Have you ever seen La La Land?
I hadn’t. Not till the other night, when I met up with a good friend of mine at Luna Park in Sydney and we snuggled under blankets and watched it together.
It was beautiful. The view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is absolutely incredible from the entrance of the park (the opposite side of the bay from the opera house), and the moon was indeed shining brightly over the theme park that’s named after it.
If you haven’t seen La La Land, I fully recommend it, whether you’re a fan of romantic movies, musicals, or even just Ryan Gosling and/or Emma Stone. I mean, Ryan learned to play piano just for his role and John Legend learned to play guitar, so if that won’t make a good film, then I don’t know what will to be honest.
But the reason I’m writing this isn’t so I can review the film- the Oscars that it won and the praise that it got when it came out speak for themselves, and what I say won’t make much of a difference.
The reason I’m writing this is because, when I was cuddled under the blanket next to my friend on a chilly evening (surprisingly for me as the day had been so hot I got a teeny bit sun burned), I realised how important it is to have home comforts no matter how far away from your origins you are.
Yes, I am incredibly lucky to be here in Australia, embarking on an adventure that not a lot of people even have the guts to do in a lifetime, and I would never take this opportunity for granted.
But making friends abroad is not the easiest thing to do, and with my anxious brain, I’ve learned over the years to surround myself on most days with people I want to be in the company of and who I like spending time with, and suddenly thrusting myself into the other side of the world means having to give up routine, friends, family, and creature comforts that I’ve gotten used to…. at least for a little while anyway.
I know this will all change when I integrate fully into my neighbourhood and make friends and create my own social circle here, but it’s hard when you find yourself alone with your thoughts and your nearest loved one is a whole other continent away.
So, when I met up with my Scottish friend in Sydney and saw her for the first time since she left Scotland in the summer (we’re actually distantly related but that’s a whole other story), I didn’t feel at home as such, but I felt like a little part of home had come to me.
Does that sound weird?
It’s a bit difficult to explain, but I guess all I can really say is that since I’ve been here, being with my friend was a moment that brought me true happiness, because it felt so familiar, and nothing about it made me nervous, anxious or twitchy.
No matter how much you hate it when you’re there, home is home, and you’ll always appreciate having one when you’re in a new land.
p.s. Get your tissues ready, La La Land’s final scene is heartbreaking.