One week in Reefton (four days since moving into the cottage) and I feel like I’m on holiday. I’m floating around feeling relaxed and chilled, wanting to (and doing) little more than pottering around and sitting in front of the fire with a glass of red and a book. Oh, and a bit of unpacking and work. It feels goooooood.
It’s not all butterflies and jelly babies. It rains a lot, my roof is leaking, it’s cold (and I hate being cold), my stuff is still everywhere and the fire is a faff, but still, I feel fine about all of that. Maybe I’m still in a honeymoon period, maybe I’m not. Doesn’t really matter, this is how I feel right now and I’m going with it.
Today I realised I was living one of my dreams. I’ve wanted a veranda for as long as I can remember. Not entirely sure why, I just have. I remember watching American films as a kid and loving the front porches with a rocking chair, so maybe it’s from that. Anyway, the sun came out this afternoon, lovely and warm winter sun, and my ver-ann-dah gets the afternoon sun, so I sat there, with a cup of tea and the sun on my face, looking at the hills, feeling super thankful for my life. I’m quite literally living my dreams right now and ohhh, does that feel a-ma-zing.
Downside: not many people to people watch on my street. I live opposite the Freemasons Hall/Lodge thing and there’s not much activity there. What do people actually do there? Should I be curtain twitching?
I’ve had a few moments of ‘ohhh-what-have-I-done’ but I expect them. Just normal adjustments with moving from the only place I’ve known here. I had the same in the UK when I moved to Cheltenham from Lincolnshire. Like then, this move will only ever be what I make it, so it’s up to me to do with it what I want.
It’s the most rural move I’ve made, and rural/small town New Zealand is a whole other level to UK rural. I’ll write about that another time though. Like not having a rubbish collection, the chip shop only opening when they feel like it, the hot water pressure being abysmal, the incredible community spirit, forgetting the supermarket closes at 7pm and people already knowing who you are before you meet them.
I don’t feel isolated though – because I’ve had so many people welcome me to the town (literally everyone I’ve spoken to), I already know many people by name and where to go if I want to speak to a living human being.
I mean, I have been a bit ‘HI I’M PAPS AND I’M NEW HERE, I’VE JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE WHO ARE YOU PLEASE TALK TO ME’ to everyone, but that’s my usual style and it’s done me well so far in life, why stop now?
Also my friend Emma lives here, so I know at least one person, which is nice. Not that I’ve seen her much since I moved in as she’s been away and ill, but it’s nice to know someone’s there.
I feel like I’ve earnt this. It’s been a rough ride for me in New Zealand. I’m torn in two constantly because I still love the UK and people in it. I’ve had a hard time in jobs that couldn’t change because of visas and burnt out spectacularly last year. I’ve saved my money hard to buy this place and give me options. I’ve been lonely and confused. I’d love to find someone to share life with, but can’t seem to meet the right person. I’ve made hard choices and still procrastinate on things because I don’t want to fail or don’t think I can do them.
And so I’m just human. Feeling proud of myself, as well as excited, overwhelmed, daunted, optimistic, and all the other feelings. All at the same time. As is life hey?
Oh and also, I fly to the UK NEXT MONTH. I can say that now. Next month. Holy moly I’m so excited, I feel like I could burst right now.