Long time, no see.

Hey there. Guess what, I am finally back from a few months of silence.

As you all know, in November last year, I moved to little old New Zealand and have been rather busy with settling into my new life. So, after that eerie period, I’m dusting away those cobwebs to write this piece.

It’s funny how you very quickly settle into a space you know so well. I grew up in New Zealand, in my small town aside the ocean, and to be reunited with it after 4 years came easier than expected. Before I left London, I always got the “it’ll hit you after a while, you’ll miss the hustle of London.” – well, I’m here to tell you, I don’t.

And honestly, I don’t miss it at all. I thought I would; miss the traffic, the busyness, the cafe ridden streets, the atmosphere, but I simply don’t. However, the one thing I do long for, is hangouts with my cosmopolitain friends; the work pals; I met some of the best people in the world in London; I just don’t long for the place itself.

This did come as a surprise to me. I expected myself to struggle with small town living at least for a little while, to regret ‘giving up’ (for better the word) London for a simpler way of life, but I’ve come to realise that New Zealand kinda suits me. I thrive on exercise, and fresh air, and devour outdoor spaces. I’ve caught up with old friends, explored new places, rediscovered my love for cooking and creativity, joined a band; the open space of New Zealand, has allowed me to fill it with more fulfilling activities. There’s something special about this country, and I cannot wait for my London-made friends to come and visit me, so I can show them too.

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It definitely takes leaving a place, to find the appreciation.

It’s cheesy, and the same sentence has probably been said in a million different ways, but it’s true. I left thinking I was too big for the small life, that New Zealand was boring and not good enough for the life I thought I desired. In reality I just didn’t know how to live yet.

I went to London and it was there I learnt how to live. I discovered myself through trials, tribulations, tears and smiles. And that person, this person I became, ended up craving a bigger space to breathe and grow. London suffocated me. It’s definitely a big city, but it’s also hugely populated. I listened to my body, and it was telling me I needed to move on – it’s funny how perfectly, gloriously, accurate your gut instincts can be. Researchers are discovering that microbes in our gut can send messages and important brain chemicals to our brain, affecting how we think, feel, and remember. Well, my theory is that so do your lungs. Breathe the air you should breathe, and you exhale happiness.

I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I just know that New Zealand air is my kind of air. I encourage you to find yours.

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A Month Of Being A Socialite

At the start of September I decided to set a challenge for myself: Sociable September. You may be thinking psssh easy,  but I’m here to tell you I’m quick to choose solitude. I’m usually a home body, swapping the flirtatious nights out for a book, or a chance to write.

What did my Sociable September endure?

I set a goal that I was to say yes to any, or as many, outings I got invited to. I started the month off strong by going to the pub after finishing work at 10pm, and ended September doing my sociability proud by getting home at 6am aka on a Saturday morning aka 5 hours before my 12 hour shift started. Shivers. Going. Down. My. Spine. However, to be honest, I walked into work Saturday morning chuckling my head off with my colleagues at how ridiculous we’d been the night before; my hangover aching with laughter. Sociable September also included other non-drinking events – meeting up with friends, going to art galleries, spending time writing in central London. The goal was to get out of the house and make the most of living in this amazing city I’m proud to call home, and I think I did a pretty good job.

22221784_1432387780202200_1291060817866517067_n-e1507381819424.jpgWhat did I get out of Sociable September?

First and foremost I found liberation in saying YES more. I’m definitely not a timid soul, but I am known to pass up things for more solo adventures. I wouldn’t say my Sociable September forced me out of my comfort zone, but it did make me appreciate my friends – and being spontaneously crazy – a whole damn lot.

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson

Did socialising give me more energy?

The main reason I usually say no to going out with people is to preserve my energy because a typical work week for me can long and tiresome. So, heading into Sociable September I had intially predicted that I would end September exhausted and ready for a week long snooze. Funnily enough, it didn’t because I surrounded myself with energetic people. I got swept off my feet into a whirlwind of wine and laughs, resulting in ending September with a lot of good-mood energy and a desire to join in more often.

What are my thoughts going into October?

I’m definitely excited about another month and a different goal. Going forward I will definitely aim to continue to say yes to things, and enjoy what my London life has to offer. I do, however, feel that during this last month my writing and reading have been put on the back burner. I want my October to include more time to get back to what truly makes me happy; my blog and my book writing.

“If I could read while I was driving, showering, socializing or sleeping, I would do it.” –  Elizabeth Gilbert

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The Verdict

  1. My friends make me happy, but so do I. Any one of us will deflate if we overdo it, it’s about balance.
  2. I’m sitting here in the members room at the Tate Modern, thoroughly enjoying my book (and my solitude).

I thoroughly suggest these smaller, challenge type goals. What will be your October goal?

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