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.

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Everything, everything is going to be alright, alright

The holiday is over. Work has begun, thankfully more like small kitten cuddles in the morning rather than a racehorse dragging me around a racetrack. I’m waiting for the racehorse moments, but they will bide their time, possibly until I feel comfortable enough to start breathing like a normal person and am yet to respond with “wine” to how I feel.

There a few things I am going to stick with year (I say now…wait till June when I am a stressed out blubbering mess and hugging my wine bottle as the long weekends stop and a holiday is like the start of a sunrise…on the other side of the world). What are these life changes you ask? Well, since moving into my new house (two and a bit months) I haven’t had a messy room once. I have developed an obsession with cleaning things (this doesn’t extend to dishes though…). I have also developed an addiction to ‘The Bachelorette’. I’m yet to decide which one I should be more concerned about.

But here are the things I’m really aiming for.

Early starts: Starting with this morning (my core and shoulders are hating me for it) I’m getting up at 6.30am and doing 20 minutes of yoga/pilates followed by a relaxing hot shower. I must say, it definitely stopped my pounding heart this morning about the day/ year ahead. So, I’m hopeful.

Take it easy: I’m not taking on too much this year. Normally I get bored and start something new on top of everything I’m already doing. I’ve been much better at this over the years and last year was partly out of my control, but this year I am keeping it simple and enjoying the little things like drinking wine in the sunshine, growing my own veggies, watering the garden, seeing the sunrise, enjoying just riding my horse for fun, and putting my best foot forward for my job.

Learn a language: I’ve always wanted to do this. So this year I’m doing it. Slowly and two words a day…but I’m doing it.

Walk more: Last year I seriously missed tramping through the bush. There is no better way I feel, to unwind and get out of my own head, than heading into the bush for a good walk and a swim in a fresh river.

I think that’s enough ‘aiming’ for the year…there are a few other things in the pipelines but you’ll just all have to wait and see what those will be!

Here’s to a great year ahead! And to all those back at work now… just keep dreaming of the beach, you’ll be ok, you’ll be ok.

8.5 months

The word December makes my heart hurt a little. Mainly because the amount of things I have to do before I actually get a break is somewhat nightmareishly daunting, but also because the mountain of work I have to do in that month, and the one before it, makes the holiday seem so far away.

It’s 8.5 weeks to be exact. I know, I’m lucky. I actually get a whole three sweet weeks of pure freedom from my job and my horse(s) and actually any real adult responsibility, as long as I pay my rent… the world keeps turning and I have no plans to be part of it for those three weeks.

Someone asked me the other day what I would be doing with my time off. I didn’t answer for a few seconds due to the shock I was suffering from someone assuming I would doing anything. I am doing something, I’m going to a far away beach. I will not be answering my phone to anyone except the people looking after my horse, or my parents. I will not be wearing shoes. I will not be wearing pants longer than mid thigh. If I even manage to put on a bra rather than a bikini, well be lucky.

Sweet, sweet nothing.

That is what I keep picturing. It’s not long now, not long now. Of course, between now and then, I have something on every weekend except two. I will be doing some form of work for at least two weekends a month, and I’m still working two jobs (thank goodness) I have to move house – I’ve made it as far as getting five boxes. And sell a horse and foal another one.

It’s become so hectic, it’s funny. I find my life funny. It’s probably a good thing or I’d be going insane. Or perhaps I already have. That’s it.

So, so close to the end, yet so, so far away.

But it’s just one step after another.

Heaven forbid I start seeing Christmas decorations in shops though, that word is becoming a swear word until I start my first day of holiday. I love Christmas, but the present shopping, the tinsel, the events there are to report on, the lights, the all of it. So much… NO.

Just breathe I remind myself when I see tinsel. Breathe and do not destroy the shop display, they will probably send you to a psych ward.

Remember the beach… just remember the beach.

