Photo: Markus Winkler
I’ve went through life just going through one goal after another. Every time I’d achieved something, I’d just relish it for minutes before moving on to the next one. It took a few tries before I realised that checking things off my bucket list wasn’t as exhilarating as I thought it would be. Then it hit me.
The goals were never the point. The process was.
After all, what good did becoming a salon supervisor do for me? Or becoming a travel writer? Earning my blue belt in jiu-jitsu? Finishing that book? Getting published?
Photo: Quino Al
“You gave me the new guy?” the lady said, her big hair swaying like loose springs as she glanced from one receptionist to the other. “How dare you!”
I stood beside the receptionists and the salon manager, taking particular interest in my nails, not just out of embarrassment, but also because this lady had complained about my lack thereof throughout the entire hair wash. I quickly learned that customers like these only liked it when you raked the shit out of their scalps.
Photo: Curtis Macnewton
Ever since 2020 turned into the year of Covid-19, my social media feeds have evolved into a never-ending stream of home-cooked food, bodyweight workouts, and forwarded challenges of all types.
There have been a handful of people who’ve picked up seven new languages as well as those who’ve turned into three-star Michelin chefs overnight. Then there are the ones advocating self-care from the couch, assuring everyone that it’s okay not to be productive.
I say fuck it. You’re old enough to decide what you should or should not do with your time, regardless of all the flexing—both figuratively and literally—you’re seeing on social media.
Photo: Simone Pellegrini
It takes 80,000 words to make a novel, about 10,000 words to be fluent in another language, and 52 kilometres of running to complete a marathon.
These are daunting figures in their own right, but perhaps less intimidating when viewed from this perspective: writing 250 words, learning one sentence, and running for 15 minutes each day.
Photo: Priscilla Du Preez
It seems as if my life’s just about making one blunder after another.
Things have took a turn for the better compared to ten years ago, but the mistakes keep coming. I still have issues to work on, wounds to heal, and a life to improve, yet I often mess them up by doing the wrong things.
Looking back, I wish I’d studied harder, worked harder, and didn’t waste so much time just loafing around. Who knows what I might’ve become had I applied myself much earlier in life?
Photo: Nicolas Ladino Silva
“Yeah, it took me two tries to quit smoking.”
That’s my usual reply to: “You used to smoke? You?”
And what leads up to this is other people talking about smoking. The best cigarette is always the first one of the day, they’d say. The next best times are after a meal, or while taking a dump.
Photo credit: Tom Frost
I was on a plane to China and my head dipped and rose to the promise of sleep. I had the best seats in the plane for that, as I’d booked a spot in the Quiet Zone to alleviate the fatigue of an overnight flight.
I tottered the brinks of slumber before laughs screeched in the cabin. Apparently, two guys seated a couple of rows behind me found it appropriate to indulge in banter at two o’clock in the morning—in the freaking Quiet Zone. Another flyer was playing Clash of Clans with the volume turned to full.