work experience across the ditch – I seized it with both hands. The glimmer of city lights, corporate suits and independence beckoned to me like a beacon on the coast. My ship was coming in and I knew it. I listened to Single Girls on repeat and packed my bags with a furious energy. I thought I was so organised, with my excel spreadsheets of prospective flat-share accommodation, carefully made To-do lists and budgets for the months ahead. Little did I know just how unprepared I was.

Arriving in Melbourne on the 9th of January with my Dad, I was not prepared for how efficiently we would finish everything we had set out…

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Flew the Coop

I flew the coop one day, eager to spread my wings and fly. I had grown restless in the familial nest and when I saw an opportunity to take a year off University and gain some work experience across the ditch – I seized it with both hands. The glimmer of city lights, corporate suits and independence beckoned to me like a beacon on the coast. My ship was coming in and I knew it. I listened to Single Girls on repeat and packed my bags with a furious energy. I thought I was so organised, with my excel spreadsheets of prospective flat-share accommodation, carefully made To-do lists and budgets for the months ahead. Little did I know just how unprepared I was.

Arriving in Melbourne on the 9th of January with my Dad, I was not prepared for how efficiently we would finish everything we had set out to do. On the first day I applied for my TFN number, got a bank account, an Australian SIM card, and picked out my new flat. Perhaps this pleasant surprise made me complacent and slightly smug. But when my father left, I was not ready for how homesick I suddenly felt. On the tram coming back from the airport I almost cried and the sight of a father with three children all riding their bikes with matching pink t-shirts and denim shorts had me biting the insides of my cheeks and pinching my arms to hold back the floodgates.

I knew I would be nervous about work – a part of me always wondered how I got this job. I never thought I was good enough or smart enough to get an Internship and I kept waiting for the rest of the world to see it too. But work proved to be the one thing I really enjoyed. Two weeks into my new job I have yet to do much actual work but I’m slowly beginning to see that I was chosen to do this for a reason, and that I can actually carry out my role in the organisation. Moving out of home is hard enough, but moving out of house and country, starting a new job, and making new friends is another story altogether. I had hoped to form a close bond with my flatmate but living at home was awkward and uncomfortable. I had hopes of having flat dinners and talking to each other about our day at work, boyfriends, and watching TV shows together but that was not to be.

I struggled with the homesickness and didn’t let myself cry. When I heard my mum’s voice on the phone I almost hung up, it hurt too much to hear her speak. I missed my dad’s cooking, my brother teasing me, and my mum holding me tight. I was so eager to leave and see the world and be that strong confident woman I always thought I was that I never ever expected this wave of homesickness to overcome me. I called my parents every day, battled with a cough and blisters from my new work shoes, and swallowed my inedible cooking despondently. Cooking proved to be a struggle with a grand total of 8 ingredients but I managed somehow and yelled at my mum when she sent me ‘easy’ recipes that included exotic ingredients like desiccated coconut. I cooked for two weeks with no salt, pepper, or any of the spices so readily available in our kitchen at home. The first week of work passed quickly and on the Friday I felt like I’d reached a turning point. I rushed home from work, hurriedly cooked and ate my dinner – which lo and behold – actually tasted good for once. And then went for a long walk through the Royal Botanical gardens. I felt a sense of peace at the Shrine of Remembrance and got caught in my first Melbourne thunderstorm. Perhaps it was God’s way of showing me a sign that I would be happy here, before my life was altered yet again.

That night, five days after moving into my new place, my flatmate told me that she was moving to Perth and she expected me to take over the lease and buy all her furniture, the fridge, and the washing machine. I was shocked and felt lost and alone. I had never expected this to happen. As someone who always planned for the inevitable, prepared a Plan A, B and C – I now had no idea what to do. I couldn’t afford to furnish a whole apartment, and moreover, I did not want to buy a fridge and a washing machine when I was only going to be in Melbourne for a year. So I went back to my lists, my excel spreadsheets, and searched for a place to live all over again. My temporary sense of achievement and acceptance of my new life was shaken, and once again I was confronted by the unpredictability of my circumstances.  The first time round I had my Dad to help me look for a place, now I was doing it all alone. I felt angry at my parents, for what I saw as their need to protect me and shield me from the world – leaving me vulnerable and naïve. I was angry at my Ex-boyfriend for breaking up with me 10 months before I moved, leaving me, to do alone, all the things we had planned to do together. And I was angry at myself for not planning for this, for not being prepared, for not researching more about sub-lease agreements and contracts and everything I should have known.

