“The only thing a person can ever really do is keep moving forward. Take that big leap forward without hesitation, without once looking back. Simply forget the past and forge toward the future.”
– Alyson Noel
My heart broke that day he left but at the same time, a little voice whispered “If you love someone set them free. If they come back, they’re yours. If they don’t, they were never meant to be.”
I somehow knew that wasn’t going to be the end of us, and so I trusted that what was meant for me would be.
The time apart allowed me to get my life back on track and to focus on the things that were important to me. I set up a health and wellness business, I turned my lounge into a yoga studio, and for the first time in my life, I started to make an income from my passions. It felt as though all the experiences that I had previously had led me to where I was now. I taught yoga twice a week to a small group of lovely students and I threw myself into learning, growing and rebuilding my sense of self.
Jason and I stayed in regular contact, and we remained deeply in love.
I was grateful that he had at least set me up in a beautiful farmhouse, which was on 1 acre in rural Albany. If he hadn’t invested his money into the large sum of bond, I would not have been able to move in. It also gave me the opportunity to help my daughter Aiyana. She was unhappy living with her boyfriend in Whangarei and I was able to provide her with a home.
As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months we decided to get back together, and he returned to New Zealand. This time, I was much stronger after having to confront my fear of abandonment and much better equipped to not lose myself in a relationship again!
Our relationship was never dull, and we seemed to experience extreme highs and lows throughout our second year together while living in Auckland. All the ups and downs we faced during our first year seemed to have arisen because he lost his father, and we also didn’t have a home of our own.
Just as I was faced with a change of life direction as a result of a wrist injury, and having to return to New Zealand to live in my daughter’s garage after landing my dream job in Bali and living in a luxury resort, he was also homeless and in the grips of grief. I am glad I stuck by him because I saw who he was beneath all the mess and I knew that in time he would become emotionally stable.
September 2018 proved to be a pivotal month. Jason and I flew to Australia, so I could attend a business training and we ended up booking a weeks holiday in Noosa at the end of our trip. We fell in love with Noosa’s crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and move there with him after Aiyana’s 21st birthday.
We spent the next 6 months in Auckland working hard on my business and preparing to move overseas. I wanted to be making money online, so I had a stable source of income when I moved, however, things don’t always go as planned. The business was holding me back from leaving. The monthly fees I had to pay were draining my credit card and I was going into debt, so I made a calculated decision to cut my losses and move on. I know businesses take time to build and they usually run at a loss during the first year, but time wasn’t on my side. Ironically, I bought into the business from the money that I received when finalizing my divorce in Nepal and if I hadn’t of gone to the Sunshine Coast to attend the business training I wouldn’t have ended up moving to Australia and living my dream lifestyle!
Situations in life always happen for a reason, even if they don’t feel good at the time. Trust and let go to receive has always been my mantra. Things always have a funny way of working out!
I had become so accustomed to leaving people and places behind that it was becoming second nature to me, the only thing that was challenging was leaving Aiyana and my kitty cats behind, I loved them more than anything.
The familiar task of selling up all my furniture reminded me of the past when I had previously left Auckland, I would later come to realize the synchronicity of what was about to happen, and I started to help Aiyana look for accommodation. She had enrolled in a 1-year yoga diploma at Wellpark College and so she was keen to stay in the area to finish it, but she was finding it hard to rent a room that allowed cats, so we made the decision to rehome Jason’s cat, so Aiyana had more of a chance to find a room with her cat Ziah.
Our cats were a part of our family. Gingernuts was a big goofy ginger tom cat. Jason adopted him from another family to give Ziah a friend. Our tabby Ziah was the most beautiful cat in the world. He had green eyes and he was super affectionate and intelligent. He was such a sociable cat, he loved people. He would often walk down the road to visit our neighbor who would feed him. We worried about the cats getting hit by a car because we lived on a main road so Jason was often out on our driveway beeping the horn to scare them, so they learned not to go near cars or the road.
Then the unspeakable happened.
One day, a lady came running to our front door to ask us if we owned a cat. The car in front of her had hit a cat but the driver didn’t stop, so she stopped and picked him up off the middle of the road.
The first thing that came to mind was, what color cat was he? I had an unbreakable bond with Ziah like no other pet and I feared it was him. We all ran out to the front of the house fearing the worst, only to find that our fears had come true. Our beloved Ziah was dead. I immediately burst into tears and the lady consoled me before Jason wrapped me in his strong arms.
Ziah had died on impact and he wasn’t coming back.
