I’ve uttered, written and dreamt these words. Take me away. From here. This place. This life.
This morning I saw the car. The car that is the antithesis of everything I love about cars. It is rugged. Its made of riveted aluminum. It is un-classy, uncomfortable and unalike anything I’ve ever been drawn to before. It is uncharacteristically me. Its so wildly different to my life, its the exact car that represents everything that I want when I say “take me away”.
The car that is designed to traverse soils, sands and swamps. It is for mud-loving, adventure-seeking, African-continent-crossing type people.
Not me. It is not for me, and it was never meant for me**.
But yet, when I see this car, it makes me wish my three little words. Take me away.
I guess I’m a runner (we’ve established I’m not so hot at that in reality, so I’m definitely talking metaphorically here). When things have got exceedingly tough, and they really have with work, family, friends, that whole baby thing, sometimes all I want is to be taken away. Sometime in the past year (or is it two now? I lose track) – and possibly related to, while not confirmed, a new fascination with visiting the bush (fascination/obsession – same,same), the Defender became the symbol. The adventure it represents, far outweighs the place I’m currently in. And so when I see one, I think.. just a little bit. Just for a moment. But just take me away.
So wasn’t it ironic (ala Alanis Morisette, which was more unfortunate that ironic… This was actually ironic), that this morning’s sighting of the car, had the number plate ‘GOT AWAY’. (I am not making this shit up).
Lucky bastard. Lucky lucky bastard.
Except, he didn’t get away. He was right here. Stuck in traffic like the rest of us.
I guess running, or wishing to be taken away, by a car, a person, a life, an adventure I don’t know anything about just for a change from my current place and life – isn’t going to get me anywhere. It’ll land up all the same.
Right here. In traffic.
**The Defender is, however, made by Jaguar. (Or I should say it was, as it was discontinued in June.) But Jaguar also make the F-type, and that is very me. And anyone can take me away in that any day. Or I’ll take myself away. Except that totally defeats the point of this post. And we’ll probably get stuck in suburban traffic in that too. But the point has been missed if we start fantasizing about this car. Read from the top again.
Timehop is one of the apps on my phone I visit daily (like the weather, twitter and instagram). It’s my quick trip down memory lane… in a highlights reel.
Yesterday, I read a beautiful comment posted on my facebook wall about 8 years ago. It congratulated us on our recent engagement (yep, that was 8 years ago!) and mentioned a visit to SA and Australia. Problem was, I have no idea who Ron Mulligan, the author of the comment, is. Ron may have changed his name, and his facebook profile picture (timehop pulls in the latest of both from facebook) and so I stalked… err, researched… and found Ron on facebook. We are no longer friends. We have no friends in common. And besides that we both lived in the UK at some point (the public profile and cover pictures reveal), I have no reason to believe I ever knew Ron… besides the fact that timehop implies perhaps we were friends.
There’s a theory that you hold a finite number of memories – that simply, there isn’t enough space for every past moment to be kept in your mind. It also says that by revisiting a memory, you’re hauling it out of the filing cabinet, and rewriting it, to be stored closer to the front again. What is stored, is an interpretation of what was, with today’s perspective. It is filed to be accessed again. And when it is, the original facts of the occasion aren’t recalled at all, but rather – the most recent version that was filed.
The theory makes sense, we tend to recall happiest of moments and often say “I remember it like it was yesterday” (most likely with incorrect facts of who was really there, and what you actually wore!). However we don’t even remember the name of someone we were in class with at university as we haven’t had to think of them since we last saw them. This is the anti-old-age-memory-loss theory. This is the filing-cabinet-memory-loss theory.
So Ron… dear Ron may be a broken algorithim of timehop meets facebook, or Ron may also be someone from a past life in London. But for me, Ron is forgotten.
And so it made me think, about who (and what) else I may land up forgetting. If I stop talking to people, and then stop visiting the memories – will other, current, people, places, feelings and times land up falling out of the filing cabinet of my mind as well. Will someone special today, or last year, land up unrecognisable and not just through a name change on facebook or a haircut and new profile pic.
