Doomsday prep

I survived two days in Auckland…just. Turns out a cold coffee with ice in it is a ‘cold brew’ in Takapuna (North Auckland) but an iced Americano in Manakau (South Auckland). It’s the same damn city guys, can’t you at least agree on what to name your cold coffee?! I also nearly died because drivers there are just…well…I nearly died. The motorway is fine, people kind of know to look out for others (though with four crashes in the stretch of motorway that runs from one side of the city to the other might suggest otherwise), but outside of that it’s every man for himself. I nearly hit a kid too on a crossing who thought that instead of stopping to check the cars were far enough away to ACTUALLY stop, he just walks out without looking, on dusk, in dark clothes, on a wet road. I stopped.Thankfully.

So with my heart in my throat 90 per cent of the time I was there I’ve concluded I felt safer on the busy streets of South East Asia than I do in Auckland. None the less I am home safe, back in Tauranga, where the drivers are equally as bad but there are far fewer of them.

As I was driving between the two cities (it’s a three hour trip in average traffic) I went back through the Waikato (where I used to live). Man I miss it.

The Waikato is very foggy, most people hate that. I love it. There’s nothing cooler than living at the top of a hill looking down at all the fog sitting in the bottom of the valley. It’s mystical in the coolest of ways.

I’m not missing the cold though.

However, I do miss the fashion. I have no idea how people in Tauranga don’t freeze. No one wears coats?! This time of year in Hamilton I’d be in boots, a scarf, gloves, and a coat. Not here. I’d just look like a weirdo if I wore a scarf AND a coat. But I can’t feel my fingers so I think I might just have to be unfashionable and start rugging up and watch all these weirdos freeze.

The first frost of the year is here (for Tauranga anyway, the rest of the country south is probably already well used to these) and I had to get the ice off my windscreen before work.

The best part though? My car started. Dad was very convinced it wouldn’t once it started getting cold because the battery has a mind of its own. I am of the opinion it’s not a problem till it stops working all together. And on that day I will be late for work and probably be very upset and it will be all my own fault.

None the less, I am trying to prove that it will be fine and it will make it through.

I know it’s at least three years old since I haven’t bought a new one since I got the car…it really is on its last legs.

I have one week to go before my exam (I call it dooms day)…but I have passed all the assignments for that paper so far, so I have a small amount of hope that I may go down in a small blaze of fire rather than a large one.

Shrug.

I’m tired from my Auckland training and I’d love to say that I’m taking the afternoon off to chill out…but I’m not. I’m going to study my butt off to catch up after missing a lot of study time while away training.

One. More. Week.

Then I can crack open my lovely $45 bottle of wine I splashed out on and enjoy it while having a spa. It was going to be a bath, but I feel like I might want people to join me in this wine drinking and it’s a bit hard for them to all join in a bathtub.

Actually don’t try to imagine that.

So life is happening. People are happy, people are getting married, having babies, getting cool jobs. It’s happening. And I’m happy to be part of their stories. It’s fun. I even like crying babies now. Apparently I do have a maternal instinct. Not sure I want my own one any time soon. But you know, at least I like other peoples now.

And on that note I’m off to achieve at least something today from the office before I head off at lunch time to frolic about in the sun for approximately 5minutes before I find myself back inside, cowering from the cold, studying.

Yaaaay…

Over and out.

 

 

 

 

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Bring on the wine time

My brain is frazzled. I can’t even write a blog properly. I keep Ctrl A, deleting everything. I mean some of it’s good, it’s just, well, sentences, words…things. Agh! I’ve spent the last few weeks juggling many hats. I’m a person of hats…you know all those different roles you do in life? I refer to them as hats, I think most people do?

So between the psychology, the job, life…more life…I wear a gazillion different hats. My most common is admin hat, PR hat, psychology hat,  workout hat, healthy eating hat, girl friend hat, grandchild hat, daughter hat (actually just general ‘family member’ hat), horse rider hat… I feel like I’m juggling everything and I just sort of throw it all up in the air at times because I just need to breathe, and wait for it to all come back down before I run around catching it all before it turns into a mess.

