Monday, 10 September 2012

Little Oliver J is leaving town.

Back in 2008 I met James, he was signed up to join the navy and was starting recruits the following weekend. Recruit school was only half an hour from my home town so we caught up as much as possible and stayed in touch via late night phone calls and text messages and, well, the rest is history.

And here is that history. In 2009 James got posted to Canberra. I ummed and arred about joining him but I think in my heart I was always going. We moved there in August 2009 and found the cutest three bedroom house with pink walls and orange carpet. Our first home. 

We lived in Canberra for almost two years before being posted here in Sydney. I had a love/hate relationship with Canberra. It was just a few nasty people really tore me down. Another story for another day. In Canberra James and I went from being a young couple to a family. That family being a young couple with a dog. Not long after Pandora joined us we found out we were pregnant.

We also found out we were moving to Sydney.

I was over the moon. I thought Sydney would be a bigger version of Melbourne and I was determined to get us an inner city pad and we would be trendy. We would raise a city kid and Pandora would be an inside dog and life would be good.

Life has been good. We got our inner city pad. Pandora is an inside dog. My son is scared of dirt. We are the pretentious city slickers I always hoped we'd be. But there is a downside to Sydney that although I was aware of, I never fully understood: sea time.

Sydney holds majority of the Royal Australian Navy's ships. Since being here James has spent almost 9 months at sea four of those months I was pregnant. He hasn't sailed too much this year but is due to spend six weeks at sea at the end of the year, but he'll be back for weekends. Thats something right? 

Another thing I realised is that I, in fact, do not care too much for everything a big city has to offer. I realised that I love Melbourne, not big cities. Especially not Sydney. Sydney itself is a cool town, and if we had moved into a house not next to factory and away from a main road, who knows maybe we would want to stay a little longer. But Melbourne is my home, and Canberra was my home for a time in my life. Sydney will never be home.

I want Oliver to have a backyard, I want a spare room for people to visit and I want to be able to get in my car and drive from a to b without worrying that someone is blocking our ally, or that the traffic is bad or that the roads are flooded. And most of all, I want James home. Not only does he sail often he works such long hours Monday-Friday and has to do a Saturday or Sunday here or there. Sometimes I feel like he is a guest here because he is absent so much.

Last week we got the news. On March 11 2013 we are moving back to Canberra. James will be working shift work, and although when he used to work 12 hour shifts it felt like eternity I know this time we will not take his five days off in a row for granted.

I will not take any of it for granted. The clear roads, the semi-decent coffee, the parking, the friends I miss, the lakes, the relaxed nature of people, any of it.

I have some apprehension. I once again will be leaving some amazing people. I will miss being able to walk to my local grocery store, when I can get across my road. I'll miss having a new activity to choose from each week. I'll miss Oliver's first home, the place he took his first steps and laughed for the first time. But those memories are mine to keep.

I am also concerned about contact with the aforementioned past friends. But I am a different person than the one who left Canberra nearly two years ago and they deserve the same respect. Maybe they have changed too. Maybe they haven't. But either way I am a better, stronger person and I will not be affected by the way those around behave. I will not fall into my old competitive ways, nor my old bitchy ways. My new affirmation is, "just because others are succeeding or failing doesn't change the way my life is to be lived."

The most important part about this move will be having James home so much, Oliver having his Dad present for the important times. James works so hard for his family, he works so hard so that we can have everything we want. It's time he got what he wanted.

And all he wants is us.

I have began house hunting and seeing images of backyards and imagining Oliver riding his bike there and Panda running around. I've planned to get him a swing set and a blow up pool. We've even discussed getting a rescue dog to keep Panda company.

I am so thrilled by this news and so thrilled to be going home. Not home home, but I think some day soon it will be.

This was our first home together.

James and I on top of the world. I can't wait to see him smile like this again.

Wish me luck in finding the perfect home, although James being there so often will make anyplace the perfect home.

Cassandra J

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