The accidental new beginning

It’s been a while since I’ve had the inspiration to write. Not for any particular reason, sometimes life just takes a little while to sink in before you realise there’s more to the story. I’m a youth/care worker now, my little sister is married, I passed my initial police tests and I’m starting some cool volunteer stuff! I did some travel, I came back from that travel…still in a relationship (yay!).

So where are we at? I started my new job today. I work at a youth justice residence…which in short is a place where teens are sent when they’ve committed a crime but they’re not quite bad enough to be sent to prison…or they’re on their way there it’s just that the way the legal system works they come to us for a period of their time.

Why?

It’s a good question. How did I go from being a journalist to marketing to youth work? Honestly…I don’t know.

I could tell you it’s because I ran out of challenges in my life. Or I could tell you it’s the only job I could get. Or perhaps it’s because I want to get the best experience possible for my youth work career. But to be entirely honest, while those are all absolutely 100 per cent true, it’s not THE reason.

I could have found myself a well paying office job processing invoices or answering a phone. I could have worked at a supermarket or at a cafe. I could have gone overseas to work. I could have moved cities.

But I made myself a promise while I was travelling the first time. I’ve been home just over a year now and I haven’t forgotten it.

“If you’re not part of the solution, you have little right to complain about the problem. Don’t ever sit and wait for someone else to do what you can do and don’t ever doubt your ability to go one step further than you thought you could. Oh, and don’t run away because you’re scared you can’t do it.”

So I decided, while I was crying and yelling at my laptop in my hotel room in Zimbabwe, that life wasn’t about me. All I could think while I was travelling is how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful country…and how much I wanted to work to keep it that way. We honestly have no true comprehension of how lucky we are. And I’m sure people have heard that all before, but that for me was the first time I believed it.

And so yes, while my career moves and life changes have been somewhat socking, unexpected, and certainly taken me by surprise, I know I’m where I’m meant to be.

I want to improve people’s lives, I want to work with people everyone else has given up on, I want to be part of the solution. And while my life has certainly been a stark contrast to some of these kids, I do get that when you hit rock bottom you learn a hell of a lot about yourself…and it’s actually where you make some of the most important decisions of your life. It’s not where you are, it’s what you do in those moments that define your life.

In this past 18 months my life has been an exceptional roller coaster. I’ve gone from a promising journalism career to a rather odd looking youth work one. I’ve walked away from an unhealthy relationship into what has been the most unexpected blessing of a person. I have had sky high ‘my life is the best’ moments to rock bottom ‘what the hell am I meant to do?’ moments.

I was told I could never have a writing career because I couldn’t spell…so I went and had one. And got the degree to prove it. I never thought I could learn another language, but I passed journalism shorthand in 8 months. I have never been able to run…but I just passed a 2.4km run in 11mins and 43seconds.

At 23 I’ve not only achieved everything I wanted to by the end of my life, I’m onto the next thing(s). And the exciting part about that, is I have no clue where this will take me! I’ve already achieved that…so it’s all about making the most out of it. I was going to say enjoyment, but not everything that is good is enjoyable.

I can tell you right now, I never in a million years thought I could actually work with youth. But here I am, in one of the most challenging positions I could have imagined, and I’m ready for it.

I’m a firm believer in ‘if you’re not being challenged, you’re not growing’. Challenges come in all forms. For the past three months it’s been my greatest challenge to accept redundancy, and just wait for a job. I applied for about 30. I had three interviews, the first I didn’t get the job, the second I never heard back, and the third is the job I’m in now. Each week I’d get two-three “we’re sorry to inform you…” emails from failed job applications. I’m just as broke as I was when I came back from travel a year ago. I felt in many ways I’d made zero progress. What I realise now, is how much that humbled me. Sometimes you have to be at rock bottom to accept what your picture of life is, is only a tiny little piece of the picture, or actually someone else’s entirely.

This job is bloody hard. And there will never be a day of work where I forget that. I also spend 95 per cent of my shift wondering what the hell I am doing.

But I’m here. This is the door that opened and I won’t cheat myself out of life by wondering what that nice well paid office job might feel like. Because some people love that and are meant for that. I’m not…and I’m coming to terms with what that means for my life.

You owe it to yourself to give life everything you’ve got. Leave nothing on the table at the end of it because you have one. People tell me to slow down. I think the problem is too many people go so fast they do not stop to take it all in, to realise the journey they’re on. It’s a whole other ball game to simply do many things. You can do many things and still take it all in; still appreciate each moment for what it is. Don’t deny yourself the chance and freedom to just do it…to live it. And give it your whole heart. It might be hard. Life doesn’t always feel good, or easy, nor kind to you. But that doesn’t or shouldn’t change your perspective on it.

People often seem surprised by my life choices…but I can tell your right now no one is more surprised than I am.

