For those of you who have been following my blog, or randomly clicking on the link when I share something on Facebook, you might have noticed that there has been a little bit of a lack of new blogging happening. You might, or might not, have been wondering why that is, or where I have been for the past few months – and trust me I have been asking myself the same question every day before meals (I am trying to make this sound like a prescription from a doctor, like taking your medicine away from food, I’m not sure its working but in the interest of being honest I’m going to leave that guy right in there.) This post has been one of the hardest ones for me to write, I’m still working out why that is, but it probably has something to do with the fact that its content relies on me being as honest with myself as possible, which is a hard thing to do. I feel like I need to write it though, more for me than for anyone reading this – although I do hope you manage to take something out of this, maybe I’ll throw in a food tip somewhere, just to make sure you keep reading.Towards the end of last year (no that’s a lie, it was more like the middle of the year) the dreaded question, “So what are you doing next year?” became everyone’s favorite conversation starter. I’m not sure when it happened, or how it happened, but happen it did. I think I got really good at acting during the last few months of last year, because I somehow managed to hide my absolute blind panic behind non-committal laughs, smiles and a variation of “I’m not sure yet”.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good plan. I mean, by the time I go to bed at night I have planned exactly what I am going to be eating for breakfast the next morning, but somehow, when it comes to future Dom’s life, indecisiveness is king. Anyway, some of my friends were fighting with Visa officials, trying to convince them that they really were only going to waitress in Vail and not start an international smuggling ring, and on the other side of the coin it seemed like everyone and their aunty was getting a job offer. It got to a stage where almost every second day, while innocently scrolling through Facebook, amongst cats sitting on robotic vacuum cleaners and ridiculous people doing stupid things set to “turn down for what” someone else I knew would post their “officially got a job offer status”.
So Dom, What are you doing with your life?
“ha (fake laugh), I don’t know” (clicks on video of dog chasing its own tail).
While I do think my acting skills got a little bit better, the mixture of genuinely being happy for my friends who had their shit together combined with a feeling of absolute blind panic turned out to be a bit much, which resulted in a bit of an all-fall-down and a fat cry. Not only am I a girl, I am an emotionally honest one – this is not a joke, it’s a fact and I’m ok with it, although I think it sometimes takes other people by surprise. My hulk man says that I should actually watch out because apparently I have rather expressive facial features, and my opinion is often a bit too clear to some people, but, you know we all have our cross to bear (if you didn’t get my movie reference, well then, imagine what my unimpressed face would say to you right now).
I am incredibly lucky to have the most supportive parents and friends in the world. I know that not everyone is in the same position as me, and those who are would say the same about their parents, but really, mine are the best. My mom sits there and holds my hand while I go through my process of tears, indecision and general ridiculousness which somehow always comes back to me genuinely considering how to make just living on a beach somewhere with my unicorn a real thing that could happen in life. My Dad helps me with the logic of things, once all the emotion and the tears have dried up. So at this point, the question
“So Dom, what are you going to do next year?” had an answer;
“Get a job”.
From there, everything happened very quickly. I sent out my CV, got a response, went for an interview, went for a negotiation and took a job. It all seemed to fit, it all seemed like it was meant to be and I started working part-time for the last month of my post-grad. I had to turn down the opportunity for an interview for the Grad Program that was the reason for starting this blog, numerous beach excursions and #StudentLife activities with my friends, but it was ok, because I had made my decision and I wasn’t second guessing myself. Around this time Hulk and I decided that it was time, after 7 years, for us to stop arguing about who had to pack a sleepover bag and move in together. Trying to find a place to live was like trying to find a super rare ingredient that is pretty much the most important part of a recipe, only so much worse because the alternative to not finding an ingredient is cooking something else – which is infinitely better than the alternative to not finding a flat to rent. Moving is such a dog-show that it makes a dog-show look like a Miss Universe Pageant.
“So Dom, what are you doing next year?”
“Living with a blond hulk.”
I was just adapting to this whole actually sitting in one place and working for a full day thing, when it was about time for end of year holiday. A few days before I had to go on holiday, my boss (who really is lovely) told me that she had decided that instead of growing, the company was actually going to have to close. Then came Christmas and New Year, neither of which seemed real at all for some reason. The food baby at the end of the holiday was definitely a real thing though, and despite being not human, those things always seem to grow faster than an actual child would. Anyway, I came back after the holiday, to a New Year, and was full of that New Year inspiration that makes people join the gym and cut out bad food, and I really tried to tackle what was left of this particular job as positively as possible. After four days I decided to make a decision for myself, and I quit.
“So Dom, what have you been doing for the past couple of months”
“I had a panic, graduated, got a job, moved in with a hulk (who made moving heavy things a lot easier, because one trip that’s why), lost a job and I am now back where I started.”
Except that I’m not exactly back where I started. I firmly choose to believe that everything happens in life because on some level it is what we need to grow, even the things which seem confusing at the time… actually, especially those things. On some level these things are exactly what we need when they happen, even if they are not what we think we want at the time. The past few months have been tough for me, it has tested my resilience and pushed me way out of my comfort zone, but I have learnt more than ever before to see the lessons in situations rather than the failures, flops and the crap-bags.
1. I have learnt that patience is a virtue, and I have learnt it the hard way.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is wait and let everything unfold before you make a decision. I panicked a little bit, everyone around me seemed to have their shit together and I felt like I was nowhere, and even Timbuktu seemed more real than where I was at (is that even a real place, I don’t know, I’m just thinking of the Aristocats movie for some odd reason…anyway). Sometimes the confusion and the uncertainty is what it is and you just need to accept it and try to move with it. During all of this, someone told me that I looked like I actually had my shit together…. Do I really?
2. “The energy you expend focusing on someone else’s life is better spent working on your own” – Sophia Amarosa, #GirlBoss.
This is a hugely important one, and something that I personally need to keep reminding myself of. Comparing yourself to other people all the time is one of the most dangerous things to do, especially if the majority of your perceptions come from Instagram and Facebook statuses. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good insta and facebook scroll and I get to the end of the feed almost every time, but it is problematic in the sense that it allows us all to portray ourselves in the best filter possible. We all do it, I know I do. You won’t ever see the 15+ discards that didn’t make the Insta-cut, you’ll only ever see the most perfect snapshot of someone else’s life and that can be a dangerous thing when your snapshot or what you are going through seems anything but. You’ll hear about the job contract, but you won’t hear about the interview process, how sweaty and terrifying they are or the situations like this:
“Hi Dominique, I’m X, its nice to meet you”
“Hi X, I’m Dom”
Yes. That really happened.
3. I have learnt to be grateful for everything I do have, and everything I am learning.
Life is funny like that. I don’t think that life and the things in it happen to us, I think they come our way because we need them to. I live in a beautiful city, have the love and support of some incredible people and our flat came with a built in dishwasher… I mean, there are worse spaces to figure things out in.
New Years Eve, some G n T’s and DMCs resulted in me promising myself and anyone who would listen to my ramblings that this year I would: remember to be grateful for everything this wonderful life has given me, try to find the positive that lies in every situation, stop being so afraid of things that scare me and be more open to change. So this post is me trying to do all those things. One of my oldest friends told me, over delicious wine and even better olives, that she feels like “2015 is going to be a good year, even though it’s a weird number and we are turning 23”. I hope that it is.
“So Dom, what are you doing this year?”
“Ha, I don’t know yet, but I’m figuring it out… and that’s ok”