New years are strange creatures. We reflect, make promises, buy new journals and re-organise. I’ve found myself pondering where I was a year ago, starting my 29th year in Cape Town working for Yuppiechef and very well, settled.
I had a murmuring feeling things were about to change and they did. In March I decided to resign and move to London to make my fortune, drink tea, marry Prince Harry and so forth. At that stage, I had no idea what I would do work-wise, friend-wise or anything-wise but was certain it was the right decision.
I stuck around in South Africa for three months to do a thorough handover at work and be at a special friend’s wedding in June and then – after a house and clothing sale that meant I was able to depart with one massive bag leaving just a few boxes at my parents’ house – I left on a one-way ticket. A couple of days prior to departure I was offered a job working remotely for WooThemes which meant I began my adventure with the peace of mind a salary brings.
My first six months in London included acclimatising to a new job, my first experience of living away from my hometown and family, a new house-share (after some false-starts and sleeping on some couches), many new faces, a new church, a new culture and much travelling. Of the six months in London I was actually out of town for more than half including a surfing trip to Devon, holiday in Dorset and two international trips.
Spain, Turkey and Bulgaria came onto my radar in August for a mix of holiday and WordCamp Europe and then in November I joined the wonderful Woo Team in San Francisco for two conferences followed by a week in Los Angeles with Rosie. That’s a lot of new.
(Forgive me for the listy report of what I have been doing. But then again it is my blog.)
I ended 2014 with a three week trip back to South Africa which was heaven. I was pretty stressed out before I left and it was wonderful to be in sunshine and to see familiar people, hang out with my precious family and participate in all of the Christmas traditions that I love so much. Old friends, excellent for the soul.
2015 began watching fireworks explode over London and it has so far been a happy new year indeed. In two months I turn thirty and while it is tempting to have a toddleresque meltdown, I feel pretty content right now. My newsfeed is flooded with baby pictures – which I can’t reciprocate unless I steal a baby or manifest an internal miracle, but I have managed to wrangle a situation where I look after the cutest dog in the world a couple of times a week.
One of my favourite lines from Desiderata is that ‘no doubt things are unfolding as they should’ and that feeling is pretty strong right now. I don’t take it for granted, contentment is not randomly come by.
When I decided to move to London I was excited to be away from the people I’ve known all my life. There is something wonderful but also exasperating about staying around the same people for forever. We’ve not been created that we’d just forget things so people are living records of the good, the bad and regrets. But they are also like the charts we notch on door frames, and if they love us are quick to point out how we’ve grown, how many notches up we are and how hopeful things look up ahead.
Another thing I have learnt in moving is how much I tend towards selfishness, to my own detriment! Complex as we are, people are the truest of gifts. We’re sponges for kindness and draw goodness and love out of one another in a unique, iron-sharpening-iron way. I need to be drawn upon. I am rediscovering the importance of outward focus, listening well and loving fiercely.
I like this note my friend Talisa left on my pillow after a short stay with us. How happy indeed.