New commitments

IMG_1863A couple of weeks ago, Matt and I got tattoos. His first, my second. Matt’s realisation and acceptance that “what’s next?” is his default state, led to the homage to his healthy ambition for the big picture. So, for his 40th birthday and in the spirit of Jed Bartlett, he got What’s Next? tattooed on his forearm in the West Wing font.

“Nevertheless, She Persisted”, in the script from Sarah Becan’s design, refers to Senator Elizabeth Warren and her standing up to the Republicans But it has more layers for me. It isn’t just the more expansive feminist shoutout to the women who’ve pressed on in the face of male oppression and glass ceilings, it’s also acknowledgement to my own fortitude in the face of procrastination and challenging times; it’s a tribute to a 16+ year marriage that’s endured hard times and individual growing pains. It’s encouragement to keep writing, keep learning, keep pushing, even while it can be hard to find the time or the energy.

When you consider our choices together, it just goes to show how different we are in our approaches to life. Yin and Yang. Sometimes our contradictory opposites have repelled rather than complemented. I’m sure those hard times—when we’re both negatively charged electrons—will come up again from time to time, but we’re still here and that’s a positive sign.

Not a writer

I tweeted to a Buzzfeed article the other day. It was twenty-something words that mean something different to a writer. I tweeted that I didn’t think of myself as a writer, but the listicle made me wish I was.

I don’t see myself as a writer, because I don’t write fiction.

I don’t have an Evernote full of ideas. I have an Evernote full of links to other people’s ideas, industry news, “how to write” tips. I’m a commercial writer. I’ve been paid to write other people’s ideas. I procrastinate over that so much, though, I hate it. I hate that I have to write something and I put it off, and put it off. And then I get into the flow of the writing, and then I love what I’ve written. And then I hate getting the feedback. Unless it’s good.

Bowral to Brunswick

So, do you know what’s been going on? Shame on you.

Just kidding.

Holy wow! It’s been almost a whole year since I posted here. I got over the guilt a while back. I’ve learned that when I write for a living, I stop writing for fun.

On with the N.E.W.S.

We redecorated our house. Got a new paint job inside, fixed our outside drainage issues so that our garage would stop flooding with heavy and prolonged rain, put two skylights in, installed a new kitchen, replaced blinds, carpets and old laminate wood floor with vinyl. Here are a couple of peeks.

With flooding:

The back yard2

Without flooding:

Untitled

Kitchen, before:

Purple kitchen

Kitchen, part-way through renovation:

Untitled

Kitchen, after:

New kitchen splashback.

I’ll do a walk-through and post a video up in a couple of weeks. The place looks uh-mazing. The weird/frustrating/not-that-uncommon-for-us thing is that I got all this done within a matter of weeks after us having paid a designer for drawings of a super-awesome extension and then deciding we would up-stumps and move to Melbourne.

WHAT?!

Yep.

May 2013 will be known as “the month we spent torturous weeks deciding what to do when we realised living in Bowral wasn’t serving our careers or our family life very well.” Also in the mix, was Matt wondering about his career moves and finding that he didn’t want to be a developer anymore. In June, he committed to a career change and a daily commute to Sydney for the past 5-or-so months.

We contemplated a move to San Francisco, a move back to Sydney, and a relocation to Melbourne. And by “contemplated”, I mean some yelling and much crying. I cried just about every one of those May days and even thought I was in the midst of a slightly early mid-life crisis.

Because this was a fork in the road.

And when you get to a fork in the road, you have to decide whether to pick up your baggage and keep going with the flow, or to examine it and choose what you need.

Classic Aprill behaviour is to go with the flow, and because I’m a laid-back sort of person, I’m generally just tagging along. I’m nearly 40; I don’t want to just tag along anymore. I want to be where I’m going, on purpose.

We’re keeping our Bowral place and renting it out—just in case we want to pull the ripcord—and we’ll be moving to Brunswick a few days after Christmas. We’ve found a great place to live and the boys are enrolled at school.

Change is hard, but I can already feel my brain and my creativity waking up again.

I’m feeling positive, though I know I’ll be lost without my sister-friend around the corner.  xx