I’m not normally a religious person, but on Sunday I found myself cutting all kinds of deals with God.
I hadn’t expected the plane from the Masai Mara to be so tiny. Sure, the one on the way out had been small, but this 12 seater was like a minibus with wings. I can be a nervous flyer and I don’t like turbulence, flying in the rain or being able to see into the cockpit. So of course I got all three:
The plane was operating like a train; it made several stops on the way back to Nairobi. Each time this meant taking off from runways that looked more like narrow gravel roads. I think I held my breath the entire journey and I swore that if I got out if the plane alive I would – in return – never drink again. Ever.
So as I’ve made it home in one piece I guess I’ll have to keep that end if the bargain or who knows what might happen …!
It was a pretty dramatic end to an exciting fortnight in Kenya and an awesome safari.
I did a lot of thinking on holiday, just taking stock of where I am and what I’m doing. It strikes me that drinking put a giant pause button on my life. It’s my 30th birthday next weekend and frankly I still can’t believe it’s really happening because my twenties just slipped by without me noticing. I know everyone feels that way to some extent but I really feel like I wasted a lot of time. That’s what drinking does. It takes you out of the moment but time carries on ticking by. You’re just not present enough to appreciate it.
Many of my peers are now married and having children or they’re in better paid jobs than me. I know you shouldn’t judge other people’s insides by their outsides but I can’t help feeling that I’ve been left behind. Of course I did notice all this when I was drinking, but I ignored it, squashing down uncomfortable feelings with large glasses of wine.
Seen as rich, gorgeous husbands don’t grow on trees – damn – for now I’m going to focus on the one thing I feel I can do something about: my job. Whilst I was away I realised how bored and fed up I am with it. I need something more challenging, more satisfying. So, I’ve made a little plan. A list of things I’m going to do to try and get another job. I might even consider leaving journalism altogether. I’m still working it out.
Most importantly, I am not going to rush into anything. All too often I make rash decisions and I think that is my alcoholic, impulsive, ‘now, now, now’ side. For example, on holiday I got it into my head that I should set up my own business. Why didn’t I think of that before? I wondered. This is how I could earn my millions! But then … slight snag… what kind of business should it be? I actually began to get quite stressed because I couldn’t think of a decent idea. Seriously – I was on holiday, worrying about the fact that I couldn’t produce a multi million pound business idea out of thin air.
So maybe I’m not going to be the next Richard Branson. Who knows, maybe I will struggle to find another job. But at least I’m trying to get where I want to be and not just waiting for something to fall into my lap. You make your own luck.