my column started in the Townsville Bulletin on friday. it's been in the pipeline for so long i had forgotten about how scary it was going to be. put broadly, it's kind of about my life and, at the moment, that means it's about how i recently made a life changing 180 degree turn. i know life changing is meant to have a hyphen but i'm in peru and i can't find the key. only just found the apostrophe. anyway, it's really easy for me to write about my life, but not so easy to think about people, particularly strangers reading it. in know, i know, why have a column and, furthermore, why post it on camelshoes. just staying true to the walking contradiction i suppose...here's number one...
If you’re reading this, I’ve managed to convince my boss I’m a literary genius and deserve my own column. Well done me.
Let me start by saying, I just spelt genius wrong. How ironic. I’m calling it a typo, thanking spell check and cursing my honesty. But since the basis of my ‘give-me-a-column-cos-I-write-good-and-stuff’ argument was honesty, I figured I’d better follow through.
So, let me be honest.
My name’s Kate Jacka. I don’t know where Jacka comes from but I do claim to be related to Albert Jacka – the first Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross medal. I hope it’s true. I often omit the fact my middle name is Shivaune. Mostly because of the funny looks I get.
I’m 26 although I’ve been estimated at 33 (that was a bad day, especially since I was 24 at the time) and my five-year-old cousin guessed I was 15 and few weeks ago. Admittedly, it was probably the oldest possible age he could think of.
I have been with my boyfriend, partner, lover (I never know what to call him) for more than six years. I have a thriving career, the world’s best friends, own two properties and life is good.
Oh, no, hang on. That was six months ago. Now I am single, at odds with my career and am going through a horribly trying possession split which is costing me the gross domestic product of New Zealand in lawyers’ fees. I feel like punching things. Not people, things. Things which don’t punch back.
I’ve never really been through a break up of this magnitude before. My previous boyfriend was a three-monther and we split because of university holidays. Now that’s commitment. Anyway, breaking up is proving to be so much fun. You should try it. Now, where’s that sarcastic font key?
The hardest part, quite seriously, is the man I’ve ‘let go’ is possibly one of the most perfect catches a girl could hope for. I question the decision daily. I cry weekly.
The inner-monologue goes something like this:
It’s the right decision. The timing wasn’t right for us.
Mmm, timing. Nice excuse. How about, you’re scared.
I’m not scared. I’m just…I’m just not ready. There’s so much to be done before I settle down.
Like run away from any serious commitment. It wasn’t too long ago you were ready to marry this guy.
Things change. And I’m not running away. I’m living my life.
Yeh, and giving up the perfect man in the process. Smart.
Yes, he’s perfect, but not perfect for me right now.
Does that even make sense?
Shut up. Just shut up.
External monologue: tears, or frustration. Actually, tears of frustration.
The tears don’t sit well with me. I try very hard to maintain an image of strength. Basically I like people to think I’ve never shed a tear in my life. I’m not sure why that’s so important, especially since I’m yet to watch an episode of Oprah with dry eyes.
“Oh my God, Oprah’s giving everyone in the audience a car. That’s awesome. They are so lucky. She is so nice. They’re all so thrilled. Awwwww.” Cue happy tears.
“Oh my God. She’s addicted to drugs because she was abused as a child and she can’t pull herself out of it. She’s sharing her innermost thoughts and feelings. Oprah’s giving her a hug.” Cue empathy tears.
Those tears are easy though. They have disappeared by the ad break by which time I have my head in the fridge wondering what I can snack on. I am tear-free and back on the couch with an ice cream just in time for Oprah to discuss problem eating. Coincidence?
Right now, my life needs and ad break or two. A little timeout where I can forget my life has been turned upside down. I think some people call it Friday night drinks. Vodka cranberry, thanks.