Have you ever been in the middle of a really good book and not wanted it to end? That or a song, or even a tv series. Something you enjoy so much, that if it ends, a little part of you is left with it? This may sound dramatic, or you may understand. Not wanting something so great to end. This happens to me all the time. Not too long ago, I read Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’ and after I turned that last page, I was left wanting more. I was so sad it ended and then proceeded to search, to find that feeling again. For part of my heart lived in those pages. To have been in that room when Robert died, to in that dingy apartment in Paris, that is where I was and wanted to be.
I finally found it again in a book curated by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire, called ‘Women of Letters’ which collected letters of some of Australia’s elite women of stage, screen and page. It was within this book that I became lost in the lives of these women writing to their ‘first pin-ups’ or ’to the night they would rather forget’ or to their ‘turning point’. But this time I was smarter, this time I had learnt. The book must not end. How did I do that, you may be wondering? It was simple. I did not read the last letter. HA! But it did end, didn’t it? I was left with that same feeling. Of something being over. That feeling, that moment, that time spent engrossed in the life of someone else was over and there was nothing I could do about it but start the search again for another book, another escape. But this time, I have learnt, again. I know now that I can’t hold onto to that book. I must leave those wonderful hours behind me and find something new.
And it is not until I started writing about this obsession with books that I realised that I have repeated this exact same behaviour in life. I have just returned from living overseas for the past 18 months, to living back in Australia. This time last year, I was waking up in Italy, walking 30 metres from my front door and purchasing a cappuccino and brioche, while attempting to communicate with my very Italian barista about the beautiful weather we were experiencing that day. A few months later, I was leaving Italy, stepping out into the unknown with my girlfriend beside me, desperately clinging to this life we had created there, not wanting that last cappuccino to end. I was holding onto that moment, not wanting to turn that last page so to speak, as I knew that this was paradise, not knowing if I could find a moment like this again. But, I did. And I continued to do so. But do you think that those feelings of not wanting to let go of another great chapter in my life didn’t repeat itself when we were cuddling in our hotel bed the morning of our flight out of Paris back to Brisbane didn’t resurface? They did, with the crushing fear of not feeling this excitement or assurance again.
Yet, here I am. On another adventure. No, I am not trekking the Himalayas, or eating a bagel in New York. I am sitting in a corporate hotel room, miles away from what I know, starting a completely different career path, that is opening my eyes and world to new possibilities. This is what happens. Everyone knows the saying “everything happens for a reason”. Well it does. Books end. Adventures end. But there is always another one, ready to take its place. And that is what I have to keep telling myself. Everything happens for a reason and we have no idea what the next page will bring. But that is an adventure in itself, isn’t it?
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