This is the most alive I’ve ever felt

2016 is five weeks away. Yep, I’ll just give you a moment to let that sink in.

Life is under control, or well, as under control as it can be. I’ve come to accept nothing in life (other than death, but let’s not get all depressing) is guaranteed. None of it. I can walk around and make all the plans in the world but there is nothing to say that’s how it’s going to go. I used to get all uptight and worried about that, but I’ve just accepted that’s not how it goes now. Perhaps it’s because the past two years didn’t go at all to plan or perhaps I’m just growing up.

See I’ve spent many years wanting things to look a certain way, being worried about a career, about being in a relationship, having this little perfect life with a bow on top. Now rather, my life is like the presents after they’ve been torn apart at Christmas by the excited three year old. But I think that’s how life should look. There are bad things that happen and they hurt, there are avoidable things that happen and they cause regret, there are great things that happen and they make us happy. And it comes in the package called life.

One thing I’ve taken out of the many from this past year is that being happy actually isn’t what life is about…it’s being content and fulfilled. Those things often lead to happiness, but they’re not happiness. You can be sad about something yet still be content or you can be angry about someone and still be content.

I’ve also realised that being able to be there for people is so much more important than having life going perfectly. I want to have time for friends, for memories, to help people when things are falling apart, to celebrate with people when they’re going well. I want time to enjoy the things in my life and not just rocket past them all at a million miles an hour on this quest to conquer life.

I’m taking a major step back in my journalism career by taking a part time job in an admin role, I’m not likely to be able to compete my horse properly again for a while because of my sore tailbone, I still have days I struggle with the fact I’m no longer with someone I loved dearly. It’s not perfect. It never will be. I’m still tired and a bit stressed, but I’m alive. I have moments where I whinge to my friends that I hate it all and I’m angry. We all do.

But it doesn’t mean life isn’t great.

I’m excited about the fact I have a job for the next year, I’m loving the fact that it’s part time and I can focus on other things like volunteer work and other part time jobs. It might not seem like the direction I should be heading in, but for me it’s exactly where I want to be; around family and friends and saving money for my next adventure. The fractured tailbone sucks, but it means I have more time for other exercise and actually spending time enjoying my horse as a pet. And I’m getting used to flying solo.

I’m not always positive, I’m not always happy, I know that the next bombshell could come from anywhere at anytime, but I’m content and I make the most of the good times.

Life is to be lived and for the first time in mine, I feel like I am living right now.

I feel the most alive I’ve ever felt. And that in itself is worth more than words can describe.

 

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I think it’s time for this…

It’s time to get personal. No, not the kind where I get all emotional and what not… the kind where I dish out a little bit of reality.

I’ve been gluten free for nearly three months now…actually it could be longer, I don’t count days. Lately they’ve been all blurring together like one big happy nightmare. I’ve been dairy and wheat free consistently for a year and keep my sugar intake as low as possible without going insane when eating out (there is no hateful look quite like the one a waiter gives you when you ask if it has gluten, dairy, or sugar in it), but it’s been a slow journey over the past three years.

So this is how it is from the point of view of a dairy needing, pasta munching, sugar craving, alcohol drinking human…until I moved to Hamilton.

I lived off pasta and cheese. Every time I was sick through my childhood, it’s what I ate. I loved pies, I loved take-a-ways, I loved every single kind of whipped cream, milk containing, glutenous product there was.

No, I never put on weight. I could eat anything! “You’re so lucky!” I was always told… because I could eat anything.

No, no I couldn’t eat anything. My whole life I have been dairy and wheat intolerant. I just had no idea.

So what’s it been like? FREAKING FANTASTIC!

Ok, so cutting gluten out isn’t the easiest thing in the world, yes, yes that pie you’re eating in front of me when I am very hungry because I have to walk an extra two km to get something gluten free does look freaking amazing… but you know what looks better? My insides.

