Haka

I got a letter from the University last week to confirm that I have fully completed all aspects of my PhD… weird, somehow life has just amped up to the nth degree and a new norm has morphed into being without me really acknowledging the change. I had an old friend visit from London a few weeks ago. Her and I used to live in Melbourne together, when I was a complete fucked up on alcohol and drugs lost soul. It was very healing to have her visit and spend time, but on one occasion she mentioned that I kind of brush off the significant kinds of work I do…

PrEP has been fully funded by Pharmac in Aotearoa – I’ve had a few TV interviews about it recently. I did a lot of research and made a submission to Pharmac to ensure that Trans men were included, because in Pharmac’s initial draft proposal, they had left Trans men out. I’ve written two publications in the last few weeks and will finalise another today. I did a guerrilla performance the other week in front of about 20,000 people and then last weekend, I performed with relations as part of our regional kapa haka comps. I definitely looked the part getting my haka on. I got asked to deliver a keynote presentation at a big sexual health conference happening at the end of this year in Auckland. Someone else asked me last week to deliver a workshop on Māori perspectives of gender and sexual diversity, and also the summary presentation at another sexual health conference. The director of a national art institution in Aotearoa has pitched my performance work to be included as part of the International Indigenous Art exhibition to be held at the National Gallery of Canada next year. A friend told me he was at an exhibition in another city and saw that someone had cited my research to describe the context of their artwork.

Doing this kind of stuff and engaging at this level has become my norm…I don’t even question my ability to do it anymore.

I’m studying full-time this year. I’m studying in a total immersion reo Māori program so that I can finally speak my language. Over the past two weeks of course I have sat on my laptop writing research whilst being actively engaged in class. People keep asking me what I’m doing and I just say “work”. It’s cos I’m working full-time as well as studying full time. I feel like I am thriving, and to be honest, I look pretty damn hot for a 42 year old…still no wrinkles and still getting asked for ID when I buy liquor.

It’s funny-peculiar how life changes. It’s like the whole of the last 5 years didn’t happen.

I wonder what life will be like during the next 5 years?