Let me be really honest with you, as much as I would love to write something really upbeat and inspirational, there’s a grey cloud over my heart and all I really just want to talk about is how much the weather here sucks.
You see there’s this jet stream thingy and because of the warming of the arctic and blah blah blah the cold air is being blasted down to us in Europe and totally messing things up. The trees are still bare frames waiting for the leaves to come home to nest, it is cold and soggy and the sky has been taken over by 50 shades of grey.
The worst thing is that I come from a warm climate and I know how good it can be. I am starting to despise people who have sensibly moved over there. I find it unfair! As fate would have it, I opened a Traveller magazine today, straight onto the Qatar Airways advertisement feature proclaiming ‘Australia’s sunniest city just got cool’. Cool now too, huh?
I’m really fucked.
And did you know that the sun shines in Perth for 3,000 hours a year? This sounds like a lot.
Just to make sure the knife was well-lodged, I read on…
‘With 19 city beaches and year-round sunshine, it’s not surprising Perth is regularly voted one of the world’s most livable cities.’
‘This uniquely alfresco destination boasts a city centre park larger than New York’s and the iconic swan river, home to wild dolphins.’
Fuck it sounds amazing!
And I haven’t even got to the part about the humpback whales…
I want to click my little red shoes and get back there. But of course it’s not so simple. I’ve obviously come here to learn something, right? Well, it’s not German so perhaps I’ve come to learn to stop complaining about the weather. Or to stop being a big fat complainer, period.
So I thought I’d better write through this bout of melancholia and despair, for those who can relate, and before the weather man forecasts clearer skies and gives me nothing to blame for my dark mood.
Could it be that I’m just homesick? I want to go back to the place where the grass isn’t actually greener – it’s sun-scorched and brown in patches from having water-saving rostered reticulation days. It’s not all about the grass, you know.
Let me tell you the truth about Europe and let’s not be blinded by our love– we, of the outside world, think it’s just amazing to have so many different countries all grouped together like that – it’s so easy to travel and oh so cultural. Well, when you live here, it still takes time to get to most places. And then there’s that little thing called work that disrupts your destination daydreams. Oh and money. And the weather – did I mention that?
Most Australians who have been to Europe have probably seen more of Europe than your average European has. Wouldn’t it be better just to live in a place that is ‘riding the wave of a creative boom’? According to our friends in Qatar, Perth also has ’boutique bars…chic eateries…stunning sunsets (like, every day)… a car-free paradise of unspoilt bays and beaches’ at Rottnest island, the Swan Valley winery region…oh, and the 19 other beaches.
My dear Mum tried to make me feel better by telling us of the plans to convert the sewerage into drinking water there. To her this is terrible (she’s from India, she has the right to fear sewerage). Personally, I’ll take Perth’s fine sewerage water for a drop of sunshine.
Now I don’t mean to be so melodramatic and pollute the earth with my negativity, but you can give me a little leeway as I may be suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). People in cold countries really do look SAD (this is what people from warm climates think). And Switzerland does have nice mountains and all that, but it’s just a bit SAD that we can’t see them behind the grey clouds.
So what’s the lesson in this Mother Nature? Have we been sent a meteorological metaphor? Is it because I wrote that blog post about Patience? (By the way, I take it all back now). Or because I wrote about loving where you’re at? Is our faith being tested? Will spring show up at the eleventh hour?
Okay I get it … I see the moral of the story and am reaching the crescendo of this cloud-covered tale.
It’s easy to be happy when the sun is shining and everything’s going your way. It’s easy to have faith when miracles are landing in your lap and it’s easy to love when there isn’t any conflict.
It’s also easy for people to like you when you’re being positive and upbeat.
But when these areas are not flowing naturally – are we willing to see things differently?
Am I willing to be happy, despite the ongoing saga of winter?
I’ll let you know how it goes.
But I get the feeling that even the sun wouldn’t make me happy. Have you ever felt that? When we’re on a downer, it can feel like we don’t even want to be happy anymore. Nope. Sorry, I’ve made my decision – I’m sad, mad and bad. We stop seeing the rays of hope. We stop smiling at strangers in the street and scowl at them instead for walking too slow. We stop doing the tried and tested things that we know would cheer us up because all we want to do is wallow. We want to stay low and squirm. We want to get down and dirty with the sadness.
And of course we can try to perk up with the ‘at least’ thoughts. At least I have my health, at least I have a job, at least I have money and food… at least I am actually feeling something rather than dulling my senses with TV and the internet, shopping and food. At least I know I’m sad and am being honest about it.
When I lived in France and had few options work-wise, I would’ve been happy to work as a hotel maid. I just wanted a steady job. Then I could’ve afforded to buy mille feuilles and linger in cafes and have a normal life. Now that I have the normal life, it’s not good enough.
The experts say that the thrill of the new toy only lasts a few days before it loses its lustre. Ha! We laugh at those silly consumers. But is this not the same about the other non-material things in our life? When we have our health, we want more than our health. When we have a job, we want fulfillment. We have money, so we chase excitement. We have hot weather and 19 beaches on hand, so we need reverse-cycle air-conditioning and a backyard pool.
We are always looking up and seeing what’s next – but is this not the part of the human condition that has continued our evolution?
It’s about the journey, not about the destination, they say. And sometimes it’s nice just to stop, sit and sulk for a while.
Disclaimer # 1 : I know there are way worse problems in the world.
Disclaimer #2 : This is not an advertising feature about Perth.
A question for you :
Should we try to find a cure for melancholia or should we just sit and sink for a bit?
Please respond below…