I’ve been in my hometown for two weeks now and have settled in while trying to balance the overwhelming urge to see everyone and do everything possible while resting enough to stay upright.
It’s hard fighting the panic that shouts “this is the last time you will see so-and-so for another year,” and makes me buy all the American things because they are so much cheaper than in Australia. “Of course you need seven mascaras! They are a third of the cost!”
Every once in a while I have to remind myself to stop, if my body doesn’t remind me first by getting sick or falling asleep at 8:00PM. One of the main things that makes me focus are seeing people who are important to me, like my brother.
My bro and I have not lived in the same city in over a decade but I always miss him. We tortured one another growing up but he’s been along for the ride with me longer than anyone.
For the first time in years we are both at home, without our respective spouses so naturally we decided to do something a little whimsical.
One: Brother Sister Matching Tattoos
My brother and I grew up watching The Goonies. Putting on a VHS flick was one guaranteed way we would get along for at least 90 minutes. So in the spirit of pirates and One-Eyed-Willy we have gotten matching SailorJerry clipper ships. And taking from the classic SJ flash the word ‘Homeward’ in the banner underneath. To Eric and I, it represents our relationship because even though we are separated, we will always make our way home to one another, even if only figuratively.
Two: The Kooks Are Out
I started listening to The Kooks when I lived in Amsterdam, my favorite city, their album Inside In The Inside Out will always remind me of one of the best times in my life. It’s poetic that I took along Michelle who was my colleague, flat mate and best friend in Amster. I had tickets to see the band twice before to no avail. The first time, I was pregnant and mixed up the dates (damn baby brain!) the second time we had an overnight wedding and had to sell our tickets (the wedding was wonderful and worth it!) When I FINALLY saw The Kooks at The Rapids Theater in Niagara Falls,USAI stood two rows away from the stage and rock out like I was one of the other 18 year olds in the venue. Totally worth the wait.
Three: Backyard Beauty
I didn’t grow up in the house my Mother and Stepfather share but it reminds me of my childhood home, especially how the backyard buttresses the woods behind it. Watching my daughter run around in the golden light of the summer evenings fills my heart with a mixture of joy and melancholy. We have escaped the middle of a Melbourne Winter but also left behind my husband, her Dad. And then I start thinking about how she won’t ever have the same memories growing up as I did. Perhaps I should brush up on my memory and my storytelling.
Four: A Caffeine-Fueled Painting Afternoon
I’m incredibly lucky that my mother is an interior designer and she wants to populate some of her projects with my artwork. Whoa!! All of the sudden I’m a commissioned artist!!?! I worried that I’m not “professional” enough to sell my work. My husband said to me “What makes any artist a professional? You studied art, you make art, and people want to pay you for it.” He has a point.