Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sliding doors of my life.

So I grew up in Brisbane.  On the river at Graceville.  Why yes, it does flood.  Here is a picture of a flood.
This is today.
This is flood.  
The house I'm sitting in now as I write this post is the same house I was brought home to as a newborn.  I still accidentally call it home when I am in Brisbane and sometimes when I'm not.

I am incredibly lucky to still have the chance to come here.  Sure, lots of things have changed since I was a kid but plenty of things haven't.  A few I'm a little bitter about, but I can always have therapy for it.

Unwanted change 1: I left my green teddy bear on my bed when I left to go overseas in 1995.  Fully expected it to be there when I returned.  I've never seen it since.

Green teddy was awesome.  Mum put him in the tumble dryer once and all the stuffing went from his arms and his body to his head and legs, so he had tiny little arms and big fat legs and a big fat head (sort of like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, except not).  The he still wouldn't dry so she put him in the oven and he got burnt bits on his head and feet.  He had been mended about 100 times by my Grandma and he was very worn, and as loved as any such teddy ever was.

Anyway, I was so looking forward to seeing him when I got back (in 1997) ...except he'd vanished without a trace.

Unwanted change 2: I saved a large red suitcase full of Barbie dolls, clothes (pretty awesome ones) and...wait for it...inflatable Barbie furniture, in real 70's style decor browns, greens and oranges.  It vanished mysteriously, not doubt chucked out by my Mum who was sick of her five kids leaving stuff in her house and never coming back.  Two of them even left pets.

But the pets never mysteriously vanished.

Strangely, in my old room, the wardrobe is jam packed with about 100 of my stuffed toys that I couldn't give a stuff (pun fully intended) about.  I'd give them all away just to see Green Teddy again.

I left the house in 1995 to live overseas.  We came back briefly in 1997 before moving to Sydney which was where we would find more of the type of work we'd both been doing - product accounting for investment banks (Yay!).

So what does this mean?  What was behind sliding door number 2? Of course we'll never know.  But I sometimes imagine what it might have been like.

Well Mike and I might have bought our first house in Bardon or Paddington before moving out to Ashgrove or Chelmer when we needed more space.

Mike would catch the train to work.  The kids would go to our old schools.

We wouldn't have lost touch with many of our old mates.  Thank goodness for Facebook because we're also still in touch with quite a few.

I would be able to see my Mum and sister and niece more often.  I'd be able to help my sister with my Mum.

We'd be able to see Mike's folks and sister more often.  The kids would get more time with their grandparents, aunt and three cousins.

But they'd miss their cousin who lives in Sydney.  So what can you do?

I might still say togs instead of swimmers.  Not sure if I'd say port instead of suitcase or schoolbag, I don't think port is used even by Queenslanders any more.  Sad.

And all of us would go for the Reds in the rugby and Qld in State Of Origin.  As it stands, the family is divided as we have Waratah supporters and 3 Cockroaches.

Whenever I visit Brisbane I wonder what might have been.  If we'd stayed.

Maybe I'd still have my teddy?

PS.  I started writing this in QLD and finished it in NSW.  Like my life really.