I don’t dislike any of my hats. There’s just a few of them…and I’m struggling a little to wear them all.

Last night I grabbed my interior design hat and hung up my girl friend hat for the evening and decided to tackle my room. It had become something of a nightmare. I had all sorts just stacked up in piles because when I moved all my things from Alex’s I shoved it all in and promptly decided to forget about it until a later date.

Five and a bit months later and I finally took down the disco ball and cleaned out the china teddy bear ornaments (disclaimer: these were there when I moved in!), moved the pile of towels and sheets into the blanket box and linen cupboard, actually filed the mountain of paper work on my desk, bought a hanging lamp to replace the disco ball and removed the old bedside lamp to make space for nothing, and moved my bed over to the wall.

My room is now spacious, clean, uncluttered, and makes me feel happy.

I needed a happy place – a place in which does not change and is in my control.

This used to be where I grazed my horse, then it was Alex’s, it’s sort of switched between the two depending on what’s happening in life at the time. Then when Casey and I moved in together it was my perfect little home.

Either way, I’ve had a place that I can relax, where I can decorate, tidy, and just breathe in…a place that feels like home and like it’s mine.

I sort of ditched my happy place for a while when I moved…I was too busy having fun. But now Ivy is being ridden by someone else, the gym is changing in terms of who’s there, Sam’s place is well, Sam’s place (and two other boys live there so you can imagine the bathroom… ), the house is my parents not mine. I have no happy place. So I decided it was time I created one.

And I feel at peace now, like everything is in order, even if its not in order. Even if it, at times, feels like it’s spiraling madly out of control.

My general day consists of doing: some sort of filing, some sort of binding of documents, some sort of searching for something in our internal system that’s mysteriously booked a permanent vacation and hightailed out of there, editing people’s bios for the company, writing press releases, making peoples long winded sentences shorter and easy to read, occasionally dealing with a grumpy interviewee, reading property news, answering phones, getting people to do things they don’t want to do for other people, writing articles. A few days a week I’m opening the show home, answering questions, cleaning, most days I’m studying psychology and counselling theories, conducting experiments, writing reports, trawling through the website for the course to figure out what I’m meant to be doing. I tend to finish with making sure my horse is alive, feeding it, running on the treadmill or cross trainer, lifting weights, having a shower, seeing Sam, remembering to see my family members, texting friends to make sure they’re still doing ok in life, catching up with friends at least once every few weeks…

I’m exhausted.

I am learning constantly, whether it’s working through emotional stuff I’m still dealing with in terms of relationships; learning how to be with someone new. Whether it’s figuring out the systems at work, how marketing is different to journalism, how to work in a big company, how to study again, what is psychology…and how to live with family close again. Oh yeah, and how to actually achieve my fitness goals!

It comes as no surprise really that I’ve had a few melt-downs lately. My most recent and perhaps most comical was in Kmart. I stood there, having had a rough day, rather annoyed at Sam because he wouldn’t buy a damn topper for his mattress or a bedside lamp! Right in that moment, absolutely nothing else on earth mattered except getting those two things. Why? Well the mattress topper is purely because the bed is uncomfortable, the lamp, yeah, I have no idea. I just really needed to have one.

I described myself to my mother last night as “Normal 95 per cent of the time, but that 5 per cent I really go all out on the crazy”. A good crazy I like to think… a crazy which results in OCD like behaviors which sees bedside lamps bought, mattress toppers put on beds, and my entire room cleaned and tidied.

So tonight my plans are to see my nan (she’s having chemo and radiation at the moment), study, gym, then study some more in my incredibly beautiful room, see Sam, and then sleep.

Tomorrow? I’ll do it all again.

And as for this weekend? It currently has nothing at all planned in it and I think I might just buy myself a magazine, some chocolate, and sit in the sun with a good glass of red wine. Because right now, all I can think about is doing nothing with wine.

 

 

 

Oh, you’re on your way

Flicking through old Facebook photos it mades me smile with nostalgia. Three years of study has gone by so fast! From the last hellish months before I left home, to living in the hostel that first year, I can still smell the left over sent of alcohol, perfume, cleaning products, shampoo, that make-up we used because it was dirt cheap, and the way the various houses we went to felt. Looking back now, I now realise how other people older than us must have looked at our antics and thought oh-my-gosh. But we were having fun, and that was all that mattered. 

