2015 was a whirlwind of a year. We’ve been back in New Zealand for two years now, and we’ve gotten to a point where we’re feeling pretty settled here in Wellington, in our cosy little place amongst the bush and the birds. We’ve developed our little routines and rituals, found favourite spots and lots of new ones yet to be explored. We still have plenty of adventures, only these are less about exploring the world and more focussed on our own backyard.
2015 has also given me a chance to settle down more within myself, and to start listening to my inner voice and the dreams I have been quietly holding. I’ve found new strength there, and am finally beginning to appreciate the things that I do well and what I might have to offer the world. For too long now I have made myself a chameleon, making efforts to blend into my surroundings rather than giving myself a reason to stand out. But I’ve come to realise, after all these years of searching, that the things that make us stand out are the things that prove us to be the truly unique human beings that we all are. Diversity is something that should be celebrated, rather than suppressed, right? I’m finding a growing determination now to stop hiding in the shadows and to start letting my light shine.
This new year is going to give me plenty of opportunities to test myself and my limits. In four weeks, I’m starting my first year of training to become a registered Arts Therapist. This is going to see me travelling to Christchurch for one weekend each month to attend seminars with a great group of people who are passionate about some of the same things that I am. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this… I feel like everything I’ve done, everything that’s happened in my life has been leading me to this point, and I’m now in a place where I’m ready to take the leap. The roles that I’ve held throughout my life – working in the justice system, youth work, tutoring, teaching at primary and secondary schools, organising services for sexual abuse survivors – have all contributed to my longing to find the way that I can best help people. Alongside all of these jobs, I’ve been developing my arts practice to the point where I can almost call myself a practising artist. Arts Therapy is the marriage of my greatest passion (art and craft) and my desire to help people.
We started our new year with a mountain bike ride at Makara Peak. Mountain biking is a relatively new endeavour for me, and it’s something that scares and thrills me at the same time, making it the best kind of adventure. I love being in the bush, pushing my body on the uphills, pushing my limits on the downs. I love the quick decision making that is necessary in this sport, and the awesome feeling you get when you’re flying down the hills, the greens and browns and birds whirring past as you rush over creeks and jumps and try to avoid the natural hazards in your path. Mountain biking makes a great metaphor for everything I want to do more of in my life – push myself, trust myself and let go.
So here it is…2016. I’m ready to embrace this new year and all the changes and challenges it may bring. I’m ready to spread my wings, to learn new things, to trust myself and my path, to take a leap of faith and to let myself fly. Maybe I’ll fall, but you know what? I think I’m also strong enough to pick myself up again and carry on.
My soundtrack to dreaming: “Fire” by Barns Courtney.