Here is the question; can two people be so in love and so head over heels that they are both terrified of losing one another? So afraid that they implode upon one another. Drive themselves so crazy, that all they do is argue and push each other away.
Is fear really that powerful?
Can two people really love each other that much?
Because of fear, idiocy and a large number of outside forces; I will never see the love of my life again. I will never speak to Him, or hold Him.
What is worse is He is just a few streets away from where I am currently staying.
Its gut wrenching and devastatingly heart-breaking.
Things ended badly.
And I would do anything to make it right.
We both made mistakes.
We both fucked up.
But nothing I have done has worked.
My world fell apart and it is still falling apart.
It is like the sun has been taken away.
Love is very rare. True love, rarer still.
To quote the Princess Bride
“You truly love each other and so you might have been truly happy. Not one couple in a century has that chance, no matter what the story books say. And so I think no man in a century will suffer as greatly as you will.”- Prince Humperdink.
And so when everything goes tits up and you’ve lost it all. What else do you do?
I’ve got no job, no home, no friends, bar one and a deeply wounded broken heart, filled with a pain I just can’t shake.
So what is a girl to do?
Well if you are me, you plan a trek. You go bush.
Which is perfect if you live in New Zealand.
Well, that is what I’m planning/have planned.
My hiking, trail and outdoors experience is limited.
I have never been alone in the wilderness before.
I don’t know how far I will get.
But I have nothing to lose.
I’m strong enough and my will power is near unbreakable.
And maybe just maybe, I can find a way to not only truly conquer fear.
But find a way… to heal…
The former, rather than the latter is more than likely, however.
It was also our dream. To explore, to live off of the land, to find a better way of living.
Maybe if all the stress factors were taken away…Who knows what may have been.
And so I’m going to do this trip,
alas on my own,
but I’m going to do it all the same.
Moreover, I’m already half packed.
“Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself.”-Good Will Hunting.
So, I’ve taken notes, made lists of everything I will need and I’ve obsessed over details. Mostly because I have to keep busy. I hate waiting around for a cell that will never ring or an email reply that I will never get…
And I’ve sent emails mostly with regard to finally sorting out the house we lived in, for the sake of the nicest landlord I have ever met. But I have had no reply.
I have poured my heart, only to have silence be my only reply.
Always remember people that communication is key. Never cut communication. It makes things worse and you can’t find closure. No matter how hard it is at the end of a relationship, no matter how crazy or how bad things got.
A) They could always be much much worse than you imagined at the time.
B) Something brought you both together in the first place. There was love there, a connection, a reason and it was, least in the beginning a damn good reason. Always remember that otherwise the pain and all the bad shit that taints it and you forget, that for just a moment, you both loved and cared for one another and that is a beautiful thing. It’s the thing to remember. No matter how much it hurts.
And fear really does make you do stupid crazy shit, I mean look at the state of the world today. And it makes say things you regret and sends you crazy. And moreover, love, real love really can scare the absolute shit out of you.
All this, of course, makes for an explosive cocktail. Unfortunately as well, He and I, have never been surrounded by the best of people. We never had that one friend who could see what was happening when we couldn’t. We always had people who thought they were doing the right thing. However, you cannot do the right thing if your intentions are self-motivated. And alas, it is part of the reason he and I are where we are now.
And I would do anything in this world to change things, to make everything right; just for the two of us.
But I can’t. I’m powerless. I’ve tried. So all I can do is write this all down and share all this.
I’m a very strong-willed person. I even surprise myself a lot of the time. Now, also I know a lot of people say that, but let me clarify just a little and I will explain more as my journey progresses.
I left home at 17 with nothing but a bag of clothes and $20 in my pocket. I was living in Perth Western Aus at the time.
Then July 14th, 2006 I moved to New Zealand. A country I had never been too. I knew no one expects my travelling companion at the time. I had no job lined up, just a plan, an idea. To have a better life, a life of peace and no stress. I also have always been rather fascinated with trees.
Years later when that didn’t work out, I moved to Auckland-again I knew no one and I had nothing lined up and then I did it again, except this time I moved to Christchurch.
I had always wanted to go to Christchurch. I have never exactly been sure as to why, just that I have always wanted to come here.
And then after living here for over three years, I found and met him. Only to lose him forever and have my whole life fall apart 18months later.
And that is just the smallest tip of the iceberg.
I’ve been through things and seen things, that would make your toes curl and have you give me that look which says; ‘how the fuck are you still standing?’
But more on all that later.
So I’ve had my fair share of hard knocks basically, though the one thing that broke me, was losing Him.
I will not go into depth about details about the how’s and whys of him and me. The exact things that drove us apart. Nor will I speak or say his name. Firstly, it all hurts too much still. It’s all still too raw. Secondly, it’s just easier this way. Moreover, at the end of the day, like I stated at the start of this, the source of everything was and is fear. Nor will I sit here and play the blame game. I don’t do that. We both made mistakes, him more so than me, yes. That much I will say and admit. In a lot of ways, people in my position would be angry at some of the things that have happened but. I would still give anything to make things right and wake up next to him every day for the rest of my life.
I would forgive everything if given half the chance. Alas, however, I was never given such, said chance.
So as I currently type this, I’m writing it, as you can see, as my journey progresses, I am about two weeks away from heading off on my journey. Currently, all I am missing is a compass. Few food items. Matches. Some batteries for the torch.
And day by day, all the items I need for this journey have just, appeared. Items left over from the life I had with him. Camping gear my dearest friend has collected over the years, but never really used. All waiting for me, as if this journey was already planned before it was a twinkle in my mind’s eye. I just wish more than anything He, was coming with me. However, a saying I once heard; wish in one hand and then shit in the other and tell me which fills first.
I don’t know where I heard that from, but I’ve never forgotten it.
I can be terribly cynical at times, but by the end of this story, the end of this journey you will hardly blame me.
My starting point will be to find a Hut called, the Benmore hut. In New Zealand, the Department of Conservation (DOC) has various huts, scattered around the country. Some are nothing more than quirky basic tin sheds with very basic amenities. Some are beautiful serviced cabins. The basic of course is free. Anything else costs. Though not much, depending on what you are looking for and the size of your travelling, tramping party. Some huts even have rich historic backgrounds.
I myself have never been to one or even seen one, but ever since I heard about them from, Him; I have been fascinated. The idea of a small hut hidden away in the wild, sounds like paradise. I even wonder why people don’t just live the way they live. Why not just travel from hut to hut. Experiencing life to its fullest. We bog ourselves down so much for a society that has, let’s face it; failed us all. Our home planet included. Moreover, this relentless need to consume, consume. To tie ourselves down with jobs we hate, mortgages we can never pay and family and friends that drag us down. Expectations that are far too high and a life so full of stress so many of us burn out. Not to mention the endless stress and headache of bills. We even buy food that we could so easily grow ourselves. Let’s also not forget the dreams we sacrifice or just how out of touch with nature we have become. Moreover, most people I have met in my life time have been incredible selfish, self-serving and self-interested. Even the nicer ones.
Which has led me to all sorts of issues, for I am the opposite and in the past, I have been too generous, too kind and too selfless.
But I digress, more on that later and back to DOC Huts.
The New Zealand Department of Conservation manages over 950 huts. Of all shapes and sizes. They give Trampers, hikers, backpackers and aspiring nomads such as myself a refuge, to rest, recuperate and or shelter from bad weather. If my first trek into the wilderness goes to plan, I hope to visit many of them,even if it’s only the basic ones. Not only because, I have no money or job, per say but I have a loath of money and only need the basics anyway. Also, nothing here means anything to me anymore, not without Him.
The Benmore hut is situated in the Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park. In the Canterbury region of the south island of New Zealand. According to what I have so far researched, it will take me at least 3 and 1/2 hours+ from when my dearest friend is dropping me off to reach Benmore hut. According to photos, it’s orange and also the path is not that difficult for beginners. In fact, according to one site, it is a good start and introduction to the way of Tramping. I did not know this before I picked it as a starting point. I saw a picture and marveled at the orange. According to the DOC website, it contains four bunks, a closed fire place and a toilet. Moreover, there is a creek/river close by.
A perfect place to start my adventure indeed. Though I will not confirm that until I reach there.
I am not in any way unrealistic about this journey.
I know it will be brutal, to begin with, my body getting used to a different way of life. I know I will be tired, I know I will face hardships. I know every fibre and muscle in my body is going to scream at being pushed to the limits as it never has before. I know I will be cold. I know sometimes I will be ready to give up and even stop and hang my head and cry.
But I will not give up. I can’t and I won’t and if it ever seems like I might, then I will just look all there is behind me, remember Him and why I am on this journey.
Even when my feet refuse to take another step. I will make them. Just by remembering why I am on this journey and what put me on this path and how and why my heart hurts so much. I will remember Him, I will remember his face, I will remember why I miss him so much and I will keep moving.
My first Trek will be for roughly two weeks. I am not sure how long I intend to stay at the Benmore Hut but after I am done there I aim to travel to Lake Coleridge. There is no straight forward path to get from one to the other, however, I have several ways already written down on how I will possibly go about it. I also am prepared to, by that point, that there will be many large hills and ranges to climb. However I am not put off by this fact, in fact, I am actually excited and relishing the challenge.
I guess when you lose it all, soul-mate included. Nothing seems impossible anymore and everything that mattered before or held me back no longer does.
Lake Coleridge is beautiful. I have been driven past it before in the past. Though I did not pay the amount of attention to it as I will do while on my trek. So much in life we take for granted and I hope to make up for that. I hope to spend at least one night by the Lake. I hope by the time I make it there, that I just put my bedroll down and stare at the sky and marvel. Marvel at all those stars and the utter lack of pollution and noise.
The plan is then to travel south and cross the Rakaia River. There are three huts there that I aim to visit; Tribulation Hut, Comyns Hut and A frame hut. Though I will most likely visit them in reverse order. Then I will make my way back to civilization to Methven to be hopefully greeted and picked up by my one and only dearest friend.
Then I will plan my next journey and it will be for longer until it becomes my life. The ‘real world’ holds little meaning to me now and I have a feeling that if I do this, each time I return, I will hunger to leave again as I will have reinforced within myself the fact that I do not belong and there is no point without Him. I tried to build the home, the picket fence deal; something I never really considered until I met and loved Him, only to have it fail on me. Now I really do have to find a better way of living or at least a different way.
Also, everything in this town reminds me of Him. I cannot go anywhere without some reminder and the stark realization that every single thing that I have done in the last 18months has been and was all for Him. I didn’t know just how much he meant and how much he was my world until it all was over. As cliché as that may sound, it is ever so true and I can not shake this gut feeling that he will hold my heart forever or at the very least, for a very, very, very long time.
Can one person really have such an impact?
Can one man really mean so much and be so important?
I have started a daily workout routine. I have never been to a gym nor have I ever taken any exercise classes or courses. I would not consider myself unfit, more rather, out of shape. I already have good physical strength and stamina, however as I have stated before, I am not unrealistic about this adventure and intend to take it quite seriously. My mind, as well as my body, must be prepared for this and as my mind is already on course, my body must follow suit. However, you still won’t find me stepping into a gym anytime soon.
Or running. Never been a fan of running. Walking though I love, I don’t even know how to drive. I always usually prefer to walk.
So I started with Youtube videos for Yoga for beginners. Which to my sheer surprise and delight, it turns out I already know how to do the basics and even some of the more advance moves. Which is very handy and it didn’t hurt nor seem as challenging as I thought it would be. I highly recommend it. It was even funnier when, with most of the tutorials I went through, I was already in the next pose before the instructor was. I’m not exactly sure how I managed that, though I am not complaining in the least. Especially when it was my first attempt ever at Yoga. It even helped my knees. They have not always been the best and it is one of my small concerns that they will not be able to handle the journey. Though I do tend to worry too much and underestimate myself all the time. I’m always having to remind myself that I’ve been through much worse and if anything or anyone can do this, it’s me.
