Reachin’ for fulfillment

A few weeks ago, a doubt niggled at the back of my mind. An idea formed.

A few days later, I was on my laptop, researching intently.

A few days ago, I made up my mind.

Yesterday, I gave my manager my notice of resignation.

Wait, wha-? Where did that come from?

What have I done?

YIKES.

Is it not remarkable how some of the bigger decisions in life are the ones most of us end up making on a whim? Although I wouldn’t classify this decision of mine as a “whim”, I cannot say I know what I will be doing for work after my last day at the office at the end of the month… but I also find it exciting not to be able to do so. Many people I know (read: my mother) would berate me for the sheer lack of certainty of future I seem to have signed myself up for, but I do know that the one thing I have definitely signed out of is a future of settling for job security instead of contentment.

If there is one thing my previous career in a 100%-commission industry taught me, it is that we are capable of so much, and that most of our audacious goals can be attainable if we broke them down and went about achieving little milestones gradually.

For example, I set myself the realistic goal of stopping at one serving of food at dinner. My milestone at the moment is two serves. It was, at one time, three. This therefore brings me closer to one day stopping at one! See, already closer to one goal- I got this!

Another example would be how I would love to perfect the Aussie fashion of slang words! Presently, my goal is to start incorporating the word “mate” into sentences- not an awful lot like the abundance of cliches will have you believe, but just a touch, enough to pass as a (classy) Sydney-sider, born and raised. My current milestones include successfully tossing around words such as “arvo” and “deadset”, so I know it’s only a matter of time until “mate” becomes a permanent fixture in my verbal vocabulary… Watch me celebrate every little success, right until I find myself chilling on a tree with a koala!

Not relevant. Sorry, I digress.

There is a lot I don’t know, but if there is one thing I do, it is that I am at an age and place in life where I am starting to feel the need to accomplish something that truly matters to me, which is why I have made the decision to leave my job although it does have some great perks attached to it. We each have our strengths and the arenas where we perform at our best, and that was probably not one of mine.

It’s back to the drawing board for me, and although it will feel like a long reach, I am aware that what I need right now is the clarity of mind to find out what exactly it is I would like to achieve, and the stomach/guts/balls to see it through.

After all, I’ve already had my first nightmare of Mum chastising me for being an indecisive nut. Please let that remain a nightmare, dear god, I do not want to face that horror in real life!

 

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My Continual Craving

 

We bulldoze our way through a gargantuan pile of rice and home-made Thai Red Curry. It is 8.30 pm, though I really would not be able to tell you how that happened. I’ve never quite understood the logic of the little man who controls the science of time-keeping; why would he knowingly stretch out our dreadful hours at work, making eight of those feel like twelve, but allowing our four or five remaining waking hours at home and in the comfort of track-pants and wooly socks feel like… two meagre hours?

Also, as a side note for clarification purposes, “home-made” Thai Red Curry refers to the sort of “home-made” that comes straight out of a jar and into the pot. You know the sort where you mix in a can of coconut cream, half a cup of water, and a hearty amount of chicken into the contents of the aforementioned jar, and – VOILA! A serving of deliciously aromatic, taste-bud stimulating, drool-inducing curry to warm any cold soul’s heart is ready for the taking.

I keep my thoughts to myself as I determinedly make my way through my hefty dish; I glance over at my boyfriend’s plate and marvel at the fact that, here, at last, is a human specimen not too much bigger than me in size, with a similar metabolic rate (based on my very amateur predictions, i.e. by basing my conclusion on how soon after a meal he gets hungry… Isn’t that how it’s measured??), who can wipe a dish down quicker than I can. My little champion.

I never fail to admit that I may just have the appetite of whatever in this world has the biggest appetite- which might by default make me that very creature. I have always loved food, and if you and I were friends, you wouldn’t want to be caught dead with me anywhere near a buffet, for the sake of your dignity.

My boyfriend and I sit back in our chairs after our respective third servings of dinner… oh boy, do we sit back comfortably. A little bit of chatter ensues, discussions of the events that have made up our day, all the while allowing our digestive systems to do their thing. Unfortunately, dishes don’t wash themselves, and neither do the pots and chopping boards… so we reluctantly get off our behinds, and clean up.

By this point, it’s almost 9.45 pm.

“Oh boy, almost time for bed!”, I exclaim.

“Yes… yes. Early to bed, early to rise,” agrees my brain. “But you also have to give your stomach some time to digest the giant’s feed you just forced on it”.

And so I again seat my bottom down, this time on our comfortable sofa, and reach for my laptop to surf the internet mindlessly as anyone in a food coma would do. It’s all going well, I’m reading a crazy story about a crazy politician somewhere on Buzzfeed, when suddenly, my adventurous little heart speaks up.

“Hi sweetie… How about washing that delicious dinner down with some dessert?”

“Uh oh,” responds my brain. “Let’s not even go there. She hasn’t been to gym in so many days that I am clueless as to why she ignored my calls to refrain from signing up to one, practically throwing her money away on a weekly basis, but that’s another story! It’s 10.30 pm, she has just had a dinner befitting three kings, and having any dessert is out of the question.”

