You Don’t Have To Like It

I was reading all my old school reports and you know something about me is that mostly I was a really good kid and a really good student so all my reports are really nice right? And I was reading them and I couldn’t help wondering if it was obvious back then that I would end up where I have, the kind of girl who is stuck into a degree she doesn’t like, living in a place she doesn’t love? And I think maybe not, but maybe that isn’t a bad thing because maybe one of my strongest attributes is my unwillingness to give up on things I care about.

Maybe that determination is the kind of thing that makes me who I am.

Because let’s be real right – I don’t enjoy university. I get a little kick in my stomach typing it because what a blessed life I have to be able to attend, I am so lucky, I am so grateful and I guess I am educated too – but I am not fulfilled by what I study, I’m not inspired and I definitely am not happy spending every day there trying to pull together enough understanding to write a few thousand-word essay or an exam answer. I am stressed, I am tired, my back and neck are in this constant tight vice grip and it hurts. I don’t like it. But I have to do it because I have dreams and I have goals and no matter how fucking irrelevant my courses are to where I want to end up, taking them is necessary to get that degree and that degree is necessary to get where I want to go and often that is enough motivation to keep showing up to class.

I guess its stressful to be stuck in something that doesn’t make me happy but because it has purpose I think it’s also ok.

Maybe there is an idea that we should live as if every day is our last and I think that’s often translated into activities. We should be yelling and laughing and having so much fun and seeing the world and our family all the time and that’s a nice kind of idea but it isn’t feasible if you have to plan for a future. So I guess for me it’s more important to live every day like it’s my last in terms of being the person I want to be every single day.

Maybe the things I want to do aren’t going to uni or studying or stressing out in the 10000x group chats that I am a part of but maybe the person I want to be is the person who gives all in anyway. I want to be the girl who is determined, who is loyal who is strong enough to weather the longest and most intense of storms. Maybe often I am stressed and confused and frustrated by the communication I have to partake in but maybe the girl that I am values being gentle and kind and having a demeanour soft enough that other people are comfortable moulding themselves to me.

I wasn’t loud or talkative in year 3. I’m not loud and talkative now that I am 20. But I was always determined, I was always gentle, I always loved everyone that I surrounded myself with. Just in a quiet way, a persevering kind of way.

And besides. Even if doing what I do now amounts to nothing, even if this degree turns out to be as useless as it feels then it is all the more valuable to be who I want to be right? They are the bits of me that manifest is the tattoo on my arm and the pink in my wardrobe and the candles burning on my desk. They are the arms of my friends and the photos on my wall and the calls from my family. I can’t do all the things that will make me happy without practising being the person who will appreciate them most now.

Anyway what I am trying to say is that you don’t have to like it. You’re not any less because you don’t like what you’re doing and its ok I think. I hate that I have to come to terms with that but I am also pleased to do so.

There was a while – to be honest I still feel it now – where I just felt stupid for doing what I don’t like and what doesn’t make me happy because it’s not like I am the best at it you know? What is the point?

But I think if you have a reason for keeping on anyway then there is inherent value in what you do.

I am not always determined or persevering or kind or gentle but I try. And I guess I would rather be those then I would other things – even if the other things are more positive in the short term.

So even though it kind of makes me want to cry that I have another 2 and a half years – I know that there are things in this world I want to do and people I want to work with and I know am blessed that I am on the right road to get there. And I’m going to stick it out.

And when I graduate I will be so, so proud.

Things I Love (Short)

Things I Love:

The ocean. The colour pink, but a smooth and soft sort of pink, the kind that is sunrise and lips and soft angora. Soft angora. Brown paper wrapping with string and little leaf decorations. Chocolates that come in boxes with fancy wrapping. The feeling of infinite possibility. Driving with the windows down and music turned way, way up. Cats but specifically my cat. Balloons and crepe paper ribbon billowing from the ceiling. Flowers. Chocolate brownie with a side of yoghurt (not cream). Minigolf. Walking faster than everybody else. Books that make me laugh and ache without boring me. People who make me laugh and ache without exhausting me. Warmth. Taking off my retainer. Somebody stroking my hair. Birthdays. That feeling of joyful, anticipation when you send a letter and you’re waiting for it to arrive. Simple gold jewellery. Playing games on my phone. People.

This a beginning post, a foot in the door rather than a one off stop. April has been cooler rather than kinder, colder rather than warmer, misty rather than clear. There was no cyclone; there are so many deadlines. Two people I know got stung by a wasp! It’s been a topsy turvy time and my body keeps trying to sleep because it knows that it can (except it can’t because I haven’t started that bloody essay) (get it together @energy levels).

But good accumulates I think.

