Monday, February 28, 2011

The Weekly(ish) Update - Issue 0021

The Weekly(ish) Update

26th February 2011 - Issue Twenty One

The only thing I am afraid of is not being who I really am..

If I was to be completely honest I’d admit I am a little nervous about what I about to do. I am actually more nervous now than I was before I started my bike ride, and possibly any other time in my entire life.

First I have some explaining to do. It has been awhile since my last update was sent, and I apoligise for not keeping in contact with everyone. I guess if you are reading this now then you have probably just been sent the last three updates all at once. Why? Well lets just say that after I arrived in Hamilton I quickly became isolated from everything I planned doing living on my own, and it has taken me awhile to get use to the fact that I am again on my own, and I to various degrees isolated myself even further because I was afraid to admit I am unsure about what I am going to do.

I officially started Custom Vision Photography on the 11.02.2011 simply because I liked that it was one of those dates where it looks like there is a mirror in the middle of it, a bit like when I started Cycle for Life (01.02.2010) and have set myself up at the moment in a garage at the back of my birth fathers pub in Hamilton. I have quit my job and am trying to do this full time not yet having sold a single photo, and with only one hundred dollars left in the bank.

I have this past week updated my website, and created the first framed photos ready for sale should anyone wish to buy something I have created, and I am as ready as I will ever be to do this praying that this is the right choice for me moving forward.

Yes, I did go to church, but just once, and being completely honest I was a little uncomfortable with the modern twist put on by the group I visited that day, so never went back, something that nags my mind every Sunday morning if I am awake before 10am because I kind of feel I gave up too quickly, that I never kept promises made and this is something that does not sit too well with me after everything I have been through, because regardless of what anyone else thinks I still believe what I believe, and finding the confidence to do what I need to do in my life will never be fulfilled completely until I find a way to renew my faith, and this means going back to church regularly.

I have stopped looking for someone else to share my life with and am concentrating on maintaining the relationships I have, I haven’t given up, I’ve just stopped looking.

I worked out the other day it has been over ten years since my last relationship, its so long in fact that I have actually forgotten what it is like to be with someone, but at least no one complains when I leave the toilet seat up or grind my teeth in my sleep, and as much as I try arguing with myself it usually ends when I get distracted by something else, instead of someone else. But of course I miss the feeling of being cared about by someone, because I am not always my own best friend, and it is very hard to always be encouraging to yourself, especially when you have doubts.

Somewhere out there is a beautiful young woman perfect for me.. but for now my focus must be on what I need to do, and that is to get my business to a point where I actually sell something, then from there to a point where I can do that regularly, and thus can do what I want to do, which is to ultimately raise awareness for children’s charities all over New Zealand on a level I am no where near achieving at the moment.

Today was the first day I tried to sell some photos and not one person I spoke to was interested in actually buying anything. A few people offered opinions on what they thought I should do, and some of the advice I received was actually very good. If I was in a better financial position to follow some of the advice given I would do what was suggested and be well on the road to success, but the fact is I’m not so here I am.. nervous.

But the weird thing is I haven’t given up, if anything I am more determined than ever to succeed, I just don’t know how I am going to do this. I do know that I am trying harder than ever to figure it out though.

There is a small part of me I guess that thought I would just be able to make some effort and that effort would be rewarded with results, immediate results that would allow me to grow what I had begun instantly and the simple fact is that is not realistic. I need to make a consistent effort. To keep trying and slowly build on what I have begun.

When I started my bike ride I had no idea what I was doing, absolutely none. It was a huge adventure that started because of an idea I had, but from that idea my adventure grew into what we all now know as the single greatest achievement of my life so far. I learnt as I went, never gave up, and in the end completed my goal as planned. My photography business is no different.

I need to not give up no matter how hard things get, I need to keep going and work towards achieving what it is that I want to do. Which brings me to a point I probably need to figure out sooner, rather than later.. what is it that I really want to do?

Obviously I want to use my photography to start a small business that makes money. I have bills to pay so it needs to earn enough money to pay my bills. I would like to be in a position in a few years time to buy a bit of land somewhere nice, and eventually build a house there.

