One of those moments

It’s 5.09pm and I got home from work over half an hour ago. I spent most of the time since I drove in the driveway sitting in my car and lying on my bed with my cat. That might not seem like anything particularly special, but for those who know Charlie the cat it’s a pretty big deal.

Charlie doesn’t sleep on beds. Ever. And he freaks out when I put him on them. But today, a day where I don’t particularly want to face the world, Charlie cat let me not only put him on the bed, but lie down and have a nap beside him. He’s currently still curled up in a bun like formation while I type away at my desk.

Some days are hard. Your guess is as good as mine as to why. But this week my new life has begun to really sink in. The kind of sink where you slowly slip into a lukewarm pool and can’t quite tell if you’re 100 per cent happy about it, but you’re still glad to be there.

I’ve gone from a very body confident, reliable decision maker to a constantly uncertain, emotionally reserved and body conscious individual. I’m not sure how I got from there to here. There’s plenty of good changes too. I think. I can’t list them right now, but they are there. I know how to stand my ground and to be confident in what I do for work. That’s something.

This might sound weird, but a year ago I was a ‘go to person’ one of those people you have in your life for when it gets tough. The person you turn to to talk about anything. The person you need at the end of a rough day…someone who just sort of fixes things.

Somewhere along the road I became allergic to drama, to emotions, to anything that even remotely resembles someone needing me.

And I have no idea why.

At some point I just kind of stopped giving a shit.

And people stopped needing, they stopped talking, and they too stopped caring.

I think when big changes occur in someones life and when they go through challenging times, it’s easy to forget healing takes a long time. A really, really long time.

And people who weren’t there through it don’t realise how patient they need to be. But the people who were there through it often aren’t there any longer.

Someone can look fine but in reality they’re still struggling, they’re still broken, and they’re still healing.

I think the number one relationship killer ,whether it be friendship or romantic, is complacency and lack of respect.

I don’t mean respect in the term you might be picturing it in. I mean it in the way of listening to ideas and advice, listening to that persons way of viewing the world…and caring about it. By complacency I mean people stop caring about the answer to ‘how was your day’ they stop wanting that person to be happy, they stop wanting that person to smile. People just start to go about their own lives forgetting to ask and care: “how are you really doing?”

It’s amazing how easily and how quickly it happens.

And I’m terrified of it.

I’m also exhausted.

Maybe because for me part of my healing process means it takes a lot of energy to be open, to love, to care, to let people in. I don’t know if that ever gets easier, but I keep on trying hoping it eventually will.

This week I’ve started to appreciate my city and the morning drive to work. I’ve tried hard to walk around town more at lunch time, to come up with new places to take my horse; to genuinely live here.

But man, it is not easy. I still miss Hamilton. I miss the people. But I am starting to live here and in all honesty, I’ve made some incredible friends here so far I’d be sad to leave if I ever moved back. This is home. And it’s starting to feel like that.

But it doesn’t mean it’s not hard. I think after any period, long or short, of hardship it takes years to adjust again. This is probably the most time I’ve spent alone or even wanted to spend alone in nearly a year.

I’ve spent a year hiding.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve slowly addressed things as I felt I was capable. I’ve tried my best to counsel and work my way through the hurt bits and the crappy bits and ‘fix’ myself. But up until this point I’ve needed people. I’ve needed to see and be around people to remind myself it’s ok.

And now, I think I’m slowly learning how to be ok alone again and how to cope with myself.

I have a thyroid scan in a weeks time. I’m both nervous and excited. I want to know where it’s at. Has the nodule grown? Will I have to have a life changing operation? Will I not? I play it down but it plays on my mind almost constantly. And that’s just the reality of it.

I think somedays, I just want to feel unconditionally loved, and I want to unconditionally love myself too. I want that love for myself. I want to be in that space again where I don’t question if I’m a hard person to love, where I don’t feel like I’m still a bit broken, where I just feel like a whole human. A few weeks back I wrote a post about how I finally felt like I was no longer recovering. And I feel like that most of the time now.

But with any recovery there are set backs.

And this is just one of those moments.

This blog got a lot more real than I was anticipating. I think Sam ought to bring my red wine to me and I will lie on my bed with Charlie cat and watch crappy soaps.