I’ll see you soon.

Some Advice

Live with people who make you laugh. Cry laugh until there are streams rushing down your cheeks and your jaw aches and your head is crinkled inside and out and you can’t even breathe anymore because there is all laughter, no air. Live with people who make you ugly snort and curl up on the floor in hysterics, one amongst the spilt chickpeas and wayward ants, stuck dizzy with humour. Choose the people who make you snigger and scream and sing so loudly, all the time, yelling words and hollering and laughing upwards to the universe and to the your neighbours.

When you are on the verge of tears, when you had a rough day, when you’re in a rotten mood – know what it is like to come home to people who make you laugh. Who won’t offer advice or unwanted opinions – just sympathy, just bad jokes, just something to remind you that you’re human and you’re loved and you still know how to smile.

Live with people who make you feel like home in a city your body refuses to get used to.

Who give you something to look forward to in a year with nothing much around the corner.

And who like the same music as you.

This month has dragged on.

But I still like coming home best of all.

I Got A Tattoo?

I kind of realised that a lot of the posts I have been drafting have been coming from this really small and sad part of me. Like they weren’t bad posts or written on bad topics, but they were built on this really vulnerable and weak foundation – which is weird because I am okay at the moment but that hasn’t been reflecting in my writing at all.

Then almost two weeks ago I got my tattoo and it’s something that I’ve been wanting for so many years. And its small and its simple and I think the thing with tattoos is that no one really understands them except for you.

I wanted a sun.

I wanted a sun because I wanted to take summer, the most hopeful and positive time of year and I wanted to immortalise it onto me. I wanted a reminder that no matter how long the night is, no matter how shit and cold life can be, the sun will rise in the morning no matter what. I wanted to have warmth emblazoned onto my arm. I wanted to look at it and feel happy and feel hopeful.

And I am so happy with it because I do – it is exactly what I wanted.
A reminder of summer in every stage of my life.

From the early ones; repetitive ball bouncing off wall. Yellow swing ball leaving angry rope marks against tan skin. Books about cats and games about schools and the shade of the peach tree, chasing my tiny brown kitten lost in its branches. Home made flowery perfumes and barbie hair washes with hand soap bubbles. Eggs on toast with hot yellow yolk and unwrapping small; gooseberry’s from their crackly skin – fairy food for a fairy girl.

Late summers that were hot and dry, creating tight friction between skin and between people. Heated breath, flesh against flesh and gritty sand stuck in between your toes or imprinted into cotton. Grazed knees and rock patterned hands. Tongue tangy and bitter from tamari soy almonds and melty chocolate. Spicy gum, bottle warmed water and tiny street light suns sparkling in the dark.

Right now kind of summers with soft sunny mornings. Clean sheets and creamy skin, white teeth, steering wheels. Ice creams and fizzy water and the light streaming through gaps in the curtains. Tired eye mornings, squinting under pink sunrises. Taste of salt under tongue and pins and needles in my feet. The gradient of the sky – indigo and green and yellow and tangerine.

The kind of warm days that make me stronger in the dark. The kind of light that makes secrets and lies too hard to hide – that keeps you honest and outspoken and brave. The kind of love that is indiscriminate and all-encompassing and almost relentless in the best possible way – the kind of love I long to have, the kind of love I strive to give.

Now permanently a part of me.

Also I think tattoos are cool.

(determined to make 4 posts, see you two more times soon)

On: Being Busy

I am busy. Crazy, ridiculously busy. I would like to say that I didn’t mean my life to be like this but I did. I anticipated this, I planned it this way – and now I am reaping exactly what I sowed, both the sweet and disastrous.

It’s been outstandingly rewarding – like real life, full on instant gratification. I have never felt more noticeable and connected to the university than I do now. I can’t walk a few metres without recognising someone and in a university as big as mine it’s insane to feel so seen. Even in school I didn’t feel as visible as I suddenly am. This year I know people and they’re all so good. Continue reading “On: Being Busy”

28th February

Hey it’s February and hey i’m exhausted. I am the kind of person who catches up on sleep in the morning and it has now been 8 days of early wake ups and long full days of people and activity and work. My breaks are limited, my mood is finally starting to turn but I am still going and I enjoy what I do when i’m there so I think that’s what matters. It just means that this blog post, typically, is average and messy.

