I’d had the idea in my head since months ago when I’d seen a pair on sale at one of my favourite shops in Melville. I’d been looking for some kind of accolade to celebrate the end of a year of massive changes and I couldn’t think of a better way than to strut into 2013 in a new pair of Vivienne Westwood’s. After all, no one is going to throw you a “Congrats on your Career Change” party but you. I walked into one of the only stockist shops in Jozi and immediately smelt the scent of these cute bright plastic shoes – I can only really compare it to that of My Little Ponies, candyfloss, sugar, spice and all things nice. As I slipped my foot into the first heart shaped heel, I couldn’t help but feel a little Cinderella-ish… this is why I just had to take two pairs.
Earlier that week I’d gotten a job offer, the first with any real appeal since my rigorous search had begun, 4 months ago. Initially I had applied for a journalist position at a film trade publication, but was offered a contract as a PR manager instead. It was time for me to jump in and start swimming, even if I wasn’t sure of what kind of water I was in and where it would take me. So I said, yes – please and thank you.
I’ve always approached anything new the way a cat would interact with a swimming pool. Nose cautiously turned up, paw outstretched for the testing and then a shake and shimmy away and back to the comfort of what is known and safe. And to be completely honest, I’m still not sold on this whole concept of unchartered territory. Change is a good thing – oh yeah? You go first.
In my mind I’d had enough brand spanking newness to cause a severe headspin – starting with a move from my city apartment to a quaint lofty townhouse. My new digs is delightful, let’s not kid ourselves, but the dying herbs on my windowsill continuously remind me that change is indeed a process and that I’m not entirely as acclimatized as I would like to be. My little house is still a way away from becoming a home.
What is that again? I guess it’s comfortable normality, it’s routine, it’s your toothbrush, it’s where you go to just be you and walk around barefoot or bare arsed at your own leisure. And home, for me, has become wherever he is.
Just over 7 months ago I found myself standing on the platform of a new adventure – my hands trembling and my heart pounding. I jumped off the edge and plummeted into a new wonderful world where I find myself constantly smiling. And somehow, what started as giddy excitement and girlish intrigue has become a soft place for me to fall. A home for all the love I have been holding so close to me. While the swarms of butterflies have pretty much taken on permanent residential status in my solar plexus, the buzz of newness in a relationship has quietened and I can’t help but get excited about all the new things to come… all the new chapters in our story.
For the first time, in what feels like a lifetime, my alarm went off at 06:45 this morning. I lay in bed thinking about all the things I have to replan and repurpose. A new gym schedule, a new way to dress every day, a new route through traffic, a new collection of people in my creative workspace. Just as I pressed “dismiss” and prepared to get out of bed, I was pulled back deep under the covers for 5 more minutes of eyelash kisses and warm assurance.
My Guy: Everything is going to be ok, I’m proud of you CTB.
And I believe him.
You may be thinking: Girl, are you fo’ real? And think it’s impossible to have a relationship that feels like a constant romantic comedy montage sequence. But I am. And I do.
I put on my pink and ruby Viv Wests and watched as they glistened in the natural sunlight coming in through my bedroom window. Even though they feel comfortable – I’m no high heel rookie. Though I’m sporting jelly soft plastic and a half height heel, in time I know I will have to endure blisters, heel ache and tired soles. I’ll have to break em in like a wild horse until they remember the shape of my foot and how to case it. But today, on the grown up equivalent to a 1st day of school, I’ve made the decision to do it all despite the risk.
Leaving the house, I felt a sudden ca-thump right in my stomach – the kind that makes you want to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. I wanted to retreat and resign myself to the life of a cocktail waitress, but just before I did he gave me one last kiss on the head and said “You’re going to be wonderful”. And in that moment I looked at the best risk I ever took and decided I had all the bravery in the world. I guess if you want to rise above where you are, you’ll pay the price – but who wants to play safe with your heart? Or anything else for that matter.