Grab it and hold on

Just over a year ago I waved goodbye to my little brother as he slung a pack on his back and disappeared with his friend Martin (Stretch) to South East Asia.

 I said at the time that I thought the trip would help him grow, would open his eyes to the world. And, frankly, it did. My little brother fell in love.

 He fell in love immediately. It was New Years Eve, he was hanging off the back of a taxi - the details are fuzzy - but this is how she met him. My crazy, daredevil (and frankly, idiotic) brother. According to her he repeated his name over and over again so she could find him on Facebook. I mean, it was almost dawn; he’s hanging off a cab. I’m guessing he didn’t have a pen on him.

 My brother was blessed and cursed with the fact he grew up in an almost exclusively female household. My stepfather often travelled for work and wasn’t really around until Danny was in his early teens. Our parents divorced when he was six. This was a blessing because, obvs, me and my mum are awesome. But a curse as we constantly meddled. Poor Danny, then, as soon as he had a passing interest in a girl would hear opinions and questions and - I’m ashamed to say it - constant teasing on his crush. This, by the way, when he was only about eight years old. So when he did grow up and start dating - we were often, unsurprisingly, the last to know.

 Not so this time. My brother having met this girl almost immediately contacted me to tell me about her. He encouraged – encouraged (!) - me to look at a picture he uploaded onto Facebook of the two of them. And then, if that wasn’t enough, he sent me a picture. I have to say this excited me a lot. A great deal. 

 Now I am a sucker for romance. I believe in love. Of course I do. I just got married to my soulmate and smile all the way home every night knowing I am going back to his sweet embrace after a crappy day at work. I know that when you meet that person that makes everywhere you go feel like home, you hang on for dear life and you don’t let go. Much like riding on the back of an open cab at dawn. And, lookie, looks like my brother knows it too.

 So while I am sad that he’s going to be on another continent to me with this sweet girl, I am happier that he found his soulmate and is hanging on. And I am so excited for the adventure that their life together will be.

Goodbye single me

Goodbye unfinished and then deleted text message.

Goodbye peeling labels off beer bottles and looking for an in.

Goodbye Sundays hopelessly waiting for a text.

Goodbye obsessive Facebook stalking.

Goodbye mistaking loneliness for love.

Goodbye drunken fumblings (and bitter disappointment).

Goodbye physcoanalytics over coffee.

Goodbye pretending to read a paper while waiting for food.

Goodbye learning about the following (despite having no interest): Aussie Rules, baseball, Romans, football, fitness, (some) art, whiskey, Cocktails (I just wanna drink them, not learn the history), food (ditto).

Goodbye explaining where I’m from.

Goodbye painful invites for one.

But also:

Goodbye slinging a pack on my back and going wherever I please.

Goodbye first date excitement.

Goodbye learning new pockets of life.

Goodbye being part of a really cool pack and hello living with conformity.

Goodbye coming home and watching One Tree Hill reruns, because no one will stop me.

Goodbye three hour conversations with friends analysing each others’ horrific love life.

But hello new life. I’ve been waiting for you.

Love - as if I dare

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately, and the different forms it takes.Obviously this is because I am getting married. And so love, in all forms, is up for dissection.

I’ve been looking at the world around me and I’ve seen love everywhere. It is hard - I live in London; but it is here everyday.

It is here when I sit on the way home and see a woman absent-mindedly trace her finger across her boyfriend’s palm when he is not looking. It is there when I see a mother speaking into a pram enthusiastically (despite the fact it is 8am on a Saturday) it is seeing a grandmother squat down and explain something to a petulant raised-with-too-much-shit child.

I see love in everything. I see love in my dad’s new art club, in my mum test trialling my wedding, in my brother texting me with his travelling updates. With Danny.

Danny:- I could write reams about the curl in his arm when he holds me. About his heart. About what I would be without him. I could; but I won’t.

I see love everywhere, and it is all because of him.

Wedding

When Danny got down on one knee, almost six months ago in Carmel, California, I said yes instantly and then collapsed in hysterics.

I didn’t see it coming. Sounds weird as we had been together almost three years (or over three years, depending on when you take the dates from), we lived together, we had two cats, were happy. But I didn’t.

The day after he proposed we drove to Santa Barbara, met my friend Jess and I started to think about the wedding.

I got up early, stole downstairs and sat at Jess’s mum’s breakfast table, cluttered with the debris from Jess’s wedding to Steve, which took place a few days beforehand. (nb: that* was an amazing amazing wedding). I sat there with my Donald Duck notepad and tried to write down all the things I needed to do. The list seemed endless and overwhelming. I then sat and wrote down everyone I wanted to
come to the wedding. This list, too, seemed endless.

Since then I have written around eight different lists. I have put them on excel sheets, on google spreadsheets, back to my Donald Duck pad, on my iPad, on my iPhone, on my work PC.

Am I any closer to having anything organised? Am I hell.

The wedding is in six months. I have a dress, he has a suit. We have a menu, we have a website. We have flights, a venue. We have some decorations. We have about a million candle holders.

We have a stressed bride to be.