The rocky roads

Life’s been a bit up and down lately, literally. Ivy decided a few weeks ago that I hadn’t swum enough this year and ran straight into the ocean during a beach ride. After several rodeo moments she landed me head/hands first into a great big wave. She then left me for dead and took off up the beach, through the sandjunes and around the neighbourhood. I then emerged from the water, soaking wet head to toe in my full riding gear and chased her down the beach. When that failed, I gave up and proceeded to walk around the area asking people if they’d seen a horse, most people were a little shocked by a stranger dripping wet wearing a helmet, horseless, asking if they’d seen said horse. Others commented on her beauty as she galloped riderless up the beach. Yes, yes that’s exactly the thoughts going through my mind in those moments…her beauty. We found her on someone’s back lawn, tied to a gate by the next door neighbours where were rather perplexed as to how a horse had turned up on their lawn, fully tacked up, in suburbia. Thankfully neither was too badly hurt, my pride mainly, and a little later I discovered my wrist was sprained but a trip to A&E established I was not in fact dying, despite the pain, and it wasn’t even fractured.

I thought I’d begin this blog with a funny story because if you keep reading, you’re going to need that humour. I think I’ve been holding onto as much humour as I can lately. I think that just makes life a bit easier to cope with. And watching your horse leave you in the water while providing people with a good dose of entertainment is certainly a good dose of humour, there’s not much else you can do but laugh!

Today in kids church one of the leaders came up to me and asked me if I was ok. I said “Yeah? Do I not seem ok?” He said I seemed a little off. I hadn’t really stopped to think about it to be honest. When you’re struggling with stuff I think it’s just easier not to think about it.

I mean how do you turn to someone and say “Well not really, I’ve been having suicidial thoughts for the past week because I don’t feel like I can cope.”

Like how do you just lay that on someone? Actually I don’t think I’ve ever openly said that to anyone.

For years I’ve been fine. Depression is a moment every now and then that knocks on my door but this last week it’s smacked that damn door right in my face and left me reeling a little wondering what the hell happened. I have nothing in my life that’s bad. There is no reason to feel particularly down. I just do. And that is one of the toughest things to explain to people. So I don’t.

It is easier to stay quiet and be ‘ok’. And I am ok. I really am. I know how to get through the down moments and tonight when people asked “how are you?” tonight I said “I’m good!” Because I am. I feel really good today and I know I will be just fine. I felt alive and like I wanted to be that way all damn day. That is pretty exciting. And I don’t write this at all to make people worry and I do not want people to suddenly say anything different to me, I have so many attentive friends and family. I am incredibly blessed and lucky. Because of them, their amazing way of just being, I always know I will be ok and I will get through it. No one needs to be anything other than what they’re being

I will always keep going, and I know even in the worst moments, I am going to be ok and I have a reason to live. Always.

I write it because I feel like there are people out there who need to read it…and know it’s ok. Because I want people to know they can open up and be honest, and that culture starts with me.

I run a Facebook pg called ‘YouthNet’. It’s an organisation that deals with mental health stuff. Anyway, I regularly post stories on there about family members who have written letters after their mum, son, daughter has killed themselves and they say ‘I want to raise awareness because not enough people talk about’. And I post them over and over…yet I’ve never once said anything to anyone…ever…about my own struggles.

Little bit hypocritical?

I was standing in church tonight and I started crying. And I never cry in church, but it just sort of hit me. It’s really hard some days to truly believe my life has a meaning and point. It pisses me off so damn much because I have absolutely nothing to be upset about. There are people living in cars and there are people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

And here I am living a beautiful life and I feel like I can’t hack it?

So many times I want to just tell myself to get over it and deal with it. But some days I just can’t. And that’s just the shitty thing about things like this, they hit at the strangest moments.

But what I have also learnt is those moments where it just seems like it’s far too much, those are the moments just before it gets good. And you can go years and years and years and be so fine and so great and so happy…then for no reason out of the blue you can’t do it.

Usually right when things should be good.

Anyway I’m pretty nervous about posting this, actually I’m terrified. This is honest even for me. I worry about people worrying about me, I am fine. This is not my first rodeo. But I do want to tell people how important it is to be kind, to be loving, to be open about struggles. To just be there for your friends. The people you love, the ones you don’t. Every single person you come across in your day be kind to them and listen. Be a beautiful person who makes someone’s day. Would you want to meet you if you were having a bad day?

For me, I focus on the little things. I focus on giving. On the days I simply cannot do it, I do something for someone else. I’m not sure when I began that, but it gives me a kind of purpose beyond myself and my own life. And it is so, so hard. I did not want to get out of bed this morning. Actually if I hadn’t been with Sam I probably wouldn’t have. But we saw some people and I was excited and I chatted because I got out of bed. I did that. I didn’t cry all day and I didn’t think one single awful thing about myself.

I’ve started focusing on loving myself and my abilities and trying to shut down those little thoughts of ‘you can’t do it’, ‘you’re not going to make it’ that become big over powering thoughts that shout. I’ve set a goal: if I can go an entire week without thinking one bad thing about myself I will treat myself to a massage.

