Feeling: IN THE KNOW.
On this trip I met a person I didn’t know that well before. I’d had a brief introduction in India and Nepal, with fleeting moments in company throughout the last 24.5 years, but it’s been this EEE when I figured them out, got to know them all insightfully and understood what they really want out of life.
Who is this person?
Anneke Poppy Rose Whatman-Wortman.
Mate, it’s been a pleasure (and a bloody pitfall in some instances) to meet myself.
I’ve figured out what makes me tick. What makes me happy beyond belief. What I want to do. Who I want to do that with. What my strengths are. What my shortcomings are (the list is lengthier than I would like, but plans are in place to cut it considerably). What I’ve done wrong and how I want to make that right. The person I want to be. Just truly who I am.
Want to hear? (Well frankly, I’m going to divulge whether you want to or not). Righto!
Everything happens for a reason, I firmly believe. Sounds so banal and what not, but even the things that appear so awful and arduous all make you the person you are. That’s why I fist pump Contiki and abide by the hashtagNoRegrets; everything involves lessons, even when you do things you may not be proud of. Mistakes I’ve made in my past I don’t despair over and wish they had never happened – rather, I like to think should I be in the same or similar situation again I would do things differently.
And in line with Contiki; that whole do-I-or-don’t-I conundrum over summer all occurred to lead me to this. At the time it was turmoilous and torturous but now I shukka the sky as it’s brought me to this point.
(And I am wholeheartedly with no doubt at all certain that I am not going to go for that next year as first thought. Mate, I don’t have the patience nor tolerance for some of the shit a tour guide must put up with – it’s trying and testing as much as it is fucking fantastic. Plus the lifestyle isn’t for me; while the travelling itself is absolutely me all over, the lack of time to exercise, write and what not would have me ripping my ringlets alfresco (I.e., “tearing my hair out”) within two days).
So, the new plan from here? Well I have the rest of twenty-sixteen as well as all of 17 sussed.
I get home June 12 to Cambridge where I shall reside (moving back to Deb and Henio’s for about the seventh time) for a fair few months as I tackle my to-do’s (because there’s a bloody bucket load of them). Work at Onyx and now and then at Rumor as I finish off my book, tackle some treatment, hang out with Hank III when he (or OK, she – I have branched out and bought some girl as well as boy items) arrives in August, spend special time with significant people (I have made a list of just who this includes), learn Dutch, do yoga, marry many (ten couples to unite in the next six months, totally locking it in) and pretty much become the Pop I want to be.
A summer spent roaming around in between working (so pumped a pal is moving to the Waikato to waterski for the season, as well as my myriad of mates being in Cambridge and surrounds as well) and saving like a surf lifeguard, ready to take off whenever able for India with Beaver (two months to do the full on yoga teacher’s training, a stint in a silent ashram – ten days of no talk is going to be brutal – and then a fair while cavorting about the continent), then onto Nepal to tackle either Mera Peak or the Annapurna Circuit with cousin Sarah and Uncle Jamie (and Beaver too if his ankle is on top, which I’d say after our yogi lifestyle it totally will be), a spell of volunteering there, hopefully followed by Africa (Kilimanjaro to conquer! And to see some Serengettian Safari), an exploration of Egypt, a lob back to London to kick off with Christina as then move to Holland for three months or so to work away for a while and be with the fam (and hopefully bring along my cousin Allie for a spell). Then back to NZ for the next summer to marry more and decide next step.
The whole plan fizzes me up with enthusiasm and ecstaticness.
(I’m totally going to set up my celebrancy business as well – I have my business cards all brainstormed already. I just need someone fab with some felt pens – well, probably more HB pencil – to sketch it out in all out and then get them printed. And oh of course they shall incorporate a pun).
And I have also realised something so profound about myself, something that I just now innately know.
I don’t want to get married nor have children.
(I mean, I’m open to it happening if that really, really special someone comes along yada, yada, yada, but how I feel and know myself right now I’ve decided that road just isn’t for me).
It may seem insanely at odds for me to say so when the past plenty of posts have been preaching the importance of family, especially when taking into account I am a unioniser of couples – but irony should really be my middle name because I’m nothing if not an oxymoron.
