I started my journey in this industry towards the end of my teenage years, so that meant I avoided the usual pass times of a young adult and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I spent most of my time developing this passion that I have and I continue doing that every day.
I never really decided not to drink. It wasn’t a choice I intentionally made one day, it was something natural for me to do – it felt right as I believe in a natural lifestyle and also because I had this passion that I wanted to dedicate my mind and time to, so I didn’t even think about the things I wasn’t doing or experiencing
Then I was invited by the Auckland Council to sit on a Media Advisory board for a campaign entitled #BUZZED the campaign is aimed at using media to tell the stories of people who struggled with addiction and also to promote safe and educated consumption. Being on the board increased my knowledge about what healthy consumption looked like – but it also allowed me to ask myself who I wanted to be and I knew I would never be the party girl, but I thought perhaps I’d like to try just the one drink and enjoy it with my friends.
In New Zealand we have a prevalent drinking culture and I was of the belief that my not drinking would help to shift that culture, especially if I aimed to speak to an audience [you] and put myself out there – I wanted to be someone who would be different from the norm – because I want to give you the courage to make choices you believe in, not just go along with norms society has created.
I still want to be that person more than ever, but I haven’t had a proper drink before I don’t know what I like to drink, I don’t know if I like anything on the menu – and a part of my development as an advocate and a writer or persona is being able to answer those questions – so I can be authentic for you and present you with educated content.
I have realised the importance of experiencing life and what it has to offer – in a safe, educated and fun way. I have no plans to try a drink today, but I have decided that if one day someone invited me to The Caretaker I wouldn’t say no – my motto is now:
“If I trust who I am with and I feel safe and what I am doing is safe then I will try, after I’ve tried, I will make a choice about how I go forwards”
Making this choice doesn’t change any part of my ethos, I still believe in a healthy lifestyle – but I have adapted myself in order to understand that one-or-two drinks can be a part of that. I have decided that I have to try it, before I can really understand it and then make a call about whether or not it is what I want to do, my plan will never be to drink to excess, but who knows my future might include a drink or two with friends.
Don’t be afraid to change your mind as you grow, like I have – and don’t discount yourself from opportunities to experience life or to challenge yourself. We’re constantly evolving, the core of ourselves doesn’t have to change for us to shift, we’re allowed to adapt our mindsets – and open ourselves up to the potential of something, which is what I have done.
I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out, I’m 18 in a few weeks – so we shall see.