My full name is Holly Estelle Lindsey but its so much more than just being my name. There is a very special story that comes with it, one that I want to share…
Estelle is my grandmother’s name. I never met Estelle as she died in a car accident when my mother was 32. Although I never met her, I have never felt that she was missing in my life or that I had missed out on having her as a grandmother. She has always been there with me throughout my journey, holding my hand through the hard times and cheering me on through the good ones. We have a unique connection that goes beyond the name and heres why….
I was unexpectedly born premature, on the anniversary of her death, a year to the day after she passed. My parents were at the hospital having the routine tour of the maternity wing along with other couples. My mother had mentioned to the doctors that she had a pain in her back which quickly escalated to giving birth and I was in my parents arms just before midnight. I was rushed to the emergency ward to check that everything was alright. Instead of getting the rest she needed, my mother stayed by my side the entire night and day. Estelle’s angels sent me to fill a space in my mother’s broken heart and my mum knew that.
I often think that’s why we are so close, because in some spiritual way my mum has both Holly and Estelle in one being. My parents gave me Estelle as a middle name with the plan to let me change it to my first name when I entered high school. At that point I decided not to, as everyone knew me as Holly and it didn’t feel right at that time.
Now, looking back on it, I held off for a reason. The name had its place in my future. It would come front and centre when I was in a place of true contentment. A place of honest happiness and security. It would represent an important part of who I am, something that fuels my happiness, that is entirely my own and inspires me to reach for the stars … my blog.
Estelle is an old french name, meaning star. I’m not sure what’s in store for me and this life of mine, but I have the brightest star in the sky to guide me. It’s the one star I’m reaching for and her name is Estelle.
Dancing in the rain in front a restaurant window full of guests, sums up where I am at perfectly. Moving miles past the fear of what others think and just being me… plus its pretty easy when you are dressed head to toe in Spanish gorgeousness from H&M.
I must admit, it was my friend Cat that spent the majority of the time standing drenched in the rain, just so she could capture the moment. Life is so much better when you are surrounded by those who love and support you enough to dance with you in the pouring rain on a Sunday morning. Thank you Cat.
I’ve been low key Insta crushing on the gorgeously hilarious, gumboot wearing, part time farmer, full time shit talker (as she describes herself), Hazel, the alter ego from ‘What Hazel Said’.
Documenting her daily wins (which earn her a star on her star chart), struggles and rants (like the fact that her local baristas cannot seem to master the art of a simple short black), she enlightens the lives of thousands of followers with a real talk approach to her own reality …. and a bunch of Lamb spam!
Although she lures me in with her daily humor and witty rants, its actually the softer side of her honestly that got me. She wrote a post inspired by a quote that I had also shared, so I was immediately intrigued to hear her take on it. It almost bought a tear to my eye. It was real, honest and written as if it was about me.
Im not going to share too much of this as I urge you to read it for yourself, but here is a few snippets of What Hazel Said:
You can spot the wild ones if you know what to look for. They’re the ones who laugh too loud and love too hard and swear too much and stay too long.
If she’s in her thirties she’s a bit more relaxed about life, she’s had her heart obliterated more than twice, and knows that no storm lasts forever, but she still drinks too much at parties.
She carries pieces of her past in her pocket. Some so she remembers who she is, some to remind her how far she’s come. She’s at peace with all the pieces, and if you can’t be – leave her wild.
Her friends are extended family. Gender, race, sexual orientation and age are irrelevant, because she sees souls instead of smiles. If it’s not OK that some of these souls are in male bodies – leave her wild.
She has openly pledged to live 2017 as #authentic, with #nofilter and #nofucksgiven. Join her army of followers, who like me, check in everyday, straight after work to see what Hazel Said that day.
Talk to us about your 20’s…
Oh my stars, take me back. I look back and I honestly had the best time. I finished up at Uni in my 20’s, and spent half of the decade on the Gold Coast. What a place to be. I had a glamorous job (by Accountant standards), and I got to travel around Australia doing fun stuff with fabulous people. I hadn’t known grief until just before I turned 28 and it really was a blessed place to be.
I wish I had enjoyed it more and looked around and appreciated how lucky I was, instead of traveling in the fast lane wishing they would increase the speed limit to 120 km/h. Even when I spent three months traveling the world solo, I was worrying about how I’d explain a three month hiatus on my CV and how I was going to lose the weight before my BFF’s wedding.
Life in your thirties has found you …
My thirties has found me, employed, unemployed and now self employed. My thirties found me living with my fiance, living with my parents, and now living in beautiful rural NZ with one of my fave humans ever, Julio. I have had so many “how the fuck did I get here?” moments in the last few years, and now I have so many “how the fuck did I get so lucky?” moments.
How would you sum up your life in your thirties in one sentence …
Even at the ripe old age of 33, I look back at my journey to the now and can announce that I took the road with the bends that make you feel sick and the potholes that make you wish you’d worn a sports bra. If I were to sum up my thirties (so far) in one sentence, it would be: One hell of a ride.
I love watching your Insta stories you post after a day in the office. Share with us your funniest work story.
