The Power of Perspective

The language we use has power, more power than we realize. Words can easily change the perspective on how we see something. Everyone is always upset about how other people talk to them but what they should really be concerned about is the way that we talk to ourselves. How we think about ourselves on the daily greatly affects our perspective on life and therefore often, our mood.

Meet Amy. Amy is a young woman juggling a few balls in the air. She is pursuing a dream of hers by studying her passion of horses and making the most of the learning experience that is higher education. Amy does this while balancing no less than two part time jobs that both hold her in high esteem. Both workplaces allow her to take lengthy time off as a casual employee but also welcome her back with open arms. Amy puts 110% into her work and never misses a task. Both customers and co-workers enjoy seeing her face as she is always a bright spark with a quirky story to tell. Amy supports herself mostly independently financially and has done so for many years. She has a very supportive family who speak highly of her and believe that she will go far. They are excited to see where she will take her career and life. Amy has made many meaningful friends in her journey of life so far and she doesn’t often lose them. Once a friend to Amy, always a friend to Amy. And she sure knows how to pick some good ones and makes a consistent effort to message, email, call or even write letters to them. And when she can manage to find the time she visits them too. Even when she doesn’t agree with their decisions she tried her hardest to be supportive and empathetic, as she knows that she might now understand the full extent of what any individual will be coping with at any one time. She understands that she has no right to judge or criticise others.

 

As well as her busy life of working, studying and general day to day self-care and chores: Amy also pursues several soul feeding activities. Amy is a relentless consumer of content, consuming books, audio books, podcasts and tv shows as if they are air that she needs to breathe to live. Amy is a dreamer, and, in her heart, she wishes to be a content creator. But wait, she already is. She publishes irregularly on a blog and is working on many side projects including a full-length novel for young adults. She is also a consistent content producer for an Instagram account featuring the love of her life, her dog, Gumbo. She trains Gumbo, takes him to gorgeous settings and adventures, and then posts them with honest heartfelt captions. Amy is truly passionate about animal behaviour and even without the Instagram page she is obsessed with training anything on four legs. Alongside the many dogs, she has experimented on with training she has also done some work with horses, cats and even rabbits. She understands learning more than most. Amy looks forward to the day when she can attempt to apply learning theory on her potential children. Moreover, Amy also participates in singing, hiking, scrapbooking, giving out wisdom to friends who did or didn’t ask for it, travelling, scuba diving, baking, thinking she is a comedic act, gardening, camping and puzzling with or without a puzzle club.

 

Amy one day dreams of getting back to nature and owning her own horses one day on a peaceful property far away from a city. She hopes to have a community around her that loves and supports her in a similar way that her current community does. She hopes to write a book at some point and make enough money to live by. Amy is eternally grateful for all the amazing things she gets to do in her life.

Now let’s meet Lou. Lou is also a young girl. Lou is struggling with on and off again depression and anxiety. She is chronically fatigued and lately Lou feels as though she can’t even leave the house. And she certainly doesn’t want to leave bed not even when it’s 12pm and the day is half over already. When Lou does begrudgingly go to work because she has to every little thing that she overthinks threatens to set off a waterfall of tears that may never stop. She doesn’t let them see her pain, she must be tough all the time. Lou dreams of being home where she can cry alone. She finishes her shift and does exactly that. She goes home and cries alone, she feels sad, so she calls her mother to cry to her. Her mother tries hard to support Lou, but it just makes her cry harder. She feels as though she can’t do anything right, not even take support and advice. Lou is under significant financial strain and knows she will soon run out of money and isn’t sure what she will be able to do about it. She is working lots but not enough to offset the costs of living out of home. She wants to work more but already her studies have been affected by the time she spends at work. Lou can’t sleep at night because she is so worried about money, she can’t focus on anything. Lou is repeating a subject for the 4th time and wonders if she even deserves to be at uni anymore anyway. When she graduates will she even have earned it? Why is she such a failure? Why can’t she seem to stop lying down moping? Why doesn’t she study for her midterm exam? She feels lost.

