Saturday, 20 January 2018

Keeping content, missing ya mum and a year away from home

It's been a year now since I sold all my shit, left my family and friends and said goodbye to everything I've ever known. Which you probably realised from the title of this post. Unless you're a bit slow.

And am I now a man of the world full of wisdom and wonder? Am I fuck.

When I first got on that plane I had this whole vision of my reinvention. The new and improved me. I'd swap my love of Harry Styles for history and shit, I'd learn a different language, learn about things that matter and meet people I'd never have mingled with before. I'd grow my hair, broaden my horizons and help make the world a better place. I'd play the hero in the movie of my brand new life.

Spoiler: That was really fucking exhausting. 

I tried to pretend my biggest passion wasn't popular culture and focus on more serious things. I tried to converse with people I had nothing in common with and form friendships with foreigners I didn't find interesting. I even tried to learn Italian. But it just wasn't me. None of it.

The new Josh was about just about as fun as a gluten free dinner party and I spent a while being disappointed at this. Sad that I had more interest in what's in Kylie Jenner's womb than what old Trumpy has been tweeting. Frustrated that I'd rather binge something on Netflix in bed than go meet new people and "do brunch."

Then I stopped for a moment and realised what a dick head I was being. No amount of midmorning overpriced eggs, basic pleasantries and empty conversations were ever going to keep me content. 

Don't ever try be something you're not, neglect what actually makes you happy or live a life you dislike because you think it makes you look more appealing to other people. Follow whatever the fuck you wanna, no matter how small or insignificant some may see it and sack everything else.

By all means better yourself but that doesn't mean you have to change yourself in the process.

I left everything behind to start a new life that'd be happier that the one I had in England but kinda lost the things that actually made me happy for a while along the way. So to all you people still chasing that "new year, new me" thing or thinking of embarking on your own adventure, take note. The old you may not have been that bad after all.

Unless you were like a pedophile or something.


But, yeah, I didn't really realise how long I'd been away until Christmas came round. That wonderful time of the year where we celebrate the birth of a magical carpenter none of us particularly believe in. And for the first time in my life, I found myself without any of my family to fake my seasonal Christianity with.

Thankfully my boyfriend William and his nearest and dearest took their place as we sailed up to join all my future in-laws at their beach house for the big day. I also had three dear friends from Britain that have since relocated here too to hang with, but fuck, sometimes a boy just misses his momma.

The scheduled FaceTimed home was as chaotic as expected. A load of family members squeezed onto the front camera live from a North Manchester council estate. Talking over each other, not sure where to look and Corrie blazing in the background.

"What's the weather like?'
"What time is it over there?"
"Where's your tan?"
"Is the food nice?" 

All the usual questions. 

"Nicole Kidman is staying round here too," I explained to my mother while showing off the scenic surroundings we were in. Mainly just cause a set of pictures of the Aussie actress holidaying in the same area hit the Mail Online before I made the call and I was praying for a paddleboard encounter. "Josh is having Christmas with Nicole Kidman," she then shouted to an uncle that had walked into the room over on her end. "He's had Christmas dinner with that actress from that film," I then heard my uncle say to someone else who had now arrived.

One year later, thousands of miles away and some things never change. Like a mother's ability to twist the truth to make up a far more exciting ending to a story about her children.

PS: Sadly I didn't see Nicole
PPS: The only Italian I learnt was how to say "hello sexy daddy"
PPPS: I'm yet to use it on an actual Italian in every day conversation