I spent the last 2 years working on myself to live a better, healthier more productive life. Along the way I forgot to have fun and be happy. It’s been easy to berate myself and feel awful about some of the less wonderful things about me. It’s easy to look at my failures and forget my successes, and the consequence of this is that I am always very hard on myself. Who needs enemies when I am this mean to myself.
Over the weekend I ordered a book called “Marilyn in Manhattan – her year of joy” and I decided that I want to make this my year of joy. I want to do something each day, even if it is small, that makes me happy and brings me joy. It is hard to explain in a blog post why I have been so desperately unhappy for so long, but maybe over time it will become clear.
Today being the first day of my year of joy I decided to spend the day with a dear friend. Dominique, just arrived in Los Angeles last night, arranged for me to have breakfast with her at her hotel. I will never forget the day I met Dominique, a decade ago I was a brand new model in Cape Town, and I had met her manager Marlon ( he later became mine too) out and about. He invited me to a party he was having at his house, and when I arrived I realized it was a party for her 21st birthday, with all her closest friends and family. I felt so out of place and like I was intruding on something special. But I will never forget it, I thought wow what an amazing thing to have someone throw you a party like this, she must be very successful.
A few years later Dominique and I had not seen each other since, and it happened coincidently that we both booked Sports Illustrated Swimsuit as the first South African models to be in the magazine. I will never forget feeling so jealous that she was so much more glamorous and well put together at all the New York parties that we attended. For every single press event she just embodied an elegant New York model, tall slender and elegant. I felt like such a country bumpkin next to her. I could barely put an outfit together, and I had no idea what to talk to people about. I admired the ease with which she seemed to move through the city.
It was a few years before we began to appreciate each other for our strengths and over time we have become the closest friends, helping each other out through tough times. In her life I was able to contribute with some of my experiences and she showed me the ropes around the city and treated me to things I just could not afford.
Now that I live in LA our friendship has been built strong through constant phone calls. And I feel so lucky to have her in my life. We ate breakfast together and then sat on my balcony all day drinking coffee and catching up. Her presence fills me with confidence and her happy go lucky mood reminds me that I have the ability to let go of my stress and be happy too. Happiness does not come easy for me, I have suffered many bouts of depression over the last 15 years and my anxiety has been one of the biggest challenges I have faced. Coming out and admitting this to you dear reader is not an easy thing. But why not be honest, for all I know you suffer in silence too. I have been using my gym routine to help me over comethis, and of course it helps but I don’t feel comfortable at my gym anymore and need to find a new place to find peace.
Dominique reminded me today how far we have both come, she reminded me of the things we have over come, and she reminded me of all the great times we had together. It felt SO good to talk about all the fun times we have shared.
If you too want to have a year of joy, then do as I do, and spend sometime with an old friend who takes your troubles away. Today I was able to count my blessings, and call myself lucky to have her in my life.