Operation Evacuation

So the last five months have succeeded in breaking me. Have succeeded in tearing me down, leaving behind a shell of a person standing in the rubble of my former personality. All too often, I feel that the part of me that was happy, playful, attractive and fun to be around has died and is rotting away inside me, poisoning me from the inside out. I used to be funny. Now I’m just glum.

Who knew a broken heart could hurt so much?

It would be awfully convenient if I were one of those people who distracts themselves from their pain by becoming busy and productive. Lately I have merely set myself the goal of leaving the house each day. I don’t always succeed. There are times when I’m able to sing, and the physical and emotional awareness that has come from this situation takes my voice and communication to a whole new level. Those are the times that provide a silver lining, and prove to me that I will come out the other end of this a better artist. There are other times, however, when even making sound is a huge ask, and to experience and relay any enjoyment in singing and music is like asking me to spontaneously turn into a unicorn.

As much as I’d like to be, I’m no Hermione Granger.

It was most unfortunate that one of these latter funks happened to coincide with a rather important audition, that I desperately wanted to get. I really did my best, but sadly on that day the “best” I was able to offer was well short of the mark. However, the catastrophe of an audition did serve to illustrate to the school and to myself that things are really not ok. The teachers on the committee who know me and know my voice were quite shocked at the apparent change in personality. And so when I floated the idea of taking some time off school and heading back to Australia, they were very generously on board.

So here I am. In Australia. Running away.

To be honest, taking this kind of decision is pretty momentous for me. I had to pull out of projects, cancel rehearsals and miss classes. I think this is possibly the first time in my life I have put my needs ahead of other people’s expectations of me. The first time I have prioritised taking care of myself over being dutiful and fulfilling my obligations.

I’m spending a month in Australia, traipsing all over the country to visit friends and family, and absorb as much sunshine as possible. I have been looking forward to this for weeks now, but I’m both excited and apprehensive to be here. I’m hoping that taking some time away will allow me to change my perspective and outlook, but I’m afraid that going back will be even more difficult. Or worse, that once I get back to the Netherlands it will be as bad, or even worse than before.

I’m hoping that by spending time with people who know me well, and who know me completely separately from my life in the Netherlands will help me find some sense of self again. I’m hoping that being in a country of such staggering natural beauty will help inspire and distract me out of my gloom. On a purely superficial level, I’m hoping that being in a real summer might get me active and a bit slimmer, and allow me to trade in my moon tan for a skin colour a little less “cave dwelling fish that has never seen sunlight”.

On those last two points however, I think I’m doomed. Caramel milkshakes are way too delicious, exercise is way too much effort, and I have never managed a tan in 26 years. What makes me think this year is any different? A fish can only dream of being a unicorn.

Wish me luck, peeps!

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