It never was going to be easy…

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

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

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

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

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

Coffee, coffee is good right now.

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

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

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

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

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

It will be hard.

It will be uncomfortable.

I will throw tantrums.

And sometimes I will want to give up.

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

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

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

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

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

And they’ll see that…

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

But that’s beside the point.

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

 

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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

 

A blog of random stuff…just cause

Hello world! Gosh I feel like I’ve been in some sort of hibernation! I’m not entirely sure why I’ve slacked off on the blogging. Perhaps it’s kind of become like my once loved dairy: occasionally paid attention to, but usually only to write bad stuff. I was going to do something clever with that…I thought there could be a cool metaphor there (I’m all about those metaphors and similes)…but then I remembered I’m tired, I’ve been studying psychology or I’ve written away my life and have finger cramp from work. Clever metaphors don’t really happen when I’m tired, or they fall seriously flat and people just feel sorry for me.

I started a new gym yesterday. It was as terrifying as one might imagine. I find gyms incredibly frightening. If you wander around trying to find everything and it’s not in the place you want and you stop and stare around with this panicked look on your face…everyone turns to look at you like the zombies look at humans on the walking dead. I want to resist the urge to throw my water bottle and phone at them with a ‘ah! This is too hard!’

But it’s ok. Sam was there and because he looks like he belongs in a gym, I felt safe…secure. Like the gym zombies were not going to come after me should I make a wrong move.

But I now have a sore back. Because I did back yesterday. I have a weak lower back and I’m crying a little inside about that right now.

So I was reading back through my blog (I only read 2015 because anything before that is just plain embarrassing… have a read if you want a laugh), and I realised a year a go today (cheers Facebook!) I was planning my overseas trip, my cat buttons had to be put down, one of my horses I sold had to be put down, I lost my cat Snuggie, and I sold my foal.

The point of mentioning that is I wrote a big post about ‘letting go’ this time last year. I was going to write a big spiel about how ‘I’ve come so far with letting go’ because I can deal with someone else riding my horse and be happy about it (a year ago only two people had ridden her during the six years I had owned her, and that was one ride each… so…)

By letting go I mean letting go of control. So, you see, pretty much, with my brain being super tired I’m not going to attempt to write a big long, super inspirational blog about it because in all honestly, I’m still terrible at it.

Two years ago, and it was well documented on here, I had what I would call the start of a breakdown. It wasn’t terrible, most people weren’t super aware of it. Just I had this over whelming urge to escape. A lot of that came because everything felt ‘out of my control’. I was a mess; sobbing each night to friends and family about how I ‘just couldn’t do it anymore’.

In hindsight, now I’m studying counselling, I probably should have seen a counsellor. But ya know, dropping everything and going around the world works too.

Here’s the thing though… it felt out of my control and it WAS out of my control. There was a fairly good list of crappy things that just weren’t going well and the things that were going well I didn’t feel equipped to manage. I needed to leave and it turned out to be the best thing for me. But I think it’s taught me a very valuable snippet of knowledge: it’s all out of your control.

In my study I recently learnt about flow…if people have challenges they can rise to and they feel equipped or able to do so, they achieve flow (it’s a good state of mind is what I’ve gathered). If the challenge is too much for the persons perceived ability to handle it, or if the challenge is not enough, that is when you get someone who is unproductive/frustrated or stressed. (I mainly added this in here so I can prove to myself I’m learning stuff and actually start remembering it…forgive me if it’s only 90% accurate)

Dad always says (kind of, the follow quote I actually found on a quote site thingy): “Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react to it”.

It is true. I will accept that. But it’s damn hard! It’s hard to be happy and positive when, while I enjoy my job, I don’t feel like it’s as challenging as it could be, where I feel study is too challenging and it’s damn scary! It’s easy to fall into the mindset of ‘panic, I’m stressed!’ I am not at all achieving flow in any areas of my life. Currently I’m studying motivation and emotion for my final exam, so I’ll bore you all with that next blog.

