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Posted in Random Randoms with tags , , , , , , , on December 31, 2008 by starstripe

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.



Posted in Random Randoms with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2008 by starstripe

I’m in a homicidal mood.

Just thought I’d put that out there.

No really, I am having one of those days when EVERYTHING makes you want to start howling in self pity and you begin to wish that your mother had aborted you. It’s one of those days when my love for the things in my life that I do have are overshadowed by my dismay of other people having more than me.

My credit card maxed today. Now, I have been good with my credit card – the only frivolous spend that I made on it was buying a plane ticket that cost R1800. The other R8200 went on keeping myself alive from the middle of the month when I would run out of cash in my cheque account. And today the card started steaming in my wallet and went all floppy.

This brings much dismay to my life. It is reminiscent of March this year, on the day of the MyCokeFest. My house is near the Kenilworth racecourse where the concert was held, so I got to hear every little word uttered out of the mouths of the rock stars whilst I sat at home, starving and with no cigarettes. I was resentful, miserable and weepy. I ate a can of cold baked beans that day and smoked maybe two cigarettes. My clothes were falling off me which was a bonus. But my resentment really went out to every single person at that coke fest who was busy enjoying themselves whilst having the support of Mummy and Daddy. Because that is something I wanted and needed on that day.

I have learned a hell of a lot from being low on money for three years. I have learned to sew up ripped clothes (badly) that any normal person would throw away. I have learned to grow my own lettuce that tastes crap. I have learned that debt is a soul crushing hole of crap to get your self into, and even more of a soul crushing hole of crap to pull yourself out of, ususally getting you into more debt.

I have learnt that you don’t need money to make you happy, but you do need money to eat and take a hot shower. Both of which I have been denied of. I still showered, just in cold water. I have layed in my bed, so hungry I could cry, not because of dieting but because there was absolutely nothing in my cupboards to eat. I have borrowed, sold my belongings and begged for cash at one stage or another. I haven’t stolen though. Except a spoon from Pick n Pay but that is another story for another time.

What gets me is that you need money to make money. I was browsing through the whole ‘rich dad poor dad’ book and discovered that you need to get assests to make moolah. What the author fails to explain is that when you want to accumulate assets, YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM. Soooooooo where do you get that money from, unless you start a mugging cartel?

I have to admit, I had a privileged upbringing. I was not allowed a TV in my room, but apart from that, I never went hungry. Emotional enrichment wasn’t exactly a top priority in my family, but time and money were. So to swap to a lifestyle where time is little and money even less has been an experience, some of which I have loved: a bit like Kate Winslet in Titanic when she goes Irish dancing with Leonardo di Caprio and gets to shag him in the back of a Rolls Royce (nice irony). But in my case, I didn’t get to shag Leonardo di Caprio in a Rolls Royce. A funny thing to note – my two most serious retaionships were with… you guessed it – boys from poor backgrounds with a broken home. Funny that. I kind of wish they had frozen solid and sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic just like Leo.

Whilst living the life of a poor young person, I have learned a hell of a lot (including how to freeze phone cards to make them last longer and jump train rides for free, as well as hitchike, sweet talk taxi drivers into giving me free rides and how to wash clothes with shampoo). But I am reaching the ungrateful stage – I just want to live every month without having to worry about having my electricity cut off. I want to be comfortable. I want to be happy and the sick part of my brain is telling me that I will be, as long as I have more money. That is a false ideal, obviously, but my days of “as long as I have *insert appropriate boyfriend’s name here*, I’ll be happy,” are over.