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Almost there…

Almost there…

            Almost. It’s almost time for my summer vacation in the middle of autumn. Winter, almost! It’s been a long-ass year, Friend. Beautiful but mentally tough and demanding. And these past few weeks? I am running on fumes. Fancy a cup of hot chocolate? I have marshmallows! 

One night, a few moons ago
I saw flecks of what could’ve been lights

            I kind of wish it was snowing right now, you know? I decorated Vandalore last weekend but somehow it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. I can see you looking at me curiously. Look, I know it’s… Wow, we’re actually half-way through November. Time does fly fast…

Anyway, I know it’s early. But considering I will be out in the sun for the majority of December, I wanted the warm comfort of Christmas. Maybe that is why I am making hot cocoa instead of tea? 

Funny how people function these days, you know? They feed on other people’s heartache instead of their own. But that should not surprise me, that’s how it’s always been, no? I reach for my favorite Christmas mugs. For 11 months they are stored on the top shelf so I can do the ritual of moving them to the lowest shelf for that most wonderful time of the year. 

Sweetness overload!

            Okay Friend, I believe we have everything: cocoa, white and milk chocolate chips and tiny marshmallows to top it off. I was thinking of whipped cream but…  Maybe let’s not overdo it this time, eh?            

Life is emotionally abusive
And time can’t stop me quite like you did

            With a heavy sigh, I put milk in the pot. Even for me the silence is so loud these days, like it’s screaming. I see you leaning on the counter, almost saying something… Almost. I knew it’s going to be hard but deep in my heart I was hoping for something, like… Someone, to say it’s not going to be THAT hard. 

Does it make sense? You smile, so I know it does. And I realize it’s not just me who is struggling these days. Which technically should be comforting, but I hate seeing my loved ones going through tough times. The only comforting thing is that we are not alone in the suffering. 

That’s a care package I got from my friend <3

Speaking of, it’s one of the most wonderful feelings to have someone influence one’s anxiety and magically make it better. For instance, I hate flying. Hey, don’t give me that look! I know it’s faster and people love it, but it stresses the shit out of me. So, the perspective of 7 upcoming flights which will result in almost… Huh, a lot of hours in the air, makes me anxious. But! I’m not flying alone, so I know it will not be that bad. Having someone to support you, no matter the situation, is amazing.

Flying in a dream
Stars by the pocketful

            Life, however, is still an emotionally abusive bitch these days. I believe that falls under Murphy’s law, right? Or maybe we should come up with something new, like a pre-vacation law: even when trying hard to do EVERYTHING, things will pile up on you. I reach for the cocoa and freeze for a moment. 

It’s not the sweet one, so I will maybe add a teaspoon of honey? A teaspoon of honey can lighten up the strongest chocolate, much like a hug from a friend or your mum can make everything better in life. 

We had another longer weekend and once again I spent it with my mum – and it was an intensive one! On Thursday we went for one more concert, it was beautiful. We only have one more this year and the 2022 tour will be complete. I glance at you to see the unspoken question: am I planning a similar tour in 2023? 

Ralph <3

            A tricky question. If you’d asked me that back in September, I would probably have said no, because I was so damn tired. Having a 9-to-5 AND going on a “full-time-job” of concert-going? Tiring as fluff. But… It’s been a long October and even longer November, so here is a brand new answer: HELL. YES.

For now, I have 3 shows planned: Hans Zimmer (May in Krakow), Scorpions (June in Lodz) and H.S. (July in Warsaw) – the last one being a Christmas gift for my mum. She has no idea but everytime his song is on the radio, she says that she would love to see him live. 

This scene feels like what I once saw on a screen
I searched „aurora borealis green”

            I never know how much cocoa to use, I do it differently every time. You are peeking through my shoulder, but that’s okay. You could help out, you know I’m not good at math. If we add too much, it will be bitter, which means we would have to use more honey and don’t even get me started on how much of the chocolate chip… I go silent, realizing this train of thoughts will never stop if I don’t pull the break.

But it’s hard to stop or even just briefly pause; it’s hard when you are constantly on stand-by mode. It’s especially hard when you are leaving for a 3-weeks-long vacation, but you know what? I stopped one thing: having regrets. 


At work it makes no difference if I’m gone for 2 or 3 weeks, but in my head it’s like Mount Everst. I definitely can tell the difference. And if last week proved anything, it ensured me I deserve it. It’s no fun to have to work on Sunday, or stay after your shift has ended. 

            I am starting to notice a pattern of me talking that working so much is not good, having anemia, working a normal amount of time, getting better and then repeating all of it. Fuck. I didn’t tell you, did I? 

And it’s fine to fake it ’til you make it’
Til you do, ’til it’s true

            The cocoa is getting thicker in the pot, as I stir it in silence. I know I am at fault here, okay? I know that. It’s not as bad as it was the last time, but I got the answer to why I am so tired and low lately. Which, if you think about it, is a good thing: the power of knowledge, eh?

