A decade ago I was living in London. My husband (at that time) had a brainwave that instead of returning home to Australia we would try our luck in New Zealand in the lovely town of Grey Lynn in Auckland (where you could buy the best afghan biscuits known to man). We landed in March 2002 and stayed for a year and a day (which coincidentally is the exact same time you have to wait before a separation and a divorce). It was a long year and it was a lonely time starting a fresh in a country where I knew not a soul, where I felt close to home but still so far away. I worked for a big government agency for most of that time…it was a place of safety for me. I loved going to work and I made friends that have stayed with me. One of them was a gal who had crossed paths with me before I had arrived, but we had never met until the day she walked into the office, gave me a warm smile and said ‘hello darling’. We’ve been mates ever since…I talked to Glenda about her spaces and she sent the love right back.
G tell me a little about you
Well, where do I start. I am a 45 year old woman, living in NZ who really I think has only just began to find and define herself. I am now trying to work out where I want to be and what I want to do, that is hard at my age as you are very much swayed by the shoulds, money, and being grown up really. How do you get back to your passion when you need to be earning enough money to pay the mortgage so you can be comfy when you are old – as that time approaches faster the older you get.
I like to think I’m easy going but in reality I don’t know if I am. I have high expectations of myself and am very self critical and high expectations of others – particularly professionally. I hold integrity and honour as two of the most important qualities in people as with the two of them the softer values automatically fall into play. If you have integrity – you respect others, if you have honour – you respect yourself and therefore with the two combined the other values come out – kindness, respect, politeness, honesty etc. I am currently doing my Masters in Social Work, still wondering what I want to be when I grown up – then realise that I am and when the heck do you figure it all out??
What’s your space in between G…as you get older do you see a distinction between the old you and new you?
Definitely a distinction, I am more forgiving, more accepting and more true, both to myself and others. I am getting to be comfortable in my own skin, I often wonder where the wild staunch girl went but then I realise she was just scared and hiding me and really stopping me from working towards my potential. The old me didn’t really like myself, so I indulged in things to much, didn’t like where my mind lead me and let addictive behaviours rule me. The new me still thinks to much but has had to come to terms with it and uses that energy much more wisely, have faced my demons and accepted myself I guess. I like myself and who I have turned out to be, I don’t hide behind alcohol and that is pretty confronting. Being completely yourself and having to like that.
You made a big move a decade ago to return home after years away – do you feel like this is where you should be?
Yes, I think I have found my place for the time being. I don’t think anymore of moving back to Aussie and I like being home, I flew back to aussie last year for work and I was so happy to get home, then I realised I was settled – I was where I am meant to be. I like sitting in my back yard and looking at the sun, the trees and the grass – my little place on the world. Also I like living in NZ, I like it, it is little, less populated and also a bit backward (glad to see G didnt give up her humour)
You met your man later into your 30s…do you approach relationships differently as you get older?
I am in a really lovely relationship with a man who has both – integrity and honour and the most beautiful heart I have come across. All packaged in a big hairy masculine man. I love the contradiction as he is also incredibly intelligent even though he doesn’t think he is, and he gets me. It hasn’t been as easy getting into a relationship when you are older, its challenging particularly when you are both stubborn, independent and have strong personalities and views.
I think you do approach them differently as you get older as you know yourself more, hopefully you have found yourself more. To be honest with yourself is that hardest thing anyone can do and I think is something we always hide from – as we all have parts of ourselves we don’t like and are often our hardest critics. Leo is my best mate and he gets me – I don’t know if I have let anyone in ever before, or to this level before. We have had big differences – hardest one was about children – that’s the hardest thing about getting into a relationship when you are older, by the time you realise you are stable and in a good relationship, you are to old to have kids.
Thanks G… brave words. When I spoke to G in the early days of my blog she said she’d do an interview but asked was she allowed to, because she didnt have kids. I didnt start out wanting to write about my life as a mum, I wanted to write about all the spaces. I think at my age and with little kids my spaces are all filled up by surviving parenting. I think that as I grow, as my kids get older the spaces will fill out. We all have things to share and I love that I got to share one from a mate.
What about you – have you faced your demons and found serenity?