Do I want a piece of my favourite type of cake you’ve just ordered for the office to eat…and then left it right in front of me while I eat my lunch? Yep. Yep I do.

Easy. No. There is nothing easy about doing something that most people don’t actually understand. But there is something fantastic about how I feel.

I have a major health condition pretty much completely under control. My skin is a million times better.

People almost always look at weight as a measure of ‘health’. This is just plain wrong. While I love the fact it is unlikely something I will have to worry about while on a gluten and dairy free diet, it is far from the reason I do it.

So, here is the world through my eyes since getting it together and deciding I want the best for myself.

The -it’s too hard-
One of the things I hear most often is ‘I’d die if I had to do that!’ No…no you wouldn’t. You might, doing what you’re doing. But no, you won’t die without cake. That sounds mean, but it’s true. And it’s very hard not to retaliate with it.

The -I can do what I want!-
Then there is the ‘I’m so glad I can eat whatever I want’…well yes, so can I. But that sluggish feeling you get? The headaches? The weight? Actually many things that you might not even know are going on with your body, are happening because you eat whatever you want. I can put whatever I want into my body, but I choose not to damage it that way. I choose to be healthier and happier. And I choose not to slowly kill myself with gluten.

The -but you don’t need to lose weight!-
This is often followed up by ‘But you’re so thin! Why would you need to be on a diet?’ When I google definition of diet it comes up with 1) the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

I am not on a diet where I plan to lose weight. I do this, because like I put the right fuel in my car to make it work, I want the right fuel to make my body work. It doesn’t always, like my car, but it works far better than if I were to put diesel in a car that takes unleaded 91 petrol.

The -makes me want to punch you in the face-
The moment someone says ‘you’re too healthy’ I actually want to hit them. There is no such thing! Sure, people can go waaaay over board with a diet, but then that would be unhealthy. Hence, no such thing. In this world, everyone wants to put a too infront of whatever you are ‘you’re too thin’ ‘you’re too fat’ ‘you’re too tall’ ‘you’re too small’ ‘you’re too healthy’ ‘you’re too unhealthy’. Whatever it is, you’re too much of it. I am not doing this to please men, nor am I doing it to please anyone other than my stomach. When I am writhing in pain because of what I ate, I am not very happy. So, why would I want to eat foods that make my mouth happy for two seconds, and the rest of me unhappy forever?

The -you have a lot of self control-
Yeah…I also have a great imagination…for the last half hour I’ve been picturing myself starting a food fight, covering you in whatever thing I used to love eating. Normally during these visions I have a very angry and wild look on my face.

The -BUT WHAT CAN YOU EAT?!-
A lot actually. Other than the bakery section of the supermarket, there is almost always a sugar free (and I don’t mean diet coke where it’s just replaced with a whole bunch of other chemicals, I mean actually free from sugar and it’s artificial substitutes), gluten free, dairy free way of doing it. You have to get creative. I have become a far better cook and LOVE eating now far more than I ever did.

So how is life now?

Fantastic! But there is still so much I am learning about my body and what it needs to make it function properly. People often start down the natural health track and expect results in weeks, or months. It takes years. Once you solve on problem, often another will surface and it can feel like you’re constantly putting out fires.

Worth it?

Yes. Eventually I will get to a place where I feel really happy with my body, and it feels happy with me. Most of the time it is like that. But I still need more sleep, more water, more greens, less meat, and it goes on. It always does. It’s about learning which steps to take when, and what’s right for you and your sanity.

What have I noticed physically?

My skin was the number one. Though it still has its moments, I am comfortable around people without makeup, I wear less of it in general, it is brighter and my eyes are happier. I was so unhappy with the awful blemishes I had, and the fact my eyebrows never grew. Now, I have eyebrows and my skin doesn’t break out to the extent I cry in front of the mirror.

