It is the weekend. I have so much fucking work to do my heart and head hurt just thinking about it, but I’ve been aching to write for so long that I can’t put it on the back burner anymore.
So. What have you been up to? How’s the Spring treating you if you’re here in the Southern Hemisphere, or how is the magical Autumnal awesomeness on the North American East Coast or through the Alps going if that’s your backdrop right now?
Fuck. I. Miss. Travelling.
The invitations to speak and participate continue to roll in over WhatsApp and DM, and Hawaii, New York, Ukraine and Europe beckon and I sit poised to take the stage, where I feel most at home. Who knows when I will be able to pick up that gauntlet again though. There’s so much work to be done here at home.
I’m enjoying floating around my own backyard here in Aotearoa, but the unrelenting free bird in me feels decidedly lost with clipped wings. I know that’s a champagne complain. Staying close to home while the world is on fire, geopolitically, economically, and in reality, is a small price to pay for my time here on earth. We all have to make changes. But I can’t promise I’ll be able to curb my addiction for friends and feelings that exist in far off places for much longer.
So it’s Saturday. We’ve been to Bethell’s beach. I’ve made the kids crepes. We’re all tired and snuggled in warm while the spring wind whips around twigs and branches across our unmown lawn.
Me earbuds are in and I am listening to the latest installment in the arms race of mixed tapes (or in 2019, Spotify playlists) between myself and my very fresh primary relationship. Yes, I do have to elaborate the primary bit… still figuring that shit out. A painful, yet utterly wonderful and gratifying separation from my Phoulmate Phteven has left more questions than answers about what I want from the rest of my life. I don’t know what the future holds, but right now, I am enjoying the strange and unexpected comfort and magic of seeing my sweetheart every couple of days, and aching when that stretches on for any more time.
I believe this is called the “honeymoon” phase.
Whatever. It has been tough as shit at times, and we are reminded at every turn that there are a thousand moving parts, not the least of which being kids, houses, jobs, passion projects and exes. Sprinkled that with a very miniscule but undeniable group of people I still think I might want to have sex with, and we’re off to a rip-roaring start. Don’t bother judging me. Or do, I don’t actually give a fuck. This shit is what everyone trying to balance their independence and their desire to nest are grappling with. I have been fundamentally single for nearly three years, and I was actually really good at it, with a few close calls, but a fairly decent track record of finding friends and maintaining healthy relationships after flames of fancy were no longer fanned by my whistle stop travels in and out of their lives. So, I hope honesty and humour are enough to get us through and carry us on to whatever path we might forge together. This human makes me feel whole and our parasympathetic frequency seems to calm me down and speed him up, and we could both benefit from a bit more of that kinda gear change.
So that’s one thing…. There’s a few more moving parts rolling around this head and heart today, so if you wanna join me for this long overdue session of open letter venting, pull up a chair, we are not quite a third of the way there, so get comfy and try this fucking excellent playlist I made and am slaying all day every day as I zoom, emission free, around this beautiful country.
So… Where was I?
Ah yes, moving parts. So many moving parts.
There’s the single biggest professional event I’ve ever been involved in looming large on the horizon. Wait, I am not only involved, I am the fucking organizer and the final word on this shit. Only two weeks out, and it has nearly killed me. Nothing like the complete nervous breakdown this time last year, that was absolute unabashed hopelessness. This has just been real. It has been uplifting. It has been a steeper learning curve than any I have known. I have had to stand up for myself way more than I’d ever thought I could or would have to. And I am exhausted, as are many others fighting to make this a beautiful thing. Nobody is an island, and we all need so much support to nurture any change or legacy.
So, it hasn’t nearly killed me, but it’s certainly killed off the pushover inside me, and awoken some sort of getting shit done goddess who doesn’t have time to hear why people haven’t done the things they are supposed to do. It looks to be a total rip-roaring success, for a flagship event anyway. I definitely look forward to it and the desire to lock myself in a bunker in the swiss alps for a few years has absolutely abated. For today at least. And the team working alongside me have absolutely pulled out their A game and gotten this beautiful bouncing baby event into full-fledged labour! This kid is coming, and it is going to change our country and the world.
It feels so much like waiting for any of our four babies to come. I am terrified, curious, and cognizant of the many, many, MANY things that can go wrong and what the implications may be. But I have grown this child for four years. I have travelled the globe learning from others and bringing that knowledge and enthusiasm back to New Zealand. Now it is time to turn that around and share the narrative with the world. They barely know we exist, and that’s bullshit, so I’ve invited some of the most influential and entertaining people I know to come and see this batshit beautiful nation and applaud us for the epic grassroots and community efforts that have seen our EV uptake skyrocket beyond anyone’s forecasts. And, with precious little encouragement from the public sector compared to every other country leaning toward this method of carbon divestment.
So yeah. Look at us world! We are kicking ass. Tune in first two weeks of November for more!
Then there’s the family. And friends. And the house seems to have some sort of weird house disease that houses can get. And I am chasing a satellite internet company called Gravity to TAKE MY FUCKING MONEY and give me some internet access at the off-gird treehouse where I have every intention of moving gradually toward turning into my retirement nest. The cat we sent North because she pissed all over everything because she didn’t like noise (ffs, wrong house kitty) is doing great but we all miss her because when she wasn’t pissing on everything she was beautiful and cuddly and clever and had a gently purr and special way of curling into the nape of your neck.
There’s so much more. So very much more to say. But you know what, I was told over a glass of wine and some belly laughs and shared tears of grief over the heartaches we’ve both endured, to just Love myself. We talked at length about, well, lots lof lengthy things. We decided relationships are a pain in the ass. A beautiful, complicated, necessary, terrifying and fortifying pain in the ass. Ending something, no matter what stage or state it is in, is a loss no different to the death of someone (or something, like a pet) we care deeply for. Relationships live and breathe, and we need to nurture them when they are sick, and they soar when they are healthy and fill us up and complete us. So when they die, we have to grieve. And sometimes, really shitty relationshps are the ones we are the most drawn to. And figuring out when and how to cut and run is something we’ve all struggled with. Jesus. What a week.
Sigh. Life’s a fucking roller coaster.
Steph and I often sing “Wish I Was a Punkrocker” by Sandy Thom. It is on the playlist if you care to have a listen. It is a gem of a song and our gaggle of theatre geek girls will always join in and have a big cathartic sing along as I taxi them to the mall or back to our house.
It is a song about simpler times. Before the Internet. Before the climate crisis. I’m at the tail end of the last generation to remember a time without connectivity and smart phones and highlights reels on social media. I had a lonely shitty childhood, but I also had a backpack, a cat named Toots, and acres and acres of Albertan wilderness and pastures to explore from sun-up to sundown. I climbed trees, built mossy forts in a damp forest we christened Ewok Land, and I watched squirrels, birds, deer, and all manner of wild animals carry on in our shared back yard, and I have failed to give that magic to my kids, as they are so inextricably linked to devices.
I don’t think it is too late to take a trip back in time with them though. Need to think a bit more about what it looks like, but I think a total digital detox and some communing with nature before it is completely depleted beyond recognition is on the cards for my family and my… my partner. He’s quite the ecologist so could train us up on the magic that surrounds us and I might even step totally out of my comfort zone for a time and camp under the stars at some point over the summer that stretches out before us here in New Zealand.
I have more to say, but this has carried on hundreds of words longer than I try to contain my blogs to.
I thank you, as ever, for taking the time to share a slice of my chaos and meandering observations.
Hope wherever you are and whatever you battles and brilliance you are experiencing makes you stronger, kinder, and you share that hope and experience in whatever ways you can.
Okay. Have a great week.