On Friday I had dinner with two of my dearest and longest friends, Maggie and Sam. In April this year, I celebrated two years in Melbourne, and Maggie and Sam recently celebrated three. We’ve been friends for about 13 years and I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid at their wedding five years ago. Their move to Melbourne is the best thing they’ve done, and my move to Melbourne is the best thing I’ve done. At dinner, Maggie shared that she is helping a friend edit a magazine article about transitioning to a new city. She asked me a favour; to email her some advice that I would give to people transitioning to a new city. So it got me thinking about my transition experience from Brisbane to Melbourne.
In 2013, I was so ready to leave Brisbane. Although, like any shift into the new and unknown, I was initially met with challenges. After working with The Office Psychopath in my first short-lived role, I then had the horror of dealing with Centrelink for four months (cue blackout rage). Thankfully, I had the support and encouragement of my parents, a welcoming place to stay with my cousin and her boyfriend (until I found my own place) and my new journalism course to get me through this confronting and demoralising experience. What followed was a morale-boosting contract role which ended with a job offer from them, and a job offer from my current place of employment. I now work in a job that I enjoy and with people who I adore, and I’m maintaining an 81% GPA in a course that I love. The only other downside of my Melbourne experience was one year ago (almost to the day) getting my heart absolutely crushed by someone who I thought was going to be the love of my life. He turned out to be a sociopath instead. So it’s been back onto Tinder and OkCupid, and unlike my friendship circles in Brisbane, most of my girlfriends in Melbourne are single – so we’re all in it together and it’s been comforting to share the mostly disappointing experience with lots of laughs!
Despite the two hiccups along the way, my transition and subsequent immersion into my new city has been such a positive experience. I feel so much more independent living in Melbourne. I feel so comfortable here, I feel myself here. I’ve begun to recognise my potential as a writer, a person with eclectic interests – something I feel Melbourne’s culture really supports, challenge myself professionally and enjoy friendships with new, wonderful people I never would have met in Brisbane, and probably embrace my inner hipster! Since being in Melbourne, I’ve travelled overseas twice – to Japan and New York City. It’s been such a relief to return home to Melbourne after being to two of my most favourite places in the world. Melbourne, in its own little way is like New York City.
You are who you surround yourself with. All my Melbourne friends that I’ve made over the past two years have been nothing but kind and supportive, and I hope I’ve been the same to them. So I give a very special mention to Giselle, Tenneil, Bridget, Meg, Kyle, Peter, Dan, Jacqui, Lauren, James, Kayla, Fraser, Ashlee (bonus cousin point!), Nicole, Selina, James, Ashley, Tim, Kess, Adam, Erin, Susan, Jordan, Shalini and Luke. And of course to my Brisbane friends who are in Melbourne with me: Jess, Bre, Eric, Emma, Maggie and Sam.
Within two years, I hope to transition to another new city – New York City. I hope that I remember to take my own advice of trusting my gut, having some savings behind me, doing some research and making the most of the opportunities that come my way.
*Author’s note: The real yellow brick road is believed to be in New York (reference: Roadside America)