 

Day in and day out Lou goes to work and comes home and watches tv, she eats too much because she is sad. She cries about it because food is too expensive, and she has no money, why can’t she stop eating altogether? Lou goes for walks to clear her head but sometimes she just feels too out of breath to even walk up a simple hill. She does it anyway, but her knees hurt, she needs physio but can’t afford it, she can’t afford anything. Lou is so tired now, she thinks she will just have a nap, she wonders if she should go to the doctor seeing as she always feels exhausted even in the morning. She knows that it will probably end with no more answers, just like every other time. She wonders what is wrong with her, can’t she just be normal like everyone else? Lou knows that normal isn’t even a thing, but it haunts her regardless.

Lou feels alone, she has always felt alone in a way, she is so different from her peers and even her family. But right now, she is so alone, she has so very little social contact, sometimes the only people she talks to are her work colleagues, her housemate and her dog. Do they even like her or is she just annoying? Lou is single, she knows she is happy being single but is anyone ever going to believe her? And deep down is anyone ever happy when they are always alone? The lies of the lonely as they say. Lou doesn’t feel as though she is pursuing what she truly wishes to be doing, she feels as though the hamster wheel of life is holding her back and keeping her from getting to where she needs to go because she must survive. Wasn’t she meant to be moving back to the country she calls home by now? Why is it so hot over here all the time?

 

Lou is scared because she can’t stop overthinking everything and can’t feel any joy. She knows she needs therapy, she can’t afford therapy right now. Lou is scared she does not have what it takes to finish this degree. She is scared she doesn’t have what it takes to finish this day, this week, this month, this year.

Here’s the thing. Amy and Lou, they are both the exact same person. The difference. Amy is having a good day. And Lou is having a bad day. It is all about perspective.

 

Perspective is powerful.

 

As the Beatles once said: “Try to see it my way”

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Living the dream vs waiting for the dream

What is the difference?

I am a dreamer. I won’t deny it. It is a part of me like any other body part. I have always had big dreams, some so big that they don’t quite fit into this world. Like my dream of having a dragon. Some of my other dreams are slightly more achievable. But they will still take a substantial amount of grit, because if you didn’t have to work for it. Was it ever really a dream?

I am also a realist, I do know which of my dreams are attainable and which ones I should be working on. I am so lucky that I have even gotten to live some of my dreams. I am not done yet though. I have a lot more that I want to check off the old to do list. Maybe life isn’t about checking off to do lists, but I sure as hell am not going to stop.

Now for the more delicate part, the working towards the dreams. Teasing out something worthwhile takes a long time. It can take years working on something to reach a point where you feel like you have achieved it. But that’s what it is all about. You enjoy working at it, because you know you love it, and you know that it matters to you.

I will give you an example. I would love to write a book. I would love to get that book published once I finish writing it of course. So, what do I do? I write. I write every chance that I get. I write, and I learn and there are many more steps I plan to take to get that book finished, even if it is just for me and even if I am the only one that ever reads it. But that, the working on it, the striving, that is where I believe true greatness is founded. And that is what I consider ‘living the dream’. When I have the absolute privilege to be working towards one of my dreams it makes me lucky as hell.

Its not always as simple as all that though. I don’t always kick ass on my goals or on my working towards my dreams. And that hurts, it hurts a lot. My heart dream, and the candle I have been holding for my entire life, it has to do with my calling. And this involves horses. Because the horses have always called to me. Just as the wild does. And it kills me just a little bit that I am still waiting on that dream, despite the progress I may have made on that front in the past. Right now, I am at a standstill.

I know I hold the cards. But I am also adult enough to realise that there is only so much that I can handle at one time. And my dream, and what I believe is my calling, would not be possible if I went and lost it all now. If I burnt myself to the ground before I could even get started? What would be the point in all that?

Still I am frustrated, like a tiger in a cage, pacing back and forth. Someone let me out. Oh, wait it was me who put me here. And I can open it at any time, but I am going to sit here and finish what I started, because turns out it may be a part of the puzzle after all. I will let you know if it was worth it when I get there. I will let you know when I am once again, ‘living my dream’.

