Here we go

I’ve done a lot of adulting lately. I’m not entirely sure when the moment hits for most people when you realise you are in fact an adult, but as I was walking through the supermarket, doing a normal weekly shop for myself for the first time in a year, it hit for me.

To be honest, most of my life ‘Epiphany’ moment hit while I’m the supermarket and I’m definitely part of a minority who genuinely enjoys the task. In a lot of ways it’s just the symbol of growing up to me.

From my first grocery shop living out of home five years ago, to the little moments where a mum referred to me as a ‘lady’, or the moment of pure joy I felt when I finally could shop again for food I recognised when I got to Austria after three months in Asia/Africa, it’s just my space.

I’m staying with Sam for a few weeks while the house is renovated so I jumped at the chance to do the weekly shop. It ended up being more like a fortnightly shop as I bough half the supermarket home (sorry credit card, I love you).

I was walking around the supermarket and I felt like ‘yes, this is home’. I traveled to Hamilton a few weeks ago and it was the first time it no longer felt like home. I wasn’t quite ready for that, Tauranga hadn’t quite felt like that yet. And now it does…well more so than Hamilton.

I think I’ve finally accepted life after I ran quickly from it all a year ago. It wasn’t a run in terms of ‘run away’, it was a ‘I need a change so I’m going about it pronto’. I just at the time had absolutely no idea how many things in my life that change would impact. I was laughing to myself in the car on the way home with Sam from something.

“It’s only been a year since you left the country?” He said.

“Yep. A lot can happen in a year.”

It surely can. I couldn’t do life as it was anymore, so I didn’t. I made a change, I’d put myself in the position to be able to make that change whenever I wanted to. I then came back and I started again. And that can be a bloody hard thing to do.

But I truly think in some form, we are all starting new in something.

Life is just like that.

I’ve done a lot of freaking out along with my realisation I’m an adult lately. Mainly just to remind myself I am only 22 and freaking out about major responsibility is normal. But then I also hate thinking that way; ‘only’ has this connotation that implies I have a lot of time. And I mean I do. But why waste any of it? I also might not. I don’t know what’s going to happen, so I’d rather make the most of opportunities that come along. Rushing through life and taking on opportunities before you’re ‘ready’ are different things, and people often get them confused.

Rushing is when you never stop to take in how far you’ve come or appreciate what you have accomplished, or even life for that matter. Taking opportunities when they come is just putting your hand up and say ‘yes’ it’s my time to do that now, so I’m going to. Even if you’re not 100 per cent ‘ready’ you probably never will be, so if it’s your time, take it, and don’t second guess yourself.

It’s always important to remember not every ‘opportunity’ is in fact one, and being able to tell the difference between the two is going to take you a long way in life.

Sam and I were talking mortgages the other day and he said, “I feel like other people don’t worry the same way about these things”.

And I laughed.

I said, “No, it’s the same for them, the difference is you don’t see it or hear about it”.

I tend to find myself living in a constant mindset of ‘I’m pretty sure it’s all just talk and none of it is really real’. Perhaps because I’m terrified it’s going all just disappear?  But I’m going to stop doing that. I’m not living life on a tight-wire waiting for the moment someone rips it out from underneath me or a strong wind comes and knocks me off. Life is happening and I’m doing it.

Mortgages, business, jobs, careers… it’s scary as all hell but who cares? I like a challenge right? And a bit of fear is always a great motivation to keep looking ahead.

Here we go.

 

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Pros, cons, failure

Growing up is a weird thing; it just sort of happens without really thinking about it. I mean sure, most of the time I’m thinking to myself ‘I am definitely not adult enough to deal with this’, but then there are moments where I suddenly realise I am an adult, and I’m actually doing it just fine. How can I tell I’m adulting well? Firstly, I am incredibly particular about wine, babies no longer scare me (I’m still highly skeptical I should ever actually be allowed to bring one up), I am capable of looking after multiple small people at once, I know life does not stop and start with marriage, relationships, or even having children…but those things are cool too, I’ve come to appreciate money…by that I mean the fact that I turn up to a place each day and do stuff and they then give me money so I can live, I am learning how to think about and navigate the idea of a mortgage, a house, where I want to live… and I have learnt just how fragile life is, and I appreciate that fact. Oh and I’ve also come to learn and accept shit happens to all of us.