It’s a massive goal, even sane and happy people would struggle. But it gives me something to focus on.

So that’s that. Take a deep breath.

I’ve found blogging hard lately; it’s super hard to be as open and honest as I want to be and as I need to be so I’ve just shut down and said nothing.

Keep your chin up guys, life is good regardless of the situation, it gets better and most importantly of all; YOU ARE WORTH SOMETHING. You are worth so, so much. You are amazing. You are beautiful. You are everything you need to be and more.

The best is yet to come.

Peace out.

 

 

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All was well with the world

Right. I need to get blogging again. I have no idea what’s happened to my creative flow, or perhaps life just isn’t going AWOL enough for me to want to throw it all out there! I’ve been asked to be a contributor to a pretty cool blogsite, so I’ll soon be spamming you with  that asking you to love me. So that’s super exciting news!

It’s winter. It’s cold. My body is protesting and my lungs hurt from my run yesterday. Turns out you need to exercise your lungs too…like it isn’t enough having to exercise the rest of my body! I’m sulking because I’ve now put on 5kg since I STARTED going to the gym. Like, what the hell?! That’s not at all fair. I’m going with it’s muscle. But I mean, that’s a lot of muscle?!

My horse had a tooth pulled out the other day. Poor thing was incredibly good about it, until I put her back in the paddock where she lashed out in anger at her best friend then stood and sulked in the corner. I don’t blame her. I did the same thing when I had my wisdom teeth pulled!

I’m moving home again soon! For the past five weeks I’ve been crashing at Sam’s place while mum and dad renovate the house. It was a weird feeling moving home in the first place after five years out of home…but after five weeks back in a flat I’ve come to realize why I made that decision. Come to me my beautiful renovated en-suite bathroom and spacious kitchen! I’m honestly quite perplexed as to how Sam’s flat gets so dirty so quickly. I’ve just come to the acceptance it’s just one of those houses that’s never quite clean. I will definitely miss doing my own grocery shopping though; it’s just a nice part of the week…I don’t actually like paying for food.

Work has been an interesting combination of a lot of downtime and insanely busy days coupled by dealing with instances that have lead my to run away to the mountain for the weekend with WINE before I pull my hair out.

I love my job.

I love my joy.

No I actually really go, and honestly, those challenges make me feel like I’m actually doing something purposeful with my life.

I think that is definitely my challenge this year: to accept a slower pace and less ‘crazy’. I know I’ve still got a bit on my plate with study…I need to actually get onto my assignment, but over all things are probably the least stressful and most consistent they’ve been in a very long time.

I’m super happy in my relationship. Work isn’t stressful but there’s a decent amount of work to be done. I’m enjoying my study and not finding it nearly as difficult now I only have one paper. And my pony is so much fun on the odd occasion I get to ride. Even the gym has become somewhat enjoyable. So life is good but it is an incredibly weird feeling to just be ‘well’.

I’m off to the mountain this weekend! The weather is meant to be awful but I’m just looking forward to not being in the flat and instead cuddled up by a fireplace with a beautiful bottle of red wine I stole from mum…well kind of, I slowly took it while she stared at me.

So that’s me for now! I shall soon be back in my own room in my lovely parents house with my cute cat called Charlie and the world will be well.

Till next time!

 

 

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.

Red wine, honest opinions and #adulthood

Alright, it’s time to be real. I think I’ve been doing too much of ‘trying to make it look like I’ve got it together’ and not enough of ‘where the bloody hell is the wine cause I got no clue how I got here’. I don’t. I really have no idea how I landed myself here. Life is good, man life has so many wonderful things in it that I almost have to remind myself not to be too happy because it’s annoying and always ends in not being happy. So I’ve just ended up being horribly grumpy and emotional while I try to work it all out in my head like a #adult.

I’m an adult. I’m about to make my first purchase of shares and I’m talking home loans and life with someone and all those big terrifying things I said weren’t on the table when I found myself in a tormented ball of ‘I have no friggin clue!!’ last year.

So we can get this straight, life is terrifying. Terrifying in such a way that makes me forget to eat lunch and leaves me holding my breath for multiple minutes at a time.

But it’s terrifying because it’s good.

I wouldn’t be terrified if I wasn’t in a great relationship. But I am terrified because right to my very core I hold this deep and pretty understandable fear I’m going to be left right when it matters. I’m scared of putting all my dreams, ideas, and hopes into life with one person because what if, on the odd chance, it happens again and I am in fact left to create another dream and another life…by myself. I’m not afraid of being alone in life, but I am certainly afraid of losing someone I love, having to recover from that, and also losing the dreams we had together. There is not a single day that goes by that I am not afraid of that.

But I am brave and I do have courage because 95 per cent of the time I’m able to remind myself it is ok, and it can and will work out. I have to have faith that yes, it might be a similar situation, but I am going to be ok. I’m might get hurt, there is always that chance, but I will recover. But man how amazing would it be if it actually did work out?! But I will not lie and say that I’ve let myself be 100 per cent excited…or even 70 per cent for that matter. I squish that excitement like a little ant eating my honey because I know very well that that excitement, the fall from that blissful hope, is incredibly damaging. And that makes me a bit sad.