No. My chosen names of Saskia, Heidi and Maxim will just have to be instead allocated to my three dogs (schnauzers of course; although I still want to acquire my Great Dane called Henio and perhaps a Dalmatian as well). I love kids, totally and utterly love them, but I just don’t think I am that fussed about popping out little Pops. Hank III is already two months into his nine-month stint on the inside (of Michael’s girlfriend Rachel, if you didn’t follow that; he’s not imprisoned in a jail) and I have no hesitations that he will have more progenies, as well as the brother James (and hopefully his current coupling in Alisha – I like that lass) becoming a dotting dad one (far away from now) day.
I will be crazy cool Aunty Pop, the one who cavorts about the country and gallivants around the globe. The hippie-ish one my nieces and nephews tell their friends about, who they never know where in the world she is. I will come back on the (more often than odd) occasion to take the troops out for adventures, then drop them all back before I head off home (because I will have a light and lofty apartment base near, sort of similar to Carrie Bradshaw’s but with all my keyrings and travelling trinkets all over the show) to lie on the floor writing as I watch the Coro St omnibus (NZ may actually be up to the current storylines screened in the UK by then), have an hour-long shower before I burrow into bed with my boys and girls (dogs, I must clarify, not some kind of rampaging orgy) or go and pick up Deb to take her to the movies (the ever-present rasp and White choc Kapiti ice cream/block – I never know what category this one falls under – in my bag for her) with no need to organise a babysitter for broods or dinner for a husb at home.
I love love love people, but I also adore my alone time. I am so super satisfied in my own company and whenever – if ever – the loneliness strikes I have eons of possible people to Pop in on (yeah I did). I have friends ranging from each end of the age spectrum, from those in single and just out digits (such as my fun little friends Carys) to those upwards for their 80s (with a couple more now added to this bracket in Will and Frans – the latter and I are now connected on Facetime so we can hang in cyberspace whenever we please). So if I ever feel a hankering because all my same-age friends are in the same stage with babies or what not, I’ll go hang with someone younger and have an all-night rager (yes, I will be that one that all the youngsters comment on my age and being out about) or a pal older who’s already done the paternal pastime. And should I ever need to, I can play house by borrowing Beau and appropriating Aroha’s Blake for an afternoon to settle the stirrings.
I don’t know how to cook and I wouldn’t need to. If ever throwing a dinner party or what not I could just get it catered, or my mates would just have to munch down on raw carrots, grilled veges and boiled eggs (about the extent of my kitchen abilities). (Actually no – I would present pudding parties! I’m fab at baking biscuits, cakes and slices. And I could just sit with applemoes as they dug in. Oh yes, ultimate answer!). (Although I must say; upon doing some laundry and vacuuming and what not for Annelies today, I was suddenly overcome with the idea that I would not have this to do to the same degree if not having a family springing from my own “loins”. I take such satisfaction in putting laundry away and sucking up stuff into the spout and I had a momentary moment where I was a tad sad. Then I slapped myself silly – metaphorically this time, not actual cheek contact – for my downhearted despair; mate, I can just cavort to a chum’s to get my cleaning fix once a month or so! And otherwise just do my own. That would be plenty to keep me content, and I could stay on top of it – none of this just-vacuumed-and-the-kids-come-in-and-trawl-shit-all-through-the-house or finally-washed-all-required-then-the-daughter-dumps-her-entire-wardrobe-in-the-wash (both instances having occurred on part of me in the – not so distant – past).). (Insertation: as I vacuumed today I had to sit down for a sec when I was overcome with merriment in a memory; about a month before I left in March, I was vacuuming at Norfolk Corner (probably the third time in the space of our almost decade of living there) and when moving into Henio and Deb’s wardrobe for a suction, I accidentally imbibed up the tartan tie chord from Henio’s dressing gown. I didn’t know what to do so I carried on as though it hadn’t occurred and completely forgot about it. I wonder if he blasphemed as he searched about for it whenever he next went to wear it? (I can’t remember a time when the green gown wasn’t in his ownership. And it’s a fucking ugly affair. Actually, ridding him of the butt-ugly belt was totally doing him a favour. Yes. I was sincerely looking out for Henio in my vacuum vapouring). (Sorry, back to the spiel).
I’m difficult. I know that. To all else I may appear carefree and what not, but to those proximity wool weaving (I.e., “close knit”) I can be hard work; I’m quite self-absorbed, slightly (OK, insanely) selfish, fiercely independent and – as I have been told rather regularly – I am quite the bossy bitch. I am always go go go in my writing, exercising, spending time with special people and such lark, that factoring in a significant other can be burdensome rather than desired. I don’t give the time nor the attention that should be (I know it and I have been told it more than twice), placing a partner a lot further down the list than they probably should be. (A part-time partner who is neither clingy nor overly couple some would be the only ideal I feel).
