being single

Will you be my Galentine?

Will you be my Galentine?

I started writing this amidst loud sighs and pensive faces (plus a few sneezes), that’s right, it’s Valentine’s Day and my students are spending an hour and half with me to sit a not so romantic exam. There’s the promise of chocolate at the end of it, plus an extra for someone who delivers the best short speech. I hold great admiration for all the students I’ve taught during my three months teaching English in Huaraz. It’s like every cycle (a cycle lasts a month) I get a small glimpse into their world, then after two months I’m moved to teach different class and I start all over again.

There’s usually time before classes to talk to some of the other students while they wait for theirs. It’s taken awhile for most of them to realise that I’m a teacher, and not a student. I’ve started to say hello, even if their level is basic, those short interactions gives them the chance to practice and they seem to enjoy it. Personally, the best part of teaching has always been about seeing students bridge the gap. For some it’s slow and steady, and for others it’s like a growth spurt.

An Eclectic List Of What Makes Me Happy

An Eclectic List Of What Makes Me Happy

I went out last night, and spent most of today napping between my bed and the couch. Confession time - I gave up drinking over ten years ago, so I couldn’t blame it on a hangover. Oh, and I also went home earlier than the others (I was in my snuggly PJs by 1am). I reheated my leftover nachos mince for lunch (my first meal of the day), and since I had no plans to move much today, I made the executive decision that I could procrastinate going to the supermarket for another day.

If my Mum is reading this, yes I did get out of bed long enough to feed the cat. Since no human life depended on me that warranted staying out of bed, I embraced the Italian philosophy of ‘Dolce far Niente’, which means ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’. It doesn’t mean being lazy, it refers to the pleasure you get from being idle.

You can say that this is an eclectic collection of thoughts and musings of what I’ve learned about life and love over the last two years. Here’s to the old me, who I am today, and the adventures yet to come...let’s drink to that!

# 45 The Stone and The Balloon

I knew I took the wrong bus, but I didn’t care. My head hit the pillow at 5am on Sunday morning, and I was up at 9am. It was a sunny day in Auckland, a long weekend, so I felt I should at least see some of the city. Not sightseeing, just be somewhere outside of the motel walls. Cas and I had driven up to Auckland on Saturday morning, and I get lost a lot. A wrong turn took us somewhere into Pyes Pa, but we eventually headed back into the right direction, adding a few more kilometres to the journey.

Sometimes getting lost is good for me. In my day-to-day where I spend the majority the time organising, planning, being in control - it’s the not being in control, and not caring has the greatest appeal. Eventually this bus took me back to where I needed to go, it was just the long way round.

On the Saturday night we watched the teens division of a dance competition called ‘Grounded’, presented by Triple8Funk. It’s new to Auckland, and the concept was brought to life last year in Melbourne. The concept is to have the competition within a theatrical format, with the main criteria as creativity. Last year’s theme in Melbourne was ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’, and this year it’s ‘Prop Masters’. How can a choreographer tell their story using their assigned prop?

The Sunday night competition were for the adults and pros. Not only was the skill level incredible, each piece was thought provoking, and some felt like an intricate social commentary. As time goes by, we wonder if there is anything new to discover, a new perspective on the familiar, and the answer is yes. Creativity is only stale when we stop evolving, when we stop pushing boundaries, when we keep old thoughts and ideas about ourselves as our safety barrier - a comfortable, worn out blanket. It serves its purpose, just. Creativity stops when we stop learning.

The idea of the stone and balloon piece came to me in two stages: Sitting in the theatre during the Saturday night competition, and on the bus killing time. It revolves around a bad habit of mine that I’m trying to overcome...hitting the snooze button.

That person that wakes up in the morning, hits the snooze button, begging for one more minute of sleep. But to sleep one minute more, means a minute less of the rest of your life, where you can be living instead of dreaming…
— fivefootronna

The stone represents the anchors of comfort, living in the same town, hanging out with the same people, staying in the same job. As for the balloon and string, it represents trying to overcome fear and the struggle to change. This helium balloon only has a finite amount of gas because time is limited. What are the anchors in your life, why are you settling for a bit of happiness, instead of being happy? I don’t want to give away the ending, but I know it will be thought provoking for many.

Someone asked me how you can love one person for many years, then one day wake up and not feel that same love for them? One conclusion I came to is that throughout our lives, we are continually evolving. Our priorities, our measure of success and happiness, they change too. Learning to adapt that love, to give it space and energy to move and grow with us, that’s what helps relationships stay together. Human connections aren’t stationary or rigid, and sometimes it outgrows even our own perceived expectations, of ourselves and our significant others.

Like the helium balloon tied to the rock, the elation of euphorical love is finite. There will be a time when that honeymoon period ends and we have to adapt that love, evolve it, as our lives change. At times it may feel heavy, and we may feel that the rock that once anchored us, is now a burden. Do we cut the string before we can no longer fly?

I’m learning how to undo bad habits, and doing my best to pick up better ones along the way.

P.S. I’ve been single six months this week, and the book is four chapters along. A few friends have had a sneak-peek and the feedback is that they understand my voice, which has given me the encouragement to keep going. There are so many raw ideas that just to be moulded into paragraphs, and that just takes time. So I will make time.