Letters to September

So it happened, the new website I’d been working on for months at my job finally went live, and things at work got a little crazy, to say the least. Clients from Hong-Kong, Australia and the USA are starting to pour in, and my responsabilities have tripled. My massive, picture-heavy blog post about Cusco is still in the works (more non-work laptop time would be fabulous, please and thank you). But in the meantime, you know the drill…

Hey September, you were quiet on many fronts and you threw some oddballs at me, but let’s stay friends anyway.

This month saw a lot of attention around Alexandra, my boyfriend’s daughter. She was baptized on September 3rd, and then turned 8 years old on the 20th. Both super happy, emotional days, but which also involved a lot of baggage on my end, and I’m not talking suitcases… I get asked a lot how I deal with that, with having a step-mum role to these two little girls. And the truth is, I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. Having a stepmother of my own, I suppose I try to replicate some of the things she used to do with me, but apart from that I truly am just playing it by ear… trying to be a friend, someone they can speak to, helping them choose their outfits in the morning and spending many hours braiding beautiful, long dark hair. I also try not to discipline them too much (“leave that up to their dad!” – n.1 advice I get given), but when they spend weekends at our flat, that is inevitable sometimes. “Is that your wet towel scrunched up in your drawer again????” The struggle is real. But the moment I realised I would take a bullet for those girls… that was an odd one.

Come to think of it, Life truly is an odd one. I came to Peru in the first place to find myself and to have some fun, the last thing I wanted was to meet the love of my life. Yet here he was, waiting for me the whole time, with very little English, a teaching & dancing career, and two daughters. If someone could explain that to me, I’d be eternally grateful.

Update: He is taking daily English classes now, and improving immensely. Go Lucio!

Speaking of birthdays, September was also my mum’s birthday month, well, would have been. She would have turned 60 this month, and I did not want that milestone to go unnoticed. I’ve been realizing recently that my memories of her are fading, and that terrifies me to my very core. As I try to hold on to memories of her, I’ve realised I don’t want the rest of the world to forget her either. So I bit the bullet and posted about her birthday on facebook, and the response I got from friends & family around the world was astounding. Facebook comments aren’t exactly the same as a warm hug, but that day it felt pretty close! I felt a little less alone on that day, people knew it was her birthday and maybe thought about her for a few minutes, and I blew out candles on some cupcakes at night with Lucio by my side. I think she would have liked all that.

September saw me experience my first circus… I was pretty skeptical at first but everyone in the city couldn’t stop raving about it, and then I found out that there were absolutely no animals, only acrobatics and theatrics, and I was sold. We went to see “La Tarumba” circus on September 30th and I was simply blown away. You know you enjoyed something when your cheeks ache from smiling so much, when by the end you’re so close to the edge of your seat that you’re about to fall off and your hands hurt from clapping. The acrobatics were absolutely beautiful and left me wondering how the human body was capable of doing such things, and I hid behind my hands quite a few times thinking those girls were bound to topple off that trapeze at any moment. (They didn’t, thankfully. I was in AWE.) The clowns were funny enough to make both adults and kids laugh (or cry-laugh, in my case) and the live band were so incredible they got a standing ovation. Realization: as long as animals are not involved, circuses may be my new thing. I’m determined to go see more live shows as a whole as well, it’s been too long! Other realization: leaving that circus, I felt so… ordinary. So painfully ordinary. Sure, I always feel so proud of myself for making it through my work-out class without collapsing from heart failure, or for lifting more weight than usual at the gym, but these girls were doing things on those ropes and trapezes that don’t seem physically possible… and there I was, just walking, putting one foot in front of the other, and not even managing to do that without stumbling and falling over. Humans really are capable of incredible things (I may not be one of them though!!).

This is a slightly random one, but I’d love to know your thoughts: on adulting. When do you realise you’ve become an adult? Is it supposed to hit you like a brick on top of your head? Because I had one of those moments recently, when at the beginning of the month we decided to hire a cleaning lady. Yup, it took me a while to convince Lucio (“you’re never home! You never have time to clean! Let’s pleaaaase pay someone else to do it”!) but then we finally found someone suitable (our doorman’s sister), and it was a go-ahead. But the brick-on-the-head momento I’m referring to was when said cleaning lady came over for an interview. I once interviewed a fellow student for an internship while I was at university, but for some reason that particular moment in my flat, with that poor girl looking at me like I was Anna Wintour, felt even more surreal and I found myself… adulting. Has that sort of realization ever happened to you? It’s something I’ve been dealing with a lot recently.

Now for some recommendations…

  • This month there was a new recommendation I wanted to make: a brownie recipe, and this is one you’re going to love. I’ve made it twice now and my guests’ jaws have dropped every time they found out the secret ingredient was… AVOCADO. Yup. The avocado makes the brownies so, so creamy, you won’t believe it. And you almost feel like you’re eating something healthy… almost… Let me know if you end up making them!
  • I don’t know why I haven’t recommended this website yet, called “A Cup of Jo”, I’ve been reading it daily for years, ever since my fabulous friend Rachel introduced it to me when I visited her in California. She went out to a class, leaving me with her laptop and the website open, and I scrolled, read and scrolled some more until she walked back in, over an hour later. It’s one of those things that always makes me feel less alone with whatever problem I’m dealing with, and just inspires me to be the best, most calm, creative person I can be. Though some posts are about motherhood, you don’t need to be a mother or anywhere near being a mother to enjoy them. It’s just… a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stressful and over-complicated world. (Be sure to read the comments on each post too, they are such an incredible little community to themselves!)
  • A series I have been absolutely loving this month is Orphan Black, on Netflix. It’s one of those which kept coming up as a suggestion, but I was never tempted enough to start watching, until I randomly saw online that the main actress (Tatiana Maslany) had just won an Emmy Award for her performance. Oh boy, does she deserve it. I don’t usually feel that way about actors or actresses, but I was captivated by her performance from the first episode. She plays a number of different clones, all with different styles, personalities and accents, and she is just mind-blowingly good at all of them. And in a scene where different clones are interacting with each other (how on earth do they do that?!), her range of acting will leave you speechless, I promise. Along with Stranger Things, this is hands-down my favorite show of the year.


  • And to end on something relaxing: the fuss-free, tropical song which has been relaxing me as I walk to work every day:  “The Ocean” by Mike Perry. Such. A. TUNE.

Do leave me a comment if any of the above hit home! 

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One Comment

  1. If you ever need a memory of your mum, I’ve got plenty stored in my brain. Just ask.

    As for adulting… I think it comes in waves. When you realise someone is much younger than you, that a film you love us 20 years old, when you start tutting at noise and young people… when you realise you’ve been paying bills for years, you get a raise, you actually have a talk with your family where they don’t mention that you’re younger…

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