My Talents.

If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s doing nothing. Let me rephrase: Thinking about doing a million things and then doing nothing about it. My good friend and boss http://iaan.tumblr.com/ just made a post about just doing stuff. just like iaan I tend to overthink things and make elaborate plans and then I never get round to doing it. It’s supposed to be a Sagittarian characteristic but that’s probably just a cop out.

So, by following iaan’s lead I started this little blog. I’ve been promising myself I would start a blog and I’ve made a hundred designs and even started coding some and there’s a list of topics i want to write about that would probably take me about 4 years just to read.

I’m starting here, and now.

Well, after lunch anyway.

The title of the post starts with last night as I was trying to fall asleep though. I started thinking about talents, and how we seem to think talents are things like being a brilliant ballerina or having an awesome singing voice. Those things that are talents when we are kids. But as adults we realise that we have different talents. And just as much as I hate my habit of procrastination I also realise that I’m fortunate enough to have a whole bunch of other talents – and it’s up to me to use them.

So, if you think you’re completely without talent, consider yourself for a bit. Are you able to make people feel better about themselves? Can you take nice photos? Are you good at gardening?

Talents are things not everyone has, though you can cultivate your talents. But the thing is:  your selection of talents is what makes YOU unique!

My plan is to realise I’m good at things, and be proud of them. And start doing something with them.

Today.

Cha cha change…

So this time it was 00:47 when I decided I’d just have to get the freaking words out. And today it’s about change.

I have a multitude of bad habits, but mostly I procrastinate. Which of course in itself gives rise to a whole bunch of bad habits. For eg. I don’t do the laundry often enough, I don’t do the dishes often enough, I sit on the couch watching really really bad TV whilst surfing Facebook instead of doing: oh, anything of value. And I often try and convince myself that this week I’ll get it all done. But mostly I end up wearing the pants without the top button and maybe a Jack Daniels t-shirt I don’t even sleep in anymore. So then about this change? How does it happen?

A few weeks/months ago I had a few drinks with a friend or 3. I wasn’t on my way to being particularly inappropriately drunk (yes, another bad habit), but I suppose we were a little tipsy. You know that point where you start giving people advice and think that you’re doing the right thing. Anyway, so most of you will know I often lament my singledom – and I had at some point tried to turn it into a joke – but I was getting a little tired of the joke, which probably meant everyone else had been over it for about a month.

So this friend of mine says to me:”You treat women like pieces of meat. And if you keep on doing that you’ll never find a girlfriend.” She also mentions that she says this because she cares and she thinks that we have the kind of relationship where she can share this kind of thing with me, but the look of utter revulsion on her face told me a slightly different story. She also mentions that she knows of at least 5 people who had said it to her. I was horrified. Was I turning into those men I’ve hated so vocally for years?

Of course this started me thinking, what was I saying to these girls and really, was this why I had been single for so long? I asked a few close friends whether they thought it to be true, and each one of them said that I had never ever treated them in a disrespectful way. But still I started to retract myself from my friends, I would chat to friends overseas on Facebook or Skype, and sms 1 or 2 here but I removed myself from possibly saying these things to anyone. And I was checking every single word I said.

I was terrified of losing the one thing I’ve always liked about myself. Since I could talk I’ve talked to anyone who would talk to me. And in turn whether I would walk down the main road of Wellington where I grew up or on the promenade deck of the Carnival Triumph, people would greet me and know my name or the girl at the butchery section at Spar would run out and give me a hug, because I could talk to people. Or that’s what I thought. What if it wasn’t true?

A whole lot of introspection and thinking followed. And most people know a whole lot of thinking about yourself usually doesn’t end well. But then just the right person said to me:”You caught me on the sidewalk outside of Bronx, of course you know how to talk to people.” And this other fantastic person in my life said:”You do realise that if you were a guy or if I was gay, we would’ve totally hooked up that night. You were so funny and cynical.” And they were right. I can talk to people and I like the way I do talk to people, and if I have ever made any girl feel like a piece of meat I do apologise, and I’m kind of convinced she might have misunderstood me.

I changed my entire lifestyle because someone said something to me, and that something really hurt. I didn’t really change my behaviour for the situation, I just removed myself from the possibility of being in that situation. But when I realised my mistake I changed again. I still haven’t been out in ages, but at least I don’t doubt myself anymore and I’ve realised that I do like me. It’s taken me long years to get to a point where I can say that, so I’m not taking it for granted anymore. If you don’t like me, that’s not my problem. I don’t want everyone to like me, because I think in that case I’m doing something wrong.

I suppose my point is, that if you want to change, or if you do change, make sure that it’s for the right reasons. If someone says something hurtful, find the truth in it and use it. But throw away the bad stuff because soon you might just find yourself alone.

I don’t think I’m going to start doing the laundry more often, or go cycling every day as I promise myself, but I am changing, every day. Maybe tomorrow is my last day, and in that case I don’t want to live today worrying about what you think about me but I also don’t want to worry about what I think of me.

**Disclaimer notice: I know this is ludicrously touchy feely. Tough.

A few hundred words with a point…

It’s 00:46 and I’m still awake. This after a week of sleeping about 16 hours a day and spending a whole day at work today I would’ve thought I’d be asleep by 11. Instead I’m WIDE awake. See, I found something out tonight that has rocked me just a little. Maybe a lot…

I know it’s a Friday evening and I’m a sad little being for not being out and partying, but frankly I haven’t done that in weeks, and well I’ve been sick for a week. Earlier I was just floating around Facebook just trying to find in my head some people I’ve known in the past. You know how sometimes you just wonder where they are and what they’re doing? You know? I know I’m not the only facebook voyeur out there. Anyway, so I go searching for this girl we shared a flat with in London. (We being my brother, and his wife before she was his wife and some other people.) I find her, and she’s looking EXACTLY the same. Like nothing has changed in 8 years.