Till next time x

 

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

“Why didn’t you want to be with me?”

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

So I asked the question, twice.

“Why didn’t it work out?”

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

I agreed with him.

Never settle.

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

“No,” I said.

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

Yes. Yes it does make it better.

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes, kind of.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Never settle. I agree with that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

On that note! Cheerio for now!

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who doesn’t?

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

#atleastIhavemywine #Ishouldprobablybloglessaboutwine #andstopusinghashtags

Ok so I know I’ve been really slack with my blog posting…but there is a reason. I think. Well, it’s an excuse. Despite what it may seem like (while you’re all sitting there cringing while reading about my life) I’m really crappy at talking about how I feel. I’m quite good at getting other people to talk about how they do, and I’m good at talking enough about mine to cover up the fact I’m not really saying or admitting anything. To be fair, it was something I’d never really noticed before I met Sam. I knew I liked to keep stuff to myself, but I never realised how MUCH stuff I liked to keep to myself.

Pretty much the more I like someone, the less I can tell them. AND IT’S REALLY DRIVING ME NUTS. And preventing me from blogging honestly, which really then means blogging at all is pointless.

(I’ve decided to capitalize random things in this post…and also put random editing notes in brackets through it to stop me from editing the actual content)

After a breakup I tend to reflect on all the things I could have done better. I don’t mean I sit there blaming myself, I just like to improve on things. I don’t think anyone is ever a complete person; we’re always growing. So it makes sense to use every opportunity to improve things when you can.

So I know this is something I REALLY need to work on. Up until this point I’ve been drawn to people who like to open up quickly and easily. I often find people who are in need of someone to talk to; someone to trust. I think, because it makes it easier to hide behind how they feel and what they say… essentially it means I never have to ACTUALLY admit what I feel, we can just keep the focus on them until I slip under the radar and people forget to ask. It’s rather unhealthy. But it’s been my safety net, and I think it’s why I never completely fall in love. I never let my walls down completely. It’s a personality thing.

Now I’m in this part of my life where I am growing up and if I want the kind of relationships that come with that; ones that will last and are built on decent foundations, I’m going to have to get over it and learn how to be a grown up with how I process feelings.

I don’t mind if people keep some things to themselves, I don’t get upset about someone’s feelings not matching mine, I don’t get clingy or jealous easily… but that also comes obviously with negatives too, and that is the inability to completely fall for someone or let my guard down. I filter everything I say. It’s a good and a bad thing. I’ve always needed to filter who I am for people to be ok with me.

And I’m not keen to keep living like that.

So I grew some balls and had a decent chat to Sam last night and I’m really glad I did. Because I’m learning, it’s baby steps, but I’m learning to stop holding on for dear life to the cliff top and just enjoy the fall. I think everyone needs to learn how to do that at some point in their life.

I’d never really even done that with myself or with my life until I went travelling.

While watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat, while standing on the top of a mountain in the Austrian Alps, while walking along the lantern lit river in Hoi An at night, I learnt to fall in love with life and appreciate it for all it’s quirks and charms and ups and downs.

While I was crying in my hotel room in Africa because I was struggling to process how different my life was from people there, while I spent two weeks talking to no one in Austria, while I navigated a hospital alone, as I figured out how to walk the streets of Cambodia and catch a tuktuk on my own, when I trusted strangers, while I sat on the pavement in Vietnam eating local food…I learnt to love who I was with no filter.

(I also learnt I have a problem with how much I love coffee and red wine)

I realised who I was; an incredible person, a resilient person, someone who cared deeply about the world, someone who could do incredible things, someone who was not limited by others. But I also realised, the more I learnt to love myself, just how little I let other people love me…who I really am.

