Breathe a little, it’s your time now

I write this blog with a little bit of hesitation. Lately my Facebook has been inundated with people going through rough times or people facing touch situations. Even in my own family there’s a few rough times being had. So it is definitely with that in mind I write this, because I’m well aware how much of a slap in the face it can be when you’re down and out and someone else is just walking on sunshine.

I was flying to Wellington the other day for a marketing meeting. As I sat on the plane on the way home again I felt this really strange sense of peace. I’m a Christian so the sense of peace and all that jazz is definitely a familiar one. But I really noticed it this time.

For the past few months, actually years, I’ve had some pretty cool highs but I’ve had some pretty low lows. I think I became pretty good buddies with rock bottom. I’ve felt like I’ve always been recovering, moving on, starting again, shifting, rethinking, adjusting. I’ve spent a lot of my time trying really hard to be ok and to just get up and carry on every day with a smile.

But as I sat on that plane, on my way back home I felt this sense of peace; peace that for the first time in a very, very long time I’m not fighting.

I’m not fighting to be ok.

Life’s not perfect. Nan is still sick, study is still a challenge, I (at the time on the plane) had no job security past November. Sam still needs/ed to sell his house.

But I felt ok.

Tauranga is home now. I’ve settled in. I’ve accepted it for what it is and I cannot deny it is a beautiful city to live in and I am incredibly lucky to live here. I miss Hamilton and my life there still. But I know now that these things pass. Missing something or someone is just life and you just have to ride those waves of emotion until the eventually subside.

I love my job. I wake up each day and while I definitely don’t want to get out of bed because bed is amazing and the air is always cold, I want to go to work. For the first time…ever…I was happy to be sick on a weekend so I could be better for work. I know! Mad right? Things are looking positive and I may, if all goes well, have a job here long term and I’m really satisfied with that.

I have a direction I want my life to head in and I feel like I am ready to finally go after that. I’m not chasing a dream, I’m letting where I’m meant to be develop and come to light. I know the goal, but what that actually looks like can come in any shape or form. I’m not only ready, but really excited for that.

We have house options! Sam and I have the opportunity to purchase a section on a beautiful piece of land and the house concept plans are being drawn up as we speak. It’s a pretty scary and big move and many, many things have to fall into place but I am so in love with not just the idea, but the reality of what we can do with such a stunning slice of paradise and how many people we could bless with it.

My health condition has been stable for over two years now and that’s an incredible miracle and I’m feeling good despite several bouts of nasty colds and flu’s this winter! My ankle has healed fine and I’m back training full steam at the gym.

I’m not horse riding as much as I’d like (I’m actually not at all!). I don’t see my friends as often as I’d like. But I feel comfortable: in my own skin and in my own world. I don’t feel like I’m fighting life. There are so many little things that need to fall into place, but this is the first time in many years I’ve felt like this is ‘my time’ to loosen the rope and stop clinging on for dear life.

There is a lot more to come and many more waves to ride out. The next year to 18 months is likely to be full of planning and stress. But I’m enjoying just a moment of peace and quiet for now.

I think sometimes we just have to know when to embrace those moments of ‘ok’ so we can be ready to go again when it gets tough. It’s never perfect, it’s never completely sorted, things always go wrong…so when you feel a moment of relief in it all, just take that and breathe a little.


Rather emotional post about life

In all challenges there is always a lesson. In every decision there is some sort of realisation. I’ve always known exactly what I want and there was never any doubt I’d be it. I wanted to be a 1.60m show jumper. I wanted to be a big time reporter chasing every story lead I saw. I wanted to see life change in front of me in the most pleasant way possible. I wanted to be at the top of my game in every situation. I wanted to own my own house. I wanted this perfectly orchestrated life where every single step fell into place. I was prepared to work hard to get it. I was prepared to pour blood sweat and tears into it.

But then I changed my mind.

It’s been one of the hardest decisions to ‘change my mind’. I’m a know what I want sort of person. I’m an organised, keep it together when it’s falling apart sort of person. But I’m also the kind of person who puts so much pressure on myself I buckle until I break. And I spent years breaking and putting myself back together, because I didn’t realise there was any other way of living.

Then Ivy stopped jumping. I found out I had a health issue I’d have to live with. I finished tech but only by the skin of my teeth. I started a fantastic job and realised I love adventure stories and talking to people about their lives. And I pushed and pushed myself. I lost granddad.