I have goals. I have never really wanted to travel overseas, but I would love to one day be able to go to some of the world’s premier motor races like Bathurst, Le Mans, Indianapolis, Monaco, and a few others. But they are all things I would like to do, not what I really want to do. I guess what I really want to do is do something important that means something to someone other than me. Something important that’s not all about me, because I have reached a point in my life where my life is no longer about what I can get from others. I am owed nothing by anyone else, my life has reached the point where I want to give to others and make the world I live in a better place. It is now about what I can give, not what I can get, and what I want to do is give of myself so that others can live a better life. This is what I really want to do.

I do not have a car, and one of the things that was suggested to me was that I should sell my photos at the market here in Hamilton on Saturday, and at one of the better Auckland markets in Takapuna on Sunday, but as good as this idea is, I simply can not do either of these things until I sell a few things to get more stock, and then a vehicle. So this is what I need to work towards.

I am unsure if what I am doing is the right way to do it, or even if I have made the right choice for me to get there because I quit a job that paid money, I need money to do the things I want to do, but it is the choice I made and what I am doing, so the best thing to do is actually get out there and do it.

Before I go I would like to take a moment to thank all of you for putting up with me and these updates, especially those of you who have enquired about how I am or what I am doing over the past few months, your support has been (for lack of a better word) inspirational. I hate using Facebook, but looking through some of the messages and photos, remembering some of the moments shared, has kept me facing forward and wanting to continue an adventure that has seen many crossroads recently, and for those of you who have reminded me you care by txt, email, Facebook, or simply reading these words, I thank you all sincerely..

..because the only thing I am afraid of is not being who I really am.

Till soon.. Stay safe.. Be You!!!


PS. I have updated my website and would love to hear your opinions on its content. For anyone interested in seeing items I have for sale you can go to and search for ‘handmade NZ framed photo”. And for anyone who wishes to donate to the earthquake victims of Christchurch you can go HERE -

The Weekly(ish) Update - Issue 0020

The Weekly(ish) Update

15th October 2010 - Issue Twenty

Heads or tails???...

“Happy Birthday to me… Happy Birthday to me.. Happy Birthday dear Karlyn.. Happy Birthday to me”

I didn’t send the last update and I’m not in a very good place right now. Things are not how I want them to be. Sometimes it seems like they never will be. I am not really sure what to say. Does anyone really care? And the worst part is I know that these phases are a part of me, a part of who I am, they are things that I in theory control, which makes it even harder to ignore.

I have basically locked myself away from the world, no one ever visits and I put on ‘my mask’ whenever I go to work, or outside. I am not doing anything overly productive and every day that passes me by I feel less and less likely too, and it is entirely my own fault.

I miss driving my orange bus around NZ, meeting new people and having fun, I miss the challenge of pushing my bike up hills and free-wheeling down the other side once I make it to the top, unsure what is on the other side. I miss my friends in Australia, my family here in New Zealand, having someone to hold, and I really miss what it feels like when I am ‘me’, because at the moment I’m not ‘me’, I’m not happy and it is entirely my own fault.

I’ve done a few things recently that I am not very proud of, I have not continued to do what I wanted to do, instead falling victim to the day to day routine that has become my life, I have started smoking again, hurting myself from the inside out, and even just knowing I am doing this again causes me more harm, because I know I shouldn’t.

I am my own worst enemy. I have never really liked my birthday. Christmas and New Years Eve are the same. I have had a few memorable ones, some good, some bad. Mostly the bad ones are the same. I spend the day by myself doing nothing, wanting someone else to make the day different, and it never is because I do not do anything to make these days different, it rarely is any more than just another day.

There have been a few that stand out though, like my first birthday together with my birth mother and birth father when I was thirty three, Christmas day two years ago when I hired a car and spent some of the day with all three sides of my family for the first time. Watching the New Years Eve fireworks from the top of the tower at Government House in Melbourne, and the birthday I spent with the Steven’s family, all amongst them.

People often tell me that birthdays and Christmases are for children, I disagree. I think birthdays and Christmases are two days of the year that we all deserve to feel special, that no matter who we are, where we are, or how old we are, that our birthday is a day that people remind us that they are glad we are a part of their lives, and that on Christmas we all remind each other how important they are, because otherwise only some of us get to feel important, which is unfair, because we all are.

