Every journey, I suppose, begins with a step. A change, a leap, an about-face, a swing, a jump, a nod – hell, a raised eyebrow will do it. A tiny, physical manifestation that signals the first in a kaleidescopic set of unfurling consequences and the webbed threads they tweak, with effect, on so many levels.
Like every good story, the journey is bettered by some drama – some colour, a diving tail fin or the bang of a start gun. A dancing girl, a waving hankerchief. A speech bubble holding a heavy, bold, brash WHOAH! And if the journey can please include some tears, some hillarity and a puppy, so much the better.
If the story’s looking ugly from the outset and holds little promise of any, or all, of the above, lie. Tell them the journey will get better: it’s fate – bound, signed, sealed, delivered to lady luck, the reverser of fortunes, the harbinger of hope and a good night’s sleep. Tell them, like I recently was, that Goodfellas is ‘like a romantic comedy’. They’ll fall for it.
I booked a flight to Brisbane today. I leave in 34 days. I am turning my back on my job, family, friends, boyfriend-with-dog-attached, house, city of six years, pretty much everything that’s been a part of my life of late. Brisbane is, in case you wondered, 10,273 miles away from London. That’s a rather scary 1,652,313,485 centimeters, if you have time to hang around.
The first domino to fall in my little journey toppled many years ago – as I grew up, I knew that living in Sydney, where I was born, was always something I’d do. Momentum set in and now that the effect has brought me to my last few dominos – my final weeks in London, with my boyfriend, with my family – the trip is just beginning. But the journey – ah, the journey. The scary, sickening, sad, exciting, tiring, energising upheaval I’ve just begun – well, that’s just another wrinkle in the folds of it all. This is not the beginning.