Now let’s go back to then. In 2001 I was living and working in a South African youth hostel in Earl’s Court. It was a hideous dive of a place but I made some awesome friends there, and I met my brother’s wife there, so all in all good times were had. I was due to come back to SA for my 21st and about a month or so before I met this girl called Cornel. We were both from Durbanville and had vaguely the same kind of background and we started partying together – this basically consisted of walking 500 metres to the Richmond and getting completely plastered between the hours of 5pm and 11pm and then walking home and drinking some more. Rinse, repeat.

At that point, Cornel was loud, funny and often rather obnoxious but ALWAYS up for a party. She was also coming to SA around the time of my birthday so I invited her along. Being a chef and rather overbearing in her nature she arrived early on the day and taught my mom a few things in the kitchen and generally kind of took over. Not that I think she meant to be rude or over the top, just completely in her nature.

Later that night – the bits I remember – she basically voted herself in charge of the music and pretty much told my best friend her speech was boring, and got onto the coffee table in the bar and told a few off colour jokes and about how much we were drinking in London. I remember being rather mortified and kind of annoyed because of the way she was taking over. So that was my 21st.

Back in London I was living in the youth hostel again, and her and my brothers wife and some other buddies had moved into a flat – even closer to the Richmond, I could crawl without breaking a sweat – and at some point they asked me if I’d like to move in. I was tired of the youth hostel, there was a bunch of new people who believed they owned the place, much like we had the year before, so I was just kind of gatvol and moved in.

We had some awesome times in that flat. The 2 boys I shared a room with taught me some Afrikaans words I didn’t know existed and a whole lot of other things I won’t go into at this time. I don’t think I ever had a fight with those 2 boys, but Cornel was a completely different story. I can’t remember the extent of the arguments, but I do know that at some point – drunk as a lord, and perfectly well meaning – I told Cornel, in my infinite wisdom of course – that I thought she was gay and it was damn well time for her to get out of the closet.

She was PISSED OFF. There were loads of loud words and I know at some point she said that I’d had a crush on her all along – those of you who know my taste in women, would know she was NOT my type. Anyway I thought it was funny, and really I have no idea of what happened from there on. I can’t remember if she moved out or if I went home or what.

Now this here, is a very long story and for the sake of what do you ask? As I said, earlier this evening I was floating around finding some people on Facebook. And there was Cornel’s face. And also a group “In Loving Memory of Cornel ****”. She’s dead. She died in a car crash in March last year. I’ve said mean things about her, and now I can never take them back. It’s not like I thought I’d see her again, but it wouldn’t have been impossible. But she’s gone. Forever.

Now, I’m not really a stranger to death anymore. More people have died in my family in the last 5 years than in my entire life. Seriously. But most of them were older, and most sick for a bit. Cornel was a year or 2 older than me and she died. And she wasn’t close to me, but I can’t go have a drink with her and remember the old times and laugh about getting drunk on red wine in the afternoon and telling her she’s gay. I don’t know if she was. I don’t know what she did for the last 7 years of her life.

When Mari died last year it was a huge shock and many people are still incredibly sad, I still get tears in my eyes almost every time I see a post from Mariska to Mari in my news feed. But I know Mari had a full life, and she was always the life of the party and somehow I think she did everything she could’ve in the time she was here, but Cornel to me is different. For more than a year I didn’t know, we weren’t close, but we shared some memories. And now I’m the only one holding on to them.

I suppose no one is going to read this, but I think mostly I needed to say it in words. To realise again what we forget. Tomorrow really could be too late. The last thing my Dad said to me – well it was a text message, which was good because I could look at it for years – was: “Enjoy your health now”. There’s more than that though; enjoy everything and everyone now and hold on to the memories, but let go of that which you can’t hold on to…

Oh! The places you will go!

Right my dear and darling friends, I have decided to show you just a little bit of the places I have seen since joining Carnival cruise lines. These pictures aren’t mine, they’re just for illustrative purposes and the minute I get my stupid laptop to work properly I’ll post some of my own!!

So, the first foreign stops I made were Miami & New Orleans, I don’t have much to show for that, but here’s the rest.

First we went to Cozumel in Mexico. Really beautiful, and it reminds a lot of Mozambique. Cozumel is an island just off the coast ofMexico. And when it’s kind of clear you can see all the way to the mainland.

Next was Progresso in Mexico. This is part of the Yucatan peninsula. Also quite reminiscient of Mozambique, and there were Mayan Ruins but we didn’t get enough time off to go check them out, so I’m quite sad about that. But maybe some other time.

Just a quick list though, after I finished on the Fantasy that sailed from New Orleans to Cozumel and Progreso I transfered to the Triumph. I was in Miami for 2 days and then flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico to meet the ship there. From there we went to St Thomas in the Virgin Islands and then Grand Turk. After that it was back to Miami and today we went to the most beautiful island yet. It’s called Half Moon Cay, but it used to be known as Little San Salvador. It’s part of the Bahamas and it’s being leased by the Bahamian government to some of the cruise lines who put some money into it and now it’s a fantastic place. I hope to post some pics soon!!

Let me know how all of you are doing!!!!!

Ok, so the pictures I’m trying to upload aren’t working right now, so I’ll try and upload them later. It’s back to the Gallery to sell some photo’s to unsuspecting Americans.