My team at work became my new family. Within two weeks they have become the people I turned to when I had no idea what to do, what legal rights I had, and when I needed reassurance that I was doing the right thing. They searched for flats for me at work and shared in my anger at my flatmate, they warned me about dangerous areas to live in, and showed me Indian shops to buy spices and ready-to-eat butter chicken packets, and made me a list of all the tourist places to visit. Sightseeing was the last thing on my mind though and I worked myself up and worried constantly about finding a new place to live, being able to pay off my student loan, and getting my bond back from my flatmate who was now refusing to pay me my bond until she got hers back from the agent. With no legal contract, and no receipt of the bond I felt extremely helpless and naïve and angry with myself and everyone else. After another few days of stewing in my own anger I realised that this was not anyone’s fault and that my parents had protected me because they loved me, because they didn’t want to see me hurt, and I knew I’d rather that they care too much, than not at all. I will always be grateful to them for everything they have done for me and their love and support. I realised that the only person who was responsible for my future was myself, and that I had to forgive myself for making mistake and not being perfect.

I went through many ups and downs over a week. I bought a bottle of cough syrup and broke it as soon as I opened it, hating myself as I wiped up 14 dollars worth of cough syrup and picked up the broken glass. I wiped the floor over and over like Lady Macbeth, more scared of my flatmate than I was of my mother. I looked at strawberries and grapes I wanted to buy but didn’t. Opening a tin of pineapples felt like a luxury and I savoured every bite as I made home-remedies for my on-going cough. I cringed at work drinks where I nursed one drink over 2 hours because I really couldn’t afford another and learnt to look at the dollar value per kg as well as search for the lowest price on the supermarket shelves. Meeting up with my cousin felt like a breath of fresh air and I had to stop myself from talking about my family too much…seeing even more family over the long weekend made me miss mine more. I watched the way another cousin played with his baby girl and the love and affection that was showered on the sweet little two year old. She wanted for nothing. I wondered how I had gone from being just like her, to what I was now….how children grow up to question their parents values and begin their own soul-seeking journey that takes them away from their families and their home. I am sure she will one day too, but seeing her I was reminded of the love I am sure was showered on me as a child and felt a restored sense of love for my family who will always be there for me no matter what.

It has been 17 days since I left home. There were many times I almost cried, but yesterday was the first day I gave into it and I wish I hadn’t. Rushing from Carlton to Prahran and back to Flinders Street, I went to 8 Flat inspections, six of which the agents didn’t show up to, and the other 2 I went to the wrong building. I came home, forced myself to eat my lunch standing over the kitchen sink and cried like a baby. Since then I have cried into my cereal, while doing the laundry, and drank milk straight out of the bottle because I didn’t want to wash a glass. It seems like I’ve back-tracked a bit from the progress I made a week ago. But I know it’s only a small step back, and then I will be up, back on my feet and marching onward again. I have five days to find a place to live, but I know that I’ve done the best I could and I’m not going to hate myself if I don’t succeed straight away. I know that I can always stay with family for a week or two if it comes down to it. I flew the coop so to speak, intending to be completely independent and discover the world on my own. But this journey of discovery is pretty lonely when you’re Captain, First mate and crew all rolled into one. There is no one to share your plunder with or the joy of setting your sights on new shores.

This is my first Australia Day weekend and I was fortunate to spend it with family. I ate a home cooked meal surrounded by the chatter of children, and went to church on Saturday evening with people who cared about me. Sinking into that security blanket of routine and the reassurance that I was taken care of, I slept till 9am for the first time in two weeks. Walking home across the bridge with my grocery bags this evening, I squinted into the sunlight and heard a street performed on Southbank Promenade playing ‘Fast car’. I felt like it was being sung just for me. My life is nowhere near as hard as it could be. I have a roof over my head, a job, food to eat, and a family that loves me. I am learning to deal with the curved balls as they come, and trying not to worry as much as I am prone to do. As I am constantly reminded by certain friends, my life is not as hard as many other peoples’ are. Yet this is the first big milestone in my life, and so everything will take on grandiose proportions, and I will worry as I always do. Moving is not as easy as I thought it would be but this is only the first leg of my flight, and I still have a long long way to go. In a years’ time I will sleep in my own bed, in the nest I was so eager to leave, and bask in the comfort of a family who loves me, my travelling days over – temporarily. There are still many more adventures to come, and challenges I will face no doubt. But this is the first of them, so forgive me my flair for the dramatic, my homesickness, and my naivety in the days ahead. I may not have the fastest car Tracy Chapman, but I can finally see what it means to be living. I got a feeling I could be someone….be someone.