I have lots of work stories, and until I started sharing mine on Insta, I didn’t realise that there were so many people struggling with condescending, passive agressive colleagues on a daily basis.
Once upon a time I worked for a circus that traveled across Australia (not really but it felt like a circus and we acted like monkeys), we stayed together in houses while we were on tour and invariably drunk a bit on school nights. One night, my work bestie and I walked in on two married colleagues…one was in the bed pretending to be asleep, and the other was on the dresser trying to hide behind the TV.
Whats the one characteristic that people love about you, whats one characteristic about you that drive people crazy?
I think the same characteristic about me that some people appreciate, others really do not appreciate – that would be my honesty. Some people enjoy that I tell it like it is and answer questions with frank honesty, other people cringe when I voice an opinion that differs from something someone read on Facebook once (see below).
What’s an opinion that you have that people don’t like to hear?
There’s a few things that I’m pretty passionate about that make me an unpopular party guest. I’m passionate about mental health awareness, I’m pro choice and think that women should have options available to them so they can make the best decision for themselves and their future.
I’m passionate about women focusing on being supportive of other women. There’s a lot of (very valid) media chat about equal rights and men treating women poorly, but (in my experience), if you’re at work and find yourself under a bus, it’s usually a woman who threw you there.
I’ve always been opinionated about farming because my cousins make their living off the land, but since becoming #farmwifelife I’m even more passionate about it. I’m so proud of the way that Julio’s family business is run that I don’t miss a chance to educate people about the way they do things.
If you were 60 years old what would you tell your 30yr old self?
I honestly think that 60 year old would have so much to say to 30 year old me. A few of the things 60 year old me would say…
“Wear the bikini, your bum looks fine and your boobs are great. Stop wishing that you could be someone who swears less and has a more subtle laugh. It will work out, don’t worry so much. And the botulinum toxin was a great idea – good work babes!”
What age do you feel right now? Why?
Right this minute I feel about 45. After a few wines on a Friday night I feel 22. The morning after a few wines I feel like a 72 year old wrestler.
If you were popping champagne a year form now celebrating success, what would it be?
A year from now I will definitely be popping bottles – I just can’t tell you why. Julio and I have some epic shit planned for this year that not even our closest friends know about. You’ll have to tune in to find out what it is.
Whats something thats true, that no one agrees with you on?
There are so many things I feel to be true that no one agrees with me about, but one of the main things is that the accoustics in my car make me sound (note for note) like Tina, Mariah, Whitney or Celene. It’s incredible.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
The best advice I’ve got is from a good friend of mine when my engagement ended. He said, “put it in a box and deal with it later”, and it applies to so many situations. Every now and then you find yourself in a bit of a bother and you really don’t know how to deal with it, and it does really help to put it to one side and not think about it for a while. The time will come when you will be able to deal with it and know exactly what to do.
What is something you wish you could stop doing?
Comparing myself to others. Comparing my body, comparing my business, comparing where I am in life and what I’ve “achieved”. I think social media has made comparing my life with complete strangers far too easy.
Do you have any goals for this year?
My only goal is to be #authentic. To be true to myself in real life as well as on social media. To remember who I am and what is important to me when making decisions for by businesses – I’m gonna keep on keepin’ it real.
Oh, I forgot to mention, the girl can KNIT! Have you ever lusted over the beautful chunky knit throws on Instagram? Then you need to pop over to Heart from Hazel and browse through the lust worthy NZ woolen knits available, all hand made by ‘Hazel’.
I was recently scrolling through my Facebook feed when a particular status hit me. It couldn’t have been timelier as it was addressing an issue I had been personally working through that week. Bridget, from Goal Diggers NZ, had shared a glimpse into her opinion on referencing a woman’s physical appearance.
I admired how Bridget had gone beyond simply addressing the issue and provided a valuable and positive solution to it. She had shared a few alternatives for woman to use rather than a direct weight reference, such as ‘You look so strong’ or ‘I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing’.
After reaching out to Bridget to hear more about her story, it became clear that we had both experienced the negative effects of people commenting on our physical appearance. However, these were from completely different perspectives, references on being overweight and underweight. It got me thinking. I often see these issues discussed separately, as if one is more important than the other, however we had both been affected by comments on our physical appearance which held us back from appreciating, respecting and truly loving ourselves. No woman should ever feel like they cannot or should not be proud of who they are. This is an issue that we are equally passionate about changing.
To me, the support of another woman is the most powerful form of energy. In the last few years I have grown tremendously, as I have attracted a gang of the most genuinely supportive woman. Without them, I would have struggled to achieve half of what I have. But on the flip side, there are a few, occasional ones, that for some reason struggle to be supportive of other woman in a constructive way.
This blog post is to share our contrasting stories, our thoughts and our truths in the hope of encouraging even a slight change to behaviour, onions or judgments.
