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.

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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.

And the continuous turn of events continues

When 2015 began I certainly didn’t see myself finishing it broke, jobless, and single. I also found my first grey hair today and I really wish that was the worst thing that had happened in the day. But it wasn’t. As I found myself sitting in my room of my parents home, the same room I lived in from ages 9 till 17, I couldn’t help but laugh at my life. I left five years ago after a break up, I left to study journalism in Hamilton and I had roughly $2,000 to my name. I was single, I had no job, I had very little money…but I did not have a grey hair. Now, five years later, I’ve returned with the same amount of money, no job, and single. It’s like nothing has changed yet I know everything has changed.

Here’s the thing about breaking up after four years: the world is a different place to navigate than the one I went into the relationship in. For starters, I’m now at an age where it’s like, do I make the change in relationship status public or private? When do I change it because I’m not quite ready to make it ‘official’ no matter how official it is. How do you go about dating again, not that that’s really on my to do list for some time. But how do you suddenly navigate a world where you’re suddenly four years older and have grey hairs appearing? A world where there are now things like Tinder? How do you actually even start again after four years turned into “I don’t feel the same way anymore” when you’d only just been talking about engagement and spending forever together less than six months before. Exactly how is it you get up and get on with life? The first thing people ask is how am I. I’m good. I’ve just come back from an amazing round the world trip and I have my horse back, I’ve found the perfect grazing for her just down the road, I have a cat, I have opportunities. I have an entire world at my feet…so I’m good.

But at the same time I feel like a truck has run over me because when I left, what I pictured coming back to was a very different landscape. My brain is still struggling to get itself around the fact I was in France a week ago and now I’m in New Zealand now it has to adapt to a whole new world.

And how do you go from picturing green paddocks and orchards and planting a veggie garden with someone to having no idea what the next step is?

Since I’m being honest, it’s also very hard to not decide to be a crazy cat lady forever when four out of five relationships have ended with “I just don’t feel the same way anymore”. Cool as guys. Super cool.

The best part about breaking up after one of the best breakup songs to date has just dropped: you ain’t alone in those tears. Cheers Adele.

So, let me reintroduce myself because this atomic bomb that’s gone off in slow motion over the past year has left me with a ringing in my ears and an inability to breath properly. I’m Sacha. I’m going to be 22 in a week, not even that. I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. And I have two weddings to be the bridesmaid for. And I’ve got a broken tail bone. And I know at some stage my heart will heal from the pain of losing people, of the family dramas, of this break up. It will get better because I have a cat and I have a horse. I have a degree. And I’m still standing. Because I’m yet to find something in my 22 years that’s left me unable to get up again. That atomic bomb has sent me flying and I’ve probably cried more tears in the past 12 months than I’ve cried in my entire life. But it means I can still feel and the ringing in my ears is slowly easing and the dust is settling. And I’m going to be just fine.

Let’s do that again. I’m Sacha, I’ll be 22 shortly, I’ve travelled the world, I have a degree in communications (ironic at times), I have a diploma in journalism. I have a passion for helping people and I’m thinking about retraining and figuring out how to put all my skills to good use. I’m part of this cool organisation called YouthNet designed to help bridge gaps to see our youth suicide rate improve, actually I’d like us not to have one. I love to do yoga. I love God. I have an awesome horse called Ivy and a cat called Charlie, he’s a bit like me: he’s been through a bit of bullshit so he’s not too sure on the being too close to people thing, but he loves pats and he seems to love me. I’m not sure what’s going to happen in my life right now. I have a clean slate, I have a whole world ahead of me and I can do what I want with it. And I damn well will do just that. I can do that.

So to all the newly singles out there, cheers to you. And all those in great relationships: appreciate them.

Common, let’s do this.

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.

Crazy it is

Thankfully Tuesday is almost always better than Monday. My Swiss ball arrived! It’s my second one and I bought it for Mardy (the foal) to play with in the paddock, but it’s fantastic to have at my desk…so sorry Mardy…I’m keeping it!

I also received my second power bill since moving into the new house… and it’s only $80!

It’s not often I am excited about bills, but that one was actually ok to receive.

But like all sunny weeks where I am stuck in an office under florescent lights and terribly temperamental air con, I have a sudden impulse to take a vacation.

Then I remember I have no holidays I can take and no money. Both slightly crucial components to a holiday. But I can dream, right?

Instead I will continue to sit on my Swiss ball, my abs will continue to hate me, as does my lower back which suddenly has to remain in a correct position all day, and stare at my computer screen wondering why my computer can’t write the stories for me.

And I’ll drag my poor, sorry legs up a mountain next weekend on my quest to ‘punish my body by walking as much as I possibly can because I think I have an addiction to walking’.

Poor body…oh well. Suck it up and deal with that awful tasting green tea. I mean, who actually likes the taste of that stuff?!

Healthy hot chocolate, bed, and cuddles with my pony here I come.

First, it’s off to the doctors again to suss out this B12 problem. Common body, I know you don’t love me right now, but can we please work correctly…just for a little while?

Do your job properly! *mutters under breath in a slightly manic way*

Yep. I’m crazy… it’s February, and I refuse to succumb to the misery florescent lights and no sunlight inflict. So crazy it is.

The to do list is almost over

Tomorrow I shall clean my desk and my computer files. I may avoid using spray and wipe on the computer files, they never seem to like that much. Then again, it might solve all my problems…it deserves a good spray and wiping after its determination to destroy my sanity this year with its technological malfunctions.

The end is near.

I have organised the rubbish, I have packed two weeks worth of my gluten free snacks and go to foods for holiday, I have my suitcase out and already starting to fill, I’ve bought most of my Christmas presents, I even did the dishes.

