Thoughts for 2019

When Forrest Gump said; “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get,” he had clearly never set foot in the John Lewis on Oxford Street.

The polished flooring of this retail merchant’s flagship store has been home to Nestle’s customisable Quality Street tin pop-up service for several months or so, combining every individuals favourite 3 flavours or more for a bargain price of fifteen pounds – complete with personalisation upon every seal.

When I heard of this painfully-gimmicky marketing scheme, I immediately rushed out to buy multiple tins for family, friends…and myself. Because really, who could possibly resist the pull of all of your favourite qualities in one polished personalised pot?

Turns out…me.

I’m writing this post listening to the greatest hits of Led Zeppelin, it’s just gone 10pm and it’s New Years Eve – I’m on my ones, and I’m really okay with it. I didn’t have to share the baked camembert I smothered in chutney earlier – and no one cares that I’m sat here in an oversized men’s Yves Saint Laurent flamingo-pink shirt that I purchased in a charity shop for £7 earlier this year. But something which has been niggling me for days – is the darn tin of Quality Street I have nestled to my right. I know, with each muscle-memory flex which see’s my fingers scramble for the next jewel-wrapped fancy, I will secure a chocolate I already know everything about. I’ll know how it’s best devoured, how quickly it’ll get sickly and what aftertaste I can expect – my eyes almost roll at the predictability with each end I unravel until I get so bored I dismiss the tin and its entire contents in favour of something new, unpredictable and exciting.

It didn’t take me long to realise the parallels between my own life choices and the choices  I had lay before me on the gingham checked throw I was using as a makeshift dessert platter. But as I thought about it more, I concluded – the ability to take the easy route to obtain exactly what you want leaves no room for risk, and without risk – there is no opportunity to win the jackpot, to order the main course that everyone envies or to find the haircut that perfectly accentuates your décolletage. It’s like being handed the port and cheese board before you’ve even started in on your short rib beef ragu – and where’s the fun in that?

I wish I could explain my incessant need to cause chaos in my life (regardless how major or minor it is), but never have I ever been content with any aspect to which I could anticipate its ending – for reasons unbeknownst to me. The paradoxal element to this characteristic however is my impatience to know that everything is eventually going to be okay, which of course it will be, because it has to be, but since when were rational thoughts ever the cure daily angsts?

In 2019, my goals are low-key trivial; learn how to play the guitar and care less. STOP throwing unnecessary curveballs at myself just because the sailing is too smooth and above all, stop taking it all so seriously. Try new things, because how will you know if you aren’t going to be the world’s next greatest skier if you never pick up a pair of skis? You might think you hate the Orange Crunch – but how will you appreciate the relief of a chocolate praline if your tin is a sea of Green Triangles?

In short, life can be as predictable as you let it. You have the power to choose whether to make it grande or venti, sweet or salty, air-fried or smothered in buttery garlic sauce – whatever you do, make sure you’re happy and ignore the expiration dates, they’re normally just a guide and guarantee you’ll be able to smell the funk before you go through wth it.

Happy 2019 one and all, and here’s to another delicious year.


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