Australia: Unsure Whether I’ve Lost My Mind Again or if Everything is Terrible or Amazing or Both

I cried my eyes out this morning. I don’t know what happened – one minute I was sitting there with my coffee trying to install an old video game on my laptop that I used to play when I was younger, then I gave up and browsed publishers on the internet. I tried to download a list of literary agents but the connection dropped. Then I shrugged and read the thousand or so words I penned yesterday, and for a change I didn’t hate them the day after. Then I played some quiz on a book website to find out which book I should read next based on my personality. It told me the Great Gatsby. I love that story.

Everybody else in the dorm got up at 7am for work this morning, and while they rushed around I staggered down to the pigs with a full bucket of water and tipped it into their trough while they grunted at me and nosed each other out of the way. People say they’re as intelligent as dogs, but you’d never know it. Back in the kitchen Ben had knocked a bowl of steak off the side, coating both himself and the floor in blood. He didn’t have time to clean, so I mopped it up. It didn’t take too long.

Then I checked my bank balance and saw that I have enough money for one more week’s rent, with 30 dollars to spare for food. I checked my emails and found that three new articles have been commissioned by a magazine I’ve been writing for. That’s another 300 quid coming in next month, which is almost 600 dollars. I still have to survive this month, but then that’s another four week’s living sorted, more or less. Things aren’t so bad. I’ve been afraid, though. It isn’t easy being as far from friends and family as you could possibly be, with barely a penny to your name.

I can’t leave this commune way out in the bush until I can earn some money picking blueberries out on the farm, but though the days are sunny and warm, the nights are freezing, and the berries haven’t been growing as they should. Work is thin on the ground. I’m due to start on the 27th of August at the moment, which feels like a lifetime away. I’ve not been eating very much recently. Egg on toast for breakfast, an apple for lunch, and some communal meal for dinner. It’s alright, though.

And alongside everything else I still miss her. It’s been so long, and I still miss her.

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I’m sorry, the cat just jumped on my laptop and did a little typing for me. I quite like it. I think I’ll leave it in there.

After thinking about no food and no money and no work, and no loved ones for ten thousand miles, I felt sad. I thought about why I am here. I think it’s for this book, and for more books beyond. I think that’s what I am meant to do. I think I am meant to be a writer, no matter what it costs to get there. When I talk about this book, my ideas for it, I see faces light up. I think I can make people happy with this one. I think that this is why I feel compelled to travel and cut ties and hurt and be hurt over and over. It’s all experience, it’s all perspective, and it will make me the best writer I can possibly be.

It will all be worth it in the end. Oscar Wilde said if it’s not fine, it’s not the end. Charles Bukowski said go all the way, otherwise don’t even start. And I say a lot can change in a day.

As I sat on my bedroom floor, a song came on my through my headphones. It was Grace, by The View. It made me feel hopeful; road trip optimism. Then Live Forever by Oasis came on, and in my head I promised that I wasn’t going to give up. Not today. Not ever. And you know what? I live for this shit. I feel vital. I feel so very far from numb. I cried my eyes out this morning.

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