Friday, January 18, 2013

Letting go

When I flew home in October I was anxious; maybe I knew that an emotional shitstorm was impending, maybe I was just worried about the loss of an adventure. It doesn't really matter which way it was - it simply wasn't comfortable. It wasn't good for me.

So I left and looking back I can objectively say I was running away as much as I was running towards. I was running towards the life I'd created over the past two years; fluid, full of movement, change. I was running away from hurt, lies and someone who seemed to have a hold over me they simply didn't deserve.

It's been a weird trip. Oddly balanced by extraordinary wonder and then just life. Life has interrupted this trip. It has grabbed me, shaken me and forced perspective down my throat.

The dramas that unfurled between someone I really cared about when I was home really felt like the end of the world, or at least that world that I'd reserved and dug out of my imagination. Sometimes it's the loss of things that didn't exist yet that hurt the most; the loss of possibility. Then there's the knowing - the knowing that they will always be the person that made you feel like that. But that is just a memory now, isn't it?

I find myself wondering what I'm scared of. Is it some kind of lingering hurt that's echoing throughout me or is it the acute awareness of what that person is capable of. Is is just knowing this is a situation I have no control over.

Just north of Chiang Rai my friend and I were returning from a border run at the Burmese border on a motorbike when we passed through a sleepy village. Everyone had poured onto the footpaths and traffic was slow; the cars, motorbikes and bystanders were all holding their breath.

As we passed through the cordoned off scene, it became obvious that only minutes before there had been a motorcycle crash. A man lay still, his head surrounded by blood and his eyes facing towards me. It was the first time I'd seen someone dead like that, but the most chilling part was the fact no one was helping him. He was so dead there was no urgency in tending to him. Nothing could be done.

I thought about his family, did he have children? A wife? How would they be told? I felt sick, what had happened back home seemed to small in comparison, so permeable.

As I get older I'm trying to let go of a lot of things simply because they're heavy.

But also because they're not relevant anymore.
They don't exist anymore.
They're just memories; anchors resting on the seabed from ships that sailed away many years ago.

I'm home in exactly one month.

I used to believe that traveling to far- away and exotic places would change me the most. That the culture shock, the unfamiliarity, the difference would force me to evolve, but now I've realised going home seems to change me the most.

That same familiar anxiety returned and I'm going to try to let go.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cave Girl

So, a few friends have been asking about my eating plan at the moment. Basically, I'm a big believer in Science and the fact that our bodies simply haven't evolved as fast as our diet has. Most people in Western countries are fat; they are struggling with their weight and rushing to the gym, spending more money, on getting thin. This is not healthy, mentally or otherwise.

I employ two techniques that have helped me lose weight over the past six weeks. It's not just that I have lost weight, but I have gained muscle and am starting to look toned, despite the fact I've been to the gym about six times total (mostly in the past two weeks haha).

I am intermittent fasting and I am eating paleo.

Intermittent fasting means that I don't eat breakfast. Most people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but most people are fat... so? Is this really true? I don't think so. Your cortisol levels are a lot more sensitive in the morning, in fact they are 10 times more sensitive than a few hours later, say around 11am. This means that when you eat in the morning, your body is much more likely to have a glucose spike and that will cause you to be hungry, much hungrier than if you ate later in the day.

Pretend you were a caveman, or cavelady, because our bodies are still this primitive. What would happen first thing in the morning? Would you rush to the fridge and grab a couple of slices of processed bread and spread some processed spread on them? Nope. You'd fast, until your caveman goes out and hunts something delicious for you. You'd be fasting, you would spend the morning of your day working or hunting without food, until maybe lunch time when you would then eat.

And you know what would happen? You'd be fine! The first few days I skipped breakfast I felt weird... but it made me a lot more conscious of my eating. No longer was I getting up in the morning and just shoving anything I could find into my mouth. I was actively analysing my food; whether it had any nutritional value and what benefit I would get from eating it. No more mindless eating.

The other bonus is obviously there's a calorie deficit  Which means that it's harder to go above a good number of calories for you on a daily basis. This also means you can enjoy eating out occasionally without feeling guilt or overanalysing your calories for the day. It gives you some breathing space.

Now, I eat paleo which means that I avoid things that my cavelady or caveman friends would not be able to find. I avoid dairy, although I have 1-2 servings a week. I avoid bread (processed), rice, potatoes, pasta and anything that comes in a package... really. When I go to the supermarket I hover around the meat and vege section and that's basically it. Most of my carbs come from sweet potato and my diet is relatively high protein.

I think of the nutrition content of anything - what is bread? It's basically just a dense bit of energy. If I have extra fat on my body, do I need this bread? No. So I don't eat it. Sometimes I'll have chocolate, I'll drink occasionally but the weird thing I noticed was that my body no longer craved shit things. My body wants good food. I feel stronger, clearer and thinner. I look better.

