Pros, cons, failure

Growing up is a weird thing; it just sort of happens without really thinking about it. I mean sure, most of the time I’m thinking to myself ‘I am definitely not adult enough to deal with this’, but then there are moments where I suddenly realise I am an adult, and I’m actually doing it just fine. How can I tell I’m adulting well? Firstly, I am incredibly particular about wine, babies no longer scare me (I’m still highly skeptical I should ever actually be allowed to bring one up), I am capable of looking after multiple small people at once, I know life does not stop and start with marriage, relationships, or even having children…but those things are cool too, I’ve come to appreciate money…by that I mean the fact that I turn up to a place each day and do stuff and they then give me money so I can live, I am learning how to think about and navigate the idea of a mortgage, a house, where I want to live… and I have learnt just how fragile life is, and I appreciate that fact. Oh and I’ve also come to learn and accept shit happens to all of us.

I don’t feel grown up, but to honest I don’t know if anyone ever feels ‘grown up’, I think it’s more a feeling of comfortable experience that leads you to have a little more faith each year that in most situations you will, regardless of how you may feel at the time, be ok. I was going to put ‘survive’, but there’s really no guarantee of that.

My little cat had his vaccinations today. In order to get him into the cat cage I coxed him with food first into a small space. He then quickly realised something was not right and quickly escaped. I came back five minutes later to see he had given into his desire for food (animal like its owner) and I swiftly blocked the cat door with various washing baskets. He then escaped from the other door as I tried to enter with the cat cage and my attempts at a human barricade failed miserably. I then spent 10 minutes chasing him up and down the house until he finally gave in to his desire for pats and I captured him once and for all. His poor defeated meows were heart breaking as I loaded him into the car for mum to take him with her to the clinic (she’s a vet nurse). Admittedly the only time I’ve ever put him in a cage prior was to move him from one place to another…so right now he’s sitting in a cage at the clinic thinking this is his new home and he’s been transported to some kind of jail for a crime in which he does not know. I will sweep in and rescue him and he shall love me forever…and hopefully forget all about this mornings antics.

I have two weeks until my psychology exam. I have finally accepted there is no possible way for me to learn everything I need to learn. So, I’ve decided I will simply learn five chapters REALLY well so ace that part of the exam. I’d love to say this is a strategy well thought through, however it’s really a last ditch effort not to fail this whole thing.

But I can always try again.

Really what I’m telling myself is it is not the end of the world, I have wasted $700 in worse ways, it will be fine, I have wine, and if I have to try again I’ll just try again. Simple, right?

Adulting at its finest right there.

What I’m coming to learn this year is to just chill out. That might seem strange to those in my life who understand I operate at a million miles an hour and every single weekend in June is booked…however, I am learning to stop putting on the pressure, stop trying to overachieve, to move a million miles an hour. Just take one step, as it comes. For me, there are often many steps that come all at once…so if I apply that statement to my life it looks like madness.

But on the days I feel frustrated I’m not going anywhere fast enough, I just remind myself how much I wanted this; to have a warm home close to family, to have my own cat, to have a job that keeps me busy and earns me money but doesn’t give me nightmares, so I have time to study and enjoy that study. This is what I wanted when I sat in that little home in France and pictured life. It just didn’t happen how I expected it to. But this is really lovely.

It’s raining. I love rain. I love studying when it’s raining. Soon I’ll have a gym with a spa and I can provide myself with motivation for the gym with that. It’s winter, it’s snuggly weather, it’s raining, I’m studying something I love, I have a cat, I have plans for a house, I want to live in the country, I have a good job. It’s all about perspective…

Because when I got on here I was going to complain how stressed and didn’t want to study, how my head hurts because I have a headache because it’s always so damn cold, how it’s raining so I don’t want to go outside or to the gym, and I have no money for my dream home or my dream travel.

It’s really easy to get stuck feeling like it’s falling apart or like something else would be better. Of course it would, because it always looks great when you’re not living it. You can’t have all the pros without the cons and you rarely see the cons when it’s not your life.

I’m wearing my favourite sweater today, it’s raining, and I’m going to go home and snuggle my cat and study with a hot cup of tea. I might even take an Instagram shot of it all so people think my life is amazeballs.

Sorry, this blog had potentially a little too much sarcasm in it.

 

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Happy-go-lucky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#Icanbeagrownupsometimes

It’s time for an adventure

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I spent weeks checking flights online. I’d made plans well in advance. I’m an organised person. I do not do irrational or spontaneous things. I make decisions, I just need a bit of time to make them…to accustom myself to the idea of them. My life is planning.

