Let go of the rope, breathe

Winter is finally here. It has wrapped its cool, comforting fingers around my face and I’m settling into a routine. I love winter. There is plenty to love about summer sure; long nights, festivals, parties, friends, less work, people have more energy. But winter is my one true love and always has been. There is just something stunning about waking up to a crisp morning, dressing warmly for the day and slipping out the door. I heap blankets on my bed, snuggle up and watch movies on weekends, hit the mountains snowboarding; winter is a time of family, fun, and peace for me. Oh and cuddles. Can’t beat a nice cuddle on a wintry day.

I was chatting to a friend this morning who’s off running around the world again. He’s off to Barcelona shortly. I’m jealous! I’d love to be off to Barcelona…or anywhere for that matter. But as we were chatting I did realise something, I’m remarkably comfortable with life. It’s been an adjustment, a really big one, over the past year and a half from loosing granddad, leaving journalism, to travelling, to the adjustment of coming back home. But suddenly, as I was chatting to Sam last night, I realised, actually, it’s time to let it all go.

Today is the first day I’ve felt ‘at home’ since I came back. It’s the first day I’ve looked around and realised my new normal is incredible. No it’s not quite as spectacular as travelling to Barcelona, but it’s lovely.

I have an incredible relationship, the sort I wake up each day and can’t believe my luck. I have a cute cat and he’s all mine, I’m loving my study, I’m good at my job and I’m enjoying it, my horse is happy and I can snuggle her every now and then. My stress levels are at an all time low and I’m feeling at peace.

It’s time to let go now of the past, of talking about it, of processing it. I am finally at a stage I’m really happy to not be moving on, but to have moved on.

Everyone adjusts to life at different paces, and I think I was struggling to accept I had indeed created the kind of life I craved, the kind of peace and happiness I’d never really allowed myself, the friendships that I envied in other people. It doesn’t need changing anymore, because what I have is everything I need.

This counselling paper I’m doing at the moment is interesting. As I work further through it and read more I can feel myself start to just relax. I’ve been able to feel on a deeper level, appreciate on a greater level, and love in a way I thought was only reserved for people who were naïve.

Essentially just get over the crap (putting it in a less airy fairy way, cause I think I’ve been dealing with too many marketing and psychology words lately!).

Love doesn’t have to have walls and precautions, work doesn’t have to be stressful, study can be enjoyable.

Life being simple can be a good thing. Let it be simple, let it be peaceful, let it be lovely.

I feel an overwhelming sense of freedom…and I didn’t realise a relationship could feel like that. I want to travel more, and I can travel, I want to explore a range of careers and move around, and I can do that, I want to write a book, I can do that.

No I’m not travelling the world or seeing incredible things or saving lives right now. But I’ll get there again at some point. There is a time and place for everything, and right now my time and place is here, with the people I have and with the things I’m doing.

I rush too much.

I’m learning to deal with that.

My room is a beautiful little haven now, Sam’s flatmates are a good laugh and I like being able to hijack them as my friends for the snowboarding season since mine have all run off to new places, I’m so lucky to be able to spend more time with my mum and dad now I’m living at home and see my little brother grow up a bit more, I’m lucky I’m just around the corner from my grandparents, and I love having Sam so close he can just come around for dinner.

I think I’ve been trying to hide from the happy emotions. I never wanted to move back to Tauranga, but what I wanted and what I needed were two very different things. I’ve been stubborn about admitting that. I feel at home here now. I love being here.

It’s taken me by surprise that I can in fact have the things in a relationship and in life that I’ve been craving and it’s actually not hard.

In a lot of ways, and we all already know this, it’s perspective over situation. My situation hasn’t changed since last week, or even yesterday, but my sudden realisation that I don’t need to be on the defensive toward my life and never allow myself to enjoy it for what it is, has changed my attitude.

Life now is an incredible amount better than what I’d planned. So I’ll admit it once again, because I tend to forget this lesson I’ve learnt: stop planning, start living, start enjoying, and go where it takes you.

And breathe. I don’t do that nearly enough.

 

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Au revoir 2015!

Well, we’ve finally made it! The end of 2015 is finally here and what a year it has been. I was trying to avoid doing the whole ‘New Year, new me’ blog, but whatever, I couldn’t resist. I have no self control. In terms of writing anyway! I’m still a little buzzed on too much coffee from a road trip of 6.5hrs from Russell, Bay of Islands back to my home in Tauranga so this blog might come out in all sort of weirdness, but here goes!

