Oh, Hey New Zealand

I've sat down, oh, at least THREE TIMES to try and write this blog, so yeah, I know it’s been a while. Don’t give me that face.

Actually, though. I really have tried to start this post multiple times, each time staring at a blank white screen for minutes on end, wondering how the hell I would even begin putting my last few months into words. I wanted to come up with something wise, something to sum up all of my experiences and also to relate some newer ones. For once in my life, here I was with nothing to say.
However! Partly because I (temporarily) have this lovely little break from uni work, partly because I’m so gung-ho and worldly now, and partly because I have a bit of distance from the second half of last year, I now find myself making words again.

The first round of many future selfies at the top of the Rockefeller Center

As much as I've largely left any romantic sentiment out of the rest of my things, anyone who can see my Facebook page (or talk to my parents, or my grandma, because everyone is constantly talking about me, yes?) may have noticed that I got engaged. I still don’t really love airing out private things in the Interstellar-esque timeless wormhole that is the internet, but suffice it to say that I met my person. He is unbelievably, mind-blowingly fantastic. Getting engaged wasn't exactly something I had on the to-do list, but there are some things in life you just can’t let pass you by!!

That’s the big stuff out of the way.

Right. So leaving off from my last blog; I finished up my uni semester in a bit of a flurry. So many papers to write, recording projects to create and produce, croquet games to play in almost freezing temperatures, exams to sit, and ceremonies to go to. Thankfully all of that went relatively well and I managed to get through it all, arriving at my last few days in New Paltz in a bit of a daze. Packing was a breeze in reality but horrific in my mind. I’d gotten awfully attached to my big room, the huge old house, my street, my deer family, the village, and of course the incredible friends I’d made along the way. This beautiful thing had unfolded all around me and here I was having to leave it all behind. I was granted one last fantastic weekend in Long Island and New York City, once again privileged to enjoy the hospitality of the beautiful Amanda and her family.

For the life of me I can’t remember what street this was on; but it was somewhere in downtown Manhattan, all lit up for Christmas.

Highlights included giggling over Seventeen in Amanda’s kitchen, all-you-can-eat sushi with Dani and Chris, (how is this not a thing in New Zealand?!?!??), getting selfie-tastic at the top of the Rockefeller Center, Ice skating in Central Park, being taken ring shopping and having a gorgeous send off from Sarah and Meg at the airport. Last but absolutely not least was Chris and I deciding to get engaged about half an hour before walking through international security at JFK (I suppose literally last was having two flights delayed by two hours each, but I wanted to end on a high note).

After 34 hours in transit, and much owed to the incredible American sleeping drugs, I arrived back into Auckland airport; two days before the bag with all of my clothes deigned to join me. It is at this point that I stress the importance of travel insurance, because you never know when you’re going to need to buy several days worth of basics and cosmetics and hygienic supplies!! It is at this point that I also stress the importance of BurgerFuel, which produces my most unexpectedly missed New Zealand food. Over the next couple of days Christmas happened, Chris and I gradually shocked our families with engagement-related news, and now I find myself fitting weirdly back into something resembling my previous way of life.

Honestly, coming back and figuring out how to carry my life on has been like trying to put a square shaped peg into a round hole. It’s been a process of chiseling away at that hole, reshaping it, trying to make a different place for myself. It’s meant renegotiating the same relationships to fit this shifted person I’ve become, and it isn’t something one can do easily or quickly; instead, it’s a constant demonstration of the ways I’ve changed, not only to the people around me, but to myself. I’m sure this is a pretty standard result of throwing yourself into an unfamiliar context for an extended period of time.

Apart from the embarrassingly bad manicure, this message couldn't be more apt.

So what now? Well I’m back at Victoria for my very last semester of my bachelor’s degree, I’m working teaching violin and vocals with a different company from before I left, and I’m very proud to be part of a musical revue, Taking the Minelli, with The Wellington Footlights Society.

I’m not really sure what to do with this blog now. I can’t imagine having anything to say at the moment that anyone would want to read! So unless anyone has some bright, sparkling ideas about how to keep it up, I suppose I’m signing out for now.
My love to everyone who has kept up with me through the last nine months, and keep being beautiful ❤

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