Everything, everything is going to be alright, alright

The holiday is over. Work has begun, thankfully more like small kitten cuddles in the morning rather than a racehorse dragging me around a racetrack. I’m waiting for the racehorse moments, but they will bide their time, possibly until I feel comfortable enough to start breathing like a normal person and am yet to respond with “wine” to how I feel.

There a few things I am going to stick with year (I say now…wait till June when I am a stressed out blubbering mess and hugging my wine bottle as the long weekends stop and a holiday is like the start of a sunrise…on the other side of the world). What are these life changes you ask? Well, since moving into my new house (two and a bit months) I haven’t had a messy room once. I have developed an obsession with cleaning things (this doesn’t extend to dishes though…). I have also developed an addiction to ‘The Bachelorette’. I’m yet to decide which one I should be more concerned about.

But here are the things I’m really aiming for.

Early starts: Starting with this morning (my core and shoulders are hating me for it) I’m getting up at 6.30am and doing 20 minutes of yoga/pilates followed by a relaxing hot shower. I must say, it definitely stopped my pounding heart this morning about the day/ year ahead. So, I’m hopeful.

Take it easy: I’m not taking on too much this year. Normally I get bored and start something new on top of everything I’m already doing. I’ve been much better at this over the years and last year was partly out of my control, but this year I am keeping it simple and enjoying the little things like drinking wine in the sunshine, growing my own veggies, watering the garden, seeing the sunrise, enjoying just riding my horse for fun, and putting my best foot forward for my job.

Learn a language: I’ve always wanted to do this. So this year I’m doing it. Slowly and two words a day…but I’m doing it.

Walk more: Last year I seriously missed tramping through the bush. There is no better way I feel, to unwind and get out of my own head, than heading into the bush for a good walk and a swim in a fresh river.

I think that’s enough ‘aiming’ for the year…there are a few other things in the pipelines but you’ll just all have to wait and see what those will be!

Here’s to a great year ahead! And to all those back at work now… just keep dreaming of the beach, you’ll be ok, you’ll be ok.

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Seeing my ex was the best thing for my relationship

Ok past, I’ve got a bone to pick with you on this one. How much forgiving, moving on, running away, escaping, closing my eyes, etc do I need to do to get rid of you? I mean, okay there all these sayings like “things don’t leave until they’ve taught you all you need to learn” and then the one above. I get it. I’m meant to keep taking things from it. But there is a line and I think we’ve reached it.

I was tossing up whether or not to write about this on here… I do have SOME personal sharing boundaries… but then I saw this picture and though, why the hell not? So now, here is my little spiel.

Seeing my ex was one of the best things I could have done for my current relationship. Yeah, I am fully aware I am going back on 95% of what I have been harping on about lately, but I do change my mind on my opinions regularly. When a mutual friend got us back in touch I had mixed feelings. I am well aware most people will read this and ask why I was bothering talking to an ex at all, and assume my current partner had an issue with it (he doesn’t). But just hold your fire. Our strange and roller-coaster off a cliff sort of relationship was one that not even I understand. I mean, when he whipped out quotes like “cheating isn’t that bad” last night I couldn’t help but stare at him, and my 17-year-old self in disbelief… Uhmm… what exactly is more destructive in a relationship? I mean, yes there is abuse, but cheating really is a form of emotional abuse. So, I reiterate, he hasn’t changed. 

This is a very satisfying fact to realize, anyone who argues the contrary quite seriously must have either been blind and deaf or did not know him during the time I did. No longer smoking dope is sort of ruled out by doing other drugs? And yes, cheating is really THAT bad. That is all beside my point though. I knew all of that well before I saw him again.

What it did teach me though, as a) I have possibly the most incredible boyfriend in the world and b) no wonder I don’t put up with crap from people any more. I dealt with a life times amount and I am now allergic. Or just a little more clued up. So, if someone tells me they are going to see their ex, I would encourage it. If there is still a spark there… well I have no help on that one, don’t really have that problem. BUT it does teach you an incredible amount about your past self, and your current self. The contrast was for me, in fact staggering. Growing up doesn’t even begin to explain it. It made me realise how smart I was to leave when I did and form this incredible, exciting, and fantastic life with people in it that build me up, not take away from who I am. It is healing too, to no longer resent someone for what they’ve done to you, but rather have no respect for them because of who they still are. To be able to move on, even if the past does keep following you around, sometimes you have to make a decision to keep it behind you, move on, and keep walking. Just because your past comes back, doesn’t mean you have to let it in. The lesson: I am a stronger, better, whole, fulfilled person and I am incredibly glad for the people I have in my life now, and I know exactly why I chose them. You choose the people who come into your life, make sure you make the right decision. 