I have a lovely little house, I have a great flatmate. I have a beautiful veggie garden. I have a good job. My life is quaint. It’s pleasant. There isn’t really much to complain about. It wasn’t until I stopped the other day. Right in the middle of my hallway. Just stopped. In the way you stop when you realise you just about crossed a road without looking. Stopped. If I died tomorrow, I’d be really pissed off at myself.

Well, I probably wouldn’t, because I’d be dead. But never the less…it makes you start to revaluate your life when you start thinking about being pissed off at the dead version of yourself.

I’m not really a ‘live each day like it’s your last’ because lets be realistic here, it’s unlikely to be your last and if it’s not…you’re kind of screwing yourself over by not thinking about that possibility. Hence, I like to plan stuff. But this is different.

I’d planned to do this trip, seven months from now. But that moment in the hallway really got me to take a moment and really think about this year. What am I staying for? I have great opportunities if I go now, it means I’ll be back in time for summer. There is this whole incredible world, right there, and I’m just ‘waiting’ for it.

So I sent a few emails, nervously clicked refresh a million times, skyped my uncle, harassed my travel agent, booked a flight. And I’m going in eight weeks.

Yep, apparently when I make spontaneous decisions I make ’em real good.

Here it is. My wonderful wayward journey of doing something other than being ‘ok’ with life. There is nothing wrong with how my life is…but there is so much more I could be doing with it right now. So many opportunities (even if I can’t always see them) and a desperate need to open my eyes to everything beyond my four walls.

Veggie gardens or not, it’s time to go.

Hot tea and time for the coats!

Winter is on its way. One more week and it’s here! As it gets colder I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. I am enjoying hot water bottles, cups of tea in bed, and listening to the rain. But when I get back into riding in the mornings I know I’m going to regret my enthusiasm for winter.

Mondayitis has set in and in between motivational songs I find myself wondering where we’re going from here. You know when things come to a bit of a standstill and it’s hard to get moving again? Yeah, I’m there.

It looks like I may be off to Turkey, Egypt, and Greece this time next year. Fingers crossed I can make it happen!

Lately I’ve been pretty tired, mainly from a lack of sleep, my immune system has been remarkably resilient to the cold that has been attacking nearly every person I have seen lately.

I have finally managed to conquer an awful case of writers block and can now string a sentence together rather than short statements.

Due to my amount of socializing last week, I have become allergic to people. Ok, that’s a bit of an over dramatization, but you know when you get to the point and it’s just like ‘I just can’t deal with your *$&%’….I’m there.

I am very thankful for a great family, and the good friends I do have.

Someone I met recently told me I worked too much. I laughed… and continued to laugh. I work hard, but not too much. I work a fulltime position and I love my job, so why would I not give it my all? Some day’s my all is not very much, other days it means I miss out on drunken nights. But I’m quite happy about that.

I love the opportunities I’ve had lately to help people, and have fun in my job. I mean, why would you want to do anything else if you’re in a good place?

Another person told me I should get out of my routine.

I laughed.

They say laughter is good for the soul… I must have a pretty healthy soul by now.

I love my friends, and I like advice, but I am amused by the ‘advice’ lately.

No, I’m not quitting my job because I can’t get drunk on a week night. Yes, I love my boyfriend, no I don’t want to travel right now, yes I will travel eventually. And yes, I do know what is best for me.

So as I am losing feeling in my fingers because it is so cold, even in the office, I’d better stop there. That and the day has galloped past me at a great rate and it is now 2.30pm and I have accomplished very little.

Peace out and keep warm! 

Time snapshot

I was up at 2am and couldn’t sleep. All I could hear was the wind and this town is bringing back memories. I kept thinking of all the wonderful times I had growing up, so I started writing another story. Here is the first little bit of it:

 

{It was the twenty-first century in New Zealand. Sometime during 2009 and 2010 to be exact, in a small place outside of Papamoa and just before Tepuke. Papamoa was the poor mans beach vacation, or the rich persons retirement home. Safe streets where kids road purple bikes with streamers and scooters with the brake worn through. Tepuke was a quite town. Not much really ever happened there. The odd murder and sometimes the school was set a light, but other than that it was a peaceful town. We just never crossed the train tracks. I grew up in Papamoa. My whole life was spent near the beach. Funny how I don’t really like sand, or salt water. Tepuke was where I spent my days during a couple of those years. Bare-back riding the horses down busy back roads in the pouring rain or on the odd occasion in the sun. Dressed up in whatever was lying around, fairy wings, wands, second-hand store junk. We spent hours on those roads and no one ever asked where we went. We didn’t even know. We just, well, went. If there was a trail we found it, if there was bush we explored it. Sometimes we ran into trouble, like the time her horse reared over and nearly squashed her in the drain. Or the time we couldn’t stop them. That happened a lot. But the bank always ran out and they seemed to know the road wasn’t a good place to gallop. I think we wore helmets. Sometimes, when it was peak of summer, we’d take the horses to the beach. Hours we would ride, galloping most of the way, wherever we wanted. No talking, no deep conversations, just music and riding. That was summer. Other people got out the bikinis and the boys came running. We jumped on a horse and never looked back.

