In a rut.


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I’m in a bit of a rut with Canberra right now. I’m trying really hard not to be in a rut and proactively trying to get out of said rut but I am still in a rut.

I’m just a bit bored with it.

I feel like I need to get out and meet more people and do more stuff but I’m not really sure where to start.

I also feel like the town itself is in a bit of depression with the change of government and people being worried about their job security etc. It’s like the centenary bubble has burst. It’s also the end of the year so I guess some things are winding down.

I’m also painfully single and getting fed up with it and experiments with online dating have not yielded any positive interaction. And when I am in a rut I am usually at my least confident and sparkling, so it takes extra effort to overcome that. It’s a cruel Catch 22. And Canberra is a town full of couples, except everyone seems to have imported their partner from somewhere else and dragged them back here. I seriously can’t even think of any couples I know who have actually met in Canberra, so that’s depressing.

The things that are generally nice about Canberra are also starting to irk me. Like seriously, markets of Canberra, why do the stalls never ever change?

Also, I think in the colder months I was like ‘it’s OK, things will be more fun when the weather is less miserable’, yet now the weather is less miserable and that hasn’t directly translated into more fun. I’m swimming laps and trying to do more exercise now the weather has improved, but yeah, swimming laps is hardly social.

People in Canberra seem to largely meet through team sports, which has never been my thing (they really bring back the trauma of school and I am terrible at them, and I hate being on teams where I’m the weakest link and dragging everyone else down and everyone here is so damn fit and alpha and competitive. This is a town where people do boot camps everywhere and on everything, even national monuments are not safe from sweaty hoards of boot campers and their early morning enthusiasm).

And then people are like ‘sign up for a class to meet people!’ Well, everyone arrives at a Zumba class or a yoga class with their friends. So I haven’t found these kinds of things to actually be at all social. They just provide an obvious reminder of capital clique-ness. When I’m out here as well, nobody mingles outside of their group.

In the new year I will try some other things, maybe another language class or something. But I kind of detest that forced interaction stuff too, it always seems so fake, like pre-determined networking events. ‘Hello, I”m going to network with you right now.” So awks.

But at the moment I’m just a bit frustrated with Canberra, especially after spending another Saturday night doing nada. So sorry about the whinge but I just had to vent somewhere.

4 Responses to " In a rut. "

  1. Steph K says:

    Hey Ashlee, Steph Kuisma here – was just reading over some of your great work for CIFOR and thought I’d pop over to your blog to see what wonderful things you are doing in Canberra this month. It was so great to talk to you (albeit briefly) back in Albury last month about the work you have been doing. Very inspiring (I’m extremely envious of your work (and play) adventures over the last five years). Anywhoo…I just wanted to add something to the bottom of this post that may possibly perk you up a little bit. Delightful men (and women) in Canberra do exist. I happened across one (Canberra born and bred) gentleman while studying at the ANU, and five years later he is still a keeper. And Kate is soon to marry a Canberran architect, and they met at the Canberra Races of all places. So stranger things can happen. They are out there. And they don’t all go to Mooseheads. You will find that there is just a magical bond between people from Canberra and Albury – it is called growing up in a country town (strangely enough aka a Capital City). I look forward to reading your next blog about the Canberran man who sprung up out of nowhere. All the best, Steph. x

    • Ash says:

      Thanks for such a lovely comment Steph, was great to see you at the reunion! It sounded like you are up to fabulous things as well. And thanks for the reminder that Canberra is not a dating wasteland and that there are good fellas to be found! Was just having a bummed out week and needed to vent–it always helps! Stay in touch and hope to see you again soon. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

      x Ash

  2. Belle says:

    Hey Ashy, all cities get like that sometimes, as we well know. This might seem lame but have you seen meetups? It’s an awesome way of joining in all kinds of activities- sportive or otherwise. There are some crazily themed groups out there that you’d love. You’re awesome! Miss ya xx

  3. I can see you really love travel blogging. I enjoyed reading through your blog. I’ve been to Canberra and I think the most popular attraction is the parliament house. It’s amazing how crowded it was the day I visited.