Yowser! Good effort on the blog front last year – a whole ONE! Nice work. Ah, well, I s’posse it was better than none. Anyhoo… I digress.
Soooo… big day today – THE LAST DAY OF YOUR THIRTIES!!!! Wow. WOW! If it makes you feel any better – you are theoretically ALREADY into your 40th year, so you should have cried yourself a river last year – as that was in fact your LAST year of your thirties. No? Not helping. Ok, well, I tried.
Sooooo… here we are. Almost 40. Like officially. Interestingly enough, 2017 is a UNIVERSAL ‘1’ Year that represents the start of a fresh new cycle – that means new creativity, learning and growth. Nice. I do quite like those little synergies and synchronicities. But before one can move forward, one must reflect… and that’s why I’m writing to you, my dear sweet self, to have a look at what we’ve done, where we’ve been and what we’ve achieved so that we can look towards 2017 with hope, optimism and a whole bunch of chutzpah.
1997 – Bless, 20 years old and a world ahead of me. If memory serves me correctly, I was just finishing my travel & tourism diploma (what was I thinking with that – what a waste of time! If only I knew about being a psychiatrist or psychologist, journalist, producer, marketer, lawyer – ANYTHING but what I actually studied!!!!!). That was also my last year in Pretoria before heading to Oudtshoorn for love.
1998 – Ah, my 21st! Chubby as hell and not that happy in Oudtshoorn as it turns out. I really wasn’t a small town gal after all and love wasn’t enough. But hey, I was no longer working with ostriches (that MUST be a win) and stuck in the smallest travel agency EVER (seriously, we didn’t even ticket ourselves!). I did however have the cutest blue convertible volksie (thanks, Manne, for that and a whole bunch of other things too) and even though she broke down all the time, dayum, she was cute!
1999 – Another BIG YEAR. My OE beckoned, as did a one night stand that turned into my life partner. Now this year, THIS YEAR was one of my happiest ever. I LOVED Wales (shout out to Gaysie-babes and Dave xx) and I loved London. The Rose of York stole a small part of my hear and the people I met there still live in that tiny corner – Mark, Adam, Julie, Bridget, Wally (oh, how I adored you!!!!), Brenty, Tomek, Steve, Peter (who can forget that old curmudgeon!). The stories, the memories – they can go on and on and on forever. My waist line was tiny and the travelling constant… it wasn’t perfect but I LOVED IT ALL!!!!
2000 – Here it is. The year 2000… and I welcomed it in with the best New Year’s party at Hogmanay EVER!! Sonet was so much part of this year being what it was. I love you and always will my sweet dear pal. Riverboating and Wales with ma and pa. Ireland. Losing Peta. Turkey. Thin and oblivious. Develyn – constant, always there xx. Chellbell.
2001 – Time to go home. Or to New Zealand. But first Africa. What a trip, what a time. 9/11. Auckland.
2002 – Flightie (which I sucked at). First time skiing (also sucked at). First time to Aussie (hello there, beautiful Sunshine Coast…first trip I ever won!). First time to Fiji. A LOT of shopping with Michelle. As in All. The. Time. A strange encounter with a frenemy in the bank that turned into my soul mate (Michelle & Busy get this). My sheep gown – still with me, still loved more than other item of clothing (actually, what does that say about me??)
2003 – Cook Islands – I love you. First ever verbal warning – thanks Christina Boles 😉 (like I said, totally sucked at being a travel agent). Met mom and dad in Sydney. Back to New Zealand with me – 6 wonderful weeks in NZ. Bliss.
2004 – Hong Kong. Bledisloe in Wellington. Make-up course. Call centre job at DHL (the worst – being told when i can pee was defo not for me!!). New start with Mark. Lots of lessons. Lots of change. Yoga.
2005 – Can at last add ‘Event Manager’ to my job title. ‘The Notebook’ instantly added to my Top 10 movies list. Port Douglas. Bali. Cairns. Third nephew arrives into the world. I GOT ENGAGED in Africa. That was cool.
