Before I dive right into you

Before I dive right into you

I had brunch with a guy on Sunday, and what was meant to be just a breakfast sandwich turned into a four conversation. And pizza. Oh and juice - who knew mango and basil is a great combination, right? Really refreshing.

He sat at a table in the shade, there was no one else at the cafe so he was easy to spot. His dimples were unmistakable too, I liked it when he smiled. It can be a bit awkward meeting someone for the first time, and I found myself talking faster than usual. When I realised this, I took a deep breathe and relaxed, and that’s when conversation flowed.

There’s that word again, flow. Lately it’s been popping up regularly on my social media, in conversations with people and sometimes, even at 3am when I’m bed. It asks me to look at my life in a way I’ve never seen it before. So, what does it mean to go with the flow?

It starts with walking in my truth, hand-in-hand with the weird part of me that kind of hides away in the corner in social situations. Especially in Peru - where I’m both free to be who I am, yet still feeling my way through an introverted culture. There are times when I feel too loud, too energetic - sometimes even too independent.

Ciao 2018! Thanks for the lessons on life and men who love pizza

Ciao 2018! Thanks for the lessons on life and men who love pizza

Choices and making them isn’t something I paid much attention to. A lot of the time I’ve just winged it and in some ways it’s served me well. I mean it got me as far as Peru, right? Then this big shift happened and it changed the way I saw myself and everything that was around me. What if my future isn’t something that happens on the other side of sleep, because that “future” is happening right now.

We’ve heard it all before, and it answers to different names. Someday, one day, could have, should have...even tomorrow. A lot of 2018 for me was spent in retrospect about the last two years, and how I was convinced that I “had to heal myself” to move on. Then I realised that each time I chose to do things that made me happy, to love myself more, it was greatly influencing the life I was creating for myself. When you let go of judgement (both of yourself and others) it asks you address the last emotional triggers that keep you from flying.

An Eclectic List Of What Makes Me Happy

An Eclectic List Of What Makes Me Happy

I went out last night, and spent most of today napping between my bed and the couch. Confession time - I gave up drinking over ten years ago, so I couldn’t blame it on a hangover. Oh, and I also went home earlier than the others (I was in my snuggly PJs by 1am). I reheated my leftover nachos mince for lunch (my first meal of the day), and since I had no plans to move much today, I made the executive decision that I could procrastinate going to the supermarket for another day.

If my Mum is reading this, yes I did get out of bed long enough to feed the cat. Since no human life depended on me that warranted staying out of bed, I embraced the Italian philosophy of ‘Dolce far Niente’, which means ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’. It doesn’t mean being lazy, it refers to the pleasure you get from being idle.

You can say that this is an eclectic collection of thoughts and musings of what I’ve learned about life and love over the last two years. Here’s to the old me, who I am today, and the adventures yet to come...let’s drink to that!

Positive Changes Don't Always Feel Good

In early January I wrote a poem called Summer Rain - the idea literally came to me as a sudden sun shower came out from nowhere. The first verse came quick, but the rest of the poem took over two weeks to write. Or maybe, I was just scared to write with so much honesty.

Who was the poem about? An unrequited love? Not quite. More like someone who was a band aid to the bouts of loneliness I go through. Which isn’t as often, or last as long as the early days. It’s one of the few poems where I had allowed myself to be truly vulnerable, and it takes a lot for me to keep my emotions from spilling over when I perform it.

Oh, Be Brave Little One. Be Brave.

Oh, Be Brave Little One. Be Brave.

I’m going to set the scene for you…

I’m smiling as I write this. Lunch was a few hours ago, but I feel like my food baby will stick around until tomorrow. I can hear the clanger of cutlery so dinner must be soon, I smell noodles, not sure I want to eat just yet though. So, I write.

It’s a few hours until my 35th birthday, last year I spent the majority of it travelling over the Tasman Sea as I made my way to Melbourne. My book was almost finished, in fact I added another chapter. The truth is that we never really know great sadness, or happiness, until we get there. Then another moment comes along that may surpass it - what seemed like the end of the world (or the giddiest of heights), well, isn’t forever.

I’m trying to live in the moment, for the best moments are now.

What You Think You Are Seeking Will Not Complete You

What You Think You Are Seeking Will Not Complete You

Over the weekend, I took a walk in the Whirinaki Forest. Apart from needing to get my dose of nature’s remedy - I also wanted to find a quiet place to have a conversation with myself, to ground and make peace with something I’ve held onto for too long. April is my birthday month after all - I’ll be turning 35, and this one feels light years different than the last. It feels hopeful, the last couple of years seemed like so many things in my life ended, this time feels like I’m finally seeing the big picture.

Two days ago, I was dreaming about an erupting volcano for what felt like a split second before my 5am alarm clock kicked in. It was dark, maybe night time because everything was in silhouette, it also took me awhile to realise that in front of me was an erupting volcano. I could see the lava flow from the crater, but not close enough to feel the heat. I watched my head begin to turn away before the shriek of my alarm woke me up.