And then there is talking about home loans is a whole new monster within itself. I mean I’m lucky I can even have that conversation, so being terrified of this is a good thing, it means life is good. But many people, myself included, would probably consider looking at buying a section and building a home and starting a small business with the first few years of being with someone to be nuts or ‘rushing’. And hey I won’t judge you for that opinion. But I definitely think there are times in your life when you have to look at opportunities and think ‘can I live with myself, without regret, in 10 years time if I don’t take this now?’ Maybe. But I’m pretty sure I’d be quite pissed at myself for not doing it when I could.

Here’s the thing I’ve learnt and learnt in spades over the past few years. It. Never. Goes. Your. Way. Especially when you really want it to. But, it does always go the way it’s meant to go, when it’s meant to go.

Was I pissed when I lost money and couldn’t sell Pip (horse #2) for over 6 months? YES! Was I incredibly anxious about selling Mardy when I needed the money 3 weeks out from my flight overseas? Yep. But he sold, right at the right time. Pip sold too, and no it wasn’t what I wanted and it didn’t happen when I wanted it to. But it was by far my most valuable life lesson and taught me how to dig deep and just deal with it.

‘Shit happens’ became my life motto and I apologize for the swearing but there’s really no other way to put it!

I’ve spent a lot of the past few years being angry about life, being upset, recovering. I’ve been incredibly mad about my health condition, I hate the fact I have to live with it every single day of my life and it’s like this constant shadow sitting in the corner. I’ve been upset about losing a grandparent too soon from something that was treatable. I’ve been pissed about heartbreak. I’ve been sad about the death of animals. I’ve had to look back and face some average decisions and deal with that part of my life. I’ve dealt with things just not going my freaking way for months and months on end. And I’ve had to look at exactly what it is that makes me, me.

And I definitely found it.

Sitting in the back of a tuktuk. Learning to communicate in different languages. Seeing people in little mud homes with absolutely nothing to their names. Standing on the top of a mountain in the Austrian Alps. I definitely found what makes me, me.

I think though I’ve at times, especially lately, let that slip away. I’ve gone back into my ‘trying to make it look better than it is’ bubble and I’ve attempted to put on a ‘brave’ face.

But that’s exactly how I cracked in the first place.

I’m not a perfect person, my life is far from perfect. I’ve had some incredible wins and also some incredible lows. But I’m here. I made it. I’m figuring out where I want this career to take me. I’m excited. And I’m learning to be excited and make the most of what I have.

I’m learning to play the cards I have in the best way possible, rather than looking at my neighbors cards wishing I could have that hand.

As I learnt in a 4 hour long card game on a 20 hr boat ride through Laos to Thailand, it is never the hand you have, but what you’re smart enough to do with that hand. A good hand helps, sure, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to win.

So yeah…keep’n it real, yo.

Too cheesy? Yeah I agree.

Anyway. I just wanted to get back to the crux of it. It’s pretty easy to get carried away in a whirlwind of baby photos, engagement announcements, weddings, new jobs, travel on Facebook and just in general! And those are all incredible, amazing things…but sometimes it’s easy to forget everyone struggles and it’s never perfect. It’s just life.

And everything that comes with life is pretty sure to keep it interesting.

But if you’re anything like me, you’re going to get to the end of the week and think ‘damn, I’m glad I began this love affair with red wine’. You also might be drowning in files and paper work on your desk, wondering when the last time it was you washed your hair, and desperately wanting it to be sunny for more than one day so you can actually breathe in air that hasn’t been recycled through the heating system several times.

*Sigh*

Till next time.

 

 

 

Doomsday prep

I survived two days in Auckland…just. Turns out a cold coffee with ice in it is a ‘cold brew’ in Takapuna (North Auckland) but an iced Americano in Manakau (South Auckland). It’s the same damn city guys, can’t you at least agree on what to name your cold coffee?! I also nearly died because drivers there are just…well…I nearly died. The motorway is fine, people kind of know to look out for others (though with four crashes in the stretch of motorway that runs from one side of the city to the other might suggest otherwise), but outside of that it’s every man for himself. I nearly hit a kid too on a crossing who thought that instead of stopping to check the cars were far enough away to ACTUALLY stop, he just walks out without looking, on dusk, in dark clothes, on a wet road. I stopped.Thankfully.

So with my heart in my throat 90 per cent of the time I was there I’ve concluded I felt safer on the busy streets of South East Asia than I do in Auckland. None the less I am home safe, back in Tauranga, where the drivers are equally as bad but there are far fewer of them.

As I was driving between the two cities (it’s a three hour trip in average traffic) I went back through the Waikato (where I used to live). Man I miss it.

The Waikato is very foggy, most people hate that. I love it. There’s nothing cooler than living at the top of a hill looking down at all the fog sitting in the bottom of the valley. It’s mystical in the coolest of ways.

I’m not missing the cold though.