2006 – Ah-maze Engagement Party! United Travel (and later Stella) blessed me with some of the most amazing women to work with – Wendy, Tracy, Cristy, D-dogg, Louise, PG, Nicci, Natalie, Kim, Caryn, Donna, Sally, Vicki, Gordon & James (they totally count in this category!)
2007 – Turned 30. Melbourne with Karla. Best Levi’s I’ve ever owned. Vanuata – three times! THE BACH!! 19 October – 1st panic attack and the start of a very long road back to emotional health! New Years in Fiji with tribe. Bula!
‘Always remember life is short; break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile’ – note in my 2007 diary.
2008 – So much around well being – naturopaths, psychiatrists, hypnotherapists, breathing specialists… as I clawed my way out of my anxiety. Heath Ledger – why, why, why. Wedding madness – Paola, Sonet and Amy will never know how much it meant to have them here. All of my family in NZ – mom, dad, Candi, Gary, Basi, Lexi and Thaddy, Gaynor & Dave, Paulie. 19 April – best day ever. SIX WEEK HONEYMOON!! Business class on Air New Zealand. Vegas. New York. Paris. Rome. Cinque Terra. Sorrento. Dinner in Athens with Karla, Chris, Chell & Adam. IN ATHENS! Still crazy when i think that we were all in Europe AT THE SAME TIME. Greek Islands. Thailand. Mel Hawkins. NZFW for the 1st time – I felt sooo damned cool! Barack Obama. Book club (a total fail – realised I just like to read what I want to read). Sunday, 7 December – started my 1st book!!!!!!
2009 – Hawaii. South Africa with Mel. Kings of Leon…ah-maze! Writing, writing and more writing – “Almost mine” blossoms. Could this be my thing? Journalism course. Travel stories published in LUXURY.
2010 – Book rejected more times that I like to admit. But, although it was rejected a million times, there’s always my email from Danielle Chiotti. Gen-i, and a whole new chapter of wins and failures and never quite feeling good enough.
2011 – Work, work & more work. Work, work & more work. Pages and pages of an empty diary. 5,000 words on my 2nd book lost with a bad save – don’t write again for a YEAR! RWC 2011. Mostly a blur. SO happy to see the end of it.
2012 – More work. More empty pages in my diary. Another whole group of amazing ladies in my life. Kim and Hanna. Selena. Tania’s ‘Chicks at the Flicks.’ Citizenship. Mark graduates. A lot of sex. A lot of tears following a period. Eventually a positive pregnancy test!!! Leo on his way.
2013 – Pregnant. Bridesmaid. A baby. My proudest accomplishment in life pulls the carpet from under my feet and life as I know it changes forever. I miss my mom more than anything.
2014 – Diary completely empty bar one lone entry in January. Leo, Leo and more Leo. Photo after photo after photo of this wee little gift of ours. Mom and dad here for a much too short visit. Back to work – thanks Wendy, nice to have something for just me again.
2015 – No diary at all this year!! Still all about my small person and trying to be the best mother that I can be. Sometimes I was, sometimes I wasn’t. Lots of laughter. Lots of tears. Wrote 2 children’s books. #amomslife
2016 – No diary again. More of the same. Except we bought a house.
And here we are in 2017… turning 40, waaayyyy too chubby (think it’s officially called fat now as there’s 10kgs on top of the 10kgs i’ve been meaning to lose since early 2000’s!!), still NOT published and trying to get knocked up again to repeat the empty diary entries of 2013-15. At 40!!!! Holy shit. Madness. Well, lucky for me this is my ride and I get to decide how I’ll buckle up. So, let’s do this. Let’s kick the shit out of the next 20 years and make it EPIC. This bitch is ready for it.
Things I learnt along the way:
- I compare myself to others way too much. I am good enough as I am (fake it till you make it, baby!)
- Diaries are awesome – I’ll never let them drop off the radar again
- I actually like having my birthday in January – starting off the new year with a clean slate feels good.
- I can write like a mofo.
- I’ve done stuff that I’m proud of and I’ll do some more – I just need to believe in myself and the magic will happen on its own
- I love to travel. I miss it. I need to do more of it with my new wee family.
- All is well. Always.
Happy birthday to me. You rock. I love you. xx