No. I’m not easy. Being with me is not so much “my way or the highway” as it is “look mate, it’s this happening or fuck right off”. I know what I want and when I want to do it and with a boyfriend I don’t really think about factoring them in. Hey, as I’ve said, maybe that right one may come along and modify such preferred predilections. But I really don’t care if they don’t.
One time I was with my maternal grandparents and we were visiting the home of a single lady in her late 50s. I remember my Nanna said, “Poor them, on their own”. I turned to her all bamboozled. “‘Poor them’?!” I shrieked. “‘Poor them’?! I think you mean bloody lucky them! No man” – or woman, nowadays I try not to make assumptions all and everyone are straightly aligned – though in this instance, I know both are – “to have to fit around and factor in, no kids to have to attend to and spend all your income on, the option to take off to wherever, whenever” – job and funds situation depending, of course – “the ability to go home at the end of the day and watch whatever you want and eat whatever you please and go to bed at eight or ten or even 4am… ‘poor them’?! It sounds like utter bliss.” (Nanna was quite bewildered at my broadcast – and this was before Dementia was on board and bewildered was the status quo – and never again said such hosh tosh). (In fact, I think I may have been so impassioned as to sway her thinkings to imagine instances as if she’d told Bampga to bog off).
Upon considering the lives of two of my aunties who have never wed nor bore children, and re-meeting my second cousin Yvonne this past week, those intrinsic ideals have been hammered home. Yet another to not wed or reproduce, she said to me, “No one can handle me!”. I laughed and punched her on the arm (my go-to when I agree) asserting, “Mate – me either!”.
And a couple of months ago Deb told me of a woman she knew coming into the PO and them talking one day. This lady said that if she could do it all again, she wouldn’t have kids. Isn’t it funny – you hear of people the other way, reaching 40, 45, and suddenly experiencing the cluck, but the reverse? That really kept with me. I don’t want to go that road because I think I should then realise it was me being romantic in incentive, not realistic.
I know what you’re thinking (well, maybe you’re not but it has been questioned and queried by some). Is this wanting-to-be-on-the-own a result of Ed’s influence? Is it not being in control of me, but rather being under the control of Ed?
Honestly? Maybe. But only to a certain degree. Ed is part of who I am, always will be. Hopefully a lot less after these next few months to come, but still a handhold. But a good 82 per cent of this realisation of potentially doing without the whole fam-man-bam is me, well and truly.
Now and then I have bouts when I wish I had never admitted out about Ed (not a regret I must clarify, but a wistful wishing). Even though many in my life knew or guessed or suspected, putting my hand up and saying so was the most courageous thing I have ever done. And now a touch of time has gone by and I have had so many come to me with their struggles, I am so gladly grateful I did. I’ve shrugged off that sense of caring what people think – I am who I am, and Ed happens to be part of that.
And he has been forefront and present on this trip, no doubt about that. At every moment he is there – at my family-meet-and-greet-cum-Dutch-birthday (post to come) I expended a hell of a lot of energy trying to overpower his constant criticism; I was feeling immensely entrenched in self body hatred and he was attacking me all the while. I didn’t want to be in photos, didn’t want to be anywhere near all the food, just wanted to pull on my track pants and go to bed. But I managed to get it together, pull on my sunny front (that very soon became genuine) and stood right in centre spot of all snapshots (whyyyyyyyy does it always seem to be me taking spotlit stage?).
I weighed myself the other night and melted down like a Paddlepop in summer when I saw two kg had added to the scales. After a wee while of whimpering I stood up and slapped myself (it fucking hurt too). Get it together, I mutinously muttered to the me in the mirror (later I realised Dennis was in the next room and blushed as I hoped like hell he hadn’t heard). Those two kg are two kg of pure love. They’re the spoonful of blueberry cordial Frans insisted on sharing with you. The heated-through stroopwafel Sharon begged you to bite. The copious cups of biscotto gelato you declared delicious as you sat in a circle with the Contiki crowd. And the break offs of baguette the family garlic buttered and placed on your plate when out for dinner. When you berate yourself and claw at your thighs and sides, think of the circumstances they came about in and it makes it if not ok, then bearable. I mean, you can’t come to Holland and go to a cheese market and say you’re a “vegan” – your words are scoffed, dismissed, and a chunk of Leidse kaas is forced upon your palm and watched until it’s been put away.
