moving on

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.

#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.

# 44 See You On The Other Side

I’ve reached the dreaded plateau, I am sitting comfortably between 62-63 kilos, and getting there is already a positive place for me. Six months ago, and for many years, I had to use a knee support for my right knee whenever I did physical activity (due to a dislocated knee when I was 17). It limited what I chose to do, and was a convenient excuse to stay comfortable. Comfortably numb? Maybe.

When I joined the gym, I set three goals: 1) To gain strength and stamina, 2) To live a better lifestyle and 3) To strengthen my quads so that I could dance without my knee support. Six months on, I have managed to keep my weight down and my knee is grateful. I can safely squat forty kilos, which I am pretty proud of. Also, I have been able to give up fizzy drinks, and don’t find myself as bloated. Sugar is still in my life, but as they say, lasting change takes time, and I’m still learning about my emotional triggers.

I can see some old habits creeping back in - late night dinners due to late nights at the studio, forgetting to eat, and guilting myself to doing more than what my body can handle. A few months back, I wrote how I would wake up around 5am, and it frustrated me as I struggled to get back to sleep. I decided to accept it as I figured my body must be waking me up for a reason, so these days I just go to the gym in the morning. Turns out there are some early risers in Whakatane too.

Looking in the mirror, it’s so easy to pick out the flaws, the extra jiggle. What changes are others seeing that I’m not? I don’t hate my body, but why don’t I see clearly the gains that others are excited about? Why, why, why!

OK I had to giggle at that, because that’s the ego talking, and like my booty, it can be pretty big. I’m currently reading two books, one of them being ‘The Secret’, and ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F&*k’. People probably assume I flick through cookbooks or drool over food photos all day, but there’s some lesson in those books that’s probably going to help me in the future, I just don’t know it yet.

I’m currently creating a new vision board, with goals I want to achieve before the year is out, and some for next year too. Mum and Dad are heading home to the Philippines for Christmas, and I’m still undecided where JC and I will spend Christmas. I don’t really want to leave her in a kennel during my break, so we’re going to find somewhere awesome together.

Tonight I’m going to meet up with our real estate agent to get the house on the market, and I’m genuinely excited about it. I’ve reached a place where I see that it will be home to new faces, and will create memories of their own. I will miss the morning Lockwood hallway creek, waking up to sunshine as the bedroom is north facing, heat pressing in the shed and of course, cooking in my kitchen. I dreamt a figure that I want it to sell for, now it's up to me to let the Universe to make it happen. I am grateful it was once my home, and I am walking away with love.

“A change will do you good”, yes Sheryl Crowe, yes indeed.

# 43 Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs - seasoned with garlic salt, cracked pepper, parsley and a bit of buttermilk. A little under-seasoned with the salt, but it wasn’t overcooked and dry so I was happy with the effort. I promise I haven’t lost the plot, but I wanted to share something pretty significant that happened. Yesterday, I cooked for myself for the first time since April of this year.

Instant noodles don’t count, just saying.

For those who only know me through me writing, I LOVE food, I really do. Both cooking and eating. My mum and sister both tried to teach me to cook in my late teens, and much to their frustration, I didn’t really try very hard. When you have two amazing cooks at home, why would you want to ruin a good thing? It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties, when I met my ex-husband that I had a new-found motivation to learn how to cook. You could say I saw a life with him and didn’t want to spend the rest of our lives eating takeaways.

My pots and pans are currently in storage, as well as my spices. Cooking in my mum’s kitchen felt awkward, whereas in mine, even in the mess that it was, I knew where everything was. Memories of my teenage years came flashing back, and all I could do was giggle. No matter how old we get, and our relationships with our mothers shift, there’s always that little girl that is mortified if we scratch that non-stick pan.

JC sat in the conservatory, jealous of my bowl of food. She loves food too, but she is on a diet.

Change, no matter how small, still feels uncomfortable. That’s human nature isn’t it, to feel resistant to the unfamiliar? My scrambled eggs is only the beginning, how would a knife feel in my hands after so long? Clumsy probably. Until it becomes a part of me again. It takes me back to my teenage years, standing in the kitchen, instructions swirling. As a grown woman, I can look back and laugh.

My book is coming along, slowly but surely. I’m holding it back, I’m my own self filter. Even though I am an open book, there’s some things I still don’t know how to verbalise, maybe never will, or just don’t need to. Those are decisions I need to make as I continue to move on. My story is evolving, and I no longer feel stuck in the mud.

As I finished the plate of scrambled eggs, I began to feel excited. There are two portions of peacock fillets in the freezer, given to me by good friends. I’m going to cook them for our next potluck dinner, and my friends and I are going to create new food memories together. Mum will probably appreciate a break now and then too.

I will never be a domestic goddess, but at least you’ll never starve in my house.