I don’t feel grown up, but to honest I don’t know if anyone ever feels ‘grown up’, I think it’s more a feeling of comfortable experience that leads you to have a little more faith each year that in most situations you will, regardless of how you may feel at the time, be ok. I was going to put ‘survive’, but there’s really no guarantee of that.

My little cat had his vaccinations today. In order to get him into the cat cage I coxed him with food first into a small space. He then quickly realised something was not right and quickly escaped. I came back five minutes later to see he had given into his desire for food (animal like its owner) and I swiftly blocked the cat door with various washing baskets. He then escaped from the other door as I tried to enter with the cat cage and my attempts at a human barricade failed miserably. I then spent 10 minutes chasing him up and down the house until he finally gave in to his desire for pats and I captured him once and for all. His poor defeated meows were heart breaking as I loaded him into the car for mum to take him with her to the clinic (she’s a vet nurse). Admittedly the only time I’ve ever put him in a cage prior was to move him from one place to another…so right now he’s sitting in a cage at the clinic thinking this is his new home and he’s been transported to some kind of jail for a crime in which he does not know. I will sweep in and rescue him and he shall love me forever…and hopefully forget all about this mornings antics.

I have two weeks until my psychology exam. I have finally accepted there is no possible way for me to learn everything I need to learn. So, I’ve decided I will simply learn five chapters REALLY well so ace that part of the exam. I’d love to say this is a strategy well thought through, however it’s really a last ditch effort not to fail this whole thing.

But I can always try again.

Really what I’m telling myself is it is not the end of the world, I have wasted $700 in worse ways, it will be fine, I have wine, and if I have to try again I’ll just try again. Simple, right?

Adulting at its finest right there.

What I’m coming to learn this year is to just chill out. That might seem strange to those in my life who understand I operate at a million miles an hour and every single weekend in June is booked…however, I am learning to stop putting on the pressure, stop trying to overachieve, to move a million miles an hour. Just take one step, as it comes. For me, there are often many steps that come all at once…so if I apply that statement to my life it looks like madness.

But on the days I feel frustrated I’m not going anywhere fast enough, I just remind myself how much I wanted this; to have a warm home close to family, to have my own cat, to have a job that keeps me busy and earns me money but doesn’t give me nightmares, so I have time to study and enjoy that study. This is what I wanted when I sat in that little home in France and pictured life. It just didn’t happen how I expected it to. But this is really lovely.

It’s raining. I love rain. I love studying when it’s raining. Soon I’ll have a gym with a spa and I can provide myself with motivation for the gym with that. It’s winter, it’s snuggly weather, it’s raining, I’m studying something I love, I have a cat, I have plans for a house, I want to live in the country, I have a good job. It’s all about perspective…

Because when I got on here I was going to complain how stressed and didn’t want to study, how my head hurts because I have a headache because it’s always so damn cold, how it’s raining so I don’t want to go outside or to the gym, and I have no money for my dream home or my dream travel.

It’s really easy to get stuck feeling like it’s falling apart or like something else would be better. Of course it would, because it always looks great when you’re not living it. You can’t have all the pros without the cons and you rarely see the cons when it’s not your life.

I’m wearing my favourite sweater today, it’s raining, and I’m going to go home and snuggle my cat and study with a hot cup of tea. I might even take an Instagram shot of it all so people think my life is amazeballs.

Sorry, this blog had potentially a little too much sarcasm in it.

 

Happy-go-lucky

The count down to Canada has begun! It’s less than a week before I fly out of the country and I’m still yet to figure out what on earth I’m packing. Sickness has found me once again in the form of a cold and all sorts of average feelings. But I had it coming really, my body doesn’t love take aways, no sleep, and alcohol for over a week! Running around in the rain probably didn’t help either. Never the less I’m now taking the hint and sleeping as much as is humanly possible while still working and occasionally eating. Ugh, I must be getting old. I’m now adding ‘don’t drink vodka’ to my New Years resolution list. Lately I seem to swing between wanting to cuddle up in bed with a good book and my cat and wanting to go clubbing all night and never sleep. I’m some weird combination of grown up and someone trying to relive their teenage years.

