It never was going to be easy…

I think one of the biggest traps you can fall into when you make a big change in your life, is expecting it to be ‘good’ all the time. People ask me, as I ask them, how life is going, how’s the new job, how’s the relationship, how’s this and that and the other. It’s good that people care. But it’s also easy to fall into the trap of thinking all they want to hear is ‘good’.

I love my new job, it’s going well I think, but I’ve started answering that question with ‘it’s really hard’. The new job is really hard. Most new jobs are. Aside from the ‘what the hell did you do to end up working in THAT job’ looks…it’s just a tiring job.

Just because you decided to make a big change, and even if you love it, doesn’t make it easy.

I think that’s something that’s really easy to forget.

Support though, is the second biggest. It’s easy for people to say ‘don’t over do it’ or ‘you’re too tired take a break’. It’s well meaning, it always is. But with everything comes work, hard work. And like with the many lessons I’ve learnt so far in life, I know how far I can push myself before I need a break.

Coffee, coffee is good right now.

It’s coming to the end of 2016 and just like each year for the past few years there have been massive highs and massive lows. Life just throws those at you sometimes, but I also think when you put yourself out there, when you make adjustments, when you push yourself, you’re going to come up against some friction. And like anyone who has ridden a bike with sweaty thighs knows, friction is not your friend.

Next year is going to be just as, if not more so challenging than this year. I threw a little tantrum about that the other day because, well, I really just want a break. But while running down the beach, my lungs screaming at my that running is a silly thing to do, the salt air stinging my eyes, I took a moment to say to myself: ‘well of course it’s going to be damn hard’.

I get told on the regular to ‘stop being negative’. I respond ‘honestly, I’m just realistic’. I stopped kidding myself it would be rainbows and lollipops a little while back. Why? Because it’s not. And if you’re prepared for rainbows and lollipops and instead get kale juice and salad, you’re not going to last very long. If you expect the kale juice and salad, and accept you just need those to grown and be a healthy human, well it’s not going to be a disappointment, it’s going to be a growing experience.

I want to achieve a lot. And doing that means hard work, which means times of pain, sacrifice and tears. It means I won’t always get the fairytale, but I will get the action film.

When I made the decision to live life with 100 per cent of what I can give, and with 100 per cent faith I’m doing the right thing, I knew it would be hard.

It will be hard.

It will be uncomfortable.

I will throw tantrums.

And sometimes I will want to give up.

But I am looking at next year as many mountains to climb, with many views from the top.

And yes my butt will hate me for climbing them all, but I will do it. Because I can do it. Because I’ve never said no to a challenge yet.

It is easy to look at other people and wish for simplicity or for things to go ‘right’. But they don’t, not for anyone. Everyone struggles. You see simply a slice of the pie…not the whole thing.

So with that I shall continue to work myself into the ground to save a lot of money to get the things I want and to get better at the career I’ve decided I’ll give my best shot at.

They boys at work told me today I was too nice. They’re yet to see the crazy…just wait…I have the determination and stubbornness of my horse when it doesn’t want to walk through a puddle. Not all methods of gaining respect come in the form of swearing, anger and muscles.

And they’ll see that…

In saying that I intend to keep going to the gym to kick their butts in the weights room…again…so maybe it has a little bit to do with muscles.

But that’s beside the point.

And for the ironic moment of the day… if you’re having a bad day, just remember I crashed my car on the way to my police exam and it cost me $400 to fix it. Because, why wouldn’t you crash your car on the way to a police exam?!

 

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1,2,3…25

It’s been five month since I arrived home. When I put it like that it doesn’t seem long at all, but I feel like I’ve lived a life time in that period! I’d have laughed if you’d told me, as I boarded that plane home from Paris, I’d be in marketing, PR and working as a office ‘doer of lots of things’ with a new relationship. I might have believed you if you’d told me I’d be applying for the police force and studying psychology. But I would have been surprised, because honestly, I never thought I had the guts to just get up and change everything.

There are many defining moments in a person’s life. As a child some of those might be learning to talk, to walk, to eat, to make friends… or not to. In your younger teen years you decide if you’re going to drink, have sex, date, drive, what hobbies you’ll pursue, what subjects at school you’ll chose. As a young adult you’ll decide where to study, what to study, how much effort you’ll put into that study…you’ll begin serious relationships or you might not. You’ll have to decide if you’re going to be the sober driver or risk a DIC. You’ll make tough choices about the right and wrong decision. You’ll decide to travel or not to, who you marry, when you’ll have kids. You might find out you can’t have kids and you choice you make then will definite a lot.Or you might not want them. That’s cool too.

We never stop making defining decisions.

So far I have made many, many defining life decisions. But I don’t look back and think ‘man I’m glad I kept trying to walk every time I fell over as a child’. I just got up and did it without ever stopping to think about the significance of it.

