A tale of lost

I spent the night with a group of friends … we took advantage of the happy hour and a few (extremely watered-down) cocktails later, I was brave and forthcoming and opened myself up to questions I may not have been entirely ready to answer. But nevertheless, the wine flowed, as did the words from my mouth and I felt safe. Protected in a blanket of honesty. Speaking the truth certainly does wonders for the soul, and possibly the skin, because I came home feeling and looking somewhat radiant. Also, that is not the point.

While sitting with my friends, an old one walked in. Now this particular ex-friend was once the person I would consider such an integral part of my life that I could not see an end to what was, now with hindsight and experience, a very deep and toxic friendship. In she breezed, that huge, brilliant smile on her face – the smile that I for years wondered at what it truly hid. Yes, there was something quite enigmatic and dazzling about that smile. It distracted you long enough to forget to ask the real questions. The ones she probably did not know the answer to or dared not reckon with. Probably the latter. Anyway, this particular friend and I, had now for the second time, gone through a long drawn-out dissolution of our very intense friendship. One that I for a long-time felt was incredibly one-sided. So wrapped up in everything “her”, I played the friend wanting more friendship from her, with very little luck and so, like I had done many, many years prior, I simply got up and walked out and away from it, and her. Done.

And her, in her vapid innocence, had tried to get me to wander back. But, the thing she seemed to have forgotten is how I am not so easily swayed once so deeply hurt. Or betrayed. Or whatever heady combination of the two she had inflicted upon me this time. Anyway, so there she was, with that smile of hers, the smile that she seemed to paste on her face as if to desperately will positivity to surround her. Maybe it works in other situations… but she also forgets that we are similarly stubborn. Hers is dogged persistence. Mine is steely determination. Either way, it doesn’t go well together.

This encounter got me thinking about friendships… those I’ve lost, and those I still have. New ones which have emerged over the past couple of years – the kind that you know will last forever and those ones that serve its purpose and reach its expiry date and then we carry on with our lives. And it can be a pretty tragic thing, though, because in that time, one cannot see a valid reason for this existence not always just being. In its simplicity. Just being. Alas, it was not the case for this particular friend and I. I feel as though I should feel a sense of great loss as one does when we lose that which we love… but I don’t. I feel a bit of relief. I feel a bit of anger, sometimes. But, mostly, I feel awed that nothing has changed for her, about her. We grow, and many things shift for us. We learn. We realise mistakes we’ve made. Her, not so much. I bet if she reads this, she’ll only remember what I said about her smile.

I don’t want to adult

Today, I am 29 years old and will be for the next 7 months and 5 days and 11 hours.
Ticking biological clock? Nay, my clock is losing battery power after having been ticking aggressively for a while now. 30 is a big freakin’ deal. Really. And it’s 7 months, 5 days, 10 hours and 59 minutes away from being my reality.

Am I ready? No. Hells no. This just does not fit in with the great plan I had for my life. And yeah, I get the lesson – things don’t always go as planned, life is meant to be lived, etc, etc.. yatta yatta what what. Still, it’s happening and I have no kids to speak of… except for the cutest little bunny rabbit, Hip Hop (should we get another, he will be called Dennis Hopper), who is my substitute kid for all intents and purposes… Marc and I are in the process of buying our own place … to live in sin, as the old folk say… and I am still driving a shitty car that has me risking my life each time I get behind the wheel.

I do adult things – I have debit orders. I make grocery shopping lists. I no longer get asked for my ID – ANYWHERE. That last one kills my spirit. But, if I could go back to being a blissfully unaware kid or a rebellious teen who believed that she was completely invincible – then great. I could be that girl for a few more years. This, though – this leaving my 20s thing? Nope. Can’t do it. I joke about how I’ve been 24 for 5 years now and everyone laughs – their smiles laced with a bit of pity. “Shame. She’s delusional.” Probably. Most likely. But, it helps me hold on to my elusive “youth” a little while longer. Because 30 is scary and old and responsible and I don’t feel it.

I’m also in that difficult age where I’m a bit too old to be clubbing every weekend with the young’uns and very much too young to be going to a “bring your own platter and XYZ” party at a hall. I also detest family gatherings where the unmarried cousins have to go through a barrage of questions about our hopefully soon-to-be pending nuptials and our uterus. Specifically, why is no baby coming out of it? And of course, we work too much, travel too much – why haven’t we settled down? There are a ton of placatory responses… we use them to sate their curiosity and appease our own fears.. but what I really want to say is “BACK OFF!”

Oh well.

So, yes, good people. This is my countdown…7 months, 5 days 10 hours and 45 minutes. And then what? I experience a very anticlimactic 30th birthday… a watered down farewell ceremony to my 20s? Perhaps. Still… I must honour that spirit within me. The one that still responds in song or interpretive dance when the mood strikes… who can absolutely go crazy in a toy store, who begged and pleaded with Marc to take her to the circus a couple weeks ago and that sometimes, when she forgets that people may be watching, lives freely in the moment.

A month in and still going strong… well, curly, actually

Visit our blog http://charlieandlolagocurly.wordpress.com/ for more about The Curly Hair Diaries

Charlie and Lola Go Curly

Success! We’ve made it a whole month (and some) rocking our naturalness and let me tell you that it was definitely no easy feat.

