We live in a blessed country, in a place filled with peace and prosperity, in a Country where the only problems arise from our own prejudice, a place where we have the freedom to go about our busy daily lives, living the ways we choose. In these times it is easy to forget that it hasn’t always been this way.

As we run around going to work, or university, to the gym, or just sloth out on the couch, our minds are always racing with selfishness, which is 100 per cent okay. But this day, like many other memorial days we have a chance to stop, take a deep breath and think about the ultimate sacrifice that many brave men and women have made over the years to defend the country we love and the freedom to make our own choices.

Many of you may not agree, I have argued for our troops on a regular basis to sheltered people who have not been exposed to the good work that our uniformed personnel do on a daily basis. It is too easy to think that your life is good, and the world is as peaceful as it can be, that the wars we are involved in are none of our business and that our defence force is no longer a necessary force. But, it isn’t just about what they do overseas in wartime, but also what they do for those who need it most in times of peace. For you see there is more to an Army, Navy, or Air Force than being the force that stops nations in times of war.

Our defence force is a community that is integral to the creation of the image of ourselves as a nation that we hold dear. It is the reputation of mateship, hard work, and larakinism that arose from the trenches that has created the international image us Australians are so proud of. Which is a comment not lightly coming from an actual Kiwi, but you see despite where I was born I do call myself an Aussie, for your world is a world that I can align with, your nationhood is based on strength, joy, and hope, all things that come out of the work done by those who serve in green and blue.

It is 5 years today since I booked myself into my YOU session to join the Australian Army, a journey I thoroughly enjoyed despite the fact circumstances arose that lead to it also being 3 years since I resigned. However the spirit of the defence force will always call to me. It is a community I believe I will never be far from, for many of my friends still serve, and on a daily basis I am bursting with pride over the work they do. Yes there are days they come home and feel that they aren’t doing the work they believed they would be doing, but to my darling friends, although day to day it may be a struggle and you may not see the point of your work, the bigger picture, the machine you are a part of is a light that guides so many, a force that your Country should forever support.

So please, today, on the 11th November 2015, make sure to take time out of your busy day, a day that you can enjoy because of the bravery of these many men and women, and remember them. Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in years gone by, and think of the many who wake up at the crack of morning every day to make sure there is a long legacy of a proud defence force protecting and uplifting the Country we so dearly love.

“We will remember them,”


Procrastination for the anxious personality

You have an exam due at the end of the week? You have an assignment due in three days? But you’re working all week? Oh that’s okay you can do the work late at night or early in the morning! But you had the whole day off yesterday you say? Oh, how much did you do of the school work? Nothing you say? Oh….

Welcome to my life, the Queen of leaving everything until the last minute, yet also someone who suffers heavily from anxiety and perfectionism. How does that work I hear you ask? Horribly!

If I don’t have a busy schedule right from the moment I wake up then I struggle hard to get anything done. I will sporadically do any job that makes me feel productive without actually achieving anything in my extensive and important to do list before crashing out on the couch or my bed, because, you know, doing nothing is dauntingly difficult. I wonder why I can’t nap as the tendrils of anxiety snake around my brain and my heart as I contemplate all the projects I am lazily ignoring.

However, there other days, where I will wake up with a full workload, and instantly knuckle down tick, tick, ticking all my projects off one by one, squeezing everything and anything into any minute I can find spare in my 24 hours, constantly concious and nervous about the closing in of my deadlines. I like to think of it as procrastination fuelled, beautiful chaos, a balance I realise I have been tackling, and losing against for my so far short adult life.

This is pretty normal behaviour for anyone really, and when I read it and think about the way many of my university friends also behave I know I am not alone, so why share this? Because, for some reason many of my friends think I am superwoman, they see my gym schedule, working rosters, and intern-ship projects and they keep telling me how productive I am and how wonderful it is that I am so focused and able to achieve so much, and I just want you all to know:

Life is never as it seems,
don’t compare yourself to anyone else,
because what on the outside might appear to be constant and absolute focus,
could very well be an;
anxiety riddled,
procrastination fuelled,
beautiful chaos.

Hello, I’m sorry

You called her on the telephone tonight, you reached out in your drunken state to aplogise as the realisation of your mistakes smacked you right between the eyes. The girl who had always been there was no longer yours to keep. In your mind she should hate you, in your mind you hurt her beyond repair. But hush now dear, your apology will mean more to her than you can ever realise.

