I’m mad, utterly mad


I stole this picture of my sisters instagram…mainly because I spilt a cup of coffee on my phone so it now refuses to upload photos I take. Whatever, that’s cool. I’ve spent the last few days in Hamilton looking after the little sis who’s had an operation (she’s fine, nothing major). It’s strange being, once again, back in the house I moved into a year ago. I can’t believe how much I’ve achieved in one year and how different things are now! I’ve been rather adamant about not being one of those people who come back from travelling and say ‘I’ve changed’. But I can’t help it. I’m different. I’m still every bit me but I’m the me I’ve ignored for a long time. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on here, but before I came back and walked into what turned into a blind-siding flip of my life, there was this moment in France.

Tom had left to spend the afternoon at the pub and I’d opted to have a me day. I’d just finished watching the rugby and I went to do the dishes only to find the sink totally blocked. I’ve had a blocked sink while I’ve been flatting, a number of times, I should probably stop expecting food to fit down it… but every time I’d called someone to fix it. Not because I couldn’t fix it, but it was easier to just get someone to do it for me. But stuck in a house with no internet, no one around to bounce ideas off, nothing. I had nothing. I’ll admit it took me an hour to realise there was a part of the pipe under the sink I could unscrew to empty the blockage (into a bucket of course, I’m smart sometimes), but there was this strange sense of achievement as I watched the water empty out and my problem vanish. I did it all myself. I’d always been able to do it myself, I just never thought I could.

So I was standing in this little kitchen in a house in the middle of a quiet, well actually silent, street in the middle of a small North West town in France. I stood and I laughed and I laughed until I couldn’t stop. And I suddenly realised all the things I was worried about, all the things in life that stopped me chasing my dreams; none of it mattered. I was going to be just fine. I was fine on my own.

I don’t know why I had that moment, perhaps I subconsciously knew more about my unravelling life than I cared to admit, but from that moment I haven’t felt the fear I used to about my life.

There are a lot of things you learn travelling: how to get yourself un-lost with no help and no maps without the use of English, how to order food with a dietary requirement without using language…the list of stuff goes on. But there are these incredible moments like in Vietnam, I went out around 10pm in Hoi An, it’s a small beach town that’s insanely pretty, and I just wandered around. The street was lit with these large lanterns, people talked loudly, some rode around on bikes, floating candles shone in different colours across the canal. It was one of the moment beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Or when I was in Ho Chi Minh city and a group of girls took me around in the evening. There’s this big street just for people to hang out and walk up and down. Buildings tower over it with bright neon lights and offices lit up. People gather to sing and drink coffee and just be there. In a city full of rush and business they’re just there because they can be. And as I rode around on the back of their motorbikes in a monsoon shower I couldn’t help but realise just how incredible life is. For the first time in my life I stopped worrying about what the future might look like and I started loving my now. And I kept loving my now the whole way around the world.

I never want to lose that, the feeling of freedom and bliss that life is going to be just fine.

So the other night at 11pm I ran off to the beach just to talk and dance and run and do cartwheels (which I fail at). Because life is amazing and it’s so easy to get caught up in what we ‘should’ be or what it ‘should’ look like. I don’t want to lose the craziness or the spontaneous fun I had travelling just because I’m home. New Zealand is an incredible country and life should be lived in the same manner people travel in; just have fun. I’m young and even when I’m not, I’m still entitled to enjoy the little things in life, to embrace my crazy mad side. I’m mad, utterly mad.

And I love it.


Break, here I come.

There are very few things better than climbing into a quality bed with fresh sheets and the fan going on a warm summers night. Especially when following a rather roller coaster week. This week is probably a very good metaphor for this entire year; the wins are constantly battling the losses and the pendulum of life keeps on going regardless of what happens between each tock.

That was deep.

Getting back to light hearted. This past week, I managed to get myself run off the road in the work car (not my fault) punctured the tyre, then the wheel bearing went. I also ‘disappointed’ a comms person. I seem to be very good at doing that. I also washed both my cars, kind of worked on my tan, managed a whole day with very little make up and lounging in bed (much needed!). I even watered the garden.

Oh and I sold my horse (Pip).