My weight. Though I never put on huge amounts, it was always up and down. I would put on 5kgs in a week and then lose it randomly. My boobs were changing size all the time, my face would puff up randomly, my stomach was always bloated so I never knew how big it actually was. Now, the weight is spread evenly across my body and I have only fluctuated a kg or two at a time and never quickly. For me this is a huge relief… and I can shop for what I want and not freak out it won’t fit me the same in a week!

My hair grows! It would grow before, but always ratty and upset. I can style it with hot irons every day and go eight weeks between cuts now and still feel like it is full and healthy…and it grows at twice the rate!

For me it was changing how I thought about food. Rather than thinking about my taste buds all the time, I think about it as a fuel. What am I getting out of this? And it makes it worth spending money on it now! I am equipping my body for the day, and when it’s not performing, I look at my diet and find out why. How can I fix it? Rather than we have a problem, let’s just take a painkiller and hope it stops.

p.s after reducing alcohol to once a month for five months, I can now drink a couple of glasses of wine and not feel any adverse side effects (before I was in pain with half a glass and felt awful the next day). My body is detoxing better and it is able to handle it when I have a day where I eat more sugar or drink alcohol. By giving it a break, it was like a reset.

Anyway, that’s my health rant over for now.

Cheerio until next time.

Then the smoothie fell

Right, once I’ve blogged I’m sucking it up and throwing myself into my job to take my mind off my ever impending doom that is my inability to cope any longer with emotion.

The year before I left for Hamilton is a bit of a strange one. I can’t really talk about it, not because there are any particular secrets, but because I actually can’t remember most of it. And no, I was not drinking. I’ve never been able to figure out why I can’t remember things that happened that year. I have little snapshots of particular moments, mainly the really hurtful ones, but no normal memories. I’ve heard of people doing that when they suffer a type of trauma, but that’s what confused me even more about it… I didn’t go through trauma?

But people perceive trauma differently.

There was a lot of anger and a lot of yelling. A lot of hate, and certainly not a lot of understanding that year. Between several different people. I shut down when I can’t explain things. I shut down when I can’t cope with an emotion or lack the understanding to deal with it. So, I shut down.

As I do each week, I caught up with an old ‘friend’ from the past. So far, it’s been really good for me to work through things. But, there was always the risk it would drag up the wrong things and the hurt would start all over again.

Then the pub played the stupid song. The song we listened to over and over and over again. I normally have no issue with it, I listen to it every now and then, it’s a good song. But then I said something wrong. And he wasn’t happy. Then we started talking about grandparents. The song, the glimpse of the past disapproval when I opened my mouth and should have thought it through, the grandparents. I just could not keep it together any longer.

You know in the movies when the room starts spinning and their heart races and they suddenly run out because they just can’t handle it all and their chest is closing up and their breath is getting shorter? Yep… that was exactly it… except I burst into tears instead of running out. I think, looking back, running out would have been a much more preferred option.

I was emotional, I tried to say sorry for saying something I shouldn’t have. And then it just fell apart. The anger, the hate, everything I thought we’d got past was right there.

So, then my heart decided to throw this huge hissy fit. I’m tired due to lack of sleep. And I’ve lost all my beta blockers to tell me heart to calm the hell down.

I also managed to jam my little figure in the draw this morning… then spilt smoothie down my entire front, floor, desk, paperwork, and chair at work.

I think… and I don’t often actually do this… I’m giving up on today. We’re just not getting along.

I’m going to take a few deep breaths, change my clothes, do an interview or four, and have a cup of tea. Then I’m going to hide from the world until I am ready to cope again.

#wellthat’sjustlife

I’m not getting old

Summer has hit with the force of an iron fist. My poor sister will be moving here soon as she has no idea what is waiting for her. Moving from a beach side town to a very in land, muggy city is a shock to anyone’s system. Being typical spring it is now freezing at night and being alone is even more lonely on a windy, bitter night. Final week of tech is here. Not that it really is the final week as I have very few classes. But it is the proper end. By this time next week I will be thinking about full-time work. And it couldn’t be more daunting. Now we have given notice that we are moving out of this house, it is even more real and the pressure is on to find a new house in three weeks. Terror is what I seem to have developed. 

