Sit & Be Warm

They say you should always be in touch with your feelings; get a diary and fill in the lines with words, find a friend and talk it out, add a tally line to the list of things that worry you. Well, I suppose those do work, but sometimes it’s not that complicated. And yes, you read that right – maybe the resolution we need is a little too simple, that we overlook it.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little better about this whole “I live in New Zealand now” thing, but today was a slightly not-so-great day. Not a bad day – don’t be mistaken – it was just one of those days where I felt a tiny bit engulfed again, about work mostly but also the lacking and overwhelm of my life all at once. As the last hour of work for the day came to a close, I decided I would not let the stress devour my evening as it once would.

So, right now, I’m sitting in front of the fireplace, sat upon a brown woven floor cushion; my new favourite thing. And with a glass of Pinot Gris, and Julia Michaels’ latest album playing,  I’m feeling less stressed with every sip and chorus. Since moving to New Zealand, I’ve found less saviour in words, and more so in actions of bliss. I don’t quite know how else to put it. I guess, sitting here right now feels more therapeutic than thinking.

So, I recommend two things to you on this fine evening.

1/One – take some time to just sit and be warm, whether that be in the arms of someone you love, outside in the sunshine, or in front of a wood burner – enjoy that small moment.

2/Two – listen to Julia Michaels’ music, I’ve come to realise she’s an actual lyrical genius/speaker of truth/queen.

I suppose this is one of those blogs I post that isn’t really a blog, and more a thought. I hope you enjoyed this little Friday thought process. And remember, life itself is a process, don’t try skip the slow parts.

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Travel Log: Copenhagen

Monday 6:50

With an early start this morning, I ventured out into the crisp morning air. The only sound coming from birds – a fresh perspective on a city life.  Today I am off to Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s a city I’ve never been to, yet experienced vicariously through those having borrowed my guide book. I’m currently sat in a café in Gatwick Airport waiting for my avocado on toast; one of very few vegan options I could find. I’m surprisingly awake for having woken up at 4am, perhaps it’s the excitement of spending the rest of my day in a new city.  Or perhaps it’s the 4-shot Soya cappuccino I just finished. This trip is very unplanned for me; I got my Danish krone at the airport, I have no idea how I’m getting from Copenhagen airport to the hostel, nor what my plan is for the return home tomorrow. I suppose time will tell.

10:18

I must be more than halfway to Copenhagen by now. The sky is the clearest of blue, allowing the sun to glisten perhaps too brightly off the plane’s wing through my window. I somehow always get a window seat, and I couldn’t complain less. It’s an interesting thing to be so close to nothing; so far away from everything you’re used to being near. Buildings insignificant and the rushing lives of those in the streets of London invisible. I feel calm, and I feel un-rushed in my impatient descend on Copenhagen. I’d like to think, as I look out at the world below me, if my plane were to fall that it would be caught in the soft grips of the clouds blanketing the earth.  The clouds – they bring us rain, food for the soil under our feet – they also separate London from the world beyond. We stop looking up after a while because we are so used to seeing the grey barrier above our heads; we get so accustom to looking down at our feet, knowing our direction, our daily path. It’s nice to be above the clouds, to feel as if there is nothing stopping me from seeing new things. I am amongst the unreachable. With the unexpected wifi on board, I feel confident in my plan once I land. I know I will take the metro, a 3-zone ticket bought with either coins or credit card, and I will get off at Hovedbanegården otherwise known as Copenhagen Central Station. From there I will walk to my hostel, check in, and carry on with aimless wandering. According to the flight tracker, we are 24 minutes from Copenhagen. The descend has begun, I am now gently leaning forward with the plane; gravity pulling me towards yet another destination to tick off the map.

17:49

My feet are ready to fall off. I got to Copenhagen Central Station just after midday and spent 20 minutes lapping the perimeter trying to find my hostel; suddenly earning a major appreciation for my Citymapper app in London. I found my hostel and then went back out in search of anything that defines Copenhagen as a city. I still feel near anxious being here. Not because of it’s size or population mass, just the fact of I know nothing about it. I always prepare my holidays, map out places I want to see, where I want to eat, I teach myself the language basics; this time I came in blind. After wandering in the heat and eventually discovering what seemed to be a busy part, I opted for a canal tour. A smooth sail into tourist mode. This was beautiful and somewhat informative. More than anything it gave me my bearings and sites to aim for by foot. The hour tour finished where it began, and so did my ventures. Saw beautiful buildings, did some window shopping, but more so just absorbing everything foreign. I followed it up with more wandering until now – Urban Bar, coffee in hand. As much as I am tired, I am also eager to see more and make the most of this 48-hour trip. I am headed to Tivoli Gardens this evening.

