Almost a month ago i turned 30 and was planning to think through my last decade a little, but not until now have I had the mental space to sit and do just that. And ironically I am listening to the soundtrack of morrowind as i do this.
Ten years ago (or a little more than ten) I moved out of home. I had been working at a petrol station in the south of town and had been given a chance to move to the suburb next to my job (a five minute skate away) and in with the bass player of my band and good friend morgan and two other people. It was a pretty dodgey house that would teach me a ton about life and love and community. I had left my parents church, i had broken up with a girl (and would be girlfriendless since) and thus began my twenties.
Another thing you need to know about entering my twenties, i had filled out three university applications, all three of which I either threw away at the post box, or had failed the entrant audition. Deciding instead to work, play as much music as possible, and see what life would throw at me.
The first three years of the decade we will call “the house of love years”. The house i moved into would become the hub of a community of christians sick of the church and non christians we knew from the music scene or school. It was an interesting combination of conversation and dinner parties and BBQs. We once had a new years party that included girls from the opposite side of town who didnt know anyone at the party but were just curious and came in. They disappeared shortly after. We also once had a dinner party at which an old friend appeared out of nowhere, threw me in his car and drove me to his house in the far north. Our lives were surrounded by people sleeping on our couches, fires being lit in the back yard, bands recording in our front loungeroom, me and Hen destroying guitar hero 1 and 2 (and using said skills to draw crowds at JB Hi Fi) and then going in and out of differing addictive behaviours. i had one solid nine month long season of insomnia that i attempted to battle by blacking out every night with alcohol. i had another months long season of using every waking moment on playing the game Morrowind whilst my roommate slept quietly in the back ground.
We would road trip places, and see as many bands as we could. We played in jazz bands, hardcore bands, worship bands, a country band, a rock band and strangely enough a ska/funk band. I hopped around different churches, quickly getting into bands and leadership roles before leaving for strange reasons fueled by a deep sense of bitterness. We would watch whole seasons of tv series in a weekend just because we couldnt think of anything else. My car broke down and so i started skating everywhere. I made some weird skater friends who would finish their shifts at 2am and we would skate Canberras winter mornings until i cracked two bones and fixed my car and gave up on skating. I started photographing professionally and at one stage worked 3 jobs.
I learned how to cook and clean and save and spend and started my first of many book collections. I learned how to play drums and recorded my first solo EP’s. and then i got a spot on christian radio. Firstly with their main youth show with one of my heros and then later started their first hardcore show. one that i got much flack for from the conservatives but was protected by an amazing visionary of a manager. We made hilarious jokes and wrote a weekly serial. we interviewed many legends and got into music festivals as “media”. It, combined with photography gave me a taste of journalism that i never thought i would love so much.
The house of love years would end when i moved to newcastle. leaving my home town with the biggest beard i had grown and the longest hair since i was in year 8 was surreal, but one that would kick my hopes and dreams into hyper drive.
The YWAM YEARS.
So, april 2009 i moved to a house full of crazy beautiful people to join a missions movement. Within 4 years i had travelled to over 20 nations with over 50 students on outreaches, road trips, festivals etc. I learned of my leadershop skills, my penchant for disciping and teaching people. i learned how to play bass and honed my song writing skills in the midst of some incredible musical ensembles. i continued learning about what living in community looked like. i learned how to wake up at 5am and get more stuff done than the normal person by 8am. I learnt how to follow leaders more respectfully, i learned how to chop wood and balance a budget and roll cables (finally). i learned how to drive larger vehicles and leanred how destructive sarcasm is, but how much of a beautiful part of australian culture it is and why. the last 7 years of this decade could fill up books. i started a blog to document some of those stories. i have gained many best friends and many second mums all over the world.
The sweden years.
Then as a 28 year old i left australia, thinking i would return after 5 months and have now spent chunks in south africa, norway, lithuania and sweden and in the next few weeks i will be moving for a long time to Vilnius in lithuania.
In a decade i have been taken from being a bitter no hoper, comfortable with living in canberra for the rest of his life to being a very relaxed, naively hopefuly 30 year old about to be re educated on what life is, in a eastern european country that most australians have never heard of.
this next decade is going to be amazing. hopefully it will include babies, fluency in a new language and man the hospital finally recorded. but we shall see.
Whats your highlight been from the last decade?