Knowing Yourself

Today we took a drive from The Shire over to tony Elizabeth Bay to pick up a piece of furniture. I’ve never been to that part of Sydney/NSW, so my eyes were peeled the whole way. We drove through Kings Cross, Sydney’s red-light district, but on a nice Sunday morning, it was completely innocuous. No prostitutes to be found; only lots of little cafes, with mostly well-groomed diners spilling out onto the sidewalks, enjoying their coffees and eggs and lovely Aussie bacon. Ya’ll haven’t experienced bacon til you’ve had Australian bacon. It actually has meat on it. But I digress.

As we progressed from Kings Cross, which is kind of Georgetownish, we rolled into clean, inviting Elizabeth Bay…home to Russell Crowe, gays, and the financially gifted. As we cruised through its immaculate lanes and avenues, I was drawn in by the elegant boutiques and eateries, and for the 10 minutes we were there, I forgot all the things I don’t like about being here, cause for 10 minutes, I felt like I was home. Not home like Charlotte, but home as in this is what feeds my soul. It wasn’t until we had picked up our furniture and I was whisked out without the chance for a leisurely latte in one of those sexy little breakfast nooks that I again realized that there is no doubt that I am a city girl at heart. That what I love more than anything is the ambiance of elegance. Thoughtful design. Cleanliness and modernity. Civility. A place where people always wear shoes and shirts.

Some people may call this snobbery or materialism, but that is not what it is. Although there is indeed a correlation between these places and money, I do not need to buy everything in those places to enjoy them. What they offer me is an aesthetic experience that makes me feel gratified and satiated…just plain good.

I got the same feeling yesterday as I read a four-month-old old issue of Australia’s Vogue Entertaining + Travel magazine (in the tub, with champers [champagne], of course). The magazine highlighted some of Sydney’s most popular restaurants, chefs, and shopping. As I flipped through page after page of bewitching boites and beguiling boutiques, I felt inspired. Invigorated. I wanted to jump on the train and go discover these compelling locales with their lacquered facades. I thought to myself, this is why people love Sydney.

Back to me in the car watching Elizabeth Bay shrinking in the rear-view mirror. I told C I’m going to get myself a job in the city, that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t care if it’s a 45-minute train ride both ways. I don’t care if everyone else is going in the same direction. I know in my heart that the only way I’ll make it here in Oz is if I put myself in those places that nourish the intellectual in me, the creative in me. The only way for me to be truly happy, all the way around, is to envelop myself in an environment that soothes me, that gels with me. Since I now truly have a world-class city at my disposal, it’s up to me to break into it and make it mine.


  1. posted by holls
    Tue, 02/24/2009 – 1:49pm
    I think this is my favorite posting by far. You are GETTING it. Find what you know you will love and gravitate towards it. I’m rooting for you. xoxo, holls

  2. posted by Florida Girl In Sydney
    Thu, 03/12/2009 – 6:02pm
    I live right near there, not meaning to make you feel even sadder, but next time you’re in these parts– send me an email.

  3. posted by Anonymous
    Thu, 03/12/2009 – 8:42pm
    Great post. You are so talented. I can COMPLETELY relate to everything you wrote. I have lived here for nearly 6 years now, but my hubby is Aussie and has owned a house in the north-western suburbs for the last 15 years. Although I love our home, I don’t love the location. I am in Sydney after all… a city with a huge river running through it, a city the hugs the shores of the Pacific. I wanted to BE in the city. But see, to have a nice home we just can’t afford to live IN the city. So I compromise. Like you mentioned, I got myself a great job (coincidentally working for a big American company) in the city. My office overlooks the harbour and I see the opera house from my desk. I love it. I commute on the train an hour to and from work. But for me, it is worth it. If that is what makes you happy, the city, I encourage you to do it.

  4. posted by V
    Fri, 03/13/2009 – 6:15am

    Thank you! OK, you give me real hope. Sounds like we probably have a lot in common. Good for you for making it work (and with an Opera House view)! Phenomenal. I am both envious and proud of you.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective. I am deeply appreciative!

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