Dear 2017…

I feel like a walking, talking cliché whenever I write posts like these. Currently everyone is furiously writing (or wrote, if you’re an over achiever) a post about the year that was. But the fact is: I enjoy writing them. They remind me of what I’ve been through this year and what I’ve achieved. Sometimes I even remember about things that were significant which I completely forgot about…and it’s nice to spend some time thinking bout what I’ve done the last 12 months and to start the year on a clean slate.

So here is a summary of the year that was 2017:

  • Firstly, and I think most importantly as it was definitely the highlight of my year, I GOT ENGAGED! I can’t even begin to tell you how happy this made me and how excited I am to spend the rest of my life with my Gypsy. Wedding planning is currently in full swing in this house and everyone is getting in on the highly animated discussions about it.
  • During the past 12 months I spent more time out of the country than in it (literally). Countries visited and passed through this year include: USA, England (passed through), Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Kenya, Serbia, Croatia and the UAE (stop overs). My travels also included a few weeks in CT, but this is obviously not a different country (even though it feels like it sometimes).
  • I had the most amazing holiday traveling in Serbia and Croatia with my Gypsy. I explored so much and got to experience so much in his home countries…I can’t WAIT to go back. That place is incredible.
  • I had endless trouble with my MINI this year and had to fork out in excess of R50k in total in repairs and services….this was NOT so much fun.
  • As a result of the above I sold my darling little MINI after 6 wonderful years and bought a new car.
  • My darling nephews turned 2 and 5 respectively and my darling godson also turned 2.
  • I lost some friends (by choice) and made some amazing new ones.
  • Professionally I kicked ass (sadly there is very little I can elaborate here as a result of the nature of my job).
  • A bad guy got away (through no fault of ours) through public sector uselessness. I HATE it when the bad guys get away.
  • I saw Kilimanjaro (from an airplane…but still!)
  • I continued on my cycling journey (although not as much as I would have liked as constantly being out of the country was a bit of a challenge)
  • My dad’s best friend of 41 years passed away…he was pretty much family.
  • Mostly being out of the country meant that I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked with family and friends.
  • I bought a pastamaker and started making my own pasta. This might sound like something small and insignificant, but I’m pretty obsessed with the whole thing right now.
  • Got to see in the new year (2017) with my American tribe and my parents.
  • I started sewing again and made some beautiful things to wear.
  • Did I mention that I got engaged?

The list isn’t spectacularly long this year. Mostly because traveling so much for work made it hard. I know a lot of people had a really rough 2017 and honestly it wasn’t the easiest year. I faced a lot of professional and personal down times and being away from my people so much due to work related travel was hard. But overall it was a GOOD year and am unable to find any reasons to hold a grudge against 2017.

For those of you who had a rough 2017 I sincerely hope and pray that 2018 will be better. That you will be overwhelmed by blessings and adventures. For those of you that had a good 2017, I pray that you will have an even better 2018 and that the year will be filled with amazing things. Love and blessings and adventure. But most of all I hope that 2018 will be filled laughter and acceptance and people who bring out the best in each of you. Because we all deserve a little laughter.

Happy 2018 my lovelies!

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2016…..

2016 has been a rather interest year for many reasons. Work has been crazy…although to be fair I suppose my work/life balance always goes just a tad out of whack in terms of the work craziness. I am a workaholic and while I don’t measure my success on how busy I am and how little time I have outside of work, the facts are that I love being busy, I love my job and for the most part I don’t mind the extra hours.
2016 has however taught me to focus on the rest and relaxation and on the “life” part of work/life balance too. To invest in quality, happy time with the people I care about more often.

If all goes according to plan, 2016 will also be the first time in 10 years that my little family gets to spend Christmas all together….My parentals, my bro, my SIL, my two beautiful nephews and myself all together for a crazy cold and *hopefully* white Christmas. I CAN’T WAIT!

2016 has also been the year where (hold on to your horses) I started cycling. It’s a crazy thought…me on a bicycle…but it is true. I got dragged along earlier this year on a cycle and since then I’ve actually grown to love my Saturday mornings in the saddle. I’ve grown to appreciate the tender nether regions after 2.5 hours in the saddle, grown to appreciate the stiff muscles and the aching wrists. Because once I get to the end of my ride I feel like I’ve accomplished something. And not only that…I’ve been afforded the opportunity to be healthy, to completely zone out from everyone and everything for the time that I was on the bike and to be grateful for what I am able to do.