I went home for the weekend and it was perfect. I forgot, you know? Last time I went home I was preoccupied by Auckland and all my unfinished business within it and I forgot that when I am just myself, being in Wellington still makes my heart full. God I loved people so hard back then and they loved me and even though we are all grown up now, that lingers. That kind of diehard, got nothing to lose kind of love. Not even romantic, like the kids I coached (now women) and the adults who used to look after me when I was a baby (still so wise to me). I don’t know, I forgot I guess what it is like to be surrounded by that kind of love. I forgot all the stuff that happened to me at home, like I have a whole life there. I know I romanticise it, I make it poetry and anecdotes to write into posts but I forget that it was real, actual stuff. I forget that it mattered on a really personal level. I forgot that it actually meant something to me.

The trip was too short and it made me sad in a familiar kind of way, but also in a way I haven’t felt for a while. The kind of way where I am exhausted by everything here that I have tried and not succeeded at. All the people, all the activities, everything that I refuse to let go of because they ‘are my life,’ – I have remembered that they’re not. And I go home and I c0me back with this renewed longing to just cut those bits of Auckland that are shitty and exhausting out  because like even without them I have about 100 too many things on my plate here that I love (hope you’re pumped for a post on absolutely over committing yourself because welcome to the life I live and the long list of things I need to quit this week). But also its not in my nature to let things go, and I come back and the things I don’t want are everywhere and they are inviting me to events and waving to me out of windows and they are almost inseparable from my existence here and its ridiculous.

I don’t want you but I have you so what do I do with that?
I guess love you because thats all I know how to do. Be mad at you and love you at the exact same time.

I am so tired.
But I have ordered a nice present for myself online and mama is here visiting and even though the prospect of getting up again tomorrow makes my whole body want to implode, I love what I get to do, I love how dorky and fun and nice it is. I love the people I am meeting and the feeling that I am doing the kind of shit that I love to do – I just would really love a break as well.

March already, fuckkkkk.
But Lorde and Ed Sheehan are dropping music and thats going to be sweet.
No matter what else happens, that is going to be sweet.

Odds on me re-writing this post later? Very high.

Talk then xo

On: Books I Love

I love to read. As an only child reading was the biggest form of entertainment when I was tired of imagining things up by myself. I was the kid that read everywhere; eating breakfast, in the car, while walking home and it always made me so happy. I would devour books in a couple of hours, working my way determinedly through magical series and stories. The library was one of my favourite place and bookstores like the holy grail of all shops. When I think childhood I will always think of reading.

Then I grew up and my tolerance for reading in cars went down. Also the time I spent not doing anything shrunk, I discovered music to distract me in the in-between and books kind of began to slip through the cracks.

Which isn’t to say I don’t love reading because I do. Nowhere is home until have my local library card and if I am going anywhere that involves a lot of sitting around then a book is the first thing I pack. It just means that the older I have gotten the kind of books I do like to read have narrowed. Unsurprisingly, my favourites nowadays are all pretty books. I love books with emotions and colours and beautiful imagery – not books that make you think but books that make you feel.

I thought I would share with you my three favourites (which turned out to be four because I couldn’t settle on third place). Continue reading “On: Books I Love”

HAPPY TWO YEARS AUCKLAND

IMG_0542.jpgI have a photo of me leaving home Wellington. I was a toothy braces smile with a messy ponytail and bubble gum pink backpack, my mum peeking at the camera from behind my shoulder. I remember how warm that day was; squeezing my cat into one last hug; being so excited to go. I was hungover from the sweetness of my summer, head still reeling from the ending of all of it. I was so ready for something new. So we piled up the car with all my things and we drove.
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And well two years later here I am.

I am writing this to you from the same pretty, creamy room that I wrote from a year ago, now with more scented candles and walls decorated with photos that didn’t even exist back then. There are so many memories and people documented who I didn’t know back then and now I can’t imagine living without them. They’re like an extra limb I didn’t want but now I need.
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Two years though!

God I can’t believe it. I know that years go fast and two of them are pretty insignificant in the grand scheme – but I don’t know how much grandeur there is to life really. If you think about who you were at 14 and at 16, two years is immense, or even the difference between 16 and 18. Inconsequential but also incredible. When you consider that your whole life can change in one conversation or with one action in a single moment, two years becomes a small lifetime.
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And I have loved my small lifetime up here. Hated it bitterly, cried over it, regretted it hard – but also loved it. Which makes everybody laugh I think because I used to complain so much and now, very suddenly, things are different.

Auckland is still huge to me and the wider areas of the map in my head are blurry, but the centre is in clear focus. Even slicked with rain my feet can navigate these city streets with surprising confidence. I know how to wave down my bus, the quickest paths through the city and where to find a half decent cup of coffee. I am used to the temperamental weather and the disaster foot traffic and I know the things that matter here. I have stumbled so many times but I am finding my way. Little triumphs every day.
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Also I’m twenty now! Like how did that happen?

