25.5

About two weeks ago I hit the middle of being 25. Now I’m heading towards my late 20’s pretty quickly, and I’m okay with that. Because I’m all about knowledge, and I’ve learnt a lot. This post has been a long time coming, these lessons have been a long time in their making, but now I can make them facts.

I have concluded that peanut butter is one of the best things ever and gherkins can bring about world peace. Sushi is still one of the tastiest things I can put into my body and curry fixes everything. Getting free stuff will always be cool, even if the ‘gift’ has no logical use, finding an alternative stimulates creativity. Music is still a sanctuary and reading is a neglected love and not by choice. Red wine goes with just about everything, but nothing beats a beer on a Friday night. Shooters are no longer as interesting as they were, and I would rather have a Red Bull when I want a buzz. I am too old for clubbing and I like to be in bed before 23:00.

How is it possible for something to be this good?

I now know that relationships will end, and sometimes you really can’t work it out and should stop trying. It hurts, but that’s alright. Because even pain goes away eventually. And the lingering heartache is just because good memories cancel out the bad ones. Moving on is not terrifying and the alternative to happily ever after is not that bad.

Working from 8 to 5 (on a good day) is what happens in the real world, and it’s not the worst way to spend time. Stress happens, but so does shit and there is no getting away from either. There are worse places to be than the office on a Sunday – I could be unemployed.

The truth - it hurts

Having friends, really good friends, is a blessing. 95% of people will misunderstand me and I don’t like the way 95% of people do things. But those are my problems and I am not theirs. But those who care about me, those who really care about me, help me take on my problems, and I am happy to help them with theirs. I will never underestimate an ear to whine into, a shoulder to cry on and a hug from someone who at that moment (and probably most of the time) has more inner strength than I do.

Breaking down is okay – I am not a fortress. Being made out of stone is unhealthy and dysfunctional. I am by no means a fully functional human being, but maybe one day when I grow up I will be. I will make mistakes, but they are only mistakes if I don’t learn from them.

There is great beauty in the world. And it’s worth pausing for. There are moments of such inescapable beauty that will happen and when they do, it’s okay to cry.

One perfect moment out of many

My horse, Ashgar Leam, is my rock. He’s frightfully handsome and is my soul mate. Our relationship is one of complete trust, thorough understanding and deep love. We were made for each other and get each other so completely I will not even try to explain, because there aren’t words and I don’t care if you don’t get it. I do and he does and that’s enough. Nothing else in this world matters as much as his four legs, his brown eyes and everything else that makes him horse.

This is what real love looks like

Strangers are best avoided, but when necessary there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of their kindness. I have been saved from disaster several times in the past six months by people I will never see again.

Living in the millennium is not an excuse to neglect the past. Good books were written before 2000. Amazing music was produced before Britney Spears and filling my collection with ‘classics’ is a worthy investment. Just because it’s not a best seller does not mean it should be passed over.

Too classic - too awesome

I’m still grappling with this one – but I should never be near my phone when I’ve been drinking. I do dumb things, I say things I never would to people I probably shouldn’t. This hasn’t led to any serious disasters, but things can’t be recalled once they have been sent into the universe via technology.

Moments of immaturity are fine. Silly things should be laughed at. Stupid people should be mocked (in private). Using the language of teenagers colours dialogue – as long as punctuation is still a priority.

Amazing people should be recognized and learnt from. Getting over my own ego has been tough; sadly I am not that smart (yet). Industry leaders in whatever field are wonderful to talk to.

Doing stuff alone is empowering. I crave time on my own and I am now happy to go to function without a plus one or colleague. I will go out and meet new people and if we never cross paths again I still had a few hours to enjoy their company and learn.

alone does not equate sad! This is not what alone looks like!

The past can’t ever be changed. Letting go of guilt is a challenge. Ultimately there are two choices in life, rolling over in submission or standing up, finding balance and taking on the next hurdle. Taking some time to gather your strength is advisable and then fully forward, because reverse is a gear you should only use when driving. Bring it!

Yeah!

And bring on the next five months, bring on 26 – I can’t wait for what will happen next.

Before I forget – I would like to add that I like steak. Steak is awesome. It’s good knowing A-grade meat is out there.

And one day I’ll get over saying AWESOME all the time.

25.5

This is Not Goodbye, Just a ‘See You Later’

This is going to sound like a love letter, and it is in a way. I have formed a deep connection with an amazing person and there is a slight emptiness where she used to be.

Last Friday was Justine’s last day.

You may remember her as being on my Best of April 2010 list, affectionately known as the Empress of the Unusual. I always knew she was leaving and had about six weeks to prepare. So Friday was easy and Monday was hard. I didn’t cry, until I got to the office to start my week without her. She had cleared out her desk over the weekend and I no longer had someone to make coffee for. My heart broke.

The silence in the office hurts me. Before there would always be the sound of her typing (at about 163 wpm), and in her last week, a remarkable amount of coughing. Now all I hear is the traffic and I miss her desperately. For the first time in my life I am pining for another human being.

When I started working at Alphabet Soup, I wasn’t sure we would get along. The first few days were tentative explorations of each other. I was to spend a lot of time with her –shadowing, they call it. Then one day one important fact was revealed: she’s an X-Phile. The next few days were spent quoting X-Files at each other. It turns out we share a sense of humour and soon our working days were filled with laughter. We moved on from talking about sci-fi to life and many other things.

We bonded quickly and tightly. She is the older sister I never had. We overlap in many ways while being completely different from one another. Justine is a remarkable woman. She’s sharp as a needle point, an ab workout, a kind, patient mentor and a solid, valued friend. I learnt so much from her in our time as collegues and I’m going to use this knowledge for a long time to come. I will continue to learn from her, yet in a different capacity. She might not know this, but she has an inner strength and fortitude that inspires me. I am glad she is in my life and we will move from a relationship of work friends to social friend. If she’s not up for it, I will convince her otherwise.

She is not a crutch and I can do my job without her. This does not take away the longing. She is my friend and I love her. She has my back and is a phone call away. I have her back and when I am less exhausted I will prove that I am an excellent wing-woman. And I know she is going to do great things, because she is thoroughly awesome. She has touched my life in a way I would never have expected and I am grateful. And I am pleased that it doesn’t have to end in the office.

I hope her new company hooks her up with some technology soon, because I feel there is a gap in my life without being able to communicate with her every three minutes between 08:00 and 17:00.

This is Not Goodbye, Just a ‘See You Later’