And if I can wake up every day and not find him beside me and still get through the day, though believe me, it isn’t easy. Far from it. I can do this.
It would be easier if I had the support of family and friends. On this journey, it is all about faith in one self, because there is no one else (except my one dearest friend). We always tell ourselves we can do anything, but most of us barely even try and marvel at those that make the attempt and dream. Then go back to our 9-5 lives and next minute we’re old and all chances and dreams lost and forgotten to dust.
I have never wanted that or seen the sense in it, but I have not fully thrown myself out there either. Until now. I guess sometimes you have to lose everything, to get that motivation to push yourself. Sometimes you have to lose everything, to gain everything, though I know it will never bring back the one thing that matters to me the most.
If I could, I would take his hand, take him with me and never ever let go.
He always told me, time and time again, where I go, he would always follow. Always and forever.
I only wish that were still true.
Often I would say to him, “What do I do the day you leave me? Everyone else is gone.”
“I’m not everyone else and you’re stuck with me.” He would reply beaming that beautiful smile that I miss ever so much.
I only wish that all still true, that he would follow me into the dark as I would him.
As I write this it has been almost two weeks since everything fell apart and it has been nine days since I have seen Him.
It feels like a lifetime already, for me at least.
For Him I don’t know, I only wish I knew.
So after my Yoga; which makes me laugh every time I say it. It’s so unlike me to be doing Yoga and I feel as if parts of me have changed. As if I have slightly morphed into this new being already, weeks before I start my journey. I researched ways to pack my bag; it’s one of those giant things you always see backpackers carrying. I already knew about weight distribution and I also know that before I leave I will pack, unpack and re-pack it several times over. It’s a monster of a thing. I do hope my body can handle carrying such a load for such a long period of time. Though I keep reminding myself that I will grow accustomed to it. I have to after all. I also obsessively check my small notebook and make sure there is no stone unturned.
On my next Trek, if this one is successful, I hope to learn how to hunt. Even if it is only, small game, even if it is only possums. I have never tried possum before. In fact, I’ve never hunted and or killed anything. I am willing to give it a go though, you never know unless you try and as I keep saying and reminding myself; whatever have I go to lose?
The common ring tail Possum in New Zealand is a pest and a large issue. They are not the only pest either.
About 80million years ago, New Zealand broke off from other land masses and so the native wildlife evolved in isolation and with a great lack of predators. Some of the birds even did away with flying, there was no need. However, with the lack of predators, native species also did not evolve defences and so when pests, such as Possums, stoats, rats and several others were introduced; it took a serious toll on not just the native species of the land, but also on plants and even on invertebrates. All totally ill-equipped to deal with such threats.
One of the biggest threats is the common ring-tail possum. To hunt them, you need a license. As you do to hunt and fish for all things in New Zealand. When I come back from this first trip, I hope to look into getting my very own hunting license. At the moment however, my main priority is getting in touch with nature and getting use to the life. Like I stated before, I have never hunted or killed anything and up until recently I never thought I would but always wanted to learn. Now I am excited at the prospect. Every time I enter a supermarket, I have often wondered why we give and put so much into pieces of plastic, to purchase things that are either; Not only wasteful to the environment (don’t get me start on the War on Plastic) but pure laziness. We can grow vegetables ourselves and we can hunt, forage, live as nature intended and yet we don’t. We consume and have grown so out of touch with our environment. We put monetary value of things like food, health and yet we all need to eat to survive and we all get sick. It’s part of being alive, being human and yet we put a monetary value on that. It makes no sense to me and sometimes it keeps me up at night. Don’t get me wrong either, I love junk food. It is one of the things that I will miss but I don’t need it. It’s a luxury, a treat, which does more harm to my body than good.
Now the common brush tail possum; fancy scientific name; Trichosurus Vulpecula was first in thetroduced in New Zealand from Aus in 1837 to establish a fur trade. In other words, for money, for profit. It was unsuccessful. Then, if that was not bad enough, there was a second release of them, 20 years later in the same location was made. The results of this introduction are devastating, to say the least and all in the name of profit.
You can see why I have issues and a great distaste and dislike of money. I understand that it is required for some things and it is unavoidable, but only because of the way our society is structured.
Moreover, if you think about its destructive impact on a global scale; all the various and different types and kinds of destruction and chaos made, all in the name of money and profit; It would horrify you. Then think about it all throughout history, how many have died in the name of profit and greed. It’s not good and that is an understatement.
If you still don’t agree or see where I am coming from, then I am sorry but you and I would never get along and maybe this story isn’t for you.
I care not for fancy things, luxury crap, labels and or social status. All those things seem pointless to me. Especially without Him. You cannot eat money and at the very least all you need is enough to get by. Hence my attempt and adventure, not only to heal my heart and conquer fear but to live off of the land, to live freely as we all should. Though I know, this new way of life that I am trying to achieve, isn’t for everyone. We aren’t all built for it and I may even discover that maybe I will surprisingly, however rather unlikely, not be built for it either. But I will take all my strength and channel all the pain of my heart to make it possible. I do not give up easily, I have never been much of a quitter and I do not intend to become one now.
However I have no issues about spending money-if I currently had any; on things such as hunting and fishing licenses. Even if they are a bit expensive for someone such as myself, traveling alone and who would only eat one fish, if I managed to catch any, though I use to be good at it when I was younger. The last time I went fishing was when I was a teenager. In Western Aus, Dad’s always take their daughters fishing or at least they did when I was growing up. But Licenses are a necessity in these times, people are greedy and sadly don’t follow rules or guidelines and the environment suffers. Whitebait is a perfect example of this. Whitebait is a New Zealand delicacy and I myself have never tired it and I won’t on principle, because it is going extinct because of over fishing and people not following the rules.
He and I always talked about how we would go fishing. How I missed it, how I had not been since I was a teen and use to go often as a child and He would so excited get at the prospect of it. It’s funny to think about all the things that we talked about in our entire time together. All the things we said we would do, all the things we dreamed about doing together. All the stories we made up of what may or may not happen. Lovers dreaming together of grand scenarios and adventures.
And now I’m working towards doing all of it, except without Him.
I wonder what his reaction would be if he knew. Would he change his mind? Would he pull us back together? Would He follow like he always promised? These things I guess now I will never know and with or without Him, I’m doing this trip. Though It will not be the same without Him. Like half of me is missing, which is how I have felt since we lost each other to the madness and stupidity of fear and the destructive forces of others.
I wish day by day I wasn’t becoming accustomed to having half of me missing. The feeling has not changed and my instincts tell me it never will. So much in my life time, I have grown, ‘accustomed to’. The having no family, the lack of friends-which, by the way, is no fault of my own and I will explain more on that later. The multiple hurdles life has thrown at me. Even the several, multiple different kinds of abuse I have faced; which is another thing I will explain in due time, least to say my life has not been a picnic, has and had been something I had just grown ‘Accustomed to’.
People fear what is different and I from birth have been just that. Different. Not exactly eccentric or weird, those things are accepted by general society. However being different I have learned makes you stand out, even when you are not trying to and people are not kind to ‘different’. People are not kind to those they don’t understand. Also sad as it is and this is just a fact, most people, general people are selfish. I have stated this before and they take advantage of the generous and mistake kindness for weakness. It is a sad fact. If people cared more about the right things and learned how to be selfless, the world would be a very different place indeed. One that I would possible fit in. But things are the way they are sadly.
I have mentioned that I have few friends and explained a bit about what it means to be, different. If you count the friends who don’t live in the same city or even the same country, I have more than just my one dearest friend. However, in close proximity to everyone else, I just have that one friend. Who without their support, love and friendship, I could not do any of this. Though I would find a way, it would be much harder and a lot less rewarding.
It is the only way I know how to thank my dearest friend for their kindness and help in this difficult time. To say thank you for sheltering me from a horrible, heart breaking, situation.
And to make up for all the tears they saw me spill.
Maybe sometimes just having that one friend can beat having lots. People these days and in these times forget the importance of friendship. That uplifting one another is better than dragging each other down. However, if you think because I’m not the most popular or because I haven’t the most vigorous social circle; that means I must be awful, you would be mistaken. I’m not perfect, far from it and in fact no one is. However I have had great and unfortunate bad luck when it comes to people. Like I mentioned earlier, people think kindness is a weakness, where as I consider it a strength. People fear honesty, they fear the truth and yet I embrace it. In the past when I was younger, I had a blunt honest tongue, which got me into trouble. For the longest time, I fell into the trap of trying to change myself; as you do. I always thought if I could fix me, everything would be okay. People would be more, accepting of me. Alas though, we all know how that one goes or more to the point it doesn’t. Moreover, I have always been something of an outsider. Though I’m not exactly sure why, I’m smart, creative, strong-willed, hardworking, honest, loyal, kind, attractive, as understanding as anyone can possibly be and all this without arrogance or the air of self-importance or even vanity. Yet, I scare people, they fear me.
It has led me to a rather isolated life. When I was younger, loneliness was crippling and I hungered for love because I was given so little of it or was given love but always because someone wanted something in return. Everything from answers to distractions, to money, sex, you name it someone has used me to get it and people get cruel when they cannot get what they want from you.
It was why, falling in love and I mean really falling in love hit me hard. It was like the floor had gone out from underneath me. Like someone had taken my entire universes and turned it upside down. It is very hard to take me by surprise. I usually have good instincts and can see further ahead than most. I also have seen so much, not a lot fazes me. I take the good with the bad and I roll with the punches but. Falling in love with Him, took me by surprise. I didn’t even see what that we had been falling for one another for months, until I was right in the thick of and I didn’t even have time to breathe and I guess neither did He.
As cliché as it may sound and it is not in any way cliché, but have you ever just held someone and felt whole? Felt such a sense of peace, that for first time in as long as you can remember, that you fall asleep without a single worry? Well that was what is was like and I’m a very big worry wart and falling asleep is not easy feat for me. Especially these days, now that I no longer sleep beside Him. I have battled insomnia and broken sleep for as long as I can remember. Also, I don’t feel safe very often, as in I am not very good at relaxing or letting my guard down. It has been like that so long, I rarely pay attention to it but. With one gesture, one night, 18 months ago, I held him and we feel asleep in each other’s arms. The rest then became history and now we’re apart, never to be whole again.
Again, I don’t know how he stands it, I guess I really will never know because I can’t, hence all this.
That night, 18 months ago, will haunt me for the rest of my life and if I could live in that one moment forever, I would. I would do anything. If I could wake up tomorrow to find Him beside me, I would do anything to have that happen. I would take all the blame for his mistakes as well as my own. I would kill every fear and I would weather every storm, every challenge and spend the rest of both our lives making everything up to us both.
The term Soul-mate was, as far as I can tell through research, was part of a story told by one of the greatest philosophers of our time, Plato. You may have heard of it, the story of how we were once beings of four arms, four legs and two faces. Only to be split in two by Zeus and stitched back together by Apollo into beings with one face, two arms etc etc but doomed to be lost without the other half and always searching for said other half.
Well, maybe there is something to that after all and Plato was far from stupid.
I use to ‘feel’ Him. A deep sense within me, that I knew where he was and how he was feeling. Sometimes I could even ‘pluck’ thoughts from him.
I still can feel him, though I try so hard not to focus on it, for I am tired of tears.
Like I said, maybe Plato was onto something…..
Yesterday when I woke up in the morning the tears wouldn’t stop. I don’t know why but it just happened, I awoke at 7am and my eyes were filled to the brim. So I made cookies. 7am in the morning and so I made cookies. It was my solution to the crappiness I was feeling. So I made quadruple chocolate, choc-chip, peanut butter, vanilla marble cookies.
