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.



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:

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.

Stress…just stress.

Stress. My good old buddy stress. I’d like to say we’d parted ways long ago but I doubt that will ever be the case. It’s my fault in part, I did decide to plan an overseas trip at the last moment…but life just likes to throw in all these odd curve balls – good and bad.

Work has been great, too great. I’ve had all these great stories come up but the problem with a whole bunch of good stories is it means a whole bunch of transcribes and council agendas and interviews and after a while the words stop making sense and the pages start spinning. One transcribe, which was from a 30minute long interview, was over 700 words. And all you college kids are whinging about a 3000 word essay. I can write 3000 words in my sleep…no seriously, I’ve started dreaming articles.

Mardy sold, which was fantastic and takes the heat off saving…because lets be honest…I actually had no idea how I was paying for a good 1/3rd of the trip before that. Ivy has gone to her new lease home which is both heart stoppingly nerve wracking and fantastic. For the first time since I started working, I will not be paying grazing…and I actually have time to GROCERY SHOP!

I haven’t done a proper grocery shop, and by proper I mean one where I’m not dodging people while running from isle to isle grabbing what I actually cannot live without frantically from the shelves and flying through the self checkout isle, for more than three weeks. And by what I cannot live without I mean things like almond milk…I ate chips for dinner. According to my tired brain dinner doesn’t count as a necessary component to life.

But back to Ivy…she’s my baby. I’m her person. I’ve had her for the past six years, no one has looked after her for more than two weeks at a time. No one. She is never further than an hour from me. That, and there have only been two other people ride her since I bought her…and I was there the whole time with both. So yes, I’m sort of freaking out.

I also came home to find Casey screaming in pain on Saturday, first time calling an ambulance…yep super fun. Thankfully she is ok and for her sake (and because I value my life) I’m not going to go into details. But hey, at least I already knew my way around a hospital so knew where to park!

And because I love my job and really want to make sure I do everything I need to do before I go, I’m doing bike rides like they’re going out of fashion. My butt is not forgiving me for them.

Oh and Snuggie my cat is still missing after two weeks.

Alex moves this week.

Oh yeah, and I’m leaving the country in four weeks…including this one.

I haven’t even booked my Austria flight! I just want to book the damn flight! And then there is accommodation…deep breaths. Lots and lots of them.

Then I also agreed to do this speaking thing. I’m kind of excited and also really really regretting the decision due to the fact my adrenaline is already pumping at a rate of knots and I’m sick…again.

Not that I really blame my immune system, I’ve sort of put it through hell as of late. My skin is also jumping on the ‘I’m in protest of your life currently’ and throwing a bit of a hissy fit. I don’t blame it really, given I’ve eaten both gluten and dairy in the past week alone and can’t remember the last time I cooked myself a half decent dinner that didn’t include chips or coconut water as a staple item.

Never the less, I am alive. Tired, stressed, but alive.

Headless chicken mode activated.

The Big Smoke: Week two begins

1.59 pm. I am in desperate need for a blog. My brain has taken a vacation, I could not find a park, my car is out of gas and Telecom picked this week to take the last three months worth of bills out. I have been in this city for 10 days. I now understand peoples hate for the parking, the traffic, this computer and severe lack of money. But hey, at least I can walk today.

If there is one thing I have learnt in my time here, it is to appreciate every moment things go right and learn from, then pretend they didn’t happen when it comes to the mistakes. A week in an office certainly did my head in, I am an active person so sitting still waiting for people to call back actually makes me want to explode. I’m getting better at it though. Now I just drink ridiculous amounts of green tea while waiting. I bide my blogging time wisely so not to look as though I have nothing to do. I have plenty to do, my mind just currently is not comprehending the variety in what I have to do. I’ve never been good with names, though I have certainly been learning to come up with some interesting ways to remember people by such as; not-so-nice but eventually did what I asked lady who I imagine has brown hair or the lady with the really lovely voice who I imagine has died blonde hair but in a nice way. Each person I speak to gets a little profile picture in my head. 

So, while all through my schooling I have willed the hours to move faster and the day to end so I can race home throw my bag on the floor, fling my shoes at the wall after doing my homework on the oh-so-slow bus ride home, so I can go and ride me horse. I now find myself willing the seconds to stop passing by so fast so I can actually get what I want done, done before I spend an hour in my car to make a 16 min journey across the city then drag my feet in the door, make myself a hot cup of something, wander up and down the stairs a few times after forgetting food then eventually collapse in my bed to play a horrendously childish online game to do with horses. 

While I am thrilled to be here, that is not sarcastic in anyway, I am loving it, I find my poor brain not only spinning by the end of the day but my elbows hurting from leaning on the desk and my body aching from it’s lack of exercise. 

Though, today I did run up and down a hill twice. That was a whole lot of fun. 