I think as we get older it’s easy to over think every decision. Anyone who knows me will have a chuckle at that. I’m the classic over thinker, I know I am, and I’m working on that ok?…in between the random freak-outs and tears…

I have a ‘what if’ for almost every occasion.

But the other side to my personality is my ability to just do it because my gut tells me it’s exactly where I’m meant to be. For every ‘what if’ I have a ‘why not?’

It’s very conflicting at times.

And it also makes for a very exciting, well thought through life.

I’m the sort of person who doesn’t sit still for long. I might fall down for a moment, and as my mother can attest to, lie in the middle of the living room floor because I just can’t face life at that moment, but I will always, always get up and find plan B. Sometimes plan B should have always been my plan A.

There I was, just before my medical assessment for the police, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous for anything…ever. I have never wanted something more than I want this. Not because it’s my plan B, but because while I was travelling I realised this was always meant to be my plan A, I just needed to do a few things before I could arrive here.

So it matters. It matter so damn much I can’t think of it not working out.

This is a life defining decision but I’m going to face many, many obstacles on that journey, just like I did when I learnt to walk.

I want more than anything to help people, to analyse people, to bring change, to discover things, to work with people to make things better. I want improvement, I want betterment, I want a life full of incredible surprises and breath taking moments of joy.

But that takes moments of tearful frustration, sore muscles, a tired mind, and late nights.

I have run five times a week for the past eight weeks. I’ve cut my run time for 2.4km from 17 minutes down to 13 minutes. I need to get another minute off, I want to get another two off.

That’s a massive goal for someone like me whose body thinks running is an odd concept only used during moments of high adrenaline.

The sixth day home from overseas I got on that treadmill. I knew damn well what I wanted but I also knew how far away from it I was. I managed to run 1km that day in 10 minutes. It took me a month and a half to be able to run 2km.

My legs ache, my ankles ache, my lungs burn. I hate that treadmill so much, so, so, so damn much.

I’ve gone from doing 6 push ups to 25 in the space of three months.

My arms ache every day, my back aches. My legs are currently covered in Kinesio tape from the knee down. I don’t think there is a muscle in my body that hasn’t hurt at some point in the past three months. I spend an hour a day in the gym five-six days a week.

I spend most of my afternoons working on assignments going over word counts, analysing data, and reading books for my psychology diploma. I owe my parents a nice little amount of money for that too…that’s worth a good trip overseas.

As for the travel I want to do at the end of the year… I work two jobs on top of study and fitness. Because I want to pay off my debt and I want to see the world.

The other day I flopped down at home, like I usually do after I get home from the gym, I was almost in tears. I’d upped the speed on the treadmill and struggled to make it to 2km before I had to stop. I put huge pressure on myself to achieve things quickly. Sometimes though, it’s really important to stop and congratulate yourself for making it this far without giving up.

I’m currently battling shin splints.

I really hate the debt I have.

I desperately want to make that run time.

I have absolutely no idea if I’m going to pass my assignments.

But it’s all for something. And I’m incredibly amazed with how I really did leave my job, go overseas, walk away from a relationship going no where, start again, find a new career goal, and take charge of my life. I just up and turned it all around because it wasn’t where I wanted to be going.

I don’t think enough people take charge of their lives and trust what they know is right.

It’s easy to sit down and sulk and go ‘I can’t do it, it’s too hard’. But I know what would be much harder than this right now, is sitting in the same place in a few years time wondering why I didn’t just go for it.

When I stop and I look back on just how far I’ve come in a very short space of time I remind myself that anything is possible if you’re crazy enough to believe it.

Big goals, take big sacrifices.

And on a rainy night last night all I wanted to do was curl up in bed with a good book and a cup of tea, but instead I finished an assignment and spent 40 minutes at the gym. I’m out of energy, out of motivation, but it’s one foot after another.

#neverstopstarting

(Yeah, I stole that from the Spark ad campaign… so what, it’s a good quote!)

Till next time!

It’s a long week already.

First week of work conquered, here comes the second! I’m not quite sure if my body is still recovering from the insanity that was last year, or if my brain has just officially quit. But the headaches are back, and they’ve been back for over a week.

I haven’t suffered headaches like these for over three years now, so my tolerance for them is limited. That, and my heart keeps doing weird things. My chest hurts, my eyes hurt, and I can’t sleep…and keep having nightmares.

CAN THE HEALTH THINGS PLEASE STOP NOW!

So, it’s back to the homeopath. The problem with natural health is you’re slowly peeling back an onion…each symptom is a layer, which eventually leads you to the root cause. Sometimes, you get down enough layers and you think yes! I’ve got to the bottom of it. No, no not always.

