New Zealand — Thank you & Goodbye

Four years ago I arrived in New Zealand via Southeast Asia and Australia; I did not even know where NZ was on the map let alone where I was going or what I was going to do when I got there. Now don’t judge me, I do not claim to be intelligent quite the opposite in fact. I know my passion. I know what I know, and I do what do, well.

Yesterday as I packed my bags for the final time, and I prepared to leave ‘the land of the long white cloud’, I thought of the journey, and the experiences I’ve encountered and my mind was blown. As my thoughts drifted, I reflected, and I shivered. My growth and development, personally and professionally, has been scary — It’s scary and but equally exciting, Where I was to where I am now. I’ve come a long way; it makes me want to scream I could explode. I’m so excited for the future.

Upon packing my bags, I chatted with a friend. We both agreed how we’d let our early twenties (or in my case most of my twenties) be dictated by others. We partied, we danced, and we sang. There was no room for study beyond university, and there was no football, rugby or time for exercise, and certainly no time for self-reflection. For the best part, I rode the wave of others, and he agreed to his extent. In reality, while it took my friends, two or three years to serve their apprenticeships it took me the best part of 13 years. Yep, from 16–28 I had no idea what I was doing, why I was doing what I was doing, nor how I did it. Although by 24 I had started in recruitment where I realised helping others was hugely fulfilling, and business (and what it took to succeed) intrigued me immensely. That didn’t mean riding the waves of what was perceived socially acceptable and cool stopped. Hell no, I was still penniless and headstrong. At 26 it was time for a change, don’t mistake that as ‘to change’, I went on my overseas experience aka “OE” or “gap” years and the rest, they say, is history.

I got out of the small world I lived. I opened my eyes and realised the earth wasn’t flat, or as narrow as I thought. I understood that good things happen to good people, you get what you settle for, and everything happens for a reason. Although this was to be realised much later into my journey. For the next two years I still partied I still made an idiot of myself (let’s be honest going ‘cold turkey’ from any addiction is hard, especially being an arse), and I still make mistakes. Nevertheless, being away from my hometown and out of my comfort zone, I started to find the balance between dancing all night (week) long, carving a path of my own, riding my waves and searching for my meaning in life — my purpose — making time for reflection along-the-way. In January 2014, a month after my 29th birthday I decided it was time to change. As the Latin meaning of decide would have it, “to cut off”, I did just that from all vehicles that I deemed a hindrance to my journey.

Nearly five years I have been away from England, the Wirral and Liverpool. After three years with MedRecruit, my final day 30 March 2017, came with joy and plenty of woes. I wrote an internal email that day to express my gratitude, to say thank you to everyone who had been a part of my journey over the years. However, I realise my growth and development goes beyond the people I directly worked with at MedRecruit. Moreover, for that, I want to extend my thankyou’s to everyone I’ve met, connected with, worked with, looked up to, learned from and fallen out with. To the latter I apologise, I am certain I had no intentions. Mistakes are just that.

I must admit, after four years of denial, New Zealand has become home somewhat. So again I would like to reverberate my gratitude to everyone; I am so appreciative of you all — the support, encouragement, wise words and open ears. The naysayers, doubters and those who questioned my work (myself in the mainly), I’ve learned and grown from it all. You’ve all made the journey a truly spectacular one. It was a team effort.

Moral of the story, find balance. Work hard and play hard but always make time to listen, learn and lead. Create your own waves to ride. Riding the waves of others will only lead you to shores others are destined. Most importantly, hold no regrets or resentment. For those mistakes, poor decisions and/or painful experiences make you unique. Take everything you can from all that is offered, but always give back more.

Kia Kaha — ka kite ano

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