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.

My Dearest Cuz

So I realise it’s been more than a month since the wedding, but with being on holiday and then trying to get back into routine and work and everything else, I haven’t really had a chance to write about it.

So, on 10 August 2013, my cousin (and for all emotional reasons one of my 3 younger sisters) got married.  The engagement and all the planning had been a long process, but the day had finally arrived and we were all terribly excited:) I was Maid of Honor and had worked my butt of with various things including organizing the dresses, the bridal shower, to name but a few. But on this spectacular day my main objective was to make sure i had a solution in my magical suitcase for any problem that might rear its ugly head (this included everything from extra bras for the girls, to glue, to needle and thread, to a knife, to a first aid kit, to champagne and food for the bridal party and the make up artist…amongst other things) and most importantly to keep the bride calm.

My dearest cuz, you made the last part pretty hard. Not because you were super stressed or anything, but because you were so excited that keeping you still long enough to let the hair dresser and make up artist do their magic became nearly impossible.  You had a few severely emotional moments, a few moments where the stresses of the day got hold of you, but mostly you were just excited.  Helping you to get dressed along with your mother while the photographer did her thing left me with a tear in the eye….the day was finally here and you looked so incredibly beautiful.

The ceremony was very special and very “you” and we all had a giggle as you, like the tomboy you are, did a bit of an airpunch when your groom took hold of you and gave you a passionate kiss, claiming you as his wife:) The  tables were beautiful and we all had an amazing time catching up with family and friends alike.  And then your dear husband caught me totally off guard when, after finishing his entire speech and all the thank yous, he asked me to stand and gave me my very own, long thank you speech. I was reduced to tears for the second time that day. It wasn’t necessary, your smile and the happiness that oozed from your very being was thanks enough to be honest, but it was mightily appreciated. And even though some things had cause me lots of frustration and work I would do it again in a heartbeat:)

Love you long time my cuzzy:) xxxxx

P.S. I’m adding some of the pictures taken with my camera and my phone on the day. There weren’t a lot of the bridal couple, but if my cousin lets me i’ll post some of the photographers pics as soon as we have them:)

Posing with the bride before getting ready. Her hair had been done here but nothing else was ready yet:)
Posing with the bride before getting ready. Her hair had been done here but nothing else was ready yet:)
There had to be an awkward selfie as I am the queen of the awkward selfies:) Also, it kinda shows my hairpiece...which is technically an extra lapel piece that we changed to a hairpiece:P
There had to be an awkward selfie as I am the queen of the awkward selfies:) Also, it kinda shows my hairpiece…which is technically an extra lapel piece that we changed to a hairpiece:P
The beautiful bride, dressed and posing with her ring bearer:)
The beautiful bride, dressed and posing with her ring bearer:)
The bridal party....and no i have no idea what i was doing here. But aren't my two cousins (a.k.a. younger sisters) gorgeous?
The bridal party….and no i have no idea what i was doing here. But aren’t my two cousins (a.k.a. younger sisters) gorgeous?
The bride post ceremony making a funny
The bride post ceremony making a funny
How unbelievable are the colours of these orchids used in the decorations?
How unbelievable are the colours of these orchids used in the decorations?
The bride's parents (a.k.a the replacements) finally getting a chance to rest:)
The bride’s parents (a.k.a the replacements) finally getting a chance to rest:)
Mister and Missus cousin enters the reception
Mister and Missus cousin enters the reception
Cousins!!!! The one in the middle traveled all the way from Umkomaas to be there:)
Cousins!!!! The one in the middle traveled all the way from Umkomaas to be there:)
Posing with the father of the bride...a.k.a my other dad:)
Posing with the father of the bride…a.k.a my other dad:)
With the parentals:) I have no idea what i did and why i'm laughing so much and my dad is giving me a strange look...but I just adore this picture of the 3 of us. Love these two people so much:)
With the parentals:) I have no idea what i did and why i’m laughing so much and my dad is giving me a strange look…but I just adore this picture of the 3 of us. Love these two people so much:)

Dear Flirty Thirty

As more and more of my friends approach, and then turn 30, I’m amused at the general emotional upheaval it seems to bring and my lack of such reactions at the time.  I didn’t stress, I didn’t have an emotional wobbly because I’m suddenly “old” (30 is NOT old btw) and I certainly didn’t have the sudden realisation that my biological clock might be running out…nothing.  In fact, my reaction was quite the opposite. I approached the day with a quiet excitement and contentment.  Looking forward to entering a new adventure in life.

Why the lack of negative emotion associated with the age? I have no idea. Why do girls even have negative emotions at the thought of turning 30 anyway?  Is it because they feel they haven’t achieved everything they set out for themselves when they mere children approaching adulthood and thought they knew what they wanted?  Or could it maybe be that as an 18-year-old 30 sounded really old and somehow they’ve managed to lodge that thought in their heads when it comes to being 30? Or do they believe that when the clock strikes midnight and you hit 30 your face will suddenly be filled with wrinkles, your boobs will sag, you’ll lose the ability to attract men, you will no longer be able to have children and you will miraculously gain about 10kgs?

The truth is: I have no idea why girls tend to strike an emotional wobbly about the big three oh. In fact, I’m not even sure i know why turning 30 is a big deal at all.  What I can tell you however is that somewhere, somehow, mysteriously being 30 changes you.  The changes aren’t big but they are THERE and I’ve come to realise I love them.  I’m not sure if it happens to everyone…but I’ve come to learn that in the last 7 months I’ve developed more confidence in who I am, how I look, what I want and my attitude of not settling for what I don’t want and not wanting to waste my time has escalated slightly.  Not to the point of being a spoiled brat ( I KNOW you can’t always get what you want) but just enough that I refuse to waste my time with people who are bad for me. I’ve become more likely to step away from a situation and realise that the people in the situation are bad for my soul.  And this is a good thing.

My two cents on turning 30? Embrace it! Grab it! Love who you are no matter what your age. And at the risk of sounding epically cheesy…age really is just a number.  It’s about what’s going on in your head and your heart, not the year you were born in.

Love
Ruby
xxx

Dear MINI

Everyone who knows me KNOWS that ever since getting my MINI last year I have been MINI-crazy.  I absolutely adore my car.

On Friday night I was super excited to be attending the launch of the new Limited Edition Bayswater.  I had no idea what to expect, but they wowed us with a 3D Projection in Nelson Mandela Square.  I think they stressed a little bit as Jozi decided to grace us with an epic rainstorm shortly before the event was due to start, but the rain finally cleared and the program could go ahead. For those of you who didn’t get to see it…..there is a YouTube video here 🙂

And the cars were BEAUTIFUL! I’m not going to go into the technical details here…we ALL know it’s not my strong point but you can find all the details on their website:) I will however show you some pictures to tease 🙂
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All in all I think everyone had a really fun time and I got to meet some interesting new people, which, at the end of the day, is my favourite part of any event I get to attend…well that and the wine:)

Love
Ruby
xxxx