Jason immediately went into protection mode and covered up his unsightly head from Aiyana and I, as we aimlessly walked around the garden in shock, trying to find a spot for his grave. Jason dug for what seemed like an eternity as we wept, then when the grave was deep enough, we laid his lifeless body down atop a white pillowcase and the three of us threw his favorite toys and flowers in as we said our goodbyes before covering his stiff body with dirt.
Death is so final, and just as Jason was recovering from the grief of losing his father, the three of us united together in grief over the loss of our cat Ziah.
The next few days were the hardest as we were constantly reminded that he was gone. I couldn’t help wondering if Ziah had given up his life to make Aiyana’s life easier as we had troubles once before renting a place with our dog Kyra, who also passed away. I kept peering out the kitchen window waiting for him to run up the field like he would always do, however, the reality always kicked in a few seconds later. He was gone and no reasoning in my mind was going to bring him back. I was consumed in grief and all of us cried for the first few days. Each day, getting a little easier and a little easier.
Then on one fine day, we decided to get out of the house and go to the beach when we were suddenly struck with an idea. Instead of holding Aiyana’s 21st at the house that now held bad memories, we decided to celebrate her birthday in Rarotonga.
So, we literally booked our trip that evening. And it was done. We were moving out early and the money we saved on rent, was going to pay for a week-long trip in Rarotonga.
Our final weeks in Auckland were a whirlwind. We sold up everything and went to Queenstown for a week to celebrate Jason’s 45th birthday. We had the most amazing time cycling around majestic mountain peaks, soaking in the Onsen hot pools and I enjoyed getting to know his sister. We also drove down to Dunedin to watch Six60 live in concert. Then we flew back to Auckland, moved out of our house and drove north to say goodbye to our mums.
The day had finally come, and Aiyana was bursting with excitement. We packed our suitcases and boarded an evening flight to Rarotonga arriving to 30-degree temperatures, which was a welcome change from New Zealand.
Our Air BnB host collected us from the airport and dropped us off in the early hours of the morning to a sparkling clean beachfront house on the Southern side of the Island.
We all awoke to the smell of sweet frangipanis, the crystal-clear lagoon right outside our front door, and coconut trees galore! We spent the first few days exploring the idyllic island and going on fun adventures and then the night before the 10th of April, which was technically Aiyana’s birthday in New Zealand, we went for a night SUP, where we watched the most magical sunset before our boards lit up Muri lagoon with LED lights!
We woke early the next day in anticipation of the day’s planned activities…
I took Aiyana shopping and we bought new outfits to wear out that night, we went snorkeling and saw hundreds of colorful tropical fish, and then we got an overwater bungalow at a luxury resort for lunch where we surprised her with a Pounamu that we blessed in Lake Wakatipu when we were in Queenstown (made by the same carver as the Pounamu that Jason later surprised me with for my birthday, who also carved his Pounamu) We followed lunch with cocktails in the swim up bar, then in the evening we listened to live music at the best restaurant on the Island and ate fancy food made by an award-winning chef, before dancing the night away at night clubs in town.
I couldn’t have thrown a better 21st if I must say so myself! Jason and I made it special for her. I also wanted to spend quality time with her before I left New Zealand. I had spent my entire life single-handedly raising her and now she was turning 21 and living independently, it was time for me to step aside. I had done my job and I was proud of the way she had turned out. She was a caring, well-rounded soul who was wise beyond her years, and the lifestyle choices that she made reminded me a lot of my own.
Although some people thought I was doing wrong by her when I sold up and left our house in Hillsborough all those years ago, I always knew that the experiences I gave her, the camping in tents and traveling around India and Nepal accounted for much more than what a stable home life in Auckland would have given her. She was now following in my footsteps and living a vegetarian, alcohol and drug-free lifestyle while learning to become a yoga teacher, so she can travel and see the world. I was so very proud of her.
My days as a full-time mother was coming to an end and now I was getting older, my outlook on life changed. I wanted to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment. Being alive was a gift and I wanted to live a life less ordinary, far from a 9-5 job and working as a means to an end. I never quite knew how I was going to pull it off outside of teaching yoga, but fate had it, I’d soon be finding out.
The day had finally come, as I excitedly packed the little possessions I had left into my trusty, yet frayed suitcase. Aiyana had begun her course and was settled into a nice room close by. We had rehomed Gingernuts to a lovely family in Queenstown, and he was being spoilt by his new parents. We had said our goodbyes to our mums and we boarded a flight to Sydney for what would be a new chapter in my life story.