Tag: spirituality

The World is But a Stage…

The World is But a Stage…

March 1st, 2018

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”

As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [All the world’s a stage]
William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616

I managed to secure a job! It’s only a 10-hour per week gig but it pays well and involves co-ordinating a project called “Community Champions“, encouraging people in the community to assist and speak out against domestic violence.

I have a number of applications in for jobs with a few more hours as well, from labouring and a potential building apprenticeship to disability support work and teacher support. I find landing on the ground in a new place is a great time to open myself up to new possibilities. It’s a chance to release who you have previously been and see where the new move takes you.

With that in mind, I also followed up on a thought that often occurred to me during The Longest Walk NZ. Since you are reading this blog, it’s probably no surprise to you that I am devoting a lot of energy to constructing my life as I would like it to be, as opposed to getting trapped into a default pattern. Many of these inquiries lead to changes in internal practice rather than external circumstance. The things we believe and choose are the things that determine our direction and success.

This line of thinking led me to reimagine what I thought about actors and acting as a profession. Choosing to be a professional actor, like any professional artist, is a long shot. Success is determined as much by good luck as by good management. Or at least that’s how it can seem on the surface. The reality may be different. All actors (or at least those not riding on someone else’s coat tails) face the same odds. Yet some of them convert those odds into a career. You could argue that talent plays a part in this, but I bet if you asked the successful ones, they’d say choices were far more important.

A good actor has to persevere not only in their belief that they can make it in the face of harsh and repeated rejection, but they also have to persevere in honing their craft. The former challenge is tough enough and the vast majority of people will never know such self-belief. Although that is admirable in itself, the latter task is what interests me. In order to be a good actor, one has to successfully portray a depth of character that cannot exist unless it is felt and experienced.

The actors you know from big movies are ALL good actors. Even the bad ones are only bad by comparison to a handful of elite performers. If they can’t convince an audience, they linger in the realms of pornography, bad theatre, infomercials and B movies.

The way I see it, the difference must occur at a very deep level. It must necessitate the removal, or stepping aside, of a person’s reflexive behaviours and image of self. It requires a person to strip themselves back to the basics of the human experience before layering on a whole new person. Someone with a different history, different beliefs, difference behaviours and a different perspective on life. To me, this seems like great practise for exactly the type of internal work I want to devote my energies to.

I’m not interested in fame. Not in the slightest. I had a brief taste of that last year and you can keep it, thank you very much. Money only interests me to the extent that it can invoke freedom. But the practice of confronting fears, insecurities and self-doubt as well as the actual business of re-inventing an experience of “self”… those things compel me to give it a nudge. In fact, I believe it is precisely because we see how people have accepted these challenges and excelled that drive the phenomenon of fame.

By separating others as “celebrities” from the common man/woman, we unconsciously forgive ourselves for not having risen to our own challenges. They can do it because they are “talented” or “special”. They are different or “other” when compared to us. Logically, we know it not to be true if we think about it. They are also just people after all. But if we think about it to that degree, our excuses dissolve. The difference in those who succeed (at anything) is what beliefs they choose to hold.

the road to addams
And this is how THAT happened…

So when I saw the local drama society, I enquired about it on Facebook. That led to mention of a play having auditions. The men they’d had at auditions hadn’t fitted and ‘Would I like to try out?’… ‘Oh, and by the way, it’s the role as the male lead in a musical production of The Addams Family that we need to fill’. Gulp. Oh well. Sink or swim, I guess. Caution to the wind, I decided to give it a go with the attitude that the very worst that could happen is I get experience of what an audition is like.

The audition was… well… terrifying. Standing alone on stage, I had to belt out my most convincing attempt at one of the songs in the play. Unaccompanied. Just a handful of people staring up at me in serious appraisal. Scrutinising my performance and deciding whether I had what they needed in the role: A lead role with a whole heap of lines, a couple of solo songs to sing and several more in co-operation with others. In a production that, while it is no Broadway acting company, is intended to polish up as a piece of quality theatre.

Did I mention that they want their lead to be very Spanish? Next up came a cold reading with a Spanish accent at a Spanish pace. I was in WAY over my head, but I’d already confessed as much to the production crew and they were all really supportive. And I must’ve sold it because I got the part. I will be stripping away Stephen and learning to become Gomez Addams for the next few months for a stage show in Greymouth.

