I have had this feeling for a while now.
Each day I wake up in this city I am feeling a little more off-kilter.
Some days this city feels like a big machine that churns you up and spits you out.
The hamster wheel is alive and well.
My parter Lauren and I live in a unit in the inner west of Sydney. We have been living here for about 8 years. In the beginning it seemed like this was a great place to live. We were close to the city , close to family and surrounded by parks. Our local shops were modest and convenient. We felt that we had a good balance and to be honest we loved living in the city.
Over the past 4 years we have noticed a huge shift. As we predicted, new hipster cafes have started opening up and fancy shops have taken over run down convenience stores. Two -dollar shops are now artisan deli's and the cafes have been swallowed up by prams and small designer dogs.
Finding a car park at our local supermarket during peak hour takes about 25 minutes . Public transport can be a gruelling experience for someone that requires a moderate level of personal space.
Soon enough we will be priced out of the area as rents increase.There is no way we could actually ever afford to buy a home here. This is a slightly daunting prospect especially given the fact that we both have well paid jobs and spend modestly.
In the scheme of things I do feel incredibly grateful to be able to rent a house and to live in a beautiful city , but over the last two years I have been wondering if it's really worth it. That constant feeling of being frazzled , juggling work , fighting traffic and as a result, needing to spend all my extra money on acupuncture just to restore the balance.
The perils of being over- sensitive are many!
Although I am an introvert by nature, I find that the older I get the more quiet time I need. I sometimes wonder if this is simply a response to the increasing over-stimulation of day- to- day life.
Lately I gravitate towards every opportunity to be away from the noise. There is nothing more appealing to me than curling up in the sun on our balcony or walking down near the river. I would prefer a dinner at my local Thai with a few friends over big nights on the town. I used to think this was a flaw and that perhaps I was just a little boring. I have come to accept that this is just how I gain my energy back in this highly- strung city.
Part of me is temped to take the plunge and escape to the country with my little family. We have come pretty close to making this decision but at the end of the day fear gets in the way and there is always a very good reason to stay.
Moving away from family and friends is the biggest hurdle and with two little nieces on the way, my heart is torn in many directions. There has been nothing sweeter than being an Aunty to my adorable nephew and I can’t imagine not being able to see him at least weekly. He fills me with an incredible amount of happiness and joy that words simply can't explain. I love that he trusts Lauren and I and that he feels safe with us. Nurturing that relationship is always going to be a huge priority for us and it is not something I would want to change.
On the other hand there are some good reasons to leave.
To start with we could be closer to nature , be able to buy a home, and we would have more time to enjoy the simple things. Given that my photography is always inspired by the landscape I am sure a move could provide endless inspiration for my work.
I don’t think that I am the first person to feel this way. I am curious to know if you feel the same or if you have been brave enough to take the plunge? Was it what you expected or was it simply the case of the grass is always greener? Sometimes I feel like maybe I am just being greedy and that I need to just appreciate what I have.
Tomorrow I might wake up feeling differently and in about 2 weeks when my two little nieces enter the world I am sure I will put these thoughts to one side, at least for a little while anyway...