Tag Archives: Direction

Life Lesson Learned: Laundry Edition

So here I am, hanging out on my porch, well in the carport, hanging up my laundry.  See, I’d normally be on the porch, but it’s a touch windy today and the last thing I need is to have the laundry topple over (again!) onto the landlord’s daughters new flower bed.  Not good.  So instead, I’m going to take advantage of the carport’s wind-tunnel nature and put the laundry to hang in there, relying upon the not-quite gale force winds to dry my clothing.  Sure, they don’t get sunshine this way, but I also don’t spend most of my afternoon going out to pick them up off the deck and pick dried leaves and dirt from what were clean clothes.  And yeah, I could tuck them in the little space where E’s motorbike is parked, we get some sunlight there in the afternoons.  But the last time I did that and a big gust of wind came through, I was chasing the laundry down the driveway as the towels acted as sails for the Good Ship Clothing Drive that was careening towards the road.   Not a particularly fun way to spend twenty minutes.

 

So there I was, in the carport, hanging up the clothes when I came to this one shirt of mine in particular.  Now this shirt I’ve had for several years and it has seen it’s fair share of ups and downs.  It’s a gray shirt with an orange collar and orange sleeves and I got it from Old Navy, who knows how long ago.  It’s a comfortable shirt, well worn and well loved.  I use it mainly for around the house now and lazy weekends with nothing to do but relax with my man.  But today, something about this shirt made me stop as I was hanging it up.

 

I’m not sure if it was the voluminous amounts of fabric that were just not agreeing with me or the hangers.  Or if it was the somewhat stubborn seeming insistence that it would quite simply not stay on the hanger at all, thank you kindly.  But once I finally hung it up, I paused in my usual chore doing and looked at it.  Really stopped and looked at it.

 

“This shirt is huge!” I thought to myself, and half said aloud.  I turned it this way and that and then this way again, looking it over.  Now true, it was wet and it had just gone through a bit of a battle with me and the washer and a pair of pants that decided it was a great time to turn into an octopus, so it was slightly stretched out.  But no. Even accounting for that, the shirt was huge. Enormous. And that thought, of course, got me thinking other thoughts.

 

The shirt was a 3XL.  I bought it because it was comfortable to fit in.  It was nice and light, gave me room to breathe, but also room to hide. I never quite filled it all the way out, and I’m very glad for that, but I fit into it comfortably.  It was a nice second skin for me. The shirt allowed me to get service in almost every establishment I went into without really letting on just how fat I was. We were secret companions in an ongoing battle with reality.  And dammit, we were winning, my shirt and I.

 

But now, here and now, on this day, I am hanging up this shirt and it is huge. Giant. I could swallow a small child and not even notice it had eaten.  I remembered thinking the other night when I was wearing it, that it was almost like a nightgown, only a little shorter.  I looked down at the shirt that I was wearing today.  A black t-shirt. Nothing special, nothing amazing. Just one that came from those three packs of t-shirts from the Men’s department at WalMart.  it’s comfortable, not too snug, but also not too loose.  I could do my workout in this shirt if I needed to.  I can also do my dishes and still feel comfortable.  Just to make sure, I turned the shirt sideways slightly and I peeked a look at the tag.

 

XL.

 

Talk about your mind being blown.  It’s hard, sometimes, when you’re so close to everything happening, to really see the progress being made.  But I was standing there, obsessively staring at this old shirt of mine, not quite realizing that I was looking at the progress I had made.  I used to fit into that. Now, I fit into this.

 

I used to hide behind that fabric, now I’m starting to own this fabric. I used to wrap myself in security in that shirt, now I’m becoming more outgoing in this one. I did that. I beat that. I beat that old shirt.  And I’m starting to beat this new shirt as well.

 

I have a size large t-shirt hanging up in my bedroom.  It’s my Nanowrimo shirt that I bought last year.  It was way too small for me then, it’s still slightly too small for me now.  Next year, next year, It will be too big for me.  I have come so far, but I have still further to go.  But for the moment, I’m going to finish my laundry, and then have a cuppa tea.

 

Thank you, Grey and Orange shirt. Thank you.

Seasons Change

Wow.  Not since April.  Huh.

 

I guess this is where everybody expects a big info dump of my life in the last 5 months.  Truth to be told, there’s not much to tell.  I’m still in New Zealand, I’m still madly in love, and I’m still unemployed!

 

There, my life summed up.  Well, ok there’s more to it than that.  I’m still going to the gym, and I’m still losing the weight.  Slowly, but it’s happening. It’s steady, and I’m looking more at a lifestyle change than rapid “ohgod get it off me before summer!!!!!”.  Because even when summer hits, and even after I hit my goal weight, I’m still probably not going to wander around in a bikini.  It would just be weird.
And blinding.  My skin’s a bit… pale. Light would reflect from the surface of my skin and blind everybody.

 

Hmm.  maybe this could be the start of a new trend.  Nobody minds wearing bathing suits because nobody can see anybody else due to blinding skin whiteness.

 

Anyway, what else is happening?  Well E and I went back to the states to visit my parents and go to PAX again.  I suppose I could do a post all on those once I get my head straightened back out.  Pax was awesome, just saying.  Even if I didn’t go anywhere near the expo hall or do anything overtly geeky (although I suppose spending two entire days playing board games is a bit geeky.  But i got to be a pirate in one and the other I killed zombies! Totally not geeky!).

 

And now, I’m back home, getting back into the fitness swing of things, back into the crocheting swing of things, and back into the packing swing of things.