There’s only so long that this girl can keep on dreaming….

Look, Listen and Learn

Well its that time of year again. I’m back in the country, tackling the start of a brand-new semester of university. My favourite pastime of racking up large amounts of HEC’s debt. I have gotten fabulous at this especially as this is my fourth attempt at Foundations of Biochemistry. Turns out those foundations are a little bit rocky. The good news is I have enlisted the help of a magic teaching fairy (otherwise known as a tutor) and plan on attending every useless class that is presented by the lovely faculty that are a bunch of privileged males who think that a 30% pass rate for the subject is an acceptable measure of the fantastic teaching that they present. On the plus side the tutorial today was somewhat of a breakthrough and I sort of understand electro-negativity and functional groups and how they relate to each other. Only 11 more topics to go!

The other subjects are a thrilling event also, as I’m sure you can imagine. Industry practicum has a fascinating three assignments where I get to hone in on my fabulous self and get into the nitty gritty of career planning. Starting with a shiny resume listing my nine years as a fabulous McDonald’s employee and ending with my lengthy three-week placement in the actual industry I want a career in. I think the McDonald’s experience really puts me over the edge. After dealing with all those spoilt entitled 15-year old’s who think they deserve more pay for not even flipping burgers, I’m sure handling colts (young male horses that still have their testicles) will be a breeze. The second assignment then delves into my technical skills. Of course, I can run a shift to 95% results for drive thru, kitchen, front counter and café. And deliver perfect quality, cleanliness and service. All completely transferable skills to running a successful horse training business……

Shall we dare explore subject number three? Let’s dive in. So far so good it leaves very little of unexplored content due to me having learned almost everything in the subject in other subjects. Great organising there. Comparative anatomy and physiology, here’s a comparison: horses are a lot taller than dogs. There, you have learnt some comparative anatomy and physiology. Go forth with your knowledge and share it with the world! So, it looks to be a promisingly fascinating semester. On the upside my lab partners for biochem seem okay and I am reeling in the study buddies to drag me across the finish line kicking and screaming. The determination I possess this semester is like the desperation one might see in a zombie apocalypse movie. I will pass this subject and this year or I will die trying.

I am becoming my mother more and more each day. Turns out I love plants. Also, I have been unofficially diagnosed with a severe addiction to Bunnings. And instead of spending time hitting the textbooks and the library, instead I enjoy pottering around in the garden, sweeping and watering and generally doing my absolute best Melinda impression. I think if I put down roots here it will make me feel a little less like a hairy panic grass rolling across the empty Wagga streets. Don’t worry they are only little plants so not too big roots. You can’t keep a wanderer like me tied down for long. Only until I free myself from the shackles of my degree. Also, other fun distractions include: baking way too many vanilla cupcakes and taking Finn on many long walks!

In the interests of sharing more news, one of my best friends from university has had a baby! Literally today! I am incredibly happy for her to have this new beautiful boy in her life. I am also very grateful that they both made it through the pregnancy and birth safe and sound. Bringing it back to my incredibly fascinating point of view, I can not help but feel incredibly old! Friends having kids, and I am still here napping like perfect grown up that I am! I am hoping to get time off work to go visit her and the new baby, but I must work, like an adult. I will sneak away at some point and am looking forward to it. Still not sure how to treat a baby as I have mostly had experience with looking after dogs, cats and horses. I’m sure if I tell it to sit and give it a treat it will love me right? If not the dogs still will.

A recent trip to Cairns taught me that the best waterfalls are the ones with the least amount of people and that you coincidentally must hike the furthest to get to. I also learnt that exhaustion and the time of your life come hand in hand. And that my true calling is that I am a fish and I was born to live in the sea. So, if I disappear halfway through this semester you will all know where I am. Swimming on the great barrier reef with gorgeous tanned Swedish boys; “fucking incredible”. I got my scuba diving license and now it will probably expire before I can afford to go again. I am lucky that the moment I got back on the plane to return I found out that indeed my car had been officially written off. I am not sure where it is anymore either. Buying a new car made me very much regret spending money on a lavish holiday. But alas why tamper with perfection! Too bad, so sad. Always holiday first and ask questions later.