I am, at the moment, constantly in a battle with my mind of ‘it’s ok, you are capable’ and ‘take a moment to breathe, now start from the beginning’ and ‘I WANNA MAKE IT ALL STOP. I QUIT BEING A GROWN UP!’ The last part is usually said (silently so people think I’m kind of normal) in my head with the picture of me throwing a tantrum on the ground.

It takes a great amount of determination to remind myself day in, day out that I need to a) be patient and wait until the doors start to open..quit trying to pound them down and b) appreciate life being momentarily slower than usual and c) do as much with what I have right now and d) I will get my chance to make a change and a difference, I’m just in a growth phase.

That all might sound cheesy, but it’s true. Some moments are ‘go moments’ and some are ‘whoa moments’. There are times I am riding my horse and we focus on the boring stuff: learning how to listen, how to relax, how to work correctly. Then there are the moments we throw it all out the window and go as fast as we can…but I always know in those moments I’ve put the work in to learn, so when I need an automatic and immediate response to a problem while going a million miles an hour…I have it. There are also the moments, like in the jumping ring, where it’s a combination of give it your all, but use the lessons every step of the way and the more you know, the more you achieve.

Right now I’m in a whoa moment. It’s not the time to be going as fast as I can taking in everything around the world, testing my responses. It’s the time to focus and learn and listen…and wait. There will be another go moment.

And I need to remind myself of that.

 

 

 

 

“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!

Gosh darn normal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So gosh darn normal it’s refreshing.

 

 

Catch my breath

I’ve been sitting in front of my computer, on my bed in Canada (family holiday), for over an hour now trying to put together my thoughts in sentences long enough to construct a blog. I could blame the concussion a few days ago, or I could blame this irritating case of writers block.

I tend to find I suffer from writers block when I have a bunch of thoughts but I don’t actually know what I want to say. So, on days like these (or weeks in this case) I sit down and listen to a whole heap of random songs I can relate to, I zone out of life, and I make myself write random things here.

I’ve reached a new phase of what I’ve come to call ‘post breakup’. I’m well past the break up and it’s now learning how to cope with all the changes in my personality. It’s almost like meeting a new person and getting to know all the strange quirks about them…but it’s me. I’m learning about all the strange quirks I never had before.

I’ve decided I want to get a tattoo. I’m not sure why that’s a defining point of change, but I’ve decided it is. That’s my moment. It’s the acceptance that I’m different; life is different, and it’s time to get used to that.

The other day I was talking to someone who said they had worked through issues in a marriage because they couldn’t imagine being with anyone else, that the person they were with was it and if they weren’t with them they wouldn’t be with anyone else. That’s exactly how I felt. In some ways it’s still how I feel. It’s not that I don’t want someone else, it’s that my mind is still getting used to that idea and it might take some time. But I’m a firm believer that things change, and when they do, you have to change your thinking. I’m damn excited about the people I’m meeting…and I pat myself on the back everyday that I can keep moving forward.

Lately I’ve met someone who has caught me off guard. People don’t do that. I’m rarely surprised by people. Actually, I can’t remember the last time someone new took my breath away. And it’s the first time I haven’t wanted to run, fast. It gives me hope. A kind of hope I’d actually completely forgotten about. It doesn’t mean I won’t run, I’m a fast runner, but it does mean that I’m learning. I am coming to terms with the fact life is going to be ok and there are people out there who will surprise me, excite me, inspire me, challenge me, and just make me smile about something completely ordinary. And it’s ok to care about someone…even if they hurt you. Caring is a really nice feeling.

I refuse to let past hurts control my life or control what I give to and see in people. If someone throws my trust back in my face, if they turn out to be nothing like I thought, who the hell cares? I’ve lived through worse. I never stop getting back up when I’ve been kicked down. And that’s not going to change. I refuse to be afraid of something incredible incase it’s something painful.

I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen in my future, and that’s bothering me considerably at the moment, but this year is all about my life and what I want in it. For the first time I’m allowing myself space, I’m giving myself permission to make my life about what I want rather than what someone else wants from me. I have two exciting volunteer projects I’m really excited to throw myself into and I’m looking forward to figuring out and mastering my office/marketing job(s). I’m planning to explore my own country a little bit more, attend a bunch of festivals, get a tattoo or two, master surfing…and the list goes on.

