I had a couple of very frustrating things happen this week – ultimately unimportant and inconsequential, but frustrating nonetheless – and I don’t want to let that taint my memory of the past 7 days, so here is a list of little things that were actually really great this week:
- Canada’s public holidays are spread out so that there is essentially one every month – I haven’t even been at my job for a full three months, but there have been three public holidays since I started – so on Monday I slept in and had brunch with my housemates.
- I got some really lovely comments about my newest cover.
- On Wednesday Lox and I had dinner at Dark Table, a restaurant that is entirely pitch black; not a glimmer of light anywhere. Eating when you can’t see anything started off being incredibly stressful but I eventually relaxed into it. There was nothing else to focus on but the food, so the tastes felt much more intense (though it was a bit of a surprise when I realised I had finished my meal and was futilely stabbing my fork into empty plate).
- A few days ago I bought a new notebook to inspire me to write more creative pieces, and I’ve actually made a start on coming up with some ideas that I’m really excited about.
- I stumbled upon Wildlife Aid, the most beautiful Youtube channel ever, and spent Friday night happy-crying and in awe of this wonderful human saving the lives of animals:
- Lox often works late, so I’ve been binge-watching Gilmore Girls on nights where I’m alone. Somehow I missed watching this show when it actually aired, so I haven’t seen it before. I get really anxious and involved in stories, so Gilmore Girls has been quite calming to watch as it has such low-levels of drama (probably an odd thing to praise in a show). In weeks like this where I have my own dramas going on, watching this show definitely didn’t add to my stress and made me feel much more relaxed.
- I got to FaceTime with my mum, brother, and cat, and I’m positive they all still love me and miss me.
- The train station by work is a Pokemon hotbed and this week I caught enough Eevee to get my first Vaporeon (called Ariel, because obviously).
- On Saturday I went to Lynn Canyon Park and recreated the Pinterest picture that made me fall in love with Vancouver:
- I could only think of a couple of happy little things when I decided to write this list, so I’m thankful that more moments sprung to mind while writing. My happy lists hold a lot of little memories I probably wouldn’t remember otherwise and I’m going to endeavour to write them more often, so I don’t let my happy fade away.
I’ve always been good at dwelling on the bad – and I feel like there’s so much bad going on in the world right now – but whenever I feel like this, I try to make lists of all the good in my life so that I can remember that everything’s not lost:
- I somehow ended up in a really great workplace so even though I hate waking up at 6.45am, I don’t hate going to work
- My favourite part about commuting is that on the outside I look like a young professional so no one can tell that I’m secretly listening to Cute Is What We Aim For
- I have unreasonably generous co-workers who are constantly bringing treats to the office and giving me food to take home
- My parents are coincidentally in Canada so I’ve been able to see them for the first time in three months
- Dad saved leftovers from our dinner out and gave them to a homeless woman and I’ve never seen someone look so surprised and grateful
- Next week I’m going to Vegas with my parents (!!) and we’ve got tickets to see Britney Spears and I’m probably going to cry (fun fact: Britney’s “Oops!… I Did It Again” album was the first cassette tape I ever bought. Not CD. Cassette tape.)
- I get to wake up next to my favourite person every day
- Lox and I are now living as “casual vegetarians” which means that we’ve mostly cut meat from our diet (but we don’t feel guilty if we don’t stick to it too closely) and we’re eating so well that I don’t feel like I’m missing anything
- We found a brand of fakon that tastes 90% like real bacon and I’m thoroughly impressed with it (Yves Veggie Bacon Strips , if you’re wondering)
- For the first time in my life, I’m completely responsible for myself – my rent, my food, my everything – and I’m loving it
- So far I’ve only forgotten to take a picture for my photo-a-day challenge 3 times, which, over the course of half a year, is pretty impressive
- Somehow this quick picture I took of the cherry blossoms in Vancouver ended up getting over 3000 notes on tumblr:
- I am safe, generally healthy, mostly happy. I can’t ask for much more than that.
