“In a world full of people we can lose sight of it all”
That’s the line to stick with me the past couple of days. I’ve listened to this song (true colours), in particular Joshua and Erin Evans version (this one), a good few times in the last week. On each listen through it has meant something different. At first, I was grieving Josh’s loss along with him. And then I just listened because I love the song and how their voices suit it. But today, today I feel alone. Again.

I say again because I’ve felt like this for a while. I can be surrounded by people, be with a few friends or with my family here and still feel so alone. I can talk to my friends at home about how much I miss them and how much I want to see them again and feel the love of so many people at once and still feel like I have no one.

I love the opportunities life has given me. I couldn’t regret my decisions for a second. I am not taking away from how lucky I have been to have these experiences. But why does all of this have to come at such a loss? Why do the goodbyes never get easier? Why do the bonds I make only become stronger and harder to let go of? Why do some of the most amazing people I am fortunate enough to meet and call friends have to be the ones I get to spend so little time with? 

This place and these people in it changed my life. I have never felt more in love and more alone all at the same time. I will carry this with me forever.

And I will leave you with the words of E. E. Cummings. Today these words are for the heart of this country that has taken me in for the best year of my life and for the people I will never forget.

“I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.”

If I were Taylor Swift

Thoughts run through my head, then I write them here and they’re on the internet forever. So this is this weeks thought… If I were Taylor Swift, who would be in my cool af girl squad? (I actually have these thoughts, the mind works in mysterious ways).

So I’d start with actresses and the obvious Emma Watson, Mila Kunis and Helena Bonham Carter.

Then singers with queen TayTay herself, the god that is Idina Menzel and Adele.

Youtubers have to be involved also and I’ve narrowed it down to Jenna Marbles, Gabrielle Taryn, Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, Colleen Evans and Rebecca Zamolo.

And then adding some cool af guys too because I’m Taylor Swift and can do whatever the fuck I want, so I’ll have Matty Healy, Orlando Bloom, Tom Felton, George Ezra and every Olympic gymnast I can find.

Christmas and new year in the sun!

Well christmastime in New Zealand is definitely different to England! We spent from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve camping on the beach. Every day pretty much was gorgeous sunshine, spent reading, chilling out with Julia’s family and friends and swimming in the creek. A definite highlight was jumping off the tree on Christmas Day and swimming in the lovely (albeit slightly cold) water! It was such a different Christmas experience, not just being in the hot but being away from my family, although it was great to be able to Skype them on Boxing Day morning, Christmas evening for them and know that they had a great Christmas too.

On New Year’s Eve we drove back to Whangarei to send my last couple of days with Julia’s school friends and ring in the new year with a BBQ, a couple of drinks and playing some pool (losing at pool)! 

The whole trip with Julia has felt like a big extended holiday but now I’m in Geraldine, moved into my new home with my new family and ready to start my year in this beautiful country.

Crystal’s birthday extravaganza¬†

This weekend (Thursday through Sunday) was spent being fully festive for Crystal’s birthday! Thursday was her actual birthday so I made a cake (banana with banana cream cheese icing) and we had a night in eating pizza, cake and playing board games! From Friday to Sunday we were at the beach at Ruakaka staying in Crystal’s grandma’s bach (like a beach house). Friday night was spent experimenting with different cocktails and playing some fun drinking games. We discovered that Crystal’s friend Rachel from university is very good at the queens English!!

Saturday night was party night! Crystal had hired out the surf club for the evening so there was lots of dancing and beer pong playing! In New Zealand they have a cool tradition at 21st birthdays that family and friends make short speeches or tell funny stories about the birthday person. I (of course) cried at how many lovely things were said and am now constantly planning Julia’s 21st speech in my head!

Sunday morning consisted of the hangover cure of the century, a swim in the sea! Then Julia and I had to head off to family Christmas with her dads side of the family. Lots of food was eaten, bugs were caught in the kids bug catcher, cheesecake was devoured and secret Santa swap presents game was played (I still have no idea of the rules). All in all a great weekend!

In New Zealand we walk everywhere!

Monday morning came around after my lovely lay in after a long weekend at the regatta and Julia and I took a walk around Whangarei falls. The waterfalls were absolutely gorgeous and I managed to get some great photos. We didn’t go behind the falls as Julia didn’t know if we were allowed or not but I don’t think it was warm enough to get that cold and wet! Also Julia has abseiled down the falls before (jel) and if I’m lucky we may be able to set it up when one of her friends is down next week!In the afternoon Julia had to work so I was picked up by Emily, Julia’s friend that came to the beach with us last week, and her sister to go for a walk up Parahaki which looks over the whole of Whangarei. Emily’s sister is incredibly fit and ran the trail (!!!!!) which I struggled up, sweating! I also managed a spectacular fall down in front of some lovely older ladies who were very concerned for me so now I have a lovely bruised hip and scraped palm to commemorate my walk!
Julia had the whole day off Tuesday so we had a full day of fun! We spent the morning wandering around a sports shop and k mart (my new favourite places) and then in the afternoon we went to the adventure forest (kinda like go ape in the uk)! Julia used to work there so we were welcomed very warmly by the owners when we arrived. A whole afternoon of ropes course fun was had! Their courses were bigger, longer and better than go ape and the hardest ones were much more challenging. My favourite part was definitely the skateboard which took you whizzing along the wires, high up in the trees!
On Wednesday Julia’s friend Megan was arriving from Australia so we went into the town basin in Whangarei so we went to pick her up (and get ice cream woo!). We did a bit of shopping and walked around the town and I chilled out in the afternoon while Julia was at work. Everything has felt go go go since I got here so it was nice to have a relaxing afternoon to myself. That evening we met Megan and Crystal again to do some circuit training on the field by the rowing club.

