travel

Making My Someday Be Today - Lessons In Letting Go

Making My Someday Be Today - Lessons In Letting Go

It’s after 2am Thursday morning, I just got up to go to the bathroom. As I was heading back to bed, Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Learn’ pops into my head. I’m jolted awake and suddenly felt the need to write. Maybe it was because I hugged a lot of people last night - some people I’ve known for years, some just a few weeks. You usually only get to hug that many people on big occasions - like weddings, funerals or family reunions. I know because I’ve been to many of at two of those three.

Last night was our last show as a dance studio - and everything hereafter will just feel like a formality. The part of me who lived so much of my life as the teacher, mentor, friend, counsellor to those kids will begin to shift that energy into the next chapter of my life. Today it finally felt real, and the chain reaction of my decision to seek that energy is something that makes me both apprehensive and excited all in the same breathe.

Road Trip Adventures In
The Coromandel

Google maps said the trip should have taken about 4.5 hours to get to Hahei, but due to the torrential downpour and stops we made exploring random roadside attractions, it felt more like I spent a whole day driving. My friend Jemma did well to stay awake considering she drove from Fielding the night before - she climbed on the top bunk bed just before 2am. I made sure my usual 5am alarm on my phone, not that I needed it these days.

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.

# 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.

# 31 All The Single Ladies

Exploring the old mining ruins at Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway.

Exploring the old mining ruins at Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway.

When you find yourself single after a long-term relationship, it's easy to fall into the trap of wanting to jump back straight into one. I resisted that urge because, let's face it, I'm just not ready. When you're dating, there are so many unanswered questions that it can drive even the most level headed woman crazy, aka this one. I thought I understood men, but now I second guess myself.

I went to Elemental Potential’s ‘Yes To Love’ workshop on The Body Language of Love and Attraction on Thursday night. It catered for singles, as well as those in existing relationships. Run by my friend, Steph Holloway, it was held at a bar on Fort Street, Auckland called Rich Heart, and was an intimate group of eight women, and one man. Dan, who worked at the bar, floated in and out, but his girlfriend was with us. It was an interesting mix of women, who had their share of stories and woes.

Most of what was covered I already knew, but a refresher was still handy. The most interesting part were the tell-tale signs of deception, and how to spot a player. I also picked up a couple of new dating terms like ghosting and benching. Ghosting is where the other person just cuts off contact completely. Benching is where they have a few people on the go, and will only contact you at their convenience, aka the player.

A common misconception about body language is that it's the physical reaction to your thoughts, when actually it's the emotional response. You can learned to mask it, but if you know what to look for, people tell a whole different story to what comes out of their mouth. It's certainly fascinating to me.

When you're feeling down, let it be

I’ve been feeling sorry for myself today, not sure why, maybe I’m just tired and can’t be bothered with the world. Then it hit me. Her profile popped up on my recommended list. Yes H-E-R. Her old profile had me blocked, so I guess she made a new one, and you can’t block people you aren’t already friends with. I saw it, them together. I could be sad, but I’m not. Relieved, yes. That they’re finally putting it out there. Still, sucks to be single.

Maybe sometime in the future I’ll be ready to date, just not yet. I thought about organising those “Singles With A Cause’ type of events, where singles mingle while volunteering for a charity. Sounds like a cool way to meet genuine, caring people. There’s bound to be less awkward moments, or the need for pointless small talk, and you get to see the good in people. I think I will look into that!

Most days are good, some days I crash. At the end of the day, as long as I’m moving forward, no matter how slow, that’s better than yesterday.

P.S. I'm sure single men, or men in general find woman just as confusing. That fear of rejection is REAL, just try not to be creepy. If you don't know your level of creepy or don't know when a woman is just not into you, find an honest wing man. Nothing feels more like a kick in the ovaries than a guy being creepy who is hitting on you. Word.


Ronna Funtelar Thacker is a writer, foodie and dance studio owner.
A self-confessed eternal optimist and lover of crispy M&Ms, she shares her adventures and life learnings to connect, inspire and nurture self-love.

# 30 Urban Exploration

auckland, new zealand

As I type this on my last morning in Auckland, I realised I still didn’t have the answer I needed. Maybe I already did; I just didn’t like the answer, and hoped I would change my mind.

If I was in my early twenties, my youthful, spontaneous, cheeky twenties, there was a chance I could have booked a flight overseas in six months time and not come back. I could handle just being a nomad for a few months, years even, live and work in a foreign land and start over. But I’m not in my twenties, and I have responsibilities, so at this time, that’s not an option. Still, the idea thrills me, probably wouldn’t resolve much, but it would be a fun, extended working holiday.

The conversations I have had with people have centred on this decision, and the more certain I am that the answer is already there. Begging for me to just say YES! What is it that holds us back from doing things that truly makes us happy? Is it really just fear? Maybe it’s social conditioning - to think of others before ourselves. Or that, it is somehow selfish to put me first. A friend summed it up nicely, “How are you able to feed the masses, when your own cup is empty?”

What is it that feeds my soul? No, that’s not the question.

In relationships there are deal-breakers, and in life there are anchors. Deal-breakers are a set of beliefs that we don’t compromise on. Anchors are what ties us to a situation, what we hold closest to our heart. I don’t know if ‘anchors’ is an actual term - I just used it because it was the word I felt best described how I felt. The more I let go of people, emotions and possessions, I realised there were only TWO anchors left in my life. My family is a given, so I haven’t counted them.

