Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Happy Mondays/Tuesdays #25

Happy Tuesday! I forgot Monday was Monday. Miss me? Miss this little ray of sunshine every week? Well I did, but in these last 4 weeks I'd had so much to be happy about and grateful for, and it's kept me going through the South African winter, plane delays and exhaustion. But I'm home now, back to reality, and I've never been so happy about it. After 3 weeks of being surrounded by people (albeit lovely people who I really miss being surrounded by), coming back to my own space, some time to myself, and my own room was the dream. I've had a lovely week of pottering, and running errands, and sorting out my life and enjoying my own company. My time spent away helped me put things into perspective a bit, and has made me realise how lucky I am - compared to poverty-stricken South Africans, blind wildebeest, and friends who don't have things as easy I do. It's also just given me a bit of a refresh. It was a break from everything, and a chance to go and do something completely different. Now I feel like I've got the energy and the desire to come back and hit the ground running and make the most of the time I have before I have to be an adult, and go to work every day. So you could say this is one of my happiest Mondays yet...

1. I got to eat real food
I have been hungry for an entire week. I don't really understand why, because I ate normally in South Africa... Maybe it's just the excitement of being able to eat food that isn't beef and rice, and my stomach adjusting to the plethora of eating options available to me. My first meal back was a bacon sandwich at Heathrow, and bacon has literally never tasted so good. I was so excited to have a proper, home cooked meal that evening, and one that was really hot, rather than lukewarm from being sat out on a counter. I was reunited with my one true love, Robinson's lemon squash, and I hope never to be separated again. I went to Cafe Nero and got one of those confusing coffees with loads of things in it, just because I could, and I've eaten my way through countless bowls of cereal, homemade cranberry muffins and satisfied my need for fruit/salad/vegetables. I'm pretty sure I put the 8lbs I lost whilst away back on by day 3. 

2. I got to see everyone again 
It wasn't until I got to Heathrow arrivals and saw Simon there waiting for me at 5.30am last week that I realised how much I'd missed him. It wasn't until he looked after me all day, made me food and gave me snugs that I realised how much I'd actually missed him. It wasn't until I got back to Sussex and my mum had changed my sheets for me and made me dinner, that I realised that I'd missed her - or until I had a 5 hour long catch up with my Nan that I realised I'd missed her too. Being away, and being busy, and being surrounded by people, I felt like I'd not had much of a chance to miss people. And that was great. But I loved the feeling of coming home to everyone, telling them all about my trip and distributing the presents I'd bought, and it made me think that I had missed them after all. We spend so much time trying to escape 'normality' and being unsatisfied with what, and who, we've got, that sometimes going away, and being without those things and those people, is exactly what you need to make you appreciate them. 

3. I got a flat
Hi, I'm Laura and I'm a real life grown up who has to pay rent without a student loan, and council tax. It's pretty exciting (and expensive) over here. In my mind, moving house is my least favourite thing to do. You have to go and look at loads of flats, some of which are disgusting (and have 1 bedroom with a family of 8 currently living in it), some of which are in areas you want to live, some of which are glorified cupboards, and some of which will bankrupt you in the first week. You then have to spend ages talking to estate agents and filling out forms and giving them your life savings. Then you have to actually pack up and move all of your stuff. But...you get to have a massive clear out and go through all your stuff and find things you forgot you had; you get to have a massive eBay selling spree to try and reclaim some of those savings you've burnt; you get to work out where all your stuff is going to go in your new place; you get to go on a MASSIVE IKEA SHOP; you get to make everything pretty, and nice, and cosy...and then you actually get to live in a nice little flat with your boyfriend and soak up all the wonders of adulthood. I'm so happy/relieved/excited. 

4. For the first time in a long time, I feel pretty chill
You know when people talk about going away, and going travelling, and finding themselves and it all sounds like a lot of crap? Well, it kind of is a bit, but I feel like there's also some truth to it. I didn't go to South Africa to find myself, or expect to have some sort of epiphany, but I do feel like it was a bit of an adventure and I've returned a better version of myself. I mean, it was only 3 weeks but, coming home, I feel so much more chilled out and generally less anxious about life. I enjoy feeling like I'm in control, and being in Africa where you had virtually no control over what you were doing, when you were doing it, what you were eating, where you were sleeping made me realise that, actually, sometimes it's just fine to go along with stuff because it'll probably be ok. If your driver doesn't turn up until 3 hours after he's supposed to, sure it's annoying, but it's not actually a big deal. I'm glad I've been able to bring some of that mentality back with me, because it's so easy to be sucked back into everything as it was before once you've returned to your 'normal' environment, and I hope that I can continue being more chill, less worried and happier. 

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