Bringing you news once a week on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story in Glamour Magazine, here), and on Friday I share a story of an inspirational person, project or cause.
I lost the plot last weekend, for sure. ‘Moving house is stressful’, people warned me. ‘I’ve got this’, I thought to myself smugly as I looked around my room, absolutely certain that I could do it myself as it was just up the road. No need for a man in a van. More fool me.
I’m in now, but as I began to unpack (or at least attempt to move things from one bag or box to another), I seemed to embark on a journey of the lost and found…
After four years in my last home I had accumulated more crap than I ever thought possible and it is no wonder that things had gone awry between flats, especially given my decision to throw half of my belongings out ready for my new clutter-free existence. The problem with that came when I realised a few pretty important items were missing: paperwork, a couple of notebooks, chargers. (I’m still hoping they show up at some point.)
Then came the possessions I found: tickets, cards and letters. My own reactions took me by surprise. Mum’s handwriting was something I felt too broken to see soon after her passing but this time it felt comforting, in a way. A message from her in a Christmas card from 2011 read, ‘I hope you get all that you wish for in 2012’, which hit me hard. Though, on reflection, it was more of a quick, sharp pain than the constant ache I used to feel. Sympathy cards and letters of condolence were tough to read at first but they also gave me strength, as I was reminded at just how wonderful my family and friends are. It was a significant moment for me. The words I always despised to hear, ‘It gets better in time’, finally began to make a little more sense.
Thinking so much about Mum led me to think about my postcard project – the next adventure to NYC – and it was at this point where I could almost sense her eye roll, chuckle and sigh as I scrambled frantically through my belongings to find the fundamental item for my trip. I had LOST my flipping PASSPORT. Thankfully, after about 15 minutes (felt like more) of muttering, ‘No, no, no, no, no’, I managed to retrieve it. A classic case of taking the ‘safe place’ too far.
So the passport may be back with me but I explained in my last post that I had not been overly organized on the accommodation front for New York. Well, it was only last night that I managed to secure a roof over my head for the first six nights. Paris postcard finder, Stephanie, is kindly putting me up for an evening. I am going straight from the airport to meet her at her dance studios to watch a rehearsal. I couldn’t imagine a better (or more apt) way to start the trip. Then I am hitting an Airbnb with my friend, Beccy. As for the rest of the trip….ummmm….your guess is as good as mine (but someone kindly pointed out that the subway is open 24 hours, so I should be OK.)
Now, somehow, it is the day before I fly and I face the same old pre-holiday quandaries. I haven’t lost the stone I had planned to because, honestly? I haven’t really tried. I haven’t bought a new wardrobe because I spent too much going for a ‘couple’ a few too many times. I haven’t got a gorgeous glow to my skin because I’m a little too afraid to go back on a sunbed after the time I made the error of putting the eye protectors on my……(don’t. Just, don’t). BUT, I do still have time to dye the greys out of my hair. Result.
I wonder if I will ever be a proper, real life grown up? As the thirty-first birthday approaches, I think it’s probably just time to admit that this is me. And now I better get ‘me’ checked-in online before I forget to do that, too.
Speak to you from across the pond.
Happy hump day (so to speak).