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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello 21

I began my 21st birthday dreaming about being a stripper. The problem with the dream was I really sucked at it. I managed to get stuck in my raincoat, while wearing a very old sparkly white t-shirt and track-pants. Not quite sure what was going on there. I didn’t make much money. I’m choosing not to read into that dream too much…

Yep, I’m 21 now. I have been trying to think of clever things to say for this post, as I can’t really not post on my birthday…but apparently creativity has abandoned me today, as has the sun.

Instead, I’ll just do a little update.

I’m moving house this weekend. I have five days to pack and clean what I can. I also need to set up the power and internet. Mainly so we have lights, and food, and music. One can live without these things (not so much food), but I’d also like to avoid having to do that if possible.
I have pulled my horse of the sales site, mainly because I don’t have enough time to sell him. The irony being I’m selling him because I don’t have enough time to ride him. But he looks pretty in a paddock.

Now my mare has foaled, I have three horses who all look pretty in the paddock. I mean, why have a cat as a pet when you could have a horse? Crazy horse lady right here.
I went out for a lovely dinner the other night with my family, my mother did a super job at making the night very special and gave me a cool book of my life. I would love to post all the pictures here but it might take me a while to scan them!

Things are changing. I don’t really do too well with change. I shut down into this strange person.

I don’t really talk much when things are changing, I think it’s my way of controlling what I feel like is spinning rapidly out of my control. It’s not really that I want to avoid people or shut down, but I no longer possess the ability to talk about anything, I simply have no idea how I feel. Because of this I prefer solitude, and I actually enjoy it sometimes.

I spent my 21st birthday evening washing all the windows in the house. It took me about an hour and I was out till dark.

I was spoilt by my friends and family and workmates, so I feel pretty blessed to have had an incredible few days with so many gifts and food. Though, to many people spending my birthday evening alone, washing windows, might seem pretty sad.

It was one of the best things for me. It is my way of coping with life, it is my way of coming to terms with things that have been biting my ankles. It doesn’t matter what day your birthday is, life continues to happen.

I am moving house, and granddad is dying, and the paper is going twice weekly. It doesn’t really matter if I like what’s happening, it is happening and I am coming to terms with more work, a new place to call home, and losing my grandfather.

This year has been a roller coaster of great highs and great lows, not because I’m emotionally unstable (though, that is also a possibility), but because I’ve just reached that point in my life. While I may get motion sick, I am good at holding on. You’ve just got to buckle in and hope there is a scenic stretch coming up shortly.

Life is a blessing, and I’ve certainly had my fair share of blessings. So while my 20th year was certainly one which hit me with a large sack full of bricks, and I have a strong feeling my 21st year is going to be about the same, if not even more of a whirl wind, I’m prepared.

I’ve found ways to cope, even if mucking out stables, walking up hills, and washing windows on my birthday seem like strange ways of coping, I am coping.

One step after another.

Winne-the-Pooh and honest titbits

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with Granddad being sick. I have always been a ‘strong’ person. I’m not really sure what that means to be perfectly honest. How I perceive it is people lean on you, and you are always there. Always. But sometimes you crumble too, and it’s hard to find people to hold you up like you hold them. So anyway, I have a friend who I have become exceptionally close to lately, it is the kind of friendship that really is a one in a million. He is going through something similar, different, but similar. The thing about friends is when they’re hurting it’s hard not to hurt for them, and when you’re feeling the same way they are, it makes it even worse. 

So, what do I do in a situation like this? I look up Winne-the-Pooh quotes, because well, who doesn’t like a good Winnie-the-Pooh quote?

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”

 

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”

 

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

 

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”

 

“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.”

 

“I did know once, only I’ve sort of forgotten.”

 

Talking to this friend lately has taught me a few things about myself. I am a constant surprise, even to myself. There are so many things that I say and I think wow, where did that come from? I wish I could remember that when I needed it most. I am many things, and I need very little, except to be understood. No matter how good life seems, there are still things that each person struggles with, every day. When you see that person smiling in the street, appreciate them, because you might not have any clue as to how hard it was for them to do that that morning. Be humble, treat others as you would have them treat you, but never let yourself love others more than yourself. In other words, do not be selfish and self-centred, but understand how to love yourself so you can love others in the fullest way possible. 

The thing that has I suppose been the biggest surprise to myself, is that it is not that I do not want to share things with people, it is simply I don’t have the words. Strange I know, but there are moments in everyones life that leave them speechless. Mine just happen more often than not, and almost always when it comes to the really honest feelings stuff. 

There is no better way to know yourself, than to look through someone else’s eyes. 

 

 

Drunk, rape, gang sex… 13 year olds?