Time snapshot

I was up at 2am and couldn’t sleep. All I could hear was the wind and this town is bringing back memories. I kept thinking of all the wonderful times I had growing up, so I started writing another story. Here is the first little bit of it:

 

{It was the twenty-first century in New Zealand. Sometime during 2009 and 2010 to be exact, in a small place outside of Papamoa and just before Tepuke. Papamoa was the poor mans beach vacation, or the rich persons retirement home. Safe streets where kids road purple bikes with streamers and scooters with the brake worn through. Tepuke was a quite town. Not much really ever happened there. The odd murder and sometimes the school was set a light, but other than that it was a peaceful town. We just never crossed the train tracks. I grew up in Papamoa. My whole life was spent near the beach. Funny how I don’t really like sand, or salt water. Tepuke was where I spent my days during a couple of those years. Bare-back riding the horses down busy back roads in the pouring rain or on the odd occasion in the sun. Dressed up in whatever was lying around, fairy wings, wands, second-hand store junk. We spent hours on those roads and no one ever asked where we went. We didn’t even know. We just, well, went. If there was a trail we found it, if there was bush we explored it. Sometimes we ran into trouble, like the time her horse reared over and nearly squashed her in the drain. Or the time we couldn’t stop them. That happened a lot. But the bank always ran out and they seemed to know the road wasn’t a good place to gallop. I think we wore helmets. Sometimes, when it was peak of summer, we’d take the horses to the beach. Hours we would ride, galloping most of the way, wherever we wanted. No talking, no deep conversations, just music and riding. That was summer. Other people got out the bikinis and the boys came running. We jumped on a horse and never looked back.

“I’m going out now!” Her mum yelled from somewhere. I don’t know where she went, or how long she was ever gone. We were just alone. I think we must have been nearly 14, we must have been. Me, well, I don’t even know how we became friends. I don’t even know why. We just were. And we rode, and that was our only way of communicating. Microwave pasta was introduced into my life then. It only made the transition into gluten free some time in the last couple of years, that much harder. That was one food, I think was put on this earth to make mothers lives easier. It worked. She lived on a kiwi fruit orchard with a packinghouse. I never remember riding through the orchard there, just the packinghouse. It was pouring with rain, so loud even the hoof beats on the concrete were drowned out. Rain like I have never seen rain. Waterfalls ran as fast as gravity would allow from the roof, a wall of water. We never once stopped to think riding the horses through would be a bad idea. It wasn’t after all; nothing ever went wrong down at the packinghouse.  The rain didn’t stop, neither did we. There is no better feeling than dripping from head to toe with pure rainwater in the middle of winter. Huddled close the back of your horse as the steam from their sweaty body helps with the lack of circulation in your fingers.

Those memories are innocence. That time in my life was possibly one of my happiest, and certainly the one I remember the most. That is what 14 year olds should feel when they remember their best friend and their childhood. Innocence is a feeling – a state of mind… }

The wild world

Finally. Away for a weekend. I rose and shone bright and early this morning, out of bed on on the beach dressed in my new singlet and running shorts, baggy jumper and running shoes. Dog lead in hand and dog attached to the other end. I probably only managed a k or two but I ran, at 8.30 in the morning. Running gives me this rush of feeling like I am free, in that moment (the one before my chest starts burning and I think I’m dying) I feel like I could out run a Jamaican. 

This holiday has been much needed, for me and for Alex. During a tough year, the only advice I can possibly offer is to get away at least once every couple of months to a place there is no one else but you and someone you care about. Or just you, just you works too. Escaping for a short period of time is key to not feeling like the world is actually consuming you. 

Staying at Alex’s bosses fathers batch in Whangamata is a nice trip down memory lane. While I’ve never been to this batch, this town holds quite a bit of significance over the years and it feels homely. Though, today was the first time I have ever been on the beach. It was pure peace running on the hard sand early in the morning with storm clouds rolling over the hills, sun breaking through, nobody around and a very happy ginger dog. Needless to say, those storm clouds did not disappoint. It has hailed, rained, poured, thundered, blown a gail and in-between all that little bits of glorious sunshine.

Waiting to hear back whether or not I have a job I am surprisingly calm. Perhaps it is the run, maybe the fact I’ve had acupuncture or maybe I’m putting breathing techniques to good use but I’m happy. My first ever job interview and I don’t feel like I messed up and that alone makes me feel accomplished. I would love the job, an incredible amount, but if I don’t get it, it will go to someone who suits it and I will find something that suits me. That is how life works and I am happy about it. Summer (though, not showing any signs of showing up anytime soon) is just around the corner, I’m nearly 20 and I have my whole life ahead of me.

What an exciting adventure this is going to be.