When I began 2015 my only new years resolution was to be ‘unapologetically me’. At the time I wasn’t entirely sure what that looked like, all I knew is I was tired of trying to make people happy or impress them and either putting on or shutting down parts of who I was to achieve that. I’d actually forgotten about it when I made 2016’s resolutions, until the other night. I was sitting with one of my best friends when he turned to me after a moment of silence and said “I’ve never met anyone who is so good at being themselves as you are”. It’s funny because I rarely stop to think about what I come across to people as. I know from feedback on my blog that each person reads what I write differently, and I really enjoy that, but I haven’t often stopped to think about how my friends perceive me or my life for that matter.

Quite often I get so focused and just doing my thing I don’t get the chance to congratulate myself on how far I’ve come or pat myself on the back for things I’ve achieved.

I have indeed managed to become unapologetically me and I now know what that looks like: me being me without trying – the people who like who I am, stay and those who don’t, leave. I really like who I am as a result of it and while it’s meant losing a few major people in my life, I’ve made even better friends and become closer to the some of ones I already had.

Part of my being me plan was to live life large; start saying yes more and getting out of my comfort zone. After travelling like I did I thought comfort zones were a thing of the past and getting out of them was a piece of cake. I was wrong, like I usually am, and I’ve found being single one of the hardest things to get used to in terms of meeting guys and striking up conversation with people. I don’t think many people realise just how comforting it is to have that one ‘person’ there for them and how little you rely on other people when in a relationship. Suddenly now I’m single I rely on people like I never have before. I need my friends around me; I need people to laugh with, have nights out with, talk to about random things in my day, share exciting things with, all the little things I shared in a relationship I’ve found other people to share them with. But that, until now, was a very daunting thing. And it still is at times. My happiness is reliant on a lot of different people, I’m still feeling vulnerable, those people can and will move and change and carry on with their own lives just like I will with mine…and I have no say about that. It’s scary. The unknown is scary.

But it’s also exciting. I’m learning to just enjoy the now and the people I have right now. I never thought I’d care about people or want to help people the way I do now. I’ve found the more I go through and the more I see in life the more determined I am to get alongside other people; face life together.

I had another friend point out the other day that I “do so many cool exciting things all the time”. Again, I’d never stopped to think about it. But I suppose when I add up the travelling, the hobbies, the nights out, I am in fact living life large. I’m enjoying every moment of it and I’m grabbing it by the horns. Instead of thinking about it, I’m just doing it. And I think that’s the best way to approach it.

I’ve become a happy-go-lucky people person and that was never something I expected. I looked at people who loved life and frolicked in genuine happiness with a bunch of amazing friends as foreign objects. I honestly had no idea how people did that. Yet just like that, I’m one of those people. When I say just like that I don’t really mean I closed my eyes one night and woke a up different person. I think it’s more a case of the deeper the sadness and hurt you face and the more you see of the world, the more you make the most of the good times and the faster you recover in the bad. It’s not that you ever really stop being sad about the really sad things, you just carry them around in a different way. I’m doing a terrible job of explaining this, but hopefully you get the jist.

So I’m going to stop there before I ramble on into oblivion. Bring on another 12 hour sleep night, healthy food, staying out of the rain, and having cuddles with my cat.

#Icanbeagrownupsometimes

I’m mad, utterly mad

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I stole this picture of my sisters instagram…mainly because I spilt a cup of coffee on my phone so it now refuses to upload photos I take. Whatever, that’s cool. I’ve spent the last few days in Hamilton looking after the little sis who’s had an operation (she’s fine, nothing major). It’s strange being, once again, back in the house I moved into a year ago. I can’t believe how much I’ve achieved in one year and how different things are now! I’ve been rather adamant about not being one of those people who come back from travelling and say ‘I’ve changed’. But I can’t help it. I’m different. I’m still every bit me but I’m the me I’ve ignored for a long time. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on here, but before I came back and walked into what turned into a blind-siding flip of my life, there was this moment in France.

Tom had left to spend the afternoon at the pub and I’d opted to have a me day. I’d just finished watching the rugby and I went to do the dishes only to find the sink totally blocked. I’ve had a blocked sink while I’ve been flatting, a number of times, I should probably stop expecting food to fit down it… but every time I’d called someone to fix it. Not because I couldn’t fix it, but it was easier to just get someone to do it for me. But stuck in a house with no internet, no one around to bounce ideas off, nothing. I had nothing. I’ll admit it took me an hour to realise there was a part of the pipe under the sink I could unscrew to empty the blockage (into a bucket of course, I’m smart sometimes), but there was this strange sense of achievement as I watched the water empty out and my problem vanish. I did it all myself. I’d always been able to do it myself, I just never thought I could.