2015 was one of the up and down years of my life. I’ve achieved things I never thought I would and I’ve seen both good and difficult changes in my life and myself as a person. I’ve travelled 9 countries, met people who took my breath away, hiked the alps, drank the best wine I’ve ever tasted in France, started learning French, changed careers, reconnected and built new friendships. Life is nothing like I imagined it would be but it never ceases to be incredible even during the struggles. If 2015 is anything to go by 2016 ought to be one hell of a ride!

I’ve picked up the rest of my stuff from Alex’s, I’ve met a few new people, accidentally taken things the wrong way, have concluded I suck at meeting new people and can’t communicate like a normal person…but in general, I have faith it’s all going to be alright!

On that note I think it’s time to write a good ol’ list of goals for this year! Yep, I actually have New Years resolutions this year!

  1. Run 5km at 5mins per km
  2. Achieve 30 pushups without feeling like I’m dying
  3. Work hard enough to earn commission from marketing jobs
  4. Obtain firearms licence
  5. Learn to dive
  6. Become 80 per cent fluent in French
  7. Volunteer twice a week
  8. Get involved in church
  9. Go on adventures

There’s not actually that many but they’re all harder than they might seem to achieve…for me anyway. So instead of adding more to the to do list I thought I’d also write a list of the ways I want to live my life this year…

  1. Take. Things. Slowly – relationships
  2. Don’t be afraid of something wonderful
  3. Don’t drag old hurts into new beginnings (yeah, that one’s not easy)
  4. Know what I want and stick to it
  5. Know what I don’t want and avoid it
  6. Never be afraid to take a step beyond the comfort zone
  7. Don’t hold back because of fear
  8. Friends first, men second
  9. Appreciate something in every day
  10. Don’t live life in order to keep up with or impress others
  11. Never apologise for being happy
  12. Avoid coffee…
  13. Stop planning, start living
  14. Be the best damn version of myself I can be

So there you have it folks!

One, two, three, run.

I woke up rather angry today. Like all days I wake up with the rage of a fire breathing dragon locked in a cave I went for a run, did some push ups and even some sit up for good measure, then some weird leg raise thingy the trainer at the gym taught me that makes my hamstrings burn with a similar pain to that of a bed of biting ants in Asia.

Life has stopped spiralling out of control. It’s like a tornado that rips through and then when it stops, you’re sort of left standing wondering where on earth you start the clean up. That’s me right now. Standing, wondering a) where I start and b) excited I get to put it back how I want it. So last week I picked a starting point. I’ve started part time work and even gave myself a cool sounding title. My car is still a mess, I still have another a few boxes to unpack and a car to vacuum, but it’s a start. I started. Today is the first day I’ve actually had alone. So far I’ve spent the last few weeks with close friends or family and while I have my little brother here still…I may have possibly over reacted to the dishwasher not being unstacked again and food all over the bench…again. Man I sound like a mother. Sigh. In spite of that I’m actually loving being able to get to know Josh (little brother). I left home when he was only 11, so now at 16 and a completely different person to me, it’s a lot of fun hanging out. Though he managed to kick my butt at the driving rage the other day…I however just don’t seem to have the same skill at killing golf balls.

Josh was talking to myself and Tom yesterday about growing up and the fact that Tom was top in his class at school. Then we all looked at each other and Josh just had this terrifying looking on face of ‘I really hope I don’t end up like you both in six years time’. Then we all laughed. Unemployed, broke, and single definitely doesn’t look so appealing from a 16 year olds point of view I guess. But hey, as I described it to him in some attempt to make life seem less depressing the older you get, life isn’t all about having everything you want or going the way you expect. It’s just about having fun and making the most of the cards you’re dealt and despite what I may think sometimes, I’ve been dealt some pretty great ones.

I, however, don’t like to take my own advice when it comes to the fact I still can’t horse ride and I’m incredibly bitter about that fact. Then I remind myself I was snowboarding in Austria and it doesn’t seem like such a bad decision after all. Because of it though, I have taken up running and can now make it to 1.8km without dying! Before all you runners start laughing, for those of us who consider running to be a form of optional torture, that’s a big deal. Last week I struggled with 1km alone and the plan is in 12 months time I will run 5 of those suckers like they were yesterdays news.

