• Letters worth sharing

    Letter worth sharing: Voting is NOT the most important thing

    Dear H and Jellybean,   It’s voting day today. H, you came along with me to vote. Jellybean you’re not here yet, you can come next time. H, you asked what voting is, and I explained. For the next couple of hours, you claimed: “I win! I’m the leader!”     For the last few days, my Facebook feed has been filled with people talking about voting (Facebook is a social media platform that pretty much rules the world today, who knows if it will exist when you’re reading this). That’s cool everybody is talking about it today, but I wish my feed was filled with people who were that…

  • Hold your loved ones close
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    Letter to daughter: Hold your loved ones close

    Dear Huhana and Kāhu,   Last night I dreamed my Grandad Ray (your Great Grandfather), had passed away. In the dream, my phone rang.   “Hello?’ “Hey,” Mum said, “Grandad’s died.” Three words.  I felt my stomach drop, but Mum sounded so composed. No surprise really. Her, the toughest woman I know.   “OK, I’m on my way.” I fired the words off quickly.     You, your mum, your uncle Tony, and I sped blindly around a few Otaki corners to our Dunstan Street home. Since Tony was there,I guess we were coming from the old place down Maire St where he used to live. You know how dreams are – if half of it makes sense, you’re doing…

  • What being a rapper taught me about practice
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    What being a rapper taught me about practice

    Dear Huhana and Kāhu, I was about eight-years-old when I realised how shy I was, how badly I got stage fright, and that I could never, ever, ever rap in front of a crowd. My legs were only a bit bigger than yours are now when I ran from my primary school library crying. I was meant to read something aloud to a class group, and I was too scared to do it. I don’t remember their faces or what I was reading, but I can still feel the panic in my chest, the tears on my cheeks, and the embarrassment as I ran. Ten years later I moved to Wellington…

  • Letters worth sharing

    Do the things you love, or leave

    Dear H, Two months ago I finished up in a job I loved doing, working in an area filled with people I loved being around. I’d been telling myself it was time to move on for a few months, for reasons I’ll get to soon. In my goodbye email, I wrote a few thoughts about reaching the point of parting ways with that area and people, I think those thoughts are worth sharing with you. You’re nearly three years old, so a long way from needing to worry about the right time to leave a job – but I’ll write this down now before I forget. ___ Dear team, Quick maths…

  • Letters worth sharing

    Learning to talk – 18 months old

    Dear H, You’re 18 months old and pretty much mimicking anything we say, which is stupidly cute – but obviously means me and your mum need to make sure we’re not saying anything we don’t want you repeating on loop at daycare. My Dad had you walking around saying Dropkick in the weekend (rugby reference, hopefully). We talked and read a lot to you before you made your grand entrance at the hospital, it seemed strange reading to your mum’s stomach (I’m sure it looked even stranger). But I’d like to think thats got something to do with how much you love reading and talking now – but like my Mum said, it…

  • Resilience
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    Resilience and kids

    I started writing this about four weeks ago on my way home from seeing my little cousin for the last time. She was 21 years old when she hung herself because she just couldn’t get things to feel right inside. I almost didn’t finish it since the writing had served it’s selfish self-therapy purpose. But watching my niece and nephew say goodbye to their uncle 2 weeks later after he lost a long struggle with mental illness changed my mind. Every year since college I’ve seen that dark cloud called depression suck up somebody close to me or my loved ones and every year we talk about it, and every year we hope things will be…