I grew up in Australia in the 1970's. While lots of girls my age were out experimenting and having a good time, I was being the good daughter who did what she was told and made sure I never overstepped the line. I grew up in a chaotic family with a narcissistic father, a complicit mother and rules that changed regularly - all in my father's favour! It made life very difficult for us all.
My brother rebelled and ran away from home, skipped school, smoked, did drugs etc etc but I never had the courage to be that type of person. I just counted the days down until I could move out and start life on my own. As soon as I could, I took the first country posting available when I finished my training and ended up 8 hours away from the home in a little mining town called Kambalda.
|1981 - my first year out on my own|
I was nineteen, living by myself in the middle of nowhere and I found that I loved it. My friends were mainly teachers who were newly graduated and doing their time in the country, but I also met and mingled with miners and engineers and metalurgists and all sorts of interesting people. There were parties to go to every weekend and outings and picnics and trips into the bigger town an hour away, to go dancing or pubbing, or to eat out. It was a different kind of chaos - fun and (for me) living on the edge, but it was life by my rules and not caught up in the mess of my old home life.
I was never going to be a wild rager (I just never had it in me) but it was so freeing to not have anyone telling me what to do, what time to be home, who I should have as a friend, what I should be thinking or how I should be behaving. I managed to figure all that out on my own and have a great time in the process. I worked and played and found out a bit more about myself and who I was when no-one was looking.
That was the beginning of creating my own persona and separating myself from my family - it was liberating and exciting and a little bit scary at times, but so worth the risk of striking out on my own. I only lived there for a year before moving to another country town where I met my husband and started another chapter of life, but this was my year of creating my own chaos and it was a blast!
This post is part of #1word Wednesday - this week's word was "chaos"