“That’s ridiculous, Madam, you want dessert as badly as she does! There is no need to play Devil’s Advocate just for the sake it. How would some gelato feel on her tongue… just imagine that for one second. Stop resissssting…” my bitter heart hisses back.

The internal argument goes on for a few minutes. My boyfriend has no idea of the turmoil that is going on inside me, for my face is the image of peace.

I decide to test the waters. “Amor, do you feel like having some dessert?”, I ask him. After all, he is my partner in crime, and almost as gluttonous as I am; I do enjoy sharing the sinful sensation of a rich chocolate mudcake or pretty much just anything else with this human.

He looks up at me quizzically and asks, “Are you hungry? We’ve just had so much to eat!”. “But we need something sweet to wash all those spices from dinner down! I’ll go get us some chocolate…?” I trail off, hoping for some positive validation. I do, after all, realise how high up on Santa’s naughty list I must be placing myself right now.

My boyfriend grins. “Sure, except we don’t have any in the house. Nor anything else you would call ‘dessert’…”.

And instantly my heart is crushed. Why, oh why, did I not stop by at the supermarket on my way home from work and grab a tub of ice cream, or a bar of cheap chocolate?! I should have known better! My heart has begun wailing at this point.

I console myself. Tomorrow will be a better day. I tell myself that I will remember to bring home a cheeky dessert, and just to satisfy my nagging brain, I will also pop into the gym on my way home from work to stare at my reflection as I lift 5 kg dumbbells.

Ah! Woe is the life of a woman prone to late night sweet desires… to appease the cravings, or not to appease the cravings, that is the question!

 

The Apology Hug

According to the world’s beloved Merriam-Webster, an apology can be defined as:

  1. a statement saying that you are sorry about something
  2. an expression of regret for having done or said something wrong

…which is generally what most of us rational adults have come to understand the word to mean, right?

Right!

Especially with regard to point 2, it is usually rather clear when an apology is not meant sincerely or “with regret” as per the above definition- and THIS is the sort of apology I am going to write about tonight!

Back when I was a teeny tot, I was pretty much the Queen of the family; not just to my Mum and Dad, for whom I was the first child, but also to the entire of Mum’s side of our extended family… I was also first grandchild!

I must say, hearing the stories of how I would constantly find myself in the limelight, subject to a free-flow of “Oooh”s and “Aaah”s and delighted squeals of “She’s so chubby!”, absolutely loving the attention and basking in it, almost makes me wish one of the most significant events to happen in my toddler years didn’t take place and subsequently rob me of the pleasures of the centre stage.

The birth of my sister.

Once she popped into this world, all the attention which I had previously commanded was immediately shifted onto her beautiful, smiling, wide-eyed, angelic face. She was such a beauty! Where I was a grumpy baby (according to my parents, I cracked my first legitimate smile at 6 months and it was a cause for huge celebration), she was cheerful in contrast. Where I was heavy, earning myself the nickname of “Mike Tyson” when I was still a BABY (!!) by my gleeful but loving aunts, my sister was tiny. And lastly, where I was born as bald as a badger, she had the most perfect head of tight luscious curls!

Geez Louise, don’t I sound bitter? I swear I am not, or have at least long outgrown such feelings, but it is safe to say that growing up, the relationship between my sister and I were akin to that of the fiercest cat and dog in the neighbourhood! We fought over everything, and any silly excuse was grabbed viciously to engage in torrentuous fits of screams as best as any three- and five- year old humans’ bodies could!

And that would be when our glorious Mum would step in; Dad was no match for his little daughters’ surges of emotion, he was too playful! With Mum, on the other hand, we learned that the easiest thing to do was to just give up.

Why?

Because our little minds had come to learn that amongst Mum’s many embarrassing strategies to force my sister and I to co-operate again was the dreadful “I’m sorry, I love you” hug.

It would suffice to say that we never let Mum get her way easily in her attempt to get us within a centimetre of each other. However, Mum also is the Master of the Withering Glower; merely throwing one such expression in our general direction usually had us obey her command pretty damn instantly.

So my sister and I would throw our arms around each other very awkwardly, mutter an indecipherable apology, and quickly withdraw our arms from the body of the other lest we infected ourselves with the other’s bacteria. Mum would then block our crack at a hurried escape, tell us she was unsatisfied with the lack of “sincerity” with which the whole transaction had occurred, and make us do it again! Can you believe her cheek?!

And so my poor sister and I would have to face each other again (upon Mum’s prod for us to look each other in the eyes), say “sorry” by somewhat feigning true remorse, and join in another quick embrace. However, by this point, our childish resolve to be as angry as possible would have wavered somewhat significantly, and we would be fighting back fits of gigg- ARGH WHY IS IT SO HARD TO KEEP UP AN ENRAGED FACADE!

Going back to the definition of an apology, our three- and five-year old selves never truly regretted getting ourselves into the fight, but the effect of the hugs served to remind us that we were sisters and any argument could be solved with a little gesture of love, even if it was forced initially!

Twenty years down the road, my sister and I have the best relationship with each other. I can safely say that she is my best friend. Every now and then when we do find ourselves getting into a bit of a quarrel, we joke that we might need to perform the Apology Hug before the argument got any worse. We haven’t actually needed to because the magic would have already been created by the mere thought of it.

Mum was definitely on to something!