Thursday, April 21, 2005

A slice o' Sugar and Spice



I can’t count the number of times people have met me and said. “You know S&S you’re an enigma, wrapped in a puzzle, wrapped in a cardigan,” or sumthin’, sumthin’. So you want to know the real story behind Sugar and Spice? A glimsp into the world unknown? Here goes…

I was born early morning on this day 24 years ago to two young bright eyed on-the-verge-of-parenthood parents.

My parents lived in a small country town (pop:1500) when I was born. Story has it that as I was pushing my way through the birth canal my Dad went a little ‘get the wife comfortable’ crazy. He got the car started, pushed the seat way back and turned the heating up to ‘stifling’. To this day we’re not sure why he was hell bent on making Mum give birth in a dehydrated state, nonetheless mother and unborn me made it to the Hospital where within 2 hours I popped my baked head out of my Mums oven.

Being the oldest ensures you always have a bit of ‘only child syndrome’, if only for a little while. I was in my terrible two’s when my first sister appeared, just as Mum lost a substantial amount of weight. Then another two years later my youngest sister mysteriously appeared in a similar fashion. I like both my sisters stacks now, but I’m pretty sure I was the wicked older sister for many years. Actually, they tell me I was, which means they may not have liked me then, but we’re now close enough that they can pick on me about it now. Oh, how times have changed!

We all grew up in the aforementioned small country town, where literally half the population were our relatives. It was a swell place. I remember never feeling at risk and roaming free wherever I chose. Alas small country towns are claustrophobic places where your business is everyone’s business. Thus my parents decided to move ‘into town’ (pop: 15 000) in Australia’s bicentennial year.

This was great because I got my own room AND got to choose what colour it was painted (peach, which I then had to live with for 10 years). That room and I saw a lot of ups and downs. There were posters of Bros and Kylie which were ripped down and replaced by ‘deep’ adolescent drawings that my ‘deep’ friends and I drew for each other. The peach was eventually taken over with terrible snippets of poetry and ‘Save Jabiluka’ posters. The carpet absorbed the musky odours of Nag Champa and clumps were stuck together with wax from overexcited candles. My cupboard spewed all my oversized black clothing over my floor, amongst the books and Nirvana cd covers.

One day, upon emerging from my den, I suggested to my parents that I’d like to live overseas for a year. As my parents never saw me apart from my slinking to the bathroom or pantry, they thought this a good and ‘strengthening’ exercise. So at the tender and sensitive age of 16 I boarded a plane to the land of Danes where I was to live with a family I had never met and go to a school where I couldn’t speaka the language.

I consider this as the breaking point. Ultimately considered the best thing I’ve ever done. One day I remember thinking to myself. “Nobody here knows me, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want, be friends with anyone I don’t like or believe in anything I don’t want to believe in.” I’d started afresh.

I made friends with an amazing, dedicated and talented group of individuals. I am happy to say that they are still my friends today. During this year I remembered what confidence, individuality, responsibility, family and friendship were all about. I brought all these trinkets home with me and have kept them in my pocket ever since.

I returned to Aus one year older and a lot braver. All my friends I’d had at High School had moved on a year and so I had to forge new friendships. Lucky for me, because I met many of my favourite people with whom I am still fast friends with.

We moved to Melbourne together to study and work and be ‘independent’, which really meant we’d find somewhere to live and get our parents to pay rent. Heart breakingly at the time my parents were not in a rent paying situation and I moved into a shoebox with my Dad.

My Dad had been working in Melbourne and Sydney for the past 10 years. Although potentially devastating for my parents relationship they made it through 14 years of living apart in distance with love, communication and understanding. In my eyes my mother will always be the most amazing person for keeping our family together. When I grow up, if I’m half the woman she is I’ll be content.

My Dad was always a most important figure in my life, though a diminished one out of a lack of presence. When I moved in with him we both had to give a little. Neither of us did. We moved around each other uncomfortably for 2 years. I’ve always had the greatest amount of respect for my father. He’s generous, strong, loving and driven. I am also these things; we just couldn’t see the other person’s side ever. Since now living apart for 3 years we have established a tight and deep respect for each other at home and work – having chosen the same working industry.

My whole family was reunited 3 years ago when my Mum and youngest sister moved up to the big smoke. We now all live within one suburb of each other. If I ever need anything in my life I know any member of my family will be there in a second. In the meantime they’re good for providing sarcasm and wit.

So today I’m 24 and I’m happy in love, profession, home, friendship and family life. On this day the 21st of April, 2005 I am one contented little blogger.