I had a giddy sensation in my gut when I received my first ever key card. I felt like I was walking away with this little victory. When the giant double glass doors slid away, and I walk into the sun with a triumphant spring in my step. Except I am in Sydney and its July, I pulled my coat closer, and my scarf a little tighter.
I remember walking into the university housing reception, paying my rent, and taking the elevator up to my floor (pretty high by the way). I opened the door to my apartment, my first ever apartment, my autonomous space.
The fancy key card powered door whizzed, and whirred before it gave me the green light to push the door open. Well, I could romanticize it here, but what I found wasn’t a home, rainbows or unicorns. I found a sterile space that reeked of disinfectant, and; it space was mine. The first thing I did was roll my customized S. Oliver coat into a pillow and take a nap. Jet lag is hard yaka, man.
Over the next few days, several trips to Ikea, Target, Wheel & barrow, and The Reject Shop later I had finally moved into an apartment that looked like an over-flowing cluttered mess. I could not care any less.
I had found my home for the next couple of years. I hung my customized coat, gave my prized Ralph Lauren sneakers a place of pride in the drawer, and jumped into my bags to get the kitchen in order. After all, food is the most important thing.
There is something about carrying thirty kilos of groceries for a mile and falling to the floor of your home at the end of it. It drains your strength. My heart wasn’t beating faster out of exhaustion. I wasn’t tired. I was happy.
My house could be a mess; my life could be falling apart, and I will be okay with all of it. My kitchen, however, is my sanctuary. It is a safe space where I can cook, create, just be happy, and think with absolute clarity.
Before, I went to bed, in the middle of the day (jet lag remember?) I marinated a fillet of salmon in garlic, lemon, mint, fennel, and salt because dinner that night was a celebration.
A couple of hours later, I woke up a bit groggy, and ready to cook my first dinner. The menu was mashed potatoes, Salmon fillet, and steamed asparagus.. I put on some Fauré; put the potatoes to boil, and skillet on high.
In the next hour, I watched the season premiere of ‘The Block Glasshouse’ with a fulfilling dinner. I thought to myself, “This is going to be great.”