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And last but not least 2016 has been the year where my romantic journey with The Gypsy began. I’ve been alluding to his existence on twitter for a while and if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen his face creeping into my timeline. There isn’t much to the story really. Fact is I’ve known him for a few years but I’ve never even considered a romantic relationship because I’ve always had someone else. And I am one of those people who never even consider or think about the possibility with anyone else when I’m with another.

But somewhere between breaking up with the Guy Person and grabbing 2016 by the horns, The Gypsy once again popped into my story….and this time he appeared to play the role of the potential leading man. Once he became aware of my newly single status he simply asked that once I am ready to move on I give him a chance. And due to the circumstances around the breakup and the 6 months preceding it I was ready a hell of a lot sooner than I had anticipated. And somewhere in between the cycling and laughing and late night chats and dinners and random whatsapp conversations he became more than just a friend.


He’s weird…I’m weird…and we are completely and perfectly weird together. My relationship with him is so different from every other relationship I’ve ever had and his European frankness is refreshing and in stark contrast with most other guys I know, let alone guys I’ve dated. A spade is a spade is a spade and no topic is too awkward…apparently.

I love how we can passionately and heatedly debate on different sides of an issue the one minute and laugh and hold hands the next, not allowing a difference of opinion to cause anger and irritation. I love how he appreciates the fact that I am opinionated and independent and how he isn’t threatened or intimidated by my personality, independence or my sometimes scary and hectic job. I love how he respects my faith, beliefs and choices. I love how he is constantly encouraging me to grow and do new things and how he not only welcomes but insists that I always speak my mind. I love how he chooses the moment I probably look at my worst to stare at me in wonder and tell me how beautiful I am…it’s all really lame and really corny and really awesome.

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And while I have absolutely no idea what the rest of 2016 will hold I know that this year I have chosen to live in the moment and that so far, despite the fact that it hasn’t always been moonlight and roses, 2016 has been good. It has been filled with new beginnings and adventure and challenges and it has presented me with a million ways to make new memories.

P.S. So subsequent to this blog post 2016 got even better when a LOT of hard work, all nighters and mentorship resulted in a promotion announcement on Thursday *grin*.

The thing about hindsight

So here’s the thing about hindsight….it is 20/20…it is perfect vision..it is all revealing, unsympathetic and brutal….it is honest.

I must be honest.  Since the break up I haven’t exactly spent time mulling over things or replaying events and conversations or missing the guy person (shock horror, I know) or remembering moments or wondering about things or him.  It’ s weird I guess…but it’s the kind of person I am. Once I’m done with something….I AM DONE.

But recent events and things and people have forced me to spend at least a bit of time evaluating my previous relationship. And hindsight, that cow, has shown me a few things I didn’t like seeing.  There was A LOT wrong with our relationship even before the ex guy person’s personality made a complete 180 due to medical reasons.

I’ve been looking back at a few of these and I’m shaking my head…at myself. How on earth did I let it come to that?! I am a strong, independent, stubborn, vocal girl…how did I get to that point in a relationship where I was OK with him being THAT selfish, with me sacrificing THAT much of who I was and what I wanted, with me LETTING myself be treated in a certain way. I look at a big portion of our relationship and I want to smack myself..because none of it makes sense.  I mean it didn’t start out that way……but it became that way, and I wish I could fully understand why.

What I need to point out here is that I don’t blame him for this…this was a mutual path of destruction.  Sure he acted in certain ways, but I let him….the blame is as much mine as it is his. Additionally please don’t read this and think that he was mean or awful or a horrible person…he wasn’t. He wasn’t a bully and he wasn’t mean and he didn’t treat me badly.  It’s more a matter of treating me as an after thought rather than a priority…and I have no idea how we got there…because that’s not where we started.

The only explanation I have is that I think we are more inclined to skip over things that bother us or skip over our own needs and our own dreams when we get so caught up in someone else needs and wants and dreams. Perhaps because I truly believed everything would return to the way it should be post op and because I truly believed he was my forever person I was more inclined to ignore myself and my needs and focus on him and his instead…all the time. I don’t know…all I know is that personality change aside there was no way we would have survived past the break up date. Hindsight…it’s a wonderful and awful thing all at the same time.

The last few months have been interesting, but I am happy, I am busy, I am living my best life right now and doing the things that make my soul content. I’ve never been a person who needed someone to be happy…..and it’s nice to be back to being me. Life has been filled with happy moments and big plans and working on making dreams and goals realities rather than a pie in the sky.