So I was standing in this little kitchen in a house in the middle of a quiet, well actually silent, street in the middle of a small North West town in France. I stood and I laughed and I laughed until I couldn’t stop. And I suddenly realised all the things I was worried about, all the things in life that stopped me chasing my dreams; none of it mattered. I was going to be just fine. I was fine on my own.

I don’t know why I had that moment, perhaps I subconsciously knew more about my unravelling life than I cared to admit, but from that moment I haven’t felt the fear I used to about my life.

There are a lot of things you learn travelling: how to get yourself un-lost with no help and no maps without the use of English, how to order food with a dietary requirement without using language…the list of stuff goes on. But there are these incredible moments like in Vietnam, I went out around 10pm in Hoi An, it’s a small beach town that’s insanely pretty, and I just wandered around. The street was lit with these large lanterns, people talked loudly, some rode around on bikes, floating candles shone in different colours across the canal. It was one of the moment beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Or when I was in Ho Chi Minh city and a group of girls took me around in the evening. There’s this big street just for people to hang out and walk up and down. Buildings tower over it with bright neon lights and offices lit up. People gather to sing and drink coffee and just be there. In a city full of rush and business they’re just there because they can be. And as I rode around on the back of their motorbikes in a monsoon shower I couldn’t help but realise just how incredible life is. For the first time in my life I stopped worrying about what the future might look like and I started loving my now. And I kept loving my now the whole way around the world.

I never want to lose that, the feeling of freedom and bliss that life is going to be just fine.

So the other night at 11pm I ran off to the beach just to talk and dance and run and do cartwheels (which I fail at). Because life is amazing and it’s so easy to get caught up in what we ‘should’ be or what it ‘should’ look like. I don’t want to lose the craziness or the spontaneous fun I had travelling just because I’m home. New Zealand is an incredible country and life should be lived in the same manner people travel in; just have fun. I’m young and even when I’m not, I’m still entitled to enjoy the little things in life, to embrace my crazy mad side. I’m mad, utterly mad.

And I love it.

One, two, three, run.

I woke up rather angry today. Like all days I wake up with the rage of a fire breathing dragon locked in a cave I went for a run, did some push ups and even some sit up for good measure, then some weird leg raise thingy the trainer at the gym taught me that makes my hamstrings burn with a similar pain to that of a bed of biting ants in Asia.

Life has stopped spiralling out of control. It’s like a tornado that rips through and then when it stops, you’re sort of left standing wondering where on earth you start the clean up. That’s me right now. Standing, wondering a) where I start and b) excited I get to put it back how I want it. So last week I picked a starting point. I’ve started part time work and even gave myself a cool sounding title. My car is still a mess, I still have another a few boxes to unpack and a car to vacuum, but it’s a start. I started. Today is the first day I’ve actually had alone. So far I’ve spent the last few weeks with close friends or family and while I have my little brother here still…I may have possibly over reacted to the dishwasher not being unstacked again and food all over the bench…again. Man I sound like a mother. Sigh. In spite of that I’m actually loving being able to get to know Josh (little brother). I left home when he was only 11, so now at 16 and a completely different person to me, it’s a lot of fun hanging out. Though he managed to kick my butt at the driving rage the other day…I however just don’t seem to have the same skill at killing golf balls.

Josh was talking to myself and Tom yesterday about growing up and the fact that Tom was top in his class at school. Then we all looked at each other and Josh just had this terrifying looking on face of ‘I really hope I don’t end up like you both in six years time’. Then we all laughed. Unemployed, broke, and single definitely doesn’t look so appealing from a 16 year olds point of view I guess. But hey, as I described it to him in some attempt to make life seem less depressing the older you get, life isn’t all about having everything you want or going the way you expect. It’s just about having fun and making the most of the cards you’re dealt and despite what I may think sometimes, I’ve been dealt some pretty great ones.

I, however, don’t like to take my own advice when it comes to the fact I still can’t horse ride and I’m incredibly bitter about that fact. Then I remind myself I was snowboarding in Austria and it doesn’t seem like such a bad decision after all. Because of it though, I have taken up running and can now make it to 1.8km without dying! Before all you runners start laughing, for those of us who consider running to be a form of optional torture, that’s a big deal. Last week I struggled with 1km alone and the plan is in 12 months time I will run 5 of those suckers like they were yesterdays news.