The latest news story going around about the ‘Roast Busters’, a group (though the picture only shows two men) who have apparently been going around raping 13 year olds and bragging about it online. It is horrifying to think this could even happen, and that it has been going on for years. There is a point beyond the alleged rape that people seem to be missing.

Why on earth are 13 year old girls, at a party, drunk to the point of blacking out….?

I know when I was 13 I was writing in my diary, staying up late with my friends at sleep overs giggling about who had a crush on who and if anyone had kissed a boy. I did not even think about parties and drinking until I was 15 and even then it was something that I was not allowed to just go out and do. I mean, I get having a social life. I get that kids go out and that perhaps I was different to be innocent for so long. But to me, that just seems wrong. Innocence should not be something that is surprising to find in a 13 year old. 

While it is horrible that these girls had to go through loosing their virginity at 13 and yes those boys are horrible human beings, the blame does not lie completely with them. Do these girls not have parents, or anyone looking out for them for that matter? 

A girl being quoted saying gang sex is normal in West Auckland, but mainly with 13-15 year olds. That is sick. It is horrific and to me. There are so many huge issues around this news story that people seem to be missing. 

Because at the end of the day, why on earth are 13 year old girls allowed to be getting drunk at parties and not at home with their parents? Or even at a party with people so much older than them for that matter. It is astonishing. And I just can not get over that fact alone. 

Pill Popper

Being sick sucks. There is no worse feeling than having a head that feels like it’s full of rocks, sweating worse than a pig without mud and not being able to string together enough words to explain just how bad you feel. Alex being the amazing boyfriend he is, is taking good care of me but I am going mad. Being stuck in bed is not fun. Currently he’s working so he can’t tell me not to be using my laptop – evil laugh. 

I sent him off to town this morning to fetch me every kind of cold and flu pill ever invented and cough medicine that doesn’t taste like cherry. Seriously, who flavors anything cherry and vanilla? It’s just cruel. So after codeine, paracetamol and a few other things I’m able to open my eyes and sit up. And eat, I ate toast today, that’s progress. 

I actually want to go to class. I am going insane not doing anything! 

And everything hurts – aches. I want to cry but I don’t have the energy. I’m broken. Someone please fix me!

Here’s the crutch. Stand on your own two feet.

Breathe. Deeper. One more. Now smile. Find a song. Sing it loudly. Breathe again. Smile some more. Ignore racing heart. Stand taller. Turn the music up. Once more. Breathe. One more. Smile. Sing. Breathe. Smile. Breathe. 

Let the tears make their way through the drawn on happiness. It’s ok you know. You ask yourself once more. Does anyone care? Yeah. Someone must. The morning takes too long to warm a cold body. Sunshine doesn’t quite reach the heart. Mist covers the hurt. Traffic hides the noise of a heart beating too hard for its chest. This is it. This is the start of life. That’s what they say. We’re young. We’re made for this. Talk till 2am. We’re still alone. You know. Just inside that’s the way. Winter does this. Sad songs explain this. 

Get in the car. Watch the petrol gage. Light comes on. Keep driving. It’s dark. Wonder where we’ll end up out here. Turn that music up. Rain is always colder when you’re watching it fall. Leave no stone unturned. No road untraveled. Let the moments take you. Fall to pieces. 

This is just it. Run or stand. Here we are. Time takes its toll. Nothing but love. That’s what we want. Nothing but hate. Isn’t that what we all give? Stand on your own two feet. So they cut them off. Here you are. 

Breathe. Deeper. One more. Now smile. Find a song. Sing it loudly. Hold breath. Close eyes. Smile fades. Heart races. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

 

Coping. Are you?

I broke down today. Actually broke down. After a good night, or well a good week, of confidence building, pride igniting and ego boosting, my emotions simply gave up. I’m not sure why, but I don’t deal well with stress. I don’t deal well with people holding me to expectations. I struggle. I don’t know who doesn’t.

I must say I feel sorry for my instructors and the people where my horse lives. Most people don’t see me break down. But they always do for some reason. Maybe its because around my horse I feel like I can actually fall apart. Everyone has a safe place- thats mine. But I just wound up in tears over the most pathetic thing.

So, seeing as no one is home I decided tonight was my de-stress night. Time to myself. I don’t actually know when the last time was I had alone time. Silence. Ticking clock. Blinking lights. And me. It’s really nice. Unfortunately I had to ditch my boyfriend for the night in order for this alone time but I feel like I needed it. There wasn’t a choice.

Sometimes I think its not so much about how much you have on, or even your time management. It’s about making sure there are times you put you first. Times you get to be selfish. Time when you do exactly what it is you want to be doing.

That is coping.