I’m sure most of you would remember the blog where I talked about my transformation from Aussie tourist to full blown Londoner. I know there are quite a few people who probably won’t be too happy to read this particular post but I’m going to discuss it with you all anyway.
Having the Olympics on and around me has made me realise that I’ve developed a bit of an identity crisis. While I was born and raised in Australia by what could arguably be one of the most stereotypical Australian families (like on The Castle) and I will always consider myself to be Aussie at the core, there is no denying that in my time in London I’ve started to identify with the British, the culture, the values and the history.
It has hit home a few times for me in the last couple of weeks. I shed many a tear while watching the Opening Ceremony and felt proud of the way Danny Boyle captured what makes ‘us’ British – the history, the industrial revolution, the many inventions, the inspiring writers and artists, and so on. Worse, I have found myself being immensely proud to see the Union Flag all over the streets and all over the stadium and other Olympic venues on the television coverage.
Worse still, I have caught myself cheering on team GB in most events and being emotionally overwhelmed when the likes of Andy Murray, Jess Ennis, and Mo Farah won gold and being really sympathetic of Christine Ohuruogu and Becky Adlington when they apologised to the British public for ‘letting them down’ and getting a silver – as if that’s anything to apologise for. I guess another thing that makes it worse again, is the fact I know the British athlete’s names and really have no idea who’s who in the Australian team. Don’t get me wrong, if there is an Aussie contender in the mix I do cheer loudly and proudly, but without my realising it I have a soft spot for anyone brandishing the Team GB uniforms and, when God Save the Queen starts playing, getting more than one tear in my eye.
Some might say it’s understandable considering I’ve built myself a little life here, found the man of my dreams, married him, started in a role I love and began to cement myself in the world of brand and communications, developed long lasting and hugely important friendships, acquired an extended family through Colin and developed an understanding for HIS history (childhood memories, the way things were back then etc).
Some might also say it could be down to the somewhat (and completely natural) bias of the British Olympic media coverage.
Some might also say that it’s understandable I have identified with so much of the culture here seeing so much of the Australian culture has stemmed from the British. Who my age doesn’t remember watching Mr Bean episodes with their parents on the weekends? And who doesn’t remember reading and hearing stories like Peter Pan, and even the Harry Potter books at a later stage in life – so when these made an appearance in the Opening Ceremony of course my heart flooded with pride.
Understanding aside, it’s bloody scary when you realise you’re in a sort of nationality limbo… feeling like you’re neither fully and completely here nor there. And really, I couldn’t put it down to any of those things. It’s true the Olympics has made it noticeable for me, but it’s not the first time this has happened, rather I think it has been one of those slow processes that has seen me morph into this weird ‘AusBrit’ (TM) – Not really ever feeling like I fully belong anywhere, sometimes Australian, sometimes a Londoner, sometimes an Aussie Londoner and sometimes, dare I say it, British!