After that, I decided to swing by the local pub on the way home. I came in for a celebratory/wind-down beer and left with a job. Not even sure how that happened, to be honest. But the Wild Food Festival is in town in a couple of weeks and they needed a hand. So I shall be putting my barman hat on once again. Quite a week. But the next few will likely prove to be more eventful still.

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Emotional Self-Care

Emotional Self-Care

Emotions have been the single most difficult thing about my journey recently. At the risk of sounding a little to “Dear Diary”, I decided to share a few thoughts in the hopes it may serve someone else.

Coming into The Longest Walk NZ, it was the emotional ride to finally deciding to commit that was the biggest challenge. I knew it was what I wanted to do. I knew it was important to me. I knew I had faced similar crossroads… made the other choice… and regretted it. Yet still, I found it incredibly hard to take that leap into the unknown. There was no security. There was no ‘how to’ guide. I didn’t really know what I was doing.

Now that I’ve been on the road for over six months, I’ve found peace with the unknown elements and I actually enjoy the creative aspect of not having a blueprint. Not only that, but I have found security of sorts in history of supportive interactions with a vast number of people in every single place we have travelled to. The freedom I’ve found through making that commitment is unparalleled by any other experience of my life so far.

There are different emotional challenges now though. It took me a while to accept the hospitality and charity of others too. Having dealt with that, I am now often reminded of a very important lesson: to be aware of emotional vampirism.

The beast that is animal welfare draws forth strong emotions in many people. With that, comes a strange kind of attraction for emotional vampires. I refer to those who choose to dwell on drama or focus on painful loops and problems outside their sphere of influence. They thrive on ‘venting’ and constantly seek empathy for their perceived struggles. Black and white thinking tends to dominate their world view and everything seems to be hopeless or unfair. They leech others’ energy to feed their own insatiable hunger for high emotion and they flock to causes such as animal welfare.

Over the years and through my travels, I have become pretty skilled at conversing with people of varied backgrounds. It’s fair to say that I can have a reasonable conversation quite comfortably with most people I am meeting for the first time. Just because I CAN talk to most people, doesn’t mean I ENJOY talking to them all.

My psychic defences are poor. I feel other people’s emotions quite strongly and I have a very hard time not taking them on-board. The flip side of this is that I am also very aware of my own emotions and these days, I have learned to understand when they signal the need for action or change. That hasn’t always been the case and my inability to manage emotions as guiding signals has led to deep pain and suffering at times.

When these emotional vampires come into my life, I feel myself being drained and it becomes more and more difficult to maintain logic. They pull me into their pain and wear down my ability to resist. I can suffer their need for a sympathetic ear for a time but I reach a limit and have to physically remove myself from their presence in order to regroup. These encounters are dangerous for me because I often find myself close to the brink of re-joining them in their habits of unhealthy thoughts: the negative spiral of tainted/skewed logic.

To be honest, the thought scares me. It scares me because I know that pain. It scares me because I know how slippery the slope is and how hard it is to change. I have to be careful not to let empathy for their pain draw me in because I know THEY are ultimately the only person in the whole world that can help them. THEY have to choose to be ready and THEY have to commit to changing that pattern. Some aren’t ready yet (and I’m not qualified or able to help get them there) and others probably never will be. Either way, I have to consciously avoid letting it be my problem.

I want to be clear that these are not necessarily malevolent or nasty people. The ones I am coming across are generally killing themselves with kindness. They care so much that they too struggle to disconnect. Nevertheless, the cause is irrelevant. I still need to care for myself. The freedom I have fostered in my life right now balances on the knife edge of my beliefs and emotions. My freedom hinges maintaining healthy, useful thinking habits.

The other major challenge for me is dealing with being so publicly available. At first, the kind of minor celebrity that this venture has brought was novel and a bit fun. Now, while it is mostly just neutral, it has a definite down-side. I am always “on show” when I am around my trailer. I am almost always around my camper. Often, I am staying at kind people’s homes and that comes with an unspoken understanding that I chat about the journey and cause. I am happy to oblige and I am grateful for their hospitality, but it also means time to myself can be severely limited.