Sometimes life is about luck, sometimes it depends on where you are born, the wealth of your family, or colour of your skin, sometimes we are born healthy, sometimes we are not, sometimes we live happily ever after, sometimes tragedy strikes, and at the centre of our world is each of us. Our lives are as important to each of us as the next person, regardless of where, how, who, what, or why.

I don’t know why I care about any or all of this, I just know that my life has led me here, and at the moment I am not very proud of the choices I am making…

…heads or tails???

Till soon.. Stay safe.. Be You!!!


The Weekly(ish) Update - Issue 0019

The Weekly(ish) Update

12th September 2010 - Issue Nineteen

Sometimes we need to remember just how lucky we really are…

This past week I have tied myself up in knots over and over again because things have seemingly not been going to plan, things have not moved towards where I want them to be as quickly as I want them to, and in a variety of situations I feel I have let myself down by not achieving everything that I have planned to do already. I think I need a break to get myself back together.

After having achieved such a huge goal when I completed cycling around New Zealand on my own, there is now a feeling that I want to achieve more in my life, to do more than I have been doing, than I am doing, and it is that feeling that I guess you could say that I am struggling to conquer. There is a huge part of me that now believes I can do so much, and because I have not yet achieved anything more than I set out to do, no reward I guess you could say, that part of me is restless.

I have learnt that even though it is ok to be who I am, life sometimes have a way of taking us places we need go.. My life at the moment is telling me I need to step back and look where I am, to truly see where I want to be.. What’s the worst that could happen?

As you get older you’ve learnt the hard way right and wrong, when you are younger, or haven’t learnt the hard way, you don’t grasp the concept of reactions to your actions, and the results of which are often defining moments in our lives.

A very long time ago one of my nephew’s was given a hand made necklace by my birth mother around the time he was born. The necklace was given to him to look after until I returned to New Zealand to collect it, and today I want to share with you just part of the journey that I travelled before I came back to collect that very special gift.

As most of you know I was adopted, and for a variety of reasons as I grew up I rebelled against everything that had the potential to hurt me, mostly because I didn’t know any different, but also because it was more fun at the time. I certainly didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

It was suggested to me that I should look for my birth parents, that in finding them I would unlock parts of myself that I had not yet discovered. I did not realise how true this would be until now. I was 18 I looked for, and a couple of years later found, my birth mother, and even though initially the relationship was ‘perfect’, like everything else in my life I quickly rebelled against who I was, lost who I perhaps could have become, and eventually this caused us both to move away from who we wanted each other to be, and even though this lead me to separately meet my birth father almost a year later, everything in my life to that point simply inspired me to leave New Zealand.

I got as far away from New Zealand as I could get with the resources I had, but at the same time this took me to Perth, in Western Australia, where my ex girlfriend had gone to be with her mother a year earlier when I had left her to go live with my birth mother, and I guess if I was being completely honest I was hoping we might get back together, but within 24 hours of being there everything changed when I had everything stolen, and was told by my ex that she was engaged, and pregnant to someone she had met there. All of which ultimately caused me to quickly loose contact with everyone I had known when the path I had chosen now led me on a journey that took me in, and again out, of so many other peoples lives, in a variety of situations, over many years, as I struggled to find my feet again, all over Australia.

Meanwhile back in New Zealand unbeknown to me, my birth mother has commissioned a lady to hand make a necklace from silver, the centre piece of which is a hand made silhouetted angel in an open box that hangs from the middle of the chain. She then gives this necklace to my nephew ‘to look after’ until his uncle returns to collect get it, something that happened about eleven years later, which is another story in itself. I assume that during this time the necklace became as much a part of his life, gathering more meaning as the years went by and he got older, as it was to eventually mean in mine when I was given it well over ten years later when I returned to New Zealand to re new, and in some ways complete, the journey/relationship I had started with my birth family, something that I was lucky enough to be able to do with what was in my life to date a minimum effort, and only small sacrifice, on my part.

The point I am trying to make is we all have our own journey, that this journey takes us places we do not always intend going, but it what we do when we get there that defines us and allows us to take our next step. For me I believe I need to step back, get myself back on my feet again and appreciate the last part of my journey before I start the next one.

