Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 241: where am I?

And what in hell am I doing? I have spent a truly delicious day surfing early (I caught my first wave with no help from Daniel!), eating breakfast looking at the ocean, reading by the pool in my bikini, ordering mango fruit smoothies, having really amazing massages etc, but I cannot help but feel like a complete alien weirdo. All the staff here are very friendly and I really do love this little pocket of prettiness, but I am living in a suspended reality here. It's a safe and lovely reality, but every time I step outside the gates (as I did just now to buy a can of Coke) I realise there is another world out there that I haven't got a hope of getting to grips with. And then beyond that, there are innumerable other worlds, only a couple of which I actually understand. The upshot of it is, I'm a weirdo in more parts of the world than I'm not. I was thinking about this the other day, when I observed Ryan (Charlotte's partner) and his solid crew of friends. From what I could gather, they all went to school and college together, and now mainly live in the same city or state. When I saw them hanging out together, the strength of their bond and the sheer size and power of their crew was apparent; you could tell they all felt really good hanging out together and that they drew a real sense of security from the strength of their many friendships. Now when I went to high school and university, I was part of a similar group. But because we came from a small place that didn't cater to many of the careers we wanted to pursue (and maybe because of some skewed sense that there was something more or better going on "out there" than there was at home) many of us flew the coop. Now our group is all over the place. When we do get back together it feels great, but we don't have the collective power, strength or security that comes with having been in a place as a group for a long time. Particularly for the expats among us, our power sources and support networks are diminished. We don't know people from primary school who now run the coolest club/record label/art gallery/ restaurant/fashion label, we don't have parents to invite us for dinner/lend us their car/help us move house/babysit our kids, and we don't have those amazing old buddies that don't flinch when we collapse in front of them, living a few streets away (actually I do have one, and my brothers and sisters, so I am better off than some). It's a bizarre predicament. Consider this: I come from New Zealand, but I have lived away for so long that I feel like an alien when I return; I live in Australia, but because I didn't grow up there I will always be an import, again an alien of sorts; if I moved to New York as I seriously would like to do, I would be an entirely new species, calling neither New Zealand nor Australia nor America my real home. The question is, where do I really belong? And on the day I decided to take my little self away from Christchurch, my home town, did I unknowingly do myself an enormous disservice? Oh, I don't know, and probably not. It could simply be I've had too much sun and surf. And it won't be long before I wing my way back to Oz. I just need to weather one more day in paradise, and make a quick stop in La La Land. In fact, I'd better make the most of my remaining alien craziness before it's back to porridge and old clothes for months on end.

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