To put this in perspective, I prefer to be alone most of the time. I don’t mean that in an unfriendly way. I am also a very personable person. That might seem a contradiction and maybe it is. All I know is that I feel at my best when I have time alone to recharge and it allows me to enjoy time with others.

In combination with New Zealand’s ridiculous “freedom” camping regulations, it unfortunately means that the only time I can truly withdraw and recharge (legally) is inside my camper in a fairly public place like a campground. With this new-found “celebrity” comes a breakdown in normal etiquette. If people see the camper, they “have to see what it’s about”. If they’ve also been following the campaign, some feel they have earned the right to access me any time they might happen on me.

At this stage, I must add that usually, I am fine with that and I enjoy meeting people who have been following the journey. It’s nice to talk to new people and even nicer if I don’t have to start by explaining what is going on. In fairness, even I have trouble defining the limits of when it feels alright to be approached and when I’d prefer to be left alone. But II am starting to get a better appreciation for how it must feel to be a REAL celebrity. If I am trying to do some banking, I feel like common courtesy (at least in NZ culture) says to give me space. If I am sitting inside my camper with the door closed, it’s akin to someone in a zipped up tent. Personally, I would leave them alone unless it was someone I already knew.

Overall, I must say that it has been a great journey and I haven’t regretted the choice to undertake it. These little gripes are small in the grand scheme of things. My hope in airing them so publicly is that it might help someone else. If it does help you, I would love to hear it if you’d like to share it.

Depends What You Look At

Depends What You Look At

March 27th

I recently posted a picture of strawberries on Instagram which had been filtered in a specific way to produce a visual illusion. My friend Nick who is pretty savvy with pictures and Photoshop was quick to debunk the claim that it contained no red pixels. I have been thinking a lot since then about how much our beliefs colour our perception and experience of the world.

You can link through to the Twitter feed of Akiyoshi Kitaoka here. He regularly posts pictures which offer various optical illusions. I don’t know enough of the requisite skills to test his claims. Nor do I care to learn them. But even if I did, would I test them? Or is there something operating in me that encourages me to believe in wondrous things? Whether I would check or not is moot really. Although it is important to catch myself in this reaction of blind belief. The answer to the latter is: yes. I will default to the wondrous over the ordinary even if it is accompanied with a healthy scepticism.

A movie I watched recently, Now You See Me, briefly explores this idea in various theatrical ways. (Actually I watched both this and the sequel, which both play on this same theme and I can’t recall in which it was said specifically). The gist was that the allure of magicians is that people have a need to believe that anything is possible.

I can identify with this. Not only that, but I have specifically and deliberately tried to train my thoughts to tend in this direction. A while back now, I struggled with depression. I recognised my habit of seeing obstacles and unchangeable truths. I also recognised the absurdity of these claims and the changing nature of everything. One practice that resulted was that whenever I noticed any negative statement I might tell myself, I would counter it with three things I was grateful for. Slowly but surely, I began to associate negative feelings with an opportunity to find things to be grateful for.

Step by step, I was able to change my world view from one of insurmountable obstacles to one of possibilities. The world changed from a place where every struggle was ultimately pointless to a place where amazing things happen every day and challenges are an opportunity for growth. More directed learning helped consolidate and strengthen these ideas as well as understanding just how important those default beliefs are to my perception and ultimately to the outcome.

This extended eventually to realising how important it is to be aware who I spend time around. I like doers. I like dreamers. I like people who choose to see obstacles as problems to be solved. I like people who tell me how great it is that they got sick because it reminds them that they are neglecting their diet or lifestyle. I like people who take personal responsibility for the things they don’t enjoy in their lives.

This week, I have seen two more examples which have troubled me. I wasn’t sure how to write about them but I felt it was important to discuss them… at least with myself if not with others. The first was something posted by a teacher of mine at university. An exercise physiologist, he was posting an article about the dangers of the developing acceptance of obesity as the norm. When something which is harming us becomes our standard for normal, we are creating a toxic cycle in our reality. There are other examples in our everyday lives that we could all identify if we cared to and each will affect us in different ways to varying degrees.

