Right now, I’m trying to put how I feel into words, but I have a strong suspicion that nobody’s really going to ‘get it’. In short, I feel like Stella did. I’ve lost my groove. Basically, since I’ve been married, I feel like I’ve undergone a huge life shift. I look back on my life in Perth, and I realise that not only has my lifestyle changed, I have changed! I’m not the same person I was a few years ago.
I don’t think going from city mouse to country mouse has been a bad thing…far from it. A few weeks ago in Perth, I was having lunch with a good friend, and she commented that she could never have pictured me living on a farm a few years ago. I asked her to explain what she meant because I’ve heard that comment from a number of city friends, and usually they’re referring to the fact they thought I was a city slicker who could never survive in the ‘outback’. What my friend meant was that a few years ago, we were both working full-time, rushing around to a million events on weeknights and weekends, barely having time to scratch ourselves. She is still living that lifestyle, and was amazed about how I could go from doing so much to doing much less. She obviously thought I thrived on being super busy.
I explained to her that moving to the country was a necessary change for me. When I left, I felt close to burn-out. I NEVER enjoyed being run off my feet; honestly I felt like a mouse running on a wheel, trapped and going nowhere. I’m glad to be doing less (I think there is a common misconception among some of my city friends that I do nothing all day). Often I read on Facebook about parties friends are organising , and I feel really left out. That’s when I start wishing I could go back, but I know, in reality, it would be an unwise move, and nothing would change from last time.
I was saying to Duncan the other week that I really struggle with social events now. This has been one of the downsides about living in the middle of nowhere. I feel like I’ve lost my confidence to talk small-talk and hold a decent conversation. I’ve gone from being surrounded by people to spending so much time on my own that I struggle with motivation when we do go out somewhere. Whereas once I went to event after event with little thought, now I really have to psych myself up. I feel like I’m boring and have nothing to offer anyone.
This feeling is a far cry from the days where I would stay out late, occasionally til 3 or 4am with friends. Nowadays I struggle to get to midnight on New Year’s Eve. A number of friends have said they feel the same – they have much less energy in their late twenties than when they were eighteen. But I feel like it’s more than that with me. Whereas once all I wanted to do was dance madly and be really loud and entertaining, now I’m content to sit on the couch with a DVD and the doona pulled up to my chin. Everything takes so much effort, and I just don’t have the energy.
I’m not depressed, I don’t sit around and cry – I’m just worried I’m turning into a nana before my time. It doesn’t help sometimes when Duncan is quite content to be in ‘grandpa mode’, sitting on the couch in his Mr Grumpy pjs, watching ABC shows on the laptop. It scares me when I look at my nana who is housebound and has no choice. I don’t want to be like that now when I’m young and have the freedom to be out and about. I’m worried I’ll spend my youth being a nana, and then when I actually get old and wrinkly, I’ll realise I have wasted my life.
I know this sounds bad, but I also feel like I’ve outgrown some people since I left Perth. People I once found amusing, I now find somewhat irritating and immature. Recently someone from Perth brought up something crazy I did six years ago – I was pretending to be a guinea pig drinking out one of those upside down water bottles they have in their cages (I know, crazy!) – and he was reminiscing about how funny it was. To be honest, I felt kind of annoyed. I couldn’t imagine doing that now. I feel like I’ve gone from being an energetic puppy to a placid old dog. I don’t know if this is due to being married, or from living in the country, or a combination of both. I don’t WANT to feel like I have an air of superiority over people; part of me does want to go back to being the crazy nut. I really hate it when friends move into another stage of life, and SOME change personalities, getting a kind of snobbery about them, that none of their existing friends could POSSIBLY understand them now they’ve got married, had a baby etc. I would hate people to think that I feel I’m too good for them, but I have a hard time dealing with some people’s immaturity.
Right now I feel like I’m locked in a battle. I haven’t completely lost my desire to get up and dance. I did this recently at a friend’s wedding, and it felt SO GOOD to get it out of my system for a bit. It’s just now I really have to fight, to make an effort, to battle weariness and a lack of motivation that tells me it would be better to spend my life on the couch.
I want my groove back! If anyone has it, please return it, and I will offer a reward, no questions asked.
To reminisce, here are some crazy photos I found.
New Year's Eve 2006/07 with my friend, Kate.
Dancing in the snow in Tasmania, July 2008
Gargling the national anthem. March 2005.
I call this one, 'The Many Faces of Me'. June 2004.