“Your 20s are your “selfish” years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never let your feet touch the ground.”- Kyoko Escamilla.
So, today I did two things from my life list which were both equally crazy for me to have gone ahead with.
I spent yesterday, which was my first day in Napier meandering around the incomparably quaint city streets, admiring all the 1930’s enthused art deco architecture of this little seaside resort.
The buildings and their pastel shades all have a contrasting colour to exaggerate the frame of the symmetric design.
The writing, scripted on the walk ways and sign postage was in a Bernard MT condensed style.
I paid a visit to the national museum along the seafront.
The art shows dedicated were of Maori heritage and educated you on the oldest cultural ways of living they could report back from. But what struck my interest and purpose to visit this museum, was an art room dedicated to the horrendous earthquake that happened in the 1930’s. It was rightly inspirational how the city managed to pick itself back up and dust away the rubble of what was, and rebuild something that today, is simply enchanting.
Sometimes, you have to take the positives from the downright worst of a situation.
If this little seaside resort wouldn’t have suffered so much destruction, they never would have rebuilt such a fresh and exuberant town, proclaiming the title of “the most famous art deco town in the world”. Walking through the streets you get a huge sense of unity and whole-heartedness, from every shop you venture into, to every person you pass are full of vibrant pride for living in Napier.
It reminded me a lot of the seafront city’s we have back in England.
The main square has a cloned ambiance of Brighton, with the boutique rock’n’rolla vintage clothes shops, the modern health fanatic cafes and the creative merchandise that is all around. But it too has an idiosyncrasy of Hastings, slightly down and out and somewhat grimy, that’s why I really liked it, it was edgy and every turn was a different characteristic.
I found a ‘freedom camping’ site right on the beach front, so headed there in order to be able to get a space for the night. It was first come first serve basis as they only had 8 spaces, so when I arrived they were all full, and 3 cars were waiting in anticipation for someone to move. That’s when I met Rosalia and Lerustin a couple from Uruguay, Pierre the frenchman and Daniel the Swed, throw me in the mix and it sounds like the start of a bad joke huh.
They were all travelling together and had worked together up in Gisborne fruit picking for the last couple of months. We spoke about the parking and what to do then I decided to head back into the centre and just pay for a hostel for the night. As I was moseying around trying to find a parking space, I clocked the Spanish couple, so I parked my car and headed over to the opposite side of the road to speak about if they had any further luck. They found a campsite, just 12km out of town with showers, toilets etc and it was £15 per night, they told me I should come along and join them all, and having had a few nights alone I was wanting the companionship so agreed to meet them there.
Later that evening with everyone around the table, we started to get to know one another in the easiest, most common way all nationalities can. We drank.
Copious amounts of wine, I purchased two reds for the evening, and there was a magnum bottle of red, then after that was drained, Lerustin revealed two bottles of white wine, which we cheered in an intoxicated triumpt before filling up for another round.
They were all such a lovely bunch and all vast characters.
The two guys that travelled together, Pierre and Daniel, spent most days busking.
Later that night they got out their ukulele and guitar and started playing.
I have always wanted to play the guitar, it’s on the life list to learn a song and I love singing, but have never really felt I was good at it so have just somewhat supressed my desire to go ahead with it.
Although, every time I see people play an instrument and sing, whether they are insanely talented or average, I’m in absolute fascination. It’s just the confidence to put the two together and play in front of people that I idolise with the most. It’s so brave and bold to be able to sing, it’s an instrument of your own, you can tune a guitar, or have the right keys for a piano, but your voice, it’s a raw depiction of you.
We spent the evening to early hours singing our hearts out and smoking till our lungs were sore. I awoke in the morning to a very expected, self-inflicted hangover. My head was banging and my throat was croaky, but I was so excited because, I was heading to the centre of town to busk with the boys.
The exhilaration and anticipation was way too much and actually over-rid my foul hangover, as I apprehensively practiced my warm up vocals on route in the car.
I had singing lessons before I started travelling back in England, and it was the best thing I’ve done, it totally reassured me I was capable and gave me closure to feeling too scared to sing in-front of people in fear of their judgment.
I did, however, chicken out on a full song, as I didn’t even contemplate just how difficult it would be to try and sing in time with someone who has control over an instrument, the timings were all out and my mind couldn’t think of what pitch was fit for the verses, but I still did it. I sung in public. Luckily the boys were super chilled out about it all and just do it to get a few extra bucks for coffee and food to save dipping into the funds.
I felt as though fear has triggered me to be in this deep sleep for ages, but I suddenly awoke from it, it was so liberating, and an out of body experience.
I felt so free and so unbelievably happy with myself for doing something I held so much fear for.
I was on such a high that I demanded we find a music store so I could buy a guitar, I was going to do it, I had all the time in the world to practice and learn, so off we went into the Rock music store. I skipped and hopped my way through the doorway and there I saw her, Aria, a vivacious, foxy auburn body, with a dark emerald and garnet mosaic pattern on her core. She was beautiful, one of the most beautiful things I had seen…and there we have it, my first instrument.
As I laid her out in the back on Pam with pride and delicate care later on that day, it just made me think more about the meaning of fear and doubt.
We spend so much of our time worrying and overthinking about things which then lead to putting something off. Fear is as contagious as happiness, but its life threatening and can haunt you if you choose to allow it to over-cast any opposing emotion. It incarcerates your spirit and inhibits your dreams.
But… there is always time to say fuck you to it, and this was my moment of over-ridding fear, doubt and negativity and simply acting on it.
And you know what…I’ve never felt more alive.