In the little city of Brisbane, two bedrooms have been emptied. The contents of Room 1 currently sit in boxes, bags and wrapped up newspapers. The contents of Room 2 have been sifted in custody to random garage sale buyers and charity shops. The fortunate items that survived the cull have recently been packed into two suitcases. Along with these rooms, two lives are about to inevitably change as well. Person one is my brother, he’s moving out of home. Person two is my sister, she’s moving out of the country.
AN OPEN LETTER TO MY BROTHER
The distance between you and I is not what causes a sadness to stir within me; an hours drive is simple and short. Perhaps the cause for my tears is that I can no longer hear your laugh from my window, where our rooms closely sit side by side. Maybe it is the fact that I will no longer have an already damp towel when reaching out of the shower door, for you always “forgot” which colour was yours. Or could it be the feeling of knowing that the couch now has one seat spare, and the TV remote will no longer need to be shared?
Oh no dear brother, the real reason a sad little gremlin grows inside me is because I know that when we both say the word ‘home’, we aren’t necessarily talking about the same place anymore.
Moving out is something every human knows will occur; whether it’s expected or not. Some of us are lucky enough to know how to actually ‘adult’, and really do understand the algorithm behind paying taxes and mortgages. On the other side of the spectrum, some of us are simply thrown out on our asses, and you’re forced to decide whether you buy a bandaid for your poor bottom, you eat dinner for the night, or you pay for your weekly rent – you can only choose one. Either way, moving out is something we all dread and dream about. It’s something that comes ever so slowly, yet ever so fast. Before you realise it, you are sobbing at leaving Mr Ted in the ‘chuck out’ pile, you are begging your mum to tutor you on the function buttons of the washing machine, and you are silently wondering if your parents will notice if household items like pegs, pans and a fridge start to go missing.
Maybe at first I was a little too excited when I knew you would go. Quite the opposite of Trump, I already had plans to knock down the wall between our bedrooms and turn into a creative studio. I knew I could take longer showers and that I now had a parking spot in the garage that was no longer temporary. But then the days got a little closer, and your room got a little more emptier, and finally I couldn’t just laugh about it anymore. So I didn’t. On your last night I stayed in my bedroom and muffled my cries into my pillow, mourning your loss in our house as if you were dying (dramatic, I know). I think the main reason why I lost half of my body water to tears was because I was so happy for you, and I knew you would be just fine without me. It’s funny how our happiness can be the cause of our sadness too.
This move is more then just you having a new apartment in the Gold Coast. The reason as to why you are there in the first place is because you found your purpose. Never have I ever seen someone want, work and worry so intensely about their career and future. This motivation and drive is why you will wake up every morning to the skyscraper view from your bedroom window. I will forever remember the day that you were offered a placement to study Dentistry. And I promise to be there for the day that you graduate from it too. We may not be able to watch our favourite shows together anymore, or have a family dinner together again for a while, but I know something else requires your presence now, and I understand why. I give you my deepest wishes of luck, happiness and love.
There will be days where I come up and visit you and force you to show me around your new home, but until then you’ll just have to endure my constant FaceTime calls and daily snapchats. And don’t think you can escape my cringeworthy jokes either – that part definitely hasn’t changed, I’ll still be texting them to you. And I know you’ll be smiling at them on the other side.
AN OPEN LETTER TO MY SISTER
The physical distance between you and I is approximately 16,516 km, but the emotional and mental distance between us is quite next to nothing. Where you are does not define what we are. We still are the same people and we still have the exact same relationship that we’ve built from 19 years together. But yes, indeed major things are changing – for one, you will live in a completely different country. That’s kind of big.
Imagining a life without you being a 15 minute drive from me was impossible at first. We always joked that we only ever needed each other in life, but at some point that joke became reality. We lived off each other. Our lives have always been extremely weirdly parallel, if you go through something I know soon enough I will too, that is if I am not already experiencing it. Our thoughts ride the same wavelengths. In a way that I have only begun to recognise, we are always in contact with each other. Whether its your leg chucked over mine when we read in bed, or my arm slung over your shoulders when we’re out at parties – we are somehow always intertwined and connected. Soon that won’t be an option. And as much as my head is still spinning at how we will cope- I’ve been unconsciously preparing myself for this change ever since we were kids.
Growing up we’ve always talked about big plans and big dreams; that one day we would make this concrete jungle world ours. And not for one second was I ever saying, ‘but that’s just not reality’. I don’t see you anywhere else then where you are heading to right now. Brisbane cannot give you what you need, your family cannot give you what you need – no can but you. But you already know this. You’re a realist and a dreamer. You have been granted with the luck of knowing how to be both. You never tied yourself here, and even when you did, there was always scissors in your back pocket knowing that at one point you’d have to cut these puppet strings and set yourself free. This is not something you decided spontaneously, it’s something you’ve been manifesting within you and working towards for years. With this, I have no doubt or concern for how you will survive. The only words and assurance I can give you (and those who ask) is, “she’s going to be fine’’.
There will be days where the sunless and greyness of the sky will seem all too much to carry over your head. There will be days where you look in the mirror and say, ‘what have I done’ and ‘have I just made the worst mistake of my life’.It’s here on these days that true tests will be taken and real limits will be pushed. And that’s just half of the fun. Life is a weird little game, you can’t always play it safe and right. Mistakes have to be made, and it is important that you do so. (Now that’s a instruction they don’t include on the back of the cardboard box.)
Whilst the city of Brisbane has lost a avid Origin Kebab customer, a ACMA communications officer, and another 2am valley drunk who dances with her own reflection in the mirror – London has gained someone who is so ready to give. Pour your heart out into these next two years, and in return you will be blessed with incredible opportunities and people. Look after yourself and stay safe. Oh and get enough sleep – you’ll be needing it with all my midnight messages and calls. I’m sorry, time differences man- theres nothing I can do!
And so it is here I must finish these thoughts and hopefully let the power of my words fill the empty gaps as to why I haven’t been as vocal of late. I thought that if I was silent, and somewhat ignored what was happening around me, that it wouldn’t hurt as much when I watched you both go. And yet the hurting of my heart hasn’t quite simmered down. Through all of this though, if there is one thing that I am sure of – it is that you are both about to embark on the most exciting journey of your life. I promise I will be there with you for every rise and fall.
There is a mark to be made by both of you.
You have an extraordinary power within you, go now and use it.