Saturday 23 January 2016

Too late, I already took the red pill

I wrote this in a weird dream like state, but alas I accidentally deleted it before I made a copy, and had to write another one. It will never be what it was, possibly will never be as good, but I felt I said some important stuff in it, so I rewrote it. With that in mind, if it's a bit shit, rest assured that the original surely kicked arse.
It's strange, experiencing things I've never experienced before. It's something that's happening every day at the moment. But I worry, did I wait too long to do this? The grey hairs sprouting at the back of my head say yes, I did wait too long. Better late than never I hope. It would have been so sad if I had never been here to see these things.

Christmas was like stepping into a time bubble. It was comforting and homely, only more comforting and homely than I ever remember home actually being. I ate and ate, new food, awesome food, food we used to cook and could again. I drank way too much and watched hours of daytime TV in my pyjamas. It was a rest, a much needed rest, time to heal. All of this was nearly enough to make me believe that nothing had changed, that I've not changed, but that was the lie. It's like that bit in the Labyrinth,* when Sarah thinks she is home again but she is sill actually on the adventure. All the trappings were there, all the home comforts I thought I needed, but it wasn't my home. I don't have a home right now. I had one, and I loved it, but it became a prison. I was trapped in amber while all of my friends moved on, made plans and set goals that no longer involved staying up with me until the wee small hours, talking about where we have been, who we think we are, and who we could be.

Now that the bubble has been popped, I need to reflect on all that we've been through. Because the Chrissy that left the UK is not the same Chrissy that's here now. I remember how I thought before I arrived in Vietnam and sometimes I laugh at, sometimes I'm terrified by, just how naive I really was. During the last year I've been pushed and pulled about, hurt and made to grow, and had ups and downs of extreme intensity. It's been magical and horrible all at the same time. And the journey is not over yet. But whereas Saigon was intense, sharply growth inducing and simply bat shit crazy at points, New Zealand is soft, achingly beautiful and gently thought provoking. I'm sure over time I will experience other issues and dramas here, though I can't help but think it will be all a lot less hard than it was there. What does this show, is this the place for me? Or was it there? Is it another place I've yet to see? Or is it back home? It's still too soon to tell.

I know I've changed but I also know that I'm still me, I'm still Chrissy. I still love and miss the same people and I still have the same core, there are just more layers on top of that now. What I have to work out is how all this new stuff fits into the old stuff, I just have to decide where, who and what makes me happy and what I want to do in the long term. Simple as that ey?

Did I wait too long to do this? The grey hairs on my head say yes. But I think of the times I spent with my friends and the people I care about and I know that I didn't. Every job I've had, every party, every adventure... Every moment was important. I don't regret any of it. I wish in some cases I could have stayed longer. But I would stay forever in a place for love, and how terrible would it have been not to have seen all of this, not to have lived this last year.

Our moments are finite though, we all know that, and there is so much to fit into the short series of moments we have. I think of the moments I shared with my friends. Skating around an ice rink in Huddersfield town centre, the first adventure we had with a couple destined to become close friends. Playing with miniature soldiers out of a window whilst making party bags for a wedding. Going mental around a water park on a hen do. Playing board games on our lunch break. Blowing bubbles to cheer up my friend who was feeling down after a heavy night. Getting drunk and emotional at a dinner party of my new work friend. Sharing coffees and stories with a friend who is nearly as crazy as me, in the best way. All of those moments, and many, many more, those are what I think of while I'm travelling about, those are the memories I hold onto when things get dark.

The climate in Vietnam took a toll on my hair and my skin. I'm not going to dye, or cut, those nagging signs of ageing until I've healed a bit, I need to heal.

But time waits for none of us. Tick tock. Even as I write this, the moments are running down.

My partner asks me, what do I want? Because he knows what he wants. I feel the weight of that knowledge on me. I need to decide. I don't need my future to begin tomorrow, but I need to know where I'm heading at least, because that clock is always ticking.

But oh, my friends, my dear friends. Running in the park, trying in vain to count a jigsaw that seemed to have an infinite number of pieces, sharing a KFC when our stomaches were still too delicate to eat it, nearly killing ourselves with fireworks, sharing our wins and our losses, sharing our lives.

My partner asks me, running the hypotheticals, if we were to part ways tomorrow, where would I go? Where would I want to go? Trying to figure out how my wants and dreams fit into his life compass. It's a fair question.

Tick tock, tick tock. Yeah, I hear you. Time, you bastard. Making people grow older, forget, move on, pushing us apart with the inevitable onwards flow of life. Yeah, I know you're there, Time, you fucker. Tick tock.

I need to decide, but I'm still thinking, sorting through all of this, trying to extricate me from the paths other people want to follow. Do they match or am I destined to find another one? Is my path set to merge with others? Or am I to keep walking this road I'm on?

I love you, and I miss you, more than you could know. This makes it better and worse at the same time. Easier and harder, always both, all the time.

If you take anything out of my confusion though, take this, you are capable of doing anything you want, following any dream or any path, I am living proof of that now. You are amazing in ways you can't even conceive of, brilliant and uniquely strong, you're awesome, and never let your doubts tell you otherwise. There is something to be said for just booking a ticket. In life, if you jump, you will find the money, you will make it happen, because you've forced your hand, you have to.

At some point we all have to buy the ticket, take that inevitable jump into a future. Please listen to someone who has spent too much of their life believing they don't deserve to be happy, I deserve it, you deserve it, we all do. We always have done. And what can make you happy is a million, billion different things. From the smallest action to the biggest life decision, but make sure it's what is right for you, not what makes what everyone else happy. Trust me, it's really hard to make that distinction when you love people.

I'm not quite there yet though, I know that. At least there is forward motion though, at least I'm doing and learning and not trapped in amber anymore. Tick tock, tick tock. That clock ain't slowing down.

Did I wait too long? I don't think so, because I have all of these moments, memories, and no one can ever take them away, no matter what the future holds. Plus I have a whole host of new moments, and I get to share these with my favourite people, as much as it's possible to, and that makes it even more worthwhile. So no, I didn't wait too long, whatever those lying grey hairs tell me.

But still, tick tock, tick tock. Yeah I know. I know. But I need to think, I need to heal. Bear with me, universe.


* I wrote this before the sad passing of Bowie recently, but as a nod and because the song fits the theme of this blog pretty well, here ya' go...


  1. I love reading your blogs Chris, keep them coming xxx

  2. I love reading your blogs Chris, keep them coming xxx

    1. Thank you Jan, that means a lot to me xxx