 

Packing?

 

Why yes, packing.  Because in about two months we’ll be living in a new place.  And so when that happens, people pack! it’s a natural thing, no need to be afraid of it.

 

So yes, I am back.  I will do what I can to keep you all updated with the absolutely mundane things that make up my life.  Even if all they are revolve around the gym, my crochet, and tea.

 

Tea can be entertaining, right?

 

 

Today’s Brew:  Twining’s Earl Grey

Total cups so far: 5

Getting Back Up

Hi!

 

Have you missed me?

 

Well life has been a series of busy lately, and while all of it has been fantastic, none of it really lends itself to being ‘blog-worthy’.  Or at least, not in a way that I can think of just yet.  So what has been happening in life down here in kiwiland?  Well, let me tell you.

 

A couple weekends ago two of our really close friends got married.  It was an absolutely fantastic day, the ceremony went off just as was planned and the Bride and Groom had a great time.  I was so very happy to be not only invited but to also be a part in helping them plan and get ready for their day.  Having only known them for a few months, it’s truly amazing just how close we’ve become.  I can’t express enough or in the proper words just how humbled and grateful I am to the pair of them for allowing me to spend time with them and share in their joy on that day.  Love you both R&K!

 

This past weekend, another pair of our friends moved into their new house! And we, of course, helped them move!  Now, I know that does not necessarily sound like a barrel of laughs, and it was some hard work, but it was also absolutely great.  We got to spend time with friends, help them move onto their next big step, and generally just enjoy everybody’s company.  And while helping them move, unpack, and settle into their new place, I had time to look back, reflect, and focus on just how far this life that I’m living now is to the ones that I’ve lived before.  Doing physical labor, but laughing and joking at the same time. Everybody coming together collectively to help out, and then sitting around a table (which is gorgeous!) for a well deserved dinner.  I am struggling to figure out if life gets better than that.   The house is gorgeous, the couple fantastic, and our time spent together equally precious.  Congrats R&E!

 

What else, what else.

 

The job hunt is not so much a hunt as it is shooting arrows wildly into the forest in every direction, only to have them shot back at you with no points and no fletching. Not helpful.  But! perseverance will prevail!  Employment will be gained! Somehow.

 

Now, the biggest new thing happening to me personally is that I’ve committed to a Personal Trainer. Tom is going to be kicking my butt left, right, and sideways twice a week for 45 minutes.  After 7 months at the gym, and a significant amount of body tightening up, It was time to get even more serious.  I’ve got weight I want to, must, lose and it’s not going to come off on it’s own.  And while I’ve stuck with going to the gym at least twice a week for 7 months, I need something more. I need to keep pushing myself even more, harder than before.  I must lose this weight.  The rest of my life depends upon hitting that healthy moment and then keeping going.  And that’s not an exaggeration.

 

Today was my second session with Tom and everything went well.  Really well, actually.  But it was the last ‘exercise’ that got me into a contemplative mood.  Essentially all I had to do was lay down on the ground on my chest and then stand back up again five times, and then lay on my back and get up again five times.  Sounds simple, right? Wrong.  It was definitely not easy.  There was so much involved, just so much energy and movement and muscles.  It was by far the hardest exercise that I did.

 

Just like life.  It’s fairly easy to get knocked down time and time again.  It’s the getting back up that’s the hardest part.  And all of this, the man who is supporting me, the friends that I’ve found and love, and the gym, this is all part of me getting back up off the ground.

 

And this time, I’m going to remain standing. And then, start running.

I Can Almost Reach….

The sky.

 

One of the first things that I fell in love with down here in New Zealand, other than E, was the sky.  It’s one of those visceral feelings that you get when you first get off the plane and look up, especially on a mostly clear but still fluffy cloudy day.  There is just so much sky up there.  And the color of the sky is so amazingly crisp.  And the clouds are so very close.  So very close.  At times it really does feel like you can reach up and touch them.

 

Now true, there are trees everywhere, and the land itself is so very green it could probably give Ireland a run for the money.  There are mountains and valleys, and parklands as far as you can see, with old stately trees reaching to the sun, their trunks thin and twisty.  But you look at them, even with the moss growing on the branches, and the multitude of wildlife and birds that you’re not used to and once again your eyes are drawn up and up and up to the sky.

 

It goes on for seemingly ever.  particularly if you’re standing at the top of a hill.  You can see everything on a clear day.  Sure, there are trees and hills and houses all around you, and the occasional tall office building, but all around that, there is sky.  And on some days, the color of the sky is unreal, unimaginable. You sit and you look at it and somewhere in the back of your internet filled mind you think to yourself, “This has to be photoshopped”.  But it’s not!  The sky really is that brilliant azure blue that you only usually see in children’s drawings and tourism guides.  And the clouds.

 

The white fluffy cumulus clouds that we learned about in high school.  The ones that mean fair weather, but could turn to storm clouds as well.  They are huge.  Fluffy and white and they go on forever.  They feel so very low, but they are still the same clouds that you know are not the lowest point (nimbus clouds hover lower if I remember correctly.  And of course Fog).  But they are just so very close.  And so very dramatic.

 

That’s right, fluffy bunny clouds are dramatic.  The way the light hits them, the way the curvature of the moisture has formed.  There is always a new way for the light to play against the clouds, and it does.  The air is cleaner down here, and the sky brighter, and the clouds more impressive.

 

I was driving over the Harbor Bridge the other day, well ok I was riding on the bus, and I looked out my window over the harbor and towards the city.  The skyline