Learning to fly


Writing yesterday’s blog sent me on a trip down memory lane.

I’ve been trawling through HouseGoesHome’s back catalogue. It’s a painful exercise because those old posts are filled with so many clues and laced with so much anger that I wasn’t conscious of feeling at the time.

Three years ago I wrote a post called When I was 15 …

It was a “then” and “now” affair about the way I thought my life would turn out waaaaaaay back when I was 15.

It’s ironic, because my life has performed a reverse 2 ½ somersault with a 2 ½ twist in pike (degree of difficulty: 3.8) since I wrote that blog. I would never have imagined that three years later I’d be separated from Husband, buying a house solo, working as a travel writer and dating a divine man I met on RSVP.

If an ooky-kooky type with a crystal ball had predicted THAT in 2011 I’d have laughed in her face and demanded my money back.

But life is a funny old bird. She decided it was time to kick me out of the comfortable nest: I needed to be pushed from my comfort zone so I could learn how to fly.

Anyhoo, here’s what my original blog said …

THEN: I dreamed I’d be married at 21 and have a baby at 23. NOW: I finally got married at 32 and had a baby at 36.

THEN: I wanted an emerald green car with tartan seats. Yes, they did exist. NOW: I drive a very battered, very old, silver four-wheel drive.

THEN: I wished my last name was “Green” instead of “House”, so people would stop calling me House on Fire (inspired by my red hair) and asking where my windows were (hardy-ha-ha). NOW: Even after marrying, I kept my last name, having grown rather attached to it over the years. Also, adults don’t usually make fun of each other’s last names (at least not to their faces).

THEN: I briefly flirted with the idea of being a pharmacist so I could mix medicinal concoctions, before conceding I was hopeless at science and resolving to be editor of Dolly magazine instead. NOW: Bizarrely, I’m friends with numerous former editors of Dolly, but never quite managed it myself.

THEN: I wanted a daschund, like my Nan used to have. But Dad said a dog’s place was in the bush, so I cuddled a toy one instead. NOW: I still have the toy daschund, but prefer to cuddle my four chooks, much to their horror.

THEN: I prayed to God every night to help me meet Kevin Bacon (after watching Footloose 23 times). NOW: Footloose has been remade and I haven’t seen it once. I went and saw Crazy Stupid Love instead, and almost wept at the sight of Kevin’s old-man wattle.

THEN: I was what my father would later describe in his speech at my 21st birthday party as “a bit strange” with “all these oddbod friends”. I wore tartan sneakers, Dad’s old green raincoat and a red cap to school, plus a black armband when Split Enz broke up. I was hassled mercilessly. NOW: Husband reckons he’d have hassled me too.

THEN: I was so desperate for my first kiss, I played tonsil hockey with a guy with no front teeth, to the soundtrack of “Nutbush City Limits”, at a school disco. NOW: I’m married to a man who, when we first met, said women sometimes compared him to Harrison Ford. Can’t really see it myself.

THEN: I was painfully shy. NOW: I’m quite capable in social situations, despite considerable inner anxiety. I’ve even been described as “outgoing” by those who don’t know me better.

THEN: I sported a dreadful Farrah-Fawcett-inspired flick hairdo, painstakingly created with curling tongs, that dramatically wilted as the day progressed. NOW: My hair went naturally wild and curly after I had the Sprogs.

THEN: I loved ’80s disco music. NOW: Still lovin’ that ’80s disco music. Sad.

THEN: I wanted to be an exchange student in the United States, but was too shy to go. NOW: I got to be a student’s wife in New York three years ago. No prom though.

THEN: I built a gazillion Lego dream houses and my grandmother photographed every single one (I’ll invite you over for a slide night sometime). NOW: I bought my first house when I was 26 and never looked back. I’ve worked my way through two houses and six apartments. I’ve never met a property guide I haven’t wanted to pore over or an open house I haven’t wanted to visit.

Song of the day: U2 “Lemon”


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