Moving (home?) after 8 years – Sydney

Apologies for my long absence. I’ve been in a remote community doing fieldwork. Naively, I went armed with a Telstra internet stick, believing it would provide me with internet. Ha!

Tomorrow I leave Darwin to move to the big smoke – Sydney – so that my husband can begin theological study. It’ll take us a week to get there (driving), so I’ve got a while to come to terms with it. I grew up there, but I’m apprehensive about moving back.


As usual, I’m worried and upset about many things…

My impression of Sydney now, after being away, is of a place filled with beautiful, but chronically busy, overachieving people, living in massive houses (did you know Aussies have the biggest houses in the world and NSW – read Sydney – has the biggest in Australia?), earning a lot of money, pursuing their brilliant careers. Perhaps this is unfair – a false impression. Still, I’m worried both that I might never fit in with these beautiful, brilliant people, but also (and perhaps worse) that I might become one.

I might go back to thinking that it’s normal, even healthy, to be busy and stressed. I used to believe that being busy made you important; I was proud that I had no time for anyone (see The Busy Trap). Now I want to learn to be diligent, organised and to limit my commitments so I can be available for people.

Disabled access in Sydney?

Disabled access in Sydney?

Sydney is shocking in terms of disabled accessibility. My local train station has no lift so we’ll be driving a lot. I haven’t done a reverse park since I got my Ps! This is actually terrifying.

I might end up spending more time in traffic than with friends. Actually, that’s highly likely. How do people get used to that?

There’s so many people! Why do so many people live in the one place? Someone should tell them there are other places you can live! I’m worried that though I might know heaps of people, I won’t know anyone well.

Living on campus with only Christians could be some kind of nightmarish panopticon-vortex-of-Christian-expectations. Maybe I’ll feel I need to act ‘holy’ and pretend I hold the ‘right’ opinions. Maybe I’ll have to pretend to be all ‘minstry-wifey’.

What if there’s some young guy (he’s always a guy) fresh out of undergrad who thinks he knows everything? I’ll obsess over trying, subtly, to make him aware that he doesn’t. I’ll be too subtle: he’ll take my hints as further evidence that he does in fact Know Everything. I’ll rage (what’s that proverb on answering a fool?: you can’t win). I’m worried Bible college might aggravate my weakness here. On the bright side, it’ll be a chance to learn to just chill out a little.


I might get trapped in the Christian bubble of Church and Bible College and lose contact with everyone else.

I might forget that the rest of the country exists, or I’ll become that person with the hobbyhorse about the rest of the country and its existence.

But I’m looking forward to some things.

  • being closer to family and old friends – that’s the main thing – many of the people I love most are in Sydney
  • shopping at Aldi
  • no longer paying NT prices for petrol, power, rent etc.
  • going to gigs
  • sipping decent coffee (and under $4!) in actual cafes
  • seeing movies at the cinema
  • reading the paper (NT news doesn’t count) on the  same day as it came out

    Perhaps I'll miss the NT news just a little

    Perhaps I’ll miss the NT news just a little

  • swimming at the beach (no stingers or crocks!)
  • getting distracted from my own work and borrowing my husband’s readings. Perhaps I’ll spend less time alone reading blogs and actually find someone to talk with about What Tom Wright Really Said etc.
  • settling into the one place. I’ve had 12 different home addresses in the past 8 years. I’m sick of setting up again and again. I’m thinking about working on the garden, getting into home brewing and getting decent furniture so I can use my place to have people over. It’ll nice to become part of a neighbourhood and, I hope, become a blessing to it.
  • Perhaps – this one is the most ambitious – completing a PhD.

Whatever happens, it’ll be an adventure. Adventures force you to grow up a little more. I hope I grow a little wiser and a little more humble.

Anyone else been a spouse of a theological student? How’d you go?

Have you ever moved back to a place after a long time away? How did you feel about going back? Had it changed or had you changed, or both?

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