I’ve been making new year’s resolutions for as long as I can remember and I’ve been forgetting them by January 10 for the same amount of time. So when I started to think about the arrival of 2019, I decided it would be a waste of my own time to sit around pondering ways to make my life better when actually, my life is pretty good as it is. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Well of course, I know there are always things we can be working on to become better people, ways we can do more to help others or things we can be doing to improve the state of the earth in general… but rather than write them all down right now, I’m just going to wait and see what happens organically. In the meantime, I’m reflecting on some of the things I learned in the year that’s just flown by instead.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is especially true of Ibiza and as 2018 segues into 2019, there will (as usual) be more people saying the island is ‘not what it used to be’ and at the same time, there will be a slew of newbies who will be in love with the newness of their discovery and shouting it from the rooftops. To each their own, I say – there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy Ibiza, it’s all a matter of personal taste.
Wearing high heels is like riding a bike. I spent the better part of the last ten years wearing flat boots or shoes, citing the fact I lived in Dalt Vila as the reason but mostly it was because I was fighting a Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman style height dilemma around my past boyfriends. Fast forward to 2018 when I started buying mega-heels again and started skipping down the cobbles as if I’d been schooled by SJP – now I’ve got a whole new reason to buy more shoes in the sales.
It’s totally OK to turn your phone off, log out of social media and not reply to emails in the moment you receive them – but these days, you can rest assured people will freak out and think you’re dead (or take it as a personal insult). I’ve been experimenting this year with going off-grid for 24 hours (no more, no less!) when I needed space, privacy, concentration or silence and each and every time I’ve done it, people have gone overboard in their obsession to try and track me down. The culture of instant gratification has gone too far.
Ibiza’s not all about dance music. Discovering Rock FM on the Ibiza radio dial changed my driving life this year. When Ibiza Sonica and Open Lab went off the airwaves, I flicked to this station and have never ever changed the dial since. I used to hate being stuck in traffic – now I’ll stay in the car while it’s parked to keep singing along to the non-stop classic rock, grunge, hard rock and psychedelia. I even have a theory – if you get in the car and hear Bon Jovi, you’re guaranteed to have a good day. Most days, this station plays Bon Jovi – and I’ve had more good days than bad this year! Coincidence? I think not.
Vegan food is not all bad. You see, I’ve always taken a firm anti-vegan staunch when it comes to my diet – a Chinese medicine doctor once told me I need red meat every day due to my blood type so I naturally took offence to preachy vegans who insisted we save the planet via our diets and thus avoided vegan cafes, restaurants and culture in general. But then… I was introduced to the world of vegan desserts and my world was rocked. And then… I tried cashew cream. And after that, I bought a vegan cookbook with the aim of introducing more veggies to my life. Six months later, I haven’t cooked from it yet and I still get edgy if I don’t eat meat daily… but I no longer think vegans are the devil.
Alpacas were once indigenous to Ibiza. Or so I was recently told! For this reason, the Ibiza Preservation Foundation have brought three alpacas to the island this year in the interest of re-introducing the species and to help protect fields of sheep at Can Pere Mussona from wild dogs. At the moment all the alpacas are male, but two pregnant females are due to arrive any day now and will give birth to the first of the new breed Ibiza alpacas next year. Tougher than any guard dog, apparently.
Not going along with the status quo is totally acceptable. Case in question: I was an early adopter/avid fan of Lady Gaga (who else remembers when she played at Eden?) and I’m not afraid to say I think she is a musical genius – to the shock of my friends in Ibiza who dismiss her. But when I saw A Star Is Born I was absolutely horrified – I thought it was one of the worst movies I’d ever seen in my life (and I went in there wanting to love it!). Just because something’s got Bradley Cooper and Gaga in it, and happens to have been nominated for zillions of awards doesn’t mean you have to like it. But so many people keep telling me I’m wrong. I’m not wrong; nor are you – we just have different opinions. I feel the same about Carl Cox by the way; lovely man, I’ve interviewed him before, but his music just grates on my nerves. I’m not afraid to publicly disagree with the 10k people who went to see him at Privilege this year – and I wish more people would speak their minds like this too.
