Apparently it’s time for change.
After 8 years in the White House, the global sex symbol that is Barack Obama has got to find himself some new digs. Although, the joy of one of my favourite presidents in living memory is that, he’d live in a cardboard box as long as he was still with Michelle. How can you not love the man?
In nearly a decade a lot has changed, not just for the USA and the World but for me.
On this day 8 years ago, January 20th 2009, I was in a very different place too.
I’d already spent the morning sitting in the hospital with a previous boyfriend (his appointment) and his dad. I remember being starving hungry because I’d eaten nothing, and the wait went on forever. By the time we were eventually seen, it was the first time after years and years of testing that he was told his issues might be coming from his spine. I forget the name but I remember it being a shock and being told it was a common problem amongst retired cricket players.
We made it back to mine for toast and a shower and I feel asleep 5 minutes in to the inauguration with soaking wet hair and woke up confused and slightly damp.
If I think I’m always tired now, it’s a kick in the arse to think back to that day, or that time in general. I barely had the energy (AT 19!!) to stay awake past 2pm. I was following someone else around, trying to heal problems that I had zero skill in healing, rather than being selfish. I don’t remember feeling lost but I must have been. I had no real independence – no proper job or driving license. I hadn’t even started writing my first full length novel by then, and I don’t know the last time I’d seen a friend.
I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE FACEBOOK.
Don’t take this that I was in some sort of abusive relationship, or I felt entitled, or I was genuinely lazy. None of that is true. But we all get stuck. We all get stuck without realising and time runs by us without even noticing.
In the last 8 years I think I’ve managed to make up for those stuck times.
That relationship is gone and buried.
I found a new relationship and best friend and ended up stealing his last name and building a home together.
Before Obama had even finished his first term, together we (me & husband, then boyfriend, not me and Barack) managed to reproduce.
I’ve had two jobs in travel and insurance plus a number of other temp jobs, nearly all of which I have loved.
I completed one university course and am now staring into the face of my final semester of a bachelors of arts degree.
I passed my driving test on the first attempt and am now on car number two.
I have repainted my living room four times in the last five years alone – I bet even Michelle hasn’t changed her mind that often.
At least 9 novels have attempted to be written, three stone has been gained and lost and regained thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding and I managed to exclusively pump that breast milk for 3 out of the last 8 years.
I see friends as regularly as I want to and am in the lucky position to be able to go self-employed. I’ve also cycled through several hair colours including red, ginger, blonde and blue, only to land back on red again. I thankfully don’t seemed to have aged that much either #BabyFace.
I’m not sure that quite lives up to making sure millions of humans have affordable health care that should be a basic human right, but I’m quite happy.
All of these changes didn’t come from nothing.
The first step in successful change is being willing to make it. Then you have to work damn hard. Run up the hills and make time to enjoy the ride if there is a rope swing on the other side.
Sometimes life just throws thing in your way. Sometimes you have to go after them with a club.
And sometimes it’s just good to reflect and give yourself a pat on the back for how far you’ve come, good (hooray!) or bad (you survived it!). 8 years can be a long time and no time at all. At least it wasn’t wasted.
So, for old times sake and in the hope I can revisit this again in another 8 years (or 4 – it’s Donald Trump so even 4 years is going to be a hell of a long time) here’s what I did today:
- School drop off in an icy car that almost made us late
- Dropped the mother-in-law off so she could pick up her new motor
- Ate gluten-free fish with broccoli for dinner
- Had Saved by the Bell on in the background
- Planned out my life for the next 3 months to get this degree finished, which will pretty soon seem like a distant memory
Also, in those 8 years, I GOT FACEBOOK!! 😉 😉