May 14

Easy And Ordinary

The year’s almost half over, and I have been spending it about as you’d expect, doing the things you’d expect I’d do.

I’m working what seems like a lot but is still really only nine to five, with some travel thrown in. Because this job is only for a year—only eight more months, now—I’ve been trying to build my savings back up and consequently thinking a lot about money. Doing taxes in two countries, attempting to invest: it all has to be done even if I don’t feel grown up enough to be doing it. I do things like go to yoga and eat my vegetables too, and have done for a long time, so it’s unclear why doing anything money-related feels so weird and anxious.

It turns out that Janelle Monaé was actually going to come to New Zealand, and so I went on ahead and bought the expensive-but-worth-it! concert tickets and the more-expensive-than-they-should-have-been-I-mean-honestly plane tickets to Auckland and I spent a considerable amount of time conceptualising an outfit that would cause her to pick me out of the adoring crowds and fall in love with me immediately. Come to find out she is sick in Melbourne, poor girl, and so everything, the whole tour, is canceled (sorry Australia!). So close and yet so far. I was really beginning to think that going to shows would be something that I sometimes would do! Now I wonder if maybe it’s just a better idea to stay home and read aspirational style blogs instead. (Feel better soon, Janelle. I hope you’d have liked my outfit that I bought at a very dusty secondhand store in Porirua).

I have been seeing friends a lot, which is much more interesting and fun than emailing accountants in two hemispheres. Theresa came to visit a few weeks ago and I did lots of fun stuff with her the way I always do, including going out to (several) bars and eating dinner together and talking loudly about boys. We went to the aforementioned dusty secondhand shop in Porirua together with another friend and even though I sneezed a lot it was good to be all together. I’m modeling for my friend Leimomi again next weekend and have been making it out to the Bait House as many Sundays as I can, although not as many as I’d like. The volunteer coordinator was, when I told him I was working again, gratifying displeased. “Full time job?” he snorted. “Why’d you want to go and get something like that?”

I’ve been in touch with the Key Girls a lot this past week, for a very sad reason. We stay in touch on Facebook, in the desultory way that one does, but all of a sudden about ten days ago there was a lot of emergency texting and skypeing at all hours. Why hadn’t we been doing this all along, we all asked each other. I hadn’t heard any of their voices since my mom’s memorial and there they were, all of a sudden, as if the last time we were all together in the same place wasn’t before smartphones at all. So I’m sad for the sad thing—I am very sad, because it’s a very sad thing—but I’m glad to feel a little more connected to these women who are family to me. It’s so simple; why haven’t we been doing it all this time?

I’ve been doing the things you’d expect I’d be doing, all day every day. I have been drinking a lot of tea, as usual, and reading books in addition to the Adorable Sock Bun Cat Eye internet. I’ve been doing some Pilates since this barre class thing I was also trying to do turned out to not be so awesome for my leg, despite the specially branded sticky socks. I’ve been learning to make chicken stock and watching a lot of movies at my neighbourhood movie night. I’ve been thinking about all the travel I want to do and wondering how incompatible, exactly, that is with buying a house, one day when I’m enough of a grown-up.

The days and weeks and months flow by, easy and ordinary but not uncomplicated, and the year is almost half over. This is what I said I wanted, last year and the year before, and I would be even more of a fool than I already am not to pause every now and again, to appreciate it.