Tuesday 12:36

I am currently located in what seems to be the Danish version of Subway – iBagel. It’s pretty good, eggplant salad topped off with a beautiful dollop of humous (of course). I woke up this morning refreshed and ready to tackle another day of touristing. My first stop had to be food, and eventually I found my desired breakfast destination: 42Raw – a café that has surrendered it’s services to the plant-based community. An acai bowl and my new addiction, The Passage by Justin Cronin, made for a beautiful start to the day. Peaking above the city, reaching for the heavens, are spires scattered around the city. All distinctly different, I’ve been finding them an easier alternative to the maps within my guidebook. As 10:30 came around, I aimed high and true, and climbed 95m up Vol Frelsers Kirke. A beautiful old church which presented me with a stunning view of the city. Since my descend back down to earth, I have wandered; seen the Nationalmuseet, Christiansborg Slot, and Det Kongelige Bibliotek. It’s warm, I’m sun kissed veering burnt, but I feel calm and happy. My flight home to London is at 18:55, and according to the Central Station clock on the opposite of the square it’s now 12:57. I have plenty of time to continue this relaxing getaway.

365 Days

This blog comes to you on a Thursday because today, the 28th January 2016, marks the one year anniversary of my move to London.

WP_20150114_005This time last year I was at Wellington Airport in New Zealand doing my best to put on a brave face and laugh off the pot of emotion that was my stomach. As the time till I had to board counted down, and as the gate call echoed throughout the airport, I was instantly overwhelmed. Even sitting here right now in one of my favourite cafes, I suddenly have a stomach full of butterflies just thinking about it. I got asked a lot before I left if I was excited; if I was nervous, but it wasn’t until that moment of having to go through security that my move became a reality; it completely sank in that within the hour I would be saying goodbye to my family, my friends, and my home of 18 years.994729_10208050194363073_7553208956738201222_n-2

There was a movie moment amongst the tears and hugs. My best-friend Hayley had been travelling around the South Island and her flight was due to arrive at the same time that my gate opened. It was getting nearer to having to go through security, and she still hadn’t arrived yet, but I insisted that I waited. My Mum was telling me that I would just have to go when I saw her at the opposite end of the waiting area – I dropped my bags and ran. As I ran, and as she ran towards me, we both had tears streaming down our faces. I was leaving my sister, closest friend, and a face that held memories from 5 years. No Spotify, now is not the time to play Yellow by Coldplay. Skip.

After saying the long awaited goodbye to Hayley, and finalising my farewell with hugs from my family, I walked away from the tearing faces behind me. I remember the lady at security looking at my red eyes and splotchy cheeks just talking at me because she knew if I went to speak I’d be an incontrollable mess. I think I was the only one in the waiting lounge in such a state. I put myself in the corner, crying my eyes out, attempting to drown out my thoughts with Cold Chisel playing deafeningly loud in my ears. Stepping on the plane I remember vividly telling myself repeatedly something my Dad repeated to me in the months leading up to my departure. It became my moving mantra, and it’s still something I tell myself often.

“There is no better feeling than getting on a plane and having no idea what is ahead of you.”

11891053_10207190203623842_8634745430585137083_nAs I travelled further away from New Zealand, and nearer to England, my sadness turned into impatient excitement; now that the hard part was over, I couldn’t wait to set foot in the city that would be my new home. I arrived at 12.30pm and I was out looking around the city until 10pm that night, with a grin so big I’m sure my parents could see it in NZ.

To think that this time last year I knew nothing about London, yet now I could give you directions to most places – bus numbers included.

365 days ago my home was New Zealand.

365 days ago I arrived in London and while wearing 5 layers I still went about silently complaining about how cold I was.

365 days ago I was terrified of stepping inside an Underground.  I had the biggest fear of going the wrong way. Even after staring at the directional signs – for what seemed like minutes on end – I convinced myself I would end up on the opposite side of London. I was scared of buses even more so; I didn’t use a bus until about my third month here.

365 days ago I knew no one in London. Today I am surrounded by people I can’t begin to describe how thankful I am to have. 365 days ago these people were strangers, today they’re amongst the most important people in my life.

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365 days ago I’d only dreamt of seeing places like Big Ben and the London Eye – now they’re on my doorstep. Not only have I seen these iconic places, I’ve been to Wales, road tripped around the south of England 11138083_878059408906967_4155009662216348277_nand visited Barcelona. I’m going to Rome in 3 days, and in June this year I’m going to Santorini; I’m sure there will be more too. Amongst my friends I’ve also been labelled the documenter/the photographer/the Instagram-er; what can I say? Memories are beautiful, but photos can often say so much more.