Often I sit and I think back to my past selfs thoughts and I marvel at how bazaar things become and how different they feel when you get here. I can not get over the late nights and the liquids we consumed and the people we met. I was on fire. Socialising went to new levels that year. And we took it all in our strides. From photos of people at the start who wound up being far different from what they were in that photo. It is a sudden second of time, frozen there. My thoughts and feelings, the whole situation just captured. Or at least, how I now interoperate those moments. 

When I began tech, I had just ended a very bad relationship with a very bad breakup. Now, finishing I am in the best relationship I could ask for with an incredibly well matched guy. I drunk, most weekends in first year, now, to be honest I just enjoy the odd whiskey or wine on a hot summers day. Or, admittedly when things just go badly, really badly. That first year, it was something you make movies about. It is a pity just how limited my memory is of it. I think sometimes, when you’re having the best time, you don’t bother to remember. Because right in that moment, nothing else factors into the equation. 

Realistically, I can look back on many moments in my life and think wow, I was the victim of something or that was bad or drag it around with me. But if I am being completely honest, at the time I never felt like a victim and I’m not going to now. Life just happens and it hurts, man does it kick you in the guts like a pissed off horse. Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people, bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. The sooner you accept life, and rise above the problems, the sooner you start thinking like a conquerer not a victim of it. 

So, on that rather heavy note, I’m going to end this blog with a little photo timeline. Enjoy. 

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De-friended and fine

I’ve blogged a lot recently about growing up, about life and how things are changing. But today I realised what it actually means to grow up. This is the final week of tech. The end is well within my sights and I can tell you now the feeling is going to be overwhelming the moment I finish my final assignment. But right now, I’m feeling flabbergasted and triumphant. Me and my flatmate/ classmate/ friend have spent three years with most of the people in my class, or at the last two.  

I started this course and I was so excited at how many opinions people had and how many ideas I’d never though of and all the exciting ways I could expand what I knew and learn. I was young and I was foolish. Because if I have learnt anything this year it is that no one respects anyone’s opinion. Being closed minded is something that is ‘ok’. De-friending people on Facebook is a norm, still, at 20. Bitching and gossiping is something to expect. So buckle up and grow thick skin. 

Three years ago I would have run crying to the closest person about how horrible people you thought were your friends, became. I would have bet myself up about what I could have done. Now, it just bounces off me like a small child on an unsafe, old style trampoline (those were the best kind). I feel sorry for them. Because to be like that at 20 is astonishing. 

Am I sad that I am leaving this course with one true friend? No. Because I would rather one true friend than a whole group of backstabbers on my side. I’d rather be the one de-friended than the one with fake friends. 

So what advice do I give my sister, starting her first year of tech? Have as much fun as you can, do not worry about other people, friendships take a long time to be worth it. The people you spend most of your time with are not necessarily friends. Watch your back and most of all, just keep going. 

Because people don’t grow up. People just get older. Friends don’t get easier to make. Life doesn’t get easier to digest. You just get much better at dealing with it. 

At first I lay awake thinking of all the insults I could sling their way, but in the end it came down to one thing. They are small people. And small people will only ever try to make you smaller to fit their world. But big people, big people are the kind of people you want on your side because those are the people who pull you up, who help you out and who keep you going.

 

Journey of a journalist: the final leg

These last two weeks have been the definition of long. Tests, assignments, projects and articles have been running around in my head and I, have been running around like a mad-woman. I’d like to say a glass of wine is in order but I’ve stressed myself out to the point I just keep forgetting everything. I fear with a glass of wine I may forget my own name. This is something I do do on the odd occasion, so it wouldn’t be a huge shock. Normally I stare blankly at people for a moment when they ask my birthday. I’m just really bad with names, and birthdays. 

