Archive | July, 2011

Quarter Life Crisis: Its real.

24 Jul

Apologies, I need to take a quick interlude from the ‘Westbrook Series’. It is a serious matter. It happened yesterday. I knew it was coming…I just chose to ignore it.

I turned 25.

Turning 21, was all about legally drinking out of red cups in Boston. Turning 22 was awesome. Turning 23 was fun. Turning 24 was cool. Then…BAM…I turned 25. It happened quicker than you can say mojito. Closer to 30 than 20. Half way to 50. Entering a new demographic bracket – Ticking the 25-34 box.

This is no numbers game. It is real.

This ‘quarter life crisis’ people talk about, is not a mere disillusionment. It’s a genuine phenomenon. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression & acceptance. At the risk of sounding over-dramatic (or morbid)…. this quarter life crisis resembles that of the grief process.

You have heard the stories… the 25 yr old guy who quit his job as a lawyer and went to Argentina to farm lamas. Or the 25 yr old girl who went on a holiday to Borneo and ended up staying there – becoming an activist and marrying a local multiple piercings. Such stories are not uncommon…. 25 being the common denominator. Don’t underestimate the power of the ‘quarter life crisis’. Don’t laugh. These stories are real.

My own experience of the ‘crisis’ became evident, when I started analysising every aspect of my life. The analysing soon transformed into questioning – ‘Is this really my life? ‘what am I doing?’, ‘Is my job meaningful?’ , ‘Am I contributing to the greater world?’. My mums daily reminders did not help either; “Ven, I vas your age I had 2 children and a husband” (Many Indian’s have trouble pronouncing ‘W’s…). Thanks mum. I get it!

I also have been feeling extreme nostalgia for my teenage years – I have found myself saying “I used to be able to back it up and go out every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, nowadays forget ‘backing it up’…I can’t last past 12:30”.

Growing up, I remember thinking that 25 years was so OLD, it seemed like an eternity away; a milestone that would be marked with a sense of achievement. I envisioned that by 25; I would be married, have a few kids under my belt and have written a cook book titled “Nix likes to mix”. The reality, is far from it. I am still living at home, the closest thing to my cookbook is this pointless blog and I am as close to having kids as Shapelle Corby is to getting out of jail!

Admittedly, I already possess the traits of a 75 year old grandma (preferring a hot peppermint tea over a cosmopolitan cocktail). And yes, admittedly, my 80 year old grandfather has a better social life than I do (it is not unusual for him to SMS me to reschedule dinner as his ‘ bridge friends have decided to hit the pub for a drink’). Nevertheless, turning 25 has really impacted me.

Like with any ‘crisis’ (big or small)- something good always emerges from it. I think this quarter life crisis, will lead to ‘self-discovery’….I want to go back to uni and do journalism, I want to travel some more, I want to learn how to salsa dance, I want to create my own herb garden, I want to embark on some hardcore DIY projects….I want to be surrounded my people who I love and make me laugh…. It is only through facing the cloud of confusion, frustration & ambiguity that such clarity has been able to emerge.

I’ve realised – what is the point in questioning & stressing…Life is what happens when you spend all of your time worrying, longing for the past or wishing for the future.

Perhaps it is time I stop planning and start doing.

You know actually may be it is a numbers game, as they say ‘you are only as old as you feel’.

I will you keep posted of my ‘quarter life crisis’ as the year progresses. Feel free to share your experience of the ‘crisis’…

Part 3: 34 Westbrook – On the brightside

17 Jul

Only had one childhood home…or maybe two if you count that engulfed in flames (I’m not being insensitive, but sometimes you have to look on the bright side – without that horrible event, we wouldn’t have built this one). Either way, I’ve pretty much lived on the same block of land all my life. It’s a wierd concept. I’ve always slept in the same room. Nightmares, dreams, sleep eating (Yes, it has happened (only recently), I slept ate weetbix and milk) it has all happened within the confines of the same home.

Everything in my home is so familiar. I know how to walk up and down the stairs in the pitch black. I know exactly where the light switch is without looking. I also know, which windows to avoid the neighbors when doing the NCD (naked clothesline dash after a shower – running down stairs stark naked, & whipping clothes of the line).

The thought of not driving into my driveway. Not waking up in the same room. Not eating dinner on the same table. Not soaking in the weekend sun on the same patio….to be honest…it’s emotionally confronting. I am a nostalgic creature, as mentioned numerous times on this blog.

Embracing the optimist within me here is a list of 10 things I will not miss:

1. The door handle that dad put on backward (on purpose)- so he could hear us sneaking out late to visit the ‘fella’s’ at night.

2. As per point 1, the creaky, windy staircase – wakes everyone up in the house – not great, after one to many ‘soda’s’.

3. The 575 bus (to all those Turramurra High students that lighted school bags on fire, tripped up old ladies (and myself…only occasionally – I was a nerd at school) & threw unidentified objects at Don the bus driver’s head…I still can not forgive you)

4. The creepy man, that has threatened to kill our dogs/eat our dogs (ok, so I made that up…but he would if he could – he is disgusting)

5. Jumping over the gate (getting my skirt hitched, or face planting it into the driveway) – we never use the gate buttons.

6. The ‘noise’ pollution that comes from my parents room every night – I mean the TV…the sound carries through the paper thin walls. I have been dubbed the ‘noise police’. It’s a duty I take on with some pride.

7. “Ohhhh…so you live in Wahroonga – do you have deer in your back garden” – A phrase, that I heard multiple times, upon meeting ‘cool city slicker kids’ at university.

8. The 2076 ‘Bike Gang’ – Gang of underage boys (and skanks, I mean girls) who ‘hang’ at the corner shop & smoke on the nature strip outside my house & pee on our lawns (I’ve also seen this multiple times…I know who you are)

9.The annual egging of my car – No, its not even done on Halloween. Ok, I get it…It is a yellow Honda Jazz & is so bright that it can be seen from the next suburb…Seriously, come on -give me a break.