It was that kind of start to the day I guess. Maybe it was because it’s been two weeks now and I expected to feel, lighter, not heavier. So I made cookies. I then spent the day cleaning, researching, Yoga and doing anything else I could to occupy myself, I even baked bread rolls. I really wish I could leave tomorrow. Even if currently a crazy cyclone storm called Geta, is battering Nz. There was even a warning to Trampers on the radio, to venture out or to be extra vigilant. Is it strange that the thought of sitting in a tin shed hut right now, with rain and wind hammering all around me, doesn’t and wouldn’t bother me? In fact I think it would suit my mood. I guess that is a good question in a way, how would do I feel about facing mother nature’s weather wrath, especially with climate change being the way it is. Making the weather more fierce and unpredictable.
I’d just deal. I’ve been through worse and if things ever get really bad, to the point where I think I can’t handle it. I will just tell myself that, I have been through worse.
I was fine until the afternoon hit and I could stop the tears again. I hate it and I’m doing my best to keep on top of it.
How does one person have such an effect on someone? Despite it all.
Today was a bit easier, I slept in a little bit today but only for an hour. Lately I find myself either waking up at 7am or 8.30 am. I’m not sure why. It’s the same time everyday but today I managed to push myself to sleep in for an extra hour. I am still all in all managing about 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Some nights, most nights, like last night, I laid there for hours, staring at the ceiling. Just letting my mind wander, while I listened to the rain and wind howl outside. Flashes of the last 18 months drifting through my mind. The good, the bad and the things I miss and yearn for.
The heart wants what it wants, love, sometimes I feel like it’s a force, so much bigger and stronger than me, no matter how much I fight it.
Now all couples fight, we all know that and I’ve made mistakes. Things aren’t always rainbows, if they were we would take all the good for granted. Most of us already do. Moreover, if every day was a rainbow, I wouldn’t be writing all this. I’ve never been good with conflict, I crumble, strong as I am, I crumble. After effects of a crappy childhood perhaps, not an excuse just a cause.
So after doing yoga for just three days, I have decided, that if I ever feel like I’m stuck in a situation where there is tension, stress or conflict, I will assume the crash position. I will go through all the poses and stretches that I have learned. I never knew that something like yoga could be so freeing. Which, if you knew me, would be the last time you would expect me to say. Also it has helped with my knees and even after three days, I also am getting better at breathing exercises. I don’t expect to be able to turn myself into a human rubber band and I don’t push myself too hard to fast. I do every pose in slow steady movements. I don’t exactly know if this it right and am sure I look ridiculous, but it is just what so far has worked for me. Furthermore, I feel as if I am reconnecting with my body. We will know I guess by the end of the week, it is after all only day three.
Tomorrow I will start my training with that damn pack. I have to get use to the weight. I want to be prepared for this. I also have the funny idea of doing my dearest friends garden while wearing said back, adding more weight as I go along. There is a lot of gardening to do and it is the least I can do. So further update on that later. I really want this to work. I will be taking cameras and batteries with me and I will upload them as soon as I return. As well as taking two journals, one for this and one for Him. Though he may never read it and nor will I once I have filled it.
I’m still waiting for someone, anyone to talk me out of this. The few people I have told and via messenger at that, have all said little except for go for it, cool and my friend does that. I guess some part of me expected someone to tell me to get a job, get money behind me first and find a new place, settle for a bit first etc etc but. No. Not yet anyway. I guess I’m waiting for the moment where I have to explain myself, more than likely because I keep having those; am I really going to do this moments. How is it that no one is telling me that I am going to fail and should reconsider? Is it just that much faith in me, or people care so little that they don’t really think about it? Maybe I’m just that unloved and unlovable.
I know that comes across as self-pity, but it’s not. I live and have lived a rather isolated existence, through no fault of my own, just circumstances and bad luck. So when you plan to go off on an adventure, usually you have friends and family, especially family, asking you questions, making sure you’re prepared. I don’t have that. Never really have, not really. A few friends but no one ever sticks around long enough or I’ve moved on.
I was raised by my father, just him and me most of the time. My Mother felt she had better things to do. She hasn’t and hadn’t been around much. Still isn’t. We aren’t on terms and that is fine with me. I may or may not go into that later on, but for now; my father.
We moved around a lot. By the time I was 13 I had been to every state in Australia except the Northern Territory and Tasmania. My father liked to drive and he was looking for his own piece of paradise too. My father had always dreamed of living life as a drifter, driving from town to town. Never stopping for long, always moving. New things to see, people to meet and as I found out later on, troubles and stress best left elsewhere in the opposite direction but. He had me to look after. Many people told him I should be with my Mother; who like I said felt that she had better things to do. They told him a man could raise a daughter that a single Dad could never hope to do it on his own. Even suggesting that he should ‘leave’ me with family. Family of which had a reputation for again, drama, bullshit and drinking.
It was the 90s but still, even to this day I think that it is disgusting that people would suggest someone should give up their child. My father did not drink, he didn’t do drugs, and he didn’t sleep around. He was a tough man, who believed in tough love yes and he made many mistakes. However, he was not a bad man, there are far worse in the world and there was no one else willing to keep me safe. He also loved me very much. He was way too hard on me, much too rough with me and far, far too overprotective to the point of smothering me later down the line, but other things were happening there too. I did not understand those things at the time and they don’t excuse the things that happened to me but. Older now, I understand things better. The anger I had in my twenties has overtime just, been replaced with understanding. Furthermore, that people can shape you and that the world will and does you kick and it can kick you hard. It kicked my father so hard, he eventually fell apart. Slowly but overtime, one knock too many.
He died, as far as I know, some years back. No one bothers to tell me or let me know but. I know my father. I’m in my 30s now. He would have called. It would have meant so much to him that I made it this far, too much not too call. I was after all his world.
His health wasn’t the greatest either, though he made it further and lived longer than he ever should have.
So as a kid, we went here and there, settling in one place and another for periods of time. A year here, a year or two there. We travelled across the Nullabour, in a car people told my father he would never make it in. We made it. One week and with car trouble. From NSW to WA. Then years later we did it again by train. Melbourne to Perth. Three days.
So maybe traveling is either in my blood, or just part of my upbringing, however, from school to school, I was always the outsider. Nine different schools in total and none of them kind from what I can remember. It was, after all the late 80s, early nineties. My mother was Polynesian and my father a white male, so naturally my skin was olive (I would have been considered dark) and I had dark features. Brown hair, brown eyes, none of the slim build features, blonde hair, blue eyes that were prized at the time. Not that I’m jealous of anyone else or anything, I didn’t even realize these things until I was much older. I never understood the power and destructive nature of racism and bigotry until, as I said, I was much older. Sometimes you just don’t realize what is happening at the time. No matter how smart you are and if you have been mistreated all your life, you don’t question it. Not at first. Especially when you are a person who sees people, not the color of their skin.
So in other words, I stood out and I didn’t do the things everyone else did or wanted to do or like. I wasn’t overly sporty, I didn’t come from a big family or the right family for that matter. We didn’t have the money or come from money. I didn’t have fancy things, houses, clothes or cars.
Worse still, I was a child recovering from abuse and neglect. The first time I was sexually abused, happened when I was either 5 or 6 I had forgotten about until I was much older, but the second time happened between the ages of 7-8.
Both times by women and I will not recant the details on here. Suffice to say it happened and it shouldn’t have. My father did not know about the first incident and the second time he did not know until not long after it stopped happening.
He did the best he could and put me in counselling. I have never been given pills either to cope with any of the things I have gone through either, always remember that. It is also the only times I have been to any form of counselling. There was another time when I was a teenager, but my father put a stop to that after a few sessions, because the woman counseling me at the time, made strong suggestions that my home life needed to change and that his partner at the time had a lot to answer for, however more on that later.
Anyway, years later, when I was in my teens, when I saw my mother at 16, the first time since I had turned 8 and I told her about what had happened when I was younger. How the first time happened when she had left me with people who were “family” for months or possibly a year; the days are blurry when you are a kid, something bad had happened. I even asked her who those people were. I don’t know where my father was at that time, except My mother was supposed to be taking care of me and yet she wasn’t around much.
She didn’t want to talk about it and told me I must be mistaken and that it must be something to do with my father.
I knew she was lying, just in the same way, when I asked her about how she dragged me up and down the hallway by my hair and screamed at me for hours, to the point where I remember throwing up and she denied it with the same response.
She always prefers to sweep things under the rug and forget about them. I like to seek the truth and hate sweeping things away. When it comes to such grave subject matter, it should never be swept away and treated with such regard. These things are serious and though we deal and move on, it affects us for the rest of our lives. There is a reason abuse victims or survivors don’t speak up. We not only have been conditioned not too, we think we are unworthy of help, or we deserved it or somehow it is our own fault. Which isn’t true and those and these things should not happen.
So I guess you could say, I’ve always been the outsider and a lot of it through no fault of my own and children can be cruel, as can adults.
Teachers never liked me either, they don’t and didn’t like children who were and are, quiet and meek as church mice for hours, only to come alive for brief bursts. They didn’t like the bored look on my face that told them they were boring and that with a little push I would easily outsmart them. They didn’t like the little dark kid with troubles. Some were even so bad they convinced me for the longest time I was stupid, that I must have some learning disability. The few who did inspire me or least showed me a little kindness, were afraid to get too close to me. Didn’t want to become attached I guess.
There were times too when I was the kid with the old fruit in the bag; a clear indicator of a greatly unhappy child. However, no one ever sat me down and asked me why and at times even convinced my father that there was something mentally wrong with me. Or that he must be doing something wrong.
People are so horrible at times and most of the time, they don’t even realize it.
Once my father told me, because I didn’t have any friends; they can’t all be wrong. I wished he had never said that too me. It wounded me deeply for I was a sensitive child. Not in a sulky way, I took things seriously, I was a very serious child. Though, I could often, be quirky and displayed signs of a dry wit and humor, I was a serious child. Like even then, I knew something nobody else did and saw things from a totally different perspective to others. Moreover, I was a painfully, brutally honest child. My father had drilled and hammered it into me, always tell the truth.
People never like the truth and they often don’t like it coming from the mouths of babes. If it is funny or cute or entertaining or even these days; something that can go viral. People love it but. When it is cold hard, brutal truth, they don’t like it.
It hasn’t made me bitter, please don’t get me wrong. It just hasn’t been easy. I know I didn’t grow up on the streets of Calcutta; someone is always worse off, but things could have been much, much better or so different. Not that I have any regrets, this is just fact.
And I haven’t always gotten everything right, I’ve made mistakes too, I’m human. I do try to go out of my way to make sure I don’t and I’ve always think everything through as much as possible, sometimes at lightning speed. I’m good at thinking on my feet. Something I hope comes in handy while on my travels. I’m also overly analytical and yeah I guess I over think everything, in a way where I am constantly churning things through my mind all the time. Constantly going over and over, usually several things at once. I often think of it as pulling at multiple thread of thought at once. I try to see things from all angles, all different scenarios. It’s gotten me this far.
I speed a lot of my time, as you may have gathered on my own. I do try to reach out to people. Random messages, to people, I rarely see. Sometimes I get a reply. More often than not I don’t. People are busy with their own little lives, more often than not, totally oblivious to the world around them. They can’t see past or out of their own little bubble.
And I think back now about all this and how much of a strange child I must have been. I toilet trained myself at 18 months. Both my parents recanted the story to me on different occasions so I know beyond a doubt that story was true. I walked from a very early age too, I never wanted baby food, I wanted what everyone else was having and I had no trouble keeping myself amused, both parents told me the story about how they lost me one day, only to find me sometime later. In the cupboard underneath the kitchen sink, curled up with the cat. I have also seen a photo of the time; I think I was three, when both my parents told me they were going to wash the car, so I decided to jump and play in the bucket full of water. I also remember a time when to make money my father dressed up Santa for dinner functions at a restaurant somewhere in NSW. I helped, waited on tables, cleared dishes, with ease and all the while dressed as an elf. I would have been six or seven at the time. When I started school, I got up and made my own lunches and got myself ready. Much to the surprise of my father. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I didn’t like the way he made my sandwiches. I was always afraid of him and it got worse when I got older. I never wanted to get into trouble or step out of line-because of the fear of my father. Though I often had the cheek to tell people; when he got too old I would put him in a nursing home. Everyone always thought it was a great joke, except I was being serious.
