Wrapping paper, torn to shreds; food, stuffed either in bellies or between 2 slices of bread; family, all hugged and kissed goodbye before heading back on the motorway or on an overpriced Virgin train; unpacking, arduously ploughed through; flat, reheated; Tae Bo and Pop Pilates videos, replayed; painful choreography of said fitness routines, attempted with the utmost sincerity, all in a final bid to squeeze into the unforgiving New Year’s Eve dress purchased from ASOS — bought when feeling slightly tipsy and a tad overambitious; traditional New Year’s Eve buffet and drinks, scoffed— rendering the aerobic efforts made an hour ago redundant; train ride to Shoreditch, endured; clubbing, also regrettably endured (wasn’t as good as last year…that’s gentrification for you); countdown, recited; new year kiss, charmed by; cold trek back home, experienced; long, deep, post-wine sleep, slept through…
and now I awake to the dawn of another year.
This year I turn 30! In childhood, I never thought this’d happen. Not because I expected to die aged 29, but for most of my life, 30 seemed worlds away. People in their 30s have always been ‘other’ to me. Adults with everything figured out — the career, the house, the car, the family. Adults dwelling in another universe— a paradigm trapped in the telly, so that I could enjoy ‘Friends’, ‘Half and Half’ and other romanticised comedies depicting a future which was neither real nor attainable in a devolving, evermore right-wing, dystopian zeitgeist.
It’s just crept up on me like a stretch mark that’s been lurking around, resting on my thigh, all comfortable and smug, laughing at my obliviousness, happy for me to wear shorts in summer for everyone to notice it, ‘cept me.
When trying to recall life so far, I only see a haze. A watercolored blur of memories, analyses and unanswered questions. Where has the time gone?
It doesn’t feel like I’ve done much. Just feels like I’m always catching up. Ideally, clocks would stand still for a year so that I can finish the decorating, create more content for Scribble Ink, then write a few more short stories and scripts. This extra one second we’ve been granted in 2017 just feels like a slap in the face. I don’t know why NPL felt the need to bother us with this ‘non-news.’
This blog may read like a tale of gloom, but you’ll be pleased to know that all subsequent paragraphs are laced with intrigue, and optimism…and if by the end of reading you disagree, who cares? You get what you pay for!
My younger brother once referred to me as ‘the poo that won’t flush’. By that, he meant that 29-year-olds are just 25-year-olds waiting to turn 30 because this milestone represents when one officially becomes ‘man’ or ‘woman’ but is still young enough to enjoy a few childhood privileges such as skipping (in the comfort of your own home, not in public) and rising from a chair without heaving, panting and feeling some sense of achievement that you did not piss yourself in the process. At least that’s what I dejected from his statement. Otherwise, he may have just been calling me a piece of shit…which is equally plausible (he’s very cheeky).
I guess little Jordan has a point. Based on what older friends and family have told me, 30 is a wake-up call for the young; an opportunity to employ a sense of self that you were incapable of in preceding years. Being 30 renders you flushable. Therefore, I’m pleased to announce all readiness to unclog myself from the U-bend of uncertainty. I take joy in the relief that comes in knowing the quenching waters of personal, academic and creative growth will follow me into the abyss, rather than overflow a friend’s bog, leaving me no choice but to announce my transgressions during the crescendo of a house party. I’m also delighted to know that toilet analogies do not grind to a halt because I’m 30, and consequently, I will be employing, nay embracing them unashamedly and wherever possible.
I’m not one for setting New Year’s resolutions, namely because I usually forget I’ve made them by Jan 3rd. Rather, I like to set myself milestones—achievable but meaningful tasks to be conquered throughout the year, and only changed if a better plan comes along.
These milestones include, but are not restricted to:
- A surge in business growth: You may be aware that I run Scribble Ink Story Consultancy, which is a social enterprise dedicated to mentoring writers throughout their creative process. Earlier this year I completed a Masters- an experience which propelled Scribble Ink to new heights. My business acumen and mission statement is 10 times better than it was, and as this is the year Scribble Ink turns 7, I plan on owning the world one writing programme at a time! I’ll explain more in the birthday newsletter, which of course, I’ll share on this platform once it’s live.
- Invest more in my creativity: I’ve been writing for years and this artistic discipline has been an extension of me since I can remember. I don’t know how to be anything else and I wouldn’t want to. The Chronicles of Nadia is my playground. I launched this blog with no real agenda (and if I ever proposed one, I was okay with not sticking to it). It’s just a realm for me to air my feelings and make sense of the world. However, lately it’s yearning to be more than that, and so this is the year I vow to invest in a better blog site, post more often and share my happiness as far afield as possible.
- Washboard abs: In all honesty, I don’t know how achievable this is, as my love for rich, indulgent cuisine conquers all, but I figured that in keeping it a milestone and doing a few sit-ups here and there, I can make space for more food and fit into something other than a bed sheet.
- Travel more: I backpacked through South Africa when I was 20/21 and it was one of the best periods of my life. I’ve yet to get rid of the itchy feet, so I’ve no choice but to let them wander wherever the heart leads them and wherever the finance finds them…even if I only make it to Butlins! In all seriousness, I’ve dreamed that my career and my art would be my plane ticket, and while it hasn’t quite happened yet, I have faith it will…and if you’d like to be a part of this achievement, I do accept donations…just kidding…but not really.
- Make a house a home: I’ve learned that the idea of taking on an old Victorian building is a far cry from the reality of living in it. This mofo needs a lot of care and attention! Starting this year, the house will be a home Kirsty Alsop wouldn’t mind having a cup of tea in!
These milestones are enough to be getting on with. I smiled when I looked up and saw there were 5 as this is my favourite number and for me at least, they are attainable as they are enchanting, as they are scary, as they are exciting.
I do not crave fame,
but by the end of the year, you will know my name.
Here’s to being a flushable poo!
To 30! The age when dreams come true.
Happy New Year All!