However, I do miss the fashion. I have no idea how people in Tauranga don’t freeze. No one wears coats?! This time of year in Hamilton I’d be in boots, a scarf, gloves, and a coat. Not here. I’d just look like a weirdo if I wore a scarf AND a coat. But I can’t feel my fingers so I think I might just have to be unfashionable and start rugging up and watch all these weirdos freeze.

The first frost of the year is here (for Tauranga anyway, the rest of the country south is probably already well used to these) and I had to get the ice off my windscreen before work.

The best part though? My car started. Dad was very convinced it wouldn’t once it started getting cold because the battery has a mind of its own. I am of the opinion it’s not a problem till it stops working all together. And on that day I will be late for work and probably be very upset and it will be all my own fault.

None the less, I am trying to prove that it will be fine and it will make it through.

I know it’s at least three years old since I haven’t bought a new one since I got the car…it really is on its last legs.

I have one week to go before my exam (I call it dooms day)…but I have passed all the assignments for that paper so far, so I have a small amount of hope that I may go down in a small blaze of fire rather than a large one.

Shrug.

I’m tired from my Auckland training and I’d love to say that I’m taking the afternoon off to chill out…but I’m not. I’m going to study my butt off to catch up after missing a lot of study time while away training.

One. More. Week.

Then I can crack open my lovely $45 bottle of wine I splashed out on and enjoy it while having a spa. It was going to be a bath, but I feel like I might want people to join me in this wine drinking and it’s a bit hard for them to all join in a bathtub.

Actually don’t try to imagine that.

So life is happening. People are happy, people are getting married, having babies, getting cool jobs. It’s happening. And I’m happy to be part of their stories. It’s fun. I even like crying babies now. Apparently I do have a maternal instinct. Not sure I want my own one any time soon. But you know, at least I like other peoples now.

And on that note I’m off to achieve at least something today from the office before I head off at lunch time to frolic about in the sun for approximately 5minutes before I find myself back inside, cowering from the cold, studying.

Yaaaay…

Over and out.

 

 

 

 

Pros, cons, failure

Growing up is a weird thing; it just sort of happens without really thinking about it. I mean sure, most of the time I’m thinking to myself ‘I am definitely not adult enough to deal with this’, but then there are moments where I suddenly realise I am an adult, and I’m actually doing it just fine. How can I tell I’m adulting well? Firstly, I am incredibly particular about wine, babies no longer scare me (I’m still highly skeptical I should ever actually be allowed to bring one up), I am capable of looking after multiple small people at once, I know life does not stop and start with marriage, relationships, or even having children…but those things are cool too, I’ve come to appreciate money…by that I mean the fact that I turn up to a place each day and do stuff and they then give me money so I can live, I am learning how to think about and navigate the idea of a mortgage, a house, where I want to live… and I have learnt just how fragile life is, and I appreciate that fact. Oh and I’ve also come to learn and accept shit happens to all of us.

I don’t feel grown up, but to honest I don’t know if anyone ever feels ‘grown up’, I think it’s more a feeling of comfortable experience that leads you to have a little more faith each year that in most situations you will, regardless of how you may feel at the time, be ok. I was going to put ‘survive’, but there’s really no guarantee of that.

My little cat had his vaccinations today. In order to get him into the cat cage I coxed him with food first into a small space. He then quickly realised something was not right and quickly escaped. I came back five minutes later to see he had given into his desire for food (animal like its owner) and I swiftly blocked the cat door with various washing baskets. He then escaped from the other door as I tried to enter with the cat cage and my attempts at a human barricade failed miserably. I then spent 10 minutes chasing him up and down the house until he finally gave in to his desire for pats and I captured him once and for all. His poor defeated meows were heart breaking as I loaded him into the car for mum to take him with her to the clinic (she’s a vet nurse). Admittedly the only time I’ve ever put him in a cage prior was to move him from one place to another…so right now he’s sitting in a cage at the clinic thinking this is his new home and he’s been transported to some kind of jail for a crime in which he does not know. I will sweep in and rescue him and he shall love me forever…and hopefully forget all about this mornings antics.

I have two weeks until my psychology exam. I have finally accepted there is no possible way for me to learn everything I need to learn. So, I’ve decided I will simply learn five chapters REALLY well so ace that part of the exam. I’d love to say this is a strategy well thought through, however it’s really a last ditch effort not to fail this whole thing.

But I can always try again.

Really what I’m telling myself is it is not the end of the world, I have wasted $700 in worse ways, it will be fine, I have wine, and if I have to try again I’ll just try again. Simple, right?

Adulting at its finest right there.

What I’m coming to learn this year is to just chill out. That might seem strange to those in my life who understand I operate at a million miles an hour and every single weekend in June is booked…however, I am learning to stop putting on the pressure, stop trying to overachieve, to move a million miles an hour. Just take one step, as it comes. For me, there are often many steps that come all at once…so if I apply that statement to my life it looks like madness.