I had a rather fabulous weekend up at Mansfield with my mum and extended family that I hadn’t been camping with in about four years. I spent some time falling asleep in the sun and the rest of it stand up paddle-boarding with the dogs. If that is a job I will happily do it forever. Of course, I got no sleep and spent a lot of time seeing how far the partiers would take it. Turns out to nearly 3am for three nights in a row, if you were wondering. And then the kids were up and running around at 8am of course. They built a fort, with pine needles. Reminds me of when I was young and my brother and I used to build fabulous forts also. Would love to go back and be a kid again.

Thank you for reading my update.

Now… how the heck are ya? Give me a call or a message updating me on your life!

Weather…It’s sNOw problem

Everybody has something to say about the weather. They are never happy with it no matter if its rain, hail or shine. People who live in cold places think that its too damn cold all the time. People who live in hot places think its too damn hot all the time. Do any of us have any sort of a preference or is it just more of a seasonal ‘grass is greener’ on the other side situation? Or is it some sort of rebound effect of when we experience one extreme it causes us to crave the other extreme?

I have lived in one of the colder climates of the world and loved it. Growing up as a kid in the snowy winter wonderland was like having your own adventure park to explore. My brother and I made the most of it. I miss that childlike playfulness and nonstop adventure lifestyle that we adopted. Ultimately if there’s one thing that I am looking for in life its boundless joy and adventures. I got a lot of that in my childhood and would do it again 10 times over if I could. Adults should try a little bit harder to appreciate the world the way that kids do.

When on the topic of magical things in the world; snow appears on that list. Snow really is enchanted, and I even know adults who enjoy some aspects of it. Snowflakes falling softly and tickling your cheek like a little wet kiss, the sound of snow crunching underneath your boots and the serene silence that a blanket of white brings when it covers the earth so completely. Snow takes Canada hostage for a lot of the year, it completely takes over the land. Maybe that’s why they hate it so much at times. Nothing escapes its grasp, not a single spot, it infiltrates the world, and brings with it a cold that could kill you without protection. There’s something fierce about that kind of extreme weather. You must deal with it. In my hometown they plug cars in so that they don’t freeze over, they shovel their driveways every day and they drive on slippery ice roads. Its not for everyone. And it lasts for a very long time. Summer is short lived in the wintry land of ice and snow.

Summer in Australia on the other hand, goes for as long as winter in Canada. It feels like it lasts all year. Thirty- and forty-degree heatwaves stretching out one after another endlessly like a desert mirage. The sun bakes the concrete so hot that you can’t even touch it with your bare feet unless you want to get burnt. Hours after the sun has gone down you can still feel the warmth of the pavement. Cars heat up to sauna level and the heat infiltrates every inch of your body until you collapse in a puddle of your own sweat. Of course, you can hide in your air conditioning if you are lucky enough to have one (I don’t), but you will have to leave eventually to get food, this is when it all falls apart. My mother always used to say, “Why don’t you want to go into the rain, you aren’t sugar, you wont melt?” She is wrong, I do melt, but from the sun! Every single time it even starts to get into the high 20s early 30s, I’m tempted to move into a nice anemone in the ocean where its cool. I may be eaten by a barracuda, but I will take my chances!

It’s stupid I know to care about the weather and to let it impact my mood. But genuinely right now there is nothing I want more than grey skies opened with rain or snow. Moody dark days with a cold breeze that sets your lungs on fire. Curling up in a cosy blanket. Perhaps it’s time I moved countries…..

Its cold, its hot. Unfortunately, in life you do have to deal with these sorts of things. I hope that you make the right decision when picking a place to live and consider how close to the equator you are, what weather that will bring you and whether you are prepared to live with that weather and all it entails. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Would you rather melt or freeze? Let me know!