I am, once more, beginning a new journey overseas. In 2014, it was England; and now in 2016 I am starting a year-long working holiday in Canada. Considering I am now in a new country with an entirely new path ahead of me, I figured it’d be good to write about stuff that’s happened so far and where I’m currently at:
- Lox & I left NZ Sunday afternoon, and because of the glory of time
travel zones, we arrived in Vancouver at midday on Sunday.
- For our first few nights we’ve been staying with someone we met from couchsurfing. When we arrived he was busy so told us to head to his girlfriend’s place and she’d give us a spare set of keys. A few minutes after leaving her place, she ran after us (a good three blocks away) so that she could offer us a ride to his place. And apologised for not offering sooner. The stereotype of friendly Canadians seems to have more than a grain of truth to it.
- Lovely Canadians have been everywhere – our host is lovely, the person who set up our bank accounts was lovely, every food/restaurant worker has been lovely, even the government officials issuing us important documents were lovely.
- Tipping culture is so insanely foreign to me that dining out feels much more stressful than I’m used to. (Do you tip everyone or just in certain situations? How much is a reasonable tip? Is it just so North American teachers have a reason to teach students how to calculate percentages?)
- For the first time in my life, I saw a raccoon, just hanging out in a tree in broad daylight. I squealed excitedly like the uncultured swine I am.
- I also got far too excited when I later saw a squirrel.
- I have no plans to start shaving again. I made it through an entire NZ summer without shaving my legs once – while I was sometimes hyperaware of myself, overall I mostly forgot that I was rocking natural mohair tights. Now I’m at the point where shaving seems like a foreign concept to me entirely. Yay for being brave!
- I experienced my first Canadian espresso coffee and it was actually okay.
- My cat wasn’t around when we left for the airport, so I couldn’t say goodbye to him properly, and I’m still far too sad about it.
- Despite missing him, I am mostly filled with excitement and anticipation for what the coming year is going to bring to me. I’m hopeful that when we return to NZ, I’ll be a little clearer on whatever my future will look like, and a little less perpetually puzzled.
… I’m feeling like referencing an already over-referenced Taylor Swift song because it’s undeniably catchy and appropriate because I am now officially feeling 22! I thought it’d be nice to make a list of
22 11 things (22 is a surprisingly big number wow) because I’m a sucker for lists:
NZ Thanksgiving (with all the good intentions of and minus all the negative actual associations of US Thanksgiving)
- I have my birthday off work so I can spend the day indulging in glorious nothing.
- Next week I conclude 4 tortuous & amazing years and officially graduate from university.
- My friend Erin visited me last weekend and, because she’s from the States, we did our own NZ Thanksgiving dinner which was lovely and bizarre (pumpkin in a pie? calling kumara ‘sweet potatoes’ and then putting sugar on them? biscuits that aren’t synonymous with cookies??).
- The other super best friend I made while studying abroad is coming to visit NZ next year and I am so excited for us to all be reunited.
- Another friend of mine (who I went to Laneway 2012 with) bought me The Horrors’ album Skying on vinyl for my birthday.
- I’m still friends with the same group of people I hung out with when I was 14.
- My parents don’t charge me board for living at home (yet).
- My boyfriend sees me cry about ridiculous things at least once a day and still seems to like me (I relate to this post far too well)
- He also got a free Lightbox subscription which means now I can finally watch Buffy.
- We bought our plane tickets to Canada so now I am ready to let myself be excited about my new adventure.
- I’m finally feeling excited and inspired about writing again.
Well hey there wordpress. It’s been too long. Like a year and a half. I’m half-sorry for neglecting you and half-not-sorry-at-all, because the past year and a half has been amazing but having an online record of that would have been pretty great.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who actually reads this blog that the reason I’m writing something now is because I have a test tomorrow that I don’t want to study for. Eventually I’ll probably write posts about awesome things that happened in my wordpress hiatus (and hopefully new awesome things!), but for now here is a brief set of highlights:
- I spent half of 2014 living in London where literally all my dreams came true. Well, one particular dream. I achieved my longstanding fangirl fantasy of meeting The Horrors (all five of them!) and my life became one step closer to complete. There were so many more amazing things that happened while I was in London that it definitely needs several more posts of its own.
- Instead of dealing with post-travel depression when I got back home, I instead met possibly the greatest person ever and he’s been making my life pretty great since then.
- I became an aunt, and my niece is the only child I’m not scared of and actually like.
- In terms of concerts, I’ve since seen City & Colour, The Horrors (for the third time), Passenger (twice), Lorde, and Angus & Julia Stone. All were incredible.
- I weaned myself off Tumblr because it was taking up too much of my life. I replaced it with a Pinterest addiction.
- I finished my third year of university and am now 4 weeks into my fourth and final year of my undergrad. I still have no clue what to do with my life.
- I’ve read over past posts and am acutely aware of how different I’ve become, but it’s a difference I’m proud of. If I can continue to spend my life shaping myself into a person, I think that will be a life well lived.
The past few months, I have had no time to keep up with my online life. I haven’t read any blogs, let alone had time to write my own posts. I am still far from “not busy” but I miss writing posts so here is a kind of life-ish update:
- I’ve been working two jobs plus a volunteer position, as well as studying full time and trying to be more social. This means the past few months have been awesome but also that I am incredibly sleep deprived and my watch later playlist on youtube has about 80 videos on it.
- In a week, my second year of uni will be over which feels crazy and wrong. I started this blog before I’d even begun uni, and so much has changed since then.
- I sometimes think about my old posts and cringe about the things I complained about. I’m trying this new (for me) thing where I avoid judging people for their own personal decisions that do not affect me. I feel happier, but now I am hyper-aware of other people’s judgement, which is less fun.
- The other week I saw Avalanche City (+ van der Wel and Luke Thompson) live and it was such an incredible and chill show.*
- I’m finally seeing OneRepublic live in a couple of weeks and I am so excited I can’t think straight.
- Also upcoming is Passenger (again!) and City & Colour, so the next couple of months are going to be pretty sweet.
- In just under a month I will kiss goodbye my teenagerdom and embark on my third decade of life.
- Next year I will be able to tick “Live in the UK for several months” off my bucket list which is so crazy that I still don’t really believe it’s going to happen.
- It really doesn’t bother me at all that this blog is relatively quiet and unknown. I just like having somewhere to record my thoughts with the distant possibility that someone else may relate or enjoy them.
*you can download Dave Baxter’s EP “Let It Go” here and Luke Thompson’s album “To The Common Dark” here. Both are free and legal, yay!
- My second year at university starts on Monday and I’m kind of looking forward to it.
- I’m seeing Ed Sheeran live in a week(!!!) and I’ll probably cry if he plays “Wake Me Up”.
- This morning I had $500 and now I am broke.
- It’s almost embarrassing how much I love Pretty Little Liars.
- An entire New Zealand summer has passed and I’ve only been sunburnt once.
- I’ve been scrolling through the search terms people have used to find my blog and am delighted by the various spellings of ‘ukulele’*.
- Apologies are in order for those who found me through “interesting about me section”.
- I’m reconsidering this being an anonymous blog because seriously, anyone who actually knows me would know without a doubt that this is my work.
I also take too many selfies and currently have nowhere to post them.
- The other day I experienced my first coffee-withdrawal headache and felt ready to kill everything ever.
- I learned how to use html code through making neopets fansites when I was eleven so every time I type <a href> I remember what a loser I was.
- Then I remember that I spent most of high school on tumblr and that university life is only slightly more balanced, with blog sites and youtube, so really, young me was essentially the same as present-day me.
- Yesterday I took this picture of my cat and I want you to all agree that he is beautiful:
- Sometimes I feel my life is kind of boring but then other times I am so thankful that I can afford to watch trashy tv shows, buy overpriced coffee and take a million pictures of my cat.
*ukele, ukelele, ukuele, ukelel, ukalele, ukulel, ukulali, ukuelele, uku, ukulelel, ukeuele, uekele to mention a few.