We’re all a little broken.

I’ve found myself in a lucky conundrum where I need to decide between money and companionship.

As you’ve probably heard, via facebook, my blog or spilling out of my mouth the misery I felt at my last hostel: the one filled with “kids” “looking” for work. So I made a decision to leave, which was the best decision because I’ve found myself in such a better hostel. One that truly feels more like a home than a hostel, with a few annoyances from the property rather than from the occupiers.

This hostel is full of a beautiful shade of people who are here to work, travel, explore or find something to love. Everyone works and everyone chats when they get home from work. I was also lucky enough to be given the gift of being offered two jobs within the span of the one week I was looking.

So I’ve landed a really nice job working at a brand new restaurant opening this week. The opportunity is exciting on so many levels, however as today was my first day of training I realized that despite what my mind romanticized, working at a restaurant in Australia is eerily familiar to working in a restaurant in America.

I was so eager to get out of Chicago and start a life in Australia and then when I got to Australia I realized that it wasn’t what I expected and fought hard against the tide to regain what feels like the stability I abandoned 2 months ago. Of course it’s different, because I am still out of my comfort zone and I knew I was going to need money to sustain my choice of action.

Melbourne met me with some adversity when I first arrived since I was quickly feeling defeated before I even pressed “Send” on my resumes. I got the job I wanted and now I wait for the paychecks. I had a few VERY GOOD nights in Melbs. The kind of nights that make it impossible to call my mother and ask her to float me a few bucks until my first payday.

So the choice I’m making tonight is – do I stay at the more expensive hostel, where I feel a camaraderie or switch to the least expensive hostel where I will be able to save a few more bucks to cushion the “first pay check black hole of finances” period and possibly be in a state of constant sleep deprivation as I will be in a room with 4 times as many people as I am now.

It’s hard to imagine such a frivolous choice being so difficult to make: money or friends. Although I didn’t necessarily come here for friends, I think it’s a pretty amazing circumstance when 22 strangers can live together in harmony and look forward to seeing each other and hanging out with each other after work and on the weekends.

I also had a nice moment of clarity this week when I realized the universe was presenting similar situations over and over, to me. I felt myself constantly in situations where there were loads of people around me getting on fabulously and I sat around as an outsider. I know I am a little bit of a difficult person to please and I prefer a good philosophical and existential rhetoric over a series of “I love my own voice” monologues any day, but good conversation is hard to find.

People keep telling me I put too much into my hope chest for Melbourne and that coming from LA, NY and Chicago I have abnormal expectations for a city. This is a city that requires engaging oneself in the offerings. New York is the type of city where trouble comes and finds you. You can be sitting at home and still something will happen. Whilst the creative vanguard of Victoria requires you to want to be here, and be a part of it.

From afar, it seems like it’s all segregated and doesn’t fit together. Then it starts to reveal itself as part of a bigger picture and it is more obvious that people here are more alike than different because they’re all after similar things. Everyone wants a story. Everyone needs a catharsis. They need to feel… important, wanted, needed, looked after, special, different, sane, validated, appreciated, understood or maybe even misunderstood.

It’s a series of breaking down the persistently forging walls we build around ourselves and hoping for a glimpse of another’s falling walls to realize how similar we are. A wise man at my current hostel once said “we’re all a little broken.” It’s more humorous, than accusing, don’t worry, but there’s definitely truth in it.

I followed my gut to Melbourne, and now that I am here I am going to give it a real shot. Every thing has opened up, not as planned but as needed. My next step is to stop fighting against the waves and to try surfing them instead.


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