The downside to paradise

Before anyone gets me wrong, I love this place. I love the landscape, the traditions, the culture. I love the quirks of island life, the seasonal produce, the shortages and the gluts of fruit and veg, getting fish fresh from fisherman, and vegies straight from the grower. There are a lot of values that this island could teach the rest of the world.

But right now, I feel like I am living under the microscope, like every little thing I do is viewed through the prism of ""Commonwealth employees wife"". There is sense of you must  ''watch your step'', ''watch what you say'', ''watch how you behave'' and everyone wants to talk to me about island politics at the moment. I have been caught in small town politics before, but nothing ever as emotional and BIG as this. And I've never been unwittingly in the middle of it before. It means I can't trust people, can't trust to talk about anything going on with me, or that my words won't get twisted around or misunderstood. Never mind the conspiracy theory that our phones are tapped. I mean for fucks sake!!! It is pretty isolating. The funny thing is that all of that just makes me want to isolate myself further and embrace my inner hermit. Someone even said to me today...""dont let them chase you off the island''.

This island is going through a momentuous change. It is a really big thing for this island. I respect that the people on this island are caught in the currents of a big change and they don't know where they will end up, and are probably feeling pretty powerless like a piece of driftwood tossed around in the currents. They feel like they have no voice.  This I understand. It's a very emotional time. 

But I am not from this island, and much as I love it, I don't have that connection. And I feel acutely all the emotion of all these people that want to talk about what's right about the process, and what's wrong about the process. Sometimes it feels like being an unwitting counsellor to all and sundry, whoever I bump into and wants a chat. And for the most part I have welcomed it...until now. On the one hand its great that people feel they can talk to me, on the other it's just plain out draining.  And right now my self preservation is kicking in.

I don't want to diminish what people on this island are feeling because what they are worried about is completely legitimate but I also sometimes feel like saying, you know It's not going as well as it could, not by a long shot, but you know, it could be a hell of a lot worse. Really, in the grand scheme of things it could be far far worse.