December 31st has always been a day when I begin to make false promises to myself and God, usually involving my dedication to never eating again and attempts at slimming down to being the smallest person in the world. Hope springing from the realization that I will be able to walk into a shop and buy what ever clothing I want and be involved with (what I deem) the ‘hottest’ boys, I enter the next year with the excitement that ‘this time next year, my life will be perfect’.

I daresay that 2008 was the year I grew up.

2008 started with unemployment (I left my previous company on the 5th of January), ill-fitting clothes due to major weight gain at the end of 2007 and a very, VERY messy love life.

The middle of 2008 saw me reaching a bodyweight I had never imagined possible, not even in my fiercest nightmares, reaching 4 years of abstinence from drugs and alcohol, an emotional breakdown due to stopping my anti depressants and the emotional rock bottom which followed, accompanied by a horrendous break up and ill performance at a job I had excelled at since starting in late January.

The end of 2008 brought an 18 kilo weight loss with no boyfriend in sight, saw me re unite with my father, focus on bettering myself in a healthy way such as becoming career motivated instead of my desperate appeals at aesthetic success and the death of my beloved cat Lily, who has been my soul mate since I was 8.

All in all, my paradigms seem to have shifted somewhat. My interests previously involved marriage, children and being thin. These were all things that I thought would make me happy (mainly because they made other people happy which made me happy). People would ask me “what do you want from life?” All I could answer was “to be content” and “to get married and have kids”. I see things a little differently now.

After a rocky year of being dumped three times and gaining a lot of weight in January to June, I began to wonder how exactly does one love themselves? The wife of a good friend of mine once told me “self-love starts with clipping your toe nails”. Now I know this statement sounds insane, but to me it makes perfect sense.

I began doing things that were good for me, and nice to myself. Even though I didn’t love myself at all, I tried acting like I did. I started to eat healthily, not disorderly and did not deny myself things, but didn’t gorge on them either (well, often). I joined the gym and began working out four times a week. I went into therapy again, and went on a new anti depressant. I looked at my life and for the first time since I took my first screeching breath, I had a slight vision of what I wanted for the future and felt ambition. I began to want a career, my own flat and to live for me and no one else. I began to want to live for me, not anyone else. And with these realizations I began to get a feeling of hope for the future that was a feeling more powerful and far more important to me than the hope of getting into a size 6 (and with a height of 173cm and hips that are meant to give birth, a size 6 is a bit of an unreachable goal, and that is ok.)

But I say goodbye to 2008, the year in which I experienced major hardships but major growth with great sadness that my little soul mate will not be joining me in 2009. My cat Lily came into my life when I was 8 and she brightened it ever since. Even when I left home to go to university, whenever I came home for holidays, she would sneak into my room to sleep there, follow me around as she always used to and mew outside my door when I had gone back to Cape Town. She knew when I was sad and would come and sit on me or next to me. When I am upset, I can’t stand people talking to me to try and make me feel better. I prefer silent company, and she knew exactly what I needed: a kitty-head-butt and some purring and not to leave my side. What a treasure she was.

She is a cat who travelled the world, living in Holland (where she was born and ran straight to me out of a litter of kittens we were choosing two of which to take home and I named her on the spot), the UK and Durban, where the endless bushes and creatures of interest kept her roaming for days and had the family so worried we couldn’t eat.

My mother (“the one with the food”), my dad (Lily’s hero for whom her adoration never waned, even thought he was married) and I cried many tears this morning for this little creature who in her 17 years in our lives had made us laugh and feel happy for every day she was with us. My sisters could not be there but they cried a lot too. I don’t like sentimentality, but in this case, every sickly word is sincere. I miss her so much and will remember her with absolute love and happiness for the rest of my life.


5 Responses to “2008”

  1. Great post! Well done on everything you achieved in 2008, you had quite a year. Something that really stands out for me is your dedication and self-discipline. Here’s to a BRILLIANT 2009 and many more years of happiness!

  2. starstripe Says:

    Thanks my dear! 🙂

  3. I still can’t believe Lilykins is gone. Sweet little baby.

    Good luck for 09 sista!!

  4. I’m sorry to hear about the death of your kitty and your hardships. I miss my boy cat Squeak’s head bumps and trills. Luckily for me he’s still alive, just living with my mom, but I feel for you. i don’t know you from a bar of soap, just did a search for “standard wank” and found your blog, cos I want to post about standard bank when I ditch there sorry asses and move to capitec bank. good luck for the future!

  5. starstripe Says:

    Aw thanks! 🙂 I do really miss her a lot. Poor thing. I have heard great things about Capitec Bank! Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike no transaction fees…

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