Ko Takitimu te waka, ko Mauao te maunga, ko Tauranga te moana, Ko Ngāti Ranginui te iwi, Ko Ngāti Hangarau te hapu, Ko Hangarau te marae, ko Renee Taylor toku ingoa.
Kia ora e te whānau,
Over the last few years my journey has seen me dive deep into reconnection with myself, my identity and my indigeneity. Being of mixed indigenous decent - Albanian, Māori, Scottish and English- I always had somewhat of an identity issue. Never quite fitting into any world, but craving that belonging to all. Not being Māori enough, assimilating mainly to my pākehā heritage, and living home life knowing about my Albanian heritage. A brown sheep in a white world and a white sheep in a brown world as my dad says. Imposter syndrome game is strongggg.
Learning to freedive and spearfish at 30 saw me completely change the way I viewed the world, myself, and life in general. It made me feel whole and gave me that belonging and purpose I craved. The concepts within freediving, the mindfulness and breath work. The process of a catch n cook, from learning, to hunting, to dispatching, and then cooking… it connects me to all of me. Getting lost (or perhaps found) in the ocean, being directly responsible for my food source, learning about the effects on our taiao/natural world, how interwoven it is, and recognising the things we can be doing to improve the health of ourselves and the moana is all part of it for me now. I want to be able to share that with others that may feel disconnected too. Cue Salt Aotearoa!!