The prospect of moving to Sydney is exciting, I have been spending time researching property prices and exchange rates. I’m deliberating whether to sell up straight away or wait for the Olympics in 2012. Property prices in London are depressed whilst in Sydney they are up, up, up! The exchange rate is the worst it has ever been. Should I ship my car? Will I buy a flat here straight away or rent for a while? I will need to find medical professionals in Sydney: a surgeon and oncologist. Get a driving licence. Find out about utilities, an accountant, tax situations. It is keeping my mind busy at least.
Yet I am aware that moving will necessarily involve a period of real loneliness. I have found Sydney to be full of kind, generous people: people who have scooped me up in a time of crisis and given me spiritual, emotional and practical support. But I miss my friends in London, friends with whom I have built relationships as strong and flexible and beautiful as Beech trees over many years.
They are one hundred-percenters, people who I can rely upon for honesty. I don’t want friends to tell me what I want to hear, I want friends who have the courage to tell me what they really think. I mean, if you had bad breath you would want someone to let you know. Wouldn’t you? I value self-honesty. Without that one cannot really be honest with others. Without honesty there can be no trust. Without trust there can be no intimacy. Without intimacy there can be no love. Without love there can be no friendship.
I Skype Sheldon. “You’re doing the right thing Lily, “ he encourages me, “it’s not like you’re running off to live on some Indonesian island. This is a positive move. Consider this: at the outbreak of World War Two the British were flying around in bi-planes. By the end of it we had jet engines, radar, computers. You are going to be stronger after all this.” I picture my future self, armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and the like. I consider for a moment going round and putting a missile up Nick’s backside. But I take Sheldon’s point. As he says, there are two possible ways to go: descend into bitterness or take a big step forward into the unknown. And in reality, isn’t that the choice that we have every day, in every situation?
I’m sure that I will hesitate many times along the road but I have made my decision. I am moving to Sydney. Anyway, I have to now that I’ve told my mum about it.
My mind turns to devising sneaky ways that I might manipulate all my friends into coming to visit me in Australia.