The life lesson list

Being 20 is certainly a colourful time of my life. I thought it was due time I shared another ‘what I’ve learnt list’, because as life changes so do the things I get from it! So here you are, enjoy.

1) The back of a police car is one of the best ways to see the city.

2) Always let people in while waiting in traffic, you never know who’s day you just made.

3) Have at least one friend that you can sit in your car, in an empty car park, and talk for hours and not run out of content.

4) Learn to let things go: you control how you feel, not other people.

5) Do things simply because you want to help, do not expect something in return every time.

6) Actively discover something new about someone you love at least once a month.

7) Learn how to take advice, not everyone is running you down, sometimes the thing you don’t want to hear, is exactly what you need to listen to.

8) ‘Just do it’ learn when to think things through, and when to just go for it.

9) Need people. It might hurt sometimes, but it will make you a much stronger person.

10) Do not be afraid to dream big: do not let fear hold you back, decide you want to achieve something and make a plan – do not stop until you get there.

11) Study something and finish it. If you fail the first time, try again until you succeed. 

12) Find a hobby you cannot give up and throw yourself into it whole heartedly.

13) Remember to keep life balanced, your sanity will appreciate it in the long run.

14) Love your job. No matter what it is, do not just work to earn money, work to make your life better, someone else’s life better, and the world better.

 

 

Cheers to the new years

2014, 20 years old, working full time. My oh my, how things have changed. It really did seem like just yesterday I was leaving school. Then again, I feel far to old for that. All-nighters: don’t happen. Drinking too much: no time for hangovers. Making my own money: overrated. 

While I’d quite like to ponder and reflect over the year, my memory has gone a little funny with my new found old age and to be honest, I have forgotten most of it. But, here are some of the things I am grateful for, and am proud of.

  • I survived. I feel as though this is a great accomplishment for any person reading this, if you make it through a year, you’re on your way to doing well.
  • I finished my degree, a BMA – communications, and a diploma, National Diploma of Journalism.
  • I brought my first car (that I paid for, not the first one to be in my care).
  • I brought a new horse and am creating a baby one.
  • I didn’t kill, abuse or scream at anyone (I may have screamed once or twice, I can’t remember). This is something I feel is a definite accomplishment, there were times it was a definitely challenge to continue being a good human being.
  • I moved house, twice. 
  • Said good-bye to my long time flatmate and best friend. 
  • Still have a boyfriend, this is something I don’t know how I managed, surely he’d have run for the hills by now.
  • I got my first full-time, real person job.

Things I probably could have or should have done better:

  • Didn’t make many new friends.
  • Should have kept up running.
  • Probably could have gotten better grades.
  • Could have saved more money.

So, my aim for the new year? Well, I don’t have big dreams and aspirations, though some probably think I should, my aim is pretty much this:

I want to be a better person. In the short, that means no more holding grudges. Seriously, I mean half the time I have no idea why I didn’t like that person, I just remember they weren’t that nice to me. Who cares? I’ve told myself to grow up, grow a pair and get over it. No more grudges or disliking people. I don’t have to be everyones friend, but I need to stop making an effort not to be their friend.

Me time. This is important. I am not setting a ‘I need to make more friends’ goal for this year because, really, the friends I have are just right. Even if I am sometimes lonely, I think I need to deal with coping with being alone. In other words, I need to again get over it and enjoy my own company. 

Stop stressing. It’s the future, it will turn up when it is ready in its sweet own time. Don’t panic. You have plenty of time to prepare.

Be the best writer I can. Pretty much, there aren’t goals for big awards and huge recognition. I just want to be proud of the job I have done and do it to my best possible ability.

There is no more ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. I’m going to get off my lazy ass and do it. (Actually, lets me completely honest, this one won’t really stick).

Save what money I can, but don’t sweat it. Enjoy life without being over indulgent but there is no point denying myself the little pleasures. It only makes me sad and less likely to be wise with money in the future. Take a little in order to prevent my sudden desire to spend a lot of money all at once. 

Finish a freaking book. If I can read them, surely I can finish writing an entire one. No matter how crap, I must finish it. 

 

So pretty much to sum this all up: Suck it up, get over it, don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy life. 