You were her exciting fire, you were someone that dazzled and shone, you sparked a creative flame in her that she didn’t even know existed, and although when her chase for you ended in heartbreak she could very well have ripped the head off of your shoulders, she has nothing but a thank you for you on her lips now. You showed her that although there may be passion a love needs more, although there is excitement something solid needs higher ground, because my dear she already has too many sink holes, she has fallen in to too many deep and damp places. You showed her that she deserves that high life, but with a stable ground beneath her feet as well.

She has that now, your apology drove that home. She has never truly believed she deserved it, but you’re right, she’s the proper girl, and she deserves happiness. She deserves someone who will call her to say he cares even without liquid fire to fuel his words. She deserves someone to make her tea and rub away the tension of her day. She no longer has to run, she no longer has to chase, because what she deserves is now right there in front of her.

She sleeps in the arms of another tonight. She whispers words of care in his ears and rubs away the pains of his day. She listens as he asks for her attention. She pushes him forward now, hoping to inspire him in any way she can. She loves him for the stable, comforting beauty he brings to her otherwise chaotic existence.

And, although she is no longer yours, she will always be there at the end of the telephone line, she will always have a cup of coffee waiting for you to warm away your troubles, she will always hope to help you find the happiness you deserve, because, although what you had is gone, you are her friend, she cares, and she will always be grateful for the things you showed her, it is just different now.

Breaking open the deal breakers:

Ain’t it funny honeys, the ‘deal breakers’ we set in our minds for potential partners?
Hell no he won’t smoke, he better believe he has to be at least 6ft and I can’t find a single hair on his body, except for that sexy stubble residing on his chiselled jaw line!

We set so many roadblocks to love, and many potentials will run at you, hit these issues, bounce off, and you will wave them off into the sunset. But then there will be someone who saunters on in, with their charm, and ‘can’t put my finger on it’ spark, and poof, the deal breakers can’t break shit anymore….

Why is it that when the right person is in front of you, their habits, the very ones that have been the ‘no-no’ in other potential pairings, no longer mean anything? Why is it that what is disgusting on others, is a non issue on others?

Is it chemistry? Is it a fluidity in our desires, a fickle inability to truly understand ones self and know exactly what it is you want? Is it because you have mapped your deal-breakers around societal values, rather than what you really perceive to be an issue, and now the person you can’t imagine walking away from is standing there, and just like the concept of ‘flipping a coin, because it will show you what you really want’ comes into play?

At the end of the day, it just goes to show that these lists, these pros and cons, deal breakers, and goal posts, they’re all well and good in a society where the dating world has turned into a mine field of snapchat screenshots, Netflix and chill, and friend zones. These academic perceptions of what romance ‘should be’ can save our fragile hearts, however, at the end of the day, none of us can really plan for that inevitable day when that person wanders on in, snatches your breath away, and changes everything.

I hope, for your sake, if even just for one dizzying, magical moment, someone finds your lists, scrunches them up, and throws them out the window, while they sweep you up and carry you into the beautiful unknown! It’s time to divide and conquer lovers!

Baby she’s a runaway

So I am a very focussed person, I go about my day on a meticulous time schedule penned into my diary a week in advance, I jam fill my days to the point where I sometimes feel I don’t even have time to breathe, and I do this because I hate to be left doing nothing, for being left alone with your own thoughts, in my head, is the most terrifying thing.

However, there is only so much of this a body can take, and eventually, every time, I find myself running smack bang into an open field, and it entices me to run. I flood my mind so much that I become overwhelmed and I struggle to focus, I stare at the 50,000 unfinished projects on my desk and I cry and scream, and all I want to do is run for the water, where I will swim away from all my worries.

Obviously this can’t be done though, in a life where at 22 I have had more second chances, and fresh starts than I care to admit, I feel I am at a point where I need to finally channel my energy into a project I can stand by until completion. I owe it to my family to finally finish something, I owe it to myself to provide myself a future. But what about the present?

I want it all, but I don’t know how to balance on this tight rope, and currently it feels like the fall is coming hard and fast. I want someone by my side, but I don’t have the time to provide them with an equal partnership. I want a portfolio of work to compliment my resume, but there aren’t enough hours in the day. I want good grades, but I can’t seem to give any attention to my studies. I want to live in a space I can call entirely my own, but I don’t know where my roots lie. I want to travel, to run away, but I don’t want to let anyone down by disappearing and leaving more unfinished business in my wake.

