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Grieving the loss of time in Canberra

By Smithers - 13 January 2011 15

Over the Christmas period I was lucky enough to get a stop over in Canberra. I lived there for about eight years from when I was 14 until 24.

I never really wanted to leave but I was not going to be able to stay and be happy. Our family went through an intense period and I was not in the best mental state. Since moving to Melbourne I never missed Canberra and thought myself to be in a much better city with more opportunities and less worries.

I always came back about twice a year. It was something to look forward to but only to measure how far I thought I had progressed living in a bigger, “cooler” place. Denial. Canberra is a socially rich place with an unmatched quality of life.

However I never really considered my time there like I have in the last few months. Everything that is significant in my life happened there. A few days after Christmas I walked around the new Canberra in civic for about 5 hours. I had a memory everywhere that I looked. I choked back my tears.

I grieve a loss of time and will never in my mind move far away from that city or the events that took place there. I would like to elaborate more on that with the people of the ACT and I shall in time but perhaps with a different medium.

I really liked being in Canberra if only to upset myself in thinking how little I have done since leaving. I want my Canberra years back.

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15 Responses to
Grieving the loss of time in Canberra
Kerryhemsley 10:08 am 14 Jan 11

Definitely an inferiority complex. We bang on about Sydney when most Sydneysiders couldn’y give a f…k about Canberra. Unless they are talking about pollies.

Rollersk8r 9:38 am 14 Jan 11

I was stopped in Garema Place a while back by 2 well dressed girls in their 20s. They said they were in Canberra for the day and asked me “Where is the CITY?” They nearly fell over laughing when I said they were in it. But at least I was able to deliver a short history lesson about the Y plan etc.

As a born and bred Canberran I will always get a bit defensive about the bad rap we get. My main beef is every other country in the world seems proud of their capital, while Canberra still seems to carry the millstone of the capital nobody wanted/wants. You don’t have to go far outside the ACT to hear how we’re all rich, spoiled and don’t understand the lives of real working people…

Chop71 9:37 am 14 Jan 11

BearBuns said :

I love it from the dodginess of Charnwood to the crappy health system. It is, quite simply, my home.

As mentioned in other posts, they have the largest flat screen TV’s and are experiencing some of the largest % increase in house values in the ACT. (Check March 2009 AFR Smart Investor – you were all informed and now the stats are true)

Mess 8:13 am 14 Jan 11

People who classify Canberra as a boring town with nothing to do clearly have no imagination, and will more than likely be bored wherever they go. Canberra is a great place with loads to do. I’ve travelled all over the world, and I’m always glad when I am back home in Canberra.

cleo 12:11 am 14 Jan 11

Canberra is a big country bush town, with a lot of small minded people.
Once the kids are old enough they leave town, as it’s soooo boring.

BearBuns 8:15 pm 13 Jan 11

I was born here many years ago but have not spent all that long in Canberra, relatively speaking. I have left and come back many times. Some of the leaving was up to me, most was not. The coming back was up to me. A couple of years ago I had to leave because of illness (I will spare you the big sob story). I left where I was a lot earlier than planned and returned with nowhere to live, and all that I owned packed into my little Yaris, but after what I had been through, the feeling I got when I saw Telstrayama sitting proudly atop Black Mountain made me smile for days because I was home. Sod anyone who says this place sucks. I love it from the dodginess of Charnwood to the crappy health system. It is, quite simply, my home.

Not 5:54 pm 13 Jan 11

Everyone likes to bag a city they don’t live in. I do it all the time. Social location doesn’t determine social behavior or life chances. Canberra is not like any other city, It might not be cool but it is undeniably quality.

JustThinking 5:38 pm 13 Jan 11

dustytrail said :

Canberra has a small town inferiority complex problem. Unfortunately. I’ve lived here for 30 years. Although it wasn’t planned that I move here, I came, I liked and I stayed. The main problem is that Canberra has a reputation as the place of Nasty Politicians and the media doesn’t help when anything that goes on in Parliament is headed by “Canberra said/did …….”.

We have low crime here, fresh air, no pollution (or very little), great weather (4 Seasons). It’s a shame we don’t have more large private businesses here. Public Service, Trades and Small Business doesn’t encourage people from Sydney or other cities to “migrate” and liven the place up a bit.

Are you kidding me????
Really you think Canberra has a “small town inferiority complex problem.”??

I think you need to visit many other ‘small towns” were the biggest issue is kids stealing money out of your ashtray while parked at the supermarket….

Homeless 5:26 pm 13 Jan 11

Thumper said :

Canberra really isn’t as bad as the rest of the country would like to think.

No, you’re right, it’s much worse!

dustytrail 5:20 pm 13 Jan 11

Canberra has a small town inferiority complex problem. Unfortunately. I’ve lived here for 30 years. Although it wasn’t planned that I move here, I came, I liked and I stayed. The main problem is that Canberra has a reputation as the place of Nasty Politicians and the media doesn’t help when anything that goes on in Parliament is headed by “Canberra said/did …….”.

We have low crime here, fresh air, no pollution (or very little), great weather (4 Seasons). It’s a shame we don’t have more large private businesses here. Public Service, Trades and Small Business doesn’t encourage people from Sydney or other cities to “migrate” and liven the place up a bit.

Buzz2600 5:17 pm 13 Jan 11

What an interesting affect Canberra has on some people! Some might opine that very little has happened in Canberra for years.

JustThinking 4:32 pm 13 Jan 11

Thumper said :

Canberra really isn’t as bad as the rest of the country would like to think.

Thumper,
I have lived/travelled around alot of NSW and never heard many bad comments about Canberra (apart from people visiting who got lost or got confused on round-a-bouts)
Lots of complaints about the polly’s in Canberra, but not Canberra people.

To Not,
I think it happens to almost everyone in your type of situation.
I grew up in the area but left at 18yo due to an illness in the family. I always thought about the area and what was happening. Many years later all I wanted to do was come back HOME.
I brought my kids back on holiday to check things out (as everything on the news was bad and they were worried about moving here) and after 3 days they wanted me to leave them here in a Motel while I went home and packed.

Alot has changed but it will always be home to me. Now it is my kids home as well.

Thumper 3:45 pm 13 Jan 11

Canberra really isn’t as bad as the rest of the country would like to think.

gospeedygo 3:30 pm 13 Jan 11

No matter how wonderful other cities are, it doesn’t change the fact of being born here. Wonderful topic Not.

JessP 2:46 pm 13 Jan 11

Not, we often dont appreciate what we have until we leave it/lose it.

Remember to find the positives in where you live now and wherever you live…you may feel that way about Melbourne in a few years time.

And lets face it Canberra is pretty damn good. Really.

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