365 days ago I moved to London because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Sometimes you need to look at your life from a different perspective – what a better way than from the other side of the world? Today, I am a person with my passions rediscovered. I start university in 4 days studying something I love so much it feels like leisure. Not to mention I live in Europe, talk about opportunity.

365 days ago I was unsure of my purpose, who I was, and where I wanted to be in the years to come. This last year has been a year of realising what I love, who I want to surround myself with, and adventuring outside my comfort zone and beyond. Moving to London has been a scary but invigorating experience that has allowed me to grow in many ways.

365 days later, I live in London, my new home, and this has been the best year of my life (so far).

Thank you to everyone who has made this year so special. I love every single one of you. Thank you to my parents who have always encouraged me to live for myself.

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Lots of love, Kiwi Girl x

…living in London.

 

The Adventure of Planning Ahead.

I find excitement in planning.

Like anything, the lead-up usually is the most invigorating as life quickly becomes an adventure entirely built from anticipation. Planning for the unknown, and things you’ve never participated in, can come with nerves, but also helps to eliminate the unneeded stress and replaces it with happiness at its rawest form. Planning ahead is the closest you get to looking into the future, and by having this control you are the only one to thank, or blame, for the life you choose to lead.

At the moment I am fore thinking out my 2016; making an agenda with the likes of university and everything else I want my year to entail wrapped around the new priority. I have always been a motivated person to constantly be doing things; I moved overseas to experience a new life whilst adventuring to new places yet I start university whilst working full-time; if I have a day off I am out seeing something new, meeting a friend to write or talk with, or strolling down undiscovered streets. Through the filling in of journals, and setting plans in stone, I have the time to be excited for an adventurous year of getaways, my 20th, and the unknown.

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I find notebooks and planners a life saving collection of lines and boxes. My favourite make is Moleskine; the beauty and simplicity of Moleskine make it a hobby filling in the blank spaces; dedicating worthy time to people I love, journeys to new places, and allowing myself time to chase passions. Flicking forwards through my planners make me excited in knowing that the days ahead of me will not be wasted but highly productive.

When you finally make decisions you’re writing your story. The small adventures you partake in will mould you into a new and experienced person. Make most of the time set in front of you, before you become just another cookie on the tray.

In your mind plan out the valuable time ahead of you. Find a method of planning that works for you – a beautiful Moleskine diary, a calendar, or even post-it notes on your door. Use your method to prioritise your life but keep in mind that your time is to be spent on your terms; forget about societal norms and write a story you’re proud of.

 

Happy.

Right now, in this moment, I am sitting at my desk.

My desk is conveniently placed next to a window, and as I look out at the Autumnal trees, the blue skies ahead, I’m listening to Waking Up – Explosions In The Sky. I can see shadows, birds flying, and leaves, all glistening in a way that reflects the changing patterns in the music. The music fills my lungs, empties my mind and I’m calm and collected. I’m inspired and aspiring for the future, but I’m spending my time being present.

That’s the beautiful truth of happiness. Living in the moment can change your energy levels, and your focus. I am no expert at living in the moment, but I’m trying to improve this skill of true happiness every day, so should you; don’t spend your limited time worrying. Where you’ll be in 2 years doesn’t matter right now, what matters is who you surround yourself with and making sure that what you do fill your days with, are things you’re passionate about. You are the power to your desires.

“If you don’t like who you are and where you are, don’t worry about it because you’re not stuck either with who you are or where you are. You can grow. You can change. You can be more than you are.” – Zig Ziglar

My name is Paige Bolland, and I’m 19 years old. After leaving home at the age of 18, and moving across the world, I now live in the city of London, in the United Kingdom (amongst 8.63 million other people). I was born in New Zealand, raised in a small coastal town surrounded by the same 3,200 folk for 18 years. The sounds of waves crashing, the unique harmonies of New Zealand and coastal birds, my attempts at deciphering my family’s footsteps throughout the house, and the familiar scenery, are all things that are a by-product of my true home; a small hint of these are enough to involuntary envelop myself in contentment. So how do I be happy when I’m 18,773 km away from all of these things?

I live in the moment. I do what makes me happy.

