New Year, Stay You

It’s the whole #newyearnewyou epidemic that hits the shores of the world annually.

Thanks to 2019 and dreams for 2020 are overwhelming all social media platforms as I write this.

I had quite a great 2019 with plenty of newly- created memories, firsts, different experiences, and further developing dreams.

As much as I love delving into pasts, happy has- beens, and laugh- inducing photos, my blog post is going to have a look at the year laid out in front of me: empty, clean, undiscovered, waiting for our steps to imprint stories over it.

It’s corny, cliche, and eye- rolling, but u really do believe that there is a place for New Year’s resolutions; it creates a hopefulness for our futures and dreams that we are willing to fight for.

Maybe these resolutions will collapse at the base, but maybe (like I’ve actually done before) I will succeed and plant seeds that will bud and bloom in the future, be it this year or in the years to come.

• Tick off the days on a calendar that you went without processed sugar, and try have more ticked days than unticked (I usually am pretty good with this, but Christmas did dent my 80% processed sugar- free days. I’m quite looking forward to getting back to healthier eating patterns and clean skin)

• Exercise four days a week (I run four mornings a week and follow that up with Kayla Itsiness workouts, which I love, but I am quite keen to switch to Pilates this year for my posture and cyadica)

• Don’t buy meat (after spending the Christmas holidays with my flexitarian parents, the health benefits of this lifestyle have crept into my way of thinking)

• Research and find online job/s to supplement my salary (as a past university student with a current study loan standing like a mountain in front of my dreams, I am desperate to find ways to pay it off as fast as I can)

I hope that you dream big plans and cultivate the strength to see them through. I hope that this year is an adventure. I hope that you are brave. I hope that you don’t change for others but that you stay your beautiful self.

I am Mist

I am mist

Here today, gone tomorrow

Hiding blemishes in the landscapes

Letting the sun mix with my murky white to create quiet, hopeful beauty

The trees look more magnificent, the mountains look more majestic when the sun and I play around them

“Back to school, back to reality”

Back in reality, so distant from hyena calls at night, glorious purple beach sunsets and slow- morning sleep- ins. Life is accelerating into needing a weekend after the weekend; “should I really eat another piece of cake?”; early nights for early mornings.

The lazy holiday feels have evaporated and I find myself arguing with my student, “I know your mom said you can eat when the food is ready, but I said you can eat when your work is complete.” Unfortunately my anger levels never reach above a 2 out of 10, and I can’t stop laughing at her death stare that she so kindly and perfectly shares with me.

We do have a lovely relationship with lots of giggles and disses and hard school work, and after our little tiff she walks me to my car and asks me to stay a little longer.

Even in the busy mundane of working days, there are moments of true hilarity where water snorts out your nose, true understanding where you watch the animated light bulb atop their head ‘ting’ on, true friendship where a secret is shared with you that you promise to keep safe.

I’m so corny, it’s face flushing. I always get sentimental when the holiday comes to an end.

How safe is it living in South Africa?

We were lucky to have my two British cousins in our car. The big old Prado bounced around the Kruger roads while the inhabitants laughed and blasted music and fought within. The other car completely contrasted ours, somber and serious, searching for African creatures hiding in the bush veld.

Our first full Kruger day held eight hours with these two contrasting cars zooming about the roads at a whopping forty kilometers an hour, stopping every now and then when a passenger shouted “stop!” All other passengers would magnetize to the side of the car closest to the creature of interest, a picture or two was taken, and then we would continue on with our journey.

We were kept highly entertained by the little British voices next to me. One comment that came from the young teen was, “imagine if a guy lived on his farm and had to help his wife have their baby because they can’t get to the hospital in time. He would see a lot more of his wife than he’d ever bargained to.”

We saw a jackal, a hyena, hippo and some birds of prey. Other than that, we came across a momma ellie (might even be scarier than a momma bear) eating leaves hanging over the road with her two little babas next to her.

An infantile bakkie driver (bakkie is a pick up truck in South Africa) roared past in his haste to get to wherever he felt necessary to roar off to. Momma elephant flapped her ears, desperately wanting to protect her calves, while our cars desperately reversed backwards to get away from momma ellie.

My cousins and I, who aren’t much in the way of brave hearts when it comes to elephants in their best moods, lay as low in our seats as we could. What you can’t see, you can’t fear, according to us.

Squeaks and squeezed tight eyes happened behind my parents as they tried to assess the situation, deciding when the best time to pass the elephants would be.

Eventually momma and baba ellies crossed the road and headed further into the bushes, and we were able to get out alive and tell this near death story to others.

We, again, ended our first full Kruger day with GnTs with the sun setting over the quelea- munching crocs in the dam below us.

Dear Miss. 2019

Dear New Year

You did it. Crowned Miss. 2019 for the next 365 days.

I know you haven’t made promises or guarantees as of yet, but if you could, would you pour adventure and excitement into our year? Would you host hot beach days and multiple coffee dates and countless drool- worthy meals? Would you include dreams to chase; “unput-downable” books to read; and colourful people to meet?

I know sometimes it’s in your job description to bring us bad, sad and dark days, but would you keep them to a minimum? Please?

So, 2019, make your reign remarkable, widen and brighten our eyes with the spectacular, and cause infinite belly- aching laughter moments. Do this and you can wear your crown with pride, and you will look beautiful doing it.

With love,

Me