Now it’s just the final parts of saying goodbye to this year (and cleaning the rest of the house, but that never seems to really stop needing to be done). I have to clean out the tack room and organise it all in my shed at home, start cleaning the float ready for sale, and have my car serviced…also ready for sale.

And Pip has to get to his new home all safe and sound and ready for a new life.

Next year, is going to be different. Perhaps I have lulled myself into a false sense of security…but I feel like I might actually hit the ground running for once.

Last year I was still suffering the effects of study, having had very few actual breaks and going straight into full time work, then losing granddad, buying a new horse, having my other horse have a baby horse, moving house… and so on.

I am in a house where I feel secure and stable, I have narrowed down my hobbies, and made way for friends.

Speaking of friends, I have two both getting married next year…I’m maid of honour (I think the proper title is chief bridesmaid as I am yet to be married) for both. I am very pleased and excited about this don’t get me wrong…

But I think I will a) be very prepared for when I do get married and b) might actually consider just going to a trip to the court house.

Just kidding…kinda.

I thought with two friends getting married I’d be all jealous like but I’m really not, I am excited though. But I think it’s actually installing a healthy wariness of weddings…but hey…I’ll make a great maid of honour…I’m great at organising and great at creating lists and great at budgeting!

Anyway…

Christmas is just around the corner. I still need to find a present for my brother and my boy friend. I need to finish cleaning the house. Move my horse stuff. And I’m done. I can officially switch off from life. That’s a pretty cool feeling…

I have finally made it (almost) through 2014 alive, step after painfully slow, heavy step, I’m here.

2015 feels like it’s going to be full of excitement, a bit of stress, and a whole change of tune in how I view life.

It’s going to be about fun. It’s going to be about doing well at my career, about drinking wine with friends, riding Ivy for the hell of riding, getting Mardy used to life because I can, going on trips around the Waikato to find great walks, heading into the bush as much as possible, and hopefully taking up water skiing.

This year was far too serious, it had to be at times, but I just think it’s time for a change…

If you don’t like something. Change it.

Adios!

Sigh.

So life has been kind of crazy. By crazy I mean like my cat after it was locked outside all night with a small baby bunny. Yes, he’s been on a murdering spree and keeps bringing in baby rabbits. I’m just glad he lives with Alex, not me, and I don’t have to clean up the baby bunny fur. I went to church the other day, which was lovely, and they said something about storms and getting through them. Yep, well, I’ve been in this hurricane like environment for quite some time now, I feel as though I am drowning in a pool of bills and failure and I am currently yelling but because there is so much wind no one can hear me.

That’s actually a very good metaphor for my life right now. Metaphor? Not sure, but I did pass school English I promise.

I have adopted this constant state of ‘piss me off and I will be picturing myself strangling you’. You know that feeling when you kind of just want to lie my head slowly on my desk and then remain there for…ever. That feeling. All the time.

But I have a fantastic bed. Which perhaps makes things worse because it would be so nice to be in it right now, forever, and never have to leave, but still have the ability to leave if I so desired. The weather has also been awful. By awful I mean constant wind, and rain, and more rain, and dark clouds making it feel like we’re about to start a horror movie. It’s November, it’s meant to be close to summer! The month where we all stop looking like characters off Twilight (without the sparkles) and look more like the total babes off Jordie Shore. (I’m kidding about the last part)

I shouldn’t be complaining, shortly we’ll all end up in a drought and as a result I will be complaining there is no rain and no grass and no food for the horse and it’s hot.

It’s 12.22pm and I have not yet had lunch, all I’ve eaten is a smoothie and a handful of nuts. I should probably eat.

Yes, food. That’s what I’m going to do now, fooooood.

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.

This is Monday

I enjoy most Mondays. Normally I ease into the week by writing and doing a few small interviews that I should have done on Friday. Nothing too big… of course, I thought this week I was super woman and booked three interviews starting from 8.15am. I was late for that, due forgetting about it, I then managed to attend the staff meeting in the office for the first time in weeks, and missed the second interview (luckily the guy wasn’t doing much today and we just made it later). I then got lost on my way to my third interview. It also decided to rain as I stepped outside the building. My hair is still straightened from my partners 21st on Saturday and I would desperately like to climb back into bed. 

Let’s just say Monday is against me this week.

I splashed out on a coffee, an organic almond milk beautiful coffee. I decided if I was going to tackle today, it was not going to be without good coffee. I am also going to buy sushi, I feel I deserve it. Sticky notes are taking over my desk and I didn’t even get a chance to glance at my to do list before 11.30am. 

Now I have fed my tummy, got my desk in some sort of order, and have a clear schedule for the rest of the day to sit, write, and conquer the afternoon with far more poise than I began the day with. 

 

Monkey toes

I think I just broke my toe. This is probably not surprising, with a likeness to our jungle buddies – the monkeys they stick out, part of the reason I was a good tree climber as a kid. I’ve broken one or two of them before. It’s the only bone I’ve ever broken. Horses just seem to like to stand on them. Equally as frustrating they seem to like reaching out and grabbing onto solid objects. They just sort of get in the way. This time I kicked my draw really, really hard, now I can’t feel it… or move it. To make it matters worse I don’t even have a plaster to stop the bleeding. 

And to make it even worse… the first thing that came to my mind was ‘I should blog about this’. I have become one of those people. Why would I even think that! I mean who actually wants to know about the fact my toe hurts an unbelievable amount. Perhaps it is because I have no one here to hear me scream really loudly so I just mouth the words *@&#$^%&#^@&*!* or something along those lines in the mirror that stands above the draws I hit my toe on. There is something really sad about having no one around to hear you scream when you kick your toe. 

This is what solitude does to me. It makes me crazy. Seriously crazy. I think I need help… and not because of the toe I still can’t feel.