It’s my birthday tomorrow *does the running man and nae-nae*.
Now before I break out the bubbles and launch into full celebration mood, I would like to take a moment and look back on the past year. Like most 12 month calendar periods, it was a mixed bag filled with its fair share of epiphanies, tom-foolery, pure comedy and drama.
Apparently a lot can happen in 365 days…
“I grow old… I grow old …
I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled”
Very few people like the idea of getting older, I know because I used to be one of those people. On my 22nd birthday I remember having a rather dramatic meltdown in my room, in varsity, because (and I sh*t you not) Beyonce had won a Grammy (or five) and I had nothing to show for my life.
*insert dramatic eye-roll and me slowly sipping my tea here*
That being said, in the same breath as I get older I am more deeply appreciative of how fragile life really is and how nothing is guaranteed. The very fact that my day of pre-birthday reflection (i.e today) happens on the actual birthday of a very good high-school friend of mine whom I’ve now outlived by 16 years is pretty grounding stuff.
So I could grumble about the growing collection of grey hairs I have accumulating on the crown of my head, but I won’t. It’s a great day to be alive, after all!
Over the past year this has been one of my go to scriptures. Initially, I couldn’t quite understand what it was about or how it worked, in real world application. It seemed like a rather far fetched notion and made me think of those people who go around with a rather forced manic grin slapped on their face. Scary, very scary.
So just imagine that it took me getting my car stolen to fully understand what this scripture meant, to me. It was not a joy to walk out and discover (at 2:00pm in the afternoon, in broad daylight) that my beloved Mombedzashe had vanished with the exception of his key ignition that lay on the ground. It was not a joy to go into shock, shortly thereafter. It was not a joy to sob through phone calls with family members explaining what had happened. It was not a joy to have to file police reports and deregister my car. It was not a joy to be car-less in Johannesburg.
I did count it a joy to be nowhere near my car when it was taken. I did count it a joy to be in the company of very good and helpful friends upon discovery of the theft. I did count it a joy that nothing valuable had been in my car. I did count it a joy that I still found myself laughing at the absurdity of it all, mere hours after it happened. I did count it a joy to have had insurance. I did count it a joy that Uber existed and could zip me around.
Bottom-line: There’s always some form of joy to be counted on in the midst of despair.
I’m not a huge fan of flying although I am a huge fan of travelling. There are many other things I would rather be doing than being carted around 33,000ft above terra-firma, in a pressurised metal cylinder. Many other things. So it’s no surprise that when turbulence hits (and it always does) I can be counted on to be speed-dialing God and making all sorts of pacts with him that involve me surviving the flight.
One recurring pact that I’ve brought up over the past 3 years (but never did anything about, tsk tsk) involved me writing again. There were a lot of reasons why I had stopped, none of them were very good reasons and that always became quite clear when sailing above the clouds. So at the beginning of the year, whilst cruising through a particular dodgy patch of air, I informed my Creator rather earnestly that I was gonna give this writing thing my best shot. I meant it. That dear people, is how this blog got resurrected.
Not only have I fallen back in love with writing over the past year, but I’ve picked up a lot of activities that I’d neglected due to some half-assed excuse over the past few years. It’s never too late to reignite that flame, people.
Being less reactive was a purposeful and intentional endeavour over the past year. There’s definitely something to be said about being in your 30’s because I’ve gone from being super extrovert to an interesting form of introverted extrovert who has become more selective of the time and energy I am willing to expend on people, opinions and situations.
If you want to cross reference The Periodic Table then I would say I’m less Sodium-y and more Gold-en (I tickled myself pink with this…what?). Feelings are finicky things and I’ve grown to learn that giving them too much of a free reign can sometimes detrimental to my emotional health. So if you come across me actively channeling my inner “Kate Middleton” (you can tell by the high tilt of my chin and firmly pressed lips), just appreciate that things have come a long way and they could be much, much worse.
Neat Ends & Closure
Somebody wise once told me that you should never expect closure when you want it, and they were right. A platonic or romantic relationship can come to an end and you can find yourself grappling with a whole lot of questions that honestly, are not likely to ever be answered. I’ve lost a lot of sleep trying to understand the perplexing motivations of certain human beings and let me tell you now, for free, that you have better things to waste your time on.
However, this past year proved the cliche that only once you let it go that then and only then, will you get that much needed closure your wanted. The interesting thing is, you won’t even need it…even though it is being issued so nicely.
So this past year I’ve had way too many courageous conversations to count and they all were beautifully cathartic and perfectly timed. Some involved me blubbering on a plane (as I recounted here) and other incidences involved me blubbering at restaurants, over the phone and on email.
As Zora Neale Hurston once wrote, “There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.” I definitely believe that I’ve had myself an answering year. So many questions I’ve had (and didn’t even know I had) have been answered.
The answers haven’t always been easy to understand or accept, but then again the questions haven’t always been easy to ask either.
So here’s to another answering year filled with a truck load of joy, growth, understanding, kindness and success.