“I’m going out now!” Her mum yelled from somewhere. I don’t know where she went, or how long she was ever gone. We were just alone. I think we must have been nearly 14, we must have been. Me, well, I don’t even know how we became friends. I don’t even know why. We just were. And we rode, and that was our only way of communicating. Microwave pasta was introduced into my life then. It only made the transition into gluten free some time in the last couple of years, that much harder. That was one food, I think was put on this earth to make mothers lives easier. It worked. She lived on a kiwi fruit orchard with a packinghouse. I never remember riding through the orchard there, just the packinghouse. It was pouring with rain, so loud even the hoof beats on the concrete were drowned out. Rain like I have never seen rain. Waterfalls ran as fast as gravity would allow from the roof, a wall of water. We never once stopped to think riding the horses through would be a bad idea. It wasn’t after all; nothing ever went wrong down at the packinghouse.  The rain didn’t stop, neither did we. There is no better feeling than dripping from head to toe with pure rainwater in the middle of winter. Huddled close the back of your horse as the steam from their sweaty body helps with the lack of circulation in your fingers.

Those memories are innocence. That time in my life was possibly one of my happiest, and certainly the one I remember the most. That is what 14 year olds should feel when they remember their best friend and their childhood. Innocence is a feeling – a state of mind… }

The big smoke: Final departure

The final day is here. It has arrived. In light of this I think I must recap the adventures of me and zip. 

Auckland traffic is ok when traveling from the West but for some reason people coming from the South just can’t drive. Ironically it was on the West where poor Zip met his match. Aucklanders are so friendly and everyone wants to make you feel welcome. Apparently I do not look or seem 19 – I have not yet decided if that is a good thing. The turn off the Tauranga from the motorway is bad – I get lost at that turn off more than I do anywhere else in Auckland. Driving around the city is not as hard as I once assumed. Ponsonby is a really adorable place in Auckland in which I have fallen in love with. K road is exactly how people describe it at night. I feel safer here than I do in Tauranga. Hamilton is actually tiny. Journalists are crazy and fun people, I now no longer feel like I have gone mad or am going to fail at life. There are a lot of rather good looking guys in Auckland… not that I paid that much attention. My horse is an amazing animal and is not out to kill me even with three weeks off. My car uses very little petrol. The trip from Auckland to Raetihi requires four coffees. When someone hits the back of your car expect whiplash and DON’T open your boot – it wont close again. Journalists are friends with everyone. People who are bad drivers are nice people. I don’t understand how I have no money. I don’t like parking wardens but I like them more here than in Hamilton. Much more. The police are nice people on the phone… sometimes. ‘The Edge’ will save your sanity in bad traffic. Getting bylines is a good indication you haven’t completely screwed it all up. I would be ok with living here. I don’t want to be ok with that. Protesters are very motivated… though one could assume not always for the reasons they’re protesting. Photographers are opinionated people. Don’t piss off a journo – we’re incredible stalkers. I am good at talking about just about anything. Stairs are good for loosing weight. Young delinquents are hard not to pull the fingers at. Heals wear out REALLY fast.

All journalists I have met so far are VERY VERY fast walkers. 

I now know how people feel when they can not keep up with me.

The plus is loosing the several kg’s I accumulated while not horse riding.

And last but not least, I now like beer more than wine.

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.

Don’t eat darling, just starve yourself, one day you’ll be 30.

Weight. It is the number one demon that seems to plague, well, everyone. You’re too thin, too fat, your boobs are the wrong size, the wrong shape, the wrong bounce, your butt is too chuncky, too lumpy and it goes on. But this is not your general bitch about weight. This is the voice of the ‘skinny person’ who likes to eat a lot. 

