So my first post! I have to admit I’ve never been much of a diary writer, though I’ve tried to be numerous times! Let’s hope I’m a better blogger, though judging by the gap between creating my “about” page and writing this first post I’m not that hopeful!!
If you’ve read my ‘about’ page you’ll already know that I met my partner of over two years in a Japanese evening class in October 2010 held here in Oxford where we’re currently living. We had known each other for about a month as friends before we started dating. Originally, the plan was to meet up and practice our Japanese together as his was (and probably still is) more advanced than mine. However the Japanese lessons were kind of abandoned early on as things took a different path 🙂 From the moment we got together, P was pretty adamant that he aimed to travel back to Australia in November 2011, in time to celebrate his younger sister’s 18th birthday that December. As sad as it was to be beginning a relationship that apparently already had an “expiration date” we continued regardless. We had a lot in common, similar interests and tastes in a lot of things and I was determined to make the most of what time we had, whatever happened at the end of that next year.
In the months leading up to November, my life as I knew it took a drastic turn. I was signed off work for a month that July due to illness, a very upsetting and stressful time for me, and in the end, after liaising with my employer it was mutually agreed I would not actually come back to work. I was off work another month and left my job officially in September 2011. This was life changing for me. Whilst many things about my job weren’t ideal, and I’d long been unhappy, I’d worked hard to get into this particular field. It had taken me a full year after graduating from my Masters to get that particular position and there had been many, many, MANY failed interviews in between. Though a mutual decision between my employer and I, the reality of being out of work was completely terrifying. P supported me through all of it, running errands, helping with shopping, offering a shoulder and an ear and basically being a great emotional and physical support. Once he travelled 12 miles – an hour’s bus journey – late at night, arriving at my house at midnight (despite having work the next day) just to give me a hug.
Unbeknownst to me, P actually cancelled his flight back to Australia shortly after this happened, breaking the no doubt difficult news to his parents and sister. It was when he told me that he was staying that he suggested we move in together. I admit I was apprehensive about this, as I’m very independent and was used to house sharing, but it’s completely been the right decision. We got our own place in November 2011 – instead of hopping on a plane P was signing a tenancy agreement! I guess we only seriously started discussing the defacto partner visa in January 2012. After discussing it, we decided it was the next logical step.
Well, over our 12ish months together, P had met just about every important person in my life – my parents, friends, my sister, my colleagues. He’d been to birthday parties, weddings, seen my sister at uni, seen my uni, where I grew up, where I went to school, where I come from. He’d seen every detail of my life. Everything that makes me…me. Whilst I had “met” his family over Skype – his parents, his sister – it’s not the same as physically being there. I felt (actually, I feel) that even though I know a hell of a lot about him, possibly more than anyone, I only know half of him. The person I met in that Japanese class. I know nothing of the “Australian” side of him if you like. I have never seen the country he spent twenty years of his life growing up in. I haven’t seen where he grew up, where he went to school. I don’t know what Melbourne or its suburbs are really like. I’ve only properly met ONE of his friends and I don’t really know his family. P on the other hand has spent a great deal of time with my family now – and he knows them pretty well.
In addition to this, I know he has always intended to go back. His stay in the UK has been a lot more prolonged than he originally anticipated, but in the end, his trip was only meant to be time out to get his thoughts and life in order. He is thinking of going back to university, he’s thinking of a future career and I think he accepts now he can’t go as far as his wants without some sort of higher education. Thanks to the atrocious cost of higher education in this country (not taking into account international student status as well!!) P has accepted it’s not feasible to study for a degree here. He misses his family. I also think to a degree he misses Australia and Melbourne. (Though perhaps in some way that’s due to my obsession with and love of all things Aussie 😀 My unshakeable enthusiasm has probably started rubbing off on him!)
I also think I’m ready for a big life shakeup. These past few years haven’t been the best for me, in fact they’ve been very hard. I sincerely hope making this move, this change, will be an awakening for me. A new start, a new life. Australia is a big step for us and I truly, honestly, hope it holds a bright future for us both. Fingers crossed……..