22

When she was 22 the future looked bright
But she’s nearly 30 now and she’s out every night
I see that look in her face, she’s got that look in her eye
She’s thinking how did I get here and wondering why
22 – Lily Allen

Lily goes on to sing about this woman’s sad life. No boyfriend, no career, heavily involved in the bar scene every night.

While some would argue there is nothing sadder than an older woman without a career or man in her life, I now have often passed similar judgements on twenty two year olds.  Not so much about how sad it was without a man or career, but how they had not yet found any meaning or importance in their life other than going out on the weekend and  cute boys.

For my writing project on Indonesia I have had to sift through approximately 150 emails during my time in Java, where I celebrated my 22nd birthday. Truly, I was expecting the worst. I am soo much wiser now, centred and good at making decisions. I was expecting the naive musings of a fresh university grad – the difficult times I went through hadn’t happened yet, so obviously I would not have any of the scope I do now.

Instead:

My writing was better, out of a very writing centred major (History), and also taking into consideration that most of the writing was rushed, done at an internet cafe and to my best friend.

We wrote about sex a lot more. I also wrote a surprising amount about spirituality. I touched on cultural differences and the injustices of the lottery of life. How did I win and end up growing up in a stable, wealthy country?

At 22 I was in touch with a wide circle of girl friends that I’ve since lost touch with. I don’t really remember anyone having a serious boyfriend, no one was living with anyone anyway. Our support group straight out of university was each other. Now the majority of women I know live with their partner or husband, have full time work or are parenting a kid or two. We just don’t have as much time to dissect each other’s personal life. We are lucky to see each other every couple of weeks. It’s just the reality.

There are walls now too. I would no longer go into the details that I would have at that time. We are a lot more aware of boundaries between relationships with partners, immediate family and friends.

If I could, I would take myself at 22 our for a drink and a walk. I’m not sure if I was yet into walking like I am now. I would admire her enthusiasm and energy. I would also tell her to chill out. That she did not need to have all of the answers immediately. That life had been pretty perfect up until that point, but, that she would be able to get through everything it was going to throw at her. I would be jealous of  the people she was going to meet and the things she would get to do. I’d also tell her to be a little more reckless, have more fun, and spend more time dancing with cute boys.

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Huntsman

I just made 3 “vlogs” that didn’t work. The first one was too quiet (I am sensitive to the fact that my neighbours upstairs can probably hear me, and I don’t want them to think that I am a weirdo that talks to myself.) The second time I wasn’t actually recording, the third time I felt ridiculous so I just silently looked at myself and raised my eyebrows a few times.

What I wanted to show were a few things:

1. The Device:Image

I should be asleep right now because my job is crazy and I told myself I would start going in early to make full use of the work day. Instead I am planning rejected arts and crafts projects with mop handles, electrical tape and my lunch kit.

I have loose plans to move / kill / extricate:

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I am not sure if this photo really does justice without something to scale. Essentially, this beast is about the diameter of a baseball.  I am not positive that the device would hold all of it’s limbs inside of it. Every time it moves I start shrieking, I honestly can’t help myself. I wish he would just go hide out somewhere out of my eye sight. This apartment is huge and with no furniture in it. Where he is right now is at the end of my bed. Perfect.

My first run in with a Huntsman was when I still lived at my friend and coworkers house, after I had just arrived. We had all watched a movie and gone our separate ways …

It just scratched itself. It is literally licking it’s chops.  I don’t know what it is doing. Probably planning to bite me later.

This is some David Attenborough shit going down right here.

Anyway … we had all just gone to bed and buddy the giant hell spider was on the wall next to my bed. I tried really hard to be cool but ended up needing to wake up my friend’s boyfriend to come and get rid of it. As he left my basement room he started to laugh, when I asked him why he was laughing he told me that he would tell me in the morning. OF COURSE I persisted, he then explained the number of other spiders likely living in the downstairs was large. More than 10.