Unlike everyone else: I love my degree

You’ve probably never heard of Equine Science and if you have, you will probably be rolling your eyes right about now. What does it mean, what does it even qualify you to do? Why on earth would you want to spend 30,000 dollars on learning about horses? Can’t you just take a few riding lessons and buy a horse? Well I guess you could. But this is the way I’ve chosen to do it. Not everyone would agree with me, but for me the Equine Science degree has been invaluable. Not just within the degree itself. But also, within the circumstances in which I have undertaken it, the friends I have gained along the way and the community of which I finally feel a part of.

I started off a baby. Well we all started off as babies at some point or another. I had only been on a horse about twenty times and had never felt in control or like I knew what I was doing for any of the time. I had been on trail rides where the horse was tacked up for me. Where the horse knew the way and took me with it. I tackled a certificate in equine to try and improve. But instead I avoided doing practical things because I was too nervous to have others see how much I didn’t know. I had no horse stories to relate with and didn’t even know half the words or language that comes with the horse industry. It seemed like a secret society and I was desperate to be let in. But with everyone starting so far ahead of me I knew it would be a long road. They had all grown up WITH horses. Had been riding since they were three. Knew all the teachers, had all the connections and mothers paying for the course as well as for their horses. I ventured out on a horse placement. It was a compulsory requirement. I picked a place online that had a great website but alas it was not great. In an email I confessed I was new to horses but very willing to learn but instead I was reprimanded when I didn’t know which way to strap the leg straps on a rug or what order to do the rug up in (why do horses even need rugs anyway?) I took too long to scrub the stables and I didn’t I know how to put a bridle on. I had one terrifying lesson before I left. My confidence was more than shook and I didn’t really have much before that. I have done a fair few placements in my life and I have never had another experience quite like that one. It coloured my view of the horse industry that’s for sure.

Despite the shaky placement I was already half done with my certificate that I had paid for by myself (high-five!) I finished it graduating with a certificate 2 in equine studies and receiving an award. I decided in that moment that I wanted more. Still hopelessly lacking connections and access to horses I searched the internet for something bigger. Something that would let me learn even more about horses. And boy did I find it. I remember sitting outside during a spare period in high school looking at Charles Sturt University and their ‘Bachelor of Equine Science’. I wanted to GO and it fit all my requirements. Further study with horses and an adventure away from home. Which I needed just as much as I needed horses.

Logistically I had to take a break to secure some funds required for moving interstate and getting a car to get me there. But I nailed it. The first day was handling horses and within the first week we had already conducted a scientific experiment. I was terrified of all but 2 of the students in that first week. And one was a girl who owned a Clydie cross, she seemed okay, so I stuck by her. The other was the only male in our class and seemed to know less about horses than me. But he cared a lot less about that fact. He was and would describe himself to this day as “a pretty cool dude”. Luckily for me, both ended up being awesome.

There was a lot of challenges with starting university and I do not have time to talk about them all here. But one thing I remember was still being uncomfortable handling horses under the watchful eye of the class and teacher. That kind of stress is real. I went home crying many days when I fucked it up or when working in a group project and I was literally not allowed to do anything because I wasn’t confident enough and they refused to teach me (the course did not require any previous horse handling experience). Luckily, I wasn’t going to quit from a few meltdowns and thanks to my low self-esteem I ended up giving the less bitchy girl in my group the highest mark in our peer assessment. This apparently made her notice me even more, but kind of in a good way. And so it happened that by the end of first year I had made 3 new friends (probably from talking at them until they broke). I had reluctantly handled weanlings, yearlings and mature horses. I had improved several skills like sticking horses with needles and picking up feet. And my knowledge had taken giant leaps. Everything I had learned at TAFE in my certificate was outdated I discovered, and I began a new way of thinking that was critical to my self-growth. I had even worked a horse job where I had improved my riding and horse handling skills with a super patient instructor and friend.