Thankfully I have Nikole to drag me up the Papamoa hills each week and plan wonderful mountain hikes so that goal is actually attainable. I’ve also made strange agreements like “I’ll run up this 1.7km hill that currently still kills me at a walk by the end of next year”. Mad. I am a mad woman. But my weight is great, I feel fantastic, I’m getting a terribly uneven tan, my tailbone only hurts 50 per cent of the day, and my horse is so fat I’m going to start leading her up hills with me when I run…who needs a dog! And I have a fantastic part time job that makes me feel like a real human again. Now it’s time to dust off that CV apply for a few more positions, keep my fitness training up, and see where life takes me!

So I still have my bad days, break ups aren’t nice and the feeling of betrayal, pain, anger, sadness, and the ‘what could I have done better’ doesn’t go away over night. It’s not something I blame on one person and I think part of me still can’t quite comprehend things are different after four years. But they are and life goes on. This beautiful, incredible life goes on and I want to be part of it.

I am part of it.

Starting blocks

Life can be daunting at times. Actually scrap that, it’s pretty bloody scary. For some reason climbing mountains in a country I don’t speak the language of or backpacking alone around Vietnam seemed easier than just taking life head on here in a country I know people, in a life that really is quite straightforward. But it’s not. Life is never straightforward. There are all these twists and turns which leave me cleaning cat pee off my bed in the middle of the night and attempting to keep a pot plant alive. Exercise seems like a lot of fun till you wake up the next morning with a butt so sore walking to the kitchen is hard enough. There’s also that fear when I pick up the phone to call someone important, something really stupid might just come out instead of the comprehensive words in your head. I have healthy chocolate though, so life is under control.

Living back in Tauranga is incredibly strange, it’s like stepping back into the same world I left but everything is different. That makes no sense. My brain is tired. It worked for an hour today on communications stuff for the first time since I left the country and it is letting me know it needs a warm up before I leap back into it. Well, that and I can’t say I’ve been all that fair on letting it adjust to life since getting back…but I’ve aced a bridal shower, attended a hens night, kept my new pot plant alive for an entire five days, conquered my first hour of contract work with no mishaps, and my cat comes back once a day for a pat, oh and I’ve started running!

Life is good.

I’ve also started going back to church, something I’ve long since stopped doing and it feels like a little slice of home in the chaos I feel my life can become at times. I’m the sort of person that when life is spinning madly around me I need something to ground me, I find just one thing where I can just be there and it all stops spinning for a moment and I take a breath, and step back into it.

I’m already starting to get a list together for my new years resolutions. So far it looks like I’m going to be doing a lot of running, a decent amount of walking up mountains, and I best get my thinking hat on to learn some French.

I still have a way to go in terms of finding where I fit, but I feel like I can start to breath again. I’m yet to refer to Alex as my ex but I’ll get there and I so far have had more good days than bad and that I can say is down to amazing people and pets and the pot plant. And my bed, that thing is possibly the most incredible part of the day.

I want life to be full, full of love, laughter, hope, and energy. I don’t want to go through it wishing I’d changed this or that. Shit happens. But I have all these incredible things I can do and to access it just takes a bit of focus and hard work. I’ll get there. It’s just like climbing a mountain really, one step after another with a few pauses when things get really hard, and eventually you’re going to get to the top. I think though, the thing people forget about mountains is the view isn’t always amazing, sometimes there’s cloud, sometimes you’re in a forest, sometimes there’s just the same thing you saw last time. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less incredible what you’ve achieved or the fact it’s set you up to climb bigger and better mountains, and it doesn’t mean there aren’t incredible things down below. Sometimes, you just can’t see the whole picture from where you’re standing.

Life is scary, but regardless of how fast my heartbeats I’m ok with it all, and I back myself to make it through. I’ve got mountains (literally) to climb and things to accomplish. And when things start to get me down my response is: “Nopity, nope nope, nope. NOPE!”

So on that note, which I hope made some sense and I don’t sound like a crazy person rambling about my wayward life at 22, I’m off to get a bridesmaid dress fitted and catch up with another friend.

