My driver’s licence expired back in October, but I only realised yesterday. According to my Australian driver’s licence I am a resident of the state of Queensland, but I’m currently staying in the state of NSW with my parents, but in truth I live in the Philippines. Confused?
Having no driver’s licence mean I must make an immediate decision about where I actually live, but I have this intense aversion to moving forward with it. Maybe the procrastination is based on how much of my identity is connected to a place.
“Where are you from?” asks almost every new person I meet.
This is even more tricky in the Philippines, because Jerry (the boy I am adopting) and other friends there are curious to see pictures of where I live. And what do I tell them because my initial thought is always I don’t know! Do they mean where do I live now? Where was I born? Or where do I call home? Because actually for me, each of those places is different.
For me home is a tiny little town in Far-north Queensland called Mission Beach, my elderly parents live in NSW in the same place I was born, but I live most of my life abroad. I’m adopting a boy in the Philippines and for the next few years at least that will be ‘home’. But Mission Beach and Far-north Queensland call to me in the same way western Queensland called to my uncle.
Fresh in my mind are the conversations in the last year of Uncle Lincoln’s life, who left the place of his heart to help my grandmother when his father became sick. Returning interstate to the family farm (despite promising faithfully to return to his beloved Queensland), he never made it back and I find that so heartbreaking.
Every single time I start thinking about the choices and mandatory decisions required around my fixed address I get stressed. I find something else to do and put it off in a way that is unhealthy. Even typing this now my heart is racing and I feel strangely troubled about it. Though truthfully I feel closer to an answer that I was typing the first paragraph, in fact the answer is right here on the page.
Answers, decisions, choices, identity: the circle of life.
© Melinda Irvine
Everyday Inspiration: Day 3 (One-word inspiration)