Today I turn 31.
I am not one of these people that get hung up about the number I am turning. I did not get freaked out that I hit the 30 mark and that now I am on my way through my next decade. No, rather I am someone that takes stock of what I’ve accomplished in my life so far. Have I made an impact in my life? Can I feel like I have done some awesome things in the year just past to be proud of?
This time last year, I was celebrating my 30th. I was more excited about throwing myself one kick-ass party, then fretting over the big Three-Oh! I didn’t really have a big 21st that most people have so I knew I wanted to go all out for my 30th. This year however my birthday will pass without too much fan fare, I might just go out and buy myself something pretty, then later tonight have a few drinks and be content.
Looking back on the year just past, these are my 5 things that deserve a high five!
1. I started playing roller derby.
Who would have thought that I’d strap on some skates and give roller derby a try (ps: the answer would be: NOT ME)… but I did it! In the beginning I was so so nervous. I’m not the most confident person and it takes a little while for me to come out of my shell and feel comfortable around new people. Each week while going through Raw Meat I would surprise myself in my ability, and that I was actually learning, and getting better and I could skate!
I managed to make it through to Fresh Meat, then pass the next testing stage, and the next, and by the end of this year I had bouted in 3 family and friends bouts, been involved in a growing league and made some amazing life long friends. I have never been more proud of myself when my parents came along to watch me play in this new crazy sport I’d taken up and to scream support from the sidelines.
Roller derby definitely has its ups and down, it’s a roller coaster ride of emotion as well – but it has most amazingly been the ride of my life this year, and the time I spent with my league in Adelaide, and my wonderful wonderful team The Dames of Hazard will never be forgotten.
2. My nephew was born.
My little Henry. My perfect little man. I only have one sister, and I am so proud of her and her husband for bringing this magnificent little man in to the World. He is such a joy to our whole family (you should see how smitten my Dad is with his first grandchild). You couldn’t ask for a more perfect little human, he is just so darn cute! I’ve never been much of a “baby” person, I tend to freak out and worry that I’m going to drop the poor child. I still have moments like that with Henry, but when I hold him and just look at his tiny little face, and tiny little hands he fills me with so much love, it’s so hard to comprehend. I love this little child with every part of me, and I only hope I can be the very best Aunty he deserves.
3. I went on a mini vacation.
In 2010 I went on a 5 week holiday across America (I’ll post about that trip sometime) but this year, 2011, it was more about the shorter getaways. Easter time was spent away on the Mornington Penninsula in Victoria, while the first week in August I headed up to Darwin. I used to live up there, so it’s always interesting to see how much it has grown.
I flew up with a friend from work who had family to stay with, while I stayed with one of my bestfriends (Mickey). We all attended the Darwin Cup (which are horse races they have every year) and probably over indulged a little – but who doesn’t love donning a fancy flower in the hair, ridiculous shoes and enjoying the atmosphere!?
I also took my skates and went to a training session with the Darwin Rollergirls! Those ladies were great hosts and it was a lot of fun skating with a different bunch of girls. I’d only been skating with my league for about 7 months, so it was a great eye opener to see how other leagues train, and what level everyone was at. The heat certainly got to me though as it was currently winter down in Adelaide but still 30+ degrees in Darwin, so even with 4 litres of water drunk during training it didn’t help me and I perished! Afterwards I needed to jump in to Mickey’s pool to try and cool down – this ended with me still feeling oh-so-sick that I ended up fertilising her garden with those 4 litres of water! Hardcore heat workout, Oh Yeah!
I met Darren the year before I moved to Adelaide. I was visiting my sister on holidays and met him through her. When I moved down the following year he gave me my first job! He is a chef, and I worked with him in the kitchen being his little dish pig (the technical term being dishwasheruperer). He has always been like a big brother to me, protective and there if I needed him.
I met Kylie while I was working with Darren at the Bowden Hotel (now Bombay Bicycle Club in Adelaide) and watched their relationship form. Kylie and I then became close friends and we all hung out a lot. I always felt we were all close like family. Even when Kylie finished Uni and they moved away to Tasmania, we could always pick up where we left off when we got the chance to see each other.
I was so very honoured to be at their wedding. We made the trip down to Launceston on what was the most spectacular weekend (the weather was flawless!) and watched my 2 dear friends (finally) tying that knot! Kylie had everything planned just the way she wanted (with a regimental running sheet for photo’s too!). Darren was his usual self, not taking anything seriously and making everybody laugh throughout the entire day. Loved every minute of it!
5. I moved to Melbourne.
Last but not least. After a really difficult period in both our jobs we finally had our ‘Out’! It probably wasn’t in the way I have envisioned it to happen, but when life throws you opportunities like this, I am never one to say no. The boyfriend had quit his job (pipped me to it!) and was looking for something new and challenging and it so happened he found it. In Melbourne. Fancy that!
It was a big decision to move us to the East Coast. We were previously living in Adelaide where I’d been for 10 years and it’s all I’d really known. I’d have to say it hasn’t been the smoothest of transitions for me. I don’t have my family here in Melbourne and we don’t know too many people (yet), so I’ve been missing my friends and family (and my derby girls!) a fair bit which has bummed me out. But it’s early days, it’s only been just over a month!
Aside from all that I really am excited about this next chapter in our lives. There’s so much going on in this new city, so many more opportunities that I can really get out there and try the next big thing for myself! I just have to take that deep breath, jump off that ledge feet first and take this as an opportunity to reinvent myself, find out what I’d really like to do, and dream big!
…High five to that I say!