Almost goodbye New Zealand

Yes yes, I know. I haven’t posted on here in a month. I broke my goal I set for myself at the start of the year. In one of my earlier posts I said that after much contemplation over what I should be doing in my half gap year in 2014 I decided on two main things: 1) Get a job once I got back to New Zealand. 2) Write on my blog at least once a week. Looking back over 2014 so far, I have experienced and learned many new unexpectedly things.

My part time job at a café has been great a learning experience to say the least. In the almost five months I’ve worked there, I have learned the art of coffee making. It took a while for me to master the skill of milk texturing but I got there in the end. As I am nearing my last week at work I have finally become competent at being a barista. As my time is nearly over, I have memorised how each of the regular customers likes his or her coffee. Getting to make coffee is definitely one of my favourite parts about this job. I have also learned the art of sandwich and Panini making. This has been my first proper job and in so many ways it has been a rewarding process. It may not seem like much but through working at a café, it has equipped me with skills and common sense -that wasn’t so common…

I also became a resident writer at the Undergraduate times. This is an online news site founded, run and produced entirely by undergraduates. My commitment to this site is one of the predominant reasons for my absence on here. I have been trying to find topics to write about and then proceeding to write somewhat decent articles. There I say it- another valuable learning experience. Sometimes I think I have bit off more than I can chew by becoming a writer for The UG times but hey, what’s the harm in pushing myself outside my comfort zones right? (Excuse the cliché)

It is absolutely bewildering to think that a year ago I had started constructing my commonapp and delving into a pit of stress and worry for what would come of 2014. I had no idea where- which country- I would be attending university. I didn’t even really plan out what I wanted to be studying for the next four years. My looming future was one big fat question mark.

A year later, I am still not at university. Ah, the beauty of New Zealand running on a different academic year to the US. I never imagined that I would be attending the school of my dreams this time last year. It was a realm that I had not dared to dwell on.

Since December 2013, I have been extremely ecstatic and excited for august 2014 to arrive. Ironically, now that August is here and in less than 10 days I fly far away from this safe and warm nest, I am left uncertain and nervous. Don’t get me wrong, I am still very much anticipating this next great adventure but in some ways I feel that I have unfinished business in Auckland. All of a sudden there are too many things I want to do in Auckland.

For the past few years I have dreamed about leaving New Zealand to waltz with the big bad world. When you are growing up it seems like so much of your life is out of your own control and everything outside of your life is there simply to tease you. At least for me that’s how it was. Its always when you are about to leave someone that you realise how important they are to you isn’t it? It’s always when you can’t have something that you start you miss it. New Zealand is truly a piece of heaven on earth and I am grateful to have a blessed upbringing on this land. At the same time, I know there is so much out there in the world to experience and discover.

So as much as this next chapter may seem daunting, deep down I know that I should buckle down and get ready for the ride.

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Goodbye China!

I am writing this (although this will be uploaded once I’m in Auck) at the airport waiting to board my flight back home. The last time I wrote a blog post at the airport was two months ago when I was flying from Auckland to Guangzhou. Excitement and anticipation pretty much sum up my feelings then. Whereas now, my mood is sad and sentimental.

Airports are emotional places. Or I guess goodbyes are emotional and they often tend to take place at an airport. This quote I found sums up my exact melancholic sentiment: “You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”

I still can’t quite grasp how my time here has come to an end. Two months passes very quickly when you are on holiday, travelling and spending time with family and friends. Essentially, time really does fly when you are having fun. I have had a memorable and amazing time, and I feel utterly blessed. The people I have met and the experiences I have gained are now memories I will cherish.

I’m not quite sure what awaits me in New Zealand. I think that’s partly why I feel like I’m not ready to go back. Being in China has been an ‘in-between’ period between school and uni. It’s almost been like an escape from my life in Auckland. I haven’t accessed Facebook in months- though I am not complaining. There is something very liberating about not needing and not caring about social media. I like taking time away from the known and just spending time to think and be with family in a new place- or one that is not entirely familiar. Most of my friends have started university and it will definitely be a weird feeling for me once I’m back and have no definite agenda. If I don’t find a job I don’t know how I’m going to spend the next few months till uni… To be frank, I’m a little scared with this new direction of where my life is headed. Or maybe I’m being overly dramatic. It’s probably both. China has treated me well but of course all things come to an end.