Expativersary: Two Years On


My two year expativersary came and went a couple of weeks ago without my even noticing. This must mean that I am not marking time as closely as I was last year at this time. And, as I contemplated writing this post, I was at a loss to find a story arc or theme for the past 12 months. It has just been life, and I can’t suggest that this year my evolution as a person has been particularly marked by the fact that I live so far away from home – which is a milestone in and of itself.

When I look at my thoughts from my first expativersary, I can see how the groundwork was laid for this second and much easier twelve month stint.

I was aching to go home, which I did shortly thereafter. When I got back to Oz, I found a new part-time job to supplement my theatre work. Today, I have just a bit of theatre work here and there that just barely supplements the same part time job, and I am fine with the reversal. Though, I did manage to read 100 Australian plays, mentor some young theatre makers, and interview four more playwrights in some of my spare time. I’ve said goodbye to friends I felt I’d know forever and tried to nurture new friendships. Partner-in-Crime and I did more traveling and have also tried to enjoy Sydney like it was our home.

Becoming more comfortable has meant a real shift in my engagement with the culture: I inadvertently use more Australian phrases in my everyday speech (ring instead of call, mobile instead of cell, “how are you going?” “have a think,” and I’ve even taken up that inflection of going up at the end of a sentence, like it’s a question). A recent work acquaintance said the other day that I have “just a slight American accent,” which was very strange to hear. I use new ingredients in my cooking (fish sauce is a staple, which I never once used at home, passion fruit pulp is a perfect addition to my morning smoothie). I am almost completely used to prices – at least to the extent that I don’t want to cry when entering a grocery store or stomp out of a restaurant, as I felt like doing often when I first moved here, as it has all become a matter of perspective. I’ve become vaguely conversant in Australian politics and pop culture.

And, there are some things which I don’t think I will acclimate to. I haven’t taken up driving, and don’t plan to unless we move out of Sydney; public transport suits me well. I still go through an embarrassing amount of Costco sized Skippy peanut butter and I am not going to learn to like Vegemite. I cringe to do it, but will skip the serial comma, but I will not forget the comma after an introductory clause. Words with Zs have started to look odd, but I still can’t call it a “zed.” I don’t know the first thing about rugby or cricket. Holidays remain the hardest part of living in the Southern hemisphere (I said last year to ask me again this year, and I can now report that they have not gotten easier).

Looking at these meanderings, I think the emergent themes for the year are immersion and acceptance. It wasn’t so much a year to grow as to settle, to become comfortable, and to redefine my identity.

Like last year, I will close with some of the more significant images from the previous twelve months.

Jacarandas in bloom. The loveliest part of the year in Sydney.

Visiting the Martin Luther King Jr Historic Site was the most inspiring thing I did on my trip home.
New Zealand cruise.
Outpost street art festival.
Thanksgiving Down Under.
Trip to Tasmania was one of the highlights of the year.
Meeting wombats in the wild there  was a dream come true.
New Year’s Eve Sydney style!

On my way to being a true blue Aussie – I made a pavlova.

We fell in love with Tuba Skinny, a band from New Orleans who played at the Sydney Festival.

Mimi and me, on one of the several glorious summer afternoons spent on Cockatoo Island. 
Australian Open, where I met Djokovic(‘s picture).
Mimi and I took a photo field trip to the Fish Market.
Partner-in-Crime and I enjoyed a staycation around Sydney.
Opera on the Harbour
ANZAC Day parade.
Yoga retreat.
Slumber partied with the book club girls, and the talented Sydney Smiles created some pretty amazing nail art for us.
Pelicans, Port Stephens
Noosa, Sunshine Coast QLD trip.
Sydney Harbour sunset from Darling Point, where we got married almost two years ago.

3 thoughts on “Expativersary: Two Years On

  1. Lizzie

    Congrats on the anniversary!! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and this post cracked me up. I also refuse to say ‘zed’ and agree the holidays never get any easier! Keep up the great blogging!!

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