At my age, it should be okay to spend the holidays away from home, but I’m a self-professed mama’s girl, and beyond that, it’s the first time I know so few people in one city. Homesicknesses isn’t ageist.
I opted to spend my first Australian holidays in Sydney. I assumed that being with my sister would make everything okay. It didn’t. She is a person with many wonderful qualities… it’s just that they don’t really extend to me. According to her, I am spoilt, irresponsible and self-involved. Which I am. But I know that I am also more.
There were two rounds of arguments.
Round I took place on Christmas Eve and ended with tears (mine) and some heads buried in sand (hers). A 5 a.m. call to my mother, and a gin with my beautiful aunt later, I waltzed into her other family’s party like nothing happened.
The peace lasted for 42 hours.
Round II was impressive because I actually got her to tell me why she’s angry with me. Kind of. She yelled at me for minutes- I should have done my Christmas shopping earlier, I use ’I’ too much, I have no patience for political conversations. I am obviously a sinner. Naturally, I started to defend myself.
And then I stopped. Because I do not need to defend myself. I spent the first half of my twenties half-heartedly trying to do what was expected from me and no one was happy. There is nothing wrong with office jobs and mortgages and saving for rainy days and shit. It’s just not me. It doesn’t make happy. That kind of life is like I’ve got a dead dog that I’ve beat the shit out of. It’s like my sister is saying that it’s better to have a dead dog for a pet than a llama.
The funny thing is that that argument didn’t make me feel lonely. I realised that this is exactly what they mean when they say that it takes courage to live unconventionally. I realised this and I felt empowered. I don’t have anything to prove.
And neither do you.
We can lead whatever lives we want. I am one term into my degree and I’m already looking at work in Bali and India in case I want to pop over next year. Crazy? Sure. But why not? Stability is wonderful…if that’s what you want.
Friends, you do not need to defend your life-choices. Ever.
You do not need to listen to the one negative voice in a choir of positive ones.
Go on spontaneous holidays.
Cry when you need to.
Smile at as many strangers as you dare.
Laugh when they call you a hippy like it’s a bad thing.
Let them be impatient with your neuroses.
Always try to see where they’re coming from, even if they refuse to move.
Don’t be afraid to look cute boys in the eyes.
Don’t bite your tongue, just let it go.
Wear tiaras to breakfast.
Don’t worry if people think you’re nuts.
Be kind to yourself.
Remember that THIS is what they mean when they say that it’s difficult to be different.