Ed has tarnished times of this trip, that’s the true truth. But now I can see when he is taking a hold and a quick jog around the block or ten minutes blogging can cushion his clutch. I admit I am scared to come home and perhaps hear comments of, “You look so well!” or, “You look so much better”; they shatter me to pieces. Not as much as they used to, but still a fucking fair bit. I’m terrified to go to Dubai and see my Uncle Adrian in case he comments in a compliment that Ed makes me take the wrong way and makes my disposition plummet (I know he won’t though – him and I have talked at length enough now that he gets it a bit). So silly, so stupid – but oh so scary. But I know when I’m back in NZ I can get in a routine where it falls right back off and I will feel a bit better.
I know what I want to do. I want to travel. Write – both books and making Popyarns something more incoming. (Though I must start to slightly – ok, significantly – shorten my posts. I just start waffling away and before I know it I’ve jammed out five or six pages). I want to teach, live and be yoga. I want to study nutrition (I like to think in 2017 but I feel I may already have too much on my plate – gettit? – so it may have to standstill until the year later) to incorporate into my knowledge as well as guiding others with. I want to start up my celebrancy as an actual occupation (already in play, ring it in!). I want to advocate and aid others in Ed’s arms (but only when I am more out of them myself). I want to do something worthwhile and be a genuinely good person.
Going back to Onyx will have many doing the whole, “You’re back again?!”, “When will you start using your degree?” and, “Can’t you get a journalism job?”. But this time I don’t feel the need to justify my boomeranging back. In fact, I had a massive spiel to spill here doing just that, but I’m going to backspace it. All I’m going to say is that I love Onyx; owner Barry is like an uncle, manager Aroha (also one of my besties) and matron Katie are like family and truly care about me. Head chef Brent and sporadically shifting Shane are my boys. I know the place inside and out (meaning as I tackle intense treatment I will not have the added stress of needing to learn a new job), I’m always on the go (desks all day just don’t do me) and I’m fucking good at it.
Writing these yarns has helped me beyond belief. As I pour my pondering onto paper (well, lappy and cellular) I am astounded to find out things about myself I never actually knew (as well as the realisation that I am really fucking quirky and weird). At times I perhaps share more than I should, but after a decade of holding everything in is like a waterfall of writings (and there is a lot I would never divulge no matter how open I be).
At the Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam (post still to come) I watched a video of Otto Frank, Anne’s father, who said upon reading his daughter’s diary after her death he realised he never really knew her. I think in doing this blog my family, especially Deb and Henio, know me insanely more so than they ever otherwise would.
And I know me now. I don’t need assurances anymore (aside from that of from father Henio; whenever in distress, despair or dread I still run to my dad). I now no longer judge anyone, only reserving a right to in two circumstances; that being if they are sincerely a shit soul, or if they constantly complain about circumstances and do nothing to change them.
Nope, I’m happy with this. With the way forward and who I’m aiming to be (there are a fair few aspects of the Anneke right now that I am mad keen to modify). My life is like a back-to-back-to-back rainbow of colour and sparkle and adventure and voyage, and I am so fortunate to have found this all out at the age of 24.
While I have been here at my Holland home, Richard has often said, “You must do what you want to do”. So I’m doing just that and actually going after the points listed on my pail ticker (I.e., “bucket list”) as I listen to my anthem of Natasha Beddingfield’s Unwritten (honestly, the goods, even if it was a bit blemished being used as The Hills crediting melody and one little lyric makes me envision Lauren Conrad as she gets out of her vehicle).
So my goal from here is not to buy a house or earn a tucketload of money (though I wouldn’t say it’s not a want). It’s to find balance. I was initially going to say peace but it’s not peace – it’s love for life. I want to be a genuinely good person so that every night when I go to bed, inkling of quilt over some of the day’s doings don’t dart around my conscience.
“Happiness isn’t a destination it’s a way of life”. Isn’t that so veritable and bona fide? So many people – myself included – do the whole, “Once this is done”, “Once I finish this off”, “When I have completed this” “then I will be happy”. I want to consciously stop such lines of thinking and be ecstatic in what I’m doing at the time. It’s making the life you want, going after it and not making apologies (well a few when trampling along the way; unfortunately, such will always be the case).
So yes. I met a pretty cool new chum on this trip. Sometimes (ok, often) she is as bloody trying as the most master of all Sudoku’s, but for the most part I don’t mind her.
Anneke Poppy Rose Whatman-Wortman. She’s going where she wants to go, what she wants out of life and she knows exactly who she is.