Tonight I sat listening to one of the other staff members tell me fascinating stories about his life. For a brief moment I took in everything around me and thought ‘yep, that’s right, you really are working in a youth justice residence’. I laughed, because while I’m an anxious person who likes to plan, I also kind of love the ‘surprise!’ this is my life.

The unknown can be fun when you realise everything is uncertain…and that’s ok.

Oh yeah…and I bought a beehive! I’m a bee keeper too…just for fun (with Sam. We bought two…).

Till next time (hopefully I’ll write again before I make another random career move).

Even one step is still movement

“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” – Bell Hooks, All About Love

It’s been a struggle street as anyone who’s read my blog lately will know. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You all come here for a laugh or a bit of information and I’ve been shoving pity parties in your face for months.

Never the less, I am back.

While I’m still wallowing in moments of ‘I CAN’T DO THIS’…I’ve decided it’s time to get the big girl pants on and be brave.

That might sound a little sarcastic. It’s not meant to.

Here’s the thing about not only changing my complete life direction, but also wanting a job that I can throw every ounce of spare energy into; it’s daunting. I’m living in a space of constant pushing; constant needing to be more, do more, achieve more, learn more.

To make big moves you have to take big steps.

And sometimes, that’s damn terrifying.

Ok, ok, here’s what that looks like for me right now. Jobs. There are jobs every three or so weeks that come up which I think ‘YES, THAT IS WHAT I WANT!’

But, there is always a list of necessary requirements. Most jobs I feel as though I could fit that, I could do that and/or I have the skills and have previously achieved it.

But with every job that makes me think ‘YES’, is a little voice that goes ‘oh but you can’t do that!’

Sush little voice, it’s not your turn right now.

Here’s what being brave looks like: I’ve written copious cover letters. I have edited, rewritten and I have attempted to perfect my CV. Now, I need to send that. I need to click apply and just do it.

It sounds easy.

But it’s the first step toward ‘YES, I’m doing life a different way now’.

I don’t actually have a ‘plan’. I couldn’t give you my ideal job description without changing it about five times and adding in almost every skill I have into a job description I’m pretty sure doesn’t exist.

What I do know: I want to make a change in people’s lives and I have the skills, and at the very least the determination and energy, to do that.

And that voice is the one that needs to be heard.

If I don’t get an interview, so what? If I don’t get the job? So what. I’m still taking the first step toward the possibility. And that’s something I constantly remind myself of…it’s not a failure if it’s not successful, it’s just not the right time and the right thing.

There will be another thing and a right time. Patience.

Making big life changes is terrifying and anyone who has ever just up and said ‘enough is enough I’m making something of myself’ knows what that feels like. It’s not that I didn’t have a great job in the past, it’s not that I don’t have a good one now. It’s that I’m searching for the job I want to stay up till midnight working on.

I know, I’m mad right?

But when someone asked the other day what my 10 year vision was I said (among other things) to have a job I enjoyed so much, I wanted to work over 50 hours a week doing it.

I have energy and I’m incredibly ambitious. Not for myself, but because I have a vision for what I want this country to look like…so I’m pretty determined to go after that and make it happen.

But with that comes drive and energy I didn’t realise I actually had in me…unless we’re talking about running. I never have enough energy or drive for that.

However, it’s easy to be ‘busy’ doing things that don’t actually get you any further. I used to hate being bored because I hated having the time for thoughts to take over and self doubt to creep in. I often avoided being alone with silence because silence can be a very terrifying thing.

You might be wondering why I began this blog with the quote I did…

Because learning to be alone for me, was the first step toward making changes that I always wanted to make, but was far to afraid to make them. People were a little perplexed as to why I wanted to go hiking in Austria alone. It’s a country people from New Zealand don’t venture to much. Hiking in Autumn is an odd thing to do. And it’s pretty remote and few people speak English.

I knew it’s what I needed.

I needed to be alone to learn to support myself, love myself, and process thoughts in a positive way. I needed to lean on myself first so when I lent on other people it wasn’t because I needed to avoid myself, it would be because I need them as the person they are with the skills they have. And a mountain in the middle of Austria is a pretty great way to do that.

What do I want to do? I’m not 100 per cent sure. What do I want to achieve? Now that I am very sure of. And being alone gave me time to realise the honest truth of that: what I was doing, wasn’t even close to achieving what I wanted to achieve.

And that might have lead to the end of a relationship, landing on my parents door and bunking down back at home for a year and being jobless periodically…but you know what…it was still worth it.

Now instead of being busy doing things for the sake of being busy…I’m doing things that have a purpose and a point and will hopefully point me in the right direction.

Even one step is still movement.

I’m an ideas person and I’ve started allowing myself to follow ideas. I need to get a diary for jotting them all down. But in the past it’s been pretty easy to say ‘well actually nah, that’s not worth doing.’

