Solastalgia

Dear Readers,

I’m thrilled with the response to the last post. It felt good to let that story from last year go, after it took so long to write. I don’t know if it’s nostalgia, or if I’m trying to find some moral to my own meta-narrative, but I’ve been thinking about the past lately. Perhaps it’s the impending milestone birthday. Perhaps I’m clearing out the proverbial closet before I enter a new phase of adulthood and hopefully get better clothes to put in said closet.

This blog turned 3 the other week, but I’ve been blogging for nearly 13 years. That’s nearly half my life. I’m now aiming to post every week until I turn 30. That’s in 10 weeks. I’ll let you know if I figure anything out by then.

Well, here goes. Thanks for sticking with me old chums.

Fondest Regards,

-DD

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On this very day, nine months ago, I sat on a log on Turner’s Beach early in the morning. It was so cold I’d had to unpack my suitcase to find my beanie and gloves, before bringing my muesli down to eat on the beach. It had only been an hour since I’d driven off the boat when it arrived in Devonport, my car packed with everything I owned- mainly clothes and books and camping gear. It had only been a day since I left Melbourne and farewelled the only man I’d been on more than five dates with in the last six years.

I wrote: I try to gather my thoughts but they are everywhere – excitement about work, nature and stability, sad and weary at leaving this man, my friends, family and dancing. Five months in Tassie. Two in Alice. Then not sure. This is my life. I’m not for the first time doubting it. Maybe it’s time to start teaching. Not to run away or give up on anything, but to chose to run towards and start a different path, a different lifestyle with different priorities.

It had been a happy Melbourne summer, but there I was in cold rural Tasmania. I sat on a log and looked at the sea. Even though my Gran disagreed, I knew I’d made the right choice moving here for work. It would be nothing like the desert.

A woman emerged from the fog riding a horse, cantering along the beach then quickly disappearing back into the fog.

Turners beach tasmania

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On this day, exactly one week ago, I was sitting on the balcony of a spa cottage, looking through the tall trees to Lake St Clair in the morning. The sun was still low, dancing silver on the still water and hazing golden through the forest on the other side of the lake. There was sun on the side of my face, just a breath of breeze and bird calls. I could just see a glimpse in the distance of the mountain I’d walk up that day with a man still asleep in the cottage.

I wrote: I think this silver fox is my lover. I do want a deeper connection but maybe a lover is ok. Maybe I’m not settling for less or trying to be happy with whatever I can get. Maybe if I keep focusing on the outcome, on the end game of sharing my life with someone the way I had imagined, if I discard anything but the ideal then I’ll miss out. On connecting with anyone.

 

Lake St Clair TAsmania

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Today, this afternoon, I sat on the same log on Turners Beach. The sky was grey. I took some photos then dug my feet into the sand and closed my eyes. I held my own hand. I breathed in and out. I could hear the waves and the wind carrying little echoes of two ladies gently nattering as they walked their dogs. I stayed sitting there for a while. I picked up a smooth rock that felt nice in my hand. I put it back down again and stood up.

I walked slowly along the sand, solo. Just as I had done so many times before and just as I knew I would continue to do. With my head up, with my eyes on the horizon and with an undeniable hint of my signature swagger, I walked the best way I knew how – alone, but not lonely.

Turners Beach Tasmania

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