Dylan | Mt Eden

On gender… “Today being a man for me means being vulnerable and open to experiencing and sharing your emotions with your whānau and friends.

On children…

Last time I interacted with a child was at the weekend, with my partner’s cousins and nieces. I was hanging out with some children on a boat cruise at a family gathering. It’s a time where there’s a lot of people having children, so lots of children to hang out with. I’m starting to realise that family is important to me. When I was younger I was too cool for my family, but I realise now that they have unconditional love and support for me.

On diversity…

The last time I felt different or out of place was walking down Queen Street, which can feel a bit odd to me, but we’re all the same, we’re all made out of the same stuff, we’re all one big collective mass of humanity.

There’s a lot of people in the city just thinking about the future or the past and they’re just trying to feed their family and work, but it’s all about doing and more, more, more. So I felt kind of lost, there are less mindful people in the city, and a lot of homeless people, which is really, really sad. You become more mindful by setting aside some time in your life, in your schedule, to just sit with your thoughts in meditation, or just removing the distractions from my life.

We distract ourselves with food, exercise, sex, drugs, alcohol, and giving the time to just sit with your thoughts, even though it might be scary, is how you can become more mindful, start to respect other people and the environment and the nature that’s all around us. It’s what we are essentially, at the end of the day. I think my upbringing was the opposite of who I am today, and so I’m rebelling against what my upbringings was, which is not this mindful, conscious person who respects other people and the environment, sort of like rebelling but in a good way, if you want to put it that way.

My upbringing was pretty standard Kiwi; two brothers, growing up on the Shore.

On positive problem solving…

When did I last resolve a problem recently? Last time I resolved a problem with someone, I feel like just every time I talk to someone you’re kind of just being a mirror and reflecting for them, and we all need those people in our lives. So every day I take the time to listen to someone, just hear how they are, and that is not solving a problem for them; it’s just letting them offload and share, because you can’t have everything in here. It gets too much.

Just sharing every day is such a nice thing to do for people, because we all go through our lives living up here, and worrying about what other people think, or thinking that we’re worthless, and as soon as we voice those concerns and those emotions, we realise it’s not actually that bad and that everybody else feels the same, and that people will actually care about you and that you’re a pretty special person. But if you’re trying to figure out that up here, you’re not going to get anywhere. You need to come down here and share heart to heart with someone, and that’s where you’ll realise that everything’s okay.”

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