I mean I still probably have at least five ideas a day that really aren’t useful. However, I’ve stopped being annoyed at myself for that. Ideas good or bad are great. It means I’m thinking in such a way that can create change.

So that’s my positive vibes for Friday. I hope you’re all as pumped as I am for the weekend! I’m taking Monday off to spend it at the mountain because sometimes it’s good to make time for having fun for the sake of it.

Till next time x

A walk up struggle street

It think it’s hard to be out of control of your life. There are decision, and then there are things that just sort of happen. And I do believe a lot of that is just the straw you drew. You know when you’re a kid and you had to pick the longest straw in order to get to make the decision? It didn’t matter how much you thought about it or even really your guess…it was simply down to luck. The rest of it, was just making the most of the straw you drew.

Right now my straw is the middle one.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed. I’m not stressed about how much I have on. I’m a busy person, I love that. I had a whole afternoon to myself and I spent it deciding on tattoos and flights to another country…and that’s why I should only have a limited amount of free time!

I’m stressed because of the things out of my control.

My thyroid results were good. I should be very happy with them. But they want to run extra tests. That’s fine, that’s normal. But I think there is never a point in which ‘we want to run extra tests to rule out cancer’ becomes an easy thing to digest. Not at 22. Not ever. Not when you know what that looks like in the long run. Not when you have for the past few years realised the same thing has been said to people who it has become a reality for. And it’s almost impossible to understand the uncontrollable concern that comes with living with a condition that can change so much of your life so quickly…and with very little warning.

I am completely at the mercy of what my body decided to do…

And that at times is incredibly difficult.

I think personally, I’ve come to terms with things like the idea that if it all goes wrong, I might not have a family. I’ve come to terms with many, many things to do with this condition. I’ve thought about quantity verse quality if it becomes a cancerous node. I’ve educated myself best I can and I’ve considered all options from best case to worst case scenario.

And you could say don’t worry until you need to…

But I think preparing yourself for every outcome is wise, because you never really do know.

For me it’s never about myself anymore. It’s about who I’m with, it’s about a future family, it’s about the other persons hopes and dreams for life. And the weight of that, when I have little control over the outcome, is terrifying.

 

In three months I will have no job.

I have absolutely no idea where I am headed next. I have so many ideas and dreams for life and zero idea how to make those happen in a short time frame.

I am terrified on so many different levels of life and the weight of that this week has definitely sunk well into my soul.

Perhaps I’m just a little bit worn down from several years of repetitive bad news. But it’s certainly made me appreciate the moments of sunshine.

There are these little moments, like when the day is sunny and I walk out of the office and it just fills my whole body with warmth. Or days when the sun is setting and I race down to the beach to catch the perfect photo and I feel my toes in the sand and the waves crashing and it just feels like home. Or the times on the mountain snowboarding when it’s just a beautiful day and I look down at how tiny it all seems from so high up. Or moments when I taste a really good coffee or a waiter is super helpful with food I can eat. Or times I just snuggle into my horse and breathe in that musty smell and I feel this little moment of utter peace. There are these moments in life I think I used to miss a lot of the time.

Before the dodgy teachers, before the broken relationships, before the health problems, before cancer got to people I love, before people died, before I missed out on sporting dreams…I don’t think I really understood how beautiful those moments were.

Sometimes I just sit somewhere in town and watch people walk past. Or I buy myself something as simple as a nice face wash. Those things remind me of the good parts, of the really nice parts.

It’s not all bad. And often the big scary things in life seem so big and so scary they take over those little moment of joy.

Jobless and cancer are two pretty scary concepts. And it’s about the only time I ever feel young and ill equipped…because I don’t know how to cope with those.

I’m sure it will work out. I’ll find a good job and the tests will come back as we expect; clear and providing certainty and hope.

But there is always, always in the back of my mind that little ‘well what if they don’t?’

And the worst part about is it is it’s not even just the product of an overactive mind coming up with things to worry about. They are real concerns and real possibilities.

That’s the scary part.

I want so much for life. I want to change so many things in other peoples lives. And I find standstill the most frustrating setting.

But like everything, it’s just a season. And seasons change. Each has it’s own negatives and its positives. I think, after awhile, you just kind of learn to accept that.

Even just learning to accept that sadness and hold on for the ride…that’s a pretty big lesson in itself.

But lately I’ve been taking a walk or two up struggle street.

And you know what, that’s actually ok too.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

40 things you always need to remember

I’ve been pretty slack with my blogging. I’ve been going through a fair few ups and downs lately adjusting to a new life and letting someone new into that life. It’s great, things are really great with life. I’m heading in a direction I want to go, I’m taking time out for myself, I’m seeing an amazing person; I’m really happy with myself – who I am, what I’ve achieved, what I will achieve, and what I have in life right now. So I thought it was about time to put together a list of my top 40 things I always need to remember, and wish I’d learnt earlier. They’re simple, but they’re easy to forget. Enjoy!

