Happy Lives Are Hard Work
27 October 2014
In 1996, I was 20. I moved in to a crumbling art deco apartment on busy Barkly Street, St Kilda. I had minimal possessions, the most important of them being my 3000+ CD collection and my coffee percolator. If that was all I had, I was fine. Nothing much has changed.
Then I met my next door neighbour, Dave. This guy changed my life.
Dave introduced me to gardening. Out the back of our flats was years of weedy neglect. We turned it in to the most magical veggie and herb garden. We spent weeks on this little oasis away from the stinky streets. On warm afternoons we would sit with a cold beer and dirty hands and marvel at the awesomeness (we didn’t use that word in 1996 though, can’t remember what we would have said).
I had nothing but that garden, a tv that just had the colours green and purple, my music and my coffee. I was happy.
Then I met a fancy boy. He went to a fancy school and had fancy friends. All of a sudden my life of nothing seemed lame. I went to a party with my fancy boyfriend and a friend of his came up to me and said “I think it is great you feel comfortable wearing that out”. Yep, they actually said that to me, thinking they were being nice.
All of a sudden I wanted fancy things too. I started working in advertising (evil) and started to want fancy even more. I was betraying myself.
After a few dark years, suffering from serious depression, I moved overseas. Hey, let’s run from the problem! I thought if I removed myself from the fancy people, I would be able to reconnect with myself. And initially I did. I certainly lived a life with less in London. I got to the point where I was offered a job interview for a dream job, but I had no funds to pay my way there. I ate jacket potatoes and as a treat once a week I would buy a little block of cheese to grate on the top.
Then I met a boy. Moved home. Got married. Had children. Bought heaps of crap to make us happy. Got depressed. Got divorced.
I sat in my big house, with all our stuff, on my own wondering how I had got to this point. I thought about the little garden in St Kilda and how it was the last time I remember being myself and truly happy. I called a skip company and asked for the biggest one they had. I filled it. I filled another and another.
I moved in to a tiny house, that had no room for stuff. Just me and my girls. And we had a tomato plant, that just popped out of nowhere, we called it the accidental tomato. I remembered my old veggie garden in St Kilda 15 years ago, the sun shone, I got a beer and I sat looking at that plant knowing I had come back to me.
Then I met a boy. And he likes what I like. And I like him.
Now we are about to start on a journey to create a garden for everyone to share. Somewhere people can come and learn about good food, living well and just breathing in some country air. Tonight, at 8pm (AEDT), our crowd funding campaign begins on Indiegogo for The Nursery Project. We would love your support, by either pledging or just sharing the project with everyone you know.
Thank so much for hanging out with me here. It means the world to me.