All I need in life is good food, good people and good art and the night consisted of all three. Matthew, in fact, is the perfect friend to hang out with when I want to relax. We agree and disagree in the right proportions, have a similar sense of humour and he is a truly wonderful oasis of chill. He's someone I can have night-long DMCs with and, equally, be utterly silent with. His company is engaging but undemanding.
That night helped me catch my breath following the heartbreak, celebrations and fashion frenzy of September.
The next few days were spent catching up on blog posts yet unfinished after all the blogger events in September and Fashion Week, doing chores and working on a big new project.
Midweek, the crazy kicked back in. Wednesday was both my Korean class and my siblings' birthday dinner, with pit-stops in between to buy things for their actual birthday the next day and my trip to Madrid. Thursday saw me attend an Urban Decay event during my lunch hour, an Easilocks event after work and hang out with Sarah afterwards, when we were approached by "killer clowns". Said clowns were actually just silly pre-teens but one glimpse of them sent Sarah running and the kids in pursuit, as they realised they had an easy target in their hands. When they noticed how scared she was, the two girls started apologising profusely, while I put my arm around Sarah, ushered her away and uttered the, perhaps, most old man phrase of my life: "That's enough now, kids, go on home."
On Saturday I flew out to Madrid, met my friend, got changed and immediately went out that night. The next day we tramped all over the city on an intense itinerary and then went to a gig that night. The day after I explored the Prado on my own (bawling at certain points, upon seeing certain works IRL) before flying home.
The next week slowed only slightly: I had an important business meeting after work, another Korean class, met Sarah for dinner, started my Christmas shopping, went on a gallery day with Matthew and explored (the very photogenic) IMMA and visited a haunted house with friends.
Lack of a proper sleeping pattern being a problem became apparent very quickly in the following week. On the Monday I rushed home to help celebrate my sister's boyfriend's 21st birthday, the next day I went to see "Bridget Jones' Baby" with Sarah (surprisingly brilliant - I don't know if I've ever laughed so much in the cinema before but this was helped by the very emotionally involved audience that gasped and oohed comically throughout), had class again, made a tit of myself at an Alex & Ani event, rushed home-home for a doctor's appointment, celebrated my grandaunt's 80th birthday and played with my little cousins.
All of this chaos (and fun - the emotional and energy rollercoaster, basically), meant that I crashed. The big project was draining me and not working as smoothly as I wanted, I was trying to balance work and a life, missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and lost something so dear to me it felt like losing a limb...so by the time I went home-home the next weekend, I was fragile. Which all came to a head when I started crying at the dinner table for no particular reason. Tensions were high at home due to many factors from the various family members and that Saturday was mostly very unpleasant and saw me spend most of the day crying.
Everyone made up, of course, as we always do, and quickly. My family are a passionate and quick-tempered bunch, paired with some anxious tendencies, and it's often a recipe for emotional outbursts. But we also adore and really like each other, which makes for quick and happy reconciliations.
As a result, the last couple of days of the month were spent eating nice food, reminiscing with Granny, giving the family at-home facials, laughing, practicing on my skateboard and visiting the Most Haunted House in Ireland with, what has to have been, the sauciest and giddiest group ever, which made the tour campy and hilarious and not the least bit scary. One of the most personally entertaining moments had to be the look on the "gimp" and "ghosts'" faces when I emerged from the tunnel I'd been shoved into on my own, playing with my phone and drinking a carton of juice. Terrified, I was not.
A common conclusion I've been coming to at the end of these posts so far is that I'm extremely lucky to have a life filled with such a great family and friends and this month is no different. From being a host to being a much-needed calming influence and from being a shoulder to cry on to someone to cry until I laugh with, the people around me keep me sane when very little else in my life is.