how to build a bridge

Everyone knows the saying “you can’t pick your family”. Usually, my response to this gem would be “well, why would you want to anyway?” I am very close to my family, although I don’t see any of them as much as I’d like to, but I don’t need to see them every day to know that they’re there for me whenever I need them, and vice versa.

Well it turns out maybe some are more than others!

I hate fighting with family. It makes me feel absolutely wretched. Recently, I had a bit of a tiff with a couple of members of my family over something really trivial. Yet, three weeks on I still think about it every day and get hurt and angry and upset all over again.

I’m usually the kind of person who forgives very easily (my Mum would even say too easily) but never forgets. But this time, there’s been no closure to the situation and every day I feel more awkward about it. I don’t want to alienate myself from the people I love over something so small but I’m honestly finding it really hard to let go.  I feel like the whole thing was really unfair and unnecessary and I hate that there seems to be nothing I can do about it.

I want to go over to their houses and just give them a big hug and tell them I love them, but pride stops me dead in my tracks. I don’t want this to be seen as an apology or an admission of guilt for something I didn’t do! I don’t want to let them win and I don’t want to let poor behaviour win.

Yet something in my brain tells me to grow up, be the bigger person and “build a bridge and get over it!” It’s the classic Angel v. Devil type scenario. 

Another argument between the two sides is this: one side says I might as well apologise because no one else will and the responsibility to make everything okay again always rests on my shoulders, and let’s face it, I probably did do something wrong because I usually do; whereas the other side says: screw it! Stick up for yourself once in your bloody life, woman!

I don’t think I’ll build that bridge just yet. Maybe I’ll build a canoe instead and head downstream…

You can’t pick your family, you can only fly away from them!

i’m in love with a shooting star…

some things truly blow me away.

anything space-y (galaxies, shooting stars, this solar eclipse), always does it. as i’ve said before, i love the feeling of being insignificant. but sometimes, it’s about the little things.

people say that a lot: “it’s just the little things”. it could even be a cliché, but everyone knows clichés are always true otherwise they wouldn’t be a cliché. and sometimes life IS about the little things. 

take rain for example. i love the smell. i love the sound of it on the roof. i love being rugged up inside playing board games or some other family activity while watching water gush down the windows (like being a little kid and going through the car wash – remember how cool that was?)

or the feeling of getting home on a freezing cold day and putting on a warm pair of socks. or the look on my puppy’s face when he sees me at the front door each night. or when my little sisters give me a big hug. or when my girlfriends and i get together with a bottle of wine and talk too much about our boyfriends.

i love it when my clients pop in just to say “hi!” or they call me before an appointment to see if i want a coffee. i love it when i feel like i’ve genuinely taught someone at work something useful. i love it when my boyfriend asks me to help on his work projects.

but most of all, i’m in love with life. a lot of the time i forget to be, but when i remember, i appreciate just how lucky i am to be here, able to smell the rain and watch the stars and get up at 6am to help Boyfriend at work (well… maybe not the 6am part!)

a first time for everything

The first time I remember seeing snow, I was in the middle of the desert.

For a girl who spent so much time in the desert growing up, that seems quite strange. But I can also say that the first time I remember seeing snow, I was also in the middle of an enormous shopping mall.

It’s true, Dubai has it all. You can ski with penguins once you’ve bought out the Louboutin store next door; you can stand at the top of the world’s tallest building then go hang out in the old-fashioned souks; you can lie by the pool or skydive over the Palm… whatever you want, Dubai’s got it.

The thing I liked most is that it’s got soul.

I didn’t expect this given what I’d heard about the place. I expected to fly there, gawk at massive buildings, party, spend too much money and go home. I didn’t expect to learn so much about the culture of the region and to gain such a respect for some of it’s inhabitants.

I got to chat to some awesome people who gave me a genuine insight into what life is like in the Gulf. True: a man can have up to four wives. True: the average citizen has little to no say in who runs their country. True: there are currently countless petitions to make people cover up more in public. What I love about Dubai is that whatever you’ve heard is most likely true, yet no mater how you judge the place from home, when you get there you just want to delve in and figure out what it’s all about.

