extroverted-introvert-0

How Moving my Life to New Zealand for 3 years Changed Me

I came to change New Zealand. After 3 years, New Zealand changed me. Cliche I know, but this ended up being the truth.

This post has been written over the past 18 months. My thoughts, my observations, and my feelings have obviously morphed along the way, but let’s just start at the beginning.

With 50lbs of luggage, a working knowledge of left hand driving, and one solid contact, I packed up what I owned and moved my life to New Zealand. I kissed my parents, hugged my niece, wished my siblings well, and flew. In my luggage was an optimistic, slightly naive, monstrously unrealistic idea that I was going to get a job, in my field, in the first few months. With…one…solid…contact. Yeah. Right. Continue reading “How Moving my Life to New Zealand for 3 years Changed Me”

Rumors and Here-say

So there’s a lot of rumor going around on whether I am sticking around America, or if I’ll return back to NZ after my trip home. Whether it’s friends hoping, or extended family inquisitively questioning, I decided it was time to bring everyone up to speed and on the same page. Finally.

I am moving back to the United States late January 2016.

There.

Any additional questions about where I will be living, where I will be working, if I’ve met someone, am I sick in the head, what’s wrong with NZ?, does my flat now have a spare room?……will not be answered. Partially because some of the questions are ridiculous, but mainly, because I don’t have answers for anything right now. Except my room. My flatmates will need another tenant. Message me if you’re keen. 🙂

Alright.

Cool.

Yeah.

See you in the New Year!

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.

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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,

First Day on the Job

Hey everyone. So last night was my first day at the new job. What is my job? Well…I have a bachelors and masters degree in Social Work and wrote hundreds of papers on suicidal ideation, theory, and practice in social work, so……….naturally……………..I’m a Pizza Delivery Man.

I work at Village Inn Pizza, and my job is to take the pizzas where they need to go. Straight to the people’s mouths. I have decided to devote this segment of my blog to, “Things I Noticed On My First Day on the Job Delivering Pizzas.”

1. After spending 2 hours with my co-workers, it was VERY clear that they all needed therapy. Naturally that is exactly what I told my boss. [Boss rounds the corner in the kitchen after playfully tearing down a coworker]

Me: “This whole restaurant needs therapy.”

Boss: “Hahahaha”

Me: “I wasn’t kidding” [I was half kidding]

Boss: “And who are you supposed to be?”

Me: “A social worker.”

Boss: “Really?!”

Me: “Yeah.”

Boss: “Awesome.”

2. Secondly, which is redundant after noting that this is the second point…GPS’s are a delivery guy’s GODsend. I couldn’t do my job without one. I would seriously be dead in the water without it.

3. Lesbians like Our Pizza. I delivered pizza to two lesbians living together. That is all.

4. I Make a Mean Pizza. I do. I got really good at making a pizza in the day that I was there. Which leads me to my next observation.

5. I Learn Really Well in “Trial By Fire” Circumstances. I can’t really explain WHY I learn better when thrown into the fray with nothing but a spork in hand, but I do.

6. I Deliver FAST! Funny thing. Delivery men RARELY get pulled over for speeding because cops think that they could possibly be delivering to a station. Which means the cop that pulled over the delivery guy would endure some heavy ridicule by his fellow officers for making the food late. I love it!

7. I LOVE My Job. Think about it. How many of you get to Drive, Listen to your music all day, AND work with PIZZA all day long. This job is a blast and a half, and I love interacting with other people on the job too. It’s a clear bonus.

Well, that’s what I am doing for “monies,” as Corbin Elliott would say. I thought you would all get a kick out of what life is like for me now here in Grand Rapids. I miss you all like crazy [those of my readers who I left behind in Illinois] and I may possibly be back sometime in the Fall. Until then.

The Chapter Begins, and it is Beautiful

Well after spending a significant amount of time in Michigan, I can confidently say that I am loving it here. I am glad that I am once again living with men I am comfortable calling my brothers. These past few days have been quite incredible. I am transitioning once again into living on my own…so to speak (living outside of my parents house). I am finding jobs to keep me busy while the long term work finalizes. We are also finding another apartment to live in and that is going very well.

It is a very specific, familiar feeling being back in Grand Rapids….like a warm blanket fending off a cold chill. Every street passed and smell taken in is a wave of nostalgia that had remained hidden to keep the pain at bay. Being away from my friends when I moved in 2008 was a painful experience. In order to take away some of the pain and enjoy my move back to Illinois, I had to separate nostalgia from friendship. It wasn’t Calvin College I missed, or even GR necessarily. The thing I missed most was my family that I had made in Michigan.

But now that I am back in GR, living here once again, I can’t help but fall in love with this city all over again. There is so much life, love, and happiness here that can’t be explained. I am not really too sure what it is that makes this place so different from where I grew up, but it is clear and it is true.

I will work very hard in the time that I am here, and I will also relish in every moment that I can before I eventually leave here for my journey to New Zealand. I am excited, even as I write this post, knowing that one day my dream…will become a reality. I have stepped into a brave new world here in Michigan, full of opportunity, joy, peace, and friendship. I cannot see anything bad or painful at the moment, and that is what I need right now. I experienced enough pain last semester…

If you are my friend, and you know me well, then I thank God for you and how you have influenced me. No matter where you are now, or what we have both been through, I will always pray for you and give thanks for the moment when we met, and you blessed my life.