It’s easy to lose focus on what’s actually important, now, and worry about the future. It’s something I need to write on a mirror and remind myself every single time I get up… that life is happening now. It will work out. Trust God and stop wasting energy.

That’s easier said than done.

But I will get there. And as afraid as I am about letting someone into a life I’ve finally managed to call my own, I know whoever I do let in is going to be someone pretty special. And if it’s just me this year, that’s cool too. I’m really, really ok with it.

There’s moments I want to burst into happy tears and give myself a high five. I’m learning; I’m recovering. Loving people doesn’t have to hurt and when it does, it’s still worth it.

I’m still worth something. I’m still loveable. I am still the amazing person I was, if anything I’m even better. I’m allowed to love myself.

While I’ve been over here in Canada I’ve missed my friends in a way I’ve never missed people, I’ve craved coffee dates and chats and nights out. Every time I see my sister snuggle with her fiancé it doesn’t make me crave that exact thing, it makes me crave the people I care about. That’s the first time in my entire life I’ve craved genuine company rather than wanting something someone else has.

It makes me smile every time I think about how many things I am blessed with and how certain I am, that no matter what changes and who moves and who I meet, I will always want quality people in my life, and in unlimited amounts.

I’m this strange mix of absolutely terrified, sad, excited, happy, and completely content.

So here’s to the next stage of getting back up, standing tall, moving forward, and living life.

Listen to this cool remix.

Peace out!

P.s Canada is amazing in every single way and I’m coming back here. Actually I think I’m going to live here.

#lifeisbloodybrilliant

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

The next little steps

Breakups aren’t fun. Even amicable breakups make you want to punch someone in the face at times. And it’s hard not to wallow in self pity singing “I will be forever alone” through tears. But I won’t be forever alone. I have a cat. And people think I’m joking when I say that but really, he’s quite a cool cat. Though, there’s always the chance he’ll run away. Then I have the horse, and she’s in a paddock, so she can’t actually escape. Even if she does she can’t go far because I FEED HER! *insert evil controlling laugh here*.

Today is the day I move my furniture. I’ve never really been in this point in a relationship before so I have no idea exactly how I should be feeling about it. Most of the time I’m just really happy I get my super comfy bed back to myself because I plan on spending a great deal of amazing sleeping in that thing. So I have a small amount of part time work with a pretty cool new company called Dynamic Media in Hamilton and I have a nice little to do list for YouthNet to start things rolling for that. Life appears for the most part to be on the right track. There’s still of course figuring out what I’m actually doing with it come new year…but for now I think I’ll just focus on the fact I can get a tan and ride my horse on the weekend. Once my tailbone is better of course, but for now I’ll just dream about galloping up hills while I go for runs on the beach. Yep, that’s right, I get to live by the beach for a while!

I’ve started to write a ‘single person to do list’, it’s sort of all those funny little things I’ve never done because I’ve been in a relationship since I was 17. And now at 22 and going grey, I feel it’s time I started completing some of them. Once I’ve got past number one I might add it here for you all to laugh at.

Life is under control in between the strange fits of sobbing, the angry laughing (I do hysterical laughing when I get really upset, seems to improve the situation though), the smiling and loving life, and the feeling of OH MY GOSH WHAT THE HELL AM I ACTUALLY GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE NOW?! That last one seems to be the most prominent.

I’ll get there. I’ll figure it out. I always do. In the midst of my weirdness and feeling like my life has just sort of unraveled at my feet, I do know things will be just fine, life is going to be great. And when I get really down I just think about all the times I stood at the top of the Alps in Austria and screamed “I’M ALIVE, I’M FREAKING ALIVE!” And for all of you who know how often I fall off things…that’s actually quite a shock. So, I have an entire life to be grateful for and amazing people in it to enjoy it with.

Hello summer…I think this year we’re going to be friends.