H O L L Y :
Firstly, I am well aware of what I look like. I have a mirror and I use it! I have looked this way my whole life – its genetic and I am a spitting image of my mum. So, when someone stops to tell me that I look “soooo skinny” or tells someone else that my “legs are too thin” it baffles me. What response are they expecting? “Oh yay, I’m so happy that I look so skinny thank you!!’ No. I usually just walk off and shake my head, yet it angers me inside. Why? Because it’s not a compliment. The intention is not to make me feel good, it’s to bring me down which saddens me.
Another one I get often is ‘I’m just concerned about you’. Hmmm why are you concerned about me? You don’t know my story? If you were concerned about me wouldn’t there be a more supportive, constructive way of showing it rather than discussing it behind my back and influencing what others may think of me?
Their concern is not that I am healthy. Their concern is that I am not healthy and this I find tiring. I have a well-balanced diet, I eat carbs, I LOVE carbs and I am one of those annoying people that will make sure I get equal portions when sharing food. That’s my story. Yet I am constantly defending myself against accusations that I am someone that I am not, alluding to an eating disorder or that I am unhappy. I find this disheartening as I am someone that I am actually really proud to be.
My happiness and the pride I have in myself has nothing to do with my physical appearance, rather, what I have accomplished, the life I have built for myself and the supportive, positive people I am surrounded by (like my new blogging buddy JB above). Woman should encourage each other to live and love themselves. Not be made to feel they need to gain weight, lose weight or be anything other than who they are. We feel insecure about ourselves when we worry what others think. I read a quote once about thinking before you speak:
True: Is it true?
Helpful: Is it helpful
Inspiring: Is it inspiring?
Necessary: Is it necessary?
Kind: Is it kind?
Imagine if everyone stopped to ‘THINK’ before they think. What could we accomplish if we put the wasted energy into creating a fulfilling life, supporting and building each other up?
We have much more to share on that in our next blog post! Here’s Bridget’s story…
B R I D G E T:
I’m struggling to start writing this. I was going to start with… “I wouldn’t say I’ve been through body shaming anymore than any other girl…” – which is completely ridiculous because why the fuck is it a normal part of growing up? How can society be so messed up that a normal part of life is us being made to feel and think negatively about our bodies. Why are our bodies even a focus? Why is it the first thing someone will compliment us on? Our physical appearance?
My earliest memory of being made to think about my physical body was when I was 8 and my Nana (bless her cotton socks) went on to declare to the whole room after I had sat down beside her that I ‘fill that chair nicely’. Now clearly my lovely Nana said that with no intention of hurting me or causing unknown early onset self-confidence and body image issues. But like I mentioned above, physical appearance was, and still is very much the focus of any observation on another human being. Comments like that happened regularly, which at the time I was ignorant or perhaps just didn’t know that they were having an impact on me.
Moving on to late teens, early twenties and another vivid memory comes to mind that involves a friend, let’s call him Harvey (Suits, anyone?) who nicknamed my arse ‘Kim K’. Harvey would grab ‘Kim K’ whenever he saw me which was usually on the dance-floor after a few too many Redbull and Jagermeisters and go on about my bootylicious booty that apparently resembled that of Kim Kardashians. I embraced it. I once again didn’t think much of it at the time, but another exceptional example of a human being having an unwanted opinion on my physical body. I am quite aware that my butt has been and still somewhat is big, so round and like out there. I know all the words to Sir Mixalot, Baby Got Back and yes I will throw my booty around the DF and possibly in your face while I’m belting out this booty anthem. It’s my booty, I can do what I want with it, but I don’t need Harvey, or you, or anyone else to comment on it, even if you think you are ‘complimenting’ me.
These ‘compliments’ happen a hell of a lot in the social media realm and I’m not really sure who to blame for this one. For me, personally, the messages that I share on Goal Diggers NZ social media are never about my physical appearance, yet I’ll receive comment after comment about how I’m looking. For example, last month I posted a video workout of me demonstrating a challenge for my followers – and yes I am in my Kim K booty shorts and a sports bra but so what? Did I get changed into something more revealing because I was about to film something to share with the world and I wanted comments on my body? No! Is that what I had been working out in already so didn’t change a dam thing? Yes!!
Anyway, the message that went with that video was about how exercise makes me feel. It’s me time. It’s time to put myself first. It’s something I enjoy doing. Not once did I mention that I do it to look a certain way. Not once did I mention that I do it to look a certain way. Not once did I say please comment on my physical appearance. Yet, there was comment after comment on the video and the photo that went along with the video, about how I was looking. I know these comments are coming from a heart felt place, they’re always positive and I appreciate them and the love my followers give me. But please, engage with me for my messages I am sending out into the universe, not for my physical appearance.
Here I am, now, in the present, at 27 and 100% mindful of what and how I compliment my friends and even more importantly, my three gorgeous nieces who I see all the time. And I’m not saying I’m innocent of never complimenting people on their looks, because I do do it, we’re all human! But I’m really starting to make an effort to compliment people’s internal beauty.
Like Holly said, the support of another woman is the most powerful form of energy and this is something we want to embrace and encourage within our communities. Some find it easier than others, so in our next blog post we are going to share some simple changes we can make to ensure we are exerting a positive uplifting energy to those around us. We will be sharing this one across Goal Diggers so make sure you follow and check back in below!