Sometimes Good News Comes Cloaked in Bitterness

Hello everyone. Readers. Friends. Family. As previously stated and promised, I have some very good news to share with you. It’s funny. I have thought a long while now about how I should phrase everything that I want to say to you…how I should articulate and truly convey my genuine feelings. The truth of the matter is that I have waited over two years to say it, and sometimes the simplest way is the best. I am moving to New Zealand.

The soft move is set for December 31st, but the date may change based on availability in flights. “Soft move?” Yeah. Let me explain. I will be leaving the country from the 31st of December until some time later, probably late February. “So why are you going for 2 months and then coming back?” I am staying in NZ for two months to lock down a job and talk to my contacts down there. John Elliott, Corbin’s dad, [corbin is my friend who lives in NZ], has been the key that started unlocking many doors. I have some serious favors owed to him. The contacts and resources are to help me obtain a job and thus fast track my visa into approval. I am very optimistic about getting a job and locking everything down. I will fly back to the U.S. to collect more things. Early March, or some time around then, will be the hard move, or, the “actual” move. That’s me…moving to NZ…for 2-5 years. [breathe]

This is the hard part…

It is impossible to do everything that I want to do before I leave. It’s impossible to say good-bye to everyone, or spend the “right” amount of hours with everyone that I will miss. Thus, this news, the news that I have been waiting to hear for the past 2 years, the news that ‘I am finally fulfilling my calling’…is cloaked in bitterness. It is STILL hard to swallow that I am leaving nearly everything I know behind me as I walk onto the airplane. Friends. Authentic, amazing people, who have been there for me through thick and thin. Family. Unconditionally incredible and loving people that I have been beyond blessed with. These things I hold tighter than any possession I own because they have been, and always will be priceless to me. Yes, technology allows me to keep up with you all and make it seem like I never left. A wonderful thing it is. Yet, I am a very personal person and love the face to face time I get to spend with people. I will miss it and I will miss you all so very much.

So that’s the bitterness.

The other part of me is so crazy beyond being able to express it excited! Point made. Honestly, if you saw my face, my expressions would convey so much better than this text, and yet, I think you get it, haha. There is jumping being had, and daydreaming about mountains…..MOUNTAINS GALDALF!! A dream. A dream 3 years in the making. A dream that started as a thought, confirmed in the fire of testimony, carrying out what needed to…until the day that I would fulfill it. That day has come and WILL come to pass. On a unrelated note, I have to admit, I’m not a fan of summer. And so to be moving into a country currently in their summer…it’s not a ginger’s paradise I’ll tell you that much. Two summers in one year? ugghhhh….

In all seriousness, I had to tell you all because I know that you and you and YOU are invested in me somehow. If you are reading this, you care about what I have to say for some reason, ha. Awesome! Also, if I’ve shared my story with you or told you about NZ (which I do with just about everyone, ha) then, you might be wondering when I’m headed off, especially since the answer to that question has been, “When my stuff all gets done.” As if I couldn’t have picked a more ambiguos way to tell people.

So that’s it! That’s all I have to say. Thank you for sticking with me through this. You are truly awesome. Thank you if you have been or have prayed for me or my situation. I have you to thank for my success. Thank You. I will keep updating you all on things, but as for my adventure…it is only a matter of time now. A very wise half-man once said, “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feetthere’s no telling where you might be swept off to…” and I hope that’s the case.

The Beauty in a *CLICK*

Sometimes in life, you are given the rare glimpse into the lens of something truly beautiful. If you are smart, you will chase it and let it affect you in a deeply transformative way. I had just that experience the other day when I stumbled on a blog belonging to a WordPress user who followed my blog here at Leaves in the Pages. His name is Patrick Latter and his WordPress site is Canadian Hiking Photography.

The reason that I am writing about Patrick today, is because he never asked me to plug his website, photography, or blog. He never told me how awesome his photos are, or how I should check out his page when I get a chance. I am merely intrigued by all users who find an interest in my blog, and so I likewise check out theirs as well. What I didn’t expect to find when I clicked on his link was jaw dropping awe.

This is my favorite.

Patrick uses very good equipment and outlines what he uses before each post on his blog. (which I find very cool). Still, a tool is only as good as its master, and….I was found speechless on many occasions when scrolling through all the different photos and moments captured in his lens. The art, the beauty, the tranquility caught in a CLICK, was honestly one of a kind. No, I’m not drunk. I just love this stuff. I would be doing exactly what he is doing if I had the gear and the means.

I will now show you a greatest hits from what I found to be the most breathtaking and simplistically awesome. I would highly suggest following his blog, as the good pictures don’t stop coming with this guy. You can visit his website here:, his blog, as mentioned above, here:, and if you want to buy any of his photos and hang them in your hallways (as I am thinking about doing), go here:

As you look through these photos, do more than glance and move on after 1-2 seconds. Take a moment, and really look at the photo. Imagine yourself there, taking the picture. Immerse yourself in the spectacle. Then you may understand why I love these photos.

Are you…?

Alright people, [deep breath]. I really appreciate your interest in my life and I can’t really thank you all enough for those who helped me get where I need to be in my journey to New Zealand. STILL, I think this post is very necessary considering how out of the loop everyone seems to be. I am sorry for that. I had no idea.

Are you in New Zealand?

No, I am not…yet. I know this can seem pretty confusing considering I had a party to raise money to get me into the country, and then I dropped off the face of the earth months later.

So, you’re not going to live in New Zealand?

Not yet. The reason for this is because I moved to Grand Rapids to find a job, pay off loans and live with my best friends. That plan went south after about 4 months. I wasn’t making enough money and my loan payments started to come in fast.

So, you’re not going to New Zealand?

No. I AM going. The plan was always to eventually go, but I need the paperwork to go through FIRST. I need a visa to move into New Zealand and work there as a resident. I have been working on the paperwork since the beginning of graduate school, so it’s been over a year now, and still counting. It’s a long process, and I think I am very close to getting the visa. The plan to move is sometime in January.

I am only getting a job here to pay off loans until the paperwork goes through, which is going very well. In this down economy, I chose to go with the fast option and try to get a job in a job field I only recently came out of. Needless to say, they loved me and gave me a job. I will be delivering pizza for Sarpinos Pizza off N. Aurora St. in Naperville. The pay is very good, and the hours are likewise good.

Are you using the money you raised? What happened to that?

Well, I raised that money because the flights over to New Zealand are really quite expensive and the visa paperwork is equally expensive. The money has been set aside and will not be used until I need to use it to pay for the paperwork expenses and document verification. Again, I can’t thank you all enough for the generosity you displayed in helping me get to where I needed to go. Thank You.

Are you living back home?

Yes. I moved back in with my parents in Montgomery, IL to get a part time position that pays more and doesn’t hace the added variable of ‘rent.’ I love my family, and No, this is not a painful mistake that I made. It was the right one.


I hope that I have answered your questions, and yes…these were real questions that I would get very frequently in conversation. Sometimes I was lucky and received ALL of them at the same time, or most of them at least.

Yours Always,