Well, today marks one year since I moved to Sydney. I know, I can hardly believe it either.
It all seems very strange when I look back on that weekend now. Before we left Charlestown, Xander ran away, for the first and only time in his life, and stayed lost for hours (a friend suggested he was just saying goodbye to our house). He finally turned up, as I was facing the possibility of having to send my stuff to Sydney without me, but then there was further horror in the car, as I at one stage thought he may have died in the heat.
The next day was in some ways worse. I went out for breakfast with my new flatmates but was so tired I had to leave, and on the way home I managed to get lost, then lock myself out. I was profoundly, deeply disoriented, and wondered "what have I done?" None of this seemed like a good omen.
And they weren't. It's fair to say I got off to a very rocky start in Sydney. There were so many things I'd looked forward to doing when I first got here, but that first week I was so tired, all I could do was sleep. As I had made so many day trips, I thought living here wouldn't be so strange, but of course it was, in so many ways. I hated my first crappy job, and I hated my flatmates (it might be more accurate to say, after living alone for seven years, I hated having flatmates full stop. Nonetheless, I never got used to the mess, or the noise, and knew I had to leave).
There were may times when I'd collapse in tears of frustration and sadness, thinking "I just want to go home". But I knew if I went back to Newcastle like this, I'd always feel I'd failed. One small step at a time, things got better. I got a much better job, and as soon as I could afford it moved into a flat of my own. It's small, but it's clean and in a lovely area, and at least now I can walk around in my underwear again. I even dated someone for a while and though to my regret it didn't work out, we're still friends.
So that brings us up to now. In very recent months I've been realising - my life is here now. Almost against my will, now this is home. So although I won't stay in Sydney forever - I could never afford to buy property here, for one thing - I can see myself staying for a while longer, at least. Whilst I'll always miss the beach, and the silver shops on Hunter St, and picnics with friends, and living somewhere where I have a history, if I left I would miss the food, and the shopping, and not being hassled by drunk morons on public transport (at 3pm).
So some things are better and some things are worse, but overall things are good; and that's the most you can hope for from any change.