I see that this joke has no effect on you. Now the silence is even louder, ringing in my ears. I am almost tempted to come up with an excuse, but why bother? There’s nothing to say, other than I am my own worst enemy. Iron, ferritin and vitamin D? It’s not that I lack them, it’s that I make my body overuse them and run out on the supply. 


As for vitamin D? This issue should be resolved soon. Iron and ferritin is a bit more complicated, but I am working on it as well. No need to worry, my Friend. Hey, can you pass the honey? It’s right there, next to the fridge, under the wine. I should get more jars from my parents, if I’m to provide all these Christmas cookies this year. 

            Even though I cannot wait to get on the plane, I am also thinking about the cookies. Not that I will eat them, but the entire process of making them… It’s a ritual! And hey, since last year we were tree trimming together, maybe this year I will take you to my cookie factory?

My smile is like I won a contest
And to hide that would be so dishonest

            Now I kind of regret not having whipped cream, but fear not – there is a small secret to making this famous Vandalorian Chocolate and it will keep marshmallows from drowning. Hey, no. Don’t give me that look – it’s a secret for a reason.

I can’t believe how fast this year slipped through my fingers. Well… Okay, you are right – I did not waste a moment. But hey, let’s not get all melancholic and dramatic just yet, and leave some of that sweet nostalgia for the real end of year.

It’s just that even though technically summer days are longer, it feels like the dates are changing faster. But you know what? This year… This summer and spring and even winter and now the fall – for the first time in years, I feel like I’m not flipping the pages. It’s almost as good as… Taking a deep, relaxing breath in and slowly letting it out, being 100% mindful of every little muscle involved. 

Evenings at Vandalore…

            It’s time to pour out the drink into these adorable Christmas mugs. Best to do it near the sink, because you know me. And now it’s time for that secret! Turn around, I am not joking. One thing about laughter? It’s damn contagious. 

I’ve never seen someone lit from within
Blurring out my periphery

            Okay, you can look now. Behold! The world’s-best, most delicious Vandalorian Chocolate is almost ready. Choose your toppings! I like mine with a few marshmallows and sprinkled with chocolate chips. Sweetness and the highest level but the gloomy autumn required sacrifices. 

Hello, breakfast food.

Alright, shut it, okay? It’s not that gloomy at all, it’s a beautiful, sunny fall and I am not sure how to feel about it. I guess… I like it? Rain is fun, but I am first to appreciate a chilly day with wonderful rays of sunshine. Makes me creative and more appreciative. Don’t ask about the book – I know what I said. 

Passing the exam was one thing, but getting my head in the right place and finding… No, making the time became an issue. I have a plan, though. I go quiet for a minute, placing marshmallows with great care, as if the taste depends on it. Don’t worry, I am writing ideas down all the time.

But it’s comin’ down
No sound, it’s all around

            Luckily, there is no pressure whatsoever. I am doing this for me, which is… It feels pretty damn good, you know? A long time ago I read somewhere that you should “write what you know”. The truth is that you should write whatever the hell you want. 

Alright, Friend. Are you ready? The confused expression is adorable and you know what? It suits you. Here’s a new-old thing I want to start cultivating again: TOASTING! Not just alcohol, everything. It’s such a sweet thing to do. 

So, here’s to the anxious times! May it always be a reminder that something better is coming shortly after they leave. Your cup is overflowing, you put too much marshmallows, but who cares? It’s part of the ritual. Promise me we will be toasting to life, always! No matter how hard this day might seem, no matter how wonderful it might feel. 

            I want to remember everything – how I felt on this exact November day and how I felt back in Krakow, wandering around the city. Or when I was smuggling drinks for my mum at some music festival. It’s all worth remembering. 

And it’s like snow at the beach
Weird, but fuckin’ beautiful

            We are almost there, Friend. Almost… Just hang tight a bit longer. And these 3 weeks will be worth every anxiety and panic attack. It will be worth the pain, worth the tears and being tired. 

Mark my words: that “summer” me, that summer-me in the middle of almost-winter will be smiling all the time. And you know what? It will not be just hiding behind my smile as it is now. It will be 100% real.

The Vandalorian beverage tastes like liquid magic, and for that sole reason it makes us both feel a bit better, lighter. Almost as if we don’t have to power through upcoming days. But hey, there is a reward at the finish line, and it’s a giant margarita at the Warsaw airport. You snort at my comment, proving that I still have it in me – to crack jokes. 


            Come on, Friend. Let’s watch something that feels like Christmas. I vote for The Mandalorian! Hey, what’s with the laughter? There is snow in the first episode, which makes it feel like Christmas, big time. Besides… Everyone needs a tradition, right?

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