Dear Sydney

Dear Sydney,

It is almost 5 a.m., and I am leaving for the airport in just a few hours. I find myself leaving last minute bits and pieces behind, convinced that I will be home at the end of my holidays to retrieve and organise the scattered articles of my life that I left behind for just a moment in time.

It was a few weeks ago when it started hitting me, and like a mosquito I would slap the thought away.

I was walking to the train, a walk that I took every single morning for the past few months when I made my way to work. Through the quiet, gentle and still slumbering streets of Pyrmont, across the Darling Harbour footbridge with the rows of flags stretching out in front of me, standing tall like soldiers and serving as a reminder to my fourth grade art lesson with Miss Pantangelo on depth perception.  There were always a couple of hundred people walking across the bridge with me each morning, going in either direction, and always there were tradies (re: construction men) working on things that I never saw any progress in. A bend around on the bike path toward Sussex Street, a small uphill battle that was never fun in flats as I passed Kent, Clarence and the Subway shop with its distinct smell of suffocated sandwiches before turning on to York Street until I reached Wynyard Station.

I did this every morning and afternoon, and one afternoon I found myself thinking: In just a few weeks time, I will be one less person walking the city streets, taking this exact route day in and day out. Will you even notice I am gone, Sydney?

And the truth is, Sydney, you will not. Cities can not feel; they can not miss someone or feel a person’s absence. They are just concrete, stone, devoid of emotions. Sure, maybe the baristas at my favourite little cafe where I would treat myself to a morning coffee may one day realise I have not been around in a while, or the friends I have made running through Pyrmont and around the Opera House, always seeing this one couple who would smile at me whenever we crossed paths on our morning jogs, may wonder if I found a new route.

The people of a city can feel and miss and reflect, but Sydney – you will not even know that I am gone. You will wake up every day just as a you do and go to bed every night like you did the day before. Funny the way that happens, how a city or a place can forever change you but the exchange – the influences parted – are not always mutual.

You showed me a lot of difficult times while I was here, Sydney. I came to this city – well, continent really – knowing one person, and two years later I am leaving behind an entire life that I carefully created by the day.

I never knew whether I could stay forever, but at the same time I never saw an end in sight, never saw us parting ways. Every morning in the past few weeks that I have set out for a run, I have found myself sprinting away from the thoughts of leaving you. Each time a thought came in to my head, my speed picked up, and my reluctance to saying good bye propelled me fast forward.

Looking at the Opera House became painfully beautiful, the glow of city lights reflecting on the waters of and lighting up Darling Harbour each night soon became too much to bear. It felt like an impending break up, like holding your gaze for even the slightest of seconds just caused so much heartache and self-torture; I knew that I could not look at you forever, that one day soon I would be gone.

We have had our difficult times and moments, Sydney, and I still can’t truly believe I am leaving. I said good bye to friends tonight like I would see them tomorrow, not processing the thought of never seeing some of those I came to believe would be in my life forever and a day.

You showed me good and true friendship, people that I will carry on in my heart forever. From the friendships I created at work, the friends of friends who became essential to my life on to the family I came home to each night at Little Mount, if there was anything I learned in my last months here it was that I was not alone. I was surrounded by people who truly love me, who want the best for me and want me to be nothing but happy.

And I finally am.

I am confused, sure, never knowing what I am doing with my life or what my next move will be, and of course I am sad to leave you on terms that are not my own.

But Sydney, you showed me one of the best last weekends I could have asked for on planet earth. You stayed warm and sunny for me, helped me to dance my feet off for hours on end, remember what it is like to have a crush, wake up to a beautiful sunrise Sunday morning and spend an amazing night by my favourite building in the world with some of my favourite people in the world. There may have been a roadblock or two, an interference that I did not plan for, but nonetheless you showed me an amazing last weekend.

Most of all, Sydney, you finally gave me my moment, and let me tell you this: It is the best fucking feeling on planet earth.

I will see you later, Sydney, because who knows what life will bring. For now it is on to New Zealand.


Alexandra (Allie)

Category: Australia, Sydney

8 comments on “Dear Sydney

  1. Sob!!! Coffee will never be the same :( xxx

    • I will miss you!

  2. It felt like an impending break up, like holding your gaze for even the slightest of seconds just caused so much heartache and self-torture; I knew that I could not look at you forever, that one day soon I would be gone.

    Exactly how I felt/feel about a person Al. This is great.

    • Thanks Franny! I love you

  3. Love this Al!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Goodbye Sydney, hello New Zealand.

    • Thanks Connie!!

  4. Beautifully written, Alex.

    • Thank you, Lisa! And thanks for coming down that night to say good bye xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>