A college friend once said that everyone has a center, a place on Earth where they feel more like themselves than anywhere else. For me, it’s long been Melbourne, Australia. As a city, it’s elegant and charming, but also comfortable, like a well broken in pair of jeans.
This time, though, is different. I expected an instantaneous wave of calm to wash over me upon arrival, but it never materialized.
Jerk Brain is taunting me:
Remember how you promised that being here would make you healthier, happier, and whole? How’s that working out for you? Oh, right. It’s not. You’re just as much of a mess in the Southern Hemisphere as you are in the Northern. Crisp high five!
I find that I’m still disconnected from the person I know as myself. It’s strange and unexpected for me to be experiencing the symptoms of depression here. Turns out, depression doesn’t know borders. I’ve built up Melbourne to be my haven, elixir, tonic, and panacea all in one. It isn’t. It’s just a place. A place with the best coffee, beautiful river views, and where you can experience all four seasons in one day.
Over dinner last night, one of my friends suggested very gently that, perhaps, my center has shifted, evolving from a fixed location to a state of being. He intimated that it could be regarded as a form of personal maturation. His suggestion was that, maybe, instead of the temporal and the tangible, I should consider the infinite and the intangible. Rather than grasping at what is just seemingly out of reach, like Tantalus, I can focus on recognizing what is already within. I carry my place with me.
The truth of his words are undeniable. I won’t find peace looking externally. As I keep learning and relearning, there’s no fixing to be done. I’m not broken. I’m in search of a new way of being whole.