It’s also time for a trip to the doctor again to hopefully get a few more comprehensive blood tests done and a few more answers to a lot of questions.

Perhaps it is just the heat, or my body begrudgingly continuing with ‘adult’ life which it doesn’t think it’s quite ready for…but either way, I’d like it to get over it!

Enough of my whinging. I managed three out of five days exercising before work, and tomorrow, I think I’m going to go for a run…nothing quite clears my head like a good run when I’m frustrated.

Toodles for now, stay strong all of you who might be struggling to get happily into 2015, and keep focused on the cool things that are ahead. If you don’t have any cool things ahead, plan some.

I won’t admit defeat!

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!

Dear real world

Dear real world:

Ok, we need to have a word. Seriously, I am not happy. You slowly drew me in, you made me feel loved, encouraged, in control. Well, did you have another thing coming. Just when I thought it was ok to sleep with my eyes closed! I mean, over due phone bills, really, you’re going to pull that one? It would have been polite to send the bill before it became over due. Just a little tip for the future. It makes people happy when you’re kind to them. The bank? You got them involved in this too! I mean common, that’s just not fair. I don’t even want their money! At least give me enough hours in the day to change banks so I can be happy. Though, with your tack record at the moment life, they would find some way to suck all my horse money from me, taking my soul along with it. Speaking of the horse, did he have to hurt himself TWICE in the past month? Now you are just getting carried away. That’s just not fair. And no, I will not be calling the vet and spending even more of my pretty little and now scarce pennies on a call out fee. Now, I don’t mean to whine or anything, but is there any chance that the people I call on deadline, namely the police, would actually pick up? I know, I know. I should do these stories well before deadline. But you don’t give me much choice, life, and I’d really like it if you just went easy for a week. Or two. Or perhaps continuously? Don’t be boring, I don’t want that. Just, well, kind. Leave me with some amount of cash please? And a hobby that isn’t broken. 

Oh, and this cold. Not cool. I mean I was getting along, I was managing, but this cold. I seriously started crying on the phone to the Telecom lady. I think she thought I had something seriously wrong with me. I just get like that when I’m sick. I also decided crying was a much better option than yelling at her. It’s not her fault you’re being a bitch life. 

Sorry to use such harsh language, but some warning about these past two weeks would have been nice. Kind even. You know that thing that people sometimes are to each other. KIND! 

On that note life, I’d just like you to know you can buck up your ideas. I will make it through this week, alive at the most, but I shall. 

So suck it! 

Sorry, please be my friend. 

On the other side

As I near the end of my nearly three weeks of real work before a holiday, I can’t help but realise just how little I have written about it. With a new horse, new house and sudden realisation I need to make more friends, it just wasn’t on my mind. 

Not that it isn’t important, it’s just become normal. Sure it has only been three weeks, not even that but it feels right. Like I always belonged there, I just took my time getting there. I don’t feel different as such, but things have changed. I work the same way I did as an intern, I get the same excitement when I get hooked on a story, but I get my face on the front page and a nice pay cheque for my efforts. 

I have lived in Hamilton for three years and it has never really felt like home. On the odd occasion I would look around and think, yes, this is where I live and I love it. Or sometimes I’d think maybe I want to spend the rest of my life here. But not once, not one single time did I feel like it was home. This is now home, not just where I live. It is where I shop, wander, think, breathe, move, live, it is where I exist. 

For the first time, in a very, very long time, I fit. It has been a long battle to find what I want and where I want to be. To a normal person from the outside, my life looks to have fallen into place, to some degree it has. But each step there were tiny little fairy steps, ones people didn’t see. Those are the steps that are hard, the what city, what kind of paper etc. Because you never quite know till you get there, you never know what you want to be until you are it. 

I have a job. And it is not just a job, it is my life. When I write those stories it feels normal, natural, I don’t have to try to be anything except myself. I am making friends and meeting people. I have a whole world in front of me that I had dreaded and now, living in it is glorious. 

Not to get all deep and weird on you, but for the past three years I just happened, I was just here. I horse rode, I wrote, I studied. But now I live, I don’t just ride, I meet people and have conversations about riding. I don’t just write, I breathe and think words. I don’t study, I work. 

I didn’t quite know what I wanted, until I got everything I needed. I don’t want to work for a magazine or live in an apartment. It is funny how what you think you want, is sometimes nothing more than a fantasy. You want the cake but really, you just like the idea of cake. There are many things I can relate that to, but I’m going to keep it PG. I want to work at a community paper because you are writing for the people who care about it, because you can actually make a difference. And even if you don’t, you get to understand the place you live in. You get to know the people around you. I want to live in the country on the farm. I don’t want to give up competing, I want to horse ride and I want to be good at it. And there is no reason I can’t do and have those things. 