Christmas rowing regatta fun!

So over the weekend I was invited to go with julia and her rowing crew down to their rowing regatta at lake karapiro in Cambridge. Friday afternoon we took the 5 hour drive down, or nap time as julia and I like to call it, to the motel we stayed in in te awamutu.I was appointed (by myself) official team photographer and hairdresser! The rowing was so much fun to watch, especially as I’ve never really watched that much before. It was so exciting to see the New Zealand national team rowers compete as well as seeing the younger kids row and how incredibly powerful they are in their tiny little bodies! 

Julia and Kendall (her double partner) made it into the finals of their event (PROUD MUM MOMENT) and it was so amazing to watch them do well! 

I had such a good weekend, even though Julia thought I would be very bored and it was so much fun to spend the weekend with such a cool bunch of people and make some new friends!

First moments in New Zealand

As I landed in Auckland airport yesterday morning with my smile as wide as ever and my eyes looking rather more tired than normal I knew I was ready to start my next big adventure! And I have to say, it has already been wonderful!

These first few weeks in New Zealand are being spent with my best friend from summer camp in america, Julia. She has already taken me to “boat loading” ready for her rowing regatta tomorrow and today we took a drive to the beach. Julia and her friends took me on a walk up to a lighthouse and the view over the coast and across the ocean was beautiful! We also had an NZ traditional fish and chips which was just as brilliant as the English tradition (minus the tartare sauce, plus some aioli YUM!).

If these first few moments are anything to go by, the rest of the trip is going to be incredible!

These goodbyes

I took my final 10 days of holiday from work to go home and spend some time sorting last minute bits for New Zealand but also to see as many family members and friends as possible before I leave.
Some of the goodbyes weren’t too hard because they are people I don’t get to see often but I know I can have quality time with when we are all free. Some of them however are people that I try and see as much as I can because they are the closest people to me.
I’m finding those goodbyes really hard.
As I’ve been told many, many times: it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. Not knowing when and where I will be able to see these people again, I can’t begin to comprehend this in my head.
New Zealand is really far away.
I am so excited and so grateful for the opportunity, but there’s something bittersweet about not having a plan to come home at all.
Those goodbyes were hard but I have the worst to come.
My best friends and my parents.
How the hell I’ll get through those without crying I really don’t know.

22 things Taylor Swift explained perfectly

In 22 years of life I’ve learnt some important things.
The majority of these things can be explained using Taylor Swift lyrics (obviously?!).
So on my 22nd birthday (I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22), I give you: 22 things Taylor Swift explained perfectly…

1. I was a flight risk with a fear of falling, wondering why we bother with love if it never lasts.

2. I could build a castle of all the bricks they threw at me.

3. Everybody here was someone else before.

4. Band aids don’t fix bullet holds, you say sorry just for show.

5. I just realised everything I have is someday gonna be gone.

6. Don’t think it’s in the past, these kinda wounds they last and they last.

7. I know it’s long gone and that magic’s not here no more, it might be okay but I’m not fine at all.

8. I’m on my guard for the rest of the world but with you I know it’s no good.

9. Dreaming about the day you wake up and find that what you’re looking for has been here the whole time.

10. I took a breath, you took a shot, you might think I’m bulletproof but I’m not. You took a swing, I took it hard, now down here on the ground I see who you are.

11. Maybe it got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much and maybe this thing was a masterpiece until you tore it all up.

12. Nothing lasts forever but his is getting good now.

13. Lights change like the weather, I hope you remember today is never too late to be brand new.

14. Breaking down and coming undone, it’s a rollercoaster kinda rush and I never knew I could feel that much.

15. We made quite a mess babe, it’s probably better off this way.

16. Turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing you wishing I’d realised what I had when you were mine.

17. I’d tell you I miss you but I don’t know how, I’ve never heard silence quite this loud.

18. I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairytale, I’m gonna find someone someday that might actually treat me well.

19. I just wanna tell you, it takes everything in me not to call you. And I wish I could run to you and I hope you know that every time I don’t I almost do.

20. I’d like to be my old self again but I’m still trying to find it.

21. I didn’t know who I was supposed to be at 15.

22. I don’t know what I want so don’t ask me cause I’m still trying to figure it out.

I’m a real girl!

I have gotten so much better at being a girl.
I used to hate “girly chats” and talking about guys all the time but now I’m so much more used to it.
Not living with three guys and having lots more girl friends from work has rubbed off on me in a good way I think.
I used to find it quite hard to open up to girls and I never really understood the way they were. Now when I go out with the girls from work, or even, like yesterday, we sit and have a quiet drink after work, I feel so much more comfortable. I don’t feel out of place. I feel like I can talk openly without judgement and trust that if I wanted anything kept secret it would be.
It’s nice to be back in this state of mind and situation after three years of basically being classed as a boy and never having any quality girly time.
I’ve met some really influential people in my last year, pretty much all through work. They’ve taught me some really important things. The fact that I get along so much easier with boys is still there, I don’t think that will change in me. But I’ve met some girls who I can call true friends and I can be myself around.

Being in a relatively large group of people and feeling comfortable is a new concept to me. I kinda like it.