Cheerio

Cat pee and cups of tea

I arrived home at 10pm on a Thursday after a quick two day trip to Russell in memory of my granddads passing. I ran a bath, made a cup of tea, sat aimlessly on the couch staring at a picture on the wall, stood in the kitchen for a moment wondering how to get food in my body without having to eat, then I went to my room. I petted my cat and went to put my hot wheat bag in the bed so it was warm when I got in. There, in the middle of the bed was a pee stain. A cat pee stain. I looked at the bed, I looked at Charlie, he looked back at me, I looked back at the bed. Right. I’m not sure what most people do when they’re emotional exhausted and find their cat peed in their bed, but I laughed. Charlie meowed. I laughed a bit more and looked at him and said, “yep, I know what you mean”. I have no idea what he meant. He’s a cat, he probably just meant he wanted food. But I’ll take it as a sorry. So the sheets are in the wash, including the waterproof mattress cover which is apparently not also cat-pee-proof and I’ve remade my bed. Of course he also got the duvet so that’s tomorrows job. I pulled out another one of my many and put that on my bed instead. The problem I faced with remaking the bed however, is every bed in this house is a double and mine is a queen…so fitting sheets on it is similar to me trying to fit back into my size six jeans after France.

So, here I am in my bath with my cup of tea, well the second cup, the first cup ended up cold and with floating bits of cat fur in it, balancing my laptop precariously on the edge of the bath because I’ve concluded this is my only quiet ‘me’ spot…it’s even safe from the cat.

Tomorrow, Friday, is all about bridal shower planning. I’m super excited but also rather dubious as to how I am going to make a paper mache in one day…guess it’s time to get out the hair dryer! I’m also rather frightened I might poison all the guests with cake as I haven’t made a normal cake in years and as I can’t taste it, well….you can imagine how that might end.

Never the less I am alive, I went for a run today and only nearly died, and I have tea, and a bath, and a clean bed.

Deep breaths, tomorrow is a new day.

Another year older and a little bit wiser…sometimes

My butt is incredibly sore today. It’s a rather interesting way to end a birthday, but turns out sitting on it meant it needed massaging. And that hurt. But I think it’s going to be ok. With my flitting around the world this year it doesn’t quite feel time for my birthday to have come around again or that it’s been a year since granddad passed away. Charlie the cat is as weird as ever but he’s come around to sleeping on my bed and even thinks it’s fun to wake me up by standing on my head in the night. I spent the morning with mum at a spa for a detox treatment and I feel suitably loved and detoxed and filled with healthy chocolate. What on earth would the world do without chocolate?

The spa we went to gave me a little pink flower pot plant so I now have three living things that rely on me! I’m rather determined to keep it alive…the plant that is. I’m hoping the cat and horse can look after themselves a little because let’s be honest, I’m not actually that good at keeping even myself alive. But I’ve managed 22 years so that’s got to count for something!

I wanted to do a big post about how much has changed over the past year but sometimes there just aren’t words for things so here is a super brief recap:

I lost granddad, I brought a horse and sold a horse, Ivy had a baby horse and I sold him, I ran away overseas and travelled to nine countries in four months and absolutely loved it and learnt a bunch of life lessons, and I went from a four year relationship to single, I ended up with a cat. And here we are!

When I was a kid I always thought: “When I get to 21, life will be good”. I have no idea why it was 21, but I seemed to think life would stop there. I thought I’d have a car, a horse, a house, a job, and a degree and I’d be set for life. I have all that sure, but it’s nothing like I pictured and life is certainly not stopping here. I must chuckle at my much younger self and think, “Man, what am I going to think in another 10 years? Will I look back on my current self and think ‘how naive, if only you’d known’.” Yep, probably. But what I have come to realise is life never happens how you expect and even when it comes close to it, the feeling may be nothing like the one you’d anticipated. Walking away from my relationship was one of the hardest things to do. I wanted to fight, I wanted it to work. But I also hate giving up and sometimes I don’t know when to quit. Perhaps it was time to do so or perhaps I’m just stronger than I was four years ago, but I’m really quite ok. I’m sad in moments and angry in others but after losing people, seeing suffering in all parts of the world including my own, and having been diagnosed with a life altering health issue I feel like a break up is a mountain I’m well equipped to climb and with the support I have, there is absolutely no reason I won’t make a quick journey over the other side.

Anyway, instead of rambling on about all the changes I decided I’d instead write a list of all the things I’m grateful for in my life.

