This is the most alive I’ve ever felt

2016 is five weeks away. Yep, I’ll just give you a moment to let that sink in.

Life is under control, or well, as under control as it can be. I’ve come to accept nothing in life (other than death, but let’s not get all depressing) is guaranteed. None of it. I can walk around and make all the plans in the world but there is nothing to say that’s how it’s going to go. I used to get all uptight and worried about that,┬ábut I’ve just accepted that’s not how it goes now. Perhaps it’s because the past two years didn’t go at all to plan or perhaps I’m just growing up.

See I’ve spent many years wanting things to look a certain way, being worried about a career, about being in a relationship, having this little perfect life with a bow on top. Now rather, my life is like the presents after they’ve been torn apart at Christmas by the excited three year old. But I think that’s how life should look. There are bad things that happen and they hurt, there are avoidable things that happen and they cause regret, there are great things that happen and they make us happy. And it comes in the package called life.

One thing I’ve taken out of the many from this past year is that being happy actually isn’t what life is about…it’s being content and fulfilled. Those things often lead to happiness, but they’re not happiness. You can be sad about something yet still be content or you can be angry about someone and still be content.

I’ve also realised that being able to be there for people is so much more important than having life going perfectly. I want to have time for friends, for memories, to help people when things are falling apart, to celebrate with people when they’re going well. I want time to enjoy the things in my life and not just rocket past them all at a million miles an hour on this quest to conquer life.

I’m taking a major step back in my journalism career by taking a part time job in an admin role, I’m not likely to be able to compete my horse properly again for a while because of my sore tailbone, I still have days I struggle with the fact I’m no longer with someone I loved dearly. It’s not perfect. It never will be. I’m still tired and a bit stressed, but I’m alive. I have moments where I whinge to my friends that I hate it all and I’m angry. We all do.

But it doesn’t mean life isn’t great.

I’m excited about the fact I have a job for the next year, I’m loving the fact that it’s part time and I can focus on other things like volunteer work and other part time jobs. It might not seem like the direction I should be heading in, but for me it’s exactly where I want to be; around family and friends and saving money for my next adventure. The fractured tailbone sucks, but it means I have more time for other exercise and actually spending time enjoying my horse as a pet. And I’m getting used to flying solo.

I’m not always positive, I’m not always happy, I know that the next bombshell could come from anywhere at anytime, but I’m content and I make the most of the good times.

Life is to be lived and for the first time in mine, I feel like I am living right now.

I feel the most alive I’ve ever felt. And that in itself is worth more than words can describe.

 

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Break, here I come.

There are very few things better than climbing into a quality bed with fresh sheets and the fan going on a warm summers night. Especially when following a rather roller coaster week. This week is probably a very good metaphor for this entire year; the wins are constantly battling the losses and the pendulum of life keeps on going regardless of what happens between each tock.

That was deep.

Getting back to light hearted. This past week, I managed to get myself run off the road in the work car (not my fault) punctured the tyre, then the wheel bearing went. I also ‘disappointed’ a comms person. I seem to be very good at doing that. I also washed both my cars, kind of worked on my tan, managed a whole day with very little make up and lounging in bed (much needed!). I even watered the garden.

Oh and I sold my horse (Pip).

There are less than 10 working days between me and a holiday, and I am imagining myself in a slow motion movie scene, just a few more steps away from the finish line.

I have 10 days to get through and I can say I have survived one of the most challenging years of my life. It certainly wasn’t the worst, it probably wasn’t the hardest, but I have faced hurdles at times I felt like I was about to run straight at them, and then meet the ground with my face.

I can’t say I didn’t do that a few times. Sometimes I just stayed down there for a while, other times I managed to catch myself just before the fall, and most of the time I made it over.

I bought a horse, I sold a horse (the same one), and man am I glad I had that horse. Every difficult time in my life I have had a horse by my side, I’m not too sure how I would have made it through most days without one. I still have Ivy, but it will be the first time in 12 years that I have not had a horse to ride. I have three months to wait before I can jump back on her…but I need a break. I think at every point in your life you come to a stage where you just have to stop what has become the norm, what has become a crutch, and take a step toward the next ‘thing’.

There is this sad and scared feeling selling Pip, but at the same time it is excitement that I finally had the courage to take a step back and focus on me…who I am…and what my next step is in life. I can no longer identify myself as a ‘horse rider’ and to some degree that is freeing, it gives me a chance to explore what else I can be.

I lost a loved one. Watching granddad go slowly has been one of the hardest things I have had to face. And I still feel that loss, but I am healing. It is something everyone must learn to accept at some stage, and no matter how hard it is, it teaches you things about yourself you never thought you’d learn.

I understand the concept of ‘stopping’, I understand how important it is to reach out to someone in pain, I get what it’s like to be alone and how alone alone feels, I understand how people have mental breakdowns, I understand what it’s like to feel everything at once.

I started my first job. Wow, talk about jumping in the deep end. But I love it. I love every moment of the ‘pull my hair out imagine myself on a beach far away and not wanting to strangle that person’ madness that it can be. I understand why I chose this career; it is part of me. It is everything, it is how I define myself now. I might have been in tears, in fits of insanity laughter, glaring at my computer screen, drinking wine to ignore the burning need to tell someone what I think of them, the not drinking alcohol in fear I will, falling into bed convinced I may never get up again, but I wouldn’t change it.

I moved house. In amongst the madness I moved house, not just any move, but a move to live with my sister, and every moment since I have been thankful I made that decision. It has shown me I am finally getting the hang of listening to myself. It is hard to move for me, home is what keeps me stable, it is my centre where I can come back to when it’s all spinning out of control. So moving is big. But this has been a good one, and I am looking forward to the future.

I faced my past. It might not seem like a big thing to most people, but I have a delayed shock reaction to most emotionally threatening situations. If my mind doesn’t think I can cope with the sheer volume of emotion coming my way, it shuts it out and waits until I am in a place I can comprehend it. For me, Conrad was a part of my life I didn’t think I could ever deal with. But when suddenly he was here, in my city, in the place that had become my safe haven, I had to face some pretty big issues I never knew I had.

It’s moments like these you realise just how incredible the human brain is, how it can just blank things out it doesn’t think you need to remember. At the end of the day, it helped to realise how a health issue began, and how to fix it.

I resolved a long term and controlling health issue.
It’s not every day you get to defy the doctors and fix yourself with natural medicine. Nope, it’s not going to vanish, but it’s not going to even with the doctors medication. But it is pretty much consistently under control and it is no longer the centre of my life.

I ended up with a baby horse...this is the start of a new future with my darling Ivy. She’s been my best friend for the past six years, but our ‘team’ has changed its course and I’ve come to accept I won’t be competing for a while, Mardy is the final point of acceptance in that.

So this year has been a good one, and it’s not over! But it’s so, so close. I have a pretty incredible life, I’ve been on some amazing adventures and had some unforgettable experiences. And it doesn’t stop here.

It’s just another year in a roller coaster life, and I’m getting better at holding on and enjoying the ride.

But a whole summer with the freedom to get out on the weekends, to sunbath, to just take a deep breath and remind myself I am alive, and it’s ok to stop…it sounds like bliss.

Sometimes, I think you just get to a point where you need a break, need to just stop. Long enough to remember why you keep going and why the world is a good place.

A break…deep breath, it’s nearly here.