The person I am at 2am when I’m still awake worrying about the next day, when I’m jumping up and down with excitement over the stupidest things, when I’m in my ‘bliss zone’ grocery shopping, while I ignore them as I write another book that I’ll probably never finish, when I’m doing the hobbies I love, the way I look at the sunset or the sunrise, the strange thoughts that float around my mind on a long car ride, the big and wild dreams I decide I’m going to embark on because why the hell not? I’m a why not person. I live my life taking on everything unless you can give me a bloody good reason not to. It means I do some really stupid things sometimes, but it also means I go and will go incredible places and do big things. I want that for my life. Even if they’re little big things. I want life to be bigger and unlimited by what I might be afraid of. And ultimately I want someone beside me who feels the same way, who wants to push me to do that, who does not ‘tolerate’ my personality but rather brings the positives and helps me overcome the negatives. I need someone to constantly challenge me to be a better person, but feel safe enough that they’re going to love me even when I’m a really crappy person.

(And when I listen to the same song on repeat 6 million times before I get sick of it.)

I’m happy alone, I just have to learn now how to not only be happy alone but with someone and realise it’s not a bad thing to love people. It’s not a bad thing to fall in love.

It’s ok to be out of control and just see what happens.

Ok so I think my problem with my inability to write blogs comes from this new thing I’ve started doing called ‘editing’. Did any of you realise how much pointless crap I waffle on about on here? I’m sure one day my children will discover the dark archives of my blog and will forever use it as a valid defense in any argument.

*cries into glass of wine and remembers once again why reproducing might be a bad idea*

Anyway! Pretty much what I’m trying to say… is I’m bloody brilliant and I’m fantastically happy and life is moving in this slightly dream like direction… sometimes I’m not quite sure how to handle that because it’s been a little while since I’ve felt this satisfied. Actually, I don’t think I’ve felt quite like this about my life before.

(I’m a perfectionist and I’m not good at this ‘accepting my flaws and realising life can be perfect without being perfect’ thing)

It’s baby steps, I’m learning lots of stuff. I’m enjoying sunsets and sunrises. I have an amazing person by my side and I’m going to miss my bestie like crazy when she moves soon, and I’ll probably cry, but I’m also so damn glad life is moving on for us all in the best possible way.

And it’s Friday.

And I’m visiting a friend tonight and we’re going to have a night out!

Both of those things make me incredibly happy.

#Illalwayshavewinetocuddleifitturnstoshit

 

Happy-go-lucky

The count down to Canada has begun! It’s less than a week before I fly out of the country and I’m still yet to figure out what on earth I’m packing. Sickness has found me once again in the form of a cold and all sorts of average feelings. But I had it coming really, my body doesn’t love take aways, no sleep, and alcohol for over a week! Running around in the rain probably didn’t help either. Never the less I’m now taking the hint and sleeping as much as is humanly possible while still working and occasionally eating. Ugh, I must be getting old. I’m now adding ‘don’t drink vodka’ to my New Years resolution list. Lately I seem to swing between wanting to cuddle up in bed with a good book and my cat and wanting to go clubbing all night and never sleep. I’m some weird combination of grown up and someone trying to relive their teenage years.

When I began 2015 my only new years resolution was to be ‘unapologetically me’. At the time I wasn’t entirely sure what that looked like, all I knew is I was tired of trying to make people happy or impress them and either putting on or shutting down parts of who I was to achieve that. I’d actually forgotten about it when I made 2016’s resolutions, until the other night. I was sitting with one of my best friends when he turned to me after a moment of silence and said “I’ve never met anyone who is so good at being themselves as you are”. It’s funny because I rarely stop to think about what I come across to people as. I know from feedback on my blog that each person reads what I write differently, and I really enjoy that, but I haven’t often stopped to think about how my friends perceive me or my life for that matter.

Quite often I get so focused and just doing my thing I don’t get the chance to congratulate myself on how far I’ve come or pat myself on the back for things I’ve achieved.

I have indeed managed to become unapologetically me and I now know what that looks like: me being me without trying – the people who like who I am, stay and those who don’t, leave. I really like who I am as a result of it and while it’s meant losing a few major people in my life, I’ve made even better friends and become closer to the some of ones I already had.