The early 90s my father got sick. I assume I was about 6 old yrs at the time. I don’t remember much except that I nursed him back to health and got him strong enough to eventually find the right doctor. He went through six different doctors. When he finally discovered the issue it was this: He’d recently had a tooth removed and it had gotten infected and damaged his heart. They told him he had 6 months to a year. There were transplant lists, but even then I understood that no one was going to give my, low earning, single father a new heart.
In true fashion, my father waved it off and said he’d see me to my 18th, in the end, I left home 5 months shy of my 18th birthday.
The last time I saw my father was 2006. I had not seen him since I had left home at 17, two years prior. The day I left home was one of the worst days. It didn’t end well, to say the least. We, at that point, had been in a terrible situation.
When I was around 13 years old. My father met a woman, who made one of the biggest impacts of my life. I will never know what he saw in her. She was not attractive. She was lazy. Cold. Distant. Cruel, abusive and very little personality. I am not even sure how they met. She was just there one day. As a child I had always had good instincts. If someone was trouble, I could feel it, like a heavy, dark weighted stone in the pit of my stomach. I hated the feeling. One day my father asked me what I thought of her. I told him what I felt. He didn’t listen. Not long after began the four years of hell.
I will not go into too much detail. The memories are hard and it happened all long ago now but, she was emotionally destructive and abusive. She had mood swings and was prone to outbursts. The things she said to me over and over again, should not have been said to anyone and if I told you, you would be horrified. Moreover, I was in my teens by then. I had no confidence and very little friends. I was growing into a young woman and my father was not handling it very well. He got tougher on me, harder on me and rougher. I never got punched or beaten black and blue but if I had of stayed in that house, toward the end, I am not sure what would have happened to me. He was so afraid of losing the only thing he cared about anymore and didn’t know how to handle it. I was growing up and one day I would leave. I was his baby girl after all. He had nothing else left in this world, not really, except me and it ate at him. Fear does that. It is not an excuse, again it is just the cause. It seems it brings out the worst in us all.
I had no privacy, rarely anyone to talk to. Those who I did speak to, who use whatever I said, against me or worse still pretended to listen. I also no freedom and everyone treated me like I was stupid or something to bully to pass the time. Or to get a rise out of me for entertainment value.
My bedroom was small and checked by both Her and My father on the daily. My conversations always listened too. If the house was not clean enough, fruit not eaten; it was my fault. I was often grounded for forgetting to bring the garbage bin in or if the dishes were not up to scratch, a favourite past time of Hers to punish me for.
They would not teach me how to drive nor was I allowed to get a job; even if I had, the money would have been taken from me and I wasn’t allowed to take the bus either, except in the months leading up to me leaving and that was to go to the library only. My father by that point spent all his time on the computer. Hunched away over the keyboard, in a small crammed room full of boxes and shit. Her outbursts would leave us both burned out. He would, when they argued, tell her we that we were leaving and he would stick up for me. However, when it was all over and done with, he would make that awful promise that it would be the last time. That she would get help and everything would be better. And it never was.
I was also being more and more neglected, my clothes were second-hand, and that wasn’t the issue; back then everyone was obsessed with labels and designer wear and if you were poor and different you were looked down upon.
And the clothes themselves didn’t quite fit, they didn’t suit me or my frame. They were also horribly out of date, which when you are a kid that is already being bullied; it’s worse. Just makes you an even bigger target. Not that I ever complained or cared but still. Needless to say my teenage years were awful. At the time I was in the eye of the storm. I thought it was normal to be treated the way I was. If you were wondering why I never spoke up about what I was going through. I think I may have tried once or twice, but I was told to harden up. Best and yet the absolute worse advice ever given to me. Teachers could see what was happening to me do but they never did anything.
Maybe they were afraid of my father too or maybe they just didn’t want to be burdened with it. So I thought it was normal. I thought my whole situation was normal, that I should complain about being verbally assaulted for hours on end, day after day and reminders I could never get anything right. Night after night. By one, or the other or both of them. There were lull periods but they never lasted long. I thought I honestly deserved it and that because I didn’t have black eyes, that it was normal.
Took me awhile to realize and took over a decade to come to terms. It happens like that sometimes sadly.
Also, during her rants, My father never laid a hand on her either, though she would goad him for hours. Sure there were times when there was pushing or shoving. But not once did he hit her, other men would have, she would goad and rant and spew vile abuse for hours on end. People can only be pushed so far. But my father never laid a hand on her.
I had height on her too and could have taken her down easy, though I too never did.
Last time I saw my mother, which was when I was in my mid-20s, she told me my father would beat her and that often she was afraid for her life. However, she didn’t know what I know, she didn’t realize how well I knew my father. I always remember his words too, never lie to your kids, ever. They will sniff out the truth and the truth often, though not always, lies somewhere in the middle.
I, however, was dragged around a lot, kicked and there was the time I had a chair thrown at me. And father’s wrath, all his fears and his personal frustrations, all pour over me. I couldn’t do anything right.
My grades in high school, were all over the places. I recently found my last year of high school report cards. I am the only person I know who can get A’s, B’s and C’s all on the same report card. I managed to graduate but I never went to university. In my last two years of school, I had taken vocational hospitality. My father had chef qualifications, but at the time had been working in a service station. I guess I knew I would never make it through exams and wanted to do something he would approve of. Not necessarily make him happy, just something he would approve of. I had always wanted to be a writer, but my father always told me there was no money in it. Just as he did when I was very little and told him I wanted to be an artist. He told me there was no point, there was no future and no money in it.
I could also sing, but by that point no one even knew or had forgotten. Even I had forgotten and had convinced myself I couldn’t. Even my father, who I would sing with, in every car ride, never mentioned it and he had heard me sing all the time when I was little. My father’s one passion, music. Up until Primary school singing and music was part of my everyday life. My father had, what I now realize, a very large vinyl record collection and now that I look back, at all the times we struggled. The times we relied on food banks and such. Those times in the early years when my father couldn’t always get work. He could have sold any one of those records, but he never did. They meant the world to him and I wish I knew what happened to them in the end. I hate the thought of them rotting away in a storage unit somewhere. Not to mention his stamp collection. Though I have no way of ever knowing. I’m glad he held onto those things. They were worth going hungry for.
So up until primary school, I sang. Until one day, after a large choir event, of which I was proud to be a part of. A girl worked up to me, looked me dead in the eye and told me that it had been amazing if only I had not ruined the whole thing. It wounded me deeply though I never realized at the time.
The same thing happened with my art, one day in high-school a teacher failed me because his words; “I don’t understand it, I don’t like it, therefore it is not art and I fail you.”
When I was younger I also participated in Dance events; A small festival performance event on stage when I was a teen and when I was younger I was in the Rock Eisteddfod. Though only for one year. At the Rock Eisteddfod, the same thing happened, a girl, a different girl and at a different school no less. Told me because I messed up one move, I had brought down the entire show and that we would lose all because of me. Others found me not long afterwards, huddled away in the corner in tears.
I even had the principle of a small town country school once told me that, it would be great when I left because no one liked me anyway.
A teacher in High School told my father I would never amount to anything and that I was useless.
I’m a pretty adept swimmer. They took that away from me too, in High School, with fat taunting and shamming me because I didn’t have designer togs like them.
All these things happened and worse.
High School gossip, the lies that got spread, even the teachers got in on it.
All these things I never realized how bad they were until recently. Times like this, I wonder how I survived, how I made it this far.
But I have and that is that, so far anyway.
At this point, I wonder why I worry about this trek and not being able to make it.
There was a point where my father almost left her, she wasn’t working. She wasn’t doing anything and her episodes were burning us both out. Though no one had noticed just how badly it was effecting me.
Then she got pregnant. The one thing that would tie her to my father forever. My father often questioned whether my sister was his child or not. I knew though, I knew the moment I laid eyes on my sister for the first time. Also, I knew no one but my father was crazy enough to sleep with her and because I lived with them in such a tight, small house, that she withheld from him often. It would not have taken much, one night that is all.
There was another time too when my father was close to leaving her and for someone else no less.
There one day when we saw this other woman, one of my father’s dearest friends. However, one day, when we came home from visiting her, we came home to find out that my father’s prized budgie bird had, had an accident. According to Her, she had somehow accidentally stood on him and broken his neck.
We never saw my father’s friend again.
My sister was born on the 8th of March, 2000. At a quarter to three in the afternoon. She was three days later and according to my father had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck three times but was a very healthy baby girl.
I myself was born on the 12th of September, 1985. At 20 minutes to twelve. Penrith Nepean hospital, Blue NSW. I was premature, although I can’t remember how much. I’ve heard the tale growing up from my father so often, though it’s the one detail I cannot remember. I was a c-section baby and from what my father told me and mother more or less confirmed, it was not an easy entrance into the world, for either my mother or me.
From the get-go, my mother didn’t want me. Wouldn’t breast feed me, she wanted nothing to do with me. My father, however, was the exact opposite and doted on me.
My father also told me that 12 years earlier, his youngest sister was born. He came from a big, difficult, complicated family and became a young father at only 22. His youngest sister, my aunt, was born on the 12th of September, 12 years before me and at exactly the same time.
I could not take my sister with me the day I left. She wasn’t even there. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. I only hope that one day, we may be reunited and she will forgive me for not taking her with me. I was just 5months shy of my 18th birthday and she had only just turned 3. I had no money, except the $20 in my pocket and I knew there was no way I could come back for her. I didn’t have a choice.
Before I moved to New Zealand, the last time I saw my Father. We argued briefly about it. He used be being away; at that point, I was 20 turning 21 and that fact that I had been away for two years against me. He also refused, no matter how hard I tried, to tell me where my sister was. Only that she was in another state with her mother. The woman who had mistreated me mistreated both of us for years. I knew it was fruitless to argue with My Father. Who had the time, had more concerns about, and whether I had told anyone about the things that had come to pass, that had driven me, to my decision of leaving.
He wanted to pretend it was someone else. Someone else had laid a hand on me, instead of him. He wanted me to tell him, someone else did the bad thing.
I didn’t bother arguing with him, in fact, I think I was silent for a time after that. Or I just agreed in an autopilot manner.
I will not recant the details of what happened that day, the day I left home. Except to say, my father was out of line and out of control. And I paid the price, as always. No one else had been home, except him and me that day. All I’ll say is that across my face, where he struck me, was still red raw and hurting 30mins later. I also didn’t notice all the bruises on my arms, until least a few days later.
I remember his words too, if you leave here, don’t ever think of coming back and I didn’t.
The house we lived in at the time, no longer stands. Before I moved to New Zealand and when I saw My Father again, for the last time, he showed me how it had been bulldozed. Bulldozed for industrial development that never came, but still bulldozed all the same. I was glad to see it gone.
He didn’t understand. Like he had blocked so much from his mind already and I knew then that my father on the inside was crumbling to pieces.
I had been the only thing holding him together. I know that now and the fear drove him mad. I know that now too. Not that it excuses anything, however, he was a broken man and I was just too young. I understand now though, more than ever. I cannot forgive him, however not for the reasons you think. I should be angry, I should be furious, but I just don’t think I have it in me anymore. What is the point of being angry at ghosts? To me, the past cannot be changed, just understood. Moreover, to be also, it is like being on a train. You don’t think about the train when you are on it. When you get off it however, everything is a bit of a dazed shock. At least, it for me it is. I write these things, but to me, in my life, they have just happened. Like eating a bowl of cereal in a way. I’m not sure if that means I am numb, or just, accepting or somehow just so much has happened, not much fazed me anymore. All these things, have become part of my normal.
