# 39 Message In A Bottle


As the waves crash in front of me, all I can think of is how I’m procrastinating packing up the house. He’s taken most of his share of belongings and now I’m sorting through mine. Yesterday I ran out of rubbish bags, so I left. I also started to panic when deciding what to do with the pots and pans. I used to love cooking, now it will have to go into storage until I decide my next move.

He said it was like he sent out a message in a bottle - and I found him in a sea of strangers...


A friend and I sent each other postcards but neither of us have received it. So I asked him what he had written, and told him mine. He said it was like he sent out a message in a bottle - and I found him in a sea of strangers. I told him that I missed him, but I didn't like that I miss him. We get each other like that.

I think I finally realised why I couldn't let go of the house - I needed time to verbalise what I have been resenting. It wasn't the break up, or feeling less of a woman - it was having to admit that this is right for both of us. Moving on from this is shit scary, but it needs to happen. I need to let that part of me go.

Which brings me to the next question - when is the right time to start dating? How long after a breakup does the next relationship not be considered a ‘rebound’? The truth is, that depends on me, and how I feel about it. When I meet men, I put them in boxes - guys that are fun but lead nowhere, the too hard basket, the potential relationship but haven't got a clue. Truth is any of them could lead into a relationship if I allowed them to. But I don't. I don't want to put myself back out there because it makes me vulnerable. That's just it, love, real love isn't about control, it’s given freely by two people. I have to learn to trust myself again. I have to choose to trust again.

That feeling of being unsteady, and second guessing, it sucks being stuck in the mud. I was listening to X Ambassadors’ song ‘Unsteady’, written by children of divorced parents. There in the car as I drove, sadness overwhelmed me and my vision blurred. It struck me, so suddenly, yet it gave me hope. I wasn't numb. A moment of pain for a lifeline and I have never been so hopeful.

I’m going to keep writing my book, and I want to finish it before Christmas. By then April will seem like a lifetime ago, and I will be a bit wiser too. It will be my first Christmas alone, I might even go on a road trip.

All I know is that each day I work on my own happiness, brings me closer to be able to receive the love I deserve. I know you're curious about my message in a bottle, and for now a vast sea exists between us, and we don't talk often. But when we do, it’s like we’ve known each other a lifetime ago, and he’s back to remind me that love exists because I’ve known pain.

Loving is hard, but keeping it to yourself, that would be a tragedy.

# 37 Got a ticket for the long way round

Let's be honest, a lot of my writing has been pretty f@#**ing depressing lately. Even I was getting worried about it. Optimism, and the burden of it can be hard to carry, even with my donkey legs (I take my squats at the gym seriously.) That wave of melancholy has passed somewhat, this last episode caught me off guard, but I'm well on the way to recovery.

Waves of sadness, self-pity and frustration, it never really leaves me. Most of the time, with the energy I have, it's manageable. When it happens I have two options: Fight it with all my might, or accept it, allow the current to take me until I reach the bottom and slowly make my way back. The swim upwards gives me plenty of time for reflection, and I bounce back stronger. It's usually on the way down that I make stupid decisions based on fear, being impatient and doubting myself. Each episode passes quicker and adds to my library of lessons that can only be learned when life pisses you off.

Growing up, and even in my twenties, I could count my close friends on one hand. I'm grateful I still have friends from high school that I know have my back. These days I still don't have many friends, but I like it that way. We share a group chat on Facebook that when any one of us have issues, becomes a marathon of advice, love and hard truths. Great friends are hard to come by, honest ones, those are keepers.

Living with my parents again, I try my best to have breakfast with my Mum (my Dad works out of town during the week). As we sit eating a bowl of porridge, or a fried egg, we would talk about the studio, work, or just life in general. This morning she was recounting a Facebook post she read that she was particularly excited about. Even though we have lived in New Zealand for over 25 years, sometimes her English still gets mixed up, and today was one of those times.