Part of my being me plan was to live life large; start saying yes more and getting out of my comfort zone. After travelling like I did I thought comfort zones were a thing of the past and getting out of them was a piece of cake. I was wrong, like I usually am, and I’ve found being single one of the hardest things to get used to in terms of meeting guys and striking up conversation with people. I don’t think many people realise just how comforting it is to have that one ‘person’ there for them and how little you rely on other people when in a relationship. Suddenly now I’m single I rely on people like I never have before. I need my friends around me; I need people to laugh with, have nights out with, talk to about random things in my day, share exciting things with, all the little things I shared in a relationship I’ve found other people to share them with. But that, until now, was a very daunting thing. And it still is at times. My happiness is reliant on a lot of different people, I’m still feeling vulnerable, those people can and will move and change and carry on with their own lives just like I will with mine…and I have no say about that. It’s scary. The unknown is scary.

But it’s also exciting. I’m learning to just enjoy the now and the people I have right now. I never thought I’d care about people or want to help people the way I do now. I’ve found the more I go through and the more I see in life the more determined I am to get alongside other people; face life together.

I had another friend point out the other day that I “do so many cool exciting things all the time”. Again, I’d never stopped to think about it. But I suppose when I add up the travelling, the hobbies, the nights out, I am in fact living life large. I’m enjoying every moment of it and I’m grabbing it by the horns. Instead of thinking about it, I’m just doing it. And I think that’s the best way to approach it.

I’ve become a happy-go-lucky people person and that was never something I expected. I looked at people who loved life and frolicked in genuine happiness with a bunch of amazing friends as foreign objects. I honestly had no idea how people did that. Yet just like that, I’m one of those people. When I say just like that I don’t really mean I closed my eyes one night and woke a up different person. I think it’s more a case of the deeper the sadness and hurt you face and the more you see of the world, the more you make the most of the good times and the faster you recover in the bad. It’s not that you ever really stop being sad about the really sad things, you just carry them around in a different way. I’m doing a terrible job of explaining this, but hopefully you get the jist.

So I’m going to stop there before I ramble on into oblivion. Bring on another 12 hour sleep night, healthy food, staying out of the rain, and having cuddles with my cat.

#Icanbeagrownupsometimes

24. ways to love life (and be strange)

Today is the kind of day I spend watching movie trailers rather than a whole movie. It’s not because I don’t like watching whole movies, there’s just some days I sit still for too long and my brain is like, ‘Well the least you can do is not do the same thing for long periods of time while sitting still’. And I say, ‘alright, let’s just watch movie trailers and make up the endings’. I should not be left alone.

This sickness has taken over my body. I was getting annoyed about it until I realised that I’ve only been home a little over eight weeks and that’s probably not enough time for my immune system to have got on board with the winter bugs all you people are now immune too. Ah the downfalls of skipping winter.

My little brother and I had a chat today as he was procrastinating and decided to keep me company. He announced, while I was whinging about being older but not caring, “Well, you are closer to 40 than you are to being born.” And I looked at him with a sudden realisation that, that, is indeed very true. It shouldn’t be as frightening as it is. But some days I wake up and think to myself, “I’m sure I’m still 20 and the last two years have been a strange and really realistic nightmare.” But sadly I am wrong. And they are real.

It began to sink in when I thought about my five year life goals. I don’t have set plans now, just goals, and I was like, yeah, five years is a good aim for a house and possibly a little bit of land and another cat. Maybe I’ll travel three of four times as well. THEN, it hit me. I’ll be 27 in five years. 27. THAT’S NOT FAR AWAY.

I also realised I have a little brother who is going to be 17 in a few months. And a sister who’s talking about buying a house with her boyfriend. Me? I’m dreaming about my next trip overseas and what kind of coffee I’m ordering for work.

My biggest problem right now is I’ve taken to sleeping in the middle of my bed… and now there’s an indent and it’s uneven and that bothers me considerably.

Being single is a strange world to navigate after so much time spent in a relationship. For starters, there’s all these strange rules about talking to people… and I’m all like ‘But, but, I just want to talk ’cause they’re cool?!’ And people are like ‘Whoa, but you can’t just TALK, you have to FLIRT, and you have to be hard to get and stuff!’ And I’m like ‘SHUT UP INTERNET, WHAT DO YOU KNOW?!’

So I’m instead buying a world map and picking places to travel and loving my cat who comes to see me once a day for food… and talking to people I think are cool when I want. And I might seem strange. And that’s because I really am strange.