Second year came, and it was a big one. I acquired a horse. Yes, what the heck? How do you acquire a horse? Well remember that not so bitchy girl who I gave a good mark to? Well she and I ended up gymming together and she offered me a horse to ride for a trial. It was the beginning of a very beautiful friendship. I was cautious and hesitant; forever worried I would put a foot wrong, so I remember vastly overthinking things all the time and questioning every little move. “Is it okay if I put this bridle here?” “Should I go this way or that way?” “Sorry” “sorry again” “I’m really sorry this time”. Patience is a gift though and I slowly bit by bit gained confidence. In this relationship no one yelled at me that I was doing it wrong and I estimated that I hadn’t done anything too dangerous yet or killed any horses. Uni moved back, and we floated the horses up with us. We continued to share responsibility for them. Gosh what a task. It’s a huge job taking care of a horse just FYI. But it was good fun. I thought I was training my horse, but really I was just floundering with occasional direction….It was important floundering though. When I eventually truly blossomed into a bit more of an independent flounderer it came from moving agistments. A bit further out but with much better facilities and the (much loved by now) best friend with the Clydie cross. The community out there was great. I got to experience more independent horse parenting while still getting to ride with friends all the time.

Uni continued. And I felt more a part of the community than ever because I was able to share horse stories with the others. Also, with constant handling I got comfortable with all the basic skills I had never been able to practice without someone watching me. It was nice to take the pressure off. And with support all around me I finally started to feel like I knew what I was doing for at least 50% of the time. This was certainly an improvement. And then I started to really feel the magic of horses instead of feeling worried all the time.

Here we are today, and I no longer have that special horse anymore, but I still have the friends that I made, and I still have the skills and confidence gained from all the experiences I have had so far, which are even more than what I have been able to write about here. At the beginning of this year when it was time to go back to placement I was godamn terrified. I thought I was the same girl who couldn’t put on a saddle, bridle or rug. I couldn’t catch a horse or lead it or even pick up feet confidently. But I forgot that somewhere along in this crazy journey: that girl left, she’s gone. I dropped her off at the train station and told her good luck. I re-entered a new placement and despite my worst fears and my best friend ‘anxiety’ I realised without even trying that I had the basic confidence needed to handle most horses. Even young ones. It’s a miracle. I think they were even somewhat impressed with my work ethic and skills.

I can only hope that this confidence continues to grow, and I will always be able to “get back on the horse” of learning and growing as there is always more to know. A lot of my fellow students think that the Equine Science degree is a pointless degree that won’t prepare you for any legitimate career, but it depends what you define legitimate. You might not ever make 150,000 a year, but you never know where you might end up if you don’t try.  And sitting here, on placement, watching and waiting for horses to produce manure so I can collect samples to test: I can simply say that I am living the dream. Also saddling a stallion for the first time ever was amazing.

And for me the collective experience of university and everything it has allowed me to do and the connections I have made through it I honestly cannot think of a more worthwhile degree.

In saying that I am not recommending that everyone who “likes” horses does an Equine Degree, especially if you have little experience.  But if you are genuinely interested in science, have a heck of a lot of resilience and an unwavering passion for horses, you might just find you feel right at home after all….

Ghosts

I see you everywhere. Sometimes I am there with you too. The earlier version of me. She shined a lot brighter than this version of me. This version of me is but a shadow of the previous edition. It is darker, and has less spark, less energy, and less hope. Every day it continues to get just a little bit more worn around the edges, so subtly that at first you don’t even notice it. But it accumulates over time. And meanwhile I see your ghost. I try to shake it off and clear my head but there you are. You just won’t leave me. You live on forever in my mind.

I remember the day we met, I didn’t expect anything back then, I was just going to a house with some mates, turns out it was your house. I didn’t see it coming that’s for sure. I go for a run to get you out of my head but instead I remember the day we walked in the pouring rain in this very same place and we debated our hearts out, revealing our souls and passions as we got soaked to the skin. I didn’t even notice I was wet because I was too in love with you. I go to work because it’s a good distraction. And there we are again, sitting in the back right hand booth eating nuggets right before my shift. I got you the discount because you had only a few dollars to your name at the time. As I come home from work I stop at the driveway. The same driveway where you walked away from me for the last time. I went to call you back but back then I was so naive, I guess I thought I would see you again. I was wrong. I go to bed and I hear my phone ringing that night you called me and you were so scared. I talked to you for hours. If I had my licence back then I would have gone and picked you up. I would have brought you home and let you sleep on my bed. I saw you. I knew you. I loved you more than I ever realized.