And while hindsight might be perfect and perfectly brutal it has also been doing an amazing job and confirming that I made the BEST decision. So I guess I should give myself some credit and maybe a high 5 and a glass of wine to celebrate.

 

 

On making choices

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So the facts are fairly simple….I haven’t blogged in a VERY VERY long time. There are a number of reasons for this, but I’m fairly certain I can link the lack of writing to the difficult and straining couple of months I’ve endured. There was no motivation or energy or wanting to blog…because who wants to chat to the world when your own personal world is filled with pitfalls and slowly falling apart.  This general lack of everything even made it’s way to my twitter profile where I have, without any doubt, been more quite than ever before, not to mention the lack of socializing with my friends.

The facts are that I’ve never been good at sharing my own emotions and struggles. For the most part i prefer keeping my cards close to my chest, fighting my own battles (emotionally and otherwise), helping others with their struggles and generally dealing with my own issues in my own way, in my own time and without any help from others. It’s not always the healthiest way to live life, but it’s what I’m good at. I’m good at compartmentalizing and generally shelving issues in my mind.

So this is not a “I’m trying to cope emotionally” or a “Please give me a hug I’m suffering” or a “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing“, or a “OhMiGosh what have I done” or even a “I’m trying to figure things out” type of post.  It’s more of an “FYI this happened and I’m OK with it” kind of post. A post of hope, a post that helped me realise I’ve made the best possible decision for me and others. A post about making healthy and positive choices and embracing them.

In the last 7 months I’ve been taking incredible strain personally.  The guy person went for a very serious operation in June (out of respect for him and his wishes I’m not really willing to share a lot of detail about this here). The operation and the time spent in hospital in itself was crazy stressful on him, on me and on us. Little did we know that this was only the start of it.

I didn’t realise it at first  but his entire personality had changed subsequent to the operation. So much so that by the time i finally realised what was going on I barely recognized the man I had grown to love insanely. We were struggling….I was struggling and taking huge emotional strain. And I dealt with it in the same way I always do. I shelved the emotions and focused on work. I put in an insane amount of billable time and kicked ass professionally (at least that part of my life wasn’t falling apart).

We eventually sat down for a serious talk in November when the truth finally hit me like a TRUCK. He had changed…a lot…we weren’t really working. We were always irritated and frustrated and i had stopped being myself around him. I was tense and unhappy and his moodiness and grumpiness had started affecting me in more ways than i could possibly imagine. We decided that we needed some space while he sought medical advice.

And it was during this “space” period where it dawned on me. Suddenly I was happy, I could BREATHE again, I could live and laugh and just be my usual carefree self. It was a really HARD thing to realise. I love this man, or rather I love the man he was, not the person he became. As such I started dealing with a “break up” without even breaking up with him and when I finally made an appointment to see him at the start of January to make it official we both knew it was the best decision for both of us.

Do I blame him? Most certainly not. This was not his fault or his choice…..but it is what it is and at some point I needed to make healthy decisions for me. I was caught in an unhealthy situation and I needed to get out.

Am I OK? More than. I realised very quickly that due to the 2 months of “space” we had, I had already emotionally dealt with the break up. I made the final decision in December already after having a long discussion with my parents (who know and love the guy person) and they agreed with me. I spent my December holiday making peace with this decision and realising that life goes on.

Do i feel like I quit on him? I must admit I struggled with this the most at first.  I felt like i was choosing to take the easy way out. Like i was quitting on him, on us and on everything we had built in the last 2 years.  But the simple facts that I have come to realise and which he himself reminded me of are as follows:  (a) This is not working (b) I fought hard for him and for us for 6 months, I didn’t take the easy out (c) I can’t fix the situation because it’s not within my control (d) It takes courage to walk away from an unhealthy situation.

So….after 2 years and many many happy moments I am single again. It’s a bit surreal. And it was hard walking away from the person that, till not so long ago I was convinced was my forever person.

The thought of going out and meeting people and going on dates and having to run the gauntlet of dating is quite frankly looking exhausting. And I suspect unless I meet someone in my day to day life as it is now I’ll probably be single for a while. But here is the important thing: I AM OK WITH THAT. 

I’ve always been quite happy to be single. I don’t need someone to complete me. I don’t need someone to enjoy my life, and I certainly don’t need another person to make me happy.

So 2016 has certainly started with a BIG BANG, but I certainly hope it’ll be better and happier than 2015.

It’s been a while..

So as I’m sure most of you realise by now…I haven’t exactly been doing my part when it comes to this blogging thing.  Hell…I haven’t even been around on twitter or any other platform all that much lately. The thing is…life has this way of getting in the way sometimes.

