“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City. Is there a place — a city, a school, a company — about which you think (or thought) the same? Tell us why, and if you ever tried to prove that claim.
I had that thought when I moved to Melbourne when I was 19.
However, in saying that, whilst it was daunting, it certainly wasn’t as daunting as if I had been moving to Sydney or somewhere overseas.
Living in the country, and growing up in a very, very relaxed environment, you become quite accustomed to things that everybody takes for granted. Things like being able to walk the streets at night wasn’t even an issue, because there was nobody out on the street at night. Leaving the house, and not locking the door, because you knew that nobody in the area would break in – but at the same time, we had nothing worth stealing anyway. We knew all our neighbours, hell, we knew pretty much every single person in the entire town, and I reckon if I sat down, I could pretty much name almost every single person who lived there.
Moving to the big city was a complete change. When I first got here, I stayed with my cousins for a couple of months, until I found a place to live. During that time, I was told to ALWAYS be home before it got dark, even traveling on public transport at night could become dangerous. I was told to never speak to strangers, because country folk are always very giving and willing to help, and that’s not something that is generally done in the city. And well, nobody knows their neighbours – it’s kind of sad. I miss not knowing my neighbours… although given the two ‘tribes’ that live on either side of us, I don’t want to know them, because they just fill me with nothing but rage due to their constant yelling and carrying on, and having their group congregate in the hallway of the building, and making so much noise, or doing the courteous thing like waiting until it’s 2am and everybody is asleep before they start cranking up the music and having a party… on a Tuesday.
I’ve been in Melbourne for 12 years now, and I’m quite comfortable. I consider myself a Melbournian, but I’ll always be a country boy at heart – right down to my core, I’m so country it’s almost embarrassing. I may not be dominating this city, but I’m certainly doing a lot better than many others I know, so that’s enough for me. I’ve made a life here, and I’m happy, and I’m in good health. That’s all that matters.