A Change Is As Good As A Holiday

For those that do not know me personally, I have recently relocated from the stormy and cold city of Sydney, to the sunny, friendly and breathtakingly beautiful state of Queensland. An opportunity came up at work to relocate and after much soul searching (a whole 24 hours) I said yes and then it seemed as if I blinked and it was time to move.

I haven’t talked much about my time in Sydney, it was one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life. I moved after completing a 12 week challenge that reinvigorated my body, I had dreams, I had ambition and a new job and everywhere I went it seemed like everyone around me was shitting all over it. I had one persistent and ever optimistic friend (thanks Sipple!) who encouraged me to keep going for my dreams and if it wasn’t for here I would not have experienced half of what I did in my time there.

Sydney was amazing for my Novastream website, movie premieres, gaming events, networking and connections and I found myself busying my life with this noise and surrounding myself with “things to do” that were distracting me from what was really going on inside. I had up and moved and left all of my friends behind, and instead of taking all I had learnt with me, I fell victim to what I am calling “Sydney Syndrome”, an infectious disease that I found in a lot of people I met with there.

They, like me, had moved to Sydney hoping to achieve their dreams, they had big plans, make it big, get rich, get connected enough that they could then get out and live where they wanted to and all would be right in the world. One of these people (whose name I have changed for the sake of this article) is Mike. Mike had moved here 12 months before I did, working at a low level paying office job in the CBD, a horrible boss, whose dreams had also been squashed by the city lights, he went in day and day out, 5 sometimes 6 days a week and had dreams of running a Google like empire. He had the degree, he had the connections, but the city had beaten him down, told him that too many other people were trying to do the same thing, so what is the point of trying to do it? You will try, fail and then have to come back to work here and will end up resenting yourself and life. No, no, it is easier and more rewarding if you just stick to what you know and leave that to Sundar Pichai’s of the world.

Another friend Bettina, had been living here for 6 years, she wanted to be a news reporter, and now worked in the low level administration for a television studio. She spent her days answering phones, through her window she could see the news desk and coerced with journalists and camera crew all day, sitting there longing for the job, but overtime she thought she tried, she was denied, feeling like she was always overlooked for someone younger, someone prettier so she descended into madness and monotony and decided to stick to what she knew.

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Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a trashing Sydney post, I learned so much from my time there about myself, about other people and about the world. All I will say is that it was definitely not the place for me. I do miss the coffee and the late night shopping combined with the consistent slew of events that the city just seems to pump out day and night throughout the year. Sydney will always have a fond place in my heart, it taught me a lot about myself and revealed some ugly truths that I had to face and deal with.

So where am I now? I am in Queensland, everyday is feeling like a holiday at the moment, I go to work during the day, then in the afternoons and evenings I get to explore some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet (I could possibly be biased here, just a little!) I feel like this place has defrosted me from the inside out. I am dating again, and successfully this time (I think…) work is great, my direction and purpose feel revitalised and the blocks that were stopping me are feeling further and further away. If I get bored or need inspiration I can drive to a beautiful beach, go for a walk in the golden sand, eat ice cream and go on a rollercoaster, and it’s still winter! I feel lucky and blessed to be here and I would not want it any other way.

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Saving Mr Banks

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Tonight for one of my friend’s 30th birthday, part of the festivities was going to see a movie. Originally we were meant to see The Hobbit, and thanks to the pleading and no no no from his wife, we decided to see Saving Mr Banks instead. For those not in the know, the film follows the life of author P.L Travers as she goes through the motions of signing her novel rights of the book Mary Poppins to Walt Disney to make it into the film that we all remember from our childhood Mary Poppins. 

Mrs Travers (as she likes to be called) is a tough old thing, she is very protective of her writing and characters and doesn’t want the story to turn into a typical Disney cartoony feature. She spends 20 years going back and forth with the rights before she actually agrees to come to America and look over scripts and hand over the rights. She is intricate in every decision made about these characters, down to the way they look, they act, where they live, what the house looks like. One of the characters announces about this “Does it matter?” and while people watching this laugh and agree, I couldn’t help but sit there and answer back “yes it fucking does!” 

To anyone who is not a creative person, this woman looks like a crazy, unsociable bitch, but to me she looks like an incredibly gifted and talented writer who knew her characters inside out, she knew what they wore, how they acted, where they would live, what it would look like and clung them so close to her chest, for anyone to suggest anything different would just be ridiculous. As a writer I understand and relate to this whole heartedly. 

The family is based on her own as a child,  as the story of the Mary Poppins moves along, so does the back story about her childhood, a horrific and troubled one at that. Some of the stories I have written have family members and friends in them and I would feel exactly the same about someone coming in and changing them around. 

After the film (and I was done crying and wiping up my tears) I got to thinking about the high amount of book turned into movie that litter our screens these days. I had to sit down and think did all these book authors have the same amount of scrutiny or do they just sign away on the dotted line, accept their large cheque and write their next book? 

The amount of atrocious and abysmal book to film adaptions I have seen in the last 10 years, I could not help but feel that this must be the case 9 times out of 10, and what about authors that are deceased and not here to oversee their works being reinvented for a new generation, would they approve? What does that leave of their legacy if the wrong message is being relayed? 

Apart from being an amazing movie, it also helped me a lot as a writer, and spurred me to keep going with my creative works (some of which I may end up posting here for your reading pleasure at some stage!) one of the lines that stuck out to me from this film was “As writers we create the world that makes sense to us, we make things how we see them, not as they are and this is how we survive.”