The second is that of resistance to change. Several smaller organisations I have come across recently have been led by people who seem oblivious to the changing world around them. Convinced that their experience of 20 years, 30 years, or more of doing the same things makes them an expert in doing what is best. Yet they fail to see their failure to improve their operations in this time. They fail to see their failure to generate income to improve the resources they have to work with rather than suffer due to lack of funds. They struggle to recognise that their opportunities to flourish have increased while they were busy proclaiming their martyrdom. Their song is the same: “We’ve always done it this way. It’s worked for … years. These people don’t understand”. Yet the facts and examples happening all over the world around them speak to the falsehood of their claims.

I will suffer brief conversations with people who tell me how hard their life is. I will tolerate those who insist on swinging conversation to complaints about spouses. I will sympathise with the person who insists they have no choices or is stuck in a rut. But I will never choose to be around that person for any more than the bare minimum time I can manage. These are the emotional vampires who will suck you into their world of inevitability and self-pity. These are the people who will infect my psyche with their poisonous world views lest I fail to recognise it. It’s never worth trying to convince this person they have choice. It’s not worth it to make change my job. People have to be ready to choose a different way and it’s likely to harm me if I try to help them on the way. Yet my default is often to try.

I think the most important thing we can do in life is to notice and reconsider our beliefs. They are our most important tool to shape our lives. People interact and events happen around us but the only thing we have control over is the way we react to them.

Asking from Altered Assumptions

Asking from Altered Assumptions

December 18th

One of the main themes of this year so far has been testing assumptions. Next year I aim to operate out of a different core assumption. This blog is about how it will change (and has already changed) my life.

Testing assumptions requires first paying conscious attention to them as often as possible. One assumption I noticed I operated under was “that people are ultimately looking after number 1”. Although it may be true in specific situations, on thinking it over, I decided it is not true overall.

Next year I choose to operate under the assumption “that to help others is one of people’s greatest intrinsic rewards”. That is to say that people really want to help and to serve others. I am aware that some act more often with this guiding principle than others. I am also aware that some may be more selective in the population towards whom they extend this beneficence. However, operating with this assumption first, I notice some striking and very important differences in my experience of the world.

First I must digress slightly. About seven years ago, one of my uncles said something to me that has stuck: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get”. It obviously makes sense on all sorts of different levels, but for some very complex and long-established reasons, New Zealand culture (and to some extent, many other world cultures) discourage asking for help. There are specific situations in which co-operation is actively encouraged, but also many that carry with them the unspoken law that you must suffer alone. Our culture frowns upon people who can’t/won’t “stand on their own two feet”.

This belief has a very strong effect on the way we communicate and behave toward one another. It tends to make a request for another’s assistance a burdensome thing both in our own mind and theirs. They believe that “I work hard to manage on my own, so why can’t you?” It then follows that if they then do assist, they may resent it or feel you are in their debt. It becomes an emotionally loaded currency.

On the other hand, I feel I am burdening them with my needs. I may feel weak or unaccomplished for not being able to do it all alone. Ultimately, it makes me less likely to ask for help, more likely to take on too much and it contributes to the modern phenomenon of disconnected communities.

I saw a really interesting TED Talk a few years ago which addressed this aversion to asking for help. It might have actually been before my uncle’s sage advice. I’ve seen many TED Talks over the years, but this is one that stuck with me. The presenter talks about the difference in how she felt about the world and people by asking for help and in turn, receiving it. She also talks about the social stigma of asking for help. She then gives specific examples of how that willingness to be vulnerable allowed her to feel gratitude and to achieve so much more than she could have alone.  You can find it here.

More recently, I came across Marshall Rosenberg’s (audio) book, “Non-Violent Communication”. In it, he approaches the topic from a more scientific psychological standpoint. He talks about how if we embrace this basic social need that we humans all have, our approach to the request can come across with a different energy. When we recognise another’s need to contribute to others’ well-being and come to really believe that we are offering an opportunity to fulfil that need by asking, it becomes a gift. When our requests come from a place of giving rather than an attitude of taking, it can be received in a different way too. Not only will the person be more likely to help, but the latent feeling towards the one who asked can become one of gratitude rather than one of indebtedness or resentment.