But on the days I feel frustrated I’m not going anywhere fast enough, I just remind myself how much I wanted this; to have a warm home close to family, to have my own cat, to have a job that keeps me busy and earns me money but doesn’t give me nightmares, so I have time to study and enjoy that study. This is what I wanted when I sat in that little home in France and pictured life. It just didn’t happen how I expected it to. But this is really lovely.

It’s raining. I love rain. I love studying when it’s raining. Soon I’ll have a gym with a spa and I can provide myself with motivation for the gym with that. It’s winter, it’s snuggly weather, it’s raining, I’m studying something I love, I have a cat, I have plans for a house, I want to live in the country, I have a good job. It’s all about perspective…

Because when I got on here I was going to complain how stressed and didn’t want to study, how my head hurts because I have a headache because it’s always so damn cold, how it’s raining so I don’t want to go outside or to the gym, and I have no money for my dream home or my dream travel.

It’s really easy to get stuck feeling like it’s falling apart or like something else would be better. Of course it would, because it always looks great when you’re not living it. You can’t have all the pros without the cons and you rarely see the cons when it’s not your life.

I’m wearing my favourite sweater today, it’s raining, and I’m going to go home and snuggle my cat and study with a hot cup of tea. I might even take an Instagram shot of it all so people think my life is amazeballs.

Sorry, this blog had potentially a little too much sarcasm in it.

 

A blog of random stuff…just cause

Hello world! Gosh I feel like I’ve been in some sort of hibernation! I’m not entirely sure why I’ve slacked off on the blogging. Perhaps it’s kind of become like my once loved dairy: occasionally paid attention to, but usually only to write bad stuff. I was going to do something clever with that…I thought there could be a cool metaphor there (I’m all about those metaphors and similes)…but then I remembered I’m tired, I’ve been studying psychology or I’ve written away my life and have finger cramp from work. Clever metaphors don’t really happen when I’m tired, or they fall seriously flat and people just feel sorry for me.

I started a new gym yesterday. It was as terrifying as one might imagine. I find gyms incredibly frightening. If you wander around trying to find everything and it’s not in the place you want and you stop and stare around with this panicked look on your face…everyone turns to look at you like the zombies look at humans on the walking dead. I want to resist the urge to throw my water bottle and phone at them with a ‘ah! This is too hard!’

But it’s ok. Sam was there and because he looks like he belongs in a gym, I felt safe…secure. Like the gym zombies were not going to come after me should I make a wrong move.

But I now have a sore back. Because I did back yesterday. I have a weak lower back and I’m crying a little inside about that right now.

So I was reading back through my blog (I only read 2015 because anything before that is just plain embarrassing… have a read if you want a laugh), and I realised a year a go today (cheers Facebook!) I was planning my overseas trip, my cat buttons had to be put down, one of my horses I sold had to be put down, I lost my cat Snuggie, and I sold my foal.

The point of mentioning that is I wrote a big post about ‘letting go’ this time last year. I was going to write a big spiel about how ‘I’ve come so far with letting go’ because I can deal with someone else riding my horse and be happy about it (a year ago only two people had ridden her during the six years I had owned her, and that was one ride each… so…)

By letting go I mean letting go of control. So, you see, pretty much, with my brain being super tired I’m not going to attempt to write a big long, super inspirational blog about it because in all honestly, I’m still terrible at it.

Two years ago, and it was well documented on here, I had what I would call the start of a breakdown. It wasn’t terrible, most people weren’t super aware of it. Just I had this over whelming urge to escape. A lot of that came because everything felt ‘out of my control’. I was a mess; sobbing each night to friends and family about how I ‘just couldn’t do it anymore’.

In hindsight, now I’m studying counselling, I probably should have seen a counsellor. But ya know, dropping everything and going around the world works too.

Here’s the thing though… it felt out of my control and it WAS out of my control. There was a fairly good list of crappy things that just weren’t going well and the things that were going well I didn’t feel equipped to manage. I needed to leave and it turned out to be the best thing for me. But I think it’s taught me a very valuable snippet of knowledge: it’s all out of your control.

In my study I recently learnt about flow…if people have challenges they can rise to and they feel equipped or able to do so, they achieve flow (it’s a good state of mind is what I’ve gathered). If the challenge is too much for the persons perceived ability to handle it, or if the challenge is not enough, that is when you get someone who is unproductive/frustrated or stressed. (I mainly added this in here so I can prove to myself I’m learning stuff and actually start remembering it…forgive me if it’s only 90% accurate)

Dad always says (kind of, the follow quote I actually found on a quote site thingy): “Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react to it”.

It is true. I will accept that. But it’s damn hard! It’s hard to be happy and positive when, while I enjoy my job, I don’t feel like it’s as challenging as it could be, where I feel study is too challenging and it’s damn scary! It’s easy to fall into the mindset of ‘panic, I’m stressed!’ I am not at all achieving flow in any areas of my life. Currently I’m studying motivation and emotion for my final exam, so I’ll bore you all with that next blog.

I am, at the moment, constantly in a battle with my mind of ‘it’s ok, you are capable’ and ‘take a moment to breathe, now start from the beginning’ and ‘I WANNA MAKE IT ALL STOP. I QUIT BEING A GROWN UP!’ The last part is usually said (silently so people think I’m kind of normal) in my head with the picture of me throwing a tantrum on the ground.

