My mother is the strongest person I know.
My entire life I’ve been surrounded by incredibly strong, influential, and powerful women.
My mother’s best friends: Deborah and Jane; creative, beautiful and take-no-shit women who, probably unbeknownst to them, actually had a hugely positive impact on my life. My surrogate brother’s mother: Jane (a different one), who – still to this day – continues to inspire me, with her enthusiasm for life, and encouragement on a regular basis – even after the death of her son. I even had a celebration when I first began menstruation, as a tribute to how epic it is to be female, and have the magical POWER to CREATE FREAKIN LIFE!!
However, while I’ve developed most of my deep and meaningful relationships with many wahine toa (female warriors) in the last five years, I’ve still always been a bit of a tomboy – albeit the lipstick and heels. I studied automotive for two and a half years in high school (through a tertiary provider) and was top of my class. Yep. I nearly became a mechanic. I lift weights with the boys. I play in a hard rock band with three guys. I’ve spent the last three years living with three dudes…
I’m just not used to being around 50 females – and by next weekend it’ll increase to 150 women – for the next two and a half months.
It’s a little overwhelming.
But you know what? I think it’s going to be really good for me. When I left New Zealand for Australia, Vietnam (Kuala Lumpur/ China), and eventually America; I left with the knowledge that I didn’t quite know what I’d be getting myself into. But the awesome shit happens out of your comfort zone, right? Those four weeks of travel were incredible for me – spiritually, emotionally, socially, personally… I learned a lot, and I kind of figure that these next three months (at a minimum) will also do me really well.
I’m excited to be able to learn more about myself. To understand other women better. To build strength on what it means to be woman. To understand more about feminism, and sisterhood. To be able to share knowledge, experience and wisdom with hundreds of other women and girls. To understand more about what it means to simply be. And be proud of that.
So yes. I’m overwhelmed. But I’m excited. At the end of last year, I remember thinking to myself “how the fuck am I going to top 2014?” I’d hit the charts with Static Era and our album Fit to Fight, been on the Good Morning Show, featured in New Idea Magazine , completed Tough Mudder and Tough Guy & Gal, recovered from an abusive relationship I’d had in 2013 (thanks to my beautiful Functional Strength Crossfit family, reestablished a relationship with my father and the rest of my Fijian family, and got the tattoo to honor them… how do you get much better than that? To be honest, it almost looked like this year was going to be a very plain Jane domesticated affair settled down with a boyfriend in a cosy little house in Mt Eden, Auckland.
But no (thank Buddha). Here I am. At a girls camp in BECKET, MASSACHUSETTS in the UNITED STATES OF FREAKIN AMERICA; one week into a three month summer job working with, and helping shape a stronger, more resilient younger generation of WOMEN.