I won’t talk much about what happened next, for in a way that is all a story, for another time. Needless to say, I ended up in New Zealand, not long after having to battle my Father, one last time for my birth certificate so I could get my passport and I.D sorted. Very important things at the end of the day and moreover, they were my important things. It was, like I said, My I.D after all.
My Father, though helpful in seeing me and making an attempt to fix things between us. It didn’t last long. For over a week he dodged my calls and then came the Saturday morning. The last time I spoke to my father. It did not end well.
I wish he could have just told me how he’d really felt. I wish he could have just told me he didn’t want to lose me again, after all these years. My father though was never good at putting things into words and he knew that nothing he said would change my mind. His little girl had grown into a woman and she didn’t need him anymore. In fact and I know this would have been very hard for him to accept, I may never have really needed him in the first place. He had held me back for the longest time, all through my childhood and now he couldn’t control or hold onto me.
So he did the only thing he knew how he yelled and ranted.
I went to work that day in tears and then did a 12hour shift. Severing customers, acting like life was normal like everything was okay.
I will never understand, how I manage to do that. Time and time again, I snap back like a rubber band. Though over the years, I have become more and more exhausted from it afterwards.
That same night, I received a phone call from someone unexpected. Not my Father, but my Mother.
Offering me the one thing I needed, my birth certificate.
I never asked what those two talked about on the phone I don’t think. Nor did my Mother ask me what happened or how I was, to be honest. If that happened now, I would have asked all the necessary questions to the point of annoyance. Moreover, I think I would have questioned more about where my Mother had been all this time, only to resurface like the years were nothing.
I guess the shock factor and my youth got the better of me perhaps and that was taken advantage of.
Not much happened after that and I never saw my Father again. My mother and I kept in contact, but that never lasted very long. I am too much like my Father, or I remind her too much of him. Also I don’t like to hide the past under a rug, as she does. I search for answers, she hides them all away. She also belittles everything I have been through or doesn’t ask the right question or just to be brutally honest, doesn’t care. She has tried, but you can’t fake it and I can see through it, so our contact has been brief and the last time I saw her was roughly, seven years ago. In Melbourne.
It was also the last time I heard from my father, we’d had a few internet chats, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying, his typing was atrocious. Which indicated to me that his health and mental wellbeing were not in a good place. I asked about my sister, he wouldn’t tell me. But he did mention his health being terrible, that much I could make out. Oh, and money, if I had any money, that, that would have been handy.
When I went to Melbourne, roughly seven years ago, the txt was, say hi to your mother for me. But that was it. I had txt him to arrange a meetup, it was not often I was back in Australia, I have after all only been back once, in the almost 12years I have been in New Zealand.
It’s been a long almost, 12 years. I do hope one day, to go back home. Though at the time, when I was leaving, I never wanted to go back and it has taken over a decade for me to finally long for home. When I left Perth, there wasn’t anything there for me and there isn’t really much now. But a large part of me misses the sun. The air itself and even the people.
But when I first came here, I got stuck, for a long time in an isolated coastal town. That was going nowhere fast, still isn’t and was nothing more than a trap and there was fuck all work to get out of the place. Fuck all happened there. Nothing that I will put on here. Maybe one day, I’ll write and fill a book about how shitty shit that place was. But it has no place here, except to say that I got stuck there for a long time and I really wish I hadn’t.
Then I went Auckland, after yet another shit time, referer above to shit trap town. I thought I would be there for longer. I gave myself two years, to get my head together, find work etc etc and only ended up staying something like, three or four months. It wasn’t a long time. I found I had done everything I needed to do within two weeks. Then I had a setback, old ex-came to town. So it then took me a month to get myself together and sorted. Then I was over Auckland. I was to find it has that effect on most. Moreover, this was only over four years ago. Back then, it was only paying 165 for a small communal place in a very large, historic building. And that included power and water and relatively cheap internet. Now, in just that space of time, for the same place I would be paying close to 200 a week. That I guess tells you all you really need to know about Auckland.
I was then, suckered into the trap again, however, it wasn’t for long and I just managed to squeeze myself out of there. Just. Took a lot out of me.
By the time I got to Christchurch, I was shell-shocked and exhausted but. I had optimism back then and a desire to make yet another attempt at being happy and being kind to others, because no one else was. And everyone thought I was sweet and maybe naive. If only they knew and if only they had not put so many assumptions on me themselves, they never would have thought that. I also just feel that being kind, has nothing to do with being sweet. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the human thing to do. People don’t like it when they are treated poorly and neither do I or you for that matter. So there is no sense or logic in being an asshole, just because.
This, however, didn’t work, as you can see, with where I am at, now. Kindness and openness, over and over again taken for weakness. Too many people, governed by their fears. Hence the desire to conquer it. I can’t have my love back and I will never be the same.
Recently, in between doing yoga and preparing for this journey, which I am only a week away from beginning, I found myself writing songs. So far, at this point, I have written 64 songs over three days now and I’ve started writing more today. I don’t know where it all comes from. I didn’t know I could do that, in fact, I didn’t know anyone who could do that. Maybe broken hearts do indeed sing, who knows.
I am yet to explain, my reasoning’s for coming to Christchurch, as I don’t think I have quite explained it probably as yet. I had always wanted to come here, I don’t know entirely why. Just a pull I guess. Also when I go here; even though a few years had passed, Christchurch was still in the middle of its rebuild and still in the midst of recovering. The main city centre, was still predominately quiet during the week, with the locals keeping their distance and tourist taking photos of the ruins or the repair work being done. I was idealistic at the time you could say, wanting to be part of a footnote in history. To watch a city being rebuilt, while living in a city as it’s being rebuilt. I thought it was marvellous. Which part of me, still regards it as so, although in a much smaller fashion.
The people here have seen too much hardship and though their city has been rebuilt and is still being rebuilt, things here have no improved. A large portion of the population suffers from PTSD from the effects of the earthquakes, even years after the fact. It has also hardened the people, made them colder and harder. Moreover, crime, missing people and an underfunded mental health system here are far from helping matters.
I feel for this place, I really do. Sometimes I wonder it if is cursed, which saddens me because she is such a beautiful place. Though I am unsure if this city and its people, will ever truly recover. Though, many of them here have given me a fair amount of grief, strife and troubles. To the point where I wonder how and why I still have compassion. While here I have faced, bullying, verbal, physical, emotional and mental abuse. I have suffered harassment, sexual harassment; although that was not and has not, thankfully, been as bad as it could have been, compared to everything else, it’s was easier to brush off and move on from. I have been used, betrayed and suffered some of the worst work place bullying, so bad that, the thought of working with a team again gives me serve anxiety. Moreover, it has made getting a new job, more difficult as well.
Just another reason to do something different with my life, not just because of Him and how I’m currently feeling.
Since of the topic of my last paid employment. All I will say is that it was in the hospitality industry and I hope I never, ever go back. I’m a very hard worker, who doesn’t ask for much and takes her job seriously. I can joke with the best of them, but I very work hard and work comes first. I’m an all-in kind of worker and I feel into the trap of trying to keep everyone happy, only to have myself constantly bullied, back stabbed, verbally abused, bitched about, overlooked manipulated and being anyone’s necessary scapegoat, when needed. It was horrible. Not to mention the dirty and dodgy dealings of the upper management. I was even, twice out of work attacked. In my own home, by two different staff members or two different occasions. One was physical, the other verbal. No one cared, not really. Not to mention, the countless times I was abused by staff while working and by customers. To be honest, it was some of the worst three years of my life and I don’t have regrets, but I do wish I had never ever applied for the job. I also, whenever I go past the place, wish it would close already. I don’t know how it still in operation. Moreover, how it has not been done for its dodgy tax dealings and its abuse of health and safety practices I do not know. Having food poisoning from this place; which I will not name, is a common regular occurrence.
Hence the need, as I stated, to find a different way of living, not just because of Him. Though he has been the major driving force behind this journey. There are other factors of course.
My time here in Christchurch has not all of it has been bad. I have met some of the most interesting people, good and bad. As I have stated before, understanding helps me greatly. I have had good moments, though however fleeting they may have been, they are still some good memories, which I hang on to, because otherwise, the bad memories and moments, cloud everything.
I hopefully leave in a week. I have decided possibly to take another track, instead of going to the Benmore hut and finding my way to Lake Coleridge. There is another track, in the Craigieburn forest region, slightly further north of where I originally had planned on going. The tracks are easier to follow and there is more to see and more Huts along the way. Though I still do want to find that Orange Benmore Hut.
I did go on a short and minor hike, with, what I guess you could call an old friend; we’ve known each other for years but never actually spent time together. My body handled it fine, my lungs however were and are not in the best shape. That is what I get for my years of smoking. It is a good incentive to quit, moreover, people I notice, go too fast. They walk too fast, they are always in a hurry and I think I will very much look forward to setting my own past. Which may even be idle and slow compared to some but on an adventure, there is rush. One foot in front of the other. Each pace at a time, with no rush. I noticed people walking up the hill on the track we were on. They were all in a hurry, even the old friend that I was with. Hopping and bouncing ahead, like there was some big rush and though I never said it. I longed just to dawdled, to work idly. To take my time. Also to fair on my lungs. They will be one of my biggest hurdles, but I feel that setting my own pace will help and also, as I stated, it will force me to give up smoking. Which is not a bad thing and if my body aches, it will adapted.
I will force and drive myself to accept the change. I will embrace all the physical hardships I may and will face.
Because, after all, when I look back at everything I have been through, physically testing my body and walking and tramping for miles should be relatively easier.
Furthermore, I cannot stay in this place and I do have to find a new way. Though I have not mentioned Him and have explained parts of my life and how it has truly and really been for me, not a day goes by. It has also gotten harder, not easier. Just as I expected.
Love is a strange, powerful force, so much larger than I and fear is so destructive. Love, I’m also finding is rare. Rarer than I ever realized. Maybe we really do live in a world where people have forgotten their compassion and their ability to love, truly and unconditionally. Without motive, without selfish, self-serving intent.
Not to say or imply that I myself am perfect. I have made mistakes too, they are part of life but. I have struggled to be selfish. It is still a struggle and I am forever telling my dearest friend that I am grateful for everything. For I never want to be ungrateful and I never want to be selfish. Though there are times, where I wish I could be.
I do think a lot about the isolation aspects of this entire journey, this way of life. Then it occurs to me, that I am already isolated. I am already more or less alone, the only difference is the scenery. I long to be okay with this permanently. I don’t like being okay, with being alone. Because I have spent most of my life this way. Feeling like, I am forever on the outside looking in. I also feel that people, they don’t understand; I may have said this before, the fear what is different and I guess they see me as a liability. Not worth the risk or the risk of being happy is too high or they fear this or that. Whatever their reasons are.
Maybe I just crave love, because I have been denied so often because I have been stripped of it so many times and in so many ways. I wish I didn’t. Not only would I not miss Him as I do, but then I would have the ability to not care and not feel so isolated and only or more to the point have it not bother me. It is so easy for people to say goodbye to me. Some even expect me to be there down the line, which is not the case and not how I work.
I do hope I learn to accept the fact that the rest of my life, will be spent alone. I guess in a lot of ways, it is something I have been fighting against for a very long time. My friendships never last. I cannot give them what they want, I can’t be the person they want or I try to make everyone happy, as I think I have mentioned before. Which, never works. People I have found, really do prefer misery over happiness. I wish I didn’t strive to be so different, but it is part of who I am.
All my life, I have felt like I am swimming upstream, swimming against the current, while everyone else is going in the opposite direction or at times vice versa. I also a lot of the time, feel like the only one with open eyes that can see in a legion of the blind. I’m not sure if any of this will change once I become a full nomad. I hope it does.
