I hate New Years. For the record. I know I’m not alone. It’s that ridiculously overrated, anticlimactic night of the year that is crushed under the pressure of an entire population gagging to forget its predecessor. I’ve seldom, in fact, I’ve probably never had a NYE that I’d classify as decent night. Let alone a ‘cracking’ night. Please regale me with your stories of amazing New Years Eve celebrations should you have them as I’d welcome my turn off the soap box. (Unless of course said story includes ‘popping of questions’, in which case the only thing I have to say to you is – grow an imagination.)
The 31st December 2009 started off as a scorching afternoon perched on a balcony with the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the background, nursing cold a Peroni’s and discussing the ways of the world with my closest gal pals. The night ended up a clusterfuck of events with Sydney’s worst traffic jam, crashing a party full of drunk Baby Boomers dancing to Michael Bolton and 2.5 hours of vomiting care of a foray into cointreau and lemonade. In short I woke up on the 1st January with the sinking feeling that 2010 was going to be a year that would punch me in the gut and kick me in the balls, all whilst Rihanna’s latest hit single played in the background.
To my surprise and enjoyment what actually eventuated was more like a hand shake and a pat on the back, with the occasional kick in the shins…all whilst Rihanna’s latest hit single played in the background.
I spent the first part of the year celebrating mine and my friends’ journey into the much feared and speculated ‘25 – 30’ territory. As we basked in the remnants of the Sydney summer, we drank copious bottles of crisp Australian Sauv Blanc to come to terms with our time at our quarter of a century. ‘Is life over? Is it just beginning? Will we ever know? Do we give a fuck? Pass the wine. Hand me the brie.’
I spent 6 months in a job that finally felt like me. I didn’t have that ‘OMG I want to be a surgeon moment’, but I had the coming together of my skillset, with my interests and my personality. What felt like could be a ‘career path’ *GASP*. Then of course I did the sensible thing.
I said goodbye. I said goodbye to family, to friends, to security, to routine, to familiarity, to my car, my pets, to ShittyRail, to bad influences, to temptation, to heartbreak, to the Institute, to good coffee, to Sydney, to the sun, to Australia.
After a couple of weeks catching up with old friends in the UK and falling in love with Scotland and its hairy coo’s, I shipped off to the craziest place I’ve ever been.
I’ve no need to shit on about Santorini, I’ve done that already *here*. But those three months changed my life. Swallowed up by the sun dazzled Greek Island, I lost my mind, I gained friendships, I let go, I loved, I laughed and oh my god did I live.
And so with tender steps across the Irish Sea, I landed in Dublin, Ireland. Where things happen slowly, where it snows, where I wear wellingtons, not gumboots. I have had to call on all my 25 years of resilience and determination. To wade around in the dark, happy to find a fekking match, let alone a light switch. For Christmas this year I will be back on South African soil for the first time in 9 years. 9 years too many.
2010 has been a whirlwind, a slow motion scene and a dance party. By the time it is over I will have been to 8 countries, 18 cities, I have collected 5 different mobile phone numbers and I have had 6 jobs.
In 16 days it’ll be 2011. And I have no expectations. I’m back to ‘one day at a time’ – the best thing my mum ever taught me. Perhaps there will be more Guten Tag and fewer Hellos. I don’t know. I don’t want to know. But I’ll be brave enough to say – Bring it the fuck on.