It doesn't have start...
07.01.2013 - 14.01.2013 -2 °C
So it has been a week since the big reveal (I feel like I’m part of some weight loss reality TV show) and it was so nice to see the supportive responses from friends and family. When you are travelling you rely on each other for support, and sometimes forget that there is a big spiderweb of connections and genuine backing out there on the other side of the world.
The only problem is when you decide you want to start a new life, you want that life to start immediately. Even though we are enjoying our easy life in France, there is a voice in the back of your head saying: you should look at jobs, you should update your CV, you should look for places to live. Timeline wise, this is ridiculously unnecessary. There is about 10 weeks until I get home to NZ, then an additional 6 weeks before I go back to the UK. We have another week left here in Saint Donat before we head off on new adventures (and not a moment too soon – I will explain this comment later in the piece). The plan of attack is to catch a train across France and Italy to Milan where we will pick up a rental car for 3 weeks of tripping around the snowy bits of central Europe. We have scheduled a week in Tignes for a bit of snowboarding and catching up with a mate, after that the plan is to drive… where? Yep, we’ll sort that at some stage. The final destination of this section is back to Milan to catch a flight to Sofia, Bulgaria. We have lined up a month there at a ski, snowboard and wakeboard company that run lessons and camps combined with their accommodation. From there we fly back to London for 5 days, before we start the journey home.
In the mean time we have another 6 days at our Auberge with Eric and Caroline, their two beautiful dogs… and our new addition, Edward. Not the vampire. Although you wouldn’t know, he does spend a whole lot of his night watching TV. The funny thing about Workaway is (if you are like me) you spend a really long time, single-ling out specific requirements in a host. For us the key requirements were - not vegetarian, in a location that looks appealing, who speak English, with interesting looking work. What you don’t get to specify is the people that these hosts also pick to be your fellow ‘workaway-ers’. People who know me would say I am generally a friendly person who could be friends with a brick wall if it would listen to me talk for long enough. But for some reason this Edward really grinds my gears (Family Guy quote – you are welcome).
There is a thing that happens in relationships, whether they are platonic friendships or intimate ones, when someone ‘spoils’ that person for you. This action describes when someone points out something annoying, that you had previously never realised. This then just starts the obsession with this character trait until it becomes too much to deal with and your relationship suffers because of it. Sitcom’s normally have at least one episode about this illusion, I can think of three off the top of my head (HIMYM, Scrubs and Happy Endings). These annoying flaws, previously unnoticed, now plague every moment with that person. Now in terms of our new friend, Edward, I would love to say it was one character flaw... it’s not. I know I should be the bigger person, and I have made steps towards this… I am now just the bigger person, in another room.
He is a British 30 year old male who has obviously been affected by the amount of hair gel that has seeped through his skull into his brain. (Wow Kayleigh, tell us what you really think!) I currently am having Vietnam-esque flashbacks of YDU, wishing that I could make him run around the block, and do pressups in the snow. But Iain told me that apparently that’s not what normal people do. I have had to listen to this individual sniff every 2 breaths for the last 2 days. It’s really hard to eat your breakfast, try not to yak and restrain yourself from ramming the bananas on the table up his nostrils. When he isn’t sniffing, he is complaining about something, his sore ankle, the cold rooms, the work, the dust and his distain for any food with flavour or anything else that is slightly outside his comfort zone. There hasn’t been a thank you for any food made for him yet, only a ‘oh, I don’t eat that’, or ‘oh is there something else’.
This morning I was blessed with getting to listen to a conversation he had with Iain while I was still in the other room. He asked Iain if workawayers ever got a ‘lye-in’. Now to put this in perspective we have breakfast at about 10 every morning, and start work about 11. This morning was the only time we had to start a bit early – we had breakfast at 9… Iain’s response to his question was ‘A lye-in? How much more of a lye-in do you mean?’, Edward then responded by saying ‘oh like still in bed at 2?’.
I had to restrain myself from storming into the room and kicking him in the shin. Workaway to me, is someone doing you a favour, in return for a favour. Like going to a mates house, when they make you dinner, you bring a bottle of wine and do the dishes. It’s a common courtesy thing. Apparently our friend hasn’t found this yet.
I thought by 30 years old, most people had their sh*t in one sock. Or at least knew where that sock was to put all their sh*t in. (Sorry parents/granparents – but there is only one saying to describe this effectively). Apparently I was mistaken. I know 5 year olds that are more ‘life aware’.
I think I just have to go back to my old philosophy. People often told me it was harsh, however I didn’t follow it to the T, I just used it as a guideline. My philosophy is I don’t need any new friends.
I have enough people that I genuinely love, and enjoy spending time with. These people are encouraging, polite, fun people who develop me as an individual in healthy and exciting ways. They make me feel more alive; drive me to be a better person, embrace me when I rant, and when I am (rarely) actually nice. They give me a connection I desire to maintain, as I am sincerely interested in their well-being and happiness. These people are the people I miss when I travel. They are the people I intend to keep in touch with, but even if I don’t - I feel our friendship continues from where it left off every time we are apart, like a tape that has just been on pause. I barely get enough time for these friends - why would I waste my time with someone who I do not like and have the people I do like miss out?
I know you cannot keep every friend you have ever made, people and priorities change, and with them so do our relationships. As some fade, others will grow. But as this happens I trust that those relationships deemed important will endure. Like marriage, friendships need work and dedication while they ebb and flow with periods of connection. There will be new friendships that make you readjust your values and these should be embraced. New relationships can change your life forever, but I don’t feel the need to go out searching for these. You may be asking why I am talking about my attitudes and opinions on interpersonal communication, friendships and life long connections.
The main reason is to outline to the friends I currently have, who obviously take time out of their busy schedule to read my blog, that Edward is not one of these people.