There are less than 10 working days between me and a holiday, and I am imagining myself in a slow motion movie scene, just a few more steps away from the finish line.

I have 10 days to get through and I can say I have survived one of the most challenging years of my life. It certainly wasn’t the worst, it probably wasn’t the hardest, but I have faced hurdles at times I felt like I was about to run straight at them, and then meet the ground with my face.

I can’t say I didn’t do that a few times. Sometimes I just stayed down there for a while, other times I managed to catch myself just before the fall, and most of the time I made it over.

I bought a horse, I sold a horse (the same one), and man am I glad I had that horse. Every difficult time in my life I have had a horse by my side, I’m not too sure how I would have made it through most days without one. I still have Ivy, but it will be the first time in 12 years that I have not had a horse to ride. I have three months to wait before I can jump back on her…but I need a break. I think at every point in your life you come to a stage where you just have to stop what has become the norm, what has become a crutch, and take a step toward the next ‘thing’.

There is this sad and scared feeling selling Pip, but at the same time it is excitement that I finally had the courage to take a step back and focus on me…who I am…and what my next step is in life. I can no longer identify myself as a ‘horse rider’ and to some degree that is freeing, it gives me a chance to explore what else I can be.

I lost a loved one. Watching granddad go slowly has been one of the hardest things I have had to face. And I still feel that loss, but I am healing. It is something everyone must learn to accept at some stage, and no matter how hard it is, it teaches you things about yourself you never thought you’d learn.

I understand the concept of ‘stopping’, I understand how important it is to reach out to someone in pain, I get what it’s like to be alone and how alone alone feels, I understand how people have mental breakdowns, I understand what it’s like to feel everything at once.

I started my first job. Wow, talk about jumping in the deep end. But I love it. I love every moment of the ‘pull my hair out imagine myself on a beach far away and not wanting to strangle that person’ madness that it can be. I understand why I chose this career; it is part of me. It is everything, it is how I define myself now. I might have been in tears, in fits of insanity laughter, glaring at my computer screen, drinking wine to ignore the burning need to tell someone what I think of them, the not drinking alcohol in fear I will, falling into bed convinced I may never get up again, but I wouldn’t change it.

I moved house. In amongst the madness I moved house, not just any move, but a move to live with my sister, and every moment since I have been thankful I made that decision. It has shown me I am finally getting the hang of listening to myself. It is hard to move for me, home is what keeps me stable, it is my centre where I can come back to when it’s all spinning out of control. So moving is big. But this has been a good one, and I am looking forward to the future.

I faced my past. It might not seem like a big thing to most people, but I have a delayed shock reaction to most emotionally threatening situations. If my mind doesn’t think I can cope with the sheer volume of emotion coming my way, it shuts it out and waits until I am in a place I can comprehend it. For me, Conrad was a part of my life I didn’t think I could ever deal with. But when suddenly he was here, in my city, in the place that had become my safe haven, I had to face some pretty big issues I never knew I had.

It’s moments like these you realise just how incredible the human brain is, how it can just blank things out it doesn’t think you need to remember. At the end of the day, it helped to realise how a health issue began, and how to fix it.

I resolved a long term and controlling health issue.
It’s not every day you get to defy the doctors and fix yourself with natural medicine. Nope, it’s not going to vanish, but it’s not going to even with the doctors medication. But it is pretty much consistently under control and it is no longer the centre of my life.

I ended up with a baby horse...this is the start of a new future with my darling Ivy. She’s been my best friend for the past six years, but our ‘team’ has changed its course and I’ve come to accept I won’t be competing for a while, Mardy is the final point of acceptance in that.

So this year has been a good one, and it’s not over! But it’s so, so close. I have a pretty incredible life, I’ve been on some amazing adventures and had some unforgettable experiences. And it doesn’t stop here.

It’s just another year in a roller coaster life, and I’m getting better at holding on and enjoying the ride.

But a whole summer with the freedom to get out on the weekends, to sunbath, to just take a deep breath and remind myself I am alive, and it’s ok to stop…it sounds like bliss.

Sometimes, I think you just get to a point where you need a break, need to just stop. Long enough to remember why you keep going and why the world is a good place.

A break…deep breath, it’s nearly here.