“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”
I have been called many things in my life. When I was born, I had a different name for the first week of my life, until my parents realised it didn’t suit me at all! Then they changed it. I’m known by my first name. I’m known by my first two initials to my immediate family. I’m also known as Mahina, a family name, a name that ties me to my family and my birthplace back home. So no matter where I go in the world, I have that link with where it all began.
Some people find all my names confusing. Apparently, I am only supposed to have one name. Not that I have ever abided by the rules of “supposed to”. My names are constantly evolving and growing. In March 2014, I got married and I took my husband’s surname. Another name to add to my collection. A new name for a new chapter in my life.
My names do not define me. They may give you glimpses or hints as to who I might be, but ultimately it is I who defines whatever name I choose to live by.
Here, on this blog, I am Mahina. I am a New Zealander who loves to feed her family, who loves to be out ON the ocean, sailing in the wind, and yet is still afraid of swimming IN the ocean. I am a wife, a daughter and a stroppy outspoken woman, not necessarily in that order. I have an affinity for coloured stationery, boots paired with pretty dresses, Cher, dancing in the rain, kitty cats and Rhys Cooper screen printed band posters. I love fiercely and I believe in honesty in its truest, most raw form, even when it hurts. And sometimes (or often, depending on who you ask) I am full of kaka!
In 2015 I moved to Nanjing, China with my husband. We moved to China because we had itchy feet, because it was a HUGE formidable challenge that we were dying to sink our teeth into, and because I missed my Mama and Daddy. Our life in Nanjing was unlike anything I could have ever imagined. And I knew before I moved there, that my writing skills and spoken language would need some serious exercise in order to remain at the level that I pride myself on. So I am writing this blog, not for you to read, but for me and my own benefit. If you are reading it and enjoying it, then thats a bonus.
In China, I was given a new name. And I fell in love with a new language, arguably one of the most difficult languages to learn and yet how beautiful it is! China was certainly an eye opener. It felt like we were just getting settled into Nanjing when plans changed and we added a new chapter to our lives: A Croatian (Dalmatian) sailing chapter. We learned so much from the Dalmatian islands. Another language to get our tongues around, another culture to enrich our lives and another way of life to learn. It was everything that we anticipated it to be, and so much more. The people stole my heart and I wanted to steal all the stray kittens!
No matter how far and wide we travel, I always miss the places I have been before. My heart yearns for the stinky chaos of Nanjing, the loud brashness of the Caribbean islands and the quaint simplicity of the Dalmatian islands. And writing is my way of processing all of the chapters in my life and it’s my opportunity to express how I seem to miss each and every corner of the world that I get a taste of.
And thus, I will continue to write for the same reasons that I wrote when I lived in China. Because I love to. Because it feels good. Because it’s what I do.
So many chapters. So many new names! Maybe one day I will share them all with you.