Today marks one month since I have arrived to Darwin, and what a whirlwind of a month it has been! I did not anticipate the challenges I would experience completely changing my life. You know it will be hard, but thinking it and doing it are two very different things. I was feeling stagnant in Perth for awhile, stuck in mud, everything was the same, and although I had a great life I felt compelled to shake it all up and start fresh. Well I definitely got more than I bargained for!
Like a summertime snake I feel like I have had to shed a few layers, Darwin has already changed me. Packing up my belongings and discarding unused items around my house before I left, was liberating and freeing. Arriving here was exciting! Meeting new people and trying out loads of new things feels exhilarating. I am living again! I can breathe again. I am expanding, and learning and evolving once again at a more rapid rate. And isn’t this what it’s all about? Growing and learning and achieving.
I had to really face myself in the last few weeks to overcome some serious challenges. I had a few panic attacks, a full blown anxiety attack, comparable to when my Mum died. It was weird. I guess when the carpet is whipped out from under you and everything is new, the immensity of the change is un-comprehendable, inconceivable…( Princess Bride reference). Slowly my balls have started falling into place, they are still moving around but wow is it exciting! I am finally back in the achievable stress/pressure bell curve, and no more massive anxiety attacks, please! BTW, I found laying on the ground and then stepping in the shower to enable the water to do its calming wash that stress away trick work for me.
My work has been the biggest stressor. I actually realised something about myself in the first few weeks, I think I have mild Aspergers. I literally had a meltdown when things didn’t go my way. I see things too black and white, right and wrong, yes and no. I have known this about myself for a long time, but in a new environment it is more confronting. I have been a bit of a bitch to some people around me at times, purely because I found them incompetent, or not helpful. Not good. I felt pretty incompetent myself dealing with some of my classes this last few weeks, I feel like a graduate again, thrown in the deep end of shark invested waters, every day swimming out, hoping for the best, and then somehow swimming back to shore, heaving and almost weeping with relief to have survived another day. I elaborate… but honestly, its a madhouse! I have 2 brilliant classes that I can really get on with and do some great dance stuff with, but 2 other classes, are quite naughty and full of kids who have BIG issues. Anyhow, we are getting there, slowly but surely. I know they just have shit lives, the naughty ones, and its my job to make them feel good, happier, safe, calm, and better little humans. Tough gig, but so far I got this!
I moved into a share house a couple of weeks ago too, so that has been a new interesting experience. I live with 4 other people! Somehow we all manage to live cohesively and its not loud and rowdy, but everyone is respectful of each other, and mostly keeps to themselves. Unless I harass them to play games with me. Lol. You know I love my board games!
I giggled out loud to myself hysterically in the shower last night as I sampled 4 body washes, share houses can be fun! And I certainly do not feel lonely, that is what I wanted to avoid.
I live close to the beach, where I can cycle my bike along, take walks, have picnics, and there is a great outdoor pool for lap swimming with ocean views, it really is lovely. Tree lined streets full of bougainvilleas, palms, and other tropical beauties I like this new suburb of Nightcliff. It always feels cooler along here by afternoon too with the slight sea breeze cooling a balmy repetitive 32 degree day. It stays the same temperature here, with varied degrees of humidity. So far I quite like the weather.
Last weekend I went down to Katherine, about 3 hours south of Darwin. I took a new friend with me and we had a great time! We camped out at the caravan park, I LOVE CARAVAN PARKS. They totally appeal to my gypsy blood. I have camper van envy every time, and love checking out all the different set ups. And ofcourse I chat to everyone and make friends and learn cool stuff and instantly feel like I just want to camper van around Australia. Totally my plan in coming years.
On the way down we firstly went to Edith Falls which was beautiful for swimming and hiking. The next day we went out to Katherine Gorge for a great big hike, and saw some amazing lookouts and enjoyed the trees and flowers. Then in the afternoon we went to Mataranka hot springs and Bitter springs which are the most amazing natural hot pools. So that was fun. Katherine springs were also really good and more relaxing with less people, because people are annoying. Lol.
I felt really rejuvenated from my weekend out of town, I just love being out in the bush, and I know this is my best coping strategy, being in nature. My next trip I have planned to go out to Jabiru and Kakadu National park, my friend has a boat too so we will try our luck catching some barramundi and I will try not to get eaten by a crocodile. Argh!! I aim to enjoy as many new experiences out here as I can! Bring it on!
So that is a bit of a wrap up so far. So much more to write but I will keep you up to date with more snippets of excitement soon! One more thing before I sign out, the Darwin festival has just started here, and I went to the most amazing show last night, a sexy cabaret called Blanc de Blanc, AMAZING!!! So I am really looking forward to seeing as many shows as I can while the festival is on. So much going on here!
Oh and I played lawn bowls with some old bush chooks the other week (their words not mine, lol), team of four, and I came 2nd! Barefoot lawn bowls is another great way to relax and enjoy a balmy Darwin evening.
I also continue to do my art everyday and have nearly finished another big art book, that is 3 full books now! It is all about repeating good routines, and it is a great mindfulness activity too.
Okay, hope you enjoyed my recount of recent weeks, I would love to hear from you in my comments!
Love Anita xx