I sit here looking at the necklace I so proudly wear around my wrist and see each link as a part of my life, and even though I am possibly the tarnished angel in the middle linking it all together, I wouldn’t want to be anyone else..

…sometimes we need to remember just how lucky we really are.

Till soon.. Stay safe.. Be You!!!


The Weekly(ish) Update - Issue 0018

The Weekly(ish) Update
24th August 2010 - Issue Eighteen

Do you think I’ll meet a nice girl if I go to church?

“Faith is the only explanation I have for why I believe one person can make a difference. Hope is a definition I have to describe how I feel about the possibility one person is able to make that difference in the life of someone other than themself. Commitment is just one word that links Faith and Hope together”.

Things have stalled a little over the past week or so as far as getting my business up and running because I have distracted myself by setting up the flat I am in so that I am comfortable within its walls. In my spare time I have put photos up of friends and family on the window sills, collected various items of mine from around the country and arranged all the different pieces of my puzzle together, so now have myself firmly centred here in Hamilton.

I have been a little bit lonely though and so I have started to slowly but actively look for a lady friend, someone to not only snuggle up to at night, but also someone to share things with, someone to share life with seemingly like everyone else does, and last week this led me into a church for the first time ever by myself. The experience was a little strange, and it definitely took me out of my comfort zone, as the only other times I have been to church is for funerals, and the even rarer wedding in my life, but never by myself, and certainly never to ‘meet someone’.

In a weird way I think it is sensible to go to church to meet a nice girl, I think it will be more likely for me to meet a nice girl in church than it would be for me to meet one in a pub or somewhere else at the moment, especially since I now don’t drink, and no longer go out as often as I use to. I’m sure ‘God’ won’t mind.

Going to church came about because everyday on my way to work, and then again on the way home, I pass a church, and every day I was drawn to wonder what it was like inside. I have always had my own relationship with ‘God’, which I have always kept personal, something simply between me, and ‘Him’, well, up until now that is obviously.

I think that anyone who has been through as much in their life as I have personally believes in much more than themselves simply because their faith is often the only rational explanation for our lives and the content within them.

It is only since I have stopped drinking and made plans for my business etc that my life has become less of a rollercoaster and more of a journey, so everyday I would pass this place I would think about it more and more, until I eventually realised I would either have to go inside, or make the choice not to.

Before I began my bike ride around New Zealand I didn’t know I could complete it, shit, I didn’t even know why I was going to do it. I just knew that it was something that I had to do, something that would help me as much as it would help anyone else that was directly, or indirectly, a part of it.

I am sure that at some point I have mentioned that the original idea came from me sitting in front of the T.V watching a woman in Wellington jog 60km on her 60th birthday, and thinking to myself that if she could run that far at 60 years of age, then I should be able to ride my bike that far.

And that part is the truth, its just that the ‘idea’ came to me a lot quicker than I have previously suggested, the idea came to me so quickly in fact that for awhile I actually tried to not think about doing it because I thought the whole thing was crazy, a bit like me going to church.

You see I have had these ideas before, thoughts that just pop into my head that rationally not too many people would even consider, let alone actually do or try, but it seems I am a little different in this regard, because this is not the first time I have acted upon thoughts that have at the time seemed irrational, or thoughts that at the time I have considered a little weird, and yet it is these thoughts that have taken me places, physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally, that I would never have reached had I not extended myself beyond my comfort zone.

The idea for my bike ride came to me almost as a complete sentence. I just filled in the details and believed that no matter what happened I was doing something that was about more than just me. I have never mentioned this next part to any one before, but if I was to be completely honest, had I been killed by a car, or more likely one of those logging trucks, whilst I was riding my bike around New Zealand, I would have died happy because I was doing something I believe I was meant to do, because I listened to that voice in my head that told me what I thought I should do, regardless of how crazy it seemed.

I know I have not yet lived up to my full potential. I know I have ignored many of the thoughts that through out my life would have taken me further, but I also believe that whilst I am still alive I am still able to try to reach that potential, that it is never to late to try to be who I know inside myself that I am meant to be, that regardless of my present circumstances or situation, I still have the opportunity to live a life that satisfies who I am, and not who I pretend to be.