I miss your voice. I miss your sense of humour. I even miss your shoes. But most of all I just miss you. I don’t know why you are still in my head. Actually that’s a lie I do know why. I have let you reside in my head for far too long, and now you are a permanent fixture. You are godlike in my imagination, you are indestructible and unflawed and nothing anyone can say will change that. I think perhaps the only thing that might alter my memories of you would be new ones. If I ever saw you again. I wish I could. Not because I think we would have any sort of relationship, but because I just want to have a long conversation with you, see how you remember us. Of course that would rely on your candor.

The truth is you are still there because I let you be there. I let you stay in my head like a perfectly preserved ancient history artefact. How long will it be until I stop letting you haunt me? Probably until I meet someone who I can replace the memories with. When will that happen? Maybe never? It has felt like that for years and I think it’s going to keep feeling like that for a while longer. Sometimes when its 4am and I can’t sleep I think it’s going to be like that for the rest of my life. I cry because it makes me feel better for a while, it allows me to sleep. People try to comfort me and tell me to just wait and it will happen. But no one is owed love in their life. We don’t deserve to meet someone who values us. We are entitled to absolutely nothing in this life. Absolutely no guarantees, no warranties and no refunds. That is the truth of it. It’s entirely possible that I will meet someone that I feel strongly about again. But it’s entirely possible that I won’t meet anyone.

I love myself. But it’s not the same thing. It’s different to be loved by someone else. It is much more powerful. And no one has even come close to measuring up. Probably because of the insane lengths I have gone to remember you and preserve you. I would give a lot to be back there in that moment. To do it again. Just because it’s not enough. I am grateful for what happened. But it’s just not enough. And I am left feeling like I missed out a little, like we could’ve been more. If I had known that was all I was going to get I would have seized the opportunity a lot more. If you knew that you last cheeseburger would be the last one would you eat just one? Or would you eat 100 of them. And would you savour it? Or just eat it normally?

I don’t have the manual on life. Or on love. And I don’t know how to clear my head of these ghosts. I see them for my friends too. I don’t know how to change. I don’t know how to open my heart again to anyone else. I don’t know how to find anyone else. I don’t know how to let anyone else find me. I didn’t the first time. I am just here. I am existing. I am continuing on my life mission to fulfil my life goals. I will keep reading the books, the books where people find other people to fall in love with. I will keep watching the movies, where the same thing happens. I will continue to be grateful for everything that I have and everything I have ever had. I will not be one half of a heart. I will be a whole heart even by myself. But I will feel that loss, I will feel it forever, because like sugar; love is addictive. And once you are hooked…….

Perhaps Passion Pays Perfectly

I am bursting to the brim with passion for life. In fact I have so many different passions that I could probably turn many of them into a career. Even though everyone says you shouldn’t turn your passion into a career because then you will hate your passion.

I wish I had less passion for everything because maybe then I wouldn’t feel like an octopus being split eight ways as I try to decide where to most focus my energy. Instead I jump from passion to passion completely stressing about not putting enough time into my passions. Because ladies and gentlemen, there just isn’t enough time in a day. And yes, I know life is not all about passion and we should make room for the mundane but what really gets me going is my passions. They set my heart on fire and when I neglect them I build up all this energy that needs to flow out into one of these passions. So these are some of the ways that I manage that overflowing well.

Writing

This one isn’t much of a surprise to anyone. I mean it’s what I am doing right now so it must be something I enjoy doing. Also I don’t get paid to write. I just HAVE to write so I sit there and stew on things all the time and then all of a sudden I get a hankering for some words on the page. And literally words flow. When the words don’t flow, which often they don’t, I still enjoy forcing myself along, pushing myself to write despite not feeling creative. Writing is just one of those things that you love to hate and hate to love. Ask any author who is a slave to their written word and they will agree with this one. Things I do to help this one are write in a diary, write silly articles like this one, write short stories, write poems, get creative with uni assignments and hopefully one day a novel. Either way my writing will be a craft that I will be working on for the rest of my life. And using it to get all the thoughts that I need to get out of my head in order to pretend I am a normal and functional human being. The other day I woke up at three in the morning and I just had to do some writing. Maybe I’m insane, but all the great creators were too so I must be on the path to greatness.