Simple. And I think it’s going to work. 

2013 was a challenge, a struggle and full of enjoyment. It was the ultimate test to weed out the ones who can’t weather the storm. There’s going to be stronger ones to come but, I have a feeling 2014 will be interesting. That is exactly how life should be. 

Ready, set, go.

On my journey

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

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

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

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

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

You do not give up.

Giving up is hard. For me it simply isn’t an option. Anyone who has ever fought hard to get somewhere knows what I am on about. Giving up is the thing you can’t afford to think about or you’ll break, you wont make it. It is not an option. I had never given up on anything until I was told my horse had arthritis, at 7. It broke my heart. It still does. People don’t get that. I often get told I’m competitive. I’m not. I’m scared, terrified that things wont work. I don’t believe in myself and I don’t have much faith in other people. 

When you’re a horse rider, you simply learn to never give up. It is not an option. 

Then I had to. I had to stop getting that amazing rush when you take a 500 kg animal flying through the air, around corner and then you win. You’re the one who was better, the best. Sometimes you don’t make it but granted most of those times, it’s because you started to doubt. 

If you’re facing 1.30 on the back of that animal, the one you’ve spent an hour or two or three or more with, every, single, day for the past 4 years, and you doubt that you’ll make it over, you often don’t. So after flying over that jump solo with the horse looking at you like you’re a freaking idiot, you get it. You get that you don’t doubt, because doubting is painful. 

I never got on the back of my horse to win. Not once did I go into a ring wanting to win. I wanted the rush, that addiction filler, that satisfaction of having given it my best shot, of pushing myself. Of being better than I was last time. To feel that incredible, indescribable feeling. I was, and never have been competitive. Not because I can’t, but because I don’t want to be. It is pointless to compete against other people because there will always be someone better. I compete with myself, to be the best I possibly can, to not give up. I push myself because I do not want to stop. I know I can do it, so I do. 

Does it bother me when people tell me I’m competitive? Yes. Not because it is a flaw, but because it means they have no idea who I really am. I want the best for every person I meet, I want them to succeed and if that sometimes means giving things up so they can, I will. But it does not mean I will ever give up completely. I do not want to be the best, I want to be better. 

 

We’re all the same

I’m actually not that strange. I am, as I have found out not even really that unique. You know those years you go through thinking ‘NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME!’ followed by sobs and stomping feet as you flop down in a rather overly pathetic body slam into your bed. Yea, well, you’re probably not all that miss understood after all. It’s comforting to me. Strangely. I like to know other people are just as hopeless, lost, odd, wandering and weird as me.

One thing I have definitely notice is journalists are all the same. Please don’t sue me for defamation on this because Telecom has already taken all my money. All the same is probably a bit of an over statement. We have some strangely similar qualities.

1. We are very charming people. Not in the flirtatious kind of way, well maybe some of us are, but more in an awkward strange sort of way that rocks people into a false sense of security and makes them want to talk to us. It’s almost like they are trying to compensate for the awkward moments of silence and strange facial expressions. It makes us seem almost innocent.

2. We are actually genuinely really nice people. On top of the whole being charming thing we are actually, again there are most certainly some exceptions, caring people who don’t want to screw you over. Yes we probably sometimes do, but that either a) your fault because you did something dickish enough to make you look like a dick or b) it was pure accident and we will then probably feel really bad. Any good journalist will talk and smile and be kind.

3. Alone time is something we are ok with. Lunch by ourselves and total security in doing nothing alone in a public place doesn’t seem to bother us. Perhaps it is because we are either self absorbed or really confident?

4. Stress is something we do not like yet we all seem to thrive under it and will happily accept a challenge. Headaches are common and anger also seems to be in abundance when dealing with people who don’t get it. We are very emotional people it turns out, but we also have a great poker face.

5. We are secretly very protective and stubborn when it comes to a story we want. Sometimes it is not so secret. Most of the time if we want something, we will find just about any way to get it. It bothers us profusely if we do not get it. Uncooperative people are a real pain in the arse.

We are the lucky ones.

Life’s not all bad. Mum told me the other day that stress was just a perception. I understood it but it took a little while to sink in. I think that has been my problem. My one and only. I am a perfectionist, that may be shocking to some people but I am. I like things to be my way, perfectly my way. It is my greatest flaw but also one of my most reliable strengths. It means that when I put my heart and soul into something I want it to be perfect. I work at it till it is perfect. If it is not, I find a way to make it so. I will make me a long time to drop things or to let things go if I have really worked at them. That’s my determination streak. But it also means that when it comes to stress, I don’t always handle it well.