Do I set those two anchors loose, and would I really find happiness when I set them free? That is my question.
— fivefootronna

 

There’s No Rewind Button in Life

I started working as a full-time graphic designer at the age of 19, and resigned after five years to explore South-East Asia in 2007 for five months. I was engaged two weeks before I left, and was married by the time I was 28. Yes, I came home early, no regrets, but I do see now how different my decisions may have been if I didn’t. It’s a waste of time and hurtful to say I wished the last 11 years didn’t happen, or that I didn’t get married, because in that place in my life, it made me happy.

As a child of the eighties, I grew up listening to tapes. Some days I feel like my life is a favourite radio mix-tape that jammed, all hell broke loose, and now I’m frantically using a pencil to wind it back in. Should I wind it back in or just make up a new mix-tape? But this one had the perfect cuts, my favourite songs, and I knew the playlist inside out. I even made sure I patched it with tape so no one would record over it. This was just mine. My life. My memories.

I loved the sound it made when tapes were on rewind. That high pitched sound, where it became instinct to know how long to hold the button down for before it reached the song you wanted. No digital display, just pure instinct, and trial and error. After awhile though, the film became loose and you have to start over. If you were lucky, you had a double tape-deck so you can transfer your favourites onto the new one. Timing was crucial, because films in tapes only lasted so many playbacks and rewinds until they wore out. Timing is everything.

Rain in the City

Rain in the city, is different to rain in a small town. When it rains in Whakatane, we smile because it brings growth. Rain in the city makes people looked like soaked cats. Not everyone, just the grumpy ones. The rest are just going about their day, hoping it would stop before they have to cross the road.

I love getting lost in the city when I’m exploring on foot.

There’s less than an hour before check-out, and I’m undecided what to do about breakfast. I think I will head out of the city, go exploring again. Maybe I will sit at a cafe and put my body language knowledge to the test and see what their stories are.

Let’s go with stories, but first to find a good cup of coffee.


Ronna Funtelar Thacker is a writer, foodie and dance studio owner.
A self-confessed eternal optimist and lover of crispy M&Ms, she shares her adventures and life learnings to connect, inspire and nurture self-love.

# 21 Find yourself in Singapore

The view from my hotel window at the Orchard Grand Court in Singapore.

The view from my hotel window at the Orchard Grand Court in Singapore.

Every woman has several of these 'I need to find myself moments' in life, I think I've had about three so far. The most recent was when I turned 30, and in the back of my mind is the faint ticking of my biological clock, which was drowned out when I started travelling again. Children are a blessing, but for now, I still have a great yearning to experience different cultures, people and eat delicious food I didn't have to cook.

This time last year I was in Singapore too, and I experienced the Lion City as a lone traveller. Travelling alone has never phased me, as I consider myself a social person, not too reckless but still adventurous. Although, I did vow that if I was to return, it would be great to share it with someone else. So I did, but I will cover our dance camp adventures on another post.

When people talk about 'discovering yourself' or 'getting away from it all', most will think of a scenic beach on a tropical island, bathing in sunshine. Add in minimal clothing, late nights and midday sleep-ins, and if you're lucky, you won't bring home mosquito bites for a souvenir.

A band-aid of invisibility

As I waited for the red light to turn green at the pedestrian crossing, I'm surrounded by a milkshake of ethnicities, so blended it's hard to tell who are the locals, foreign workers and visitors. In the vast sea of people, I realised the pavement was my beach. In this modern Asian metropolis I felt calm in my invisibility, energised by its hustle, and surprised that the unknown excited me because it was filled with potential, instead of fear. They didn't know my story, and I didn't know theirs. This band-aid of invisibility was further helped by the fact, that although I had places to be, all my destinations were temporary. My real life, at this crossing, was at a stand-still.

I felt calm in my invisibility, energised by its hustle, and surprised that the unknown excited me...

Getaways are pattern interrupts, a great term explained to me by a business mentor. He said that people often become trapped in comfort and routine, and a pattern interrupt is a bit like a slap in the face of that routine, and gives you a chance to look at the bigger picture and gather your resources. Singapore speaks to me because they too chose to make the seemingly improbable a reality in just a few generations. It challenges my perception of what it is I am missing out because I have chosen to stay in fear.

Potential is ageless

I have always taken for granted that I don't look my age, and I probably won't appreciate it until I am well into my sixties. Because people didn't know my true age, I felt I had wound back time, and that I didn't feel the same pressure to make life altering choices as I do in my day-to-day living. Potential is ageless. Here I was taken back to my twenties, the age most people thought I was, and it felt like a chance to do it better. Years I spent being self-conscious about my body, my career, and whatever else I was disappointed at. 

Here I was back in my twenties...(sic) Years I spent being self-conscious about my body, my career, and whatever else I was disappointed at.

It takes me about a fortnight to recover from the Singapore hangover. To get back into routine and restart my life in Whakatane. I would watch videos from the camp, and wish I would be transported back. Insomnia creeps in like a ninja. Living with me at this time isn't easy, but eventually it wears off, and I see what the experience for what it is. A place to be excited about my own potential again.

You don't need to be fearless, just be brave enough

Sometimes we get caught up in the pursuit of perfection. Waiting for the perfect time, having enough money or feeling like we are 'good enough' to begin. That's just it, how do we measure these things, when we are only accountable to ourselves in finding that 'perfect' moment. You don't need to be fearless, just be brave enough to make a start. Learn as you go, ask questions, make mistakes. Live, love and travel. And eat good food.

So go forth, and conquer...start with yourself.