It’s nearly that time of year

I got out the razor and attacked my legs today. Well, not quite, I attacked the forest that was growing on my legs. It’s that time of year again, the weather is getting – at times – noticeably warmer, birds are chirping and the beach is calling me. I don’t much like the beach, or summer. But I like the idea of liking them. I like preparing for the months of bodily exposure I am about to endure as I pull out that sad looking bikini, desperately try to turn the snow like legs into a crisp, baked chocolate cake and trim down the extra parts of myself that have made home on my tummy. Of course, most years I have the next three months off. I probably will this year. The thing is, in past years, I haven’t had to feel guilty. This year, if I have no job, I’m going to feel a little useless.

I’m a doer, I’ve got to do something.

I have many plans. Most involve relocating to a nice one room house by the beach or if I am broke, which is likely, I will move home. This has many complications of its own. After living away from home for nearly three years the idea of having to think of other people before I do anything, find a new routine and not be able to have things a little bit my way is somewhat horrifying. Not that I don’t like the company of my family, I do, I just like to visit them. I like freedom, sort of selfish, uncaring freedom. 

Never the less I am avidly dress shopping with hopes I will have the chance to wear them. Planning on cutting my hair in that cute, sexy, beach style I am inclined to at this time of year and even considering going a little blonde again. Though, that probably wont happen. 

Oh what the future holds is yet to be determined. 

Escape to the land of wonder!

Ahhh, relaxation. I like visiting my naturopath. She’s also and osteopath so every time I go I get an amazing deep tissue massage. I also occasionally have a little bit of a break down so she sort’ve doubles as my councilor. 

Anyway, it was good to just relax and de-stress. Tension builds after a while and for anyone, that makes life hard and you’re enjoyment of it, well, there isn’t much enjoyment. 

Now away at the beach with my boyfriend, his friend and girlfriend. It’s really lovely. This morning we went for a bike ride and I realized that even though sitting a hard saddle horse riding still does not prepare you for the pain of a sports bike seat. It’s hard. Like the sort of hard as sitting down quickly on a rock. 

After that we played tennis and I learnt that I am, as always, petrified of the ball. Those things are brutal flying toward your head at a great rate! Either way, I did improve and manage to hit it over the net several times. Never the less, I will not being going pro anytime soon. 

Now, sitting at home planning to enter a fitness challenge that I think already, that I am mad for agreeing and no doubt when I actually do it I will be wondering why on earth I like to punish myself. 

Regardless. I will do it. Ah, life. 

It’s enjoyable now.

BRING ON THE CHEESE, CRACKERS AND WINE!

No, HE CAN’T JOIN IN!

He’s sneaky, creating all these traps and things to catch you out. Wandering around at night, you never quite know when he’s going to wake you…

Of course I am talking about the spiders. Finally away at the batch. The only problem I have found with staying in a batch that few people visit during the year… THE SPIDERS MOVE IN! I have seen very few, but that is what worries me! I never know when they’re going to come and get me! Their webs are everywhere and so so small you cant see them. THEN BAM it’s in your hair and in you face and you just can’t get rid of them! 

It is ok though. We are going into battle. 

I will win.

Just you watch.

Winter I am missing you

Now I do apologize the earlier soppiness of my last post. BUT I feel as a girl I must write something about love!

Any way, winter is on its way. The mornings are getting colder and the nights are slowly getting shorter and I must say I am excited. I love winter. Love love love it! I like the snuggliness of the blankets on my bed, hot chocolate by the fire (we have one this year!) and the big warm coats you can hide under and catch a quick nap in at the back of the class.

Of course I’m not looking forward to the rain and the miserable mornings I will have to drag myself out of bed for. But I can not wait to kiss goodbye the bone-dry look the earth has lately after its increasing thirst and skin melting heat. I like summer… when I’m on a beach with very few clothes on. I don’t like it when I’m trying to look professional and all I can think about is how much better it would be… minus the clothes.

There is a free and fun, young feeling to summer, but winter is just better. And of course with this being the first year I’ve lived in a house with a fireplace during winter I am over the moon. So good-bye flies, over bearing heat and crispy grass… and hello cold, ice and lip bluing finger numbing winds. I look forward to finally meeting you again.

Oh wait… Autumn still has to come…