And so it’s been a week since I wrote anything. Time is marching quickly and slowly at the same time. I now am planning on being away for four weeks. I want this to be epic. He is no longer in my mind. I’ve pushed that all aside, locked it away in a box in my mind somewhere for another day or another time or never. This journey is now all that matters to me. This way of life, has to change. Every day I read the news and shake my head. Every night before I go to sleep, i think to myself how much better it would and will be among the trees. How much cleaner the air will be, how much more solid the trees are, than people and their words. How it and will all so much more, natural. I really don’t want to come back either. It has put a strain on my dearest friend, for they don’t understand. In a way I think it’s because, my dearest friend feels they need me here for them. Where as I feel i need to be somewhere, better, than all of this.
It is not a case of the grass being greener. I know how hard this journey will be, I know my body will hurt, my lungs will ache. I know I will be tired and hungry and I may have said it before, but I know there will be times where I want nothing more than to give up. However, I wont. I have made that promise to myself. I will not give up. I will climb mountains, I will see things, everyone takes for granted and I will relish it all. In a way and I may have said this before, but i hope my body aches, I look forward to the pain. No pain, no gain and I know from the first moment, I stand on that mountain, or by that lake or when I reach my first hut, it will be worth it. After everything I have seen, done, suffered so far, pushing myself to the limit should and will be easier than I realize.
I have now had it mentioned to me too a few times about people asking me if it’s safe or to be safe. They don’t understand me when I say well no, not safe but nothing in life is and that there are more dangers here, in civilization than they are in the wild. They look at me strangely. It’s like they are so use to the chaos around them that they don’t see it anymore. People are shot, killed, stabbed, beaten, abused etc etc in cities all the time, yet everyone goes about their day and they think they are safe. What is safe really then, but a figment of an idea? Moreover, I feel more and more that, if you stay with the safety net, stay in your little safe zone, that isn’t really safe; who are you fooling? Furthermore, if you’re so hell bent of being safe all the time, how will you ever know what it really means to be brave? To be strong, to face the nightmares under the bed, to take risks and chances.
Maybe that is why, some of us never venture anywhere or archive anything, maybe that is why so many of us live in fear. Little fear filled bubbles.
I think more too about isolation and how I think it is bizarre that I will feel less isolated in the wild, than I will here in civilization. As I currently spend almost every day alone. The evenings there is my dearest friend but that is all. If there are people around I become invisible, which I think is harder, than being alone in the wild. I read some incredible articles too, about the health benefits of solo trekking/hiking. How it is a way to find ultimate solace and inner peace. How you can set your own pace, at your own time. Though I think I may have mentioned that before.
So currently, my dates are. I will be leaving on the 24th/4 and return on the 21st/5. Though annoyingly so this may change once again before the week is out. But it is my plan and I will stick to it. Another thing that I am looking forward to, in the wild, the path shall be my own and I will no longer be delayed by outside forces or interruptions. I don’t even mind if I get caught in the rain for days on end. I know people say that and later regret it, but not me. There is peace in the rain and I long for it. There is peace in true solitude and I long for that too and I’m starting to more and more realize that there is more sense in that than in the life we all live now. That the rat race really is just that and it is something we all need to break free from. Or at least, I do.
So plans changed and things kept going wrong. Had to wait for a new pack, delivery was slow that sort of thing. Then we decided, myself and my dearest friend that I would go for two weeks instead of four. Then I ended up coming back early at a chance opportunity with some new acquaintances that included an early ride back to town.
I wrote entries every day in my notebook and I will write them on here, but without dates for my days bleed together. Also, as to where I am now, I will go out again and I hope so soon. For now, I’m looking for work or any kind of way really. Not long before I left, I wrote 83 songs in five days. I’m still working on what to do with them. I emailed someone about it, they replied, however, I don’t know what will become of it just yet. Maybe I can sing my way home. I do wish for home, even though I love the beauty of this country, I long for home.
I also had a tendency to not tell people what I was doing, I didn’t want to explain and I wanted those thoughts, to be nothing but my own and I was also wary of people’s judgements, opinions and I didn’t want or need advice from strangers.
I’ve also started the impossible bucket list/Impossible this I wish I could do list/Would If I could List.
A youtube channel, but nothing on it as yet lol still working on that.
Am also looking into doing podcasts.
And 83 Songs became 84 songs recently.
And I want to get this all published. Somehow, so all above wasn’t for nothing. Maybe it will all help someone else who knows, so long as it all hasn’t or wasn’t for nothing.
Something has to work out for once.
The day of leaving.
So I made it to the hut and it’s beautiful and I don’t want to leave, I want to spend my whole time here. Of which I still might. My dearest friend has organised with me to pick me up in two weeks. I know I know, I was torn, we were both torn between two weeks or four, so we settled for two. The pack was heavy but manageable and the hut was only a ten-minute walk up a steep incline. The hut is placed in an open clearing, surrounded by trees, a small creek and a forest area covered in soft moss. With the added abundance of mushrooms and toadstools, it looks like something out of a fairy tale. It is perfect. The weather had been sunny when we left but had turned cloudy and rainy the closer we got to the destination. I do and did not mind though, however. The hut has six bunks with modest mattress and on arrival, there are two others here, a young woman and a French man with a ukulele.
I’m also tempted to stay here for an extra day or so, just to get used to my pack. It took so long to arrive, so I did not have as much time to get used to it. The one I was going to use originally, was better for simple day treks, smaller in size and so everything I needed could not fit in it. Hence the delays in leaving. It was only a short, uphill climb to the hut, but my lungs did not enjoy it. I am glad that I am quitting smoking and that this in a way is not only the best lesson for me but the best way to quit. Though I have no regrets, it’s an awful habit, but I haven’t had the easiest of times and I don’t have many vices as it is but. Still, I will be glad to have quit by the time this adventure is over.
It is good to know though, that my body is fine, it is just my lungs that could be better.
As the rain falls on the tin roof of the hut, I found that it is a sound I have dearly missed. Such peaceful tranquillity and it as if I have entered another world. I can barely even hear the cars from where I am, though they can still be heard, just, barely in the distance but. There are no sirens, no loud cars, buses and trucks going by. No stress, no time and air that is so much cleaner. I don’t know why we all don’t live like this. Why do we submerge ourselves in such shit and chaos, when things could be so much better? I’m already here and I don’t want to leave, I already wish I did not have to return. Here in this hut, only 2hours away from Christchurch and it feels more normal for me here, than it ever has anywhere before.
The next hut is three and a half hours away, a big trek but curiosity will get the better of me. Tomorrow, because of all the rain, I plan to take photos of toadstools and mushrooms.
Later on in the evening, the Frenchman pulled out the ukulele, he played and I sing. I sang songs with no words just sounds and then I sang and make up the words as I go along. The young girl most the most part tries to join in and even though she is utterly tone deaf, we both smile and laugh kindly with her but not at her. For she is the only person who can translate for us, for I do not speak French and he speaks little to no English but for a time. We play and harmonise together. Afterwards, he grabs my hand in his and tells me, thank you and that my voice is beautiful. I myself have never had a reaction like that, nor have I sung in front of many people, left perfect alone strangers. It took everything I had not to cry and say thank you in return.
Today is quiet and the two people that were here the night before with me, move on early in the morning. I still don’t understand how anyone would want to or could leave this place. It is so peaceful and when I step outside of the hut I have the perfect view of the mountains and the surrounding landscape. I’m still undecided about whether I will go to the next hut. My body is not used to such things and maybe thinking about it now and all that I have been through, maybe my body has been through too much. Moreover, what I most likely need more, is two weeks in a hut away from the world is what I need more than a strenuous hike. I’m not as young as I use to be and maybe it is time I faced facts that all the stress has and will have taken its toll on me, not just mentally, but physically as well. I really am worn down and burnt out, more burned out than I have cared to admit to myself. I’m not invulnerable, even though I am or have been at times treated as such. Which steers me more to the fact that, there is no place for me in this world. No there is no place in the world, for people like me or people who have been through what I have been through or seen the things I have seen or faced or endured the things I have endured.
How do you go back to “Normality” after all that? Yet we are expected too, which I think is gravely unfair and unjustified. Just because of our societal structure and the way we have built our entire lives around something like money. Not everyone wants or needs or can handle a life built on top of so much stress, especially after going through more than their fair share of stress and trauma.
I know the longer I stay here, the more and more I will firmly believe that and out here feels more normal and natural, than it does back in the real world.
The girl, not the Frenchman, who was here the night before, asked me if I would get bored. I looked at her and not for the first time, with such utter bewilderness. I was very perplexed by her at times. I wondered how anyone, could get bored, in a place that is not only breathtakingly beautiful but full of such utter serenity? With so much to do, see, explore and discover, I couldn’t and can’t even conceive the idea of being bored. Even the mice, of which in this hut there are two, don’t even bother me. Though I will either hang or sleep with my food tonight, for they got into my cereal and powdered milk.
I don’t feel lonely and the isolation, which worried me, does not affect me like I thought it would, as it does when I am in the city. A very large part of me does wish I could very much stay here forever.
My only drawback is that I forgot my pillow. Thank goodness for the makeshift bundle I made out of my towel and clothes.
To the south of the hut, there is a large, uphill forest area. It really does remind me of something out of a fairy-tale. There is even a path that leads down, to a small creek with a steady stream, situated nearby. I sat yesterday, despite the ever drizzling rain, by the small creek and took in my surroundings. Today the weather is the exact opposite, clear, dry, bright and sunny. Not a single cloud to be seen in the sky. I swept the hut out and I cleaned and rebuilt the fire pit.
I’m not sure if I will use the fire-pit tonight, I did not use it the previous night/first night, because of the rain and I’m not sure if I will use it/start a fire if I am the only one to be here. Every hut has a log book, which I read through. Most people it seems, only stay for a night or only pass through. Of which and why I don’t understand. There is no limit or time frame in a hut/bivvies’, so why does no one stay? I now wonder if people hike and trek, just to impress their friends or to feel like they have achieved something? If anyone else arrives, maybe I will ask them, I’m not sure. Moreover, there is a track, a trail, a hiking circuit that is about roughly, 20km in totally. I could do it. I could do it all but I’m starting to think about, to what end? It would/will never bring him back, though this trip was never about that. I could strain and exhausted myself to a breaking point, but again to what end? After all, hasn’t that been my entire life, one way or another? Moreover, what is there to fear here? Furthermore, after everything, shouldn’t peace be what I truly need, most of all? Haven’t I settled for less or worse than I deserve, over and over again. It’s something for me to think about.
So night two was quiet, I had the entire hut to myself, no one else arrived. I wonder if today/tonight will be the same. Though each day I find here is anything but the same, not even the weather is the same. Moreover, everything runs on different time, the sunrise is later and the sunset is also later. Today it is overcast and I wonder if it will rain later, though it seems more like a threat than the, actually possibility of rain.
I outsmarted the mice and slept with and on my bags last night and not a single issue.
However, I did dream of ‘Him’ last night. It was the first time in a while and I don’t know if it means, meant anything. I don’t want it too, everything I feel in regards to Him now I have taken and locked away. I have thrown the key in a place I hope to never find. I push and put it all in a place, far away, even from myself, hopefully never to be found again.
Today also changed my ideas and plans in regards to becoming a hunter. I went to the long drop, as you do first thing in the morning. After I was finished, I had no idea why, but instead of walking straight back to the hut; as it was a rather early morning, I walked instead up into the forest. I walked a fair way up and then stopped and stared at the trees for a while. I watched their gentle sway, rubbed my eyes and then took two steps forward. I then heard the snapping of twigs and assumed it was another tramper. Possibly walking a different path, down to the hut, even though it was relativity early in the morning, it was not uncommon. However, it wasn’t. You read in books, fairy tales, see in movies, the image of ‘the majestic stag’ but you don’t realise how true it is or how much more real it is until one is standing, several meters away and to the right of you. I had wished more than anything at that moment for my camera, but a camera is not what you think about when you first need to go to the toilet in the morning. So sadly no pictures, but we locked eyes for a moment, I think we were sussing one another out and maybe, more than likely, we startled each other. He was beautiful and after a moment moved away from me and into the forest.