It's the simplest thing; eating how our bodies evolved. Feeding it what it needs, rather than what your mind wants. I avoid white processed sugar, as it is only energy and hold no real value for my body.

I implement one cheat day a week, although it isn't strict and I'm very flexible. In the first four weeks I lost about 6ks, from 67kgs down to 61. At present I'm not really dropping weight, although I have noticed that my body keeps reshaping. I can see lines where my abs are, muscles in my arms and overall I just feel better.

It's working for me, I'm not sure it would work for everyone, but I can't see why not.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Matters of the heart hurt.

Emotions run deep within all of us, surfacing at the worst of times.

One of my weaknesses is that I can get lost in things; the beauty of sunshine, the chant of monks as dawn breaks, the fleetingness of a moment and the passion shared with another; the possibility in all of that.

They say fools rush in. I seem to jump in, eyes closed, breath paused and I hope for the best. Most often this brings all kinds of adventures, sprinkled with happiness, soaked in experiences and with a hint of sweet knowing - knowing that it was the perfect choice, at the perfect time.

Sometimes, however, the landing isn't smooth and I seem to feel a little battered and bruised. Maybe I trusted too much; maybe I assumed too quickly or worst of all; maybe I was just wrong.

When this happens, it's hard to trust in yourself and in those decisions you made moments long ago. I'm learning, I'm learning to accept that in whatever moment I made the best decision I thought possible.

And that's all that I could ask of myself.

My motto for this year was to be kind; to have a solid foundation of kindness beneath everything. To have kind thoughts, kind feelings and kind actions.

I feel like I'm stepping, slowly, closer towards the person I want to be. To the person I need to be.

I still remember when I was 6 or 7 and I went with my grandma to our local supermarket. She never had much money, but she would always specifically choose to by World Vision sponsored products, because a few cents here and there were donated to charity. I saw her intentionally picking these out and asked why she was doing that.

She said to me,

"I'm just doing what I can to help, we all need to do as much as we can for others"

I find myself in an incredible position, right now. A fresh self-created career as a freelance writer that pays the bills and enough for me to do whatever I please. Detached from anyone and anywhere. But most of all, I find myself inspired; inspired by the words of a lady who left my life too long ago.

We all need to do as much as we can for others. 

I'm going to figure out how I can play my piece.

Of all the places I've visited, there's only one place that feels unresolved.

It's India. It's obvious.

Here's to heartache and the amazing way it rips you open and like a vacuum sucks the world of possibilites inside you.

Here's to bigger and better things.

And here's to making the world a better place.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Here, again.

It was two years ago, almost exactly I first made this blog. It was a lullaby I made for myself, to soothe through the ache of losing someone, to calm my fears as I plunged into the world of travel and it's not surprising I find myself here again - seeking comfort once again.

But things are different; there's a new heartache and instead of needing the courage to take the plunge, I need to regain my courage to stay still.

There was someone who I traveled the entire world thinking of, missing and loving. When I returned home things quickly exploded into a mess of heartache and hurt.

It went from nothing, to everything, to less than nothing within a span of five days.

But I guess it only take a second or a text to change the course of your entire life.

I sit here, trying to rearrange my thoughts, trying to make sense out of something that is founded on anything but sense and all I realise is what a different girl I am.

I'm stronger, braver and more comfortable in myself. I am just as aware of my imperfections, my fiery passion and my unsatisfiable curiosity, but these are my strengths - these are what make me more me.

I met a boy I would have stopped traveling the world for, I came home to see him and it dissolved into nothingness. Facebook deletion, a few tears and a bit of heartache and here I am wondering how everything could so easily turn into nothing.

I believe that everyone comes into your life to teach you something, to show you something or to push you towards something.

I had hoped that he would play a bigger part in my life, that all that passion and desire could turn into something incredible. But I've come to realise, quite quickly, that maybe it has already been all it was supposed to be.

I met him so that I could be pulled back to Christchurch for a summer. So that I could stop, evaluate the past two years and dig a little deeper into being myself.

It's sad... letting go. But I'm glad I met him, I glad we had whatever we did, even if it did confuse the hell out of me and I'm glad I have this time to focus on myself and what I want out of life - because somewhere along the way I got a little confused - blinded by the promise of affection.

I know the steps I have to take to realign myself; a new camera so I can see again, a new hair cut so I feel all shiny, gym, clean diet and good times with friends and family.

Part of me hopes this isn't the end, part of me hopes that there will be a second chance where we get to explore whatever we had, but a big part of me is okay if this is all it was meant to be.

What a difference two  years makes.