This weekend we’ve been hosting my sister-in-law and 4 of her 6 children, ages 10-16. Each time I see them, I find myself reflecting on how great it is to see things through someone else’s eyes.
We’ve spent the day showing the kids around our city, Melbourne, and it really is fun to have the chance to show people around, especially given the warm and sunny day we have had today.
We’ve lived in Melbourne for 13 years now and to say the shine has worn off would be fairly accurate. Sure, it’s just been voted as the world’s most liveable city (again) and I do love it here, however I dare anyone to talk to me about liveability after spending peak hour on the West Gate Bridge.
That’s the thing about the place you live. It’s home, and over time that sense of familiarity and the mundane of the day-to-day takes over and can blind you to all the wonderful things your city or town has going for it. Show visitors around, though, and you have the chance to fall in love with your home all over again. That’s a pretty good metaphor for life – we get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget to take the time to appreciate the world of wonder that surrounds us.
I’ve spent the day pointing out so many bits of Melbourne – especially some of the quirky stuff like the street art – that it’s refreshed my appreciation for this glorious city. It’s also reinforced that, after 13 years of living here since we moved from Sydney, we’re most definitely locals. That was reinforced when I started to do a hook turn (a very Melbourne driving procedure involving turning right from the left lane) and the kids couldn’t work out what I was doing – it took me a moment to figure out what they were taking about, because doing a hook turn has become as natural as breathing. File under ‘Signs You’re a Melbournian’, alongside refusing to eat a dim sim unless it’s from South Melbourne Market.
Sometimes, you just need someone to give you a new perspective, or remind you of your old perspectives. Sometimes, you just need someone to remind you how bizarre hook turns are, and how grateful you are to be living in a city where the quirky and absurd live comfortably side-by-side with the everyday.