We are heading back to Oz. Have you heard already? It's hard to keep up, I know. The Gray family is a moving target. This is a move I really want to make. I like change - but this is a new kind of change. This time we're changing to something familiar and it feels so RIGHT. For the first time since I moved to London in 1999, I'm moving somewhere because it's where I want to be. The first time I moved to Sydney (in February 2002), I moved because I wanted to be with James. I had no idea about Sydney at all. I had seen pictures of the bridge and the Opera House, but I truly had no concept of what the rest of the place would look like. I knew 1 person there - ONE. Can you imagine? It was very lonely in the beginning because, to tell you the truth, James has always worked 12+ hour days. The schedule in Dublin is not new.
After 8 months apart (with me in London and James in Sydney), I didn't care that I would only see him a few hours a day - those few hours were so much better than tearful telephone conversations and eagerly awaited text messages. It took 2 or 3 years to fully immerse myself in Sydney and by the time it came to leave, I was actually close to a breakdown. I was devastated to leave the friends who had become our family and a job I not only enjoyed, but excelled at. We made a really full life there - a life anyone would be envious of. It had nothing to do with money or things, it had to do with a sense of being genuinely accepted and loved by people who we were proud to have in our lives. Nothing beats that.
Our stay in Dublin has been difficult. I'm not going to sugar-coat it. We never intended to be here forever and when one moves somewhere temporarily one just never really settles in. Everything has a transient quality, nothing seems worth huge amounts of time and effort. It's all pretty superficial and fleeting. And I am not. I don't enjoy the feeling of inauthentic relationships and pithy banter. I like to connect. I like to really listen and really be heard.
The strange thing is that we have connected within a like-minded group of fellow transients and we have formed relationships which will outlast this jaunt upon the Emerald Isle. Many of us had our babies here and I think that is the kind of major life event which forms a forever friendship. I will miss these people and I will be forever grateful for this experience because of the 2 gifts that I have received from Dublin: my son and the certainty that Sydney is where we want to be.