In order to try and avoid thinking about the upcoming life changes I went shoe shopping. It was my boyfriends idea too. And he even spent more money. But now I own a very lovely pair of white and black heals that are heavenly to walk in. Of course I needed them for work, so it is completely justified. 

Because of the changes that are about to take place in life soon, I decided it is hair cutting time. Short and a little lighter I think. I’ll probably look younger which is probably not a bad thing seeing as I wasn’t ID’d at a bar, the movies when buying alcohol and the cop waved me through the cop stop. So I’m ok with looking a bit younger. 

I have come to the conclusion I’m going to get fat from all my chocolate I’ve been eating and am going to eat if I fail shorthand. Then I won’t be able to fit into anything, even my sweat pants. And I can’t find a house so I’ll be homeless. So pretty much I’ll live in a box unable to dress myself.

I’m a little stressed. I don’t really know when being stressed stops happening. I’m told it never does. I hope those people are wrong. Because stress makes me go weird. And being weird and alone is just a sad kind of weird. 

I don’t want things to change, but they sure cannot stay the same. 

Life.

On my journey

I’ve let myself go. I have stopped exercising as much. My diet has slipped and well, let’s be honest, I’m being lazy. I also read too many magazines, this has lead me to have a slight body image problem. Google has been a great contributing factor to this. After spending an evening googling my many symptoms of dismal failure, I’d say I have a range of various issues. Aside from the ones I actually have been diagnosed with by a real doctor. According to my magazine I should be right on track to my ‘new’ body for summer. I thought hey, yea, good on me, I’ll start running. Then I got sick and well, running now just seems like a lot of hard work. I was being good and not eating sugar then that womanly thing reared it’s head and I thought yeah, I want chocolate. Now I can’t stop. My life is spiraling out of control. I’m going to be a fat, unhappy, unemployed, nobody by the time I’m 25. It’s over. According to my magazine (and my over dramatic mind).

The reality is I have made some very good choices lately. I’ve decided that if I want a chocolate brownie once a week, I will not feel guilty about it. If I don’t want to run, I wont. But I am going to, I made a commitment, I’ve just got to get back on the horse. I’m not lazy, I’m just having a break. I’m doing what needs to be done and I am pacing myself, because that is healthy. I should probably think about doing something during summer if I’m not horse riding or those abs that have already gone on holiday will opt to stay there. But that’s ok. I don’t need to be perfect. It just takes more energy worrying about it. I am happy, healthy and far from over weight.

I have also decided what I want in life. I want to be with Alex, I want to work on the farm, I want to write a column, I want to write interesting feature articles and I want, more importantly, to enjoy my life. I want to write and I want to spend my days happy. Yes, I will get scoffed at for wanting to be a good wife, for wanting to be married young, to be so sure I am meant to be with Alex and that yes, I would in fact be happy working on a farm and writing a column. I don’t have dreams of my name in lights or the whole world knowing who I am because of that story I broke. I am happy not being someone. I am happy being me. I don’t have to know each step or even exactly how I’m going to get what I want. But I know what I want. And that, is something the magazine didn’t tell me.

But, I do like those butt exercises. Pity they don’t have boob enhancing exercises, those would be popular. 

I’m also going to camp over summer it has been decided. If I can’t pay rent, I’ll just live in a tent.

I don’t want to get older this year

It is August. My birthday is in three months. A little less actually. The problem with my birthday is it falls in the month that marks the end. The final chapter in this sunny little room with lemonade and cookies that is studying. It’s a cosy, though busy and like walking on a tightrope, and comfy life. Hearing speakers talk about their journeys during SPARK week I suddenly sat up.

My birthday is only three months away.

I finish tech just after my birthday.

MY BIRTHDAY IS ONLY THREE MONTHS AWAY.