Thankfully I have Nikole to drag me up the Papamoa hills each week and plan wonderful mountain hikes so that goal is actually attainable. I’ve also made strange agreements like “I’ll run up this 1.7km hill that currently still kills me at a walk by the end of next year”. Mad. I am a mad woman. But my weight is great, I feel fantastic, I’m getting a terribly uneven tan, my tailbone only hurts 50 per cent of the day, and my horse is so fat I’m going to start leading her up hills with me when I run…who needs a dog! And I have a fantastic part time job that makes me feel like a real human again. Now it’s time to dust off that CV apply for a few more positions, keep my fitness training up, and see where life takes me!

So I still have my bad days, break ups aren’t nice and the feeling of betrayal, pain, anger, sadness, and the ‘what could I have done better’ doesn’t go away over night. It’s not something I blame on one person and I think part of me still can’t quite comprehend things are different after four years. But they are and life goes on. This beautiful, incredible life goes on and I want to be part of it.

I am part of it.

The next little steps

Breakups aren’t fun. Even amicable breakups make you want to punch someone in the face at times. And it’s hard not to wallow in self pity singing “I will be forever alone” through tears. But I won’t be forever alone. I have a cat. And people think I’m joking when I say that but really, he’s quite a cool cat. Though, there’s always the chance he’ll run away. Then I have the horse, and she’s in a paddock, so she can’t actually escape. Even if she does she can’t go far because I FEED HER! *insert evil controlling laugh here*.

Today is the day I move my furniture. I’ve never really been in this point in a relationship before so I have no idea exactly how I should be feeling about it. Most of the time I’m just really happy I get my super comfy bed back to myself because I plan on spending a great deal of amazing sleeping in that thing. So I have a small amount of part time work with a pretty cool new company called Dynamic Media in Hamilton and I have a nice little to do list for YouthNet to start things rolling for that. Life appears for the most part to be on the right track. There’s still of course figuring out what I’m actually doing with it come new year…but for now I think I’ll just focus on the fact I can get a tan and ride my horse on the weekend. Once my tailbone is better of course, but for now I’ll just dream about galloping up hills while I go for runs on the beach. Yep, that’s right, I get to live by the beach for a while!

I’ve started to write a ‘single person to do list’, it’s sort of all those funny little things I’ve never done because I’ve been in a relationship since I was 17. And now at 22 and going grey, I feel it’s time I started completing some of them. Once I’ve got past number one I might add it here for you all to laugh at.

Life is under control in between the strange fits of sobbing, the angry laughing (I do hysterical laughing when I get really upset, seems to improve the situation though), the smiling and loving life, and the feeling of OH MY GOSH WHAT THE HELL AM I ACTUALLY GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE NOW?! That last one seems to be the most prominent.

I’ll get there. I’ll figure it out. I always do. In the midst of my weirdness and feeling like my life has just sort of unraveled at my feet, I do know things will be just fine, life is going to be great. And when I get really down I just think about all the times I stood at the top of the Alps in Austria and screamed “I’M ALIVE, I’M FREAKING ALIVE!” And for all of you who know how often I fall off things…that’s actually quite a shock. So, I have an entire life to be grateful for and amazing people in it to enjoy it with.

Hello summer…I think this year we’re going to be friends.

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!

A year older

The final few weeks. The sprint at the end of the marathon. *Final count down music plays in my head*. Life is, well, it’s scary. By the end of this month I will probably have my own place. Alone. An alone place. A permanent alone place. My horse, due to her now correct taste in men, should be pregnant. That might not seem like a big deal to most people. But it is strategic planning to create this tiny, kind of ugly, baby horse that is worth more than yourself. In $$ anyway. This tiny little thing that you wait for, for 11 months. The planning and the waiting and the money. Eventually this little, incredible thing pops out. That little thing has a lot riding on it. So it better work. 

I have a job. That’s great, wonderful, exciting, a huge relief. What most people don’t really stop to think about is, I have a job. I will be paid to do what I am good at. I will turn up to the office five days a week for eight hours a day and I will work. I will have to do a job and do it well. Responsibility is a terrifying thing. Exciting. But terrifying. People don’t stop to think, once you get a job, you actually have to do that job. 

Moving house, living alone, a sever lack of a hobby, a job. No more study. New, new, new, NEW, NEW! It is all new. And it is scary. I can do it. But it is scary. This city is home now. This is where I live. Not where I study. Where I live. My life, is here. 

My birthday finally came. With it comes the end of my degree. It doesn’t mean a year older. It means a whole new life. 

