I’ve barely been back to NSW since me moved to Melbourne in June 2011. There’s been a few business trips to Sydney, but that’s been all – and they’ve usually been such ridiculously long days that I’ve not had any chance to socialise while I’ve been away. When I have a 6am flight and spend all day in meetings, I don’t even bother to try to catch up with friends for the simple fact that I know I won’t be in the mood for it by the end of the day.
I’ve certainly not been back to the Central Coast in all that time. The last time I set foot on the Central Coast was May 31, 2011, at a service station in West Gosford as we were driving to our new lives.
There’s a fork in the road,
I’ll do as I am told,
And I don’t know, don’t know, don’t know, don’t know,
Who I want to be.
(Marina and the Diamonds, “Mowgli’s Road”)
When I left the Central Coast, I don’t think I knew who I was, mainly because I wasn’t all that comfortable with myself, still. I’d been out for years and happy with that, but I never really felt like I fitted in.
Now, a year later?
I’m me, I’m Preston, and I fit into a community and a lifestyle that I never quite imagined I would. The Preston who lived on the Central Coast was a lot more timid – never in a million years, for instance, would he have gone to an Underbear party. So I’ll be looking at that oh-so-familiar world with an entirely different world view.
In some ways, returning back to the place I lived for 12 years will be like revisiting a childhood home for the first time as an adult. This should be a really interesting trip.