Three months left of a lovely safety net – then it’s time to get a real job and live in the real world. What on earth am I going to make of myself? I could be so many things! Or, I could end up being nothing. I know what the goal is… it’s just all the little stepping stones that frighten me. ‘What if’s’ and maybe’s, possibilities and potential failures. 

I have to find a job, find a new house, probably move city, become ‘grown up’ and start earning money. And it is all happening just after my birthday. In three months. 

Of course when I was 14 and dating my first boyfriend I thought three months was forever, I now am quickly realizing it is not.

The thing is, it is not the finding a job, moving, growing up etc, it is knowing I may not. Scary thought really – ‘what if’ I don’t? 

 

Drunk on smiles, high on happiness

Busy lives often make for less time spent actually enjoying them. I don’t know about you, but for me, the more I have on, the less I actually do, that I want to be doing. Friends seem to fall on to that long list of ‘I don’t have time’. The thing is though, when life gets really busy and hectic and chaotic, friends are just the people you need to keep you grounded. Off to Tauranga I went for some much needed enjoyment of good friends, good tea drinking and good food. I realized quite quickly it was not that I needed to talk about anything in particular, I simply needed good company and a few good laughs. 

It has been odd since leaving school, I have not had many groups of friends. Of course this is more because there is no longer the same dynamic you have at school, but I still think a group of friends is important. It balances things. 

So between the eye rolling, the sarcastic chuckles and mouthfuls of indian food, I began to refuel my happy tank and revive myself for the week to come. 

Here we go again.

Let us have tea

The traditional coffee date. I seem to have a lot of these lately. The ironic thing is that I do not drink much coffee. I drink tea. This though, sounds strange to say ‘lets catch up for tea’… kind of just sounds like your boat lost its way to England. Never the less, I have many coffee dates in the works. I like these. It makes me feel as though I am ‘getting out’ and ‘have a life’ which, to be honest, I don’t actually do or have seeing as when I get a moment to do so, I opt for sleep. Sensible, I know. Fun, I think not. Healthy, not really. So, my plan to get out and make friends and conquer this years goal to ‘make a few more friends I can talk to’ is going to be accomplished. I have not done badly so far but there is room for improvement. Coffee with a new friend, coffee with an old friend and then dinner with them both. Living the city life. 

This is of course to be short lived as I have come to the acceptance I will live on a farm. And that actually over joys me. By the end of this year and possibly the next several, I will be over cities, over people and over anything except writing. Writing. And more writing.

Bring it on baby.

Grab those ores and carry on

We’re all fighters. Even when we don’t know we are fighting for something. Life is not always easy but that’s just the thing. We’re all in the same boat. Some of us have the first class suites, others are sleeping on the deck. It’s easy to get a little lost when the waves decide to give you a thrashing but either way, it’s sink or swim. One thing that always seem to make it that little bit easier is making new friends. Filling the space the old ones left, and sometimes it is much easier to walk on when you’re walking into something new with people who are going to give you that hand up. People who are going to let your mind stop it’s little worrying adventure and rest.

It was my goal to make friends this year, more friends that is… I’m not a loner I promise. So far I think I am slowly getting there. Head up, and fight those we salty waves, grab the ores and here we go! It’s time to carry on.

We’re the little kids

If there is one thing I have realized this past year; it is that we are a cheeky generation. Here I was worrying about the fact that no one will take us seriously because we’re not experienced or grown up. But that really, is our gold. Simply it means that we can get in there and take someone by surprize because no one thinks we will or more, no on suspects we’re actually able.

This makes me excited and giggly. We are the generation who sneek up and ask the questions quick enough people answer them before even realizing what they’re saying. We’re just kids. We can’t do any damage.

I like it. I think sometimes it is just about grabbing the bull by the horns and going for it. Making the most of what we are seen as and the opportunities that are presented to us.

In other words… just get up and go guys!