Back to where it all began.
We’ve been in Melbourne for less than 48 hours and it feels like we never left. How is that possible? Since leaving the city almost six years ago, we have moved house seven times and had three kids. That’s a lot of life changes by anyone’s standards.
Maybe I just want to feel like I never left. This is a week of freedom for Hubs and I; to live it up and do whatever we please. We’ve been reminiscing like crazy and going to all our favourite places. Just like old times.
Moving to Melbourne was a real turning point in my life, and so much has happened because of that decision to move. Hubs broached the subject of him wanting to study down here when we first got together and I’m pretty sure my thoughts were “noooooooo! I don’t want to leave Brisbane! Nanny will be devastated!” Outwardly I would have been much cooler I’m sure.
Five months later, in May 2007, we took a trip down here “just to check it out”. Oh and Frith had his interview with Melbourne uni. After spending some time in the city, and meeting his gorgeous family down here, I was sold. I was also thinking a certain question might be popped during our visit, but he had other plans for that the following month.
A bit over a year later, at the end of a long, cold, amazingly fun trip down in the kombi, we arrived as husband and wife. And a few days later I started this blog. All of our highs and lows and in-betweens have been documented here. I never thought I would keep it up for so long but blogging is just a part of my life now. I had talked about starting a blog for months, but it wasn’t until we moved that I actually felt the urge to begin.
Melbourne changed me, and for the better I believe. It was time for me to get out on my own, with my new husband; my new family, by my side. We were a unit the two if us; in love, invincible; and in Melbourne.
The first six months were hard. I went from having social engagements every night in Brisbane, to no friends and nothing to do in Melbourne. Frith made friends easily through medicine, and while they knocked off at midday on a Friday and headed to the pub, I was working full time to support us. Resentment crept in. Jealousy tapped me on the shoulder. Feelings I never thought possible towards my shiny new, perfect husband surfaced.
For the most part I ignored those feelings; pushed them deep down and put on a smiling face. But a few too many wines would bring it all bubbling to the surface and everything would come pouring out. Once the booze wore off, and we were able to communicate like adults, Hubs would make me spill my guts. Everything. All my insecurities, my suspicions were all heard out and all reassured. We were still new at this thing called marriage. We had to work out our own path and figure out what worked for us.
Reality had set in and not all was perfect. But that’s what marriage is all about. Being perfect for each other, and doing the very best you can. Being your own person and not trying to be someone you’re not, just to please your spouse. I was trying to be everything Hubs wanted me to be, when all I had to do was to be myself. That’s who he fell in love with. The cat was well and truly out of the bag before we got married – he knew I wasn’t perfect and he loved me for it.
I just had to learn to love myself a little more. I had to figure out who I was without my family and friends around to define me. This took some time, and it turns out I’m still a work in progress. But I’ve learnt to love the process and the journey, and not just try and skip to the end result.
So as I walk around Melbourne now, dropping in on familiar places that feel like old friends, I remember Renae from 2008 and I reassure her that things are working out pretty well. I tell her that she and Hubs will never stop disagreeing on things, but that we always sort things out and get stronger. I tell her that even though she has to move around a lot, the adventures that follow make it worthwhile. I tell her to enjoy her sleep-ins and hot coffees, because once the kids come, they are the first things to go.
I tell her about the friends she will meet and the people who she will stay in touch with; it will surprise her who makes the effort to keep in contact. I tell her that she might want to stop at three children and not have four or five like they always talk about, but I know she’ll never believe me. I tell her how Hubs is a wonderful father but she already knows that.
I tell her that Nanny will never get to meet her great-granddaughter and that will upset her. A lot. Especially when her middle name is Maria, and she reminds her of Nanny everyday.
I tell her not to worry so much about what is to come; to trust Hubs more, as he always comes through with the goods. I remind her to tell Hubs everyday how much he is loved. He puts on a tough exterior, but, just like her, he needs to know.
So as I sit here staring at the bottom of another cup of coffee, waiting for Hubs to finish his GSSE, and wondering where life will take us next, I am grateful that we started our journey here in this beautiful city, full of incredible people and memories.
We’ll always have Melbourne.