Monday, September 12, 2011

Doing the dishers

Growing up at home there was always a rule that whoever cooked didn't have to do the dishes. I took this rule with me throughout life when I moved in with my first boyfriend, lived in share houses or went to visit a friend. The nice thing about this rule for me is that as a chef I'm usually the one cooking...and someone else is left to clean up the mess.

Lately I've noticed that unfortunately this rule has filtered out into other areas of my life. I guess I got so used to having someone clean up after me...that at times it didn't matter how much mess I made. It has been a long time since I've been solely responsible for my emotions and how I deal with them. For the last seven years there has nearly always been someone there to help me pick up the pieces. I have lost count of the times a partner walked into the bathroom to find me sitting at the bottom of the shower sobbing over a bad day at work, or something equally trivial. Suddenly, I have become aware that there is no one in my new life to pull me out of the shower, dry me off and tuck me into bed with a cup of tea. I could just stay down there on the moldy tiled floor all day as the hot water runs out and I shiver myself into an early grave.

Okay...I am being a wee bit melodramatic, but the point I am trying to make is that at times it can be incredibly daunting starting a new life, in a new city, all by yourself. I have days where I am so unsure what to do with myself in this big city that I just hide under my blankets.

I have however found a wonderful way to counteract all this scariness. Again it's something my parents passed down to me, and it's the importance of community. The glue that sticks us all together. So this is what I have done...every place I go regularly I try to make at least one friend. Be it a cafe, school, work, the train station or the supermarket. That way no matter what happens I am always surrounded by my little self made family. Every morning I go visit the same barista for my daily coffee. He is about forty and tells me off for studying too much, makes sure I'm doing okay, gives me a few compliments and sends me off to school with a coffee. Then at work I am surrounded by a group of lovely ladies. We are constantly checking up on each other, making sure no boys are breaking anyone's hearts too badly, swapping stories and advice. In one of the laneways in the city is a new father and cafe owner and we talk about his business and his little son. Once a week, just before pay day, he makes me a free lunch, in exchange for cup cakes and tells me off if I try to pull out my wallet and offer to pay. My wonderful housemate is also always keeping me company, buying me red wine when life gets hard, and opening a bottle of champagne when we have something to celebrate. Then there are my lovely girlfriends that I have picked up all over the city. These people create the back bone of my life here.

So when I truly think about it, as long as I can pick myself up off the shower floor I've always go as much support as I need here in Melbourne. So life after all isn't all that scary, and I don't mind doing my own dishes too much.

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