Loving Yourself Isn't A Catchphrase Set In A Beautiful Typeface

Loving Yourself Isn't A Catchphrase Set In A Beautiful Typeface

Loving yourself isn’t a catchphrase set in a beautiful typeface, it’s a conscious decision to be OK with being you. Being happy despite your flaws. Feeling gratitude for all of what life offers. Embracing the lessons, especially when you did the total opposite of your mother’s advice because you thought you knew better. Best of all, it’s knowing your worth, and placing a high value on your heart. And theirs. If you want to give your heart to someone, and I mean real emotional investment, start with yourself. That means they will get the best version of you, and they can give you the best version of them.

What Happens After The Hurt? Three Ways To Make Space For The New

What Happens After The Hurt? Three Ways To Make Space For The New

Here’s a question for you - what happens after you’ve removed yourself from the space of hurt but you haven’t moved on...yet? I ask because I’m there, sort of just treading water, not wanting to lose sight of land, but the excitement of what is beyond the horizon calls me too. Wait, isn’t that the plot of Moana? I’m no island princess, but New Zealand is an island, well islands, and leaving these shores is all I’ve been looking forward to since I made that decision last year.

I think when you reach that place, that’s when you have to decide what you’re going to keep and what you need to let go. Are you a traveller that packs the bare essentials, or do you pack for every single scenario then get there and realise you’re still only going to wear the same five pieces of clothing anyway.

Holding on to emotional baggage is just as heavy and self-sabotaging, so here are three ways I learned to let go of what no longer served me so that I can make space for the life I truly want.

The Reality of Fear

The Reality of Fear

F-E-A-R, a thought-provoking, four letter F word that walks alongside us can either be a barrier or the motivator. It depends on your perspective. Whether in life, love, your job or your self-image - to feel fear is a natural human instinct of perceived self-preservation. You see danger is real, we learn to identify it from an early age - it’s what stops us from putting our hands over a flame too long in case we get burned. Fear on the other hand is the seed planted in a way of thinking that clings on to the worst case scenario of the spectrum.

# 62 When The Ego Speaks

# 62 When The Ego Speaks

I cried...because I was tired, emotionally vulnerable and fear got the better of me. Not because he said anything mean or hurtful. He was right though, I got scared because whatever I thought I was looking for in him wasn’t there. I missed being in a relationship, and I was tired of waiting for ours to mould itself into the void my last one had left.

# 61 Playdough

# 61 Playdough

The date on phone tells me it’s 18 April - today’s my birthday! Facebook had reminded people it was my birthday and they have been steadily posting on my page all day. I'm on a plane somewhere over the Tasman Sea. You can say that I’ve spent my 34th birthday getting somewhere, as much as my 33rd was spent trying to run away from something. I don’t know what the next chapter of my story will be, for now, I just want a break from having to think so much.

#60 Still Falling For You

It’s that age old question - what’s the difference between being in love and loving someone?

I had this conversation with Ian (we met at his cousin’s wedding) - asking him what he thought the difference was between the two. Without hesitation, he said that to him, love is love. He didn’t see a difference between loving and being in love. It would have been easy to dismiss it. To him, if you love someone, being in love is how you share that with your partner. When you first start to date someone, that feeling of lust and constant desire to be in their orbit is normal.

What if love is all the same, and what we describe is how deeply we feel or receive that love?

I see being in love as the outward expression of emotional intimacy, not just the act of physical desire. It ebbs and flows throughout a relationship, and how we express this with our significant others is through intentional action. It can be a simple hug after a hard day, a kiss goodnight or a stolen moment in a sea of strangers. In this sense, don’t you then have to love someone first to be able to show that you’re in love with them?

Many see loving someone much like the responsible older sister of the more unpredictable act of being in love. To love is described as enduring, outlasting disappointments and frustrations, to compromise, as well as providing companionship, security and obviously someone to share your life with.

If being in love and to love someone are on opposite ends of the spectrum, then why do we use the word love at all in the former, couldn’t we have created a new word that describes “love” in its desired context?

As for the guy I’m dating, today we became ‘social media’ official. I hope to fall for him slowly - to make time to explore each other and to be genuinely curious. To love deeply and completely after a broken heart is a leap of faith - I hope he’s there to catch me when I do.
— STUCK: Friends, Lovers and the Obscurity of In Between

 

At the end of the day, regardless if we are describing a physical desire or a genuine emotional connection, it’s our intentional thoughts and actions that can develop those feelings beyond lust, to become our idea of love.

Sister, Sister

My older sister and I didn’t always see eye to eye growing up, most likely because there’s only 18 months between us but I didn’t have the same maturity level as her - and we’re also both strong-willed. Looking back are memories of endless arguments - she starts yelling, I start yelling, and tears and death stares soon follow. I resented how she would growl me for my life choices. As adults we have a different kind of relationship and a greater understanding of our differences.

We began talking about a guy I’m currently dating (the guy I met at my friend’s wedding). I was pretty surprised with her advice and insight.