  • Amazing friends I’m not sure I’d be ok without
  • The chance to have worked at a great paper and have more experience under my belt than I ever imagined in my first 18 months of work.
  • A really cool, easy horse who is the bees knees
  • A not-so-cuddly cat who’s a bit weird but I like him.
  • Parents who are going to have to put up with my being at home a lot for the next few months
  • New work and volunteer opportunities
  • A body that functions properly 90 per cent of the time
  • A bed all to myself
  • Chocolate
  • The ability to travel the world on my own and all the incredible things I’ve learnt

I’d go on, but that’s the gist of it. In the past few months life has become an incredibly interesting and slightly frightening place to navigate. I spent several days standing on the top of mountains screaming “I’M ALIVE”, I spent days dragging a 20kg bag around with me, I’ve walked more miles than I ever thought was possible in four months, I’ve faced some of my biggest fears, I’ve eaten scorpions, I’ve seen suffering and heartbreak, and I’ve had the chance to change my world view.

Now I’m here and in my 22nd year I’m excited about what’s going to happen now. There are so many paths and picking the ‘right’ one seems scary, but it’s just taking that first step. And I’ll take it. Once I do, there won’t be any stopping me! For now the ‘to do’ list simply has one thing: keep climbing mountains and I mean that both figuratively and literally.

Tomorrow I’m heading up north with dad to celebrate the first year anniversary of granddad passing away. It’s a chance for me to revisit places Alex and I spent a lot of time and accept that’s part of the past, and it’s a chance to grieve but also acknowledge just how amazing granddad was and how mum we miss him, but also how ok we’re going to be.

So on that note, I’m going to leave this post with a bunch of quotes I found on this blog: http://thoughtcatalog.com/katie-wilkes/2014/12/20-quotes-that-all-20-year-olds-must-read/

“It’s better to have nobody than someone who is half there, or who doesn’t want to be there.”
Angelina Jolie

“You can tell so much about a person by the way they leave you.”
Redvers Bailey

“I will not be your sometimes.”
Anonymous, Six Word Stories

“The hours between 12 AM and 6 AM have a funny habit of making you feel like you’re either on top of the world or under it.”
Unknown

“I crave space. It charges my batteries. It helps me breathe. Being around people can be so exhausting, because most of them love to take and barely know how to give. Except for a rare few.”
Katie Kacvinsky

“The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away.”
Alysia Harris

“Give yourself permission to immediately walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. Just trust what you feel.”
Sonia Chuquette

“Nothing ever happens how you imagine it will.”
John Green

“Suddenly you’re 21 and you’re screaming along in the car to all the songs you listened to when you were sad in middle school and everything is different but everything is good.”
Unknown

“There had been too much emotion, too much damage, too much everything.”
Ernest Hemingway

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”
Socrates

“If you don’t make time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a LOT of time dealing with a life you DON’T want.”
Kevin Ngo

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
Carl Sagan

So just remember life is beautiful even when it feels like you’ve been sat on by a bus or a large horse. Always take a moment before you decided to get back up off the ground because the sky is pretty damn beautiful. If you’ve fallen face down though that doesn’t really apply, sometimes mud can be good for your skin. Just remember that. And if you’re lonely, get a cat…they’re remarkably uncomplicated, even the strange ones.

Now here’s a song.

Big open spaces

It was 11.37pm on November 1 when I finally changed my relationship status on Facebook. It might not seem like much but it was the last little moment of control. My room currently has boxes pilled in corners, blankets strewn everywhere, the horse float still has a few boxes and giant teddy bear, and I’m yet to attempt to unpack the biggest clothes box because my wardrobe is already full. In the past year I’ve cleaned out four large cardboard boxes of clothes and goodness knows how much other crap. But putting all my farm clothes, the ones I have absolutely no use for anywhere else in my life, in a bag ready for the second hand store, was it. That was the moment of certainty; this is my new life. I get to have a manicure, I can wear heals on the weekends, I can go out with my friends whenever I want, no more driving an hour every week. And it all seemed like small sacrifices but now without them, it suddenly feels like a huge weight has gone and I almost feel guilty about that. But I’m not one to wallow, ok well kind of, I wallow in epic amounts of sarcasm and dry, bitter humour, but in general I don’t like to dwell on things I can’t change. So I make the most of them.