I pay bills! I have jobs! Three of them?! I send proper emails that end with acceptable salutations. I own high heels! I can see through my eyes! I have made it to third year uni???? How???? What??? When??? I even make my own doctors’ appointments., what a champ.

Sometimes I think I am still seventeen but I also take my own life for granted I think. I couldn’t be here, doing everything I do when I was seventeen and this post is ridiculous I know, but hey some things never change. I still don’t know how to pay tax properly and set 600 alarms and have a cow patterned dressing gown. I still managed to permanently delete the three posts I had written so had to chuck this together in approx. 20 minutes which is not my dream writing style. I am still very much myself. Just an older one. A not-seventeen one.
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The thing with life is that nobody lives it for you. I could tell you everything about these last two years and you could not be blamed for thinking that nothing much of significance has really happened to me. But you didn’t live it the way that I did.

What a heart achingly blissful two years.
What a weird two years.
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I am currently a bit overwhelmed by it all and honestly I have no actual idea who I am at the moment (hence the lack of posts). But I do know that I am still here, I am still at my jobs and at the gym and at meetings and events and I am with my friends and I am at home and I am everywhere I should be and that counts for something.

I also know that even though I am #1 shittiest blogger already I want to take a moment out from my constant existential crisis to document this anniversary because I am so proud.
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Who would’ve known that smiley braces girl – a big fish in her small pond high school – could find a way to swim as far into the deep water as I have and still find things and people that matter. The ocean may not be shrinking but I am growing – into what?
I have no clue. But into something for sure.

Good luck to everyone moving to new places for uni at the moment. Be brave and funny and loud and alive and sleepy and unapologetic and yourself. Have fun out there!

All my love  xx

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The Best and Worst Auckland City Beaches

After almost two years in the city with minimal effort spent on branching out to see what Auckland had to offer we decided that this summer was going to be one of beaches. Armed with a bottle of rapidly depleting sunblock (RIP) and dreams of the $2 Tiptop trumpet deals we made it a mission to head to as many beaches around the city as we could.

Our adventures were mainly done via foot and public transport due to not being able to drive (me and most my comrades) and not having a car (kat) but we’ve given it a pretty good effort and have a new born appreciation for the stunner place we live.

This is a misleading title because they’re all actually pretty decent but I thought I would give you a run down on what my favourites were and where was hot (like literally) and where was probably not worth the bus fare. Continue reading “The Best and Worst Auckland City Beaches”

I AM LATE TO CATCH MY BOAT

I am meant to be leaving in twenty minutes and I am not dressed or packed or close to ready but the people I am going with are the ones who have forgiven me one million times over and will continue to forgive me as second nature forever. Even when I make us a few hours late.

I think this is an one million emotion post pushed into a few messy sentences because I have nothing to write and I have had a week where I have been too tired to feel all the things I should be feeling and I am happy, but like summer, often cloudy and I can’t explain myself in a small number of words, I can’t simplify who I am into a sentence.

There are things happening in the world that we all need to be angry about. Namely the xenophobic, terrifying, fucking outrageous ‘muslim ban’ in the United States. Years and years ago we watched movies and we sat in classrooms in fresh white blouses chewing on gum and we learnt about the holocaust and we said ‘something like this will never happen again.’ And it is happening again.

And what you do now and who you are now is the part that you are playing in a segment of history that is so fundamentally wrong and tragically broken and I don’t have words or enough time to say all I want to but I am imploring you to be a contradiction. To be angry; do not slip into complacency; do not let this become normalcy. To be kind; to reach out; to battle anger and hate with your own kind of light. You are important, your voice is important, who you are right now is important.

I don’t ask you to be a revolutionary, I don’t ask you to be outrageous. I don’t ask you to be anything except for yourself. I just hope that who you are is the kind of person who has time to lend a hand, a shoulder, a voice to a movement that shouldn’t have to happen. To remember that we are all human and we are all people and geography doesn’t change how our minds are wired to be both resilient and receptive to love. Geography doesn’t change the biological build of our bodies. We were born the same way, we have the same hearts, we all share DNA. I don’t know, I don’t know if people should have to be the same as you to deserve your help but if it helps then I can tell you that we are.

I don’t have time to edit this. I am so late. I am so excited to spend a week with three people who have weathered every single storm (and I mean every) my life has thrown at me in the last five years and who have still remained soft to me, still strong for me, still able to make me laugh the hardest of anybody I know.They keep my feet on the ground and my head far, far above the waves and I need to start my year with them.  So I have to run so we can actually make our boat.

I love you, sorry this is atrocious but I had to make my fourth post for this month and I also needed to say that I don’t have time for the hate pouring from a really small but insanely powerful group of people and I also do not have time for the silence.
Be brave this week. xx