2015, a much better year

In 2014 I basically just failed at life. Or at least, it felt like I failed (a lot).

Nothing could have been worse than it. Someone once told me there’s no such thing as rock bottom, and that you can always get worse once you think you’re at rock bottom. In 2015, I learnt that while this may be true (who am I to disagree with addict psychology really), you can reach a turning point that is the most rock bottom you’ve been and come back from it.

I recall a friends’ status update on the last day of 2014 where she relished in all the successes of the best year ever, and thinking to myself ‘nice for some’ as I reflected on the shit year I had had. As a result, I refrain from a Facebook status this year that declares love for my husband, my dog, my home, my life, as it would appear that 2015 was filled with heartache, loss and pain for others. Everyone’s year is different. It is never a good year for us all (all at once), and so I’m not about to rub noses in my (much better than 2014) 2015.

There was still some room for improvement. It wasn’t perfect, and I did fail at some things. However, some lessons are always learnt – whether the year itself was a good or a bad one.

In 2015 I learnt the value of commitment.

Through my own experiences, and of those around me. I watched as marriages fell apart, and as some were built back up through hard work, attitude adjustments, reaffirming decisions, recommitment and mostly – choice.
I learnt that nothing is ever what it seems. That Instagram posts and declarations of love on social media, and even behaviour in social settings, may often be just a cover (they may also not be a cover too I guess). Either way, you never truly know what may be going on in people’s relationships and that you may often be surprised. But I learnt that the commitment you make on your wedding day is not to be taken lightly. It is for better and for worse. And the for worse days will make themselves known. Perhaps not immediately, and perhaps in different shapes and guises of sickness, pressures, financial loss, personal tragedies, personality, growth or moral clashes, but they will become known to all marriages. It is during these days that you need to recall why you committed and commit again to each other.

The best philosophy I heard in 2015 was to consider your marriage as a contract that is up for renewal annually. If you approached it this way how differently would you behave. Knowing there was risk in being “let go”, or having to “let go” of that person you loved enough to say I do to. I agree with the philosophy completely and try and approach each day like it is something we should recommit to.

I learnt that no matter how much you wish people could understand you, or how you’d like to try and explain yourself, you cannot change their preconceived ideas about you or about how (your) life should be. You can only be true to yourself. Be honest about what it is you want for your life and make sure every damn day you aren’t lying to the person in the mirror (firstly).

I learnt that life’s lessons aren’t to be buried or run away from. They define where you come from, and how you’ve grown. I have learnt that all my lessons and challenges, especially those of 2014, weren’t only for me. That the pain, heartache and confusion has helped others in small ways. Some people may tell you that you’re helping them. Others may never mention it and rather slip quietly away. But nothing is without lesson and growth when we’re open to it.

I learnt that the small stuff isn’t worth sweating. But that your triggers are still your triggers. And you can’t berate yourself for being who you are.

I learnt the meaning of a miracle.
Twice.

I learnt that I’m stronger than I thought I was.

I learnt that sometimes letting go is the best thing you can do. Even though you may not want to.

I learnt that timing is everything.

But because they’re still important – here’s my 2015 highlights

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Why I should snap out of my shitty mood

So last night I sat alone in my hotel room in Joburg for about 6 hours. This was before I actually fell asleep. From 4pm onwards. I didn’t even venture out for food. I felt miserable, hot, depressed. I ordered a milkshake for dinner. A MILKSHAKE. GO me. 

I used to love Joburg. It was all new and novel and exciting. So many languages, so many (black) faces – we don’t get a lot of black people in Cape Town I now realise – so many highways, sign posts, shopping malls, hispter cool Parkhurst restaurants. 

But.. I’ve been grumpy as shit since Saturday (and I only flew on Sunday) about this trip to Joburg. WHY? Why don’t I love it as much as before? 

I mean, the weather is hot. The people are still friendly. The languages still flowing. 

I tweeted all the feels (as Nicole so aptly put it) as I cried my way through the Fault in our Stars, X factor and Greys last night. Although, who doesn’t always cry through those three things so maybe that had nothing to do with being Joburg. Maybe.

But basically I’m just grumpy right now. With no real reason.

I have a good job. Some (me) may say (while speaking to young models about career ambitions and failures) that I am where I wanted to be. 7 years in London working in black suits reconciling investments being paid a (fair) some an hour on the 33rd floor of the tallest (then tallest) building in London – I was the most miserable mopey person in the word. Ok, maybe not the word. Possibly in London.. although, I worked with some very sad English sods too. So maybe my mopeyness is an exaggeration. But while I was moping and being paid possibly more than I am now, I dreamt of ‘being in marketing’. Because people who are 26 know exactly what that actually means.

But now, now I’m marketing manager for a fashion retailer. I make TV ads, I do PR, I travel to Joburg to hang out schlebs (Local ones. I’m yet on the Brad Pitt level of doing things. And I didn’t know who he, the said celeb, was until I was told. I’m out of touch with people who are 25) and go to media interviews where I talk (bullshit) my way through all the while being believed.

This morning, I casually greeted Gareth Cliff ‘hey’. Like, just ‘hey’. Ever so casual ‘hey’. Not like the girl who hung onto every word he said prior to that morning in April last year when he decided to change the face of radio. And by change the face of radio I mean when he left 5fm and I turned over to only listening to the same 27 songs on a play list named ‘fine’ because I can’t think of a more creative name for it (and nothing to do with the digital radio part of his move).

I live in a house. My own house. That has 4 bedrooms! I mean, FOUR. Granted we turned one into a library/chill/room on the end that leads to the pool because who actually needs four bedrooms? But still. We also have a pool. And a garden, that has a herb garden and a lime tree. I mean, I have a lime tree. Do you know how awesome limes are? I do. Because a mojito is the best drink in the world, and it can’t be made with shitty lemons. Only limes. And I have them growing in my garden (side note: yet to see a lime appear on said tree).

I have friends. Awesome ones. Ones that think of me and remember shit going on in my life and who genuinely care about stuff. They even cry for me or when I tell them things close to my heart. Those are some really awesome friends. (I realise we all have friends, and that we all think that our friends are the best friends. But mine, for the purpose of this blog post, really are the best, ok?).

I have a husband. But I’ve never been into soppy shit and I don’t plan to start blogging love stories now. But I do have a good one. And really… he’s EVERYTHING.

I have a dog, two parents, two healthy sisters. I am going on THE most amazing holiday to a dream-come-true destination later this year, plus even more awesome stuff that I don’t feel like listing here for the risk of carpel tunnel syndrome from typing too much.

So why the grumpy mood? Hell if I know. I need to snap out of it. I have all the reasons in the world to (I just listed them, if you weren’t paying attention that was what I was doing).

Or, maybe I’ll just play the National and have (another) good cry shall I? Because that always helps.

**Note: One song of The National will not make one cry. You need to listen to a whole album and then you’ll wonder why the earth hasn’t swallowed you whole yet. Don’t believe me? Try it. Go on, I dare you to.