I’ve also adopted a far better attitude towards all forms of social media.  The guy person isn’t into it…like AT ALL and as such he’s hardly ever on his phone.  So out of respect for him I put my phone away when he arrives or when I arrive at his home. We talk, we watch movies, we laugh and we live in a time where cellphones didn’t exist. My phone stays in my bag and is only pulled out every so often to check if I’ve missed a call or a personal message that may be important. Anything that doesn’t appear to be important or life threatening can wait..face to face time is simply more important.

Then of course….work. I think by now we’ve established I’m a complete and utter workaholic…I’m ok with that. It means I work hard when I need to and delivered an excellent result in record time. It’s my thing and I’m happy with that. The guy person also seems to get this for the most part.  I don’t understand people who don’t try to be the best at what they do….people who do a job just for the sake of having one and earning a salary…people who don’t get passionate about what they spend most of their time doing. I realise they probably don’t understand me either…but seriously…what is wrong with you?

So the new job has been great for the most part. Big corporate life and being a permanent staff member is far different from being the contractor and I’m trying to adjust to the changes with a smile….I’m successful at it too…for the most part. Certain things frustrate me and the red tape and office politics irritate me on occasion but for the most part I’m totally rocking this corporate thing. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with a true legend in my field and he has been a constant source of wisdom and support and for that I can’t possibly thank him enough.

Obviously I can’t go into any work related details…the job description pretty much says “hush-hush”, but what I will tell you is that rest assured…the bad guys…we be catching them:)

In other news…life is sometimes hard, but I’ve gotten pretty good and faking a smile till I make it. I’m dealing with a lot of emotional and human related issues at present…not to mention shouldering the struggles of the people I care about (I do that). Life is by no means moonshine and roses…but it is mostly good and I’m mostly happy and I’m infinitely grateful for all the amazing people and things in my life.

So I may be a little scarce sometimes…but I’m always here. And maybe soon I’ll return to regular updates and all kinds of drivel on this here blog:)

A little something on how life gets in the way

My dearest readers, once again I find myself in a position where I look at my poor little blog and realise just how badly I’ve abandoned it of late.  I somehow feel like a bit of a bad mother, life I’ve forsaken my only child or something.  But here’s the thing….luckily a blog is not a child and even though I feel terrible for being so quiet on here, I know the reasons for my silence better than anyone.

You see, so far this year has been amazing and horrible and hard and exciting all rolled into one. And being faced with all of this has made it hard for me to formulate my thoughts into words and more than that…some of what I’ve experienced I didn’t want to share…it was mine to deal with, mine to struggle with, mine to enjoy and mine to share when I was ready to do so.

So without going into too much detail, here are the facts:

  • I met a guy…..a pretty awesome one in fact
  • I was unemployed for nearly 6 months (a very very stressful time for me)
  • I was grateful for my uncanny ability to stow away money for rainy days….I survived 6 months and still have some left
  • I visited my bro in the States for 2 weeks earlier this year and met my dearest Baby B (who is no longer a baby) in real life for the first time and fell completely in love with him
  • I spend more and more time on Skype missing my family and especially my nephew
  • I was given an amazing opportunity with an amazing company as an external consultant (so I’m still my own boss)
  • I spent 3 months out in the middle of nowhere South Africa catching bad guys and only returning home for a couple of hours a week
  • I realised how spoiled we are in Jozi with the amazing signal……middle of nowhere SA has very little signal
  • The future is looking rosy again
  • My circle of friends shrunk and I realised who my true friends were
  • When my best friend is struggling with things, I struggle….I can’t help it….I wish I could make it better
  • I’m finally back in Jozi (for the time being anyway

You see…life does this silly little thing of getting in the way and we become so busy that we no longer have time for the things we enjoy doing.  I love writing and pouring my heart out here on my little blog…but sometimes it’s just not possible to do this.  But here I am…back (for now) and ready to once again fill your life with useless information:P

So for now…let me fill your life with some beauty, courtesy of #MiddleOfNowhereSA and the Americas

Frozen river with a railway bridge......most amazing thing i've seen in a while
Frozen river with a railway bridge……most amazing thing I’ve seen in a while
Mirror mirror
Mirror mirror
More America Gorgeousness! I LOVE snow
More America Gorgeousness! I LOVE snow
Now this....this is Africa...courtesy of #MiddleOfNowhereSA
Now this….this is Africa…courtesy of #MiddleOfNowhereSA