As I think has become abundantly clear over the last few weeks, Auckland isn’t really for me.
I’m trying really hard not to write off New Zealand entirely and just hate on Auckland, mostly because I haven’t seen the rest of the country, I know how beautiful it is and I’d still want to come back for a holiday, but I really feel like I’m just going through the motions here.
It seems silly to think before I left that I was concerned about falling in love with New Zealand and having to try and convince Zac to move here for a few years instead, but as I look out of my window and watch yet another rain storm pour down, that’s definitely not something I need to be worried about.
I don’t doubt that I would love New Zealand if I came to visit, if we were on a holiday, a whirlwind non-stop tour, but to live? Not for me.
The biggest problem I’m finding in Auckland is it’s a horrible city to try and get around if you don’t have a car.
Not driving while I’m here isn’t just an annoyance, it’s confining. I can’t afford to buy a car, and renting one is a luxury saved for weekends away, aside from the initial outlay, once you’ve added in insurance and petrol it’s throwing the little money I have away.
So I walk everywhere.
Which is actually really great, because I do enjoy a walking commute, I like having time to think and switch off about things, or at least mull them over. But it makes my radius very limited, it makes food shops more difficult and it means I get drenched most mornings on my way in to work.
No one walks here. Everyone thinks it’s weird and public transport is a complete waste of time.
The other thing is everything is so flipping expensive.
The living wage has recently gone up to $20, more than understandably. I worked out a minimal weekly budget for my time here when I arrived based on $20 as the lowest wage I expected and I was pleasantly surprised with the disposable income I had left.
If only I was on the living wage…
As it stands, Zac gives me enough pocket money each week to get by and I resent him and the whole situation even more, because he shouldn’t have to.
Sounding off helps.
But when it comes down to it, I’m really quite miserable here. Every day is a constant cycle of getting anxious about work, feeling undervalued while I’m there and then unbridled joy when it’s finally time to leave.
It’s a bit like working in previous jobs, where the best part of the day is sitting around with my fellow coworkers moaning about how unfulfilled we were, Lorna was my saviour then and gave me the push I needed to change my situation.
I am old enough now not to suffer when something isn’t working for me, and in the past year or so I’ve started to try and take my mental health more seriously. I know my current situation isn’t good for me, however I’m in a bind because unless I find something else, I don’t have a choice about it this time.
There are of course, little pockets of sunshine that make all the bad feeling seem like it was a lot of fuss over nothing.
I’ve fallen into the weirdest friend threesome over the past week, ever since we took Laine to ‘The Big Gay Out‘ last Sunday and opened his mind up to a world beyond his teenage comprehension.
Lewis and I convinced him to download Tinder on his phone so we could ‘help’ him with his dating game. Although after he messaged me a screenshot of a flat response to something (hilarious) I’d told him to say for the nth time, I asked Lewis if I was really the right person to be helping him talk to girls because: “I’m not really a normal girl, I think the demographic he’s in to is not the demographic I’m helping him find.”
Although he maintains he wants my help.
Zac sent me flowers to work on Valentine’s Day, which made my afternoon classes a near delight to teach, and I walked home swamped in his jumper, feeling as smug as anything when I walked past anyone with a smaller bouquet of flowers in their hand.
On Thursday we went to Belinda’s leaving drinks, driving in in the pouring rain and playing Battleships while we waited for everyone to come and join us.
Naturally I won – although I don’t know how, Peeves and I only ever used to play Battleships in the car to France and I remember getting bored after a few turns.
And then today, because he was concerned about how little sleep I’d been getting (thanks to my noisy neighbour) he took me to the beach for a walk and to get ice cream, before we picked up Lewis and just sat in my room for about 5 hours chatting away, although I’m sure 3 of those hours were spent moaning about work.
They’ve both sort of taken it upon themselves to try and fill that great big Zac shaped hole in my chest, and even though sticky tape and tissue paper don’t really fill the void, it’s a pretty way of trying.
While I was at the beach, before the pigeon attack, (oh yeah, I got attacked by a pigeon, it literally used my finger as a perch while it tried to eat some of my ice cream, while Laine just laughed and tried to get it on Snapchat) I did feel that sense of contentment I’ve been searching for wash over me, but I had just finished work, the sun was shining and I had mint choc chip ice cream.
I’ve not felt that same feeling on the commute in to work.
These are the things that make it bearable.
My pockets of sunshine.
I’m holding on the them very tightly.
For the sake of everyone elses’ sanity as much as my own.