I told her how he isn’t like most men I’ve dated this past year - so far out of the “normal” type of guys I’ve been attracted to. Don’t get me wrong, I find him physically attractive, yet I know what makes me stay late to talk to him on the phone (he lives overseas and currently two hours behind me) is because I find him very interesting, intriguing and he’s a really nice guy. My sister laughed, apparently it’s exactly how she felt when she first met her husband. Maybe it’s a sign of maturity - it’s certainly not the giddy kind of puppy love I remember in my twenties. Besides, really nice guys lasts much longer than a hot guy - put it this way, all the guys she thought that were hot aren’t in her life anymore.

Then I told her how I’m making life changes, and that by the end of this year I will be waking up to a very different reality. To have what we want, it has to have room in our lives to grow, and right now my life is saturated. She found that a lot of people go for success in their career and try to be super mums and super wives, just so they feel like they fit in the “normal” box. In reality it’s all just stress and busyness and affirmation from other people they get. By concentrating on one or two life priorities it has worked out much better for her and it also makes her care less about what other people think and expect.

“Not saying that you shouldn’t work if you want to be a mum, but just keep in mind that if you want to go hard out in your career, somewhere along the way it makes it harder to live up to being a “great” mum as well. It’s all about priorities and acceptance of the situation and consequence.” She’s right. In this phase of my life, I know I want children, so what in my current life am I willing to let go to make room for a family?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge the situation at all. My heart felt lighter after I first told my Mum, so I know that it’s the right decision for me. By finally verbalising it, it feels real and I can focus my energy on my present.

As for the guy I’m dating, today we became ‘social media’ official. I hope to fall for him slowly - to make time to explore each other and to be genuinely curious. To love deeply and completely after a broken heart is a leap of faith - I hope he’s there to catch me when I do.

# 55 Keyboard Lovers

Ah the perils of great expectations. When I meet a guy, I go on a few dates, get to know them just enough to decide if I want to dig deeper. That’s about the third date for me. I decide if there are some clear deal breakers or alarm bells early on - let’s be real, if that person you are dating doesn’t put in some decent effort to get to know you in the beginning, walk away. It’s not you, it’s them.

I have also realised that with these dates, enjoying the idea of them liking me isn’t the same as actually liking that person. I mean, sure, it’s an ego boost to know someone is thinking of me. Developing that almost ninja instinct to pick up your phone just before they text. Or is that just because you’re checking your phone every ten seconds hoping to hear from them?

Cute, right? Not really.

Here’s the most frustrating part - people often forget that these sites and apps are just tools to meet actual people. On the other side of that screen is a real person. If I talked to a date like most keyboard lovers have, it would make for a whole lot of awkward.
— fivefootronna

 

With online dating and apps becoming just another way to ‘meet’ that special someone (or a cuddle buddy), it’s so easy to become keyboard lovers. The Casanova Charmers who hook you in with their sweet nothings that turns out were a cut and paste from Google’s greatest hits. I’ve talked to plenty of those. They want to impress you online, but will never arrange to meet you in real life.

Here’s the most frustrating part - people often forget that these sites and apps are just tools to meet actual people. On the other side of that screen is a real person. If I talked to a date like most keyboard lovers have, it would make for a whole lot of awkward.

I had a lightbulb moment this morning - when you realise that you like that person and begin to play a fantasy in your head about how you ‘wish’ they fitted into your life, that’s when you need to stop...and breathe. You notice they don’t text or call you as much, and you start getting worried. It drives you CRAZY. What did I do wrong? Maybe their phone broke. Maybe they’re in hospital and they forgot their charger so they’re conserving battery life.

Or maybe, they’re just not that into you. Ouch.

When we ‘like’ someone, plenty of common sense goes out the window. You start changing yourself to what you think they would like, when really, there must be something cool about you for them to ask you out, right? It’s a big ego stroke when that date tells you that you’re beautiful, or that you have a great personality. I get it, because I’ve been there. I’m going through it. Then I realised, if I didn’t already like this person, would I put up with that behaviour in the first place?

Yeah, you know, the one worded text replies. Asking you out for dinner for the next day at 11pm. You find yourself always texting first - and when they do reply, you cling on to that hope, that maybe, they do like you, they’re just busy.

Then I found myself watching a Matthew Hussey video, and he was talking about ‘breadcrumbing’. Now, you’ve heard of ghosting, right? When you go on a few dates, then all of sudden they fall off the face of the Earth never to be heard from again? Cue tumbleweeds…

Breadcrumbing is when you’re dating someone, and they might only contact you once in awhile to keep you interested. What sucks about it is that when you do hear from them, it occupies your thoughts not just for that day, but maybe that week, clinging to hope, and maybe even stop you from dating other people.

Next time you’re ‘really’ into someone, and haven’t heard from them for a few days and itching to send them a text...STOP. Go for a walk. Bake some cookies. Hang out with your friends. Still itching? Turn off your phone. Watch a movie. The point of this is, if they are into you, they will text or call because they want to see you.

Don’t put your life on hold for someone who doesn’t want to invest their time in you. If you’re not a priority in their thoughts, don’t allow them to burden yours.