Before this journey, I was sure of so much, but now, I know I could never harm nor shoot such a remarkable creature. Small prey and fish, enough to feed myself, yes sure but after that chance encounter, after sharing that moment; never a deer. Had I of left for the other hut, I never would have had such a thing happen to me and I will never likely ever have it happen to me again.
I have seen several trampers go past this morning, making their way to the other huts, further along, the track. Another sign for me to stay perhaps. For if I leave, I will be throwing away the solitude I have found where I currently am. Moreover, without people around, I am feeling more at ease and relaxed. My head is still tired and weary, but more clear. It is not the first time that I have wondered if people are in fact bad for me and that I am better off on my own. I may have to face a reality that is no fault of my own or anyone else’s. Possibly it just is. Maybe I have just been through and seen too much, I don’t know. I do wish there was someone, however, to share all this with. All these moments. However, I guess everything has its price.
I will go up later, back into the forest and sit quietly until I feel at one with the forest. There are several, small birds around that I would also love to take photos of, but they move so fast and there are not as many as I expected. I expected more. Something I find rather troubling and something more for me to think about.
So I guess, this is day four, I had to check today. Yet again, once again I am debating whether I will go to the next hut or not. I will decide at lunch time. The weather today is clear and sunny. The next hut I have been told; by a lovely middle-aged couple that arrived yesterday evening, is only three hours away. I have repacked my pack, as so it is not so cumbersome. I am fussing and worrying about my lungs, though I have told myself if they give out, I can always make my way down and come back. Though also, it is supposed to rain tomorrow so if I leave for the other hut, I will be there until Sunday and there will be a lot of mud to trek through. I have packed everything and have given myself until half 12. I am always changing my plans of late it seems. It’s not something I would normally make the habit of. I am normally so organised and run on a tight, well prepared and thought out goals/schedule. After only four days, I do feel somewhat, changed. Whoever I was when I got here, I don’t think I will be that person when I leave. Neither good nor bad, just fact.
I had yet another unusual dream last night and again it was about Him. However it’s fuzzy now and I pushed it out of my mind again, refusing to recall the dream. Fills my heart with too much pain, so once again, I push and lock away everything in my mind.
Late at night, another guest arrived at the hut. An Englishman, doing the Te Ora/the great walk hike.
As I watch them all prepare breakfast, they all seem so normal and yet I, especially inside feel and am so different.
I watched them as they all packed and left this morning. It is peaceful when no one is here and I can barely hear the road, though I look forward to, on my hike, not hearing the distant sounds of cars. I have decided to put my feet in the creek/stream. The water will be freezing but invigorating. It is so blissfully peaceful here, I will find it ever so hard to tear myself away. I will not do the whole hike like I first planned, I really am just taking one day at a time, each day as it comes. I miss my dearest friend, ever so much, in fact, my dearest friend is all I miss or at least, all I will allow myself to miss as I have and am locking away everything I feel about, Him.
My dearest friend, would love this place. Everyone else really does take it for granted. There is a large winding river, which you can see in the distance from the hill view on which the hut is situated. I took photos of it. Very early in the morning, fog had rolled in and covered the river. It was breathtaking. I swear every morning here is different. There is something magical about this place, magical and greatly overlooked. I take note too, that once more there is a distinct lack of bird life. I find it troubling.
Today the weather threatens rain but I am not bothered. Once again, I have prepared myself to leave at lunchtime and if I do not leave today, I certainly will tomorrow. No matter what. Though I have said that the last few days and something has always happened that has stopped me. So I guess, once again we shall see what happens. Taking every day as it comes, really is less stressful and so far, if I had of left like I had planned, I would have missed out. So maybe there is something to all of it, all of this.
Last night, once again, I dreamed of Him. I woke up several times, each time, pushing the dream out of my mind, only to wake and dream of Him again. However, I was and am undeterred. I will keep pushing, locking him out of my mind. I even dreamed He coming here. I was filled with a feeling of, what I wouldn’t necessarily call a ‘foreboding’ feeling, just a deep sense that he was calling on to me in some way. I didn’t like it. So I have pushed it out of my mind. Told myself that it was nothing but a dream or the work of my ever so vivid imagination. That it no longer mattered and so pushed it all out of my mind as much as possible. I feel now, that it is better that way or at least that is what I tell myself. It may not necessarily be true but there is nothing else I can do and it is the only way I can no deal. Try not to think about it and steer my thoughts to anything but.
When I get back, I will work more on moving on, moving forward, anything to forget him. Or at least convince myself I have. Convince myself, to lock it all away because the hurt is too much and refusing to fade. I pour anaesthetic on all my emotions. Numbing it all as much as ever possible. Because the reality is, we, he and I will never even lay eyes on one another again. Furthermore, it is a reality that I need to face and cling to. A reality that I must hold onto with all my might or I will never get through any of this. I will climb into a pit of utter despair and misery otherwise and I would never find my way out again.
I was glad that I stayed here another night, because something, once again happened, that made me feel that I should stay. I swear there are things that keep happening to keep me here.
Yesterday evening, a family arrived. Two wonderful women, one with two kids and the other with her daughter. Both had teamed up to give the kids a camping experience and get them out of the house for Easter.
I never regretted not having children. I am not sure if I have mentioned it before but I never wanted children and I never regretted not having any. However, meeting this family, changed all that and no it is not or does not have anything to do with a ticking biological clock or age or that kind of thing. There was just so much joy, love and life. I never knew it could be so. I had also, never given much thought to what I had missed out on by not having, or more, not having the chance to have children. A family of my own. I have missed out on so much, I guess I really did not give it that much thought. You don’t think about the train when you are in it. You don’t think about these things when you are in the eye of the storm.
No this does not mean that when I get back to, the real world, that I will want a baby. I cannot have children and my situation also makes it impossible. Furthermore, I wouldn’t and couldn’t do it alone and all my other reasons still tug at me. Like how I wouldn’t want to turn into my mother. Then again maybe this was a fear that held me back and cemented me never entertaining the idea of having a family of my own. Or maybe it was my own doubts within myself. I realise that I doubt myself a lot and I shouldn’t. I don’t know how, after spending just an afternoon and evening with this wonderful family’s children, how I could ever have thought that I didn’t have maternal instincts. It was such utter delight, answering their constant questions, reading to them and even realising that it wasn’t so bad when things weren’t going smoothly. After all, they are just children, trying to learn and find a way. I don’t know how I could have thought that I would be, like her. That I would reject and abandon my child, that I would leave and make them feel unloved as she did me. I use to think, all the time, that it was my father I was afraid of turning into, turns out, it was my mother that I did not and don’t, want to become. It was always her.
Also, I keep telling people that I have only been here a day. I didn’t want to have to explain myself or my story. I didn’t want to share my thoughts and I didn’t want to open myself up to perfect strangers. I didn’t want to be subjected to people’s judgement or opinions and I’m always having, I feel to explain myself on a constant daily basis. So I formed a habit of telling people I had only been at the hut for a day. I felt bad, I’m not one to lie, though in the case I don’t feel as if I lied, just protected myself a little.
Though the wonderful family I met, was one of the few times I hated not saying why I was there but. The reminder that there are good people out there, rare as they may be, restored a little of faith in humanity. I do also wish that, I had of explained more than, though I appeared very lost, it is more than, part of me is just missing but. If I had said that, then I would have had to explain everything else and I couldn’t do or have that. Moreover, I didn’t want to say out loud that I had for some time felt that part of me was and is, numb and not exactly alive. I don’t feel alive. I haven’t for some time. I thought the trip would change that, but it hasn’t. I’m and have been, getting used to it, but not dwelling on it too much. As if half of me is in a comatose state. A feeling of being here, but not here, lingers within me and has for some time now. I will find and develop ways to manage it, after all, what else can I do.
The wonderful family asked me what my plans were, I told them about how I was going to trek to the next hut, and they suggested that I should just climb into my sleeping bag and enjoy the peace and quiet.
So it is Easter Saturday, the wonderful family left in the morning and I deeply regretted not getting their details so I could keep in contact. I hope very much that fate will let us find each other again in the future. It is all I can hope for. The sky threatens rain. I have taken the advice and decided to spend yet another night here at this hut. Early in the morning, not long after the wonderful family and their golden children had left, some hikers stopped by. They told me of the state of the other huts and they remarked to me about how much nicer the hut I was staying in was. The description of the other huts did not in the least sound appealing. Even to me, who was and is most of the time more than willing to just make do with whatever is available. However walking for several hours to a hut that did not even have a floor, compared to what I had, was not inviting in the least. So once again, I decided to stay where I was, but, once again, with a solemn promise to myself that I would leave in the morning, no matter what.
The weather after the hikers leave, as they were only stopping by, begins to drizzle and I remember the advice given to me by the wonderful family. How I should just crawl into my sleeping bag and enjoy the peace. Especially with the whole hut to myself and the patter of the rain on the tin roof.
Moreover, the weather in this region is highly unpredictable and the beauty here too I’ve found is that you have no idea who may arrive. So far, if I had left and stuck to my plans, then I never would have met the people I have so far, nor would I have had the experiences I have had so far. So I feel there is something too that.
However, if no one arrives today, I do not mind at all. Laying here, in my sleeping bag, writing, reading, sipping tea and listening to the rainfall, is blissful. I know I ideas, plans and goals for this journey but I am glad that things have gone the way they have. Furthermore, like I said, if I had of done everything as planned, I would have exhausted myself and had the proud achievement of walking so many miles, but to what end I now ask myself and again I think about all I would have missed out on so far. The music, the stag, the lovely older couple, the fog over the water and the wonderful family with their golden children that put so much in perspective for me. If I had left, done everything as planned, I never would have seen these things or met these people.
Maybe I was wrong about people; though now that I have said that, but still. Maybe people are okay, in small doses or maybe, just maybe, because I have had it said to me, twice now, maybe I really do just need to find my own tribe. Though for many years I have looked and searched for ‘my own’ tribe and all to no avail. Or I have had it all fall apart on me, time and time again. Maybe people like me are supposed to be on our own. That is assume people like me even exist. I have searched for them too and to no avail. Maybe it is all just me, I do not know, I don’t have all the answers. I have many answers for other people, but I have very little for myself.
So today, I did it. Last night no one came to the hut and I once again enjoyed the peace and having the entire hut to myself. However, the first thing I did this morning, was wake up before sunrise, have breakfast and pack everything. Today my plan was to reach the next hut. At 7.30am I set out. I made sure my pack was balanced and packed properly and I made sure I had everything. I was hesitant to leave the hut, I still had that nagging feeling that I should stay, but I left anyway.
I walked at my own pace and saw a surprising amount of people on the trail, but only have the first few hours. So much for serenity was my thought. It was long, arduous and I was and am forever thankful that my boots were steel capped. The number of times I bashed the front of my foot on rocks and tree roots, made me very grateful for my steel caps. The walk was mostly, uphill and filled with many steep inclines. I paced myself, I didn’t rush my speed and stopped often to look at the view and all my surroundings.
For the first two hours, I even sang as I walked. There was nothing but me, forest and the rocky dirt path beneath my feet. I felt truly free, even though at times my chest was tight and sore but like I said I paced myself. There were so many toadstools in the forest, more than I ever have ever seen.
Eventually, the forest gave way, after about two hours of walking, to pine trees and I found the smell of which enticing. The path at that point became more steep and uphill and to keep myself going I kept telling myself that I only had another hour of walking to go. I told myself over and over that I didn’t have much further to go and then I made myself look behind me and reminded myself of how far I had already come.