Reading

This one tends to go hand in hand with learning and with writing. I will spend the rest of my life trying to read as many books as I can. Being well read is more than just fun, it arms you with knowledge and stories and empathy. It is a fundamental and is the backbone of any true writer. Also its one of the best ways to spend time.

Horses

Yes also a tough guess. It’s not like I am studying equine science or anything. And yes equine means horses, I hope you know that. I liked horses so much that I decided to get an entire undergraduate degree in them, and I am considering doing some postgrad work in horses also, because my in depth bachelors hasn’t been in depth enough in the topics that I am fascinated by. I will just keep on learning about horses for the rest of my life. Never has there been a more complicated relationship between man and beast, with so many aspects to it. And so many different ways to do it. It is an absolute challenge daily to even own and care for a horse and I really respect all of those who do. I cannot wait to get my hands on my own horse one day, despite all that I’ve learnt being super discouraging, purely so that I can learn even more and hopefully apply some of the vast amount of knowledge and critical thinking skills that I have obtained. You may not understand it, but that’s okay, if it’s not your passion it doesn’t really matter. All you need to know is that it feeds my soul and is important to me.

Training and behaviour

This one goes hand in hand with horses I suppose but also relates in a way to my work with my own dog; Finn. Since acquiring him as a puppy we have faced many challenges together and have both grown tremendously, particularly in my thirst for knowledge about training. I took about self-educating myself (another passion of mine) and set about teaching myself everything I could and putting it into practice. I really don’t think that there’s really anything more satisfying in life then establishing a channel of communication with an animal that doesn’t speak the same language. Although I believe they interpret us far better than we interpret their behavior. I really hope that in my life and in my career in the future I am able to make something of myself in training. It takes a ridiculous amount of patience and hard work but hopefully I will be ready for it. I think the discord that occurs between animals and humans is directly caused by a fundamental lack of understanding. I really hope to spread that message throughout my life and teach people that it is possible to understand each other. I hope that I can reach a few.

True crime

This one is a bit of an outlier but those of you who have spent any amount of time with me recently will know that I am very interested in the stories of real life psychopaths. I think I have always been very interested it’s only recently when I discovered a relevant podcast that I truly allowed my interest to become a bit more intense. I guess previously I was concerned that others would judge my interest in it. Now I am less concerned as the true crime community is a large one, a huge one actually and I am very much not alone. Many people are fascinated by true crime and all the grisly details simply because they have anxiety of being a victim of something themselves, which I can relate to as I have always been a bit anxiety prone. But it is not overly imaginative to think that I could be the victim of a crime, and honestly I have learnt a lot by listening to over 200 episodes of stories from near misses to insane serial killers. I will never be the same. Maybe one day I will study forensics and even join the police-force, not because I have been romanticizing it, but because I generally want to help the victims of crime in any way possible.

I have many other passions to be sure: the outdoors, cooking, arts and crafts, talking too much, overthinking and travelling to name a few. I have a strong desire to just pack up my life and set off on a crazy adventure every day. This is certainly a romanticized vision but one that will teach me a lot as well. And we all know that I love learning. I don’t know what the future will bring and if any of my passions will be at all fruitful. But I do know that it is nice to have things that keep us going in life and without them I’m not really sure how much meaning our lives would have. Also it wouldn’t be nearly as fun if we didn’t have anyone to share our passions with even if sometimes we don’t fully understand others passions and can only nod along and listen to them talk about it. It’s still beautiful to watch someone being passionate, whether it is their career or whether it is simply just their hobby.

Keep fueling those fires because they keep the light inside you burning bright.

"Until one has loved an animal, ones soul remains unawakened"