I know there are some people, places and times that we say we’d prefer to forget, but would we really? If they were really gone – like Ron – wouldn’t it be scary to have wasted that time, that friendship or that emotion on someone who we can no longer even recall – them or why they were there in the first place. As much as we think it’d be easier and better to forget – especially the bad stuff – I’m not sure I want to when faced with the reality of truly not being able to recall someone. Pushing something away, in to the deep recess of your mind, doesn’t mimic the actuality of how you feel when you have truly forgotten them.
I hope Ron wasn’t someone I should’ve remembered. For the lesson he taught me, or that I taught him. I wonder if it works both ways and if Ron remembers me.
*Further stalking reveals that Ron is actually a girl.
That was pretty much the response (while non-verbal) I received when I told someone that… I do, in fact, see in colours.
The truth is, while most do see in colours, its more than just seeing. Its a feeling, an emotion that manifests in my vision and makes all things that colour, completely giving the emotion form and definition, through the colour that it is. I feel in colour.
I’m a walking, talking colourful mood-ring.
What’s most fascinating about this ridiculous attempt to summarise my emotional state, is that I can go from being somewhat blue (you know… just chilled, pleasant) to red (feeling something rather intense, indescribable and overwhelming) to a deep dark grey (pissed mostly) in a very short space of time. Luckily for me, I’m back to white today (after all of the above). Just a beautiful white numb. (A Chenin Blanc white numb).
Some may say I’m just a little crazy. I prefer to say I’m colourful cray-cray.
As I face the end of yet another challenging month, at this, the end of a very challenging year, I’m forced to reflect on the year that was. What I do most years. But this year seems really challenging.
It was crap. Really crap. Like, from where I sit, this was the crappest year that ever there was.
You see, if I’m honest. I’m a bit of a wallower. You know, when I’m sad – I play sad music and cry even more. When I’m feeling fat, I’ll eat a chocolate and feel even fatter. Generally I don’t have much of a chance to wallow, because I don’t have people in my life that I’m allowed to wallow with. My mom, my husband – they’re real ‘positive’ types. This year though, I wallowed. Dangerously so. Sat around and discussed the meaning of life type of wallowing. Said FML (a lot).
And so, now at the end of 2014 – I need to try and see the good in the year that was. Given the bad that I went through.
The bad… aggh – those are all in draft blog posts. Pending approval. By me. My inner peace is still wrestling with the bad.
But lets try and find the good. I mean, in a whole year – there was some.
Firstly – there were the 7 weddings. In 5 weeks. Across 2 continents. Yes, ok it included a tumble that was almost a broken wrist plus a moment in a rose bush. But the truth is, I was witness to the bridesmaid marrying the right man, the man for her. “The one”. I saw a bride walk down the aisle with her dad, a special moment especially since she lost her dad unexpectadly just a week later. That moment, always in our hearts, that wedding – an epic party.
We also got to dance under the stars at the most intimate and special wedding of an amazing couple at Babylonstoren, and then do it all again two days later at their Great Gatsby inspired wedding at the most interesting venue that would surprise anyone. Don’t believe me. The girl organised two weddings, two days apart – and both were undeniably incredible! Check them out: The intimate wedding & the Reason to Party wedding.
My cousin, Mark’s cousin and the international couple (A South African & Argentine living in London, married in Bueons Aires). 6 special couples. 7 special celebrations. Can’t be faulting that.
Weddings aside, there was also the South American trip. The trip inspired off the back of the Buenos Aires wedding. The trip that ultimately became known to us, and anyone who followed us on social media – as the Bucket List trip. Because, it was. We danced in the stands of the Sambadrome to all hours of the morning with the Rio carnival parade, a sea of colours, passing us. We visited Brazilian beaches, donned brazilian bikinis (they’re small) and visited Christ the Redeemer. We lost our breath at altitude and finally completed my 10 year long dream of visiting the ancient home of the Incas at Machu Picchu. It was unbelievable and magical.
We fell in love with a city, that we didn’t even expect to like. It became one of our top three. Cape Town, Barcelona, Buenos Aires (in case you were wondering).
I paused in writing this post here… for about 3 weeks. Mostly because I really am battling to find the next good thing to write about. From May onwards, and after our whirlwind week in Robertson with the last of the wedding fun, the year sort of blurs into a series of late nights, stress, tears and prom therapy – basically just winter sunset walks on the promenade.
But today, I remembered some random other goods (which isn’t a well constructed English sentence, but whatever, I haven’t read a book in a while).