The post she talked about is about two mothers and their daughters, sitting nearby in a park. One family was black, the other white. One of the girls asked why her skin colour was different to the other girl's sitting across the playground. "When God created humans, he used clay and it was black, that's why she has dark skin. Then God saw white dust on those first hands and smiled, and that's why you are white." (Ok, I haven't been able to find this post, so I have to take her word for it. Either way, I like how my Mum closed by, "No matter what the colour of our skin, we are all made from the same clay. You are beautiful...and black."

No matter what the colour of our skin, we are all made from the same clay. You are beautiful... (sic) and black.
— Mum


For those who may not know, I have dark brown skin, taking after my Dad. My Mum is fair skinned, as we have a strong Spanish / Chinese ancestry. My sister takes after her, and my brother I refer to as a caramel-mocha! Growing up, my older sister would tell me that the reason I had darker skin was because I was born at night. Sisterly love!

There are days I just want to know where I'm supposed to be, to take the express route instead of the scenic tour. For now I have a ticket for the long way round, and that's ok with me. In the words of Walk The Moon, "It's not a matter of if, it's just a matter of when..." Here's to more adventures, laughs and self-love.

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.

# 33 I Wish You Enough...

A shell I found on my walk at Taiwhakaea Beach, a place where my soul laughs, cries and allow myself to walk side by side with the madness.

A shell I found on my walk at Taiwhakaea Beach, a place where my soul laughs, cries and allow myself to walk side by side with the madness.

It's easy to feel let down by life, that our perceived good deeds somehow gives us a pass on less sh*ttier experiences in the future. Did I just make up a superlative for a swear word? Indeed. Bad things happen to good people, deal with it.

Being alone doesn't really bother me, I can easily go places by myself and enjoy my own company. It's only in social situations that I find it a bit harder, but that's only because there's some perceived social stigma behind it. No pressure to make communal decisions, and I can be as adventurous with food as my stomach allows. Still some days, my company does get stale.

So what do I want to write about today? What exceptional combination of words from the English language could I summon to bring an inspirational message that can flip the switch for you? Perhaps the magic lies in simplicity - I wish you enough. For seeing that beauty is in everything and I am a part of that everything. I am my choices, and I choose to live.

When I was 12, I couldn’t picture what my life would look like in my thirties. Now that I’m here, I don’t how society can expect 17 year olds, in their final year of high school, to make significant life decisions based on such minimal life experience.

Let’s face it, in terms of technology, the world has evolved at a crazy pace. I’m part of a generation with computers that ran on the DOS system and used dot matrix printers (until our the cat peed on it). As a kid, it was still cool to listen to the Top 40 countdown on the radio, record my favourite shows on a VHS tape, and at one stage our TV only had two channels. Nowadays everything is on demand, and we have become more impatient.

So, what is my measure of success? It’s in the choices of people in my circle. It’s seeing my dog’s goofy, drooly smile in the back seat. Sitting at the beach, falling asleep and waking up to an incredible view. Seeing current and past dance students embracing life. Discovering new music. Running into a long lost friend. There’s lots more I’m sure, and still I’m yet to discover. Definitely not my bank balance, that needs A LOT work haha.

Western society has conditioned us to think this our existence is linear - you’re born, you live, you die. Now, I plan to see out the rest of my life like a tree. Still growing, reaching to the sun, with infinite possibilities and growth, seasons and changes. I’m unrecognisable from the seedling I once was, setting down roots, being content with my patch of dirt. History is linear, lives and memories are anything but, for each memory have tangents and branches of emotions. History is linear, memories are how we remember them.

I’ve been a graphic designer since I was 18 years old. Ok, I took about two years off when I travelled and that one year I worked in retail. Sometimes I do wonder how differently my life would have turned out if I ended up doing that Bachelor of Science - perhaps living out my days in lab coat couture? Would I have discovered my love of dance? Where would I have lived, who would I have met? It doesn't matter, I am here, in this life, and it is beautiful.

Yes, life is beautiful.

Today, and in all your days, I wish you enough.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting. I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
— Anonymous

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.