Secretive Success

Friday evening our neighbours invited us over for nibbles and a few drinks. Love them. We don’t agree on everything but they’re just fabulous and I always enjoy time spent with them. It was sort of meant to be our farewell shindig, as we have had a less than stellar situation with the rental property we’ve inhabited in Pt. Chevalier since November last year. There was a massive kerfuffle and we were epically let down by the person we trusted to house-sit and feed our beloved cats, and that meant we secured a new rental in St. Mary’s Bay, only to find out that we would not be let out of this lease without huge penalties.

What an unwelcome clusterfuck it all turned out to be.

But it’s all been a learning curve and helped this former hurricane to evolve even farther into a much quieter powerhouse indeed.

Upshot of these shenanigans is, we will be moving out in November, and that gives us plenty of time to seek out a much better situation and pack and plan rather than rushing to get out in under a fortnight. I’ll chalk that up as a win. Kids are happy to stay settled until the spring, and we actually adore the street and neighourhood. So, we’re pleased to be next to a handful of lovely human’s we’ve been honoured to get to know for a bit longer as well. We really do like our neighbours, the quirky bunch that they are.

Being at the mercy of the rental market has been shit though. We are in a very fortuitous situation and can reasonably manage high rent and flexible terms. So few people are in the same situation, and the bullshit we’ve had to deal with as tenants has shone a light on the fear I am feeling for most people here in Aotearoa and around the world as we move into extreme financial, social, geopolitical and climate crisis uncertainty.

Is it my place to be freaking out for humanity? Who knows.

Fact is, I’ve always had a bit of a messiah complex. Always thought that it’s my job, duty or calling to help and defend people and causes who pique my empathy or concern. My tactics have changed, but the sentiment and sincerity remain.

Old me would rush into battle and defend and offend with reckless abandon. I’d go for a scorched earth approach to negotiating if I was adequately convinced enough that I was fighting on the side of the “good guys” or defending person or cause I deemed worthy.

Not these days though.

Now, I really just want to be left the fuck alone for the most part. I can still shake my fists and plan for campaigns to back any of my many beloved causes. From equality to the climate. From SQUEEZING THE FUCKING TOOTHPASTE AT THE BOTTOM NOT THE MIDDLE FFS! to correct installation of the toilet paper roll. I fight my battles in private for the most part. I am incredibly picky about who is allowed near me, how I spend my time and what, where, when and how I engage with the world.

Years ago, I measured success by social media clicks, likes and engagement or clocking up meetings, networking and just generally putting myself anywhere and everywhere for attention and to champion my agendas. I grieve for the girl who broke herself into little pieces fighting uphill battles and being sabotaged and scarred by people who ought to have been supportive, or at the very least not assholes in response to the support and trust she so freely gave them. She craved so much validation, but the secret to a safer kind of success was in her the whole time:

You can’t control the world around you. You can only hope to control how you handle what happens.

I still have a plethora of feathers in my social, personal, professional and proverbial cap and you can mark my words I have plans to keep fighting for the things I Love and believe in.

Now, however, I just don’t give a fuck who knows what I am up to or what they think about me or my efforts. The right people arrive and stay. The wrong people tend to fuck off or fade away.

The secret to both my happiness and success these days is really just that I now don’t mind keeping the vast majority of what we are up to a bit of a secret. The people who need to know and are involved in any of our projects are kept abreast of situations, and I can share and amplify truths and experiences as much or as little as I choose.

Never felt so safe or been so happy in my life. Hope someone who has been burdened with pathological people-pleasing or suffering from crisis fatigue reads this and decides to enjoy some secretive success and a bit of rest.

That’s all I have to say today.


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