I know that nothing is sexier than the sound of the rain drumming down the window on an early Sunday morning while I’m wrapped up in a warm duvet debating a vanilla or caramel latte. The Nespresso machine waits patiently for my pirate like swagger, sleepily frothing my milk and pouring out a long shot with a steaming sigh. This is bliss, the silence of the morning, coffee in hand with nothing but hazy daydreams. There are two biographies resting on the battered wood of the coffee table calling out to me, competing with one another for my attention. Trying to ignore them, I head out to greet the sun with a winter jog. I know that if there’s a good book in my hand then I desire nothing else. With a quick turn of the page I am immersed in someone else’s world and thought process, relishing their experiences, full of melancholy when the last chapter arrives and we have to part ways. What I know is that reading makes me light up inside.
As I type this, there is frost on the windows and classic Italian music playing in the background. Parole, Parole, Parole….so very fitting for the writer in me. I marvel at the glimmering light the sun so selflessly gives after an early morning jog. The Nespresso machine has provided rapture in a mug, the snowflakes have left a whisper of a mark on the window near my computer and I can’t help but stop writing to celebrate this simple moment. Opening my window, I catch a small snowflake before it melts leaving me feeling like I’ve held the purest form of art for a fleeting second. What I know is, if you pause and just notice where you are, life gives you the most humble of gifts that leaves you with a sense of awe.
If I have learned and grasped anything this year it would be my personal maxim which is: Don’t look back to find the person you were in order to become the person you want to be. Change came charging full throttle and once again pushed me out of my comfort zone bringing anxiety and challenged stifled notions about how life ought to be from my own perspective of scrutiny. What I know is that I’m not the same woman I was a year ago, I like (even prefer) being unconventional and have grown very comfortable with that. Why fight something so innate? It’s easy to be attached to pre-conceived labels that are placed on us, usually by the ones we love. Labels such as how far along we ought to be in life, criteria expected of us that should be accomplished by a certain time or age and my personal favorite, have you found a man dear? Followed by a mouthful of adages about the single woman and possible Jane Austen like outcome. (I saucily like to call it once a romance writer, never a bride) Maybe I have met a man. Maybe I simply love privacy.
Irrespective of who may or may not be in my life, I adore my own company, especially the stillness the relationship with myself brings and most importantly being proud of the decisions I’ve made to live the life I now lead. What I know is to never give up. Things don’t always happen at the tempo that we would like and I’ve learnt to be ok with that. I don’t really owe anyone an explanation about the measure of my life and that’s extremely freeing. Everyone evolves at a different pace, that has always been my personal mantra. Never do things because people say you should or state that you have to reach a certain goal by an allocated time. (Usually theirs) You’ll know just when that moment is. Blur out the rest of the unwanted advice because as long as you have your ambition and will to succeed nothing or no one can ever stop you.
I was shocked at how easy it is to get rid of complications and drama. What I know is that a simple life is a beautiful life. Right down from what I eat, how I present myself to the world and the kind of thoughts that are allowed to enter my mind. Saying no was a hard, hard lesson but once I began to live the words that I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to, threads of familiarity unraveled and I was left with a very different fabric of truth. People can falsify their entire life as a window of perfection to others but when you sink into who you are and live with sincerity not only for yourself but also towards others, you’ve really arrived. When you live a truthful life, it’s the richest life you can ever, ever live.
What I know now is the importance of family, more so than any other time in my life. It’s up to me to create a blueprint for future relationships and that means overlooking flaws because it’s so easy to castigate the ones you love. My parents are the reason why I am here and they have done their very best to equip me with the right values to make a difference in this world, not just live in it. Looking back at my most cherished memories of my mother and father, the images have been simple ones. I vividly recall snuggling up to my father on his chair and finding that perfect nook in the corner of his arm, adjusting myself in such a way that I wanted to stay there forever as he kissed me on the forehead. When I was a little girl and would come home from school to have lunch, my mother would blast the music in the kitchen, dancing her heart out while making food. She would waltz me all over the waxy kitchen floors singing away as I giggled, giddy with happiness. (A trait that I have inherited accompanied with some horrid singing) Perhaps the best memory I have is our dinners at the table, discussing my day and the beauty of the food we ate because my mother never took an easy route when it came to what went into our stomachs, she made sure our meals were fresh and healthy every single day. That’s not only a gift but I believe, one of the highest expressions of love.
What I know is a good nights sleep makes you a happier person. I switch off all technology and write about all the things that I am grateful for before I close my eyes. I call this vacation sleep because it’s so satisfying going to bed grateful about something and more often than less, I run out of lines because if you dig a little deeper into the well of thankfulness the bucket does indeed runneth over.
Laughing is magic for the body. What I know is that I am a giggler. Usually the first to crack a joke simply to amuse myself, I find humor in the most dire of situations. It has saved me from some sticky circumstances and I’ve also noticed people are much more attractive when they laugh.
What I know is that opening your heart to love is beautiful, so beautiful and it’s better to accept heartbreak with happiness knowing that if you look back, you’ll forever be unable to look at the person standing in front of you. As a woman I know that a good morning gorgeous text is the best thing to receive when you first wake up, eyes half open, snuggled in warm sheets. There is nothing lovelier than a man that lets you know how much he’s thinking of you during his busiest hours. It’s the stuff that makes a gal glow.
Finally, what I know is that if you have a beautiful relationship with yourself, good friends and family and live a truthful life, relentlessly pursuing your passions – no matter how long they take, or how pebbled your roads are – things happen for your well-being at an accelerated pace.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Years and many reasons to be in gratitude.
All photos by Minelle Mir for Maison Minelle