Sunday, December 25, 2011

Life and celebrations in between

So it's been a while since I've updated, and to be honest, I haven't really had the urge to write. It's because of oh so many reasons...It's been a rough little while that really prevented me from wanting to share such a terrible and blah period in my journey. I fell into a bit of a depressive funk - one that was made me so gray and blue that it felt like a haze and I was idly walking through a thick fog of sadness that wouldn't lift. But the great thing about life is that eventually by hook or by crook, whether you have to claw your way out of it or just let enough time pass - everything gets better again. Unfortunately I woke up about 8 lbs heavier!


I missed the season of the Scorpio. It's my fave cause generally I love celebrating birthdays. A party just to celebrate the day you came into the world?! Done! But admittedly  this one was a struggle for me. Ever since I was 15 I always thought 32 would be the age that I'd be settled, have a partner and maybe starting a family...Somehow being thousands of miles away from friends and family while continuing my world adventures was not where I thought I'd be. Don't get me wrong - I am extremely blessed to be in this position and it is a path I chose, however, that doesn't mean that the transition from a carefree traveller to a corporate job, the death of several loved ones, being homesick and trying to make huge decisions about where I'm going to live weren't going to get me down. I tailspinnedand have been fighting my way out of for the last few months.  During that time I was pretty anti-social and boring. Shocker I know but it is known to happen everyonce in a while. And like all things in life, time eventually heals most wounds.  

This birthday also ended up being the most chilled out one. A Billion thanks to the FB greetings I got. Oh the most amazing bouquet of flowers and wine that my sexy twin, Chrissy Benz sent me.  Daryl flew in from Sydney and played best friend while I did the tourist guide thing/food thing actually. We took the fast ferry up the river, had drinks on a beautiful patio overlooking the river, went for a walk in the scenic South Bank, saw the views of the city up Mount Cootha and had dinner with a few other friends at one of the local steakhouses. We basically ate our way through the weekend, and spent my actual birthday at the Gold Coast with a yummy picnic and a swim on the beach. We had a great picnic of different types of cheese, salami, smoked salmon, mussels, fresh fruits, bread and crackers and Jo brought a chocolate cake. Later at night a few other friends came over with some wings and cider. There were no endless shots, no "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous Dirty Thirty" themed party. Yes, I felt I suppose life happens, but I just wasn't expecting to wake up actually feeling older...

Celebrating with friends in the Gold Coast.

She said - Be birthday sexy...this is unfortunately what we came up with. 

I got this bouquet from Chrissy at the office! Best surprise ever! 

Australian/Canadian/Japanese sized block.

CHRISTMAS = Summer?! Huh?

The holidays...I have to say, it definitely does not feel like it's almost Christmas here. In fact it's the least Christmasy place I've ever been!! And that includes living in an Arab Islamic country! There are hardly any decorations. There is no insane Christmas traffic because of shopping and there is definitely no "Oooh, will it be a white one this year?" when it's 32C and 80% humidity. Not being a huge fan of the season, at least I'm spared the endless Christmas carols that inflicts the rest of the world. Of course as I'm typing this the Bach choir started singing one in the Business lobby.  Ha.

I'm so ready for 2011 to be over and so ready to bring on 2012. This year has been the best and worst year of my life - filled with many ups and it's fair share of downs. I've spent the holidays reflecting and working out (hoping not to be lazy). 

Pros- No exhorbanent spending on pressies. And I shouldnt gain weight because I have to go to a zillion gatherings and parties (not quite true it seems). 

Cons - It's weird not having a "real" Christmas.  And yes, I kinda wish I was at at home bitching about how stressful it is and having to figure out my schedule could possibly fit in so many events. 

Actually, the reality is that I got into the spirit of it all on Christmas eve. We started out the day going to the Farmer's market to buy fresh goodies to cook, started drinking at noon and had the best "Orphan's Christmas dinner" - prawns, roasted lamb, veggies, chocolate oatmeal cookies with ice cream, copies amounts of champagne and ciders. The table was decorated and we had crackers with the hats and watched Love Actually and A Christmas Carol. It was a great night of feasting and drinking with friends.

Santa in boardies and a surf board. That's how he rolls  here.

Yummy yummy in our tummy.

We tried...

Mixed matched perfection.
HOMEBOUND...just for a visit...

I may not be there for the holidays but I will be HOME in the New Year!!! Yay! I can not even begin to explain how excited I am to see everyone!!!  Goal? Try and see everyone that I love. 

Here are my dates: 

Jan 5 - 11 Melbourne - I have to explore that city! 
Jan 12 - 17 Vancouver - quick catch up with everyone
Jan 18 - 24 St. John's - Must remind Kalli and Dean that I'm the coolest Tita Ynah in the world!
Jan 25 - 28 Toronto - See the old university crew! It's been way too long.
Jan 29 - Feb 27 Back home to Vancouver. Somewhere in there will be trips to Whistler, Kelowna and probably Seattle! I run a tight ship. I'm pretty determined to see everyone I love in the regions that are feasible driving distances. 

*** I take advanced bookings and reservations for quality Charina time. Alcohol is not a requirement but it'll be a BYOB affair or will take place at some fave restaurant that I desperately miss! 

Plans for the New Year? Usher in a new Era. As much as I've enjoyed my time here in Brisbane and the friends that I've made, I'm really looking forward to being home, figuring out if Melbourne is better suited for me, exploring where I belong, looking for opportunities that are right for me and continuing my journey.   

Like a bird's view of freedom and peace
in happy blue skies;
I wish you the haze of 40 proofs,
the clarity of smoke-filled roofs,
and the pleasures of senseless nights.
Enjoy the fortunes of seasons
and the joys of new turnings.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!! May 2012 bring you health, wealth, happiness and love.