2019 has really done that.
I feel like we blinked in January, imagined the future briefly and suddenly it manifested with no months in between. But also, what a pretty and special year it has been so far.
- Bucket list Moments:
This has been a year to do and not think and for the first time, to jump rather than fall. 2016-2018 were some big go with the flow years. Not in a lovely cruisy way where you drink prosecco and swan around Uni living your best life – but in the way where I was always waiting for some sign to start living. As if happiness was something you could stumble upon even when you were drowning.
This year the sign was me. So I got a tattoo! One that is impossible to ignore because it takes up a quarter of my arm. One day an employer may look at me and think, ‘fuck! can’t hire her!’ and maybe then I will get a stab of regret that I have scarred myself with something permanent or unavoidable – but also I look at myself at the mirror now and I finally recognise the reflection. I have seen what it is like to have the world fade black at the edges, I know what it feels like to think that maybe everybody’s days are numbered and yours are counting down and I have been lucky to be wrong, to have more years thrust into my arms and to have been given the same uncertainty and hope and blindness to the future as everyone else. I learnt empathy. It made me grow.
So, I have flowers on my arm and when I look at them I see my arm the way I picture it my head. I see a future and a promise and a reminder. It is recognition of the years I spent buried underground, stuck in the dark but still cultivating beauty, and genuine friendship and love. Some days are still rough but now I look at my arm and I remember that no matter how wilted I am, I can always grow back. That I deserve sunshine. That life is a gift.
I also jumped out of a plane. There is nothing wilder than seeing your friend really get thrown out into open space and disappear in front of you. Skydiving was one of the most special most fun presents I have ever received, and I love Katherine a lot.
We fell through clouds together, we crashed our parachutes into eachother and I think it will be the kind of memory that makes me happy for a really, really long time.
Also we went to the Big Wheel and the Amazin Maze in Maize and about 100 other misc places and I love that for me so much.
This is sentimental but there is something so soft and rewarding about submerging sloooowly back into old friendships and communities that you never committed to enough and having them envelop you completely in warmth and events and kindness.
Debating has shown me some pretty terrible institutional structures, people with WAY too big egos and a lot of high key stress. But it has also introduced me to cool people who I love dearly and respect so much. It has made me smarter and better at expressing my opinions – I now know lots of good segways for when I am arguing – and I have gotten to baby so MANY lovely sweet kids with big hearts and cute outfits (who all grow into such good adults, incredible).
It’s just nice to have friends who know but never ask. And who implicitly understand that who I am now is only on my way to who I will be, and for that to not be a big deal. They’ll wait to see how my story progresses.
I am excited AF to get out of Auckland for a while but in a city that was starting to feel quiiiite empty I am grateful for this.
3. Feeling. Lighter:
I am a big meme! Because these last few years have been lovely in lots of ways and have had many fun trips and sleepovers and movies and laughs. I don’t want to undervalue all the happiness I have experienced or the love I was given. It was special. It made me a more thoughtful and calmer human.
But I am so much better now.
This is all SO much better now.
And maybe after some more time I will be able to look back without feeling slightly sad, slightly queasy, slightly embarrassed and that will be when the real healing is done. But for now, it is enough to finally feel excitement that goes all the way to the middle of my chest. To have people who like talking to me and for that to be fun and exciting and not stressful. To have a new Taylor Swift album on the way and a weekend with mum coming up and to be sitting here looking at the sun lowering over the blue harbour, laughing with my friend and just feeling so lucky to keep on growing like this.