I do not consider myself to be stick thin and I’m really not, I am a healthy 57 kgs and I am 163 cm tall. I am happy at that. I put on a bit of weight here and there, I loose a bit when I go for a run or walk up a steep hill. In summer I am toned because I am doing at least 1 hour of exercise a day and 3+ on weekends because I love outdoor sports. In winter… the abs go for a little vacay and the hips have a little more to pad them. That’s ok. I rarely eat take out, my bad food for the week is chips (ready salted) and I love my fruit and veg. No I am not a heath ‘freak’ but I like to eat healthy. It is a personal and a medical choice. I get very sick if I don’t. That is an unfortunate but good fact of life. 

This morning they were talking about foods making you fat on the radio as a light-hearted way of talking about those winter pounds that pile on. People phoned in about cheese burgers and chocolate and fried chicken and pies… well yes. If you eat 6 cheese burgers a week – you’ll probably get fat. No, it is not because you are eating a lot. It is because you are eating really crap food. The woman presenter then said something about feeling hungry on a diet.

It made my blood boil. People often tell me: ‘oh you just wait, you’ll get to your 30’s and you wont be able to eat like that anymore.’ ‘Eat less, it will catch up with you eventually.’ ‘Oh you’re so lucky being skinny, I remember those days, make the most of them while you have them’.

I sometimes get so mad I turn red.

I am not fat. I am blessed with ‘skinny’ genes, people come in all shapes and sizes and we should not judge that. BUT if I want to eat five servings of eggs, fruit, salads, oats (porridge) gluten free toast, stir fry, soup, crackers and humus or nuts… THEN I WILL EAT THOSE SERVINGS. 

Now I am getting myself worked up. You see, it is not the amount, it is what you eat. If I eat a cheese burger a day followed by a sausage roll and a coffee full of sugar then top it off with a packet of microwave white rice then yes, I will probably get to 30 and think ‘crap I used to be so skinny!’ But I do not intent to do that. 

I want to eat healthy, I feel better, look brighter, am happier and have energy. I exercise and I live a very active life style. The way women are taught to eat is ridiculous, we should not be taught to starve and to limit ourselves to amazingly scrummy good foods. Sure, there is too much eating, like spending all day in bed on the computer eating. I get outside I eat in moderation AND I have absolutely no intention to deny my body food when it is hungry. I will not starve. That makes me unhappy and sad and grumpy. I love food. We all should.

It is just so, so wrong. From the age of 14 people were telling me to eat less. I did not understand it back then. I ate when I was hungry and I didn’t eat when I was full. I ate good food that was good for my body. People wonder why we have such a bad body image, I love my body and not because it is ‘skinny’ but because it is mine and I want to look after it and enjoy having one!

We come in all shapes and sizes. We should not be told to starve ourselves because of ‘what might be ahead in the future’ – we should be taught to look after our body and enjoy our lives. 

Now I’m going to go stuff my face with apple, mandarin and then I will have a nice lamb salad with humus for lunch. And I will enjoy every last bit of it!

Rant is over.

 

The Big Smoke: Week two begins

1.59 pm. I am in desperate need for a blog. My brain has taken a vacation, I could not find a park, my car is out of gas and Telecom picked this week to take the last three months worth of bills out. I have been in this city for 10 days. I now understand peoples hate for the parking, the traffic, this computer and severe lack of money. But hey, at least I can walk today.

If there is one thing I have learnt in my time here, it is to appreciate every moment things go right and learn from, then pretend they didn’t happen when it comes to the mistakes. A week in an office certainly did my head in, I am an active person so sitting still waiting for people to call back actually makes me want to explode. I’m getting better at it though. Now I just drink ridiculous amounts of green tea while waiting. I bide my blogging time wisely so not to look as though I have nothing to do. I have plenty to do, my mind just currently is not comprehending the variety in what I have to do. I’ve never been good with names, though I have certainly been learning to come up with some interesting ways to remember people by such as; not-so-nice but eventually did what I asked lady who I imagine has brown hair or the lady with the really lovely voice who I imagine has died blonde hair but in a nice way. Each person I speak to gets a little profile picture in my head. 

So, while all through my schooling I have willed the hours to move faster and the day to end so I can race home throw my bag on the floor, fling my shoes at the wall after doing my homework on the oh-so-slow bus ride home, so I can go and ride me horse. I now find myself willing the seconds to stop passing by so fast so I can actually get what I want done, done before I spend an hour in my car to make a 16 min journey across the city then drag my feet in the door, make myself a hot cup of something, wander up and down the stairs a few times after forgetting food then eventually collapse in my bed to play a horrendously childish online game to do with horses. 

While I am thrilled to be here, that is not sarcastic in anyway, I am loving it, I find my poor brain not only spinning by the end of the day but my elbows hurting from leaning on the desk and my body aching from it’s lack of exercise. 

