Tagged: San Pellegrino Terme

Or did I make you f*ing dance?

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A few months ago, I heard a track on the radio. I have to warn you, it contains expletives. But then, a lot of good things do. It’s by Robert DeLong, and it’s called Global Concepts. Here’s how it starts:

I think it burns my sense of truth
to hear me shouting at my youth
I need a way to sort it out.

After I die, I’ll re-awake,
redefine what was at stake
from the hindsight of a god.

I’ll see the people that I use,
see the substance I abuse,
the ugly places that I lived.

Did I make money? Was I proud?
Did I play my songs too loud?
Did I leave my life to chance
or did I make you f***ing dance?

So, where have I been these past five weeks? I’ve been dancing, people. And I intend to make the entire f*ing world dance along with me.

Sorry. Expletives. They’re contagious.

But anyway, what is the crazy lady talking about? Where were we?

The last time we spoke, I was sitting by a pool in Malaysia. Since then, I’ve shivered my way around Copenhagen, driven really fast around Northern Italy, and returned home to lovely sunny Sydney, just as the trees were beginning to shed their leaves.

And the whole way through our whirlwind adventure, I had this song on my head.

Did I leave my life to chance
or did I make you f***ing dance?

Did I leave my life to chance
or did I make you f***ing dance?

Did I leave my life to chance
or did I make you f***ing dance?

You get the idea.

What does it mean? It means that since I’ve had the potential of an early death flashed in front of me, I’ve been suffused with the desire to take life by the balls.

Sorry. Language again.

I realised that there have been many, many times in life, too countless to mention, where I’ve made the sensible decision. Where I’ve said well, that’d be fun… but it’s not strictly necessary now, is it?

And in Italy, in Lake Como in fact, I suddenly realised that this has to stop.

I’m not a woman of faith. I’m really not convinced there’s any life after this one. And as such it would be a bloody shame to miss out on any opportunity for enjoyment.

The upshot being, I decided, among other impulsive decisions, that I wanted to get married.

Those of you who have known me for a long time will know that I have always proudly been not the marrying type. Not being religious, it’s simply not necessary (see above). And I’ve always liked questioning social norms and expectations. And plus, I didn’t (and don’t) want to be a party to some archaic institution that discriminates against human beings who love just as truly, deeply and honestly as I do. If gays and lesbians aren’t allowed to marry under Australian law, why should I be?

So, why the change of heart then?

A thousand reasons.

In the past year, my various families (nuclear, de facto and urban) have taught me just how important family is. Charlie’s family in particular were so incredibly supportive, loving and wholehearted through my treatment that I began to question my naive assumption that one family (my nuclear one) was enough. I’ve long called myself sister-in-sin to Charlie’s siblings but just plain old sister is nicer.

My emotional baggage about my parent’s marriage was also troubling me. I knew deep in my heart that part of my lack of desire to get married stemmed from my fear that if I married, my relationship might go the same way. I also feared bringing disparate parts of my divorced family back together and opening up old wounds.

Part of the healing process for me is confronting my own demons. Accepting that my I am not my parents, and that my family’s ancient histories are not my problem or responsibility is a big step, I believe.

The other thing that’s been troubling me has been certain people’s treatment of Charlie and myself. A subset of people have long treated our relationship as somehow less worthy or genuine because of our lack of desire to get married. I even had one person ask me if we were in a holding pattern until better prospects came along. I mean… seriously?

It’s not that I’m keen to impress these people. I think their attitude is pretty reprehensible, actually. But right now I feel I need to make a definitive statement. We’ve been through a lot this past year and all the deep connections that have been forged need to be celebrated.

And finally, I want to gather all my favourite people together in one room and f*ing dance.

Last expletive. Promise.

So, Europe.

It was absolutely wonderful.

There were sweets, and gloves, and lots of neon purchases in Copenhagen:

 

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Lake Como was breathtaking. And life changing. And life affirming.

We stayed in a truly ridiculous spa that was once the home of a famous opera singer. We joked that we were staying in George Clooney’s boudoir.

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Jazz hands in Como.

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Milan, where I admitted over a 2 Euro glass of prosecco in this old Monastery that I wanted to get married.

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We took in a tiny portion of the Salone (Milan Design Week).

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Then…

Parma…

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Siena…

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San Gimignano…

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Bergamo…

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Verona…

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And San Pellegrino Terme. Once a glamorous spa town, now an almost forgotten historical relic.

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It was a beautiful trip, but the beautiful times didn’t end there.

It’s nice to be home.

xo

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