  1. Don’t waste time feeling guilty for things you can’t change. Yep, you might have been a bitch, you might have done the wrong thing, you might have lied for no reason, you might have taken three pieces of cake…stop beating yourself up about it. You cannot change what you have done, but you can front up, apologize, and chose differently next time.
  2. Never deny how you feel. Pissed off she stole your boyfriend? Maybe you don’t really want to give up your career for him? Perhaps you don’t want to have kids? Don’t pretend the feelings don’t exist in order to make other people feel comfortable. Who cares if they don’t like how you feel? You’re only have yourself to blame when you’re miserable if you’ve ignored how you felt. If you feel it, admit it to yourself and then live your life accordingly.
  3. Stop feeling like you ‘should’ do something. Either do it, or don’t do it. It’s that simple. Yes you should have more self control when eating that desert, yes you should have gone to bed earlier. Stop pretending and start doing. Stop eating the desert, not telling yourself you should have chosen differently later. Don’t sleep with him the first place if you knew it was a bad decision. Make a decision gosh darn it, and stick to it.
  4. Respect other and expect respect and settle for nothing less. If you expect respect, you’re not going to put up with people treating you like you’re worthless, like you don’t have valuable ideas, or that it doesn’t matter if they hurt or use you. If they don’t respect your basic human rights, walk away and stop dealing with it.
  5. Stand up for yourself. She’s being a bully? Yeah, bullies suck, but stop crying, stop caring, stop letting those toxic people occupy space in your brain. Find outlets to get rid of those negative thoughts, find someone to sit with you on the bus so you’re not a target, stop staying late at the office, learn how to punch (but don’t actually do it…), learn how to do your make up, tell yourself you’re a babe and that you’re brave every morning. If you exude confidence, you’re less likely to be targeted in the first place. If you are but you’re confident in who you are and what you’re want, you’re not going to back down and put up with it.
  6. Know what you don’t want. Most people have no idea what they want, I think at times it can be really healthy not to know where you’re heading. But always know what you DON’T want. If you know you don’t want to be lazy, if you know you don’t want that stomach flab, if you know you don’t want to have one night stands, if you know you don’t want to cut your hair short… then it doesn’t matter (within serious reason) what decisions you make, because you’re always going to make ones based on your values.
  7. Enjoy your friends…and make good ones. If you find you’re not really fitting into your friend group, move on. Find ways to make connections with people all the time. The more choice you have the less likely you are to stick around people who you don’t enjoy being with. It’s ok to not like people, and it’s ok to not want to spend time with people…just make sure you find other ones that you do want to be around. A good friend group is like a family and they’re going to help with funny memes and deep quotes and alcohol and tissues when life sucks. Because at times it is going to suck.
  8. You know what you are doing; don’t be afraid of doing it. If it’s your job, your hobby, whatever…if you have experience and skills, back yourself to do the job. Sure you might need advice or assistance and don’t be afraid to ask for this, but always back yourself to get the job done and to do it well. You can, you are, and you will be great. Just don’t forget that.
  9. You’re going to make mistakes. Accept this is part of the learning process and don’t beat yourself up for it. There will be mistakes that are not entirely your fault, there will be moments it’s out of your control, and there will be times you just plain screwed it all up. Be quick to forgive yourself, don’t go to bed hating the fact you messed up. Just learn from it and apologize when you need to…or even when you don’t.
  10. Be kind to yourself. It’s ok to stay at home and have a two hour long bubble bath while your friends are at the pub. It’s ok to spend a long weekend making apple sauce and doing the gardening. It’s ok to spend all morning in bed watching crappy TV shows. Don’t do it all the time, but don’t feel bad when you just need a break from the world. If it’s been a rough week and you need a third glass of wine, have it. If you want to have a wild night out with friends, do it. Everything in moderation means enjoy it, but know when enough is enough.
  11. You can never have enough snuggly jumpers. Seriously. Have all sorts of ridiculously snuggly jumpers you can wrap yourself up in on those cold nights, on those miserable mornings, and during those times you just need a cuddle.
  12. Don’t keep secrets. So you’re going to have crap happen in your life. You’ll probably do a lot of dumb stuff. You might make some really big mistakes. You’ll probably fail to handle some things. Don’t keep it a secret. Find someone to talk to, confide in someone. Open up to someone and admit it when you’re not coping or haven’t in the past.
  13. Be patient with yourself. In everything you do, breathe, relax, take a moment to think before you speak, before you get angry, before you hate yourself, before you walk away from that person. In everything be patient but particularly be patient with yourself. You’ll learn how to do it, you’ll recover, you’ll be ok eventually, just be patient.
  14. Do not make other peoples stress your own. People are going to have crappy periods in their life, just like you, just be careful not to make it your own. If they’ve had a bad day, but you’ve had a good one, but glad you’ve had a good one and just listen when they need to chat, but remember it’s not your monkey, not your circus.
  15. Drink wine. Seriously. This probably should be before number 15. Find your favourite red wine for those rainy nights and your favourite white for those autumn sunny afternoons. Bad day? Wine. Good day? Wine. Happy? Drink wine. Sad? You got it, wine.
  16. Never be afraid to do what’s different. You don’t want to settle down? Want to travel the world? Do the impossible? Damn well go and do it. Don’t let anyone else’s fears or doubts stand in your way.
  17. Find a good church and go regularly. Stop taking everything so seriously and freaking yourself out. It’s church, not judgement day. You’re going to need guidance and advice through your life because the world is scary and there aren’t enough people handing out solid advice to get you through. This is your safe place; if it doesn’t feel like it, you’re in the wrong church.
  18. You may get married, you may not. Don’t live life ‘waiting’ for things that aren’t a guarantee. Yes you might find a wonderful man and get married because you love each other. You might have kids because you think reproducing with that person is a good idea. On the other hand you might never meet someone you love enough to spend forever with and you may not want children. That’s ok. Your happiness and success should never depend on the person you are or aren’t sharing life with.
  19. Take responsibility for your life. If you’re not happy, do something about it. If it means cutting out toxic people, if it means walking away from people you used to love, if it means making a major decision no one else agrees with…do it. It is your life. Never forget that. And if you chose to make a decision for someone: be happy about it, accept it, and move on. Do not hold that against someone. It should always be YOUR decision even if it’s for them.