I stopped listening to the radio this year – I think we all did after Gareth Cliff decided to join WeChat (or whatever he did) and 5fm decided they didn’t need listeners in their 30’s. But it was good, because I discovered new music. And also I figured out what I really like in music. It surprised me, but it was like I found a little part of me again.
We got Indie, our gorgeous little staffy puppy. Her name could’ve landed up Cecilia if the 2015 Bride had anything to do with it. Ah, the 2015 Bride asked me to be a bridesmaid! I’ve known her since I was 3 – it is the biggest honour! Plus, I get to play BM with the third in our life-long friendship.
We were asked to be godparents to baby Cameron – my favourite little guy in all the world! Plus Bronwyn (Cammy bear’s mom) fell pregnant again! Baby #2 and Cameron’s bro is due on my birthday next year! The bridesmaid, and the bride in wedding number 7 above (orange dress) fell pregnant and is expecting a girl (we still aren’t 100% sure its a girl but I’ve started shopping pink anyway).
I went to Joburg, twice! This is a highlight, especially the second time where I also got to dine with my sister – a perfect evening in Parkhurst and one of the nicest catch ups we’ve ever had. That girl has some value! On the topic of sisters, my other sister moved home from England (she knows how to do a move back to SA that one – she’s on a farm in the Winelands. Well played, sis, well played).
Daily coffee, girls dinners, tears, late nights, groundhog day. But actually not such a crap year afterall, and December has rolled round with silly season madness; the Lumineers, Foo Fighters and a pool party. Clearly a good sign of what 2015 will be about. I can hope.
A friend recently commented to me that the quality of my twitter activity has deteriorated. I barely knew he was even still on twitter, but so, for the first time in my life I started looking at my followers… How many I had (wow, over a thousand…!) and then I watched them daily unfollow me. So because I’m the introspective type (except not really) I thought I’d see what exactly I’ve been putting out there daily. And the answer – so much of the mundane.
Traffic tweet – usually a bit of a moan Coffee tweet – solidifying my addiction that I share with thousands and that is no way unique Weather/Cape Town tweet – it’s summer and beautiful. Every day Lyrics tweet – been listening to a lot of music on repeat. Thus learning the lyrics really well. And without being able to sing, I guess one has to tweet them. Has to. Inspirational quote on an image tweet – too many of these pseudo deep and meaningfuls. That are mostly stolen from chick magazines posts on twitter.
A retweet or two. Because other people are much better at this than I am.
An exercise vs yoga or a ‘what I ate‘ tweet. Shit these are sad.
Oh, the swearing tweet. Usually when I am getting fed up about the day.
The homeland/’insert series here’ tweet – because evenings are about TV.
And don’t forget the Instagram image link tweet which always annoys me because yes, I still just use the normal twitter app and not any of those fancy apps that you all use where you can see the image in the feed.
So I don’t blame them for unfollowing either really.
Because that shit isn’t adding any value at all.
This gem of a line, I think first delivered to me after being dumped by a boyfriend in std 8, came to mind today. You know the one, “people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” It is usually told to you by someone trying to console you, trying to remind you that everything always works out ok in the end. Often followed by “give it time, time heals” or similar.
The saying goes that when you figure out which it is (a reason, season or a lifetime), you’ll know what to do. But really? Is it as simple as meeting someone (“hey, howz’t”) and then knowing exactly how they going to fit in to your life?
Friends. You meet them along the way, you hit it off, overnight besties sometimes. You think you are inseparable. You in fact are inseparable. And then, the unimaginable. You separate. No one did anything… That you know of. But one moment you’re growing old with someone, and the next, you’re only chatting once every three months, and then less. Your lives take on different directions or courses. There was no hurt, no betrayal to damage it… And when you met, there was no need to be fulfilled. It just was. And then it wasn’t.
Same goes for those ones that do hang around for a lifetime. I’ve been friends with two girls since I was about three (no exaggeration I swear). They are like sisters to me. I wouldn’t say they know everything I’m currently thinking (quite the contrary as they both live in London and as much as Skype, iMessage and whatsapp are great – you don’t tell them when you’ve had a shit day and mostly just tell them about the great weather in Cape Town. They’re weather buddies) – they will always be in my life. They are definitely the lifetime people. But hell, I didn’t know that when I was three. So I certainly didn’t commit to extra hours of playtime on the fort at “happy days”. It just sort of happened. They stuck around. In fact, they’ll still be around when I’m 90.