We are pretty much done. My diary is looking increasingly empty, and shorthand is the only thing that is holding me down. Oh those stupid little symbols that make life easier, and so much harder all at the same time! So I have a headache, a stomach ache and I think I am on the verge of passing out, but I’m almost there. I have a new garden, I hope, soon, a new house and possibly a baby horse (that wont be born for another year). 

If I had the energy to celebrate, I would. But I don’t. Not until I pass shorthand. Once I have passed that, I believe I will fly. Or drink wine. Maybe both. Then I will sleep, I mean I will give sleeping beauty a run for her money. Then, I might even have a spa day. If I have money. Which I think I will just have to find because a spa day is exactly what I need. 

Relaxation. Not long now and you will be mine. For a week or two. Then, off to the real world. 

A three year difference

Three years is a big difference. Perhaps not between when you start your fist year of primary school and when you complete year three. But the more ‘serious’ life becomes the more three years makes a difference. My little sister has begun to get all excited about moving out of home next year. With only two months of this one left, that is not that far away. She is fizzing with all the exciting prospects and adventures she is about to embark on. New friends, a new city, new study, new home. New everything. It is exciting that first year. 

Then my ‘when I was in first year’ begins and I can tell my sister is secretly thinking ‘she sounds so old!’ Perhaps not so secretly, when I said tonight that my idea of a good celebration was sleeping, she told me I was old. I’m not old. My life is just beginning, but it is a whole new stage of life. One far, far away from the one she is about to embark on. Hers will be full of memories she will probably quickly forget, people who will play a vital role but will eventually vanish, driving at all hours of the night, doing things you shouldn’t do and just being young, fresh, living. While she packs up her bedroom to move it into a much smaller almost closet sized room and dreams about fast cars, late nights, no rule and feeling invincible, I figure out the cost of living on my own wage, how much tax is deducted and when I will be able to buy a horse and a house. 

We are only three years apart and most of the time I forget there is even an age gap. Best buddies and sisters is something you rarely come across, but we are two peas in a pod, two very different peas in one pod. But it is strange to hear her talking and bubbling about things I’d almost forgotten I did. Growing up and moving on I think, is when you stop pining for what was exciting and new in the past, and start looking ahead to what goodie bag of life is about to hand out. 

I certainly will love having her close, even if it does mean feeling old. But while I am excited for her, I don’t miss being in that position. Because I am, right now, in the position I have always dreamt about. ‘When I was younger’ I always thought when I got a job and had my own house and a serious relationship and a cat, life would be complete. And it is, for now. 

My boyfriend told me the other day things with us were no different than when we first met. I quickly pointed out that things were completely different. And they are, but in the best way possible. Life just sort of changed and we changed with it. But the best kind of change, is the progressive kind that you never really notice. It just happens. 

That is when you know you are really part of life. 

And you’re growing up with it. 

 

Let’s run away and do what we want

Exhaustion has hit with the force of a bolder. One that has been stuck for 100’s of years, suddenly released in a freak earthquake. Apparently I’m not better. I’m just a sick. I just don’t look quite as sick. I still feel it. The problem is I can’t sleep. This is because I am stressed, which is because I am sick, preventing me from getting things done. 

As a result of this total body consuming exhaustion I have come to a realization (with the help of pessimistic tutors/industry people) that I will probably struggle to find a job where I need one at the end of the year. This leaves me with several options: run away into the bush and become a hermit, ride horses (not a bad second option), become a farmer, go back and live at home (also viable being my parents live by the beach in Papamoa in a nice house with a pool) or move somewhere random because I can. The last option is very possible. 

I realized tonight that I have not in fact done anything completely spontaneous with the only logical reason being because I wanted to. That is odd. If I do not have a job, which I’m hoping is not the case, I’m think becoming a bush hermit or moving somewhere totally random are good options. Why not? My boyfriend was somewhat surprised and I think secretly horrified I may have finally reached the point of insanity, but I was on my way here along time ago.

I hate being sick.

I really do. 

Treasure hunt or cave dwelling?

Something has changed this semester. I perhaps it is because we’ve grown up while adventuring in the big wide world, perhaps it is because we so desperately needed a break from the people we see every day. Or maybe it’s something else. I like it. There is a nice feeling in the air. I am still quite ready to escape this place, yet at the same time, I will miss it. Three years of becoming me is here.