  20. Always allow yourself permission to not be ok. Stop trying to force yourself to just get back up and move on. Stop holding back tears. It’s ok to not be ok once in a while and it’s ok to worry; you’re allowed to be worried and stressed and struggle! It’s life. They’re emotions. Just learn when it’s time to process them and when it’s time to move on.
  21. Don’t take your shit out on other people. There will be times you feel all those things above but you MUST understand that they are YOUR emotions. They are not to be thrown at other people like grenades. It’ll be hard, but remember to own your feelings and leave other people out of it. On the same note, if someone is a key player in the reason you feel a certain way, talk to them about it or if you really can’t, see someone professional or a really close friend and talk about it. Don’t hold it in and throw it at unsuspecting people when they least expect it.
  22. You will have to ‘fake it till you make it’ just don’t ‘fake it till you break it’. Know the difference between when it’s time to step outside your comfort zone and take on something your unsure about or scared you might fail at, and when you need to front up and say ‘I can do it, but I need a hand’.
  23. Fall in love. Do it. Let yourself fall madly and helplessly in love. There is always a chance it won’t work out, there’s also a chance you’ll be hit by a bus or suffer a stroke, but let’s not get carried away. Falling is brave; bravery is a good quality to possess. If nothing else, look at it as self development and enjoy those wonderful, terrifying feelings.
  24. Be open minded. People will have different opinions or vastly different ways of looking at the world from religion to the way you cook steak. You don’t have to agree, but you do have to accept people think differently. Engage in a conversation and learn, at the very least, how to back your own views up effectively and non-aggressively.
  25. Don’t settle for a bad kisser. There are plenty out there…and plenty of good ones too. When they kiss you it should leave you wanting more. If it doesn’t, go find another one.
  26. Don’t take life too seriously. The moment I stop dancing to stupid songs in my car or in my room or while I’m running on the treadmill is the moment I know I’m taking life too seriously. Dance like the whole damn world is watching and you’re freaking Beyoncé.
  27. Get excited. Whatever it is your doing: road trips, going grocery shopping, seeing a new person…be excited about it! You’ll be bombarded with moments of fear and concern and just a plain lack of motivation in life, so take every opportunity you get to be excited about something.
  28. Don’t be afraid to admit your beliefs. It can be scary when confronted by people who don’t believe what you do or when people are uneducated and make unwarranted assumptions, but stand up and be confident. If you believe in it and there’s a moment you need to say it or stand up for it: do it! Do not let other people intimidate you.
  29. Don’t skimp on buying underwear. You’re not going to regret spending $20 on that glorious pair of silky, lacy underwear (or whatever else takes your fancy). You will feel like you can run the world, and the whole universe in those bad boys. And yes, get the matching bra. Even on days you don’t have it together, you’ll feel like you do when wearing matching underwear.
  30. Wear good shoes. Your back, knees, hips, all of it are going to thank you in 10 years time after you’ve run, walked, hiked, whatever, your way through an office job, through exercise, through it all. Your feet are there for you, be there for them.
  31. Learn how to shop. This might seem funny but I mean it. Learn how to look at sales, how to compare products, how to read the pack of a packet in the supermarket, how to navigate with a trolley, how to not let that pushy girl sneak past you in the changing rooms line, learn how to get the best value for money and do it in the least amount of time. Your bank account will thank you and your body will be glad when you’ve narrowed that mall time from 3hrs to 2hrs.
  32. Eat well. Stop eating processed carbs, stop eating sugar, stop drinking pre-mixed alcoholic drinks. If there is nothing else you do right in life, understand that your body needs fuel: good fuel. It deserves good fuel. If you want to feel good and live well, eat right! What does your body respond well to? Eat that. No, you don’t respond well to McDonalds. But like everything in life, don’t get too serious, enjoy that pie…just enjoy it once a month not once a day.
  33. Learn your alcohol. Vodka = stripper mode, gin = let’s enjoy our evening and get to bed by 3am. Learn what you can drink, learn what you can’t. Be responsible. No one likes a messy drunk. Learn what good wine tastes like, learn how to drink whiskey on the rocks. If you don’t like to taste your alcohol, you’re not enough of a grown up to be drinking it.
  34. Never stop dreaming big. The moment you make your dreams attainable, the moment you start to really loose your passion for life. Dream big and don’t ever tell yourself it’s not possible. It very may well be possible, don’t limit yourself.
  35. Set realistic goals. The only way to reach something that seems impossible is to slowly do it. Set goals that are reachable, even if they’re hard to reach make sure you’re confident you can do it. As you achieve each goal you’ll gain the confidence to set bigger ones and achieve them.
  36. Build your own self confidence. On the same note above, set goals that you can achieve and pat yourself on the back when you achieve them. If you have to start goal setting at simply getting out of bed and having a coffee, set that and achieve it. Now set a bigger one the next day. Starting small doesn’t mean you won’t go on to achieve great things.
  37. What you want now isn’t necessarily what you’re going to want in 5 years time. It’s ok to change your direction in life, you might have to leave people behind but that’s ok. You will grow as a person continuously and you’re doing something wrong if you don’t. It doesn’t always mean you’ll want something different, but it’s ok if you do. Go after it.
  38. Give whenever you’re in a position to do so. If you have something someone needs and you’re not needing it, let them use it. Someone is having a bad day? Take them out for coffee and make it your shout. You’re broke, that’s fine, maybe that person just needs a hug or a sticky note reminder that it’s going to be ok. Look for those opportunities to give and take them. People will take advantage of this, but you’ll learn how to manage that. Never stop giving. I’m tired of the world being surprised when people do nice, kind things. We should be surprised when people don’t!
  39. You do not have to be moving 24/7 to be progressing. Stop feeling as though you cannot stop in order to get where you want to be. You can take a short day, take a day off, and take a breath. You can be kind to yourself. Never feel guilty of taking a moment to recharge. Essentially, stop doing everything all at once.
  40. Make the small things a priority. You should always have enough time to do washing, change your sheets, shower, sleep, clean the car, do the dishes. Shave regularly, always have clean underwear, always have clean towels. Life will start to feel out of control only when the basics start to pile up. 