I mentioned my overwhelming need to bolt at the gates to my mother and she apologised, because she’s right, it runs in my veins, that absolute 100 per cent need to run for the hills when strain arises. We have seen so much, that our instinct now is just to run, avoid the pain of failure, hit the road before our decisions manage to catch up to us. It may seem childish, and irresponsible, but it keeps us safe, it shields us, and it makes us feel free.

However, running also holds us back, when we run, how can we ever really commit, to a life, to a partner, to a friend? If we are so unreliable that we don’t even know when we can depend on ourselves, how can we expect to be able to be there for others? As a woman who finds her value in the arms and words of others, how can I ever really reach that true ‘whole’ me if I am forever running away from the troubles that aren’t even allowed to yet be real, the troubles that are still merely a manifestation of my own imagination?

I want that all in kind of Sunday loving, and my flightiness is only allowing space for that Saturday night romp. I am tired, I am tired deep down of the fickle façade, the flouncy back and forth, and the games. Don’t get me wrong, a one night stand is fine, in fact I have been having a lot of fun in recent times, however, the games that seem to ensue when you don’t really know what you want, or where you stand? They’re what are really weighing me down. It is time for stability, for focus, and for honesty, to myself, and to others, and those unwilling to accept that can hit the road.

I promise to myself in this space to take more time, more time for me, more time to practice mindfulness, to figure out what it is that is truly important to me, stop taking on 500,000 projects without an actual direction or passion behind them. Yes you look like superwoman now Aroha, but at this rate, you are going to turn yourself to ashes.

My mother was the true inspiration for realising that yes, running away seems so lovely, and spontaneity is valued, but that I have so much more to hold steadfast for: “We all get in those spaces Aroha, and unfortunately you have runner genes – i.e. when shit happens your urge to run is high, but, Bug, learn the lesson now. Stand tall and remember your brain is not your friend. You actually have a fantastic life and you are living it to the fullest – see it, own it, and enjoy it – you are waaaaaaaaay stronger than you give yourself credit for.”

Thanks Mumma Bear, you’re right, next time I run, it will be for fun, and not to escape!

The juggling act

Image not my own – found online)

So what do I really want, is it the single life? Is it something more wholesome? Does it actually really just depend on what day of the week it is, or how cold the outside world seems that day?

I have recently been going through some things, prioritising my life, ensuring that I am finally truly on the trajectory that has everything to do with my own wants and desires, and isn’t influenced by anyone else.

I have picked up my emotional weaknesses and I have walked forward, arms open, seeking guidance. Finally I am open to help, and learning what it is I need as a person.

For once I walked into a new year of my life (I turned 22 on Sunday!!!) truly believing that my life is exactly where I want it to be.

I am starting my second internship tomorrow, I have started to work on a show on radio that I am busting with ideas about, I am learning to prioritise the things in my life in a way that will lead to success for myself, and those I care about the most.

I have been hitting the gym twice a day, I’ve been eating well, and I haven’t been sweating the small stuff…. I have enjoyed meeting new people, dating, seeing what is out there, and the idea of commitment has been the only frightful thought to enter my head in weeks.

That was until Sunday morning, the morning of my birthday, a morning where, for the first time in weeks, the thought of waking up alone and facing that day by myself dipped me into such a funk I only emerged to collect KFC and chocolate…

My mother pointed out some truths about my living situation, asking how I felt about bringing people home, to which I responded; “It is fine, they come over in the dead of night, leave at the crack of dawn, and don’t go anywhere within the house except my room…” A response that took me by surprise and was equal parts liberating and depressing.

Why is it that one misguided morning can throw you into a tail spin, a series of doubting thoughts swirling through your mind, you cry, you scream, and the hot tears of self hatred flow through you as you think you are the reason there is nobody by your side.

Then you wake up to yourself, you look at that rock hard body, you see the mountains of work you have pushed out over the week, and you remember the friends who came out to celebrate you the day before and you realise there is absolutely nothing in this world that you could change for the better…

See these are the ups and downs in my life, the juggling act between joys, and sadness, and the mismatched feelings of self… Because, you see, we all have our own demons, and mine finally has a name, mine has finally come out of the shadows, and I am finally learning to defeat it.

