Hello March, Goodbye March. Most of us spend our free time avoiding our idle minds, avoiding the pressure to think, immersing ourselves in other worlds and ideas. In addition to filling our time and inspiring our ambitions, thoughts, motivations and shower singing, the things we choose to consume say a lot about who we are, and even more about who we are right now, providing an easy reason to connect with those around us.
“Leap and the net will appear.” Sound advice. I read this in a fortune cookie in 2008 and I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that it changed the course of my life. I think it is really great advice. So great that I find myself saying it to other people at times. That fortune was a real turning point for me.
From one city of culture to another: I am currently packing up my Dubai life for the next grand adventure in Hull. Where is Hull, you ask? Great question. Kingston upon Hull, usually abbreviated to Hull, is a city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It lies upon the River Hull at its junction with the Humber estuary, 25 miles inland from the North Sea, with a population of 257,710 (mid-2014 est).
It has been some time since I’ve embarked on a thirty day challenge. The most recent one, to give up my very favourite drug, sugar, in all its forms, saw a massive shift in mindset and in social behaviour, as well as my physical and mental health. A previous challenge saw me really pushing the boundaries of whatever comfort zone I had lulled myself into, where I embarked on a form of exercise every day for 30 days. The biggest change was the shift in the question I asked myself; no longer was it “should I work out today?” to which the answer was usually an easy peasy “nope”, but now “what should I do today for my workout?”
I’ve always considered myself a wanderer, never quite fitting in to the status quo; always transforming, or reducing myself into what others expect of me. Growing up as “the pretty girl” or “the popular girl”, I dutifully fulfilled society’s expectations, all the while feeling like a stranger in my own country.
“How does it feel?” I turned 23 yesterday, and most people who shared their “happy”s on my birthday had the same follow up question for me. And so, it was stuck in my head all day. How does it feel to be twenty-three? What should it feel like? Should I feel something? Does anyone really know?
It’s that question that I know everyone in my generation has asked themselves at least once. Which land do I belong to? Previously a given. It was the land your family grew up in, the land you were born in and the land you spent your life in. You belonged to the land you were on. Is this still the case?
I write to you from the plane, champagne in hand. Ethiopian Airlines, a short layover in Addis Ababa and then Dubai-bound. I am on day three of time off, but only just leaving Libreville, the capital city of Gabon, because of a hand-over day and then a cancelled flight.
A-Coterie is the answer to the unanswered existential questions that hit you at 4am on a Tuesday morning, or while you stand idly in the queue at the grocery store. A-Coterie longs to fill a void manifested as ennui; a restlessness that seems unfounded yet very real. A-Coterie endeavours to inform without imposing, and pay it forward without preaching. A-Coterie embraces the uncommon wealth of a common experience.