And it’s experiences like this that keep me going, and will keep me going until I’ve reached everywhere.

arabian sleepless nights

It’s happened again. The day before I’m set to head off on a mind-blowing trip I have a feeling that I shouldn’t go, like something bad will happen while I’m away. I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why I feel this way which kind of makes it worse. 

It’s Mothers Day tomorrow and I feel like I should be spending time with Mum, which is definitely needed because I really don’t spend enough time with her these days. I’ve also been going through quite a bit of upheaval at work, so I can’t stand the idea of not being in the office next week because there’s so much to do and I feel like I have a point to prove. I also feel a bit guilty for travelling so much while Boyfriend stays at home; it’s all very well to be galavanting around the world but if I had a different job, these trips might equate to extra money in my pocket – which could go towards a house deposit or some other big item or event.

Lately I’ve also noticed that these trips make me incredibly nervous. Perhaps it’s because I don’t really know many people going, or because the destination is so unlike anywhere I’ve been before that I don’t know what to expect, or maybe I’m worried that I’ll do something stupid and embarrass myself or get in strife. Overall though, it seems to me that I’ve lost a certain sense of “whatever, let’s jump off the deep end” that I used to have. Call it wisdom or call it anxiety, I have no idea.I wish I could get it back somehow, but maybe it’s just part of growing up.

I am, contrary to what you might think by reading this, extremely grateful for the travel opportunities I’ve been given in the past 12 months. I am starting to realise, however, that travel isn’t just about the stamps in your passport or the number of countries you can tick off the list, but about the journey, the experience, the knowledge you gain and the memories you take home. I am definitely aware that this time of my life is the perfect time to be doing as much travel as I have been, and once I settle down with a mortgage and kids it will be so much harder, but I think I just realise that it’s the people who make the memories, not the places.

Everyone knows that deep down I’m a hopeless romantic, and one day I want to be able to tell my grand-kids about the feeling I had watching Grandpa feed an elephant or something, and how happy I was in that moment because I could see how happy he was, too.

In 24 hours I will be flying out to Dubai, a place I’ve dreamed of for years. I can’t even comprehend what this place has in store for me and I know it will be one hell of an adventure. It’s also teaching me, though, what’s important in life and I think after this one I will sit down and re-focus, reconsider my priorities and start to make a life that includes a special someone else, not just myself.

bad, bad leroy brown

…the peskiest dog in the whole damn town!

But he’s still pretty cute, I have to say.

I was never a dog person really, but Leroy really is our best friend. He drives me nuts, but every day when I get home he’s so excited to see me and it’s the best feeling. Whenever I’ve had a bad day he always tries to make it better and although I complain of him driving me crazy, I think sometimes it’s really him keeping me sane!

As for Boyfriend, that’s a different story…

he’s the man

A picture tells 1000 words, so rather than tell you how much I love The Boyfriend, I thought I’d share a few pictures. I could tell you the hundreds of reasons why he’s so important to me, but all you need to know is this: he makes me want to be a better person, and every day life is better because he’s by my side. 

on the edge of the world

This is me. It’s not the most flattering photo ever, but it’s me all the same. It’s one of my favourites because I’m standing somewhere I had waited many years to stand.

This spot is Cape Point, and is famous for two things: firstly, for being the spot where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet, and secondly, for being the southernmost point of Africa (although this isn’t technically true!). This spot brought three of my favourite things together: geology, travel, and the feeling of being very, very small.

For some reason, I love more than anything the feeling of insignificance. I think it’s because life can be so tough for everyone sometimes, and it brings enormous amounts of pressure. It can be easy these days to feel as if everything is your own responsibility, and if you disappoint someone the world will end. The truth is, it won’t, but it’s easy to forget that. Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope (see below picture) reminded me that although I am important, and everyone is important, I am one person (and only a 5-foot one at that!) and I can only do so much. It took billions of years to build Earth up to what it is today, and I will only spend about a hundred of those on it if I’m lucky.

So Carpe Diem!