It takes a great amount of determination to remind myself day in, day out that I need to a) be patient and wait until the doors start to open..quit trying to pound them down and b) appreciate life being momentarily slower than usual and c) do as much with what I have right now and d) I will get my chance to make a change and a difference, I’m just in a growth phase.

That all might sound cheesy, but it’s true. Some moments are ‘go moments’ and some are ‘whoa moments’. There are times I am riding my horse and we focus on the boring stuff: learning how to listen, how to relax, how to work correctly. Then there are the moments we throw it all out the window and go as fast as we can…but I always know in those moments I’ve put the work in to learn, so when I need an automatic and immediate response to a problem while going a million miles an hour…I have it. There are also the moments, like in the jumping ring, where it’s a combination of give it your all, but use the lessons every step of the way and the more you know, the more you achieve.

Right now I’m in a whoa moment. It’s not the time to be going as fast as I can taking in everything around the world, testing my responses. It’s the time to focus and learn and listen…and wait. There will be another go moment.

And I need to remind myself of that.

 

 

 

 

“Never settle,” I couldn’t help but agree

“Why didn’t you want to be with me?”

I waited patiently for the answer. I’d wanted the answer long before now but something had always stopped me from asking the question. What is it I always say? Don’t ask a question you don’t want an answer to. The answer I wanted was a straight forward one, a simple ‘you should have done this but you didn’t and I couldn’t deal with that’. I knew I wasn’t going to get that. I knew, deep down, this was nothing I could fix.

So I asked the question, twice.

“Why didn’t it work out?”

“Honestly, I didn’t want to grow up. I didn’t want to settle down.” He went on. “A good friend said to me once, never be too quick to settle.”

I agreed with him.

Never settle.

“That’s not the answer you wanted was it?” He asked me.

“No,” I said.

I took a breath. It was nothing I could have changed. Nothing. It wasn’t on me. But does that make it better? Does having the honest answer actually make it better? To be left because someone simply does not want to wake up everyday and know you’re theirs? Because their sense of freedom is more important than your love and your friendship?

Yes. Yes it does make it better.

Because while I like to analyse and think deeply about how to ‘fix’ everything and everyone…there are times, like this one, where I have to accept that something simply was not meant to be.

“I think,” I began, “There were a lot of areas of our personalities that we clashed in.”

“Yeah, you would always say you were alright when you weren’t.” He said it in such a way that each word could have been missed, but I caught them, and they hit, hard.

I don’t do that with Sam. Sam sees everything. I worry he’s sick of me opening up too much, too often.

“Are you seeing anyone?” I asked the question before I had a chance to wonder if I wanted the answer…or what answer I’d have preferred.

“Yes, kind of.”

I paused for a brief second before launching into questions; who was she, what did she look like, what was her name, what did she do? What about her made him want to be with her.

And then he told me about her. And she sounds perfect for him, really perfect. I stopped, the sun was quite bright and I was sweating a little because I was trying to figure out if I felt nothing because I was in shock or if I simply wasn’t bothered by it.

Then with the weight of the words ‘settle’, with the realization I could never open up, and the sudden moment of happiness I felt when I knew he’d found someone…I smiled.

Because I knew, I’ve known for a while, for sure, that I had moved on. And I never thought I would. I never thought I would put those broken pieces back in a far more glorious way and be better off because of it. In the tears, the moments of panic, of pain, of regret, of hurt and sadness, of bitterness and resentment, of loss and anger I never thought I would be so okay.

The other day I was chatting to friend during a conversation and mentioned that selling Ivy might be something I have to consider at some point if I want to move around a lot. Sam immediately jumped in with a “no”.

Ivy means the world to me. She’s been my constant rock in the midst of some chaotic times and I couldn’t imagine life without her in it. Sam hasn’t seen that. I’ve ridden her less than a handful of times since I met him and I rarely speak about her. It’s not that I don’t care anymore, it’s just had to take a backseat focus. Yet somehow, he just knew selling her would be a bad idea.

I think that’s when you know. When you don’t have to say a word and they know. When you don’t have to convince someone of something, they know. When you can be yourself every second, every moment, and it’s okay. I can be more of myself than I’ve ever been able to be with one person.

Never settle. I agree with that.

Never settle for someone who doesn’t do everything in their power to love you, to nurture you, to help you grow, to see you smile.

I have stopped looking for another someone. But I will definitely not be settling.

I will not be settling for someone and I will not be settling down with someone. But I will most certainly share my life with someone who makes it more of a life because they’re part of it.

Alright, cute overload over. But I thought it was appropriate to have a sort of ‘final’ blog for the end of the relationship saga.

Now you’ll all just have to put up with me whinging about how my cup of tea always gets cold too quickly and the paper scanner at work hates me and how I can’t be bothered going to the gym this week so I’m giving myself a week off just cause.