I believe the children are our future. I spent a weeklong period working on an extended photo shoot at Ibiza Rocks Hotel back in September and I felt like I learned so much from the youth culture there. For example, young English girls have the body confidence to walk around in virtually nothing, even when their body size/shape is not ‘perfect’ per se. While it may not always be aesthetically pleasing, to me it’s better than all the fake boobs/lips/brows/lashes/tans you see elsewhere. Everyone was always smiling, everyone was super polite (the Brits do have good manners!), even when falling off inflatable unicorns with absolutely zero grace. If this is our future, I think we’re in good hands.
Asking for help when you need it is important. If you suffer in silence – whether it’s work-related, an emotional issue or even just basic overwhelm when faced with cleaning your house – you’ll never evolve. Things just loom bigger and darker when actually, a quick call to a friend can help put things in perspective, even if it doesn’t solve the issue at hand directly. I’m a big believer in this – and if you think you’ve got no one you can talk to, then reach out to the organisations and hotlines that are there to help you in an anonymous manner. None of us are ever truly alone.
There are some people in this world who will say the sky is bright red when it’s clearly sky blue. The fact is, people will lie to you; people will lie about you; people will lie to protect you and people will lie to protect themselves. Sometimes, what matters more than the truth is the way you react to a lie. Arguing quite often gets you nowhere and there are times when its better to take a step back, put some space between yourself and the lie/liar and simply let it be. I’ve learned the truth always comes out in the wash in the end anyway.
When everyone around you is having babies, it’s ok to remain a cat person (or to become one). In fact, you’ll find over time, most of the people with babies turn to you for ‘normal’ conversations, for time out without the children and to talk about the good old days in Ibiza before they had to worry about babysitters. It seems to me (and if the internet is to be believed!) like cat people really are the happiest people of all, so I firmly stand by my choice. And my cats.
Speaking of cats and cat people, Insta-stories really are the best platform to let your crazy cat lady flag fly. I was never a fan of the medium – I always found it a bit strange that you’d spend time creating content that would disappear after 24 hours, it seemed to devalue one’s own time – but then highlights were introduced and I realised I could create a never-ending reel of photos of my furry friends in all types of situations AND WITH GIFS. It really is true that the simple things in life are often the best.
When you learn to listen (and trust) your intuition, it’s crazy how in tune you become to things. I don’t want to sound like someone who just got all woke… but I’ve experienced some seriously spooky situations this year – so spooky I allllmooost believed I was psychic. But then I decided I wasn’t – that’s just crazy. It’s hard enough reading my own mind, let alone other people’s! So let’s just stick with living intuitively
Real life is so much better than the movies – and if your own life isn’t offering up enough drama on a daily basis, you can just look to Netflix and tap into all the crazy real life documentaries and biopics and whatnots. Sometimes I watch things and can’t believe they really, truly took place in our lifetimes (Pablo Escobar and Osho being two that particularly blow my mind). In saying that…
When real life gets too much at times, having the imaginary worlds of books, movies and the internet to turn to is a saviour. This year I discovered it is indeed possible to watch all nine seasons of Modern Family in one week (yes, I know there are 10 in total but only nine are on Netflix and I’m too lazy to stream it elsewhere) and I also rediscovered the joy of reading books (made from real paper) after a few years of using an iPad. It might not be sustainable but it just feels so good!
Influencer marketing is real and it’s not going away any time soon. I’m still gobsmacked by the pull of the popular people online (and the fact other people pay them to promote their products) and after watching The American Meme, I couldn’t help but wonder – is anyone who uses the internet so frequently truly happy? It also made me wonder about point number 14 above. Does that movie fall into the category of real life or movies? Or both? I’m not sure it qualifies as entertainment, and yet I couldn’t look away. I’m happy I live in a bubble!
Sustainability starts at home. With that in mind, I am vigilant about recycling, I use a basket to carry my groceries home, I do my best to avoid single-use plastic, I avoid those delicious chocolates that are made with palm oil and I buy organic cleaning products and biodegradable garbage bags, however I’m not sure I’m ready to become a total Pachamama and use baking soda as deodorant just to avoid the packaging, or use a bamboo toothbrush that just doesn’t seem to do the job as well as the technologically advanced ones. Does that make me a bad person? Possibly, probably, and most definitely in the eyes of some eco-warrior people’s eyes, but isn’t it better to be doing something rather than nothing? Of course I’m interested in doing more – but not at the expense of my teeth, my skin and my body odour…
It’s completely possible to exist in Ibiza without going to any clubs at all. In fact, one can live a completely normal life here on the white isle all year round – but that’s a story for another blog…