I stumbled across a quote from Oscar Wilde on Pinterest the other day that read, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” Aside from my first reaction, which was disappointment at reading this on a social media site as opposed to a dusty tome (that’ll be the middle class pseudo-intellectualism coming out…), I felt the truth of the quote running through my like a modest wave of recognition.
Because that quote is so bloody true! Between the struggles to earn a living, look after family and try to carve a life out for ourselves, the time we actually spend to experience and feel is limited. Living is the joy, the rush, sometimes the fear or the pain, but you know it when you do it. After the recognition came a beautiful current of electricity when I realised that I have had moments of truly living, which was a relief as my default setting is rather moribund and depressing on the subject of my own achievements.
So allow me, if you will, to share these more recent moments with you. What are yours? I’d love to know! A lovely little follow-up could be on the cards with some shared moments. How nice!
I turned 30 in 2012 and my mum bought me an experience voucher for a helicopter ride. It was only a twenty minute affair in a small craft at a local airfield but I LOVED IT! The exhilaration, the fear, the James Bond-esque delight when I walked under the propellers… The fact that I got my husband on the same flight as me for twenty quid was just smashing too.
Swimming in a waterfall
2012 was clearly a good year for living as this was also the year I went to Goa (where I did so many wonderful things I really need to do another post) and swam in a waterfall. Small confession: I didn’t swim right underneath it, but I did get close and the falls themselves were beautiful. I felt brave, empowered, and in awe of nature. Marvellous.
In 2006 I discovered that I had an older sister and niece that I’d never known about. It was the single most maturing experience of my life, being both wonderful and scary at the same time. My sister Ginny is a mythical beast of intelligence, humour, and pure shopping ability, and she was my sister from the moment we first timidly spoke on the phone on an August evening nearly 8 years ago. She has since been my bridesmaid along with my niece Kate and has shared in various life events, as well as providing a place of solace and much wine with her home in Swansea. Beautiful and real are some of the best words to describe my sudden family explosion.
Wet ‘n’ Wild in Mexico
Last year me and my husband went to our first ever wedding abroad which also became our first ‘proper’ holiday with friends ever. And it was very cool! Imagine the happy vibe of a wedding for a whole week at an ultra all-inclusive resort in Cancun…. Doesn’t get much better really! One of the best days was the group trip to Wet ‘n’ Wild where we not only got to party on a boat on the way over, but got to play in an awesome wave machine once we got there. My husband and I have a particular fondness for waves and took turns in dragging each other in a rubber ring to where the waves hit hardest. It was pure unadulterated FUN and I think it should be prescribed on the NHS.
Offspring gig 2009
Big sis Loz has opened my cultural horizons on many occasions but none more so than my first proper gig experience at the Brixton Academy to see The Offspring. Everything fell into place: a couple of bottles of beer got us on our way at dinner before the music started and the venue is one of the few to boast a cloakroom, allowing for maximum dancing potential without being a danger to fellow music-lovers. We danced, we drank, we stuck out heads out the train window screaming into the night on the way home. Although we’ve enjoyed Gogol Bordello, Metallica, Green Day, and Linkin Park since, that gig was the best of my life so far.
I have never known time to go so slowly and yet so fast as on my wedding day. The walk up the stairs to the ceremony room felt like it took a year but then the ceremony was over in seconds. The moment I felt more connected to the soul of the universe (sorry – the memory makes me come over all unnecessary) was when we started to recite our vows and my now-husband turned to me to look me in the eyes as he pledged himself to me forever. I have never meant it more than when I said, with every ounce of being that I had, that I would love him forever, and that connection is one that has not been matched since. Which is surely a good thing seeing as it was my wedding day n’all!