My little brother weighed in on this topic and after making me feel old, made me feel a bit better by saying, “Just be you.” And I thought that was sweet. He’s right though. It may mean I end up alone with 10 horses and 50 cats after travelling the world three times over. But what’s so wrong with that? I’ll figure it out. But I decided to write a few ‘rules’ of my own to tell the internet just what I think of it’s ‘being single’ advice.

  1. Say strange things because it’s fun
  2. If someone can talk about food for more than two sentences, they’re going to be a good person to talk to.
  3. Speak to people when you want to speak to them, not just when you’re lonely.
  4. People will stop talking to you sometimes, and you’re going to be really quite ok with that.
  5. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you have to hide a personality trait to be accepted.
  6. Speak using GIF’s on Facebook chat. It’s great fun.
  7. Never stop wondering what more life could offer and going after it.
  8. Keep it simple. It is what it is. STOP OVER THINKING LIFE.
  9. Dance randomly
  10. Sing loudly (in public so people give you funny looks)
  11. Fall in love with parts of your life you’d forgotten were so good
  12. Love the people you have and appreciate them for the crazy humans they are.
  13. Don’t cry when you kill the pot plant…buy another one and try again.
  14. Be a little bit more of yourself each day
  15. Pet an animal daily
  16. Set goals you’d have never thought about before
  17. Exercise regularly…push yourself beyond what you’ve previously been capable of.
  18. Go out and look damn good
  19. Be excited for someone about something that’s important to them.
  20. Run along the beach in the middle of the night with alcohol and friends (alone would just be weird).
  21. Buy yourself a present because you damn well can.
  22. Ask people random questions when you meet them and have fun watching their surprised reactions.
  23. Eat chocolate, drink wine.
  24. Never underestimate the power of laughter!

And there you have it.

Enjoy fellow blog readers!

 

#itsbetterthanalright

How my body has felt over the past month: “Ok, you need to rest, recover from jetlag. I said rest. No, alcohol is not rest. Stop it. I mean it. You need more than 6 hours sleep. Seriously. Stop. Stop what you are doing and drink some damn water girl. Ok, that really is enough alcohol now. I said stop. OK I REALLY MEAN I NOW STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND REST AND DAMN WELL GET SOME SLEEP WOMAN!”

I’m sick. The kind of miserable sick that makes me want to curl up with my favourite teddy, a hot lemon drink, and lots and lots of cold and flu tablets until my body decides to come out from hibernation. It’s my first week of work and I woke up this morning with no voice. Thankfully by 8am I had regained my voice and I can now speak in one tone, only one, without it sounding like I’m sick. Pretty much that means anything beyond a basic conversation is out. I managed to make it to work, get to the pharmacy, buy drugs that cost me two hours pay so I could stay at work and pretend I’m not sick.

I have my official title now! I’m a client liaison and marketing co-ordinator person. Heavens only knows what that means… but pretty much I’ve established I do research on where we can be improving our reach, I talk to clients and make sure they have what they need and pass them onto the relevant people, and I help the marketing team wherever necessary. In a nutshell that’s what it is anyway. That and making sure the coffee pot is always full, the bench is wiped down (I still to this day, two weeks into the job, have no idea how the guys in the office manage to get coffee from one end of the bench to the other… they don’t even make the coffee… ), make sure the office is organised, do the stationary order, which is really quite fun, and answer phones.

I also started in the show home last night as a show home hostess… basically I get to sit in a really nice new house and talk to people who come through about it about the house and the business. I get to know things like what colour it is, how high the ceilings are, what kind of carpet it has, and all the stuff about the business I’ve grown up learning. It’s amazing what you retain from eves dropping as a child…

Then there is also the communications work which has seen me get over my fear of pitching new business to potential clients.

If you’d asked me a year ago what I’d be doing this wouldn’t have been what I would have pictured, but it’s really great. I’m actually remarkably happy with life at the moment. One of the three guys I work with in the office asked me… for the first time I might add… what was going on in my world. I said, “Nothing really, it’s good”. He looked at me surprised and said, “Well that’s good there’s no complaints”. Nope. Nothing to complain about here. And I thought about it for a moment, that despite how sick I am (and yes I know I’m complaining on here… I’M ALLOWED), and how rather broken I’ve been feeling lately about the break up, or how annoyed I am I can’t ride every day yet, or how windy Tauranga is, or how ridiculous the traffic is, life is great. It sure as hell has been a lot worse and could still be a lot worse. I think, having hit a pretty low low last year, I have realised how simple it can be to put foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.

