I used to turn life into a poem.

Today, I got a message from a friend. A friend whom once I shared every hour of every day with – that was up until the day came that we went our separate ways, flights to separate countries. We’ve kept in touch, and today’s message was a photo. The photo was of a poem I wrote for her on my typewriter (at the time, a new secondhand addition to my London flat), and it was framed and on display in her sister’s bedroom. It was a poem I’d always loved; a poem about thinking and respecting where you’re sat

St. Pauls was and is my favourite building in London. I would walk past it, and it’s sheer size and beauty, would force an inhale of air to my lungs; a reminder that where I was, was spectacular.

st. pauls - a poem

i sit on the steps at st. pauls and i think, 
of how many people have stood where i am sat.
the years of history trampled under foot, 
under breath.

i sit on the steps at st. pauls and i think,
of how many people have walked past here crying, 
where they came from,
what they left behind that broke their hearts.
i ponder what year they lived.

i sit on the steps at st. pauls and i think,
of how many people have walked past here holding hands,
laughing,
talking to somebody,
thinking of someone.

at the steps at st. pauls i beg you to smile,
at the thought of where you're sat right now. 
where you are now has been there before you,
will be there after you, 
it hosts thousands of stories.

feel the stories, hear the stories,
be a story of your own. 

by paige bolland 

Yes, I used to live in London and contemplate life, and mind, under beautiful historic buildings, writing out my feelings as I went. But I don’t anymore. I guess I still struggle with not being that poetic with my feelings anymore, and I suppose this blog is an attempt at trying to understand and accept this.

Yes, I used to turn life into poetry, but now I’m too busy trying to live life to romanticise it –

– and that’s okay.

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.