So many new thoughts have entered my overactive mind in the last few weeks. While I love my adventurous side (and still have a dozen more countries that I would like to see), I have this need to settle down. No, I don’t necessarily mean having kids, getting married, buying a house and investing in things. I mean, I want to find a place that I can call home. This has been all too difficult for the past few years because I’ve had to move apartments, countries and cities every 2-4 months for work or because of a lease that has ended. It’s left me somewhat bitter in that I have to pack up everything I own once again and try to make a new place “homey”. So once again, it’s been a total of 6 weeks in this new place and I have to move out. Just lovely.
When I heard the news 3 weeks ago, I frantically searched real estate websites in Barcelona and even went as far as looking at places in Cape Town and Berlin. I also thought perhaps I’d do a month-long travel through Europe. But moving cities and moving countries means yet again getting used to the area, learning the language and so on and so forth. While that is exciting, I am just not in the place right now.
I’ve been living in Barcelona now for 5 months… and I love it. I am quite sure that I am not convincing myself that I love it because I don’t feel like making a big move. When I think back on the places I have lived throughout my adult life, none feel like home… besides Barcelona. Just my luck though, that places available for March are either utterly shit or too expensive. So, in an attempt to get my ducks in a row, I’ve bought a return ticket to go home for 2 months. In this time, I hope to save my money, come back in May and get a one bedroom place. There’s just one problem with all of this…
Having broken away from life in my home country, people move on – much as the same as I have too. They’re different, I am different. And suddenly, I get the feeling as though they really couldn’t care less that I am coming home. Family and friends probably see me as a burden as I need to crash at their place and rely on them (or public transport) to get around. I hate been reverted back to the state where I rely on others. I’ve recently learned that this is the reason why I love living in a different country. I don’t want nor need the help of others. Additionally, I realised that I don’t really have any one in this entire world that gives a fuck where I am or what I am doing. Sad, but sort of freeing.
So while I will only be spending two months at home, it almost feels wrong. It feels like I’ve bought a one-way ticket to a place where I am “the baby” again, asking for help. I really should be excited but I’m just not.
Yes, I’m lazy when it comes to some things – hiking up mountains, speed walking, getting up to find the TV remote (only kidding… kind of), but I’ve always kind of been a firm believer in working hard. When I was at school, we were looking at 50% pass marks – which, essentially, is still pretty low. Today, schools in South Africa require a 30% pass mark. Not only that, but kids are using ridiculously bad sources such as Wikipedia to copy and paste. Yeah, they have sites that detect plagiarism, but then you have companies that edit your work for you, so you can literally cheat sites like Turnitin.
Where does that leave us. the youth of today, who have hopes and dreams just like we did/do but are too lazy to get there? Students use Siri to get answers at record speed, they use calculators and Google to do their homework. Knowledge just isn’t knowledge anymore.
Am I bitter that I couldn’t make use of these services when I was at school? Kind of. Heck, the first camera phone only made a hit when I was in high school (yes, I feel kind of old). On the other hand, did we – the older generation – learn things that are actually useless today BECAUSE of the advancement of technology?
And lastly, and most importantly, why am I on a rant about today’s youth when it’s Friday night and I am in bed? Will I turn out to be one of those old woman who say, “When I was your age…”? God, I hope not.
That’s enough from me. Goodnight.
I left London. I left the chaos of London. I left the disappointment of England. I left behind the love/hate relationship that I was in with the country, with the city. While I know that living there made my dreams come true, professionally, I feel as though I have failed.
Losing my job at the only company that I loved, was heartbreaking. I feel as though I had it all and now, I have nothing. The experience left me with skills that are irreplaceable and while I am still doing what I love, writing, England had a way of chewing me up and spitting me out, on many occasions. That is why I will always love and hate London.
I left it, though. “You are really living your best life,” my friends say. Truth is, I am jumping from country to country, pretending to love the adventure when in actuality, all I am searching for is love and happiness. Will I find it in Spain? I hope so.
For 22 years, I drifted my way through life. I rarely felt passion, I acted carelessly and I gave myself away too freely. What did it matter, though? I didn’t need to do anything substantial because I was constantly being taken care of by people in my life. My parents paid for everything, my friends took care of me when I was too drunk to get home and I didn’t have my first job until I finished university. Life was a mere spectacle. People loved my stories of how I ended up in dangerous situations and I loved telling them. I have always lived for adventure – the destructive kind.
I spent five years studying a degree I didn’t care about – little did I know, that it was this degree that would land in me in places I had only dreamed of. I ended up spending four years in Korea, teaching English, meeting locals and other foreigners, experiencing things that I thought were fascinating yet strange at the same time. I knew I had to take advantage of this situation, I knew that I was destined for more than a scandalous story.