Difflam spray and Coldrex definitely helps with that. I think I might actually become addicted to Difflam, is that possible? It tastes so delicious.

I’m also coming to this point where the idea of being in a new relationship is actually freaky. It’s not like a ‘oh I just want to be single for a while’, because I do want to do that, but it’s this kind of weird feeling of how do I be with anyone else when I’ve been with one person for so many years? And it’s not even that many years. Four years is just a blip in terms of an entire life span. But it feels like forever because I’m only 22… so it’s a fifth of my life (I think, I’m bad at maths). I can be a really weird person at times…I’m like this energetic, optimistic, freakishly excitable soul in a pessimistic, worn out, sarcastic body. And then there are all the health problems that I know I’m on top of but it might not stay that way and I could legitimately turn a bit crazy. And that freaks me out. So imagine how I feel about talking to someone else about that? IT’S JUST ALL SO COMPLICATED.

So I’m rolling with #single. But then on the other hand I’m all like #lovingflirting and I swing dramatically between the two. Then I also occasionally go with #imgoingtobealoneforever and #sobbinginmylonliness but also #lookatallthispaceinmybedforME and #noonetoanswerto.

You can see how this might be a bit confusing at times?

It doesn’t help that when I get sick I get delusional. So right now I know I’m making very strange statements and I should be kept away from my blog but there is no one to stop me blogging and so I’m going to post it anyway! Sigh.

So life is this… a great mix of new people, new adventures, getting back into jumping my horse, making goals, having dreams, enjoying working, loving the beach, and also struggling daily with feeling lost, alone, angry, and hurt. But I have great friends and I know it’s on the up. Things are just how they are, there’s nothing I can do to change that. I’m not sad about life being different, it’s just different. And that sometimes takes a bit of adjusting.

Moving cities has also been a challenge and I regularly miss the Waikato and wonder if I made the right choice moving back. But I did. I know I did. Even if NO ONE IN THIS CITY CAN DRIVE PROPERLY…I get to be close to family and friends and once things slow down a bit and I have routine in the new year… I can start planning my next adventures. Because I have a whole life ahead of me to live them in. So time to start working and saving and dreaming.

#itsbetterthanalright

Another year older and a little bit wiser…sometimes

My butt is incredibly sore today. It’s a rather interesting way to end a birthday, but turns out sitting on it meant it needed massaging. And that hurt. But I think it’s going to be ok. With my flitting around the world this year it doesn’t quite feel time for my birthday to have come around again or that it’s been a year since granddad passed away. Charlie the cat is as weird as ever but he’s come around to sleeping on my bed and even thinks it’s fun to wake me up by standing on my head in the night. I spent the morning with mum at a spa for a detox treatment and I feel suitably loved and detoxed and filled with healthy chocolate. What on earth would the world do without chocolate?

The spa we went to gave me a little pink flower pot plant so I now have three living things that rely on me! I’m rather determined to keep it alive…the plant that is. I’m hoping the cat and horse can look after themselves a little because let’s be honest, I’m not actually that good at keeping even myself alive. But I’ve managed 22 years so that’s got to count for something!

I wanted to do a big post about how much has changed over the past year but sometimes there just aren’t words for things so here is a super brief recap:

I lost granddad, I brought a horse and sold a horse, Ivy had a baby horse and I sold him, I ran away overseas and travelled to nine countries in four months and absolutely loved it and learnt a bunch of life lessons, and I went from a four year relationship to single, I ended up with a cat. And here we are!