It is all about perspective. When you come out the other side of desperation, you realise just how lucky you are to be alive and you take every single second of your magical life and appreciate it, because when you don’t have that beautiful feeling of hope, struggling is something you become very familiar with. 

Is it worth it?

Life is moving along now. The end of the year is nearing and I am feeling like a racehorse who is just about to cross the finish line: exhausted, worn down, relieved, excited and victorious. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the hard work and the challenges but sometimes, life is just tiring. Things are going to change soon. Not like changing the sticking plaster on your pinky, but like changing from a wheelchair to crutches. My flatmate and best friend may be moving. I am staying. I may live alone. My sister will be closer. I won’t be competing. My horse will hopefully be pregnant. And there will be no more tech. Full time work. Full time me. Full time living life. There are a lot of maybes in that list. Of course that doesn’t make it any easier to digest. So many unknowns and could be’s. It is just one stumbly step after another. 

I told a friend today that I was tired of fighting. He asked me if it was worth it. To be honest, I am ashamed to say I hadn’t even stopped to think about that. I was so wrapped up in how worn out I felt I forgot to think ‘why am I doing this?’ Because it is so worth it. The hard work and the exhaustion and the changes and the mountains this year have been so, so worth it. Will taking these new changes in my stride and keeping on keeping on be worth it in 6months time? You bet ya. 

As I prepare to take my horse to see a boy horse to make a baby horse, I sit and I think about all the times in life that I have wanted to be in this place in my life. I’ve wanted to be here. I made it, alive. Do I feel complete, like I have made it to the final destination? Or like I thought I’d feel when I dreamt about being here? Well, no. Heck no. But that is what we need as human beings to keep going: we need to dream and hope and wish and want and strive. We need to want to be more, or we will be nothing. 

One, step, at, a, time.

 

Petrol pump guy and small change.

Exhaustion. I’d like to blame it on study, and that is partly it. It is possibly also a lack of sleep and the fact I thought it would be a good idea to start running. While I am still clinging to the hope that some day in the future I will look back and thank my past self for starting this exciting adventure that is running, the current me hates myself for it. 

My legs ache, my back ache, my ankles ache due to bad shoes. My everything is exhausted. I have always hated running and now I know why. Don’t get me wrong, I love the freedom of going fast, clearing my head, listening to some good music, enjoying nature – all for about 10 mins of the run. I push myself. I’m just like that. But it will pay off eventually. I hope.

In between my sore body and my feeling like there simply is no possible way to ever escape the constant pile of small tasks to do for tech, I feel good. Today I was ready to break down and either kill or cry at the petrol pump. Why this particular petrol station thought it would be a good idea to install pumps that are unable to reach over a small car is beyond me. I paid – because it’s prepay – then realized it wasn’t going to work and hung the pump back up. Then of course it no longer worked. I went back into the petrol station and the lovely petrol guy fixed it. Or so I thought. Merrily (though in a fowl mood) I let it run. It didn’t stop at the amount it should have. Now seriously about to cry (the reason has nothing to do with the pump… but it’s a story that’s perhaps not for here) I dragged my feet back inside to pay the balance. The lovely petrol pump guy waved it and said “don’t worry about it.” I wanted to hug him in that moment. If he didn’t work there I’d buy him a coffee. 

It’s the small things that make your day. I have good friends, a good boyfriend, a good hobby and I have met some wonderful stranger. Life’s not all bad. Just a bit stressful.

Here’s the crutch. Stand on your own two feet.

Breathe. Deeper. One more. Now smile. Find a song. Sing it loudly. Breathe again. Smile some more. Ignore racing heart. Stand taller. Turn the music up. Once more. Breathe. One more. Smile. Sing. Breathe. Smile. Breathe. 

Let the tears make their way through the drawn on happiness. It’s ok you know. You ask yourself once more. Does anyone care? Yeah. Someone must. The morning takes too long to warm a cold body. Sunshine doesn’t quite reach the heart. Mist covers the hurt. Traffic hides the noise of a heart beating too hard for its chest. This is it. This is the start of life. That’s what they say. We’re young. We’re made for this. Talk till 2am. We’re still alone. You know. Just inside that’s the way. Winter does this. Sad songs explain this. 

Get in the car. Watch the petrol gage. Light comes on. Keep driving. It’s dark. Wonder where we’ll end up out here. Turn that music up. Rain is always colder when you’re watching it fall. Leave no stone unturned. No road untraveled. Let the moments take you. Fall to pieces. 

This is just it. Run or stand. Here we are. Time takes its toll. Nothing but love. That’s what we want. Nothing but hate. Isn’t that what we all give? Stand on your own two feet. So they cut them off. Here you are. 

Breathe. Deeper. One more. Now smile. Find a song. Sing it loudly. Hold breath. Close eyes. Smile fades. Heart races. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.