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Previous Entry moving stories Jun. 27th, 2009 @ 01:04 am Next Entry
Why I left Canberra
By Nemo. Age 34 and a bit.

I was born in Canberra. Grew up in the region. 33 years later, I was still there. I have a familiarity with the place. I love Canberra.

But my history there is not continuous. I have travelled, albeit briefly, but each time been reminded myself that I love it. That change brings out the best in me. And that for all the history I have in Canberra, it is not a static city either. Over the last few years some of my Canberra temples have fallen...

my tree - air temple. A place of solitude at my old university grounds. No longer there. At first I mourned it's loss to development, but maybe it came down in a storm? 2 years or so on, it’s still just a bare patch of ground.

the lake - water temple. Recently lakeside development has encroached, and what was once a quiet place by the water now has shopfronts looking over it’s shoulder.

firetwirling in civic - fire temple. After the devastating fires a few years ago, the last remnants of weekly fire meets faded, and despite some halfhearted attempts, has never returned. No core groups has reformed, and firebans in summer provide new deterrent to match the cold in winter.

I started considering it after Europe in 2008. Was it time to change city?

Social groups in Canberra can be limiting. And sometimes that is a good thing - the limited populations brings together groups who, in larger cities, would instead keep to their own clique. The Canberra goth scene is full of dance, life, and joy. The 80s goths, the emo teens, the raver crowd, the gender-experimentals... all mesh as one lovely group, and are welcoming to anyone who isn’t judgemental. You don’t need to be IN their exact crowd to be accepted as part of the larger alt community.

But for all that, there is only one such crowd (and that is but one example), and social inertia can be limiting. My own habits combined with existing assumptions from others about me - exert a powerful stabilising force that maintains a personal status quo. A status quo I was growing weary of. A status quo best broken by leaving. To find the new ‘now’ me. Moving to where I can find my own new voice free from external assumptions. Where external inertia can be set in motion anew, as it inevitably will. This is not the first such time for me.

I wanted to explore a more creative side to myself, in a larger creative community with more opportunity for ad hoc randomness, and opportunity to challenge myself.

I felt I was outgrowing Canberra basically.

So I started talking very quietly to a few friends about the idea shortly after returning from Europe holiday. Though I think even then I’d been thinking about it for a while...

Why I chose Brisbane
Also by Nemo. Still 34 and a bit.

So while I needed a change, I didn’t need to deny my past. I needed a balance of familiarity and freshness. I needed somewhere bigger, but somewhere I would find comfortable.

Overseas would not fit the goal. Sydney would not fit. That left Melbourne or Brisbane. Melbourne has the known art scene I was feeling inclined towards, but is also such a cliche for it. Melbourne had the range of weather I would likely prefer, but not the proportions - I love to swim - that was something I missed in Canberra and didn’t feel I would get in Melbourne, but would in Brisbane. I think it’s also true that I knew more people in Melbourne than in Brisbane, but the people I had long known in Brisbane I was closer to. And it had not escaped my attention either that I had recently made several close new friends in Canberra who were from Brisbane, or that on my previous couple of Brisbane visits I had met new people with whom I got along with well. Brisbane had the vibe and people I sought. At the end of the day, the major factor was people. They tipped the scales.

By mid December I’d made my decision.

Some people have said that when it comes to quitting job and relocating interstate, that to go from ‘yeah, thinking about it’ to ‘having done it’ within little more than 6 months is quite spontaneous. To them I say ‘bah, humbug’. This was quite a slow, measured, thought out and deliberate move to my mind. In late March (I think), I gave notice at work. By mid May I was here.

Is everything perfect? No, not at all - and I didn’t expect it to be. but alot of things have fallen into place well. I am forming new groups of close friends - both those I already knew here and those met since, as well as finding wider social groups... I have an awesome place to live - the Inside Out Zoo (being on the edge of a nature park) - which found me as much as I found it.

So was it the right thing to do? Most definitely.

I have no regrets at all.
Examine my head and find me basically...: thoughtfulthoughtful
Leave a comment
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 26th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
someone hit their saturn return late...
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 27th, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
sure it's not the triple jupiter return coming early? :P

or maybe just my 55th venus returns...

141st mercury?

of course, given my standard joke about my personality being evident from the situation of my birth, a late saturn makes sense... hehe :)
Date:June 27th, 2009 12:58 am (UTC)
I identify so much with a lot of what you've said. You probably know that because we've spoken about it in the past. For my part, I'm leaving because Canberra has no possibility for me, and the absence of possibility carries with it a sense of hopelessness that I can't bear. I like Canberra and don't rule out coming back, but the things that would keep me here can not, even in combination, outweigh the reasons that I have for leaving.

Change is big and scary, and I know people (especially my family) who question whether making such a big change is a good dcision right now. What they're misunderstanding is that things staying as they are is what will be the end of me. Leaving does not put me on a collision course with disaster. It puts me on the path towards the rest of my life. My life in Canberra is over, for now. I hope the people who are worried about my stability will eventually come to understand that.

[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 27th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
Terri, Nemo told me(i hope that is ok) and I am happy that you are making a decision for your own peace of mind and moving forward, and true friends are always there (myself included:))

Nemo, Also i am happy you did this and it was the right thing..but i miss you:P But i am glad you are finding shiny happiness:)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 27th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
Also, nemo is the only one who knows, but i have pretty much decided my time in canberra is just about up..i have some ideas and it won't be within this country. But i need to move forward and I don't think it is going to happen here.
Date:June 27th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, this.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 27th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, a lot of that resonates with my reasons for getting out of dodge.
Fifteen years was enough, they were fifteen really damn good years.
But where I am now is where I want my future to be.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 27th, 2009 07:54 am (UTC)
All of what you've written is exactly here I was when I first moved from Canberra. Then I came back.

I've just had two very long phone calls with people I'm close with about Canberra, work, uni, etc... End result is that I'm most likely leaving Canberra.

And then I find you post... I can't help but feel that it's very serendipitous.

I am glad that you're happy in Brisbane, and that you will never regret moving there. As much as I've spoken down about Brisbane, and for all her faults, I never *regretted* moving there.


: )
Date:June 27th, 2009 11:01 am (UTC)
i say bah humbug! too. =) (though we chose melbourne, which is probably a good thing given i ain't a swimming fan ^-^)

good on you for having no regrets, it was a good choice. =)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 27th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC)
it would help to log in, i think. =)
- Liz
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 27th, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
Me too! Me too! I'm leaving Canberra too! *jumps up and down*
Date:June 27th, 2009 11:27 am (UTC)
You're planning to follow Badger to Melbourne so he can give more quantum physics lectures for you, amirite? :)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 27th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)


I never knew that Jihad starts with a single post to LJ. I always assumed it requires a fatwa...
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 27th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)

Re: Jihad?

[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 29th, 2009 10:27 am (UTC)
damn i missed all the fun
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