My big girl panties

My sister told me tonight I sounded very grown up. She was not there to witness my child like scream of excitement earlier in the evening, so, the grown up thing might be a stretch, but I’ll take it. I do agree though, this year I have felt like I went from carefree, excitable teenager to responsible, organised adult with a new found enjoyment in life. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just part of growing up I guess. It does feel odd though even though I have always been mature, I’ve never been adult. 

Tech only has a few weeks left, my birthday is coming up and I have a whole new exciting life ahead. Next year is certainly going to be a change but it’s going to be a good one. Life is happening. Though, with limited time on the horizon I’m going to have to get all my Bachelor Pad watching out of the way. 

This year I have certainly learnt not only how I handle stress and pressure, but how I handle people. I still do picture all the bitchy things I like to feel and say, I keep them in my head and remind myself that things just happen and it’s better to take it on the chin than fall flat on your face in the mud. I have certainly learnt what ‘being the bigger person’ has meant, and it is not the amount of chocolate I can eat. Even then, I still might give a few people a run for their money.

I have also realised I am a very loyal person and I am happy to have the life I want, not what I thought I wanted. I have packed up my hissy fits and realised you have to evaluate and then get on with it. This is what I want and I could not be happier that life is moving on a wonderful rainbowy path of butterflies and dandelions. 

It think it is time to get on the big girl panties.

Real world, here I come.

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.

We’re off to see the movies… the wonderful movies with me

As I am swiftly approaching 20 the life cycle of movies has come full swing. I love the story line, the animations, the cute voices and the general innocent hilarity a good kids movie is. The problem is I often don’t have anyone to go with. I mean I could go with my boyfriend (who is probably the only person I have ever met more into kids movies than me…) but he lives an hour away and not close to any theatres. Therefore, I am often alone in my desire to go and see a childs movie.

I could go alone but the looks and the mothers scurrying their children away from me… not my cup of tea.

So, you can imagine my delight when my 8 year old cousin said to me ‘my friend got to see despicable me 2!’ ‘Oh I really want to see it! *quotes numerous lines from the shorts*’. My face lit up, my eyes bright, my ears perked. I had a little person to take to the movies! With this, I gleefully asked her parents if I could take her to the movies for her birthday. They said of course, the only reason she doesn’t go more often is because they don’t like kids movies. 

I have decided I may just have to make a special trip to Auckland to take her to the movies. It’s a win win really. Her friend who does not seem like a nice little person goes on and on about things by the sound of it. So she can take that! My little cousin is going to get the cup and toy and see it in 3D!..

And of course once my defensive stuck up small child hater side has subsided, I just really want to see the movie.

We’re going tonight and I can’t wait!

 

The play

I am a person who doesn’t like to give much away. I like to surprise and I find it hard to just blurt out things about who I am. I’m a listener, I am also a ‘fill blank space with useless words’ I can even pick just about any topic and get someone to babble on about it. If I want to talk that is. But I only like to give away what I want people to see or know. This has served me well throughout my teen years limiting teasing and rumors. This is not quite so great as a ‘nearly an adult’ adult. It limits my connection with people. I am getting better though. 

The other day me and my boyfriend of nearly two years were watching TV as I moaned about my foot I couldn’t walk on. There was nothing good on TV, except for Disney Channel, which there is almost always something entertaining on. So Disney Channel it was. Phineas and Ferb came on. I burst into song. I get really into theme songs, like really into theme songs. My boyfriend turned around and stared at me in horror. I kept singing. The look on his face was like no other I had ever seen, it was a cross between admiration, horror, distaste and surprise coated with a tasty bit of confusion. 

“That was something I did NOT know about you!” 

“Well, yea, why wouldn’t I know the Phineas and Ferb theme song?” 

He didn’t get it. It is the number one most catchy song I have ever heard on TV. I have a little brother who loved the show and in my final years of being at home it played over and over and OVER after school. There was little else to watch. So yes. I know the Phineas and Ferb theme song. Now my boyfriend knows I know it. 

It is nice to still have things we don’t know about each other after two years. It leaves me thinking ‘do we ever really completely know each other’? I hope not. I like surprising people, learning new things and burst out with something totally off the wall. 

I think that’s how I’m going to play life, perhaps I wont burst into random song around people who have yet to fall madly in love with me… but I do think the little surprises are just what makes me me. 

It’s what makes us all a little quirky and a whole lot of random.