• What a car crash and death taught me about life and happiness
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    What a Car Crash & Death Taught Me about Life & Happiness Pt.1

    Dear H, This one is pretty personal and there’s a lot packed into the paragraphs, so take your time reading them. These first three letters were the hardest for me to write. But I did so instead of sitting down with you when you’re older, because it’s still easier for me to catch in writing everything I want to say. And because while the lessons are for you firstly, they might be helpful to others too, so sharing them is the right thing to do. When I was twenty-two, I was driving the car in the picture on State Highway One. I was heading to Palmerston North to buy a…

  • 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…

  • 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…