Roses are red…

I went swimming in the sea yesterday. It was a little bit funny because I spent most of the time being bowled over by the waves and flailing around trying to not drown. I’d swim under one wave and stand up to do that whole ‘flick my hair back while looking hot thing’… and instead was taken out like a skinny rugby player who didn’t run fast enough with the ball by the next wave.

I gave up and just flopped around like a whale. I then lay on the beach to sunbath, trying my best to look like a babe, and managed to be eaten alive by biting insects and now I look like I have some sort of contagious disease. Happy valentines day from the world!

I regularly try to explain to people how I don’t really do ‘perfect’ or ‘cute’ or ‘romantic’. It’s not because I don’t like it, it’s just that I’ve accepted my life is not a romantic drama, it’s more a romantic comedy, and I’ve learnt to laugh about it.

I probably laugh too much. I was chatting to one of my best friends yesterday before I went to church, dragging the guy I actually like (you can all be as shocked as I was) along for the first time. She said to me “Stop worrying, it’ll be fine, so far everything else has been perfect.” I looked at her, dead in the eye, with a very straight face, and said “That is EXACTLY why I’m worried”.

Perfect and me don’t go together.

So anyway, went to church, it could have gone much worse, I keep telling myself that… I also laughed out loud on a number of occasions because it was by far the most ‘out there’ service I’ve ever been to there. Sigh.

But here’s the REALLY weird part of the day… I came home and went to my room to find a dozen roses on my bed. We then went to the beach and swam and lay sunbathed, then finished off the evening with a lovely dinner eating some of my favourite foods.

Gosh darn it, it was so damn perfect it made me want to cry.

I wish I was one of these people who could stop and appreciate how lucky I am, and how incredible my life has been. But I’m not.

