I am in the lounge, heading home to my beautiful babies and my soul mate Phteven, with his superman curl, that falls to the right side of his forehead, and bobs just above his bushy-but-beautiful eyebrow.
Suffice to say I miss my tribe. Not just Phteve and the kids, I miss my people. I have a lot to say and do to make up for the mess that I’ve been recently. A deep, dark depressive episode that seemed endless, hopeless and quite nearly ended me. If not me, then certainly my marriage.
And after reaching out in every direction, and every way possible, I am recovering.
I am, once again, enjoying the belly laughs I’ve become renowned for. I am, once again, fearless, resilient, and full of hope. I am once again weak in the knees when my long-suffering husband kisses me deeply in the doorway or, even as I’m sat at my desk in our office. We’ve got some serious lost time to make up for, and I think we’re equally committed to doing so. Our next honeymoon is being planned, even as I write this. Granted, it will feature our good friends Tom and Bob, as they are about the travelly-est couple on earth, so crossing paths and going somewhere that suits us all will be quite easy.
This blog is not about any of that.
This blog is about the study tour I have been on coming to an end.
As is my way, I have cuddled, cajoled, conned and cunningly charmed my way into the hearts of my classmates. EVEN a man who I respect, admire, and constantly blame for all the ills of the world, as he’s been a high flying corporate and government crisis management PR guy since, well, since forever.
Two days into the trip, in the middle of the desert (we spent a lot of time driving through the desert because we were staying in a hotel 90+ minutes away from all of our meetings) I decided to christen everyone with spice girl names. I generally go for either Spice or Smurf, just because my childhood and coming of age was peppered with both.
Feisty Spice is a woman of stern conviction, warmth, wit, and intelligence. She calls a spade a spade and isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers if she feels there is a need.
Stoic Spice – The corporate overlord who has single handedly put profit before our planet and is the source of all my planet saving activity… not really, he’s just really stellar at his job and sometimes has had to manage some situations I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole. He is a consummate gentleman, has a dark and hilarious humour, and it’s quite an honour to have crossed paths.
Baby Spice – Our millennial among the group. I’ve decided to rename her, as baby is the single most affectionate phrase I use, and she’s become a firm favourite. I’d even go so far as to say she’s fast moving into the sacred and chaotic seventh circle of the Dee-sastar-ous inner tribe. She’s a good human. Wise and kind beyond her 26 years.
Mana Spice – A tall, elegant, gentle Samoan woman with a strong faith and equally strong (but calm) presence. The sentence of the study tour, was when she explained to us how incredibly competitive she was, and suggested that she can be really, very good at intimidating people. She’s the sweetest, gentlest, most modest and beautiful human I have met in a long time.
There were two other Spices, but they were not students so I will fill you in on them in another blog.
So in a little under a week, we convincingly lost (a totally RIGGED!!!) pub quiz. Rocked the room at a Karoake bar. Swam. Sang. Studies. And supported eachother.
A couple of hours ago I said my final goodbyes, and jumped in a cab to the airport. Got the pleasure of some more K-pop on the way. Singapore seems to really embrace the whole K-pop movement. It just-so-happens… that it’s just not my favourite. Like, at all.
I’m pretty grateful for the time spent and the messages sent. The meetings we went to were next level, and I have so much going through my already full brain about busy-ness and business in Singapore and the Middle East.
A few days time this tiny, tidy, nation will (hopefully) host Kim Jong Un and his royal orangeness Trumpity bump bump. They are geared up for any eventuality. I do not envy them the next few days, waiting to see if this summit even happens, after all they have done and invested.
I can confidently say I feel far more at home in Singapore than I do in the UAE, despite the vibrant and energetic ex-pat population for well over a hundred different nations, bustling about doing serious b’ness in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
I’ll close this little chapter by saying how blessed I feel to travel and learn and live the way I do.
I had a blissful five hours all to myself, headphones in, Wifi off, and I just walked. That sacred and special time alone, while the world hurries around you, is important even for the most effectuate extrovert.
It’s been magic, and I am proper ready to fall into the familiar and frenetic fold of my family now.