I’m just going to come out and say this. I’m not a massive fan of the horse. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against horses and wish them, nor any other living creature harm. But I just never got the whole horse thing the way some teenage girls do (I had friends who would Gymkhana every weekend but all I wanted to so was sneak off with my best mate to smoke the Marlborough Lights she’d nicked from her Mum’s ciggie packet – I was not a nice teenager.)
I am sitting in one of those impossibly hipster cafes where nothing has ever touched an animal and the staff are trained to know precisely fuck all. I’m glad I’m spending half a month’s rent for this culinary experience. No really. Thrilled.
I order a drink while waiting for my friend to rock up. I have no idea what possessed me to do it but I figured when in Spain (I don’t really know what that phrase means) and so I ordered a drink that contained the following ingredients in no particular order.
Last night, I went to the cinema with some friends to watch A Star Is Born. I had two reasons for wanting to see this film.
I hadn’t heard any film reviews, nor had I seen the three older movies of the same title.
I naively went into the movie theatre expecting a chick flick (whatever that means) and so was caught offside by the torrent of emotion that the film delivered. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s a lot.
I am surrounded by boxes full of shit I didn’t miss while it was in storage.
My back hurts from lifting said boxes of shit (and age. My back also hurts from age.)
I know where nothing is (it took me 20 minutes to find a tampon yesterday. They were in a box marked “stuff” so big thanks goes out to past Me for that one) and everything feels unfamiliar.
Now, let me be clear. I am supremely grateful for my new home and acknowledge how lucky and privileged I am. But moving house has thrown up some real lessons for me and today I’m going to share some of them with you. Do with them what you will. I trust they serve.
I don't have much (any) eye hand coordination (much to the delight of my brother-in-laws) so as the room step-touches one way, I'm usually galloping the other way. I was also blessed with anti-rhythm (definition : when someone's rhythm on the dance floor is so bad that it causes others to lose their ability to dance.)
I used to think that manifesting was a load of wank. Some hippy woo-woo nonsense that some con-artists packaged up like a magic pill and sold to people who didn’t want to take charge of their own lives. And I still believe this to some extent.
“Manifested” a car park right outside the take-away Chinese? It’s called luck mate.
It’s a Saturday night and I’m at a party. Albeit, my Dad’s. It is the social highlight of my European summer and I say that without a hint of my trademark sarcasm.
Yep I’m 37, single and rocking out in the back garden of my family home where over a hundred of my Dad’s friends (the fact that my own Father has more mates than me both disturbs and delights me in equal measure) have been invited to enjoy an afternoon of homemade scones (because, BRITISH) and an evening hog roast (quiche and one raised eyebrow for the only vegetarian in the room).
As a parade of guest’s meander through the party, my sisters and I find ourselves air kissing and making small talk with a variety of people we haven’t seen for a variety of years.
Now, I’m not one to take life advice from a tray (although can we take a moment to appreciate how pretty I made it look with a baguette and flowers and shit).
In fact, these sorts of cutesy quotes on household objects usually shit me so it was with a snarl in my stare that I first noticed this tray in the kitchen of the house in France my family and I holidayed in last week.
A few weeks ago I spent an entire Wednesday eating pistachios because I was balls deep in my own overwhelm. Eventually, surrounded by empty shells and my own tears, I took it upon myself to write this blog in the hope that I spare you, dear reader the torment of your own procrastination (the number one symptom of overwhelm).
The following day, blog unfinished, I was wondering around the internet and I saw this quote which was cited to UNKNOWN AUTHOR.
So, in the interests of not wanting this little quote to feel abandoned and unloved, I’m claiming it as my own!
It looks like she took a pair of scissors in each hand and, starting BEHIND my ears, hacked in a fringe until the scissors met somewhere off centre and at different heights near the middle of my forehead.
Still, lessons were learnt (like, Mum couldn’t and shouldn’t cut hair), hair grows back and nothing stays the same.
But even though I know intellectually that nothing stays the same, I can be transported back in time the moment I step foot in my childhood home.
I don’t believe in time. It’s a distrustful thing that boggles my mind and makes no sense in my soul. In the (almost) eight years I’ve lived in Australia, I’ve never been able to get my head around the idea of the time difference and my UK friends and family are regularly woken obnoxiously in the middle of the night by the shrill sound of an overseas ringtone. I’ve stopped apologising for it and just accept my mistake when they abruptly hang up on me having established there is no emergency other than my brain “doing an Emily”.
It is some time in 2015 at 2:34AM exactly and I am making 173 cookies.
173 gluten fucking free cookies mind you.
As the whir of the fan oven and the glare from the overhead halogen light bulbs obnoxiously remind me that I am indeed awake and this is not a nightmare, I wonder how the hell I got myself into this in the first place.
Why did the word ‘yes’ come out my mouth when really I meant ‘no’?
“No Sharon I won’t make you 173 gluten free cookies for your Goddamn wedding reception. I don’t have the time, the money or the energy and frankly I’m not sure if we’d even be friends if it weren’t for the fact that we are thrown together on a daily basis because of our jobs.”
But no, little old people pleaser over here went and said “yes, sure thing, for tomorrow? No problem.”
There are many things that I am rubbish at in this life. Here are some of them:
Sports. All of them.
Remembering to get the washing out of the washing machine.
Using public transport.
Opening a pack of biscuits and not eating all of them in one go.
Grocery shopping (see #1)
The list goes on and the older I get, the cooler I am with it. But there are also many things I am good at. And relationships is one of those things. The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our relationships. Think about it. You can have all the money in the world, the perfect body and total time and financial freedom.
A month ago, I was running on the sand like a knob-head and buggered my ankle. I never run on sand and I don’t quite know what possessed me to do it. But I did. And now my ankle hurts.
I hobbled around for 3 weeks and then gave all of my money to an Osteopath and even though I can now jog short distances, I’m still using my recovering ankle as an excuse to jump in an Uber for even the shortest of trips (noshame!).
Last night, I jumped into the front seat of my Uber to travel 4 blocks (I told you, no shame) and started chatting away to the driver *insert standard Uber chat here*.
As we turned to take the route I had specifically asked not to take, Mr Uber Driver asked me the simplest question I have ever been asked.
He turned his head and looked me straight in the eye (eyes on the road buddy!) and said “are you enjoying your life?”.
Do you ever get those moments when you look at someone and think to yourself, “I love this person. But right now I’d quite like to pick up my chair and hit them in the face with it.” ??? Come on now, we’ve all had those moments, just admit it. Those we love the most can often frustrate us the most. (Also just so you know, I’ve never actually hit anyone in the face with a chair). But this is how my mate Nicola was feeling towards me last week at our fortnightly trip to local the nail bar. (it’s our thing) I was tired, exhausted (great company Em!) and utterly incapable of making a decision about my nail colour. It was getting pretty frustrating for all involved. To be fair, I wanted to hit myself in the face with a chair.