life lessons

Why No F****s Given In Your Thirties Is Soul Enriching

Why No F****s Given In Your Thirties Is Soul Enriching

Before midnight, I made made a truce with this stage of my life. I’m here now, so I may as well enjoy the ride, right? I’m learning to see life as my biggest adventure - the continuous road trip. I have no intentions of trying to change the past, so today, the first day of the new year, I will forgive, release and let go everything that brought me here. I will love the hell out of my flaws, and cherish the lessons.

Home is a space that grounds you - to feel loved and rest. It’s up to me to create that anywhere I go.

My Life Is Mine

Whatever the life that you want looks like - make that someday be one day, and one day be a day you can wake up to. Number those days until you begin to live it. Taste it. Breathe it until you weave it into your DNA. Dreams are just words when we live with our eyes closed. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear - you just have to start walking.

I am grateful now for everything that was. My life is mine, through the shit and the glory, I am grateful.

Lessons From The Tron

The tunnel of vines in the Italian Garden at the Hamilton Gardens. 

The tunnel of vines in the Italian Garden at the Hamilton Gardens. 

Oh lover, come find me in the tunnel in the vines. I will wait for you with my eager heart and a trigger happy smile. My eyes won’t see anyone but you. But first you must come to life. Lover, come find me in the tunnel of vines!
— RonnaTheAsian

It’s not quite 3am Sunday morning here in Hamilton. I’m sitting in the darkness typing this on my phone while my friend Lana is beside me, doing a better job of trying to ignore the stream of drunk people that keep finding their way to our door. Don't worry Mum, we’re safe, that door is pretty legit. Plus he eventually found the right door and finally left ours alone - but now I can't sleep.

We’re sharing a queen size bed because I forgot to request two singles before the day we came. The room was part of the prize I won for the Whakatane Poetry Slam heats. Even though the woman at the reception desk was friendly, I think she was trying to figure out if we were a couple or not. Personally I don’t find it an issue to share a bed.

Saturday night was the finals of the NZ Poetry Slam, that’s why I’m here. I didn't make the second round (there were three altogether), which on one part was disappointing, but I have to remember that like any art form, it is subjective. My poem just didn't connect with the judges on the night and that's OK. I’m going back to the drawing board, learn my lessons and come back a better writer and performer.

Afterwards we walked to the CBD in search of fried chicken (those who know me most understand this obsession). Instead I found kumara chips. The guy from Beef Eaters looked at me strange when I asked him if the kumara chips were crispy or soggy. He hesitantly replied that it was soggy. After a decent attempt at the mound of chips, I decided I was coordinated enough to walk and eat at the same time. From the looks of the people walking towards us, I say I looked like I was enjoying it a little too much. The walking advertisement for late night cravings.

Last night was also the Tonga vs Samoa game of the Rugby World Cup. I had to laugh because it was like a sea of red and blue - mostly red because Tonga won I guess. Last time it was a sea of red and blue in Whakatane we made national news for the wrong reasons.

As we walked back to the car, we had to turn down various offers of a ‘good time’ from boys hanging out of car windows. My squats at the gym must be really paying off. Maybe it was my new gold pants that brought all the boys to the yard. Either that or they could smell the kumara chips. Probably the kumara chips aye.

It’s coming up to the last two months of the year, and tonight it finally dawned on me just how much of my life is about to change. Next month I’m going to say goodbye to what has been five years of my life - the dance studio. Though I know I have the choice to re-open it again, it won't be the same.

Those years I spent sharing, motivating, building trust, mentoring and pushing kids out of their comfort zones - now it’s time for me to do the same. To seek my teachers, to try new things, to have meltdowns and frustrating moments because it will prepare me for the next chapter in my life. To be free.

When one door closes, another opens. And if that door doesn’t exist, I trust myself to have the skills to build another.

Photographs

Photographs

Looking through my old photo albums - some even had the developed film in the back pocket of the cover. Reminiscing at photos of my 16-year-old self: From high school photos, a school trip to France, to my Asian travels as an adult - a snapshot of life full of adventure. Like the time I was captain of the girls first XI cricket team (we only had one team by the way). Old friends from high school. The school ball I wore a twenty dollar dress and looked like a thirty year old. Ashes of my adolescence, memories I think of fondly.

