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the theatrics of moving

It's been almost a year and a half now since I moved to Melbourne, and away from Hong Kong. It's funny how a year is so short, so little in the grand scheme of life, and yet can feel like so much. I spent years dreaming about what it would be like to move to Melbourne, about how everything would finally fit into place. But the couple of years leading up to it I was becoming more and more attached to home. I was of course excited to come to VCA, to solidify myself as an artist with professional training, but I felt conflicted about leaving.

When I took that one way flight I couldn't truly comprehend, or anticipate, that the next year and a half was to become one of the hardest of my life. I wasn't expecting for it to throw any previous idea of what my future might be like out of the window. Naive, but true. I am the most lost I've ever felt.

I lay in my bed, looking out through the long arched windows at the world beyond. But this world is foreign, unknown to me. The only safety I feel, albeit minimal, is inside my apartment. I wonder whether I will ever begin to see comfortable familiarity in this city. Currently, even the places that are familiar to me give me a strange tingling sense in my throat. They feel fake, and I feel like a fraud. My only moments of comfort are when a smell, an image, a sound, a taste propel me into my memory of other places I call home.

For 7 months of my time here I've been in isolation, lingering with only my thoughts and my body. Who am I when you take away everything I've ever known? Who am I without the theatrics, the performance, of life? I've been wondering what it even is about Hong Kong, or a sense of home, or a sense of non-home, that arouses such profound feelings for me. Even the times I've been home since moving have been different. I am a changed person to when I left, so my relationship to home, and to Hong Kong, has cracked. I feel like I am floating, and I know the only one that can provide a floor for my feet to ground on is myself. And yet I find my mind scrambling to put together 'what's next', hoping that somehow that will provide me stability, or give me the answers to life's questions. I find deep comfort in deluding myself that there is something to hold onto in the future, that I have a plan. But truthfully, I don't, and I don't want to either. I am fighting my urge to attach onto some distant untouchable future. After all, I only exist now.

The theatricality of moving is a strange thing. It's playful, ever changing, tragic, comedic, absurd, abstract, non-linear. The stakes are so high, what for! I marvel at my humanness, my human brain formulating these non-existent stakes, this life or death scenario.


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