I won’t lie, I was originally going to post this a couple of months ago under the title of “The Time That I Completed a Project Started 7 Years Ago” and go on a lengthy rant about how difficult it is to apply for your British Citizenship, but then I got paranoid that that would bring bad karma so I waited. And now that IT IS HERE! I can finally say it – I am a dual citizen! I have the right to live in work in the UK and the EEC! And I couldn’t care less about how long it took, how expensive it was or how difficult they make the process. Because this one simple item holds the key to my future. My adventure. My new.
What: Sassy Punch – equal parts energy drink, sports drink, alcohol, fruit
Where: Irish Embassy
Who: Roommate, her friends, some bar guys
This past Sunday I was invited to my sister’s boyfriend’s bestfriend’s baby’s first birthday party. I know that sounds like a complicated, distance connection at best and yet from the moment I walked into the party, I was made to feel like family. Everyone from the grandmas to the 2nd cousins to the childhood best friends welcomed me with open arms and lots of laughter. We chased after balloons, scrambled over jungle gyms, ate delicious homemade curries, coloured with crayons, talked politics and racism, drank boozy drinks, argued over sports, and played with kids on a sugar-high! I spent the day thinking about how much I’ve come to love and appreciate big families. The large families that I have been lucky enough to know always seem to be so hospitable, so welcoming. No matter how many people are at the table, they always make room for more. More people, more food, more conversation, more love.
Lately I have been overwhelmed by saudade, a Portuguese word that refers to the feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which is lost. When I look around, I see a city haunted by memories. I feel that I have seen everything, been everywhere and experienced all that this city has to offer. Rationally, I know this not to be true. What I love best about this incredible city is that there is always a new restaurant opening, a new festival starting, a new play debuting, a new group to join, a new cause to take up. But over the last year I shared these experiences with someone with whom I was madly in love. Someone who made each moment special. Someone who made me feel excited to be young, alive and living in a vibrant city. Now, I simply don’t have that same enthusiasm. The places I love are tainted and the new have lost their charm.
To Kill A Mockingbird. Harper Lee. 1962.
As I previously mentioned, I have decided to read my way through the BBC’s top 200 books. I love reading and find great pleasure in escaping into a world created by an author. I think reading can broaden our perspective, introduce us to alternate views, stimulate our imagination and nurture our sense of adventure. I love that a story can immerse us in an unknown universe. Sometimes a story will inspire a longing for a distant land worth visiting. Sometimes a story will show us a new side of a place we love. And sometimes, if we are really lucky, a story will transport us to a world that no longer exists.
Time and again I have begun a knitting project only to become discouraged and give up. I have started at least a dozen hats, scarves, blankets, etc. over the years and have nothing to show for it. And honestly, I only have myself to blame. As with many areas of my life, I tend to get so very excited about a project in the beginning until inevitably my enthusiasm wanes and I lose interest. Whether it is attending an exercise class, learning a new language, starting a blog, or knitting a blanket, I have always seem to lack follow through. Upon reflection, I think my issue stems from my overly high expectations. Even though I routinely say that I don’t believe in perfection, I do get so very annoyed when things don’t turn out how I expect them to (which let’s face it, is pretty close to perfect). The real failure is that instead of seeing something through to the end, learning the lesson and improving next time, I almost invariably cast the whole thing aside. Well not this time. I am happy to say that this time I have actually completed a project.