So I am not surprised that I am where I am right now. This is why people need other people. If Trav was here now this would be over and we would be asleep by now. If I had a roommate we would have likely psyched ourselves up and be en route to a 24 hour clinic with spider bites (or asleep).

My solution now is to brush my teeth and wait him out, with my slippers on top of my night stand for easy access (they have thick rubber soles) and the device near my right hand, until I pass out.

I might also watch the 30 Moments in Britney Spears’ 30 years again. Did you know she is 30 this week?

(Non sequiturs, no sleep, spiders .. it all relates)

Australia

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Cane Toad – Invasive Species .. Our friend here will eat the native  frog species. People blow them up with fire crackers. 

The point of making this website is to have all of my memories in one place. I feel like this is most important now, because the older I get, the more I forget to remember.

I’ve just moved to Australia after taking a transfer from work, and convincing my partner that this was the place for us. No more long Canadian wet (west) coast winter. A booming economy, a great place for late twenty – somethings to get a foothold on finances and the practical implications of becoming a grown up. Something different for the traveller that can’t stay more than two years in one place (I was over-due by 4 months).

While the rest of our friends buy houses, have kids and get married, we have moved across the planet to start again from scratch.

Setting up another apartment, learning to drive on the other side of the road AND learning to drive manual, picking up new hobbies ( I didn’t know I was a light weight bush – walker!) being sociable, making friends … I’ve been good.

Today I hit a wall.

I just wanted to go to a pub with my co – recreational soccer team and have a winter ale. I didn’t need to see my closest friends or family, I just needed to hang out with the group of mostly Irish team mates that didn’t always pass me the ball.

After reading that sentence, maybe the reason why I am so keen on that particular experience is because I know how they feel, and why they hung out together.

Despite all being from western English – speaking nations, there are always difference, both subtle and gaping. For the first time today, I though about finding other Canadians to spend time with on a weekly to monthly basis. I’m not sure exactly what we would do, most likely have a few drinks and talk about the old country… I think I just want someone to look at me and see someone they identify with, someone that is the same – no matter how loose the definition.

When I go to meet these hypothetical Canadians, no one will ask me about my accent. They will also likely not assume that I can’t swim. They won’t think I am strange as a give in, because I am from Canadia. I won’t be that small Canadian girl. Instead – I get to be Kathryn from Vancouver, living in Australia. Based on population size, I bet these new acquaintances are from Ontario or an Eastern province. They probably watch hockey and hate the Canucks. Either themselves, or one of their friends or family has been to Vancouver. They will tell me that Vancouver was nice  and that they also visited and liked Whistler / Victoria or Tofino.

The radio stations in Australia – or what I have sampled from the Gold Coast, play everything.

Everything.

Those popular songs from 1999 you ve only recently heard because you dug up a mixed cd from high school? Throw out your cd’s  – it’s got airtime here.

They played Nelly – Ride with me (I think that’s the name) today on my way home from work. It made my day. I was in grade 9 again.

I got to my front door and the lady that lives above me had left a note, apologising for not introducing herself because of how busy her family has been with summer holidays (which now take place in January). She had left 2 eggs from the backyard chooks (chickens) and a mango. She also welcomed me to help myself to the mangos from the tree in the back yard, now ripening behind my window.

Prior to this I went to the liquor store across the street from work for a bottle of wine. My favourite wine – Yellow Tail, is only 10 dollars here. I have tracked the price of Yellow Tail as I’ve travelled. The most expensive bottle to date was 100.00 ytl (about 90 USD) In Ankara, Turkey. It is an Australian wine so I am near the source. A new friend lives nearish to the vineyard – we can go visit the grapes.

Like anything in life, you have to take the pluses with the minuses.

Today I had had enough. I felt homesick and was second guessing my life choices and choosing to be away again. Fortunately, today there were also pluses.

Hence the goal – remembering to remember.