Space Clearing

Space Clearing

Next year I’m going on another journey - I’m moving to South America. At the start of all this, I promised myself that I wouldn’t run away, and I’ll only leave this town when I’ve found peace and ready to move on. What I’ve learned is that when you experience emotional trauma, peace comes from conscious acts of forgiveness. Isn’t the real gift from all of this is that before I leave, I will no longer take for granted this beautiful place I’ve called home all these years? When I speak of my hometown, it will be not where I was broken, but where I became something greater than what I could have ever imagined.

# 57 A Wedding In The Vines

It’s been almost a year of retrospective reflection, and I’m sort of over it.

Emotional release can manifest itself in weird ways - on the day the house settled, instead of celebrating, I was flat out on the floor with stomach pains. It felt like a combination of aching muscles and def con five period cramps. If you’re a male and obviously have no idea what period cramps feel like - just think bad food poisoning queasiness, someone trying to pump you up like an air mattress and an MMA fighter trying to perform a submission on your reproductive bits. Yes all at the same time, because you know, women love to multi-task.

It took me four days to fully recover.

Where am I at these days? This weekend I went to a family friend’s wedding out of town. Strictly formal. Ironically it’s also the day before what would have been my sixth wedding anniversary - well if I was still married of course! A few weeks ago I was feeling apprehensive about it, but then I also realised it’s a good way for me to create happier memories instead of being sad around that time of year.

It seems single women are quite savage when it comes to fruit! I didn’t win, putting it down to my lack of experience having to compete for a guy’s banana.
— fivefootronna

 

As I sat down at my table for the reception, my apprehension soon faded as we began to introduce ourselves. The table was from the bride’s family - an aunt, cousins and her brother. Great banter soon flowed as we talked about life in New Zealand, my accent and what we were going to have for each course.

When it came to the traditional garter and bouquet toss - well it wasn’t at all traditional. The bachelors had to dance and the groom even did a cameo Gangnam Style lesson for the rhythmically-shy men. The single women however, yes including me, danced around the eligible bachelor and fight for a banana between his knees. That poor banana. It seems single women are quite savage when it comes to fruit! I didn’t win, putting it down to my lack of experience having to compete for a guy’s banana.

Did I meet anyone? Actually I met lots of people - but you’re asking romantically, right? Sure, I met someone cute and we got on really well. Nothing really came from it, but it was just nice to meet new people.

I’m currently at a cross-roads and ask myself where I want to be a year from now. What can I do today that takes me closer to designing the life I love? How do I change my thinking to discard my limiting beliefs that measure my success based on such narrow terms? Many of us are already leading incredible lives, yet we force, yes force, maybe even torture ourselves, because we have been conditioned to think that winning has finite possibilities.

If I didn’t apply my limiting beliefs today - what can I do? The Universe listens, you just have to be clear when you ask. In the past I’ve felt like I was building up my karma savings plan or something, then BOOM, use it in one magical moment. Yet we all know karma doesn’t work like that. We don’t measure the good we do in the world like it’s a commodity - not being a jerk should be on everyone’s CV.

I have been guilty of measuring my wins based on what I have experienced before. Trying to walk one path because it’s safe, or it’s what we think works, takes away the magic of discovering a better way of winning.

The wedding was beautiful, and the company was great. I had a wonderful time just being myself, and not having to explain my backstory kept my spirits up. We choose our experiences based on our attitudes, and being single in your thirties doesn’t have to be this depressing phase in your life.

Both the bride and groom were married previously, and they didn’t let it shy away from love. In fact, they have learned from their past and it has made them appreciate each other even more. Love, the second time around can be just as fulfilling, eloquent, and soul-enriching.

I’m now quite happily single, and have learned to value myself and what I bring to this world. To give my love to a man in the future isn’t to fill a part of me that is missing, but simply to enhance what is already whole. I’m not looking for a knight in shining armour - I don’t need saving, and neither will he. Oh but I do hope he’s tall enough to reach the top shelf at the supermarket.

Another milestone ticked off - I’ve survived my first wedding as a single woman in my thirties. I reckon I rocked it as my parents’ plus one! My life has changed so much from a year ago and that’s OK because change means growth. Growth means I’m not stuck, it’s my impatience that makes me feel like I am!

P.S. My March Comfort Zone challenge is to meet men the old fashioned way! That means that for at least this month I can't set up dates - I will leave that to my friends, workmates and family. I trust that I have a great circle and they wouldn't set me up with horrible people! All are blind dates too. Haha. Scary I know, but hey, I haven't had much luck on my own, so why not try something different? It's almost part way through the month and still haven't been on any dates, so will keep you posted if I do.