I just caught myself writing milk in the middle of a sentence. 

My brain has gone to mush.

Bid it farewell!

The Big Smoke: Get out of your head!

Being an outdoors sort of person an office with closed windows and close blinds makes my head spin. I like the comfort of the warm indoors though. I was a tad shocked at the way my eyes responded when I walked outside to eat my lunch. Over the past four days it is the first time I have been out of the office during the day. I get in at 8.40 am and I leave after 5 pm. I felt a little like a bear crawling out of hibernation as I explored the roof top balcony.

While I love writing and I enjoy having a good chat to people I must say the words start blurring together I start spelling words like donor wrong and my eyes make everything look furry after an entire day of go go go. I love the go go go… my brain just hasn’t quite caught up with it yet. It has been secure in it’s classroom cocoon for the last three years.

After I began joining words and forgetting who was what and belonged to whom I then spilt coffee all over my pants. Stuff is bad for my anyway. Though I must mention coffee does not smell nice on an office chair. It is also slightly sticky.

So as the words wander around in my brain and it continues to short circuit I make it continue going, not unlike everything I own when I can sense it failing. 

One more day then we hit the slopes!


I found my brain

I was reading through my blog from the last week and seeing as I complained about my brain not working I thought I should probably fill you all in on the reason. My car had an exhaust leak. It may have for sometime… which would explain the seeing words that aren’t there, the headaches, the lack of writing ability and what not. I have hopes that I shall now return to normal genius status.


The win in the rubble

I won I won I won! Ah finally!

Enough gloating. After years of constant up and down I finally won a major show jumping round. Now I know I told myself I wouldn’t talk about horses on here further than the occasional mention… But this time I think it might actually relate to those beyond my horse world…

It is so easy to become disheartened or overwhelmed by the roller coaster, circus act that life seems to enjoy being. Yes my life is wonderful but like my father likes to continually quote, “When it’s going good its going great.” I will agree. However, when it stops going great, it most certainly starts going bad.

I guess I could argue I have a colourful life and yea… I do…

This week: Win over the weekend highlight of my riding career, get back home – study full-time, plus work experience trying to write big articles, boyfriend in hospital… what next… well I don’t think I want to know.

Anyway my point – I apologise for any rambling due to brain malfunction as a result of increased over work and peak capacity function. In other words… the poor things giving up in the places it seems to think aren’t so necessary eg. things not involving breathing.

THE POINT!: Other than my insanity, the fact that even when life is diving like an over weight seal off a melting ice cap or rocketing sky-high like that kite you loved so much as a kid when it finally escaped its string… you’ve got to just see the incredible thing it is.

The colourful interesting, hellishly maddening crisis which it becomes it what it is. Exciting and different and something that’s going to make you and break you.

Just keep that worn out chin up!

Oh brain, do not fail me now!

The real world is approaching. Well thats what everyone keeps telling me lately. Class four days a week, three of those are 9 till 5 with an hour’s break and one begins at 9 and ends at lunch time. Not too bad perhaps but you’re talking to the girl who’s had 2 years of easy study and one less of school than most other people. Therefore, my brain is yet to adjust to the constant demands of it… so this will be a short blog.

First day back at tech and my goldfish dies. Pretty sad actually. He was a wonderfully splendid, frolicking fishy and I loved him. I also found out shorthand is just as hard if not more so than I expected… symbols are certainly not my thing. Though I do find them a little but fun… its only fun when I get to make it up rather than decipher someone else’s doodles. Never the less though I am feeling like I am slowly approaching the real world and it is exciting and terrifying.

Being a student is a cushy life really, we’re given most of our money (even if we do pay it back less efficiently than study link operates.) Either way, the adjustment into the real world is going to be, well a little bit of a shock to the system, kind’ve like when you suddenly decide to go on some crazy ass diet and eat only juice… not that’s really considered eating.

I’m rambling now. My point: being a student is way to nice. I think I’d like to study forever. But the real world is an exciting new place to explore and discover and probably fail numerous times in before actually making it anywhere. It is new and I can’t wait all the while I am petrified, like a white girl in a red shirt in the smurfs territory. It wont be easy but it will be wonderful (I hope thats precise enough for my tutor).

We made it through one day, we’re going to need that coffee machine.

Well that was an odd thought…

I had a dream the other night about my gay friend. In my dream he was still very much gay. The strange thing about it all was we got married. I was ok with him being ok, I said ‘we could work through that all I wanted was him’. Apart from wondering what on earth goes on inside my very strange deluded brain, I thought there was a sweet principal there. I mean if I thought we could work through something like that and still be together I suppose it might mean- in a very odd me like way- that we’ll make it as friends no matter what…

Well I hope thats what it meant or I should be very worried about the asleep version of myself because lets face it, my brain is just not normal- even when awake.

Oh golly me.