Another thing he makes a strong point of is that the implied consequences make a world of difference to the tone of the request too. That is to say that if you have already taken responsibility for the idea that the task is yours and yours alone, you will not feel let down if it remains yours. If however, someone agrees to help, that is a bonus. In the first case, you harbour no resentment. In the second, you have nothing but gratitude. With gratitude and positivity on both sides of the equation, we set that discourse up to be really positive thing to our relationship with that person. It becomes a relationship builder rather than a hindrance to it.

If we instead have an implication of requirement behind the request (i.e. we feel it is not really our task to do in the first place), there is likely to be a tone of disappointment or judgement should they choose not to help. In this case, the implication feels compelled to help and may resent having done so. If they refuse, they feel (perhaps unfairly) that they have let you down. In either case, we set it up to have a net negative effect on our relationship overall.

With these ideas in mind, we see what an important tool it can be in building great relationships. On a somewhat unrelated note, it can be an excellent way to meet new people and makes a great opener when trying to pick someone up ;0) Worth paying a little attention to in my books.

I’m still not great at it, I’ll admit. All too often, I often catch myself slipping into the behaviours of “looking after number one” and taking rather than looking for the opportunity to give. But as with all things, improvement come from first giving attention to the practice.

That said, even the practice of focussing on the concept has helped change my world view. It’s been a large part of the healing I have undergone this year. It has also meant that I have been able to find a different way to approach the problem of resources for The Longest Walk NZ.  In theory, I approach new people with the idea of “How can I help this person? How can I make their life a little better, if only for a moment?” This sets the tone for a pleasant conversation, at worst. At best, it lays the foundation for a mutually rewarding interaction and/or relationship.

Ghandi is oft-quoted as saying “Be the change you want to see in the world”. For me, this assumption allows me to be the change I want to see: to live in a world where people act for something bigger than themselves… whatever that may be. If we can succeed in this internal shift of “default attitude”, imagine what sort of world this world could become.

Choosing Change

Collective Evolution is a site I have followed for quite a while. I stumbled across this TedX Talk by its creator, Joe Martino.

I’m not going to introduce it with what it’s about, he can do that better for himself. But I recommend you watch it if you have that feeling that change is happening in you or the world aroound you. This talk allows us to relate to his feelings and gives us an introduction about some of the theories of what is going on in the legacy of social upheaval we have inherited today.

Building Shelter. Building Hope.

I’ve been building my camper/shelter for the last couple of weeks. Progress has been a little slow as I wait for a few materials to come in and having decided to rebuild part of the trailer base to create better joints. But through the process, something somewhat unexpected has happened.

I’d hoped for it, but never held to much faith in the idea. I’d hoped that I would start seeing the best in people. That is exactly what is happening. Everywhere I turn, it seems impossible to find resistance. Quite the opposite. People are bending over backward, donating their time, materials and expertise to helping create a journey of a lifetime. It’s been a humbling experience that is a privilege to be part of.

Unfortunately I can’t portray my shifting self in pictures. But I can show you a little of the progress towards The Longest Walk NZ. The website is a bit more developed now, so you could pop over there if you are interested. Below I have also included a few pictures of the build so far. I have a floor platform, wheels are set to be mounted when I get further south and the materials for the shell have arrived. So the task at the moment is trying to sculpt out a kitset to be assembled down in Gore.

Lots of pieces are coming together right now and I’m feeling very grateful for all the support which I really wasn’t feeling when I first started down this route. Sponsors are getting on-board and everything is seeming more and more achievable.

Living from the Heart

GivingCosItFeelsGood

If you’ve been following for a while, you probably notice there are a few different types of posts going up. Some are about lifestyle choices. Things like: tiny house considerations, homesteading/gardening/permaculture, financial ideologies and practicalities, intentional community. Some are basically a diary of what I’ve been up to while exploring what, where and how freedom is. Some, like this one, are basically amateur philosophical monologues. (FYI- they are usually tagged as such, so if you have a preference of what you’re interested in, explore the tags at the bottom of posts)

As much as this year has been about trying to find a way into a sustainable life, it’s about understanding myself. You could frame it as a working holiday in my own country if you wanted to although it feels very different.

I most certainly mostly operate out of a “Type A” personality. Which, if you’re not familiar with the term, is the driven type. I think this is mostly out of a desire to feel (the illusion of being) in control. This year, I’ve tried to park that where possible and explore passion. I have found that in order for that to be any use, I need to act. My ideas tend to be long-term and/or big. As such, some planning and Type A behaviour come into play to create direction. I suspect I’ll never see the benefit of letting stuff just happen in a “Type B” kind of way.