There are days I worry about how many years it will be until I can see my Dads smile, banter with my brothers, and hug my Mum and inhale her perfume. There are days I question my values and my beliefs. There are nights I fear of not doing the right thing, or working towards the wrong goal. In these moments, I’m slowly becoming stronger to bring myself back. That day of reuniting with my family and home will come when it comes; my life will unroll day by day; I truly believe everything happens for a reason and will work out. I should never question my beliefs because they’re mine and they belong to nobody else.  If you are passionate right now, and are experiencing everything you want to experience, that motivation and devotion will be a magnet for good things. I talk to my family everyday, I surround myself with people who make me laugh, and I spend my days aspiring to improve myself in the present day. It’s the days that I truly appreciate the present, that are the happiest. Music makes me happy. Writing makes me happy.

Right now, in this moment, I am happy.

Survival Instincts

From a young age you always hear the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, and more often than not people will say this to you as a piece of ‘much required’ wisdom.  As much as I accept this phrase about not holding prejudice based on someone’s outward appearance, I do slightly disagree.

Judgment is an inherent quality that our brain feeds with experience. We have established this instinct for survival; the judgments we make are what permit, or prohibit, things to get close to the core of our lives. Moving to a new country, I found myself surrounded with the unknown in things as simple as a phone shop. I spent the first month making choices purely based off harsh judgment and gut feeling.  There were the initial times of pharmaceutical and grocery shopping, I would walk an extra block to shop at a chain-store over a cheapened corner shop. When I was flat hunting, as simply as talking to a person over the phone, I would judge the landlord on the language they used, and immediately accept or decline the idea. For all I know these are the simple judgements that have extended my life, or have caused me to miss out on opportunities.

So what happens when you take a leap of faith and do leave things up to chance? Once I was settled within a house, had a group of friends, and had all standard life requirements organised, I went through a phase of doing spontaneous adventures; going outside of my comfort zone with relation to cafes, experiences and stores. I think the key point here is that because I was successfully living, not only attempting to adapt and survive to this new environment, I didn’t need that safety net of judging everything as heavily as I once had. I remember phone calls home, discussing this exact topic with my parents.  There comes a point where after the judging and hard work has been done, you do need to loosen the reigns of planning, and live life day by day, decision by decision. Sometimes there are positive consequences to veering away from that planned path of judging things critically. This way of living, or leaving life to serendipity, is what makes for a more rounded life. You come across things you may have never knew existed, you may meet people who are destined to be in your life, or find a new passion.

Judgement is something that is I believe to be socially acceptable when you feel that your life or well-being is at risk. I think that we need to make decisions for ourselves based off our intuitions and personal judgements; ultimately we have to live with our own decisions and choices, so we need to be satisfied with them. Nevertheless, don’t forget to give things a chance; we need judgement to survive, but we need spontaneity to live.

Words

Why do people write? And what makes a writer’s work ‘good’?

I’ve always had a passion to write. Since leaving New Zealand, and whilst I’ve been on the journey to my own self-acceptance and self-discovery, I’ve found inspiration to write in the oddest of times.

Writing, at least for me, is a way to get things out of mind. As much as I advertise the fact that I have a blog, a lot of what I write I don’t necessarily want judged or even read, hence a lot of ‘raw thought’ journals spread amongst my physical belongings.

This past week has been really hard for me. My mind has been crammed with thoughts and expressionless emotion;  not being able to write this down has truly been one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with. When I am presented with something unfamiliar, or scary, I need a creative release of some kind – it’s usually music, but lately its been my blog. So for me to have these mental images and swirls, and not being able to put them to word, has been more than difficult to process. Being away from family in such a time, has made this even harder to get over.

The continuous failing attempts at writing throughout this time, has resulted in poems, but mostly confiding in the works of others. You can get a very similar result by reading someone else’s raw thoughts and writing pieces – especially when it is so close to what you’re going through yourself.

So this brings me back to why people write, and what justifies titling a piece of work ‘good’. People write, I’m sure, for the same reason I do. This world is a blank piece of paper. We have the beautiful covers being blankets of stars, above our heads, and the sand and stones, under our every step. It’s our job to fill the blank pages that are our lives. I think within every person, whether they write it down physically; in a screenplay or within the musical notes of song, are writers. We all have brains and minds that over think situations, we all experience new and exciting things we want to share perspectives on; we are authors to our own lives. To label a piece of this art good, is when people like me, right now, can’t produce something to explain our own thought. We go to someone else’s work, and it’s ‘good’ because we can relate to it. It pulls out the emotions, whether it be tears or laughter, and it can describe what we’re too afraid or unable to explain to ourselves.

So don’t be afraid to write. Write what comes naturally, and write what you believe. Even if you are your only audience, you’re putting something into the pages of this world. One day, someone will read it and will be thankful to be able to accept their own thoughts. Writing is powerful; single words are just as strong.