Thursday, 26 June 2014


They say the older one gets, the wiser we become, and while this little pearl of wisdom may be accurate in most cases, it doesn't mean that we have to be happy about it. No matter how optimistic one’s outlook on age may be, we can’t avoid the unnecessary and somewhat superficial panic that goes hand in hand with getting older. Those calories that were once so easy to shed now seem impossible to lose as they find their final resting place in the form of hips, back-fat and Oprah wings. Those delightful crevasses that allegedly give us "character" begin cropping up more frequently than we like to admit. Hair that was once thick, lush and flowing continues to sprout in abundance...that is everywhere except on your head. IBS, cellulite, balding, crow’s feet. How the hell are we supposed to age gracefully when the act of getting older seems to be so undignified?   

For the neurotic at heart, a birthday can be a depressing state of affairs especially when 40 happens to be the next big milestone. Not only does it increase the awareness of our body's inevitable decay but it also makes us question our life choices and where we find ourselves at a particular point in time. Just how much do we really change in a year? Are we really like wine that gets better with age or do we stagnate in pools of complacency, too afraid to plunge into the unknown? And then there's marriage, financial freedom and that timeshare holiday home in Betty's Bay. Why haven't these things fallen into place yet? Have we wasted precious time worrying about the future instead of living in the present? Did we party too hard in our wasted youth? What have we done with our lives and where the hell are we supposed to go from here?

It happened. I turned 31 this week and just like Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, it came with a series of mixed reviews. I could have easily fallen victim to another year of self-deprecation but chose to look at the upside instead. For the first time ever, I focused on what I had achieved in a year instead of what I had not. I had nurtured my talents, produced a sports documentary, forgiven, forgotten, loved, allowed myself to be loved and made my theatrical return to an off-Broadway community theatre production. It was the first time I felt accomplished and comfortable in my own skin, and the first time I couldn't care less about what people thought about me or my opinions. Did I sometimes wish I had the liver and appearance of my 20-year old self? Hell yeah, but do I really want to relive the fresh hell and dramatic antics that come with being twenty-young? After thirty-one years I can finally say that I like who I am and what I have become...and it feels fucking fantastic.

As I watched the flood of cyber-love stream in through facebook, twitter and whats app birthday messages, I felt a certain kind of love and appreciation that I had never felt before. I had made an impact on so many lives and left my mark deep in their hearts. People who cared and loved me for all the crazy that I am genuinely thought of me as beautiful and talented, and that certainly beat any worry I had about stiff joints and Vitamin D deficiencies. It was the first time I learned how to take a compliment for what it was. A compliment. While the actual day turned out to be a complete non-event, I thoroughly enjoyed reading these messages and appreciated each and every single one of them. You just don't get that kind of maturity in your twenties.

Another life lesson I picked up on along the way is that our mistakes and failures are only as damaging as we allow them to be. We all fuck up at some point in our lives but it's how we pick ourselves up and learn from these blunders that makes these lessons worthwhile. I know it sounds like a total cop-out but when you enter the other side of 30, you finally see life as that incredible journey people tell you about and not a destination. We're all so caught up in rat races and finish lines that we completely forget to pace ourselves. We'll all get what we want eventually but only if we endure, even if it's only one baby step at a time.

And then there is the greatest love of all. Love for oneself. No one is going to ever truly love you back until you respect yourself enough to realise that you are freaking amazing. I'm not talking about that self-assured, narcissistic, my-shit-don't-stink kind of love but the self-appreciation kind where you no longer need someone to validate who you are. It's the kind of love that comes to light when you learn to forgive others and yourself for the past, the love that comes when you let go and embrace all things good as well as all the tragedies and maladies that measure our strength and define who we are today.

I know it sounds as if I popped a handful of Valium and chased it with a dirty martini before I wrote this, but the truth is that turning 31 is really not that bad at all. There's a greater sense of calm knowing that who you were back then is certainly not who you are right now. Part of me is wiser, stronger and more self-assured than I was a year ago. I am braver and confident, more willing to take chances and risks, even if it threatens the barriers of familiarity and comfort. If you love yourself completely and wholeheartedly and keep good friends around you for as long as you can, you'll be surprised at what kind of human being you have the potential to become.   

When it comes to getting older, I couldn't help but wonder, do things only get better from here?