The just cause is so I can ride Ivy, so I can make dinner for my family and for Sam, so I can spend a bit of time with my sister. I have goals, but at the same time, there is definitely an art to perfecting when you have to give and when you have to go for it. It’s all about balance.

On that note! Cheerio for now!

Bring on the wine time

My brain is frazzled. I can’t even write a blog properly. I keep Ctrl A, deleting everything. I mean some of it’s good, it’s just, well, sentences, words…things. Agh! I’ve spent the last few weeks juggling many hats. I’m a person of hats…you know all those different roles you do in life? I refer to them as hats, I think most people do?

So between the psychology, the job, life…more life…I wear a gazillion different hats. My most common is admin hat, PR hat, psychology hat,  workout hat, healthy eating hat, girl friend hat, grandchild hat, daughter hat (actually just general ‘family member’ hat), horse rider hat… I feel like I’m juggling everything and I just sort of throw it all up in the air at times because I just need to breathe, and wait for it to all come back down before I run around catching it all before it turns into a mess.

I don’t dislike any of my hats. There’s just a few of them…and I’m struggling a little to wear them all.

Last night I grabbed my interior design hat and hung up my girl friend hat for the evening and decided to tackle my room. It had become something of a nightmare. I had all sorts just stacked up in piles because when I moved all my things from Alex’s I shoved it all in and promptly decided to forget about it until a later date.

Five and a bit months later and I finally took down the disco ball and cleaned out the china teddy bear ornaments (disclaimer: these were there when I moved in!), moved the pile of towels and sheets into the blanket box and linen cupboard, actually filed the mountain of paper work on my desk, bought a hanging lamp to replace the disco ball and removed the old bedside lamp to make space for nothing, and moved my bed over to the wall.

My room is now spacious, clean, uncluttered, and makes me feel happy.

I needed a happy place – a place in which does not change and is in my control.

This used to be where I grazed my horse, then it was Alex’s, it’s sort of switched between the two depending on what’s happening in life at the time. Then when Casey and I moved in together it was my perfect little home.

Either way, I’ve had a place that I can relax, where I can decorate, tidy, and just breathe in…a place that feels like home and like it’s mine.

I sort of ditched my happy place for a while when I moved…I was too busy having fun. But now Ivy is being ridden by someone else, the gym is changing in terms of who’s there, Sam’s place is well, Sam’s place (and two other boys live there so you can imagine the bathroom… ), the house is my parents not mine. I have no happy place. So I decided it was time I created one.

And I feel at peace now, like everything is in order, even if its not in order. Even if it, at times, feels like it’s spiraling madly out of control.

My general day consists of doing: some sort of filing, some sort of binding of documents, some sort of searching for something in our internal system that’s mysteriously booked a permanent vacation and hightailed out of there, editing people’s bios for the company, writing press releases, making peoples long winded sentences shorter and easy to read, occasionally dealing with a grumpy interviewee, reading property news, answering phones, getting people to do things they don’t want to do for other people, writing articles. A few days a week I’m opening the show home, answering questions, cleaning, most days I’m studying psychology and counselling theories, conducting experiments, writing reports, trawling through the website for the course to figure out what I’m meant to be doing. I tend to finish with making sure my horse is alive, feeding it, running on the treadmill or cross trainer, lifting weights, having a shower, seeing Sam, remembering to see my family members, texting friends to make sure they’re still doing ok in life, catching up with friends at least once every few weeks…

I’m exhausted.

I am learning constantly, whether it’s working through emotional stuff I’m still dealing with in terms of relationships; learning how to be with someone new. Whether it’s figuring out the systems at work, how marketing is different to journalism, how to work in a big company, how to study again, what is psychology…and how to live with family close again. Oh yeah, and how to actually achieve my fitness goals!

It comes as no surprise really that I’ve had a few melt-downs lately. My most recent and perhaps most comical was in Kmart. I stood there, having had a rough day, rather annoyed at Sam because he wouldn’t buy a damn topper for his mattress or a bedside lamp! Right in that moment, absolutely nothing else on earth mattered except getting those two things. Why? Well the mattress topper is purely because the bed is uncomfortable, the lamp, yeah, I have no idea. I just really needed to have one.

I described myself to my mother last night as “Normal 95 per cent of the time, but that 5 per cent I really go all out on the crazy”. A good crazy I like to think… a crazy which results in OCD like behaviors which sees bedside lamps bought, mattress toppers put on beds, and my entire room cleaned and tidied.

So tonight my plans are to see my nan (she’s having chemo and radiation at the moment), study, gym, then study some more in my incredibly beautiful room, see Sam, and then sleep.

Tomorrow? I’ll do it all again.

And as for this weekend? It currently has nothing at all planned in it and I think I might just buy myself a magazine, some chocolate, and sit in the sun with a good glass of red wine. Because right now, all I can think about is doing nothing with wine.

 

 

 

Don’t dig your heals in and hold the door frame

I’ve been trying to hold back tears at work this morning. My throat is a little bit sore and my tummy isn’t loving me today so it could just be I’m getting sick and being emotional comes from that. But it’s a very strange mix of happy emotions and sad. As I sat looking at my Instagram (bet there hasn’t been an emotion inducing sentence quite like that before), I couldn’t help but be a little in love with my life and incredibly sad that things are moving on.