For these behaviours, are the product of my Borderline Personality Disorder, something, that when first told to me made me feel like a monumental stuff up, like I had failed, who can’t develop a personality properly? But no, it is time to realise that I am the product of my experiences. My lessons have been learnt over a life that has been full of ups and downs, and to be honest many weaker than me would have come out far less on top.

Yes I have broken trains of thought, the dizzying highs are often matched with terrifying lows, but I am juggling, I am learning, and I am defeating the problems one strong blow at a time.

I have come to accept that some days I will be proud of my independence, and some days I will yearn for the touch of someone who truly loves me, but that’s just life, and right now I am working on mine with the force of a hurricane!

What is wrong with nice?

I sit at work, listening to the music I hope to buzz across the radio waves in an hour, and I ponder back on the weeks that have passed. As per usual I am late with my post, time management is clearly not my ‘thing’ right now. I feel that I accomplish one task only to have 50,000 more crop up in front of me almost instantly, and the things I enjoy (like this blog) tend to get pushed to the side in order to expand my work portfolio, work on my body, and eventually actually study for university.

I try my hardest to meet up with friends every chance I get, I have learnt in my reflection that whenever I am coupled I let my friends fall to the wayside, so I am working on developing firm foundations in my friendship circles, ensuring that when the time comes where a guy manages to melt my heart I actually remember who the real MVPs are and don’t let them down.

In the past two weeks I have really started to realise who means the most to me, what I wish to pursue, and where it is that I am heading as a person. I am reaching within myself and really projecting out the inner me, the person I have always been so happy to bend to fit in with the image others project on to me. I am learning to be selfish (within reason) in my actions, and open in my words. I won’t settle for any less than I deserve, I refuse to be weighed down in anything less than amazing.

In saying that I have also realised a quirk within myself that I had never really believed to be there. I am a ‘nice’ avoider, a pusher awayer-er of what I clearly deserve. I am a doormat in relationships, a push over, and a pleaser. But, when that is reflected back on me I crumble, asking for help is engrained so deep within me as a sign of weakness, that showing any type of vulnerability is less than desirable. Unfortunately though I tend to swing on a violent spectrum of emotions, I will either be a closed fist, icy and stiff, unwavering in my belief that I don’t deserve help, and refusing to reach out; to a crying, manic, angry, mess that will crush anyone that listens with tales of my hectic past. I have always struggled with these emotions and the swing that I tend to find myself caught up in on a regular basis, characteristics that add up in my world to a nice little mess that I am finally actively working on unravelling.

However, on the point of this ramble, nice, I don’t know what to do with it! I rang my mother in an excited babble not too long ago reciting to her the fact that I had met someone that was truly very nice and treated me so well, I was enamoured by the fact that they were so thoughtful and caring. Her response? “Poor boy, you’re going to chew him up and spit him out!”

Surely I am not that bad, surely I can see a good thing when it lands on my doorstep, right? Wrong!

I find my logical mind sorting through the pros and cons and coming up only with lists and lists of pros, however I still sit here confused and banging at invisible walls, feeling claustrophobic and confused. I want nice, I enjoy nice, but I don’t know what to do with it, it makes me feel comfortable, yet unnerved, it encircles me in safety, yet now I feel more adrift than ever before, my mind is racing with algorithms, lists, and what ifs and it intrigues me constantly. My brain says, wait it out, see how it runs. My body just says RUN! Why is it that the easy, comfortable, flowy things are the ones from which we turn and run?

I suppose I am lucky in the fact that I am still young, I am still discovering what it is that I really want out of life, and I am so hectically, chaotically busy that relationships, at whatever level, aren’t really able to be my focus point right now. I have also just started this amazing journey of self-help for a diagnosis that has on one hand taken me aback, but on the other hand put a lot of life in perspective.

Right now I really just need to focus on me, I have to let things roll, and just run alongside, and if those things or people happen to divert from my path, I have to learn to accept that, stop writing lists of pros and cons and just enjoy what is in front of me for whatever it is. Take it one day at a time, there is a lot going on right now, and if I put too much thought into everything I will most certainly overwhelm myself.

However, the ‘nice’ dilemma? Well it’s just a little food for thought…