- February 9th, 2009
I haven't written here in a while, and it's not from a lack of content I can tell you. So much going on, so many thoughts, so many emotions. I have three weeks off from work, one of which will be spent getting away, the other two just spend with my thoughts. I'll try and sort through the rubble and place them into some kind of order.
I wont be in Sydney much longer.
I've lived here for two years and feel like I've given it my best shot. One of my favourite lines from my favourite movie is 'Some people, you squeeze them, they focus. Others fold'. I'm a man that does not work well under pressure, and Sydney is the mother of all pressure cookers. I have made some great friends in Sydney, but they can't give me what I need. What I need is their time, their patience, and most importantly their attention. Sydney has what I would call a kind of attention deficit disorder, people have time for you, but only in short spurts, before something else has captured their attention. And just when I feel like I'm connecting, in the blink of an eye, they're gone.
Sydney people immediately come back with the argument 'well you need to bug me more often', or 'you need to let me know more often'. It might be selfish of me to say this but I don't want anyone to have to scream at me to get my attention, and nor should I have to do the same. We work 40,50,60 hour weeks, in places that are confined, stressful, and hard work. Why would I want to spent the remaining time in my life doing the same thing, and that's just how it feels. My life is hard work without a pay packet.
So I changed my likes, my dislikes, my personality, and my way of life, just so that I may capture a few extra hours of attention every week, to those who would call me my friends. And strangely enough, I've come to think that for others, this is perfectly normal, and perfectly acceptable. Well it's not to me, and I've been struggling in the sea ever since.
I enjoy the city, it has so much life on the weekends and at night. I think that's why I used to travel to Sydney so much, whether it be from Wollongong, or Newcastle. But when the night was done, it was time to go home. Time to go home to a place where strangers would give you the time of day at the bus stop, where cars wouldn't knock you off the road just to make 3 more car places ahead of you, where mother wouldn't use their prams (with chldren in them) to nip and your ankles in a mall just to get ahead, where people excuse themselves (and wait for a response) before they move in front of you. And where people wouldn't sell their soul just to 'get ahead'.
The most tragic part about watching the bushfires burn through inland Victoria, is that here are communities of people that are good and kind to each other, that would help out a person in need. Yet here in Sydney not just a few days ago, I saw an Ambulance with it's sirens on, wait at a traffic light for 30 seconds before cars would actually stop for them to go through. We see disgusting one eyed acts of discrimination and violence on our national day, not from the stereotypical ignorant small towns, but from the beaches of Manly and Cronula. The very place that has it the best on so many levels. Here, your next door neighbour wouldn't even piss on you if you were on fire. They'll just call the police and file a report.
It all adds up to the fact that I am a kind man, I am an optimist, and I believe in humility and decency. None of those values are valued, in this place. And so while the rip takes me out to sea, I'm not going to fight the current any longer. I will patiently wait for a lifesaver, and in a few months bring me back to another shore.