I have seventeen laughs and last night the rarest of them all came out to play.
I was laughing so hard that my entire body went into rigor mortis and my temperature rose by at least ten degrees. Droplets of perspiration jubilantly cascaded down my body as I rolled around my bed sheets, trembling with happy hysteria.
I was choking on chortles and struggling to catch my breath. I grasped desperately for air between each cackle but the laugh-attack continued.
It was coming from the depths of my stomach and I was convulsing around the bedroom like a modern-day Regan MacNeil in my white cotton pyjamas.
One minute I was keeled over into downward dog with my head tickling the teak floorboards and the next I was curled up in fetal position unable to take any more pain from the joy.
Then, just as I would calm myself down a little, a new roaring wave of laughter would take me by surprise and hurl me up into a rigid seated position looking for an oxygenated refuel while giving myself a few involuntary slaps to the forehead.
This frenzied circus act of euphoria must have lasted a good ten minutes before I managed to calm myself down into a relative state of normality.
And it had all started with my inability to string together one very short and simple sentence.
Hong Kong Hysteria
Last night’s mania was shared with a somewhat unfortunate human in Hong Kong.
After a few attempts trying to work out what exactly it was I was trying to say, he quickly contracted my laughing disorder and joined in on the madness. Two adults in their mid-thirties, laughing like lunatic children over, well, my life actually.
It all came about because earlier that day, I’d read a blog post by my latest team member Sam in which she’d said some pretty lovely things about me.
I was touched and a little bit overwhelmed because this seems to be a running theme of late – and one that I can’t quite wrap my head around.
My disdain for conceit makes it difficult to type and my love for irony quite clearly makes it difficult to say out loud, but over the last eight months I’ve had friends, acquaintances and strangers tell me…
…You’re an inspiration
Every time I type those words I have to take a five-minute break for a stomach-tensing, silent fit of morning laughter. It’s magic. Because let’s face it, the fact of the matter is this:
I have absolutely nothing going for me right now. My life, by societal standards, is an absolute car crash.
I’m thirty-three years old. I’m technically jobless, homeless and single.
I quit a perfectly good career making a pretty decent amount of money and then turned down some even more exciting, bigger and better career opportunities in foreign lands.
To do what?
Well first there was the weekend work I did on a crêpe stall at European food festivals which involved multiple third degree burns and a near miss with a permanently singed-in monobrow.
Then there was the German tutoring to a guy whose nervousness was relatively concerning and who didn’t actually seem to want to learn German despite my sneaky attempts to Google translate a few phrases mid-conversation. Instead he’d pay me to talk to him about myself for an hour in English before asking which park I’d be running around later on in my lycra.
So essentially I was unknowingly involved in some sort of verbal prostitution.
I then had six weeks volunteering in a monastery in the hills of Menorca where I spent most of my time on my hands and knees cleaning up monk’s pubic hair and cooking vegetarian dishes, badly, before taking a one-way flight to Chiang Mai with less than five hundred quid in the bank.
MONEY CAN’T BUY YOU LOVE
And now I’m here. Still technically jobless, homeless and definitely single, getting paid in bananas and coffee for work that could get me a six-figure salary anywhere else.
My prospects diminish by the second and I can no longer even afford a flight home. Whether I’ll have a roof over my head during the festive season is questionable but Father Christmas definitely won’t be paying me a visit and generating any sort of income from this venture is still to be confirmed.
I spend my days throwing my heart and soul into something that is giving me zero security in return. I’ve adopted four twenty-year old kids and had to reluctantly fast forward into adulting with three team members having five hospital visits in the space of a week, not to mention the never-ending chase of three disobedient, flea-ridden pets who keep trying to escape.
All the while I’ve turned into a raging insomniac, feasting off a perverted, sleep-averting ecstasy for life and to top it all off have developed some sort of flickering emotional attachment to a creature that doesn’t even live in the same country.
So if that’s what people want to call inspiration, who am I to judge?