When I first moved to London, I was great friends with a girl I worked with. We (if the legend is correct) even shopped together – which is fairly unbelievable as I don’t really do the shopping thing, but the fact that I did – and with her, says something about the level of friendship we’re talking about. And then we went our separate ways – both on paths of travel, down an aisle and eventually back to sunny SA where (6 years later) we ran into each other again. This year, I celebrated Christmas at her house – we are those best friends again. What happened in between, or why we took the break we did for the time that we did – noone really knows. We both thought we were the seasonal friend to each other, turns out we’re going to be the lifetime friend.
I was recently asked if I knew it was going to be serious when I met my (now) husband. I really don’t think I knew. I was 19. If I had put him in the lifetime box then… He probably would’ve run a mile. Hell, I would’ve run a mile.
On that note though, it feels that as adults, we feel the need to put every encounter into it’s box. Know before it starts what the meaning of it is. Categorise people as we meet them – are we going to be occasional friends, acquaintances, the create-a-party-friends, the real friends. I realise that in today’s day and age, where time is a scarce commodity and the friendships and relationships that already exist need all the investment we can possibly afford, we like to know exactly where new individuals are going to fit in. Is it worth the extra investment if they’re really not going to hang around? Or if I’m not?
But what if nothing is wrong, there is no need or silent prayer to be answered. No sharing, growing or learning that you’re after. What if, reasons or seasons, just don’t apply to some people. Or worse, what if you commit to believing that someone belongs in a category and it turns out you’re wrong. Is it really as simple as fobbing a situation or friendship off to a category just to make peace with the level of effort you invest in it.
Have I talked in circles? I usually do.
I’d like to reword this saying:
Sometimes people come into your life for a reason, a season, a lifetime… or a combination of the three. Life is fluid, and as you grow the people around you grow too. Some that start out just popping in to answer a question or silent prayer may be the ones that stick around for a lifetime. The ones that have always been there that you commit to growing old with, may be the ones that land up leaving or being left behind.
What remains true is to accept the lesson as it happens, love the person for each role that they play as they play it or continue to play it and put what you learn to use.
Its far less inspirational, yes. But its the truth. You never know what you’re going to get.
It’s not that I intended to party like I was 19. And to be fair, while I may have mentioned it a couple of times – the reality is more of the contrary. Drunkenness yes, but early to bed and to rise with runs, gym and coffee not to mention healthy eating doesn’t really put me in the 19 bracket.
Instead, the wobble more comes in a similar vein to how it did before the big 3-oh. And we all know that actually worked out ok – so really, nothing to worry about for 2014.
Life isn’t what you think it is. And more often than not, you discover this the hard way. You make choices, that you think are a good idea at the time (be honest – you do, otherwise you’d never have made them) and then you deal with the consequences the best way you know how. Chances are though that making the decisions, well the big ones anyway, involve drawing in a couple of resources – you know; the friend who changed jobs recently or who has made good career choices, the one who’s parents are divorced, or the one that’s been in a relationship forever. The one who has bought a house, shares, a new car, or moved countries. There are the good listeners, and the good advice givers. There are also the ones who dominate you with their shit, that you forget why you met up for coffee in the first place (which is fine too).
However, there are some choices, thoughts, decisions, facts that you can’t really draw anyone in for. They’re the ones that are not really up for round table discussion. Mostly because you know that there’s no one who can listen, who knows, you even comes close to understanding or who could help you work out that weirdness that comes with how you feel when life isn’t really going how you figured it might.
The job, car, investments, houses and relationship stuff – that’s easy.
The freaking out that another year has passed. The questions around are you supposed to be where you are? Is there a point? What is that point? Is there more to this? For that you’re completely alone. And that sort of makes you wobble.
Always a disclaimer: At the risk of devaluing this post (which will most likely be read by about 5 people tops) with a motivational poster, I decided to add one anyway. This post is far too serious and not at all lighthearted which is completely unlike the writer herself (in the 3rd person, because that isn’t weird) and I needed to lift the January 1st mood a little.