And I realised life doesn’t unfold in a beautiful delicate way. That you fall from great heights at any time. That it all changes in the time it takes you to close your eyes.

And I stopped pushing myself.

I stopped demanding I do better. I stopped expecting only parts of the world. And I stopped keeping it together.

Because I’ve realised my life is not a series of perfectly executed moves on chess board. It is this crazy and unexpected series of events which come together to form the years you’re on this earth, and what you do with them is what counts. How you feel during them is what matters. And who you have an impact on along the way is what you leave behind.

So I decided that’s how I want to live. Not by thinking about every single step or planning the next few years before I’ve even made it out of this one. I don’t want to spend life holding back the tears when all I want to do is crawl into bed and hide. I don’t want to hold back shouts of joy when I’m on top of the world. I want to feel each moment, even the worse ones, I want to see things that open my eyes.

I want to be more than I expect. But I don’t want to be shouting at myself every second of the day to make it over the finish line. I want to walk there, run, skip if I damn well want to.

I’ve decided I want to stand and scream ‘come at me’ to the world. I want to do what I really want to do and I want to go for it, not wait until the next perfectly executed step comes along.

I want to have everything to gain.

Maybe I’ll be a 1.60m show jumper, maybe I wont. Maybe I’ll buy a house one day. But you just never know, and that’s the fun part.

And I think I missed that when I was figuring out life. I’ve got ideas, but no plan. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with my life, but I know it’s going to make me happy. I’m going to take the steps that come along and the ones I create.

And I’m jumping head first into it…because, well, I can.

The little and the big things

I’m at this strange stage of life where no one stays still for long. People are moving from each stage of their life at some rapid rate. Every week there’s new wedding or engagement photos, people are traveling, moving jobs, moving houses.

People are moving. Their lives are going at this rapid rate. The horse world carries on without me, and I’m still floundering around trying to figure out how to get comfortable with my own new stage of life.

Staying still for a year.

That’s a big challenge. I don’t stay still. I run at a rate of knots so I never get left behind. But I have now reached a time in my life where I can’t do that anymore. I can’t keep trying to keep up. And I have to remember exactly what I want, and why I want it.

I’ve been offered a really cool opportunity with work, but it wasn’t right. So I’m staying here. In this house, in this place, and I’m not competing my horse, and I’m going to relax, and I’m going to focus on work. Because that’s what I need and that’s where I’m happy.

But…because I’m not the kind of person to stay too still for too long…I’m planing to head to Cambodia at the end of this year.

I have a number of different things I want to do while over there, but mainly it’s my chance to take my next step…whatever that ends up being.

For the first time in my life, I feel like every decision I have made lately is the right one for me. None of them have anything to do with ‘fitting in’ or how other people might value or see it. It’s about me, and my life.

And I think, I have reached this point of satisfaction with myself I have desperately wanted to get to for a very long time.

I’m terrified, excited, and comfortable. And I think those make for one hell of an adventure.

So yay! For all my traveling plans, Cambodia…Asia…then perhaps a break in Switzerland…and wherever else calls me between all that. Four months I’ve given myself. Because once I’ve learnt how to stay put and be ok with going at my pace, I’ve got to get out of my comfort zone and dive into what life has ahead of me.

It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but it’s going to be a good one.

Here’s to 2015!

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.

I want to be a real journalist!

I have something to report. The terror. The worry. The panic that manifests inside your stomach as you pick up the phone and dial. It’s positively petrifying. My heart stops. My eyes water. I breathe.

He answers.

What now! What’s my name?! Who am I! Where are I from…Interviews are scary. Well not normally, normally I find them fun, interesting as you open someone up and find out more about what’s inside. Wow… that sounded a bit um… anyway, I like them because I like to know more about what makes someone work, what makes them mad, sad, happy, ecstatic, crazy even. I like to know peoples stories.

But Police. Now thats scary. Not because I’m scared of the police. But because I’m wanting to find out things they don’t want to neccessarily tell me. I have to be proffesional more than I do lovely. Normal people are easier because they take to lovely people. Police, hmm, not so much.

But I did it. I actually called and I didn’t stammer this time. I didn’t pause. I didn’t frett. I felt like a real journalist.

Now thats exciting.