Though, today I did run up and down a hill twice. That was a whole lot of fun. 

I just caught myself writing milk in the middle of a sentence. 

My brain has gone to mush.

Bid it farewell!

The start of my story

My life story. Well. Where do I start! Actually, my life story has no particular ‘sexiness’ as I have learnt journalists say to describe the attractiveness of a story. My life has been as most would say ‘something people dream of’.

Mum spent hours planning birthday parties, teaching me words and colours, painting pictures with me and humouring my ‘creative’ nature and being a playcenter mum. She went to most of my school trips (as I got older this was not really something I appreciated and relieved her of her duties onto my little sister) she came to athletics days and every other achievement type moment in my life, mum was there.

Once I got a little bigger and perhaps a little less breakable, and once he’d shaved the moustache I thought should be pulled off when I was a baby, I was daddy’s little girl. Not to say he wasn’t there earlier, I just don’t really remember it because he was behind the camera at parties. He ‘taught’ or more learnt with me… I thought what a great dad! I learnt when I was a little wiser and hardened to the worlds ways, he’d used me as an excuse to try new things and not look silly. Never the less I have admired the amount of time and the variety of things he launched into without a second thought on my behalf.

I could light a fire, cross a river, catch a fish, put up a tent, collect fire wood, float down a river, ride a horse, ski and many other things I’ve probably forgotten to do by now before the age of 10. Now, I can snowboard, ride a motorbike (not that I think this is a good idea because I ‘get board’ and try things that I probably shouldn’t at my skill level), jump a horse, mountain bike (though, this is something I might take a little while to get back into), surf, hike, hunt, camp, tramp, sleep under no more than a tarp strung up between two trees for several nights, kill a possum in various ways, milk a cow (thanks to by boyfriend) and many other countless things I only realise I can do when someone asks ‘have you done this?’

I grew up by the beach, never living more than 5 mins walk from it. We had a swimming pool, a reserve outside the house, a large nice open plan home, a double bed, a room of my own and a horse of my own.

I knew of nothing else.

To put it quite simply, I was spoilt. I still probably am. Not in a throw a tantrum (though I did throw a fair few as a 2 year old) but in a I was not aware that most of the population was not as lucky as I was and when my mother said ‘you don’t know how good you’ve got it’ she wasn’t kidding.

My whole life I was teased for my spelling. So, in my true nature I decided at 14 I’d be a journalist.

At 16 -17, I went through a ‘rebellious’ stage. I decided I wanted to make up my own mind about the world and I wanted to do it my way. Yea, sounds like any other teenager. Difference was I had no idea. The world certainly opened my eyes pretty fast but I adjusted, though before I left home, I still had no idea.

Then I moved to Hamilton.

If you want to give a 17 year old a culture shock, send them from climate balanced, sunny, beachy, rich Tauranaga and put them in Hamilton East for a year. That year was a whirlwind of new things, living life by the seat of my pants. Whats more, I decided to move to Melville for my first year of flatting. Want to open your eyes up to the world of New Zealand ‘poverty’ move to Bader area of Melville. It will shock you. It was all in all not a terrible experience. The variety of flatmates certainly made me a far more colourful person.

Though my lovely life was blessed, there were certainly moments when I had to struggle. As a dyslexic I learnt very quickly the world was not forgiving of ones mistakes. People were not nice about what they considered a ‘weakness’. One teacher just called me plain lazy and said I should read a dictionary. Now, I’d quite like to throw that dictionary at her. She was a fool. I never saw it, or I did when I was crying to my mum about how mean people were, as a ‘flaw’ I saw it as an obstacle and an opportunity. What better to make you a good writer than having something that makes you work a million times harder?

It was because of that determined nature and the fact it has never occurred to me that I can’t do something, I became a journalist.

Had I have told my 12 year old self crying in the bathroom because that teacher told me I was lazy and stupid because I couldn’t spell properly that I would be in the final year of my journalism degree at 19, having written for Investigate worked for Trends and be sitting in the Sunday Star Times news room I’d probably have laughed and then cried some more.

The moral of the story for me so far is that no matter how it looks at the time, how ever you perceive it do not be narrow minded. Eventually we all end up where we are meant to be and as long as we work hard, balance work and play and rely on our own encouragement and good friends we will get there.

What I have been blessed with and what I have achieved so far is more than I ever dreamed of at 14, back then I could not even comprehend most of what I can do now.

I can’t wait to see what I am doing in another 5 years time that I can not even imagine now.

The story continues…