Not What I Expected


I was a desperately lonely and unpopular kid. My best friends were my cat and my cousins and people in the small village I lived in weren’t too keen on my particular brand of crazy.


Now I am very nearly 40 years old and I have a support network and scaffolding of friends and family that can bring me to tears. I have a team of staff that make magic happen in ways I could never hope to explain and do justice to. The past two weeks driving around the country with my husband and trustees and champions who are working their asses off has been magical and impossibly humbling. I’ve hosted a professional film crew who are going to drop a full length documentary on the work that ChargeNet are doing. I got to see some of the most beautiful women I know yesterday, and now I am in the airline lounge about to fly home. I’ll be reunited with my four beautiful children and spend the night watching movies with my baby sister.


This life is not what I expected. The wildest imaginings of a the lonely, loud, little lady who grew up in a swampy and isolated hamlet in Northern Canada could not have foreseen the safety, comfort, Love and laughter I enjoy.


Saying goodbye to my husband this morning was quite perfect, as the incredible ache of being apart feels really good after 13 years of marriage. He’s the foundation of all the joy in my life, as I am in his. We are as opposite as people could be in a lot of ways and also completely in tune and our moral compass often (if not always) points in the same direction. Certainly not the same direction as most people’s do in a lot of ways, but everyone is calibrated differently and that’s okay.


I am so incredibly, overwhelmingly blessed that I don’t believe that my life is possible. It is better than the happiest dream I could ever craft in my wildest imagining. There’s heartache and heartbreak and horrible bits of course, but then there’s never long before a reminder comes of the beauty in people’s hearts and this amazing planet I am a guest on for this lifetime.


Last night, my friend Emily gave me a birthday card and here’s what she wrote:


Dear Dee,


Its not often you meet a woman as honest, open, but ridiculously inspiring as you. (To be honest, you really are a first). In the short time I’ve known you, you’ve shown me that a person as a whole is both their weaknesses and their strengths. You fucking OWN who you are and as a result inspire and welcome all around you to be human whilst accomplishing astonishing amounts in every single stride #KiwiHero.


Your enormous empathy, compassion, and kindness toward others constantly suprises me. How is it possible for one woman to have such a big heart? I truly believe you are a real gift to everyone who crosses your path.


And some how, on top of all of this, you carry an infectious passion, topped with wisdom and intelligence that drives your business, charity, family, study… A real woman who gets shit done. A leader, mother, phenomenal friend, supporter.




It has been such a pleasure to have you in my life. I know without question that I am certainly better and stronger with you around.


Have an absolutely fabulous birthday! Keep that wonderful smile on your face and celebrate YOU.




And a quote from Thug Unicorn


She was beautiful in her own way. Beautiful for her vulnerability, her humanity and for the sparkle in her eye. She was beautiful for her own personal brand of weird and her contagious, enthusiastic quirkiness. She was beautiful for her strength to laugh and give others love, even when she felt tired and broken inside. She was beautiful way beyond the surfaces. She was beautiful because she shined naturally from the inside out – unafraid, graceful and with fierce wild flower tenderness.


So, needless to say I cried. Much hugging ensued.  These word are so beautiful.


I guess what I am trying to say is that I am grateful. Very grateful.


Thank You all for being a part of this amazing journey that is so much better than I ever could have expected.