I booked tickets to countries that excited me as often as I could. One such time, I ended up on Boracay Island in the Philippines on a solo trip. My hotel room overlooked the sky-blue ocean, great palm trees and the sun beamed into the full-length windows like rays of happiness. My bed was decorated with my favourite flower – the frangipani. Regardless of the abundance of geckos and lizards (my worst fear), I breathed in life. I talked with the locals who taught me about humility. I learned about the island in all its beauty that was jaded by social issues. The people were poor, but they were happy.
I visited a piercing and tattoo parlour on the beach and decided I would get my first tattoo – an outline of Africa on my back. It’s not big and it’s not magnificent but it is meaningful. After all those years I spent trudging through a boring and predictable life, here I was in the middle of nowhere, by myself, with a permanent symbol on my back that reminds me of who I was, who I am and where I come from. Africa will always be home.
No matter where I go (and I plan to go everywhere), Africa will always have my heart because now, I am in a place where I can truly love and admire the beauty of my home country, the inspiring people that encouraged me to live my best life and the astounding diversity that makes this world spectacular. I no longer crave destructive adventure – just, adventure.
I remember a time when online dating was something to be embarrassed about. Now, we’re looking at young millennials using these platforms to find someone to love… for the night. But here is why I am not a girl who is up for “Netflix and Chill” as written to the future love of my life.
In a world that is driven by sex, I want you to be the guy that cares about me as a person. I don’t want to be deemed a body that you can use to gain pleasure. I want the pleasure to be both mutual and meaningful, when that time comes.
I want to meet you on a train. I want to meet you at a place that we call our favourite restaurant for decades to come. I want to meet you.
I want you to love me for my brains first and my appearance second. I want you to know that I like frangipani flowers and staring out at the rain. I want to know where you went to school and who your first kiss was.
I want to get angry at you for not folding the washing or forgetting to bring home onions on the way home from work. I want to be passionate with you when our bodies crave each other with familiarity and animal instincts.
I want to cry with you when you lose someone special and I want to hold your hand when I cross the street. I want to watch terrible films with you and laugh until my face hurts.
I want you to want me even though I have no interest in politics, science or maths. I want you to be open-minded when I want to try something new or go on an adventure. I will be understanding when you want to experience something new, too.
I don’t want to use degrading words in conversation with you. I don’t want to come over and visit you late at night, either. I am not a girl who is up for “Netflix and Chill”.
Today was really something spectacular.
I’ve just come home from a holiday at my brothers place – not far from here, but a short plane ride away. It was a well-needed time off but along with any family gatherings, there’s of course irritations and annoyances. Either way, I can honestly say that I was taken care of for a solid ten days and I was very grateful for that.
Whilst on the train home from the airport – I sat and I smiled. Perhaps I should give you the backstory to this smile. I recently applied for a writing position as I have been in and out of work at different high schools around England and this profession is turning me into a bitter woman who hates every minute of her job. That’s not why I moved here. In fact, I moved her almost for the sole reason to find a job that I love. Anyway, as I was applying for different teaching roles, I thought – why the hell couldn’t I be applying for a writing position? I have a degree in English and tons of writing experience, albeit non-professional, but still. I sent out my CV to some companies, thinking not much of it. I was asked in for an interview for a well-known company in London. I went for the interview almost two weeks ago, after which I was asked to write a few pieces for one of their less popular websites – sort of a trial/test. Yesterday, I was given back amazing feedback by a few members of the company and was offered the job.
I thought about how all of this began – not this being my job application, but me turning into a passionate person. I’ve always loved to write – but for a good few years, the light inside me was out and I stopped caring about things. It was only in 2012, when I started this blog, that I re-realised my passion for writing. Thinking back, what was it that re-lit that fire within me? That made me sit down and actually write and keep up the writing, to start my book and to then further my passions into photography and film? Well, and as oddly as this sounds – I feel as though I owe all of this to that one douche bag who I dated in 2012 that made me so heartbroken that I actually started this blog. I wonder if I would of ever sat down to start it under any other circumstances? And although I still feel fucked up and bad and weird feelings for that guy – I am here now, over three years of blogging, an almost complete book and a career in the industry that I love. I also felt as though I owed some of this success to my weight. As I am coining in and talking about my experience of being overweight and the humour – I almost feel as though my body is something to be proud of. It’s one of the reasons I am sitting with something to show for my life. And thirdly, I owe it to Korea. For changing and moulding me into a brand new, spirit-awakened person.
Thank you, universe. It’s my time to shine.
Last night, I thought about what I wanted to achieve in 2016. It didn’t take me long to reach the conclusion that I should skip all the bullshit of my not wanting to go out sometimes and not wanting to do something or meet someone because traveling and planning left with me anxiety but more so, I’ve just become stubborn in that, I don’t know how I’ll feel on the day, hence my lack of planning. It’s probably fair to say that I have missed many opportunities to meet people because of this.
Today, however, I feel as though I couldn’t be assed to change in that manner. I hate doing things that I hate doing and that’s just it. So, I won’t.
That’s my two cents. Merry Christmas. xx