Last year I put a comic spin on everything bad or stressful that happened. This year I have found that really hard and I don’t know why. That is what is stopping my creative flow. No one else. Just my own perception. My perception today? Well, me and Melissa were pulled up by a cop. Of course I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt which, like many other things I should do but often don’t. I picked up the bad habit from an ex and never stopped. I have never been snapped. Ever. Of course when Melissa’s driving I do. He asked for her license. She’s on her restricted. She sits her full tomorrow. That alone made me laugh a bit inside. The whole situation was just a bit funny. Then he just let us off.

I have never been quite so astounded in my life. It made my day. Of course if he’d never pulled us up it never would have crossed my mind that I am lucky. Every single day. I get away with more than I should. I have a brilliant house. Lovely friends and a really amazing boyfriend. I have what most people crave. I have a sort of satisfaction with life that I do not deserve. Yet I have it.

That is perception. Being stuck inside your own head. It’s dark in there and the view isn’t so great. It is so much nicer to be looking outside of your own emotions and thoughts. Taking a moment to realize that yup – you’re one of the lucky ones. And some of you… have no idea.

 

Little bit of a thinking nightmare.

As I was wandering around the show grounds at horse of the year I couldn’t help but think. It’s insane to realize what has happened in 4 years. For a start I got 4 years older. I was nearly 16 when I got the horse I have now. That doesn’t seem that long ago but it really was. The people I have met, the people I have known and the people that I have time and time again tried to forget is crazy huge. Like the kind of huge 3rd year work load is. 

I mean, when you’re 15 and you look ahead in your life there are so many things you can’t wait for. There are so many things you are yet to discover. I know I’m still young. But I’m old compared to when I was 15. That might not make much sense but think about it. When you were 15, what did you think the 20 year old you would be doing? Is it what you’re actually doing? 

When I think about it, it’s exactly where I wanted to be. I just doesn’t feel the way I thought it would feel. I’m not strong and powerful and all growed up. I’m young and vulnerable and constantly stressed. I’m getting there. But where I am now is not made. Not done. There is so much more to do. But back then I couldn’t wait till I got to now. Because then I’d be happy. 

I thought that I would be excited and fun loving and full of confidence. I would have different friends. I would be different. I have all the things and I am all the things I wanted to be. But I am not feeling much different to how I felt back then.

I’m happy. Very much. More glad and thankful than anything. It’s a different happy. So is the journey of Sacha Harwood happening right now? Perhaps. 

This is a crazy deep post tonight! Maybe I did need that codeine after all. This headache is killer. 

Besides the increasingly concerning illness that doesn’t seem to take a hike – more prevent me from taking one, things are great. 

Things are always great aren’t they? 

I think at the end of the day you always get what you set out to get. You achieve what you want to achieve. It just doesn’t always fit you the way your old pair of shoes did. 

Those high heals are a blah beep. But they’re going to get you further from here than those slippers you’ve been wearing since high school.

It’s grown up time.

Oh my mind…

I AM BACK! Ah, weekend away. Don’t know how much it helped with the whole being tired thing but it was nice to be away. Last show ever for my horse I have now, which is really sad. It’s been 4 years since she started and every year we have done the same thing. We’re a team. So that is a closing of one book. I hope it’s not the end of many others but for her part in the story, for now, it is.

Now, we’re onto the next phase of life! Working on my degree to actually succeed in life. It’s not easy, but I shall do it.

It’s hard though. The demand to constantly deliver. I like it. But I also hate it. Not so much because of the pressure, but because it never stops. The not trusting, the constant competition, the having to always look for a story.

I should be used to it. I’m a horse rider. Constant demand never stops. But for some reason this is different. I have adjusted but I don’t think I will ever be completely used to it.

Discovery of what kind of writer I’m going to be excites me. The prospect of finding out what I can actually do is exhilarating.

Oh I desperately want to be sleeping! But that’s ok. I’m realizing I am really quite good at not getting sleep. It is raining finally, the grass will we growing! The ground is no longer concrete and it makes me feel all sunggly like I can curl up and get work done. That’s a nice feeling!

Anyway, I am now feeling really dizzy and it’s sort of like being in a weird motion film… so maybe I should go home and sleep, then work. In fear of what I could turn into if I continue in this strange out of sorts kind of way!

BYE!