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!

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Big open spaces

It was 11.37pm on November 1 when I finally changed my relationship status on Facebook. It might not seem like much but it was the last little moment of control. My room currently has boxes pilled in corners, blankets strewn everywhere, the horse float still has a few boxes and giant teddy bear, and I’m yet to attempt to unpack the biggest clothes box because my wardrobe is already full. In the past year I’ve cleaned out four large cardboard boxes of clothes and goodness knows how much other crap. But putting all my farm clothes, the ones I have absolutely no use for anywhere else in my life, in a bag ready for the second hand store, was it. That was the moment of certainty; this is my new life. I get to have a manicure, I can wear heals on the weekends, I can go out with my friends whenever I want, no more driving an hour every week. And it all seemed like small sacrifices but now without them, it suddenly feels like a huge weight has gone and I almost feel guilty about that. But I’m not one to wallow, ok well kind of, I wallow in epic amounts of sarcasm and dry, bitter humour, but in general I don’t like to dwell on things I can’t change. So I make the most of them.

It seems strange to reduce my life down to one room. Not two houses, just one room. My room. This is it. All of my things crammed into one space. I’d usually say all my life crammed into one space but it’s not what defines my life, far from it. I might be back in the same place in the same situation I was five years ago, but that’s not what my life amounts to. Part of me doesn’t want to unpack because I know I could well be moving again in a few months once I make up my mind of what I’m doing, but I can’t do that. I need to make somewhere home for now and this is it. I’m going through it all slowly and throwing out anything I don’t want. Nothing stays if it’s not wanted or needed and that in itself is therapeutic.

So far my plan of action has been to throw out any underwear that doesn’t make me feel comfortable and sexy. I put my pillow in the middle of the bed because I can have whatever side I want. I’ve cut my hair how I want it. I’ve worn heals out to lunch because I could. And I’ve taught the cat he can sleep on my bed. That in itself is a big deal, he refused to sleep on the bed until I moved him here…it’s our new start and we can be weird together. He still wont come out of the room for more than a few moments, and I get it, if I could I probably would hide in here too and sleep all day with him. Tomorrow I get Ivy back and she’s moving just up the road so even though there won’t be any riding for a while (thanks tailbone), I plan on taking her around the property and for big wanders on the lead because I have the time and there’s nothing quite like horse cuddles to make the world a better place.

I have some pretty cool friends and family who celebrated my birthday with me today. Only two more days until my actual birthday day! I’m feeling good. The beach looks amazing, I have my wardrobe back after four months living out of a suitcase, I have my bed all to myself, I have incredible people around me, I’m getting fit and heathy again after rather interesting food choices. It’s good, and I’m not just saying that to make myself believe it, I really am. I’m still angry sometimes, I’m still hurt a lot of the time, but I’m happy and I’m at peace. What more could you ask for really?

So week two of my return home begins. These next six weeks will be all about weddings for friends and brain storming where to next. And just like Charlie is terrified when he has big open spaces in front of him, I’m daunted and unsure what to do with all mine.

Until I know I’m just going to run around it like a crazy person on the loose.

You do not give up.

Giving up is hard. For me it simply isn’t an option. Anyone who has ever fought hard to get somewhere knows what I am on about. Giving up is the thing you can’t afford to think about or you’ll break, you wont make it. It is not an option. I had never given up on anything until I was told my horse had arthritis, at 7. It broke my heart. It still does. People don’t get that. I often get told I’m competitive. I’m not. I’m scared, terrified that things wont work. I don’t believe in myself and I don’t have much faith in other people. 

When you’re a horse rider, you simply learn to never give up. It is not an option. 

Then I had to. I had to stop getting that amazing rush when you take a 500 kg animal flying through the air, around corner and then you win. You’re the one who was better, the best. Sometimes you don’t make it but granted most of those times, it’s because you started to doubt. 

If you’re facing 1.30 on the back of that animal, the one you’ve spent an hour or two or three or more with, every, single, day for the past 4 years, and you doubt that you’ll make it over, you often don’t. So after flying over that jump solo with the horse looking at you like you’re a freaking idiot, you get it. You get that you don’t doubt, because doubting is painful. 

I never got on the back of my horse to win. Not once did I go into a ring wanting to win. I wanted the rush, that addiction filler, that satisfaction of having given it my best shot, of pushing myself. Of being better than I was last time. To feel that incredible, indescribable feeling. I was, and never have been competitive. Not because I can’t, but because I don’t want to be. It is pointless to compete against other people because there will always be someone better. I compete with myself, to be the best I possibly can, to not give up. I push myself because I do not want to stop. I know I can do it, so I do. 

Does it bother me when people tell me I’m competitive? Yes. Not because it is a flaw, but because it means they have no idea who I really am. I want the best for every person I meet, I want them to succeed and if that sometimes means giving things up so they can, I will. But it does not mean I will ever give up completely. I do not want to be the best, I want to be better.