I spent most of my teenage years wishing myself off this island.
Once my wish had come true I spent a few more years pretending that I was never from this island.
And all of a sudden Tassie came into fashion.
In the space of about a year, the awkward “oh….” I was always met with when I told people where I’m from was replaced with the most enthusiastic “OHHHWOWWWWIVEALWAYSWANTEDTOGOTHEREEE!!!!!!!!”
The “where’s your other head” joke all but disappeared.
I haven’t spent a great deal of time here since I left in 2010, other than a few months here or there, but about this time last year I kept feeling the call.
I went to a book exchange and out jumped books about camping in Tassie.
A few months later as I was driving from South Australia back to Melbourne, I stopped at an antiques store and found myself eye level with an old plate with Tassie on it. A truck passed me with TASMANIA written on the side of it. Numberplates from other states spelling out T-A-S, or Tasmanian plates whizzing past me. The first thing I saw when I crossed the Westgate bridge back to Melbourne was the big red boat, the Spirit of Tasmania. A few months later I flew up to QLD to paint at a festival, the next flight was going to Launceston, my home town. People next to me in the airport were talking about Tassie, and when I got back to Melbourne, so were half my friends.
Tasmania was CALLING.
And I am not someone who refuses calls.
Fast forward to today at my hospo day job, in Hobart, Tasmania, ringing through the till for a man who asks me “How long does it take to get to the airport?”
“I have no idea! I’ve never been to the airport in Hobart”
Cue - Tassie Shame. All the feelings that I thought I’d overcome were back in one hit.
Holy fuck he probably thinks I’ve never left this island. A no-hoper from the sticks who has never left Tassie in their life. Oh my god I just want to tell him my whole life story, all the incredible things I’ve done in my mere 26 years on this earth, more than many people do in whole lifetimes.
A burning desire to be SEEN.
I stumbled over my words “I’ve only lived in Hobart for four months, that’s why I’ve never been to the airport” my face going totally red at my projection of him thinking of me as the girl who has never left the island.
Quite obviously part of the reason I was drawn back down here was to heal this side of me who feels shame about Tasmania. I come from a rough as guts little island at the arse end of the world, whose inhabitants wear their convict ancestry like a badge of honour.
Truth be told I have spent the majority of the last 6 months wishing myself off the island again!
All my friends are in Melbourne, why am I even here? I’m SO LONELY! I don’t know anyone in Hobart! Why did I choose to come to Tassie in winter when everyone is hibernating? I cant wait to get back to Melbourne. I’m going to stay here till after summer and then go back to Melbourne.
I miss Melbourne.
Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne.
Echoing EXACTLY the thought patterns I was having when I was in year 12, champing at the bit to finally be free of this place!
Tassie has a pretty intense energy.
A subconscious shadow delving energy.
A throw everything onto the table and wade through it, sink or swim energy.
And its beautiful. Its one of the most beautiful places on the planet! I have shame on top of shame for feeling shame about being from this beautiful place! Hah!
But it is an island. And islands can be…. ISOLATING. Ahem.
Really all I want is to be witnessed in this.
Posting this is edgy as fuck.