I’m the kind of person who has enough doubt and fear I’d never have to work another day in my life if I could translate it into money. I’ve had a life of many blessings but I’ve also had many hurts and many failures.

And I sadly let it control how I look at life now. I’m working on that. It’s just a slow progression from ‘fearful and doubtful’ to ‘certain and secure’.

People often seem a little taken back when I admit I’m genuinely afraid and certain everything will end terribly.

I’m not sure why that comes as a surprise. It’s very simple. It’s the same reason you don’t want to touch an electric fence, or why you don’t put your hand on a hot element, or why you always let a hot cup of tea sit before you take a drink: you know damn well it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt, so you don’t do it. And sometimes you forget and get distracted and you sip that hot cup of tea too soon or you grab the electric fence before turning it off…but it doesn’t change the outcome.

While I’m well and truly aware being loved and loving someone is not exactly the same, it’s the same principal behind why I’m afraid. If it hurts every time you do it, you’re going to stop wanting to do it.

But I’m starting to look at it another way. When I was teaching kids to horse ride they’d often fall off. It was sometimes a little bit funny, because it’s in that moment you know if they’re going to make it as a horse rider. If they can fall off, get back up, dust themselves off, and get back on…they’re going to be able to be a great horse rider. If they lie on the ground bawling their eyes out and not wanting to get back on, well they’re probably not going to go far. Because you can’t be afraid of the fall if you’re going to push yourself to heights humans probably shouldn’t go with a 500kg animal.

I’ve fallen off my horse so many times I’ve genuinely lost count, it would be well into the 100’s. I’ve spent hours at the physio, at the chiropractor, and I’ve had lesson after lesson after lesson. Yet I keep getting back on that horse.

Because I know a horse will do unexpected things; it will spook stationary objects, it will decide it doesn’t feel like jumping that jump for no particular reason, it will decide it wants to gallop around the paddock for hours before it lets you catch it, it will buck you off because it didn’t feel like working… you get the picture.

And time and time again I forgive it, I find ways to improve the situations, and I work on it until we’re enjoying it. I also sometimes give up and sell the damn thing because I just can’t be bothered with the crap anymore.

People aren’t much different. People do unexpected things. And sometimes you just have to accept it has nothing to do with you as a person, and find ways to fix the problem and work on it.

Unfortunately I can’t sell people, that’s illegal, so I have to just walk away when I’ve had enough and there isn’t anything else I can do.

It’s not about me. It’s not personal. It’s just about saying ‘ok, I know there are things I need to work on, and it’s time to find someone I work better with’. But just like I’ve found my one horse I love to pieces and am willing to put up with the little bits of crap because all the other times are incredible, I will eventually find my person I love to pieces and am willing to endure life with…good and bad. And if I don’t I’ll just collect horses and cats and dogs and have my cute little cottage on a cliff top all to myself.

Lately I’ve found a pretty awesome human. And I like him.

I also freaked out and shut down a little last night because everything was so damn perfect. But I’ll come right. Eventually I’ll be able to human normally around him. Or just in general. Being able to human effectively in general would be nice.

My brain is screaming at me a little like ‘dude! We were only just single and now you’ve gone and down this, like what the hell? I don’t even know what to do with all THIS’. And I’m just like ‘yeah, yeah I know, now here’s some inspirational quotes, deal with it’.

As usual I’m trying to cope using my ability to take the piss out of myself. I even dragged my tired butt out of bed at 6am to go to the gym to punish my body even more. But I have goals and I’m determined.

So I’m going for it. I’m still not used to someone I like seeing me all sweaty and looking as though I’m genuinely on deaths door.

I’m not one of these people who look ‘hot’ and ‘sexy’ and ‘babe’n’ while working out. I despise people who do and stare at them in the gym wondering if they’re possibly robots.

So that’s my life at the moment. It’s a bit wonderful, a bit scary, and there’s a lot to accomplish. But I have faith it’s going to work out just fine, and just how it’s meant to. I’m putting a focus on spending more time with my family and I’m making sure I get out of bed at least a few times a week at 6am to work out.

I’m prepared to work for what I want. And I’m not prepared to let anything, or anyone, stop me from getting there. I think this year will be one of personal development and realising life is more than your fears.

Bring it on!

(Someone also please get me coffee because I need that if I’m going to be all ‘yes I can do it!’…that takes motivation and without coffee… well… just get me the coffee please)

Gosh darn normal

It’s 11.53pm and I should be asleep. I should have been asleep hours ago. I managed to sleep straight through my two alarms this morning and stumble out of bed at the time I should have been walking into the office. I made it, eventually, dressed, surprisingly, and wearing some makeup. I didn’t get to my hair so I gave up and put it in a half-hearted ponytail.