While I was travelling I noticed something about the way I viewed the world; I began to fall in love with how things smelt, how they felt, with the perfectly imperfectness of it. I fell in love with cloudy, rainy days in the mountains, with the bad smells in the markets in Cambodia, with the loneliness of travelling Vietnam by myself, with the stupid bike with the flat tire and plastic seat that caused chaffing. All the things that were wrong made it something. I loved the perfect things, but I was in love with the imperfect ones. They were what tested my character and what I noticed made the biggest changes in my personality.

I can’t deny the statement of ‘I was a different person when I came home’. It’s so cliché I haven’t wanted to use that so far. But I can’t think of any way around it. I was a much harder person, my heart had a much smaller capacity to love, and my walls refused to allow me the luxury of being in love with anything.

The world is an incredible thing to be in love with.

So where does all the emotion today come from? Well, when I came back from that trip, life was anything but perfect and it was anything but what I expected, but I loved it. I don’t think I’ve ever just relaxed, let my walls down, let my guard down and enjoyed where life was going like I did then. It’s normal I want to keep hold of that.

But things are changing, in great, wonderful, spectacular ways, but they’re different. That photo on my Instagram, a really lovely imperfect black and white shot of my besty and I on our last walk before she heads away, captured all of that. It captured how incredible being in love with the imperfect is – with the things that catch you off guard, that surprise you from nowhere.

I’m fighting back tears she’s leaving. And I’m incredibly happy that I feel that way. It means I’ve learnt to care deeply and not to shut off because it’s hard to say goodbye.

It’s easy to get caught up in life and just keep moving; we rarely stop to appreciate the moment of change, or how far we’ve come.

It’s not easy to move on from things you’ve left behind. Actually, it’s really bloody hard.

I spent several years looking on Facebook at people horse riding and competing. It was torture to see them doing what I expected to be doing. But just because it was hard to move on didn’t mean it was what I was meant to be doing it. It just meant it meant something to me. I loved competing, but there came a time where that wasn’t where I was headed anymore. It’s not my journey, it’s someone else’s. It’s what I thought was mine. But it wasn’t. It’s prepared me for many, many more journeys though.

When I watched my best friend get married and my little sister get engaged I struggled. That was the journey I wanted to be on, what I thought was what I was meant to be doing. But I was wrong at the time. It doesn’t mean it won’t be my journey, it’s just not where I was meant to be at the time. I struggled because it meant something to me, not because what I wanted was right.

Now I sit and see journalists ace stories, I see people doing my job well, I see people winning and making waves and I hear of good stories and I pine after it. I wanted it so badly to be me. But I know, deep down, where I’m headed now is where I am meant to be heading. I miss it, because it meant something, not because it’s where I should be now.

And there are days I still miss the farm. I still see photos of life back then and I miss it. I still get along with Alex. The last time we spoke it was like old friends catching up. But that doesn’t mean it was right. It’s not what either of us needed any longer. And sometimes I struggle with that because it meant something to me.

We all struggle to move on because it meant something. But staying put and chasing the past does not get that back. It doesn’t make it right.

We want to run back to what is familiar and comfortable when times are tough. When we see great change ahead it’s normal to want to run and hide under our blankets and let life stay where it is; where it’s comfortable.

Making things happen, being something, achieving something, satisfaction, love, being in love, travel… all of it is incredible, all of it is within our reach…but don’t ever expect it to feel comfortable.

You’re stepping outside of a comfort zone, that’s how you get somewhere. It’s never going to feel comfortable.

I imagined life to be much more ‘collected’ – a series of events which take place in a controlled chronological order. But it’s not at all. It’s often an unpredictable series of events, at times the events don’t always make sense. But you’ll look back one day and realise what those stepping stones, those branches that smacked you in the face, that mud which held you back, those roots you tripped over… were there for.

When you’re feeling the least comfortable, when you know deep down moving on is right, achieving is right, but you’re still stuck wanting what is familiar, think to yourself, back to a time in your life you struggled to let go and just think, what would life be like if it had never changed from then? Would you really still be happy if it had stayed exactly the same?

Would I be happy if things had stayed the same? No way.

I wouldn’t have a boyfriend who twirls me around the supermarket or turns up to work with flowers. I wouldn’t have had the balls to apply for the police, to start running, to study psychology. Heck, if life had stayed as wonderful as it first was when I started my job as a journalist I never would have left, I never would have gone overseas. Things change because we need them to, not always because we want them to.

Am I 100 per cent happy with where I am right now? No way. But I am in love with my life in every imperfect detail and every day I wake up proud of how far I have come and excited about what I can achieve… even the things I have no comprehension of right now. God’s got it.

But I struggle still to let go completely, to move on entirely, and to trust that there is a season for everything.

Who doesn’t?

So on that note, I’m off to continue eating my popcorn and sipping my tea, waiting for that 2pm to come around and for me to race out of here in search of weekend freedom!