I'm no city girl

It’s been two months since I’ve been in Australia. There have been moments where my life has felt so surreal, I almost have to pinch myself. Then there are the moments where I am filled with self-doubt, wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life, why I’m over here, and if I should just give up and go home and crawl under a big fluffy duvet for a long while. Regardless of how I’ve felt about the experience so far, it has been an education. Here’s what I’ve learned in the first 60 days.

I’m not a city girl. After living in Edmonton for eight years, I thought maybe I was turning into one. But after living in Sydney for two months, I know I most definitely am not. I can’t stand the crowds, the commute, the expense, the pretense. Sure, Edmonton is a city. But it feels more  like a big small town, especially compared to a cosmopolitan city like Sydney.

I’m good at what I do. I’ve been reassured in my new job that I know what I’m talking about, that I’m good with clients, and that I do good work. The problem is, I have no desire to do it any more. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure I ever did. I just liked the money.

I’ve lived alone so long I wasn’t sure I could handle roommates. My first two roommate experiences in my early twenties were scarring. But it’s been a month, and I’ve realized that yes, I can handle it. I can even share a bathroom with someone, and it’s not so bad. It’s, dare I say it, kind of nice to have someone to talk to at the end of the day.

I needed a break from the Christmas tradition to realize how much I love it. Christmas is a tradition, and that sense of tradition is comforting. It helps define who we are, as individuals, and as a culture. I can’t wait to enjoy a Canadian Christmas next year.

I miss my long hair. I wish I had never cut it. That being said, I feel prettiest wearing Lululemon, with no makeup, and my hair twisted into a messy bun on the top of my head. I would be okay with never wearing another pair of heels again. Seriously.

I actually like white wine; it just took me a while to find one I liked: moscato. It’s light and refreshing and deliciously sweet.

I was a lot more materialistic at home than I realized, and I’m over it. I still believe you get what you pay for, and I still appreciate the finer things in life. I just don’t want to be weighed down by excess. It’s a continual struggle not to fall into the consumer trap, but I’m slowly breaking the habit.

I’m not self-conscious in a bikini. Because I don’t think I have any reason to be. I’m not the skinniest girl on the beach, and I have stretch marks, and my thighs wobble, and my stomach isn’t flat. But I don’t care. And that confidence, or at least, that indifference, is a good feeling.

I will never be content. No matter what I do or where I am, I will always be searching for something more. That whisper of discontent is what drives me. It doesn’t mean I’m unhappy; I just like the challenge.

I’m starting to shift my views of life and work. Work used to be my life. Now, I realize money doesn’t matter. I want to make enough money to enjoy life and to save for retirement, but that’s about it. I’m brainstorming ways to get by so I can live the life I want. And all I really want to do is write.

So, I can hardly believe it’s been two months, and I have another 10 to go! Any words of wisdom for me? What ah-ha moment did you have in 2010 that will shape how you live in 2011?

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