What Do You Want?

This is the first blog I’ve published in over four months.  I’ve started dozens, and slunk back into a hole, but I think it’s time to climb out of it and get back in the ring now.

Brace yourself, it’s pretty raw.


Few things in my orbit are as frequent and confronting as this tiny, seemingly benign four-word sentence:


“What do you want?”


How many people have a clear and enduring answer to that question?  I’ve felt and observed that wanting sometimes eclipses having that very thing. There’s also some pretty basic and universal needs/wants that we all crave or covet, perhaps at the expense of basking in the appreciation of blessings we’ve just grown so accustomed to we take them for granted.  And, in my experience, there is no emptiness that quite rivals getting things you want without sacrifice and struggle.


From the outside looking in, I’ve created a personal brand that is incredibly and authentically vulnerable, but also stroppy and forthright, and even considered bossy, and I have been told recently almost relentlessly driven.  We all have vast and varied sides to ourselves, and our strengths can also be the source of struggle.  We all want things to be easier at times, and we’re all striving and sacrificing to carry on through challenges and ups and downs, but maybe that’s part of the magic.


This is the conundrum I want to unpack a little with you today.


I’m just coming out of yet another lengthy and exhausting relapse of fatigue, anxiety and sadness.  Burning out is just as much a part of existence as breathing, and that’s actually a choice I actively make and I am not complaining about it, just honouring it.


Slowing down and cocooning myself with my family and flaking out of most social and general engagements has been a wonderful opportunity to reflect on goals and the incredible journey so far.


Today there’s been some big national announcements putting one of my proudest and most challenging projects back into the spotlight.  Owning ChargeNet and being a visible and public figure in the EV movement at home in New Zealand and internationally has been a blessing beyond anything I could have imagined growing up.  It has also, on more than one occasion, nearly broken me completely.


But I’m still here.  And for the first time in months I have the strength and self-esteem to put my thoughts down with the goal of sharing them with anyone who happens to have time to read this.


It bears repeating, that when this company was born, our public intention was to install 75 public fast chargers to adequately remove the barrier of range anxiety and open up all of Aotearoa to EV drivers.  We are fast approaching 200 stations and have more exciting and important projects to look forward to.  I want people to know how humbled and grateful I truly to be any part of it, and I want customers and partners to understand that most days are hard work, and the momentum is only possible with support and collaboration.  I say this on so many days and in so many ways I worry that it is starting to sound like lip service or a skip on a record, but I WANT you to know that I know there’s hundreds of people directly involved in this epic narrative, and growth has removed the possibility of me being able to name and thank all those who are integral to the growth and success of this incredibly important movement.


So that’s the professional confession out of the way, let’s move onto the real cringe inducing guts of this blog.


A week ago today I had a dinner meeting where the only question was the four letter trigger.


Here’s the bullet points of the conversation:


  • I want people to real talk, and I am happy to be the person who gives them the platform to do so
  • I want to go down scratching and biting or, even better yet, be an impactful part of whatever it is going to take to get people and the planet out of the tailspin we are in and back onto solid and sustainable ground
  • I want to be present and available for my children and for them to know how much I Love them and how proud I am of them
  • I want to feel safe, and heard, and not taken for granted or advantage of
  • I want to be responsible for my own decisions and actions, and free to take ownership of mistakes and move on
  • I want to laugh
  • I want to be a part of a trusted and true tribe
  • I want to stop being hard on the people I Love and respect the most while giving my biggest smile and too much energy to strangers
  • I want to spend time with people who fill me up
  • I want to say: “let’s have that long overdue coffee” and actually do it far more often
  • I want to be more able to identify and be protected from toxic people
  • I want to create the distance necessary between myself and chapters and relationships that have failed, and not blame or be blamed for that failure
  • I want to do more good than harm
  • I want to let anyone who will listen know that most days are hard work, and life’s absolutely not fair sometimes, but it’s like that for everyone
  • I want to be Loved for me with all my faults and foibles, and held to a high standard of behaviour and character, and to be corrected with kindness
  • I want time in my romantic bubble with my main squeeze
  • I want to see people get excited about the future again, and be a part of communities and events that are based in Love, respect, tolerance and enthusiasm
  • I want people to be free to be imperfect, and applauded for the work they do to improve their own lives and the lives of others and the environment
  • I want to be alone sometimes
  • I want a great manager who helps me to do wonderful things but doesn’t push me until I break
  • I want to see people shine
  • I want to see people show bravery and be entitled to some failure and learning
  • (This one is very VERY specific, so brace yourself) I want our customers and partners to realise how far New Zealand has come in the electrification of transport in a very short time, with a fraction of the resources of other countries


… I won’t keep going… even though there’s way more on the list and I am now tempted to start rattling off the things that are irking me, and that’s not what this blog is about, I will write another if I need to percolate those thoughts through this medium.


So this year, expect to see a bit more of me now that I am finally strong enough to engage with the world again.


I hope you take the time to ask yourself the four-word question, and I hope you are blessed with a path that gives you enough struggle to appreciate the things that you want, work toward, and find.


Thank you for reading.