Thursday, 19 June 2014


For those who believe in resurrection, death is inconsequential. It's not an ending, but rather a new beginning...a second chance. A reunion. But the very idea of resurrection is so seductive a concept, it's easy to forget that before you can rise from the dead, you have to spend a few days in hell. - The fantastic script-writer responsible for Emily Thorne's melancholic monologues at the beginning of every episode of Revenge.

Previously, on Sex in the C.T...break-ups, babies, save the dates and unholy reunions. Who needs television when life presents its own dramatic doses of tragedies, romantic comedies and fantasies every day? It's amazing how much drama can ensue in just two short months, and while the time away was absolutely necessary to reflect on life-changing events, I have truly missed sharing my antics, and the trials and tribulations of the relentless characters that I am so blessed to have in my life. Consider this my resurrection back into the blog world, an open letter to the people that have inspired me, and the readers and followers that have kept my passion very much alive. But first things first. What ever happened to Kelly and Joe?   

Before my untimely sabbatical from the blogospheric universe, my relationship with Aiden had suffered what the French call la petit mort. I had finally terminated our four year relationship after months of agonising indecisiveness and speculation. What was probably one of the most unstable periods of my life had not only affected my ability to write but also my ability to function as a normal human being. Hurricane Katrina had nothing on the vortex of doom I had become during those tempestuous days that followed the aftermath of our break up. I found myself alone for the first time in four years without a hope or a shred of light to bring me out of the darkness.

Flashback to that fateful Tuesday morning in April when I had reason to believe that Aiden might be having another affair. With whom and how was unknown but I had let down my intuition once before and vowed to never make that same mistake again. Fueled by my own paranoia and insecurities of the past, I took his keys and kicked him out. I fell apart in the most dramatic sense as I found myself packing four lonely boxes and black bags full of his belongings. Clothes, gifts, photographs. The tears came down like waterfalls and I suddenly found myself puffing on old faithful, a Dunhill Light or twenty after my seven month hiatus. How very disappointing.

Throughout my possession of getting rid of his possessions, I found a box lying deep within the shadows of J.K Rowling hardbacks and contemporary pop-star autobiographies. A box I had somehow completely forgotten about. It's something we hoarders like to call a "memory box", a shoebox of tokens and momento's that we collect and accumulate throughout the course of one relationship. I'd destroyed many a box like this one including its respective contents with great ease but this one hit me like a ton of dicks. As I opened the floodgates of my romantic past, I came across the love notes he'd leave me to find in the oddest of places, the first red rose which was now as black as my heart, the customized P.S. I Love You wrapper, and who could forget those tiny little notes he'd written, hidden and re-wrapped inside a box of my favorite favorites. Shattered doesn't even begin to cover the way I felt in that moment.

I didn't need this resurgence of feelings. Not now. Not ever. My mind was made up, but just like Pandora's box of horrors, I suddenly found myself questioning my own questions and actions. Had I perhaps been a touch dramatic? Was I maybe, just maybe, overreacting and misjudging the situation? Was this affair all in my head? The glass of single malt whiskey hidden in the bottom drawer was one thing but what proof did I have of his infidelity?

The following Friday, after three torturous nights of not feeling Aiden's body beside me, I decided to meet up with him so that we could "talk things through" and address the issue at hand. It was like seeing a ghost. A sad, angry, disappointed ghost. I promised myself from the beginning that we would never be one of those tedious couples. You know, those insidious love-fools that make up and break up more often than the Sugababes. There's a logical reason why people break up in the first place. Lack of communication and resolution.

That's when I realised that neither Aiden nor I had really worked on our relationship in a long time. We'd somehow become complacent, co-existing in a vicious cycle where taking one step forward only meant taking two very huge steps back. Sure the past four days had been hell on earth but wasn't the state of our relationship even more infernal? Would getting back together only mean jumping into a different kind of fire or were we finally on our way to heaven?     

It would be a total cliche to say that "we kissed and made up on the spot". Calm down. This isn't an after-school special. We did kiss and yes, we even had amazing make-up sex (which by the way is ten times better than break-up sex), but we're both a long, long way from happy. Just like the phoenix rises out of the ashes, real love is baby bird that needs a strong pair of wings before it can truly soar. Perhaps getting back together is a huge mistake and maybe we're falling into the common trap of relationship co-dependency, but when you've gone through hell and back with someone, and realise that life would suck without them, what's one more shot at the end of the day?  

When it comes to the resurrection of one's relationship, do we need to die a tragic death before we become immortal?