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SURRY HILLS
On arriving in Sydney, Nando and I eventually got ourselves a tiny studio flat in Surry Hills. With my industry experience I was able to gain entry into a technical college where I studied business management. Nando had no problem finding full time work in the city centre and I worked part time as a live artists' model at Julian Ashton Art School. Soon after completing a diploma in Business Management I got a sales/admin job with a finance company in Sydney's CBD.

Looking back now on these first years in Sydney I still feel the nauseous ache of my profound unhappiness at that time. The harder I tried to be 'successful' like all the shallow, confident people I was surrounded by, I dispised myself more and more. The experience of losing my own identity and venturing out into the world to compete in a game of superficiality is partly where the inspiration for Little Worm's Big Question came from.

I was anorexic and seriously depressed when my best friend from Kalang Farm, Phil, showed up in Sydney. His bluntness and tough love at that time really helped to snap me out of my misery. Seeing him again was a huge reminder of what my life had once been like and how different it was now. He reassured me that it didn't have to be that way and that I could change. It felt as if the gaol wardens had temporarily left my cell door unlocked and slightly ajar. It was an escape and I took it.


RUNNING AWAY
I left my job, Nando and Sydney soon after and retreated back to the familiarity and peace of Big Bush where I stayed with Dad until I got my strength and courage back. I started painting and life became beautiful again, but as the months passed my uneasiness grew. I knew I was hiding from the world and it became more and more apparent that I couldn't stay there forever.

Nando eventually left Sydney and joined me at Big Bush while we planned what to do next. I missed Bellingen and Kalang and felt sure that I'd be happy again if I went back there. In a manic blur I got my drivers' licence, bought a car and set out with Nando and all our possessions for Bellingen to start again.

Over the course of the next 3-4 years Nando and I lived at Kalang near Bellingen, Cairns in North Queensland, and then returned to Sydney again. I worked as a hotel room assistant, English teacher, but none of it felt right.

In 2007 - 2008 I returned to Peru by myself for a year and got another position working as resident manager at Cock of the Rock Lodge in Manu National Park, until once again my emotional baggage caught up with me and I returned, defeated, to Australia and Nando with nowhere left to go.