4am, you make me happy.

In light of getting my blood test results back, I have decided it is time to get some of my life back. I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, almost too good, you know when you can’t sleep because you’re just not tired enough? Yeah, well that kept happening.

As I lay awake one night, at around 12am, knowing I wasn’t getting enough sleep, but fighting with my body over the need for it, I made the decision I wasn’t getting enough physical exercise to balance the desk sitting I do each day.

It was time to do something. I started running which was a fantastic way to clear my head, but having average ankles it is something I have to limit, that, and I just can’t eat enough to maintain my current weight. I know, that is not a problem many people have, but I really don’t like losing weight when I don’t need to, I’m healthy how I am and I want to stay this way.

My solution? The gym. I thought, I will build back some of my muscle, get rid of that ‘floppy’ tummy look before summer, and get some strength back into my shoulders and back. It was a brilliant plan, until I received $600 worth of bills and nearly cried looking at my bank account, before the bills went out.
Horses are great like that.

So, I came up with another plan. Get another job!

For a moment I questioned my sanity, and ability to cope, but to put it quite frankly, I’m tired of bubble wrapping myself because of a health condition I now have under control.

I have managed to figure out how to balance my life (most of the time) with friends, family, hobbies, boyfriend, work. I’m feeling fantastic. My diet is top notch. And my blood test results were a miracle.
Oh yeah, and I’m running out of money.

This job entails getting up at 4am, mucking out horse stalls, brushing, washing, and doing general chores around the barn. I start my normal job at 8-8.30am.

At first I thought, BUT MY SLEEP?! Then I thought about it, I spend roughly two hours an evening watching a couple of TV shows, or seeing a friend. By simply rearranging my week, I can use that time to sleep and see people on the days I’m not working… improving my over all sleeping patterns.

It means I’m tired enough each night to actually sleep. It de-stresses me from journalism because I don’t have the time to stress or worry or over think every story, it wears me out in a way that means I’m not able to procrastinate with myself… but I still have all the energy I need to go about my daily life happily.

Roughly, it is 7-10 hours a week. Bringing my work week to around 50-55 hours in total.

But the best part, is it’s varied. I’m working out, and getting paid for it, I get to be around horses early in the morning…and because I’m not riding them I get to give them the occasional cuddle, and I’m sleeping better. PLUS I can stop stressing about my finances.

My mother and father think I’m mad. My boyfriend took some serious convincing, and my sister stared at me with a ‘you’re going to do what?!’ look. But I think most people are coming around to the idea.

This is what has to happen to make this work:

Monday: sleep in till 6.30am, get up and go for a short 10 min run. Shower, get ready, go to work. Catch up with my sister, ride my horse, get to bed and sleep by 8.30pm.

Tuesday & Wednesday: rise and shine at 4am, work one job, come home, get to the main job. Come home, ride my own horse one of these days, on the other relax and cuddle the pregnant horse. Sleep by 8pm.

Thursday: rise and shine again at 4am and so on. Go out or see a friend or just do whatever I want after riding my horse. Sleep by 10pm

Friday: rise at 6.30am, go for a short run, get to work. Then the world is mine and I shall do as I please! (unless I work on Sat) Also, I need to ride my horse.

Saturday: work one per month with the horses, catch up on my insiders guide column during the summer months. Visit my family, have a wine with girl friends, see my boyfriend. Cuddle my own horses.

Sunday: compete once a month with Pip, relax on all the others, or snowboard during winter. This is my day to do with as I see fit. But no working. No working is allowed on Sundays (for my sanity).

After two days so far, I’m feeling quite good…though my tummy muscles are actually seeking their revenge whenever I breathe. Who knew mucking out stalls actually worked EVERY part of your stomach?

But I think it’s a fantastic idea.

I may have to cut back the hours when my thyroid has one of its spastic fits, but I’m hoping the exercise will help to reduce those even further.

I am actually really looking forward to the next part of life.

Though, as me in a month how I’m liking the early mornings… and my response might be closer to a grumble than an enthused essay!