Newcastle Opened My Eyes
I remember being nineteen when this memory took place. It was the first time I looked inside myself and found heaps of exciting, powerful dreams, just waiting to burst out. I’d been experiencing something difficult- not just difficult, but negatively life changing. I’d been pushed towards a dead end in my life, and I’d barely turned nineteen. My dad, also my best friend, was going to Newcastle to drop my brother off at university; so after hesitation of leaving the dilemma I was stuck in, I headed up North to get away from it all.
My dad and I had some time in the evening to look around Newcastle; and both of us being deep hearted, strong headed souls- spent that time conversing, looking out at the city from the highest platform of The Sage; and dwelling over how tall the cast iron bridge we walked across may have been. It was the millennium bridge that I remember so clearly, though. I have a postcard of it attached to my mirror back home, and whenever I look into it, I can imagine how it made me feel all over again. It was getting dark, but an indigo blue dark; not a pitch black dark. It was freezing cold, as it always is up North; and the wind was whipping my hair around my face and across my eyes so I couldn’t see clearly. The bridge itself was alight in pretty colours, and it swung above our heads like an oversized disk. The colours radiating from it reflected in the water; which looked peaceful considering it was amongst the signature winds of Newcastle. I had a specific song stuck in my head, The Script- Break Even. It was played so much around the time; and when I hear it now, I still think of everything. I stood still for the first time in a very long time, breathed the air in- and felt my worries fall away. I could see the lights and feel the wind collaborating with my heart pumping in my chest- and I just knew that I would be okay.
My dad and I went to a late night bar for yet more enhanced conversation; but this time, we had hot chocolates to keep our hands warm. That night in my hotel room while watching Celeb Air (the aspiring travel addict that I was), I finally felt calm enough to fall asleep. I gave myself strength that day, no matter how impossible those times were- and for that, Newcastle will always have a place in my heart.
The World is my Soul Mate
From a very young age, I’d fall asleep on an armchair in my parent’s house, where they would wake me up and tell me to get in the car. I never knew where we were going, and often it was just a Little Chef to get dinner- but everything about it made me excited. By the age of ten, I was memorizing travel guides for Disneyland Paris, crying because I couldn’t keep my admissions ticket to the Eiffel Tower and collecting loose currency from the floor with my brother when we were stuck in Belgium. I’d buy a diary for each holiday, and then fill it with scruffy squiggles so I could remember every minute.
As I grew older, I waited until I reached the car until I fell asleep; a pen still in my hand after describing how the clouds twisted and turned like a tornado. I wanted to see one so badly, though I knew deep down it wasn’t ever going to happen. My diaries became more intense; I wrote on my hands, arms, napkins- anything I could find. I also got my first digital camera which never left my sight.
As I reached adulthood, I left my parents behind and headed down south to Georgia. Except for this time I knew exactly where I was going and the excitement didn’t fade. I stayed awake for the whole car journey and fell asleep crossing the Atlantic Ocean with a journal in my lap. I spent the evenings with my website, documenting a hurricane that was due to hit the coast as CNN cuddled my ears in the background. I never got to see the storm, but I know it’s going to happen one day- as long as I believe in happy endings and fairy tales as much as I did as a child.