Why am I awake still at such a late hour? Well I decided it was about time I blogged. I’ve been trying painfully to write something, anything, on here for some time now. It’s been weeks and I still have no idea what to say. Not because I have nothing to say, I just have no idea how to put what I want to say into words. That rarely happens to me and it’s making me just about as angry as I was when I found out I’d slept through my alarm.

My muscles hurt, mainly my abs because I had the fantastic idea to work them out numerous days in a row at the gym. That’s right, you read it correctly, I’m going to the gym! Why? I ask myself that every time I’m there; I’m training for the police force! Yes, I know, telling you I want to be a cop AND that I’m going to the gym in one paragraph might be a little overwhelming and hard to believe…but it’s true!

It’s possible I’m delusional from lack of sleep and too much working out but life lately has felt a little bit like a dream; I’m waiting to wake up right where I left it, stepping off the plane from my four month trip.

It’s been nearly four months since I stepped off that plane. It’s been four long, exciting, hard, and challenging months.

I’m working toward the police force, I’m running, I’m going to the gym, I’m enjoying my jobs, I’ve found a young girl to ride my horse so I can focus on other areas of life, I’ve enrolled in a psychology diploma, and I’ve been spending time with someone new.

My life right now is so normal it makes me certain it’s not reality. Nothing right now in life is hard. It’s all there, normal, challenging but simple. I don’t feel like I’m climbing a mountain. And sometimes I just sit in silence with this new person, not because I have nothing to say, but because I just want to savour the moments where I don’t have to be anything other than myself as I am right now. I go on dates and walks and meet him at the gym. I have brunches with my friends and nights out with the girls. I’m planning a camping trip with a group of my favourite people and I’m enjoying my jobs. I run on the beach in the morning. I don’t think there has ever been a point in my life I felt this normal.

I honestly don’t know what to make of it.

Because I’m still hurting, I’m still scared, I’m still dreaming that dream where Alex looks at me and says “I don’t love you anymore”. I desperately want to escape it. I want to explain to this new person just how hard loving me can be. I want to run because I finally have my life back and I don’t want anyone to take that from me. I want to be on my own because it’s easier. It feels safer. Because people hurt people they love.

At the same time I know that is all coming from a place of hurt. It’s coming from fear and shitty people. It’s not how my future is going to play out.

I refuse to let the past control what I could have now.

And I refuse to be weak and throw away something wonderful. Because he’s not him. He has nothing to do with the past.

I’m sticking with the motto of ‘if I can get back up then, I can get back up again’.

For the first time in many years I have a strange sense of faith that it’s going to work out just fine.

It’s exciting, I’m happy, and life is normal.

So gosh darn normal it’s refreshing.

 

 

Goal Keeper

When you’re 20 people start asking: “So where do you want to get to in life?” “What are your goals?” “Where to from here?” Of course people don’t stop to think you’ve only JUST managed to get to the point of doing something with your life. In my early 20’s I am feeling something like I do when I walk quickly up the mount (a small ‘mountain’ in Tauranga City New Zealand that takes about half and hour to an hour to walk up depending on who you are… and how much pain you want to put yourself through). 

The whole way up I am thinking “I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. Nearly there, just a little more pain and you’ll be there!” (now I sound like I am talking about child birth)… when I finally get to the top I look out and think “man, I am so glad I did that! I’m just going to stop for a while. A) so I can get my breath back because I lost it somewhere on the track about half way up, b) so I can enjoy the view I worked so hard to see. 

Standing on the top of that mountain is where I am in my life right now. Sure, while I’m up there I’m thinking of all the other cool things I want to achieve that day, like showering, sleeping, maybe a stroll on the beach. I am also thinking about the next weeks worth of fitness. But I am not actively going about it. Not yet. I am just enjoying the view and taking a moment to regenerate my batteries before I take off again.

I think that, this, is probably one of the best places to be in your life. You’ve managed the struggle. You’ve gone through a bit of pain. You’re alive, and you are grateful. There is so much to take in and appreciate, while at the same time you just need a moment to recover from the uphill battle you’ve gone through to get it. 

I have goals, plenty of them. But they’re in fragments, pieces that are yet to be constructed. I want a lot from life, and I want to give a lot in my life. I want to be many things over my years to come, and I want to make a name for myself. There is not a moment where I stop wanting more. 

But, there are moments where I stop and love what I have. Where I stop ‘aiming’ just for a moment. Where I just breathe. Every single person needs those moments, those are life. The struggles and the heartaches are part of life. But getting through them is the reward. That is when you feel alive. 

These are the moments that keep you going through the tough times. 

Now I have my answer for those people, “This is my goal. This was what I wanted. I have everything right in this moment that I need and could ever want. There will come a time shortly where I strive for more, where I put those goals into an achievable plan and I go get them. But right now, I’m just going to enjoy the most incredible view in the world.”