When I was a kid I always thought: “When I get to 21, life will be good”. I have no idea why it was 21, but I seemed to think life would stop there. I thought I’d have a car, a horse, a house, a job, and a degree and I’d be set for life. I have all that sure, but it’s nothing like I pictured and life is certainly not stopping here. I must chuckle at my much younger self and think, “Man, what am I going to think in another 10 years? Will I look back on my current self and think ‘how naive, if only you’d known’.” Yep, probably. But what I have come to realise is life never happens how you expect and even when it comes close to it, the feeling may be nothing like the one you’d anticipated. Walking away from my relationship was one of the hardest things to do. I wanted to fight, I wanted it to work. But I also hate giving up and sometimes I don’t know when to quit. Perhaps it was time to do so or perhaps I’m just stronger than I was four years ago, but I’m really quite ok. I’m sad in moments and angry in others but after losing people, seeing suffering in all parts of the world including my own, and having been diagnosed with a life altering health issue I feel like a break up is a mountain I’m well equipped to climb and with the support I have, there is absolutely no reason I won’t make a quick journey over the other side.

Anyway, instead of rambling on about all the changes I decided I’d instead write a list of all the things I’m grateful for in my life.

  • Amazing friends I’m not sure I’d be ok without
  • The chance to have worked at a great paper and have more experience under my belt than I ever imagined in my first 18 months of work.
  • A really cool, easy horse who is the bees knees
  • A not-so-cuddly cat who’s a bit weird but I like him.
  • Parents who are going to have to put up with my being at home a lot for the next few months
  • New work and volunteer opportunities
  • A body that functions properly 90 per cent of the time
  • A bed all to myself
  • Chocolate
  • The ability to travel the world on my own and all the incredible things I’ve learnt

I’d go on, but that’s the gist of it. In the past few months life has become an incredibly interesting and slightly frightening place to navigate. I spent several days standing on the top of mountains screaming “I’M ALIVE”, I spent days dragging a 20kg bag around with me, I’ve walked more miles than I ever thought was possible in four months, I’ve faced some of my biggest fears, I’ve eaten scorpions, I’ve seen suffering and heartbreak, and I’ve had the chance to change my world view.

Now I’m here and in my 22nd year I’m excited about what’s going to happen now. There are so many paths and picking the ‘right’ one seems scary, but it’s just taking that first step. And I’ll take it. Once I do, there won’t be any stopping me! For now the ‘to do’ list simply has one thing: keep climbing mountains and I mean that both figuratively and literally.

Tomorrow I’m heading up north with dad to celebrate the first year anniversary of granddad passing away. It’s a chance for me to revisit places Alex and I spent a lot of time and accept that’s part of the past, and it’s a chance to grieve but also acknowledge just how amazing granddad was and how mum we miss him, but also how ok we’re going to be.

So on that note, I’m going to leave this post with a bunch of quotes I found on this blog: http://thoughtcatalog.com/katie-wilkes/2014/12/20-quotes-that-all-20-year-olds-must-read/

“It’s better to have nobody than someone who is half there, or who doesn’t want to be there.”
Angelina Jolie

“You can tell so much about a person by the way they leave you.”
Redvers Bailey

“I will not be your sometimes.”
Anonymous, Six Word Stories

“The hours between 12 AM and 6 AM have a funny habit of making you feel like you’re either on top of the world or under it.”
Unknown

“I crave space. It charges my batteries. It helps me breathe. Being around people can be so exhausting, because most of them love to take and barely know how to give. Except for a rare few.”
Katie Kacvinsky

“The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away.”
Alysia Harris

“Give yourself permission to immediately walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. Just trust what you feel.”
Sonia Chuquette

“Nothing ever happens how you imagine it will.”
John Green

“Suddenly you’re 21 and you’re screaming along in the car to all the songs you listened to when you were sad in middle school and everything is different but everything is good.”
Unknown

“There had been too much emotion, too much damage, too much everything.”
Ernest Hemingway

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”
Socrates

“If you don’t make time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a LOT of time dealing with a life you DON’T want.”
Kevin Ngo

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
Carl Sagan

So just remember life is beautiful even when it feels like you’ve been sat on by a bus or a large horse. Always take a moment before you decided to get back up off the ground because the sky is pretty damn beautiful. If you’ve fallen face down though that doesn’t really apply, sometimes mud can be good for your skin. Just remember that. And if you’re lonely, get a cat…they’re remarkably uncomplicated, even the strange ones.

Now here’s a song.