It seems strange to reduce my life down to one room. Not two houses, just one room. My room. This is it. All of my things crammed into one space. I’d usually say all my life crammed into one space but it’s not what defines my life, far from it. I might be back in the same place in the same situation I was five years ago, but that’s not what my life amounts to. Part of me doesn’t want to unpack because I know I could well be moving again in a few months once I make up my mind of what I’m doing, but I can’t do that. I need to make somewhere home for now and this is it. I’m going through it all slowly and throwing out anything I don’t want. Nothing stays if it’s not wanted or needed and that in itself is therapeutic.

So far my plan of action has been to throw out any underwear that doesn’t make me feel comfortable and sexy. I put my pillow in the middle of the bed because I can have whatever side I want. I’ve cut my hair how I want it. I’ve worn heals out to lunch because I could. And I’ve taught the cat he can sleep on my bed. That in itself is a big deal, he refused to sleep on the bed until I moved him here…it’s our new start and we can be weird together. He still wont come out of the room for more than a few moments, and I get it, if I could I probably would hide in here too and sleep all day with him. Tomorrow I get Ivy back and she’s moving just up the road so even though there won’t be any riding for a while (thanks tailbone), I plan on taking her around the property and for big wanders on the lead because I have the time and there’s nothing quite like horse cuddles to make the world a better place.

I have some pretty cool friends and family who celebrated my birthday with me today. Only two more days until my actual birthday day! I’m feeling good. The beach looks amazing, I have my wardrobe back after four months living out of a suitcase, I have my bed all to myself, I have incredible people around me, I’m getting fit and heathy again after rather interesting food choices. It’s good, and I’m not just saying that to make myself believe it, I really am. I’m still angry sometimes, I’m still hurt a lot of the time, but I’m happy and I’m at peace. What more could you ask for really?

So week two of my return home begins. These next six weeks will be all about weddings for friends and brain storming where to next. And just like Charlie is terrified when he has big open spaces in front of him, I’m daunted and unsure what to do with all mine.

Until I know I’m just going to run around it like a crazy person on the loose.

The next little steps

Breakups aren’t fun. Even amicable breakups make you want to punch someone in the face at times. And it’s hard not to wallow in self pity singing “I will be forever alone” through tears. But I won’t be forever alone. I have a cat. And people think I’m joking when I say that but really, he’s quite a cool cat. Though, there’s always the chance he’ll run away. Then I have the horse, and she’s in a paddock, so she can’t actually escape. Even if she does she can’t go far because I FEED HER! *insert evil controlling laugh here*.

Today is the day I move my furniture. I’ve never really been in this point in a relationship before so I have no idea exactly how I should be feeling about it. Most of the time I’m just really happy I get my super comfy bed back to myself because I plan on spending a great deal of amazing sleeping in that thing. So I have a small amount of part time work with a pretty cool new company called Dynamic Media in Hamilton and I have a nice little to do list for YouthNet to start things rolling for that. Life appears for the most part to be on the right track. There’s still of course figuring out what I’m actually doing with it come new year…but for now I think I’ll just focus on the fact I can get a tan and ride my horse on the weekend. Once my tailbone is better of course, but for now I’ll just dream about galloping up hills while I go for runs on the beach. Yep, that’s right, I get to live by the beach for a while!

I’ve started to write a ‘single person to do list’, it’s sort of all those funny little things I’ve never done because I’ve been in a relationship since I was 17. And now at 22 and going grey, I feel it’s time I started completing some of them. Once I’ve got past number one I might add it here for you all to laugh at.

Life is under control in between the strange fits of sobbing, the angry laughing (I do hysterical laughing when I get really upset, seems to improve the situation though), the smiling and loving life, and the feeling of OH MY GOSH WHAT THE HELL AM I ACTUALLY GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE NOW?! That last one seems to be the most prominent.

I’ll get there. I’ll figure it out. I always do. In the midst of my weirdness and feeling like my life has just sort of unraveled at my feet, I do know things will be just fine, life is going to be great. And when I get really down I just think about all the times I stood at the top of the Alps in Austria and screamed “I’M ALIVE, I’M FREAKING ALIVE!” And for all of you who know how often I fall off things…that’s actually quite a shock. So, I have an entire life to be grateful for and amazing people in it to enjoy it with.

Hello summer…I think this year we’re going to be friends.