I am still trying a host of products – from scrunching mousse to restoring placenta and the ol’ faithful – leave-in conditioner. Charlie has some secret serum that she uses, I’m sure, because her curls have been looking beeyootifullllll for weeks now.

It’s easier to brush my hair these days, well, when I get around to taking on the challenge. We’ve both discovered that we possess a perfect curl. Singular. One happy little twirly spiral of joy located underneath… at the back… where nobody can see it. I feel a bit like Dory when she found that squishy little jelly fish. I digress. Anyway, the ‘Great Hair Days’ are certainly on the rise and I’m feeling more excited about being wild and free. Actually, more confident.

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The day I banished the GHD…

Charlie and Lola Go Curly

It started out as a conversation about damaged hair (the GHD’s fault, obviously) and the embarrassing moment I had just experienced at my local salon where my stylist guffawed at my request for a trim, implying that some axe-wielding would have to go down in order to fix the mess perched upon my head. And as the longest tendrils of hair fell to the floor around me and I tried to be a big girl about it, biting my trembling lip, I realised that now would be the perfect time to embrace and, more importantly, enjoy the fact that I am a naturally curly-haired chickita bonita mamacita and that is what the Good Man upstairs intended.

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Then, Charlie said to me that she echoed similar sentiments. Why not, for one year, give up the hairdryer and flat iron and just rock our curls in all their big (always) and beautiful…

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The bad hair day

Charlie and Lola Go Curly

You know, this whole thing about giving up the hair dryer has resulted in a significant increase in bad hair days.

For example, this morning I woke up looking like the love child of Edward Scissor-Hands and Diana Ross – again. Trying to get a comb through my hair was like digging to China with a teaspoon – a fruitless exercise. I was sporting all kinds of styles – dreads, curls, crimping, and fly-away straight-ish bits that looked like antennas a la Alfalfa from The Little Rascals. Facial expression and everything.

I contemplated calling in sick. Seriously. Because it’s bad enough that it’s Monday without having to look like the struggle is real. So, I tried to do some damage control, and this is the whole point of going natural – to do something about the damage, but that’s going to take a while and I actually cannot wash my…

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Hello? Epiphany are you there? It’s me, Lauren

I stood alone on a secluded beach in Port Edward – myself, a ten-pack of stuyvie blue and my thoughts and I felt like I was waiting for something.

Surely these moments are what most epiphanies are made of? I had seen so many characters in movies … read of so many characters in books who had stood in this same position and suddenly the answers were given to them as if from the sea itself.

But as I looked out at the supposedly (probably) shark-infested waters of the wild coast … I got nothing. Well, except for a Bond-like action scenario involving a speed boat, a Russian villain and Halle Berry a la Swordfish. I was Bond.

Anyway…

I decided to walk, hoping that the now murky waters of my mind would reveal something. Some propagation of an idiosyncrasy that I could ponder about … Instead,  I was thinking about the soundtrack of my Bond scenario and thought maybe Lorde and Florence Welch could get together and make magic. Maybe even an Amy Winehouse hologram would do the trick – technology what what.

Then that joke – A dell rolling in the deep – made me laugh out loud and I looked around, embarrassed at how my guffaw was grabbed by the wind and maybe travelled to other beach-goers. But, no, I was alone.

On a SECLUDED beach.

On a cold, overcast day.

Suddenly, the sea was not the only intimidating factor. I also remembered that I was hopeless at running in sand. I could also just be hopeless at running. But that’s not the point.

My romantic idea of standing on a beach, by myself, gazing out at a wild and powerful ocean and thinking that I’d find answers to the questions that plague me… that if I allow myself this moment of solace I’d be able to reckon with a few of my demons.

Alas, my demons and I got shit scared, regrouped and legged it for the exit.

Not very Bond like. At all.

#100happydays Day 1

I had been noticing … on various social media platforms… that folk had been engaging in this #100happydays campaign and you know what? I wanted in.

 

So often we just meander about doing what we have to do in order to get through the day. We function out of necessity… because of responsibility … because there is this great collective (society) that is stipulating just exactly how we are meant to live our lives. I can’t complain – I’ve let them.

But… I am also not going to indulge in the irony of beginning a happy days post on such a sombre note.

 

Anyhoo… so I visited the website, because I’m a Virgo (fellow perfectionists are turning to each other saying “Well, of course she did. One must be thorough!”) and was shocked to see that 71% of those who had attempted 100happydays had failed – citing not having enough time as the reason. Not having enough time to be happy? I wasn’t actually that shocked. I have spent these last few weeks trying to strike healthy balances… trying to make more time for play and was doing a pretty pathetic job of it. The risk of me falling into that 71% group is astronomical.

Yeah, so I pulled a Barney Stinson:

challenge-accepted

 

And for the next 100 days I will acknowledge and appreciate that which makes me smile … those who bring me joy. It’s time to show off these pearly whites (oh yes, I’m a smoker. Gosh darnit) … these RELATIVELY pearly whites and what I imagine is a “guest appearance” dimple or maybe just a perfectly placed shadow and embrace being happy.

Sounds pretty simple, huh? Wish me luck!!