Hey readers! This month I will kick off with some self-gratification and not the kind I am most fond of hehe. This month is birthday month for me and when it comes to birthdays, I think we all do a little reflection on the preceding year.
My reflection this year has encouraged me to slap myself on the back as I am feeling pretty proud of completing my novel and, although it has taken ages, I am so happy with my dedication to finally getting it done! When I look at the document in my desktop folder I am a little overwhelmed that I managed to sit and write 96,000 words… Although, I do like to talk a lot so it’s probably not surprising I managed to write so much!
I feel like a lot has been achieved this month, not just with my mammoth creative project but personally: I think this month is probably the most content I have felt for a very long time. You know when you are truly feeling like yourself again? I’ve got so much more energy and every day is full of something being accomplished. Despite my shoulder injury holding me back a bit I am back at crossfit which is a great feeling (now stop it, I can hear your internal groans and eye rolls). I also focused on staying true to the protagonist of my book (I feel like the she is my homie and I need to look after her) and as such there could be some very exciting times coming up for me in the not too distant future.
As I casually mentioned in my last blog, I have rewritten the ending of my book in the last month. I have also been brainstorming cover ideas and I have asked a good friend Nathan to start the creative process of mocking this up, so at least my novel will soon have a ‘face’ which I hope to share with you soon. All in all, it is starting to get really exciting.
The most pleasing thing about the last month on a macro scale has been the wonderful and historical announcements as Ireland voted heavily in favour of same sex marriage being recognised. Then - something I thought I would not see for another decade - the United States have ruled that same sex marriage is recognised nationally! This is a massive step forward. I am hoping this will soon lead to a dictionary redefinition and that we no longer talk about straight marriage and gay marriage. We’ll just call it marriage.
Another thing I have managed to do this month is listen to music and just chill out. As you know, it’s my favourite thing to do: Put some tunes on, grab a glass of red and light some candles. The song at the top of this month’s blog is Cavalier by James Vincent McMorrow and relates strongly to the book. It relates to regret… The lyrics are haunting and a little trippy but my interpretation is that James is singing about his first love, longing for the return of those initial feelings and how they are now lost. It’s a beautiful song and I listened to it a lot while writing the end of my story.
Oh, and I’ve watched ‘How I met your Mother’ pretty much back to back, which is an achievement I’m extremely proud of.
So it is my birthday month (don’t all start singing happy birthday at once or go running out to purchase me some gorgeous gifts), and as I turn another year older and technically another year wiser (maybe?!) I’m pretty happy with how far I’ve come in the last year.
I was talking to a group of friends recently and I think it’s true to say that every year that goes by I don’t necessarily feel any older. I still feel like I am a 12 year old girl just muddling through each day, although now I have money (supposedly) and responsibilities (ha!). I don’t feel like I am qualified to be making some of the decisions I have to make in everyday life. I think most of us probably muddle through as best we can, but sometimes out of nowhere, the thought strikes us: ‘Shit, when on earth did I become an adult and who on earth decided that I am capable to look after myself!?’ I remember in my late teens thinking at some point you must have some sort of epiphany, probably in your mid-twenties where you suddenly feel very mature and like you have everything figured out. I’ve not had an epiphany and by the time this is published I’ll practically be 36.
Do any of us really have anything figured out? I know I don’t. The only thing that really changes is that you do less dumb crap and you realise that life passes you by in the blink of an eye so you really do have to take chances, tell people what you think and really embrace the good people in your life and never let them go. I think living as an expat it makes you realise this even more: You keep in touch with your friends on the other side of the world and your new friends become your adopted family. That’s the best part my lifestyle right now: If I have a problem my expat family rally around and help me through. Even with this writing project, I put an update on Facebook that I needed help and I have been overwhelmed by people putting their hands up to assist from all round the world.
So as I turn another year older, I will soon be very smug and be able to tell everyone that something else on my bucket list has been ticked off… Camp America – tick. Backpacking around Australia – tick. High fiving everyone I pass on Park Street in Bristol – tick. Running a marathon – tick. Planking in Perth city centre – tick. Writing a book – tick. Publishing a book – ooooo intense. I won’t tell you the rest of my bucket list, it is a closely guarded secret. But knowing me I’ll probably post it on Facebook for the world to see!
Written by Corina Hawkins, soon to be author of ‘Tattoos of memories’.