It’s been a time of struggle and a time of torment. It’s been a time of substance abuse and of emotional extremes. It’s been a time of rethinking and reforming core beliefs. It’s been a contradictory battle of release.

It has been an interesting experiment though. It’s meant creating a bit of space and time. It’s meant that time “off” has become a lot more passive but not lazy (as I would have previously seen it). Instead of filling time with activity (well… not as MUCH activity), I’ve made more time to notice sights, sounds and feelings. It’s been a time of learning to evaluate where feelings are coming from too. But not just in a direct cause and effect way. Not even in a stimulus à perception à response à consequence kind of way. It’s been a period of exploring the less logical: the intuitive.

I’ve discussed it a little in “Living for Purpose, Not Pay” and “Money Money Money” and in many of the posts tagged philosophising. A lot of this stuff is no secret and I guess a lot of people don’t need to explore it so much themselves. I certainly perceive the appearance that it happens more naturally for many. But in intentionally living these ideas, I find it consolidates the knowledge.

I imagine it is experienced in everyone differently. For me, intuitive guidance presents as a prickly, tickling feeling right behind my ears on the back of my scalp. It’s just about the exact same feeling as when I’ve just clipped my hair short and run the shower over the point at the bottom and centre of my occipital bone (at the back of my head). It’s a radiant swelling which eventually envelops my whole head.

Other times, it can be different. I think I now understand why we say “gut feeling” because another big one starts on the edges of my diaphragm, which surrounds the top of my guts. It starts with an awareness of tightness at its circumference, which instinctively makes me release the tension. When I do, warmth rises rapidly up my spine, spread through my shoulders and wraps over my head like a hood.

Often, the second also sets off the first as well. When it does, I’ll usually feel choked up and often get the prickle of tears forming in the corner of my eyes. These are the ones I get when I think about “where to from here?” But only ever on the occasions where I decide that The Longest Walk is where I should focus my energy. One of these times, I found a $20 note on the ground straight after. Another time, I found 50 cents. And every time that comes to mind, I feel another of my intuitive signs.

This one has happened on a number of important occasions. The best example I remember was on a Vipassana meditation retreat in Victoria (Dhamma Aloka). Technically, you’re not meant to write anything on such a retreat. But one day, I had a surge of happiness and calm. It lasted 30 seconds, or maybe a minute. It was followed by an outpouring of inspiration. The first two of the children’s books I’ve written on dog training flowed into my mind nearly fully formed. For the next 10 minutes, they just circled and refined themselves endlessly. There came a point that I realised, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the work I was trying to do at the retreat unless I put it down on paper. So that’s what I did. I took my (smuggled) pen and wrote two full books, (visions of the pictures and all) on scraps of paper in my bag.

Sometimes, intuition confuses me. I didn’t plan to come to Motueka. I’d planned to head north after completing the caravan renovation. Whangarei (or its surrounds) was always my planned destination. But tales reached my ears of this place where a whole heap of other idealistic hippies lived and it seemed like a place I should check out. I reasoned that if not now, it’d probably get missed. Plans changed.

On leaving Wellington, this completely different gut feeling came about. This one was heavy. It was a belly full of stodgy porridge. It had a really mild electric current all around it and I read it as worry or as a bad thing. Like it was a wrong decision. But my reason still held and I’d booked my tickets, so I decided to go anyway. I could always come back. That was nearly 5 months ago and it may still turn out to be a mistake, but I struggle to think how. Motueka has been a great decision by all accounts.

Proof-reading the last few posts, it strikes me that some people will think I’ve lost my marbles or that I’m pretty screwed up in the head. Maybe they are right. Maybe I’m just honestly evaluating at a deeper causal level than most people habitually do. Maybe those two things are the same thing.

Regardless, I am what I am. I’ve pretended and tried to ‘fit in’ enough to know it’s not worth the effort. Despite what you think, I will still be what I am. To tell of it really makes no difference at all to me. But it may make a difference to you or someone else who reads it. So perhaps it’s better on paper than in my head.

-And thus, another rambling rant ends-