This year I ushered in the New Years in the way that I hope my year continues – chilled, relaxed, sane, connected, inspired and awed.
We didn’t know what to expect, but camping at a friend of a friend’s farm in the mountains outside of Cape Town promised two things I required in a NYE celebration – no need to drive anywhere or contend with the drunken masses, and no fireworks (anyone who knows me know I have a completely irrational fear of them, which hasn’t exactly made New Years my favorite holiday of years past).
The friends’ place was so relaxed and chill – hay bales and an outside bar, just a few people, kids happily running around, coolers stocked with drinks, effortlessly amazing food. We drank and talked and listened to music, danced with the kids, pitched tents in the dark (oops), made and ate sushi, watched a master braii-er (can’t say bbq-er since he’s South African). We chatted and got to know each other better, and I remembered why I used to like meet new people so much. I think it has seemed like such a chore since I’ve moved here because most of my conversations with potential new friends revolve around my foreignness, my job (which is not a source of inspiration for me at the moment) and crime, which is just never a fun topic, especially when linked to the first point and involving long lectures about how I need to be careful in SA.
But I digress. Our host piled us in the back of his pick-up around 2am to drive a short distance away. I was not at all sure what this was all about, but as we turned a corner I sucked in a deep breath. The valley and the mountains across the way were lit up brightly by the full moon shining through the clouds. They illuminated the orange fires raging in the forests on the other side – we’d seen the smoke earlier in the day, but I didn’t realize it was a fire of this magnitude. It was a terrifying, yet beautiful, sight.
What I hope 2010 brings for me is a renewed buring – to find a passion that will light up my life like those fires and the moon. For too long I have convinced myself to just be content, telling myself that I am progressing along a path with work and that eventually I will rediscover what it was that initially drew me to my work. I’ve realized that my job does not necessarily have to be that passion, it is ok if it is merely a way to make ends meet – it’s wonderful when those two things do come together, but often the day-to-day mundane details are enough to wear out the passion. The challenge for me in 2010 is to discover what it is for me that makes me burn. It might take me more than a year, but you have to start somewhere…