I’d never thought about getting a job before I started. I assumed it was something that just sort of happened. I am still hoping it still will be a case of that. I have however prepared myself due to the increased realization it may not happen that way. I may be jobless. Wow.

I’d always just pictured the end result, working in an amazing magazine, writing everything I wanted to write about. I did not really stop to think there was a much grander story in between. Yeah, yeah people say that this is the adventure, the exciting part. Perhaps they have forgotten what it is like to be unsure. Or perhaps now they are secure they think being unsure would be nice. I don’t know. 

I am loving the adventure, until I realize it might not lead to a wonderful treasure trove, it may well lead to a dark and lonely cave of nothing. Ok, now we’re getting a little depressing. But you get the idea. 

Growing up has exposed me to many things. Power bills, cold houses, lack of central heating, food bills, internet bills, strange neighbors, scary neighbors, quiet neighbors, colourful people, more bills for something I’d probably forgotten about, the joys of spending money on things that aren’t bills and life. Every detail of becoming my own person – life. That has been exciting. 

This new chapter though. I hope it is going to be even more thrilling, bewildering, fascinating, and enchanting as the last few. Even if part of it does start in a cave.

The good cookie moments

It is hard to imagine life anywhere but Hamilton. It is nearly impossible to picture making new friends, good friends, living alone, affording everything on my paycheck and working every day 9 – 5. Of course after spending 17 years in Tauranga I could not imagine life away from the busy beach town. The fast realization of how fast life has been changing and how well I have been adjusting is quite terrifying I think. In 4 months I will probably move. I will leave my friends and familiar streets and go adventuring.

I’m not quite sure how to feel about that. Most of my friends are not in Hamilton, I have very few close ones and certainly not like I had at school. I have moved house 4 times in three years so I don’t really have anywhere I call ‘home’ and I am no longer competing my horse so it doesn’t really matter where I keep her anymore. 

Of course there are things I will miss. Like the people where I graze my horse, after a while when things change so much something like that becomes a stability, you rely on going there every day at the same time and seeing roughly the same people.

To change that is a big thing. At the same time, my horse is loving her relaxed and ‘retired’ life of hacking, the occasional gallop and a bit of jumping mixed with lots of food and doing nothing but ‘hang with the other ponies’. It is really horse bliss when you think about it. So moving her to somewhere new is probably something she needs to spice things up. 

You see it’s actually more perception and my total paralyzing fear of the unknown rather than the actual fact of the matter. I will be hopefully moving somewhere I will have more friends or be closer to them or have the opportunity to make a bunch of new ones who fit the person I have grown into. I will be doing something I love doing and I will no longer having to study. I might even get to have a house of my own to call home. Decorate it my way and make it smell like my home. That actually sounds much better than Hamilton. 

So after nearly three weeks of a glimpse of the future, I will go back to study and whinge all about that. Hey, that’s ok. Moments in life are just like warm cookies.

Delicious and wonderful but if you have too many good ones, you’ll never want to stop eating them and that’s bad for you. And you’ll forget how good they really are. So a few bad one’s throw it all into a rather good perspective. Right now I think I’m in a good cookie moment.  

Here in the big smoke

Sadly, and I admit this with utmost pain and sincerity, I like Auckland. No, well I don’t like it as in love it. But it’s growing on me. This is something I never thought I’d admit and unfortunately…I can no longer deny myself the fact that I may have to live here… and the fact that I almost kind of want to! 

Maybe it’s because so far, all the people have been insanely nice. I love working at Trends and I desperately don’t want to go back to finishing assignments, tackling newspaper articles and delving back into the unknown of where I’m going to end up in life.

Here, I feel as though I can pretend that this is my perfect little life I have dreamt of and pretend I never have to wake up.

Unfortunately… I do. 

So here we are. Me finally admitting Auckland is not such a bad place. Realizing I have some really awesome family members that have been hidden from me in the depths of ‘the place I wanted to be all my life’ and finally figuring out what my place might actually be on this planet earth. 

Here goes!