9. The birds that sing like a pubescent boy who’s voice is breaking…not cool at 5am – especially with a killer hangover.

10. The ‘doof, doof, doof’….noise residue from underage private-school tweens, in short-shorts, binge drinking & gate-crashing open house parties whilst their parents are away for the weekend. Rewind the clock back 5 years and I guess you could say I was one of those tweens. I know what you are thinking…why are you at home on a Saturday night loser? Yes, true, sometimes I do like to spend weekend in drinking peppermint tea in front of the heater.

Part 2: 34 Westbrook – From Home to House.

9 Jul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Following on from the pervious post, for the next few entries, I’ve decided to document my thoughts, rants and ravings about moving out of my childhood home. Yes, I am turning 25 years old. Yes, I am still living at home. Yes, I still ring my mum daily asking ‘What’s for dinner?’. Don’t judge me. It’s comfortable and I’m saving…to move out by myself. So, what’s the plan: Moving out of 34 Westbrook & into a new home designed by my artist mother & chartered accountant father (Honestly, they would be mean contenders for the block or grand designs – once finished it will be a beauty).

I have played, laughed, danced & slammed doors in the same home for over 24 years. The time has come to sell it. I thought I’d be totally cool with it. I realise now…that I am not.

My mum’s new favourite word is…boxes. Everything is about boxes…’put this in the ‘keep box’, ‘put this in the throw away box’, ’what the hell is in this box?’…’you must label ALL boxes?” And so it goes on. I don’t blame her, it’s a huge job and she is doing an amazing job…but  to reduce my ‘box’ fatigue, I’m trying to encourage to replace it with abother word…any ideas? Container, 4-sided cube, vessel…

This week we have fallen asleep passed out to the smell of fresh paint fumes. Next week new carpets will be laid and in four weeks time it will be on the market. It’s all happening to fast.

Our home, is slowly transforming into our house. Our paintings, photo frames &  knick-knacks collected over the years are slowly dissapearing either to eager members on e-bay or into storage in my grandfather’s garage. I am suprised at how these bare walls are effecting me emotionally.

A room that once reflected my personality (See photo above- yes, admittedly I had to wear sunglasses whilst studying for the HSC as the green & orange walls reflected onto my white paper) has now turned into something that resembles a cell in a mental asylum. White, White, White. P.S. FYI:- I’m not tasteless. Lime green, orange & hot pink were totally ‘in’ vogue in 1998.

As our family photos get ripped down and are replaced my generic vases. As our couches that are snuggly molded to our body shapes are replaced by stiff, hard generic benches. Our home is now becoming a house. I’ll save the emotional outcry for another post, but still I am comforting myself with the belief that memories do not live in a place – they live with you….they travel with you. Yes, objects, smells etc can act as a catalyst to encourage dormant  memories to bubble up to the conscious surface…. but so do smells, photos & the people you love!

Yes, we might be saying goodbye to Westbrook Avenue, but our crazy family will just be creating new/more memories at Northwood…our new home.

P.S. To all the stalkers out there, I just realised I shouldn’t have given away my address…

Part 1: Moving out of 34 Westbrook – Items found.

3 Jul

We are in the process of moving house (will save that for the next post!), but I literally found piles and piles of my old diaries the other day. Admittedly,  upon reflection only one phrase can describe these diaries = cringe-worthy.

I wrote an entry for every day of my summer holidays, from year 4 – until year 12. I wrote a travel diary for every family holiday and overseas adventure.  I still do it. I wrote an entry for every birthday since I was 9. I still do it. Every time someone pissed me off,  I had a special diary which I would write down what I was feeling. Yes, I still even do that.

Diary writing is a compulsive part of my life. It has been since I can remember.  There is something about writing in a diary that is comforting. I guess, that is why so many psychologists recommend it. It is an accessible outlet, that puts things into perspective. Once forced to transform unsystematic thoughts into words, it can bring an immediate sense of clarity.

Pubescent frustration – Unable to express myself in meaningful words , I turned to scribbling my name and random questions; ‘Why me?’ , ‘Why won’t mum let me?”. Erratic, pressing down hard on the paper,  making holes, tears smudging the page. It made me feel better.  Some people draw, some people run, others box a bag…still… to this day,  I just write my dairy.

Mixed opinions surround  ‘diary writing’ . What’s the point? Why write, if no one reads it?  What could you possibly be writing about when you are 10? Yes, the above questions could be true….but, I would document what my mum cooked for  dinner, play dates with my friends and later on my encounters with boys and new drinking games I had learnt.  I believe it is one of the few things in life someone can truly and honestly do for themselves, no other agenda, no other incentive…just for themselves.

By reading them I was being transported back to my 15 year old self. It was a bizarre feeling.  Did I really write this? What the hell was I thinking? How could I even be worried about this?

Now, at this point in my life it all seems so trivial. So irrelevant. But back then, they were obviously real issues that were bothering me.

I will never forget the raw emotions when my sister found my diary and keep dropping in quotes from it for days after…’My first kiss was with Rooster, it was terrible, didn’t realise kissing was so sloppy” …I was taunted for weeks.

Now, I must decide what to do with these boxes and boxes of dairies…First thought is to destroy, destroy, destroy. Do, I want people reading (laughing) at this entries when I die? (morbid I know, and I guess I won’t be around to feel humiliated…but still). However,  I feel by throwing these out I will be losing documentation of my thoughts, fears and experiences throughout the years. For now…I think I’ll just keep them…and continue to add to the pile…

OK, enough…I better go and write my diary.

Yours Truly,

Nix