Sure living a life that is easy may be all fun and games, getting high and wasted may be the only seen option once trapped by drugs and alcohol, and that not remembering what we do is easier than remembering the details of where we each have been, than it is not easy to not use drugs and alcohol as a barrier, or remain sober, once you have been down this path.

It may be easier to make fun of someone less smart than you are, someone who does not have as much as you do, or is in some other way different to you, than it is to stand up for them, to give of yourself so that they may grow beyond anything they thought possible, and sure it may be easier to only put in sixty percent effort like everyone else does around you so not to stand out from the crowd, so that you fit in just like everyone else does, but I can tell you from experience that by taking the easy way out you are not actually living the life that you have been given, and you may never experience how good it really feels to be you. It may be easier, but that does not make it right.

We all have moments in our lives we will forever remember, instances that stand above all else in our minds for a variety of reasons, things that have directly or indirectly shaped who we are, in one form or another. These moments are life altering crossroads that if we sit and think about where they took us, the thought of where they could have taken us instead had we chosen ‘the other path’ becomes a part of the equation, and it is both of these options together that we must learn to understand, then use when we sum up the details of any event that has occurred in our life.

Some people may only have one or two of these ‘moments’ throughout their entire lifetime, some people may not have had any, and I would guess that one reason for that might be that in their lives ‘life’ has always been reasonably predicable, that their journey through life has always taken them where they expected to be, so thus nothing has leapt out and stood between where they were, and where they chose to be, who they chose through the choice of who to be.

And before we go any further please don’t think that I am saying that anyone who has not had to make a difficult choice in their life has not made the right choices, the point I am trying to make is that in life some people do have to make difficult choices, that those choices lead them towards, or away from, who they ultimately are trying to become, and at various points in a persons life we all will weigh up where exactly where we are on that journey in our own lives, whether we are failing, or on course to become who we should be, within the knowledge that also throughout our lives we adjust our own predetermined perception of who exactly that is going to be as we get older.

Maybe I am wrong, maybe everyone’s life is like mine and everyone else thinks like I do, maybe everyone’s life consists of series after series of choices that need to be made at the crossroads to truly be who they want to become, always looking for the next ‘intersection’ in life and understanding more and more as we get older the importance of each step taken towards, or away from, that person we want to be.

Maybe I am wrong and everyone thinks about the moments in their life that have involved someone else, moments that effect that someone directly through a course of action that we take, good or bad, and that someone comes to a crossroads in their path only because of something that has happened to them because of what I have done.

And within that what happens if I make the wrong choice, what happens to that person when they know the choice I made was wrong, but they still had to change their life because of my actions, whether they were prepared to or not.

I would like to think that everyone is like me, that the moments in their life that have had an effect on other people, usually people close to them but sometimes complete strangers as well, are moments that have also had an effect on my life, that my actions have led me somewhere and that the things I do are because they are who I am, that if I have made a mistake I act upon it, that if I have done wrong I either fix it or apologise for it, and when I do good I celebrate it, because my life is shared, it is not my own, and my life effects all those around me.

I have been extremely lucky to share a lot of very special moments in my life with a variety of people, some of those moments have been good, and others not so good, but all are a special part of my life because they all are a part of who I am, where I have been, and what I have done.

Over the past week I have seen how much my past means to me through the eyes of others, I have again seen how important the people in my past have been in my life, and yet it is only now that I realise that my past has not dictated who I have become, that perhaps I am who I have always been, and I would like to share this with someone.

And so I made the choice to go to church, and yes it was a little strange being in a room full of people praising ‘God’ by singing and waving their hands in the air, yes it was a little uncomfortable being in a room full of people who openly express what they believe together, and yes, I did try to fit in but only gave sixty percent effort in doing so, but I think I might go again…

…Do you think I’ll meet a nice girl if I go to church?

Till soon.. Stay safe.. Be You!!!


Ps. I have added all previous “The Weekly(ish) Updates” to my blog, which you can get to easily via my website by simply ‘double clicking’ on the orange ‘B’ icon that appears on each page. Please feel free to look at it at your leisure and tell others about if you wish to. There is also links to Facebook and Twitter as well…

Walk 4 Life - North Island

I don't think most stories are meant to start in the middle, but unlike most stories, this is my story. Actually, this is only part of ...