The higher I got to the more mud I encountered. The joy of which did wear thin after a while and just went I thought I couldn’t walk anymore, after over three and a half hours, I found myself not only upon what I now refer to as my mountain hill; but faced with a breathtaking view. I took photos, however not as many as I would have liked. The camera settings were not set correctly and it had taken me some time to put it right and even then. Moreover, batteries were the one thing that I not remembered to pack. So I was limited to capturing the things I wanted too, but still got several good pictures of the view. I could see the valley below and had a clear and perfect view of the surrounding mountain ranges. After I had taken several pictures, I sat down and had lunch I guess what you could or should I say would call morning tea. Then I proceeded to walk further along the trail. I knew the hut could not be far, it was only supposed to be 3 and a half hours walk. I had even compensated for the time, as I do not move as fast as everyone else and am in less of a rush.
However, after walking for another half an hour, I meet a German couple, who asked where I was going and told me then of their plans and that the next hut was at least another two to three hours away. I smiled at them as they told me, but grizzled internally. The mud on the track had gotten deeper as I progressed and I had almost fallen into the mud twice already. As they walked away, I thought to myself and looked at my watch and saw that if I turned back, I could still make it back to the other hut by mid-afternoon. However, though, I pushed on and kept walking. Telling myself the whole time that I would not have much further to go. I was also glad for the cool air, I am still not sure how far I was, altitude wise. I remember the hut that I said it had 600m on its door but it was the closest I have ever felt and may ever feel too being literally on top of the world.
It was roughly around 1pm that I turned back. I had gotten so far, but the hut was nowhere in sight. I know now that if I looked at a map, I was most likely not far off from finding it, but by that point, I had walked through so much mud and the pack was weighing on me so much, that all I felt was a burning urge, to turn back. Even though it would mean that it would take me twice the amount of time walking, than first planned and even though I was not even sure I would make it back. As I stood up high, in the middle of this, what I would and could only describe as a vast, mountain valley and I saw the even steeper inclines in front of me, as I saw what I was yet to face, I decided to turn back. I remember telling myself that I was probably crazy after all and how that maybe I had done something incredibly stupid for a change. I did not know it at the time, but the best thing I ever did was turn around and walk back.
Walking down hill was and is obviously quicker than walking up. It was one of the things I kept telling myself so I would keep moving and keep going. My knees though did not feel the same way. The pain walking down was intense and excoriating. There were many times, as I made my way back to the other hut that I feared I would not make it. There were times too that I felt that my body was almost at breaking point and that my feet threatened many of times to not take another step but. I persevered and refused to quit. Towards the end, I would tell myself that I was close, that just around the next corner, I was recognise the path and that I would see that I had made it. There are no signs on the trail either. Just orange triangles on posts or trees that tell you that you are going in the right direction. I was thankful for those, because I had been walking so long, there were a few moments on the way back, that I worried I had somehow taken a different path.
Then about an hour off of making it back to the hut one of the cords on my pack had broken and shifted the weight of the pack. Meaning it was pulling heavily, with all its weight on one shoulder. I wanted to give up then and there. I cursed myself often after that. I wondered why I put myself through something so physically stressful and not for the first time, did I tell myself that something needed to change, that maybe I didn’t have to endure such hardship upon myself anymore. I also too had the thought, as I walked back, that had I tripped on something, had I slipped in the mud and done an injury, I would be all alone.
My entire existence, has been and is one of isolation. It has been that way most of my life and not by choice at times. I am very alone in the world and I say that in such a factual way and not in a pity way. I am very much alone in the world and not by choice. Maybe I have blamed myself for this or thought it my fault. Maybe it is something, I can somehow change, I do not know. Maybe it’s finally time I realised that I deserve better and so much more, than I have ever wanted to admit. Then again, I was very exhausted at the time, so who knows.
However, I did make it to the hut. By 3.30pm I had made it all the way back to the hut. I am not sure how far I walked, I guess that it was roughly about 8km in total and half of that was uphill. I know most people would most likely have walked that sooner or done things differently. However, I was proud of myself when I finally reached the hut, especially with my limited hiking experience. I realised that what I had done, had been very brave indeed.
No one else was at the hut, it was as empty as it had been when I left. I also wondered why I had left, why I had I not just stayed in paradise. There was however a girl, I almost walked into on my return. She asked me about the trail and I looked at the sandals on her feet and warned her about the mud. She thanked me and told me she would be fine and proceed to walk up the path and way from the hut. I did not envy her in the least. It was then that my body went into shock. I could not stop shaking and then I saw just how soaked, cold, wet and filled with mud my boots were and that I had been walking in water logged socks for hours. I had also been wearing shorts all day and suddenly began to freeze all over. I moved quickly, to first, take off of the shoes and socks and then to get my body temperature back to normal. Every movement I made, was harder than the first, the soreness and weariness of my body started to set in. Yet still I managed to deal with my wet, muddy and sweat soaked clothing, boil the kettle, make myself some hot soup and hot tea. I then washed all the mud off of me with water I had boiled. I was still shaking at this point but I refused to stop what needed to be done. I knew and or felt that the moment I laid down, I would not be able to move again. I also promised myself too that if I was or more like, when I was ever to go hiking again, it will be somewhere more flat. Though I was proud of myself.
I then wrapped myself in as many layers of clothing as I could, for my body was still in shock and I was still shivering and shaking and then got into my sleeping bag and laid down. I was very glad that I had turned around. The thought of a cold hut, with no floor and no mattress, just bare wooden bunks, after the walk I had done brought me relief that I had decided to turn around and come back.
I wondered too if I would have the hut to myself that night and I wondered what I would do for the rest of my time here. My dearest friend had organised with me to be there at the end of the coming week. There is no reception either. Then, a little while later, as I was just about to fall asleep, the door of the hut opened. Four people, three guys and a girl, who I will fondly refer to as ‘the mafia crew’ after the game that they all taught me how to play and let me join in on much later in the evening. An evening with them which, cemented the fact that, One, I was very glad that I turned around and came back and Two, that I needed better friends and that I need to find and fill my life with people like them.
They told me their story, which had me in fits of laughter. They had planned a rafting trip, which had not gone in anyway according to plan and they had in fact never been rafting before. They had everything from the wrong pump, to the rafts being more built for children and about 600meters or so down the river, one of the rafts tore not one, but five different holes/tears. The way they told it, I could not stop laughing. They had found the hut and had decided to stay there for the night and I was invited to join them. It turned out that they had brought a ridiculous amount of food with them and the guys were more than keen and hilariously excited to start a fire. I of course forgot about all my pain, cold and stiffness.
It was a great evening, filled with laughs, stories, Easter eggs and noodles. A lovely English couple also arrived and we all ended up huddled around the fire. The fact too that I was so tired and yet I managed to stay awake, well into the evening. I hadn’t laughed so hard, in so long. It was a relief, fresh air to my soul.
The day of return.
My body hates me. I woke, feeling like stiff cardboard, however, I manage to keep moving and ignore the pain. I know it will be much worse tomorrow. I have breakfast with the Mafia crew and they offer me a lift back to town. They, of course, don’t know how long I have been here or even why I am really here. A desire for a hot shower and the longing for my dearest friend, makes me take them up upon their offer. I also feel that it is time for me to return, much earlier than expected, yes but plans changed and the trip, journey I now see, took on a life of its own. Moreover, I know my body will hurt more tomorrow than it ever does now. Also, a car journey with the crew seems like both a sign and an opportunity not to be missed. Another barrel of laughs for the journey home.
I do feel changed, although I still don’t feel, alive. Maybe it will always be that way, I do not know. I don’t want to go back. I know that. I want to stay in the hut and the woods forever, but I can’t. Not yet anyway but. I don’t feel quite, alive and maybe that is just the way things are. Like the sadness, I carry though do not really feel anymore. It all just becomes part of you perhaps. I guess the things I have seen and been through, can and do leave you marked and changed no matter what you do.
It’s funny too just how much my ideals and my perspectives have changed. I still want a life off grid, though maybe one that is not filled with so much hardship. Maybe not a tough existence, my whole life I now see has been just that. Like I say, when you are on the train, you don’t think about it, until you get off the train or the very least, put your head out the window. Maybe I deserve to give myself more, aim for more. I have a lot of strength, self-determination, and unrelenting willpower and yet I have doubted myself a lot or had a lot of self-doubts pushed upon me, I now see. Moreover, maybe it’s time I see that I have been brave and fearless for so long, that when fear come upon me, how would I know how to manage that? Maybe it is time, to forgive myself, for any and all my mistakes. Because clearly, I don’t give myself enough credit and neither do others. That maybe I really have done, phenomenally well considering my odds and the life that I have had. The cards have clearly never really been in my favour and I’ve played the hand I’ve been dealt anyway. Most people would have long since given up by now and yet, here I am. So going, still kicking, still trying. I lost everything, but still, I keep on keeping on. I need to learn to give myself more credit for that and surrounded myself with more and better people. I really am remarkable, yet I have no clue of it, or more I just haven’t seen it and maybe it’s time I do.
And then I was back and now we are in the present times. My body was stiff and sore for a few days after all of that. Funny enough considering I did not rest or sit still very much in that time, it only took me a few days to bounce back and now I don’t know what to do with myself. I have and do try looking for work but to no avail. Most, if not all the time, after everything, I feel like my story; this story most of all is all I have left. So much has happened and I still in so many ways have nothing to show for it but this story. I have many ideas, though I don’t know if any will honestly come to fruition, it is much harder, as I think I have said before; to do these things, without the support and love of family and decent friends. Though I have after all made it is far. I do though often wonder lately what will become of me. I do plan to go on another hike soon and longer this time. I would love to say next time I will not be doing it alone, but we all know I will be.
As for my family, I do hope to at the very least one day find where my father is buried, but I have no desires to contact my mother. His mistakes I forgive, hers I do not. It would be nice to find all the uncles, aunties, cousins and such who either most likely think me dead, have forgotten my existence or don’t even know I exist. It would be grand if that were to ever happen; however, I am, realistic. I will most likely see none of them again.
I do hope to see my homeland again. I’m unsure if I have mentioned this, but I am often homesick for Australia. It took so long to get that way and even though I have even less there than I do here. I do ever so much long for home. I have been away too long and I have no idea what I would do if I were home again, but I would be happy, least to have my feet on home soil once more. I never thought I would miss the homeland. I thought I would stay here, in New Zealand, a place I thought of as paradise, until the end of my days. Now, however, now I would give anything to return home.
I also still have the 83 songs I wrote in five days and I still am unsure of what to do with them. Maybe with them, I will find a way to get myself home, who knows. I am very uncertain of my future and where I will end up.
My fear is that I will once again, push all of these things, all these things that happened out of my mind, forget this story and attempted a normal life once more. Then all these things that happened, that really happened, would have been for nothing. All the loss, the hurt, the trauma, the pain, all of it, for nothing and I don’t think I could stand that. Not anymore, especially after losing ‘Him, on top of it all.
As for Him. We will never see each other again and that is just how it is. Though I will never, ever stop loving him, I have accepted that, that is out of my control. I would do anything, as I have stated before but I push all I feel out of my mind. I know that I will remember his name, long after I have forgotten my own and everyone else’s, if I am lucky enough to become old, grey and forgetful that is. My heart will always be broken and it’s was broken before him but, this time I think I will remain for the most part in pieces. Not all things can be fixed. I doubt that I will ever love again. Just a fact, another thing that I have grown to accept. I know people say it is better to have loved and lost, but I don’t think that is true. Not really. We say so many things that we think might help, but they don’t, not really. Moreover, as much as I lock and push all that I feel away, I know deep down inside I still miss him fiercely and that I always will and that I cannot help that. As always, it is bigger than me. Love is very rare and we don’t know or see just how rare it is until it is gone. I don’t regret many things, if anything really but. For the rest of my days, I will regret all the fear I held onto, that resulted in losing Him forever.
All I can do I guess is be brave and take every day as it comes. One foot, in front of the other. After all, it’s got me this far and I’m still here, despite it all.
Thanks for joining me on this journey.
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All the events in the story happened
And all the names in this story have been changed.