Kia ora friends!
Well, it’s been a while! Things on the blog front have been practically non-existent this year. I didn’t plan on abandoning it, life just got busy and the inspiration and drive to blog regularly just wasn’t there. But, I’m back and I’ve got some content ready to hit your screens.
What’s kept me so busy this year? Let’s recap!
-I moved to Auckland. Um, what? If you know me at all you’ll know I’ve never been the hugest fan of Auckland. But, I decided I wanted to do a degree in New Zealand Sign Language interpreting, after having learnt a bit of NZSL in 2015 and 2016. Unfortunately for me (and any other die-hard Wellingtonians), the only place in the country you can do that is AUT. The thing about this whole decision was that unlike all other decisions I make in my life, I didn’t pre-plan this too much. I guess I was feeling a bit lost about what to do next. It was mid/late February, I felt like I needed to not be in Wellington, and I knew I loved NZSL. So I checked to see if AUT was still accepting enrolments for the interpreting degree and lucky for me, they were. The course was due to start on February 28th, but due to some standing appointments I would have to start on the 2nd of March. I got my acceptance letter on the 16th of February, gave my one week notice at work the next day, finished work the next week and on the 1st of March, loaded my car up with as many of my possessions as I could fit, and drove up to Auckland. What a whirlwind!
-I fell in love. I’m definitely not going to go on and on about how blissfully in love I am, because you’d probably all throw your snacks at your laptop screens in protest. Long story short, a couple of weeks after I moved to Auckland I went on a date with a girl I met on Her (girls only version of Tinder). We dated some more and the rest is history. We now live together and are completely blissfully in love. Yay!
-I got a kitten! When I first arrived in Auckland I moved in with a very good friend of mine and her four year old son. (I was so so lucky to have some really good friends in Auckland before I moved here, so I had a good network of friends already, and a place to live!). A friend of my friend’s cat had had kittens and she was getting one of them. The day she went to pick it up I went with her and said that if they had a spare kitten, I’d take it home. Well, that afternoon I came home with my gorgeous girl, Nymphadora Tonks. She’s a crazy little basket case and is off the charts adorable.
-I started working for Rape Prevention Education. It took me a while to get settled with some decent part time work, which was a nightmare, but I wouldn’t change it now, given that I adore my new job. I’m training to work as a facilitator for personal growth workshops at Discovery For Teens, and various other things, and this job is brilliant for developing my facilitation skills. But most importantly, I think it’s super important work that is so necessary. We visit tons of secondary schools to deliver our workshop, Body Safe, and ACC’s Mates & Dates. these workshops are 4 or 5 modules, one per week, with focus on consent, healthy relationships, and how to support friends, among other things. It’s so great! I get to go to high schools, hang out with teenagers, talk about sex and help young people learn really important, useful stuff about consent and how to recognise sexual violence. I LOVE MY JOB.
-My mental health has been up and down. I’ve not spoken about this before on the blog, but as I decided to put more effort into blogging again, I thought a lot about what I wanted this space to be about. I want this to be an open space where I can share freely, 100% real talk. So yeah, there’ll be more chats about mental health and all sorts in the future. But for now, we’ll backtrack a bit. In October 2016, after a very very shitty year, I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I went on medication to deal with it, as it was at a pretty unmanageable level (we’re talking tons of panic attacks, a constant state of very high anxiety, and about 3-4 hours sleep a night). Things felt manageable and good again after a while, and in May, after sticking with the pills for the 8 months my doctor suggested, I decided to go off them. Well, that was a good learning moment. By July, things were back to being very difficult, reaching their worst when I had four panic attacks in one week. For a number of reasons, despite the good things that have happened this year, things haven’t been 100%. They still aren’t. My mental health is something I’m constantly learning about and dealing with. I’d like to talk more about that later, so stay tuned.
In a nutshell, those are the biggies of the year! It’s been quite a year. I’ve had great opportunities come my way, had some challenges and built a whole new life for myself in a city I never thought I’d live in (more about that later).
What have been your big moments this year? What’s been keeping you busy?
Stay tuned for more!