Keeping up with the Jones’
Ahhhh 10 years ago I was used to pollution, smog and neighbors that were so close that we could hear everything. And yes, I mean everything. The hustle and bustle of suburban life in Melbourne was very much the norm for me.
Then it happened. Mum and Dad moved out of home and left me to fend for myself in the big smoke. They totally screwed up my grand plans of moving out of home and making my mark on the world out there. How Freaking RUDE!!!
Anyway, Dad had retired and mum wanted to move back to the country where she had grown up. So off they went on their retirement adventure. I got in the car one weekend and drove the 3 long hours to visit them.
I fell in love with this pretty little place.The streets were so wide, the houses had backyards, people in the street said ‘hello’ even though they had no idea who I was.
I was so keen on it I stopped in at the real estates to check out some houses…. Living here would be like a relaxing holiday compared to Melbourne.
Then I found my home….. It was instant in my mind what I had to do. Transfer from my job in Melbourne, buy this cute little house and enjoy the holiday….. Ahhhh the serenity……
Now back to reality…..
What I hadn’t counted on was the severe culture shock that was about to hit me…. hard.
Everything seemed to go slower in the country and it drove me nuts. I couldn’t buy anything that I wanted or needed here. People weren’t friendly at all. They were clicky, and not excited about welcoming a newcomer into their social groups. I felt like the worlds biggest outcast. Something had to give….
Yep you guessed it….. my hips, my back, even the elasticity in my skin. I met Brian and had kids. 🙂
Having children in a small country town is the perfect friend magnet. All of a sudden you become approachable for a reason. You get put into social groups with others that understand what you’re going through and that are actually interested in your existence.
Through these groups I have met some amazing women and their families. Thanks to my children and their activities I have met even more of these women, that have turned into life long friends… Ladies you know who you are!!
But here comes the downside….
In Melbourne you are anonymous. In the country EVERYONE knows you.
You can’t fart without someone gossiping about it. You can’t shop without people gawking at you. You most certainly can’t buy a pregnancy test in peace, that I can assure you.
There is definitely a stigma around what you look like, which part of town you live in, what kind of car you drive and what clothes you wear. Then it moves on to who you are friends with, what sports you play, where you work…. the list goes on.
So for the best part of 4 years I tried to play the game for fear of being left with no friends again. It’s not easy keeping up with the jones’ and it has been a long road to finding ‘ME’ again.
We went through many a tough time with unemployment, financial worries, expanding the family, death of relatives etc all whilst we put on a brave face, faking our way through social situations like we were on top of the world.
Then enough was enough.
I couldn’t do it anymore, it was causing more damage than it was worth and it had to stop. So began the long journey of recovery. An acceptance of who we are, where we are and what we want from life.
I am pleased to say I am well on the other side of it all now and my confidence is booming. I don’t need the
acceptance of some 2 bob snob to make me feel like I belong. I am happy with the life we have created for ourselves, stranger’s looks of amazement when we’re all out together will no longer bring on the sweats and I couldn’t care less what street we live in, what car we drive or what shop I buy my kids clothes from.
I am happy, my family are happy and we are loving life right now!
Thank-you to the little birdy that informed me of some truths. Thank-you to the lady that was so desperately fake it prompted me to write this post and Thank-you to my dear dear friends that couldn’t give a bugger about anything other than being my friend.
We are who we are.
No amount of faking can change that.
Life’s lesson learned. 🙂