So, the new plan, which has come about so suddenly I can hardly keep up myself, is this. When I was chatting to my manager about how remotely I could do my job, I did mention the Canberra office. I found out this no longer exists as an office, which most people didn't seem to know. But, he did say, when he was completely unfazed by this idea, that if I wanted to come up from down that way I should go and talk to another girl on my floor who comes up from Canberra. I did happen to know this girl, having met her way back at University, when she was living in college with a good friend from my course, who now also happens to live in Canberra. So, out of curiosity I went to ask her if she actually came up from Canberra, because I didn’t know this. She got all excited about my possibility, and was very convincing and eager, and highly recommended the whole idea, even offering me a lift, such that by the end of the conversation I went away thinking ‘could I really come up to work from Canberra for one day a week?’, which seemed crazy initially ... but the craziness wore off the longer I thought about it.
So, with this sort of in mind, but before the whole caper had been approved through work, I went down to Canberra just for a day of the long weekend to drop a pile of stuff off at my Aunt’s house. I happened to be looking at properties online earlier, a couple were open for inspection, so I looked through two, just to see what you got for your money down there. Later that week I found out I had to be in the office for three days a week, and the whole thing seemed to fall through, because I couldn’t imagine trying to make that work. So, I went back to my new friend at work and told her they weren’t going to let me come in for one day and I couldn’t do the whole thing. So she then says ‘do you want me to see if you can stay where I stay for two nights a week?’ because she stays over up here (she is a team leader so she needs to be in the office more). So, I thought, well, I suppose you can ask (but I did think this set up was even crazier than the first initially too). So she did. So this person she stays with says I can stay there too a couple of nights a week if I want (sounds like a very friendly, easy-going Irish person who lives in Balmain and has spare rooms she is happy to let out rather ad hoc).
So, I ummed and argghed. It was do that, take out a lease on a place here (which I just couldn’t find without paying very large amounts of rent) and continue as is, or I did also think about the Blue Mountains but friends who live up there said to me ‘there is not a lot of intellectual stimulation up here Ali’ (which is perhaps true – great place to visit with your friends, perhaps not such a great place to be by yourself on ordinary weekends), or put my stuff in storage here and sort of drift and think some more (then I was aghast at the price of storage sheds here). So, I thought, well, why not. This way I can move my stuff somewhere etc, and I don’t have to worry about a new job just yet. Sometimes you just have to jump. And I was determined to change something in the next year, even if it killed me.
So, then I discovered that one of the properties I looked through for rent was still available (you have to have inspected them to apply in the ACT), so I just applied for it online, and I got it. I was rather shocked myself really. So, that was only sorted on the Monday, then on the Wednesday I ended up going to Melbourne to be there for the arrival of my nephew. So, it’s kind of crazy. And yesterday I had to drive to Canberra and back to pick up the keys and pay some rent etc. Thus why it is hectic.
But I am excited to do actually be changing something. I felt like my days in Sydney were drawing to an end, and I have family and many old friends in Canberra. My Uncle and Aunt down there used to live down the road from our childhood house in Tamworth, and my Uncle is the one man I can trust and rely on to be there (and yesterday he hitched up his trailer and went to collect a fridge I bought on gumtree – that was his idea – and he is fixing me a microwave etc) and my Aunt would do anything for you (she came around to my new place on Saturday armed with cleaning gear and got to work) – not that I want to go down there and be a nuisance and wear out my welcome, but it will be nice to know that there is somebody there should I need somebody.
Strangely enough, I feel like I would never have even seriously entertained the whole idea were it not for this colleague at work, who has basically made it possible and been incredibly helpful and generous. She is now even giving me a washing machine they have spare. (Seriously, some of the folks I have met though work set the bar very high if we think as Christians we can show Jesus to people simply by “doing good” to others.) So, it’s weird the way that all played out. God seems to have used seemingly casual and random conversations to get me to this point.
Saturday afternoon I was driving down a major four-lane road in Canberra, when a kangaroo decided to hop right across it, lucky to be alive by the time it made it to the other side. I am moving back to the country! It’s a wonder I have been sitting at an office desk in Sydney as long as I have really, given my country roots and wildlife-chasing past. I’m looking forward to seeing the hills in the distance. (But I do also like the fact that it is within an easy drive of Sydney, should there be things on here that I would like to come to.)
So, there is the story thus far, and if I can just make it to the end of this week ...