I have a photo of me leaving home Wellington. I was a toothy braces smile with a messy ponytail and bubble gum pink backpack, my mum peeking at the camera from behind my shoulder. I remember how warm that day was; squeezing my cat into one last hug; being so excited to go. I was hungover from the sweetness of my summer, head still reeling from the ending of all of it. I was so ready for something new. So we piled up the car with all my things and we drove.
And well two years later here I am.
I am writing this to you from the same pretty, creamy room that I wrote from a year ago, now with more scented candles and walls decorated with photos that didn’t even exist back then. There are so many memories and people documented who I didn’t know back then and now I can’t imagine living without them. They’re like an extra limb I didn’t want but now I need.
Two years though!
God I can’t believe it. I know that years go fast and two of them are pretty insignificant in the grand scheme – but I don’t know how much grandeur there is to life really. If you think about who you were at 14 and at 16, two years is immense, or even the difference between 16 and 18. Inconsequential but also incredible. When you consider that your whole life can change in one conversation or with one action in a single moment, two years becomes a small lifetime.
And I have loved my small lifetime up here. Hated it bitterly, cried over it, regretted it hard – but also loved it. Which makes everybody laugh I think because I used to complain so much and now, very suddenly, things are different.
Auckland is still huge to me and the wider areas of the map in my head are blurry, but the centre is in clear focus. Even slicked with rain my feet can navigate these city streets with surprising confidence. I know how to wave down my bus, the quickest paths through the city and where to find a half decent cup of coffee. I am used to the temperamental weather and the disaster foot traffic and I know the things that matter here. I have stumbled so many times but I am finding my way. Little triumphs every day.
Also I’m twenty now! Like how did that happen?
I pay bills! I have jobs! Three of them?! I send proper emails that end with acceptable salutations. I own high heels! I can see through my eyes! I have made it to third year uni???? How???? What??? When??? I even make my own doctors’ appointments., what a champ.
Sometimes I think I am still seventeen but I also take my own life for granted I think. I couldn’t be here, doing everything I do when I was seventeen and this post is ridiculous I know, but hey some things never change. I still don’t know how to pay tax properly and set 600 alarms and have a cow patterned dressing gown. I still managed to permanently delete the three posts I had written so had to chuck this together in approx. 20 minutes which is not my dream writing style. I am still very much myself. Just an older one. A not-seventeen one.
The thing with life is that nobody lives it for you. I could tell you everything about these last two years and you could not be blamed for thinking that nothing much of significance has really happened to me. But you didn’t live it the way that I did.
What a heart achingly blissful two years.
What a weird two years.
I am currently a bit overwhelmed by it all and honestly I have no actual idea who I am at the moment (hence the lack of posts). But I do know that I am still here, I am still at my jobs and at the gym and at meetings and events and I am with my friends and I am at home and I am everywhere I should be and that counts for something.
I also know that even though I am #1 shittiest blogger already I want to take a moment out from my constant existential crisis to document this anniversary because I am so proud.
Who would’ve known that smiley braces girl – a big fish in her small pond high school – could find a way to swim as far into the deep water as I have and still find things and people that matter. The ocean may not be shrinking but I am growing – into what?
I have no clue. But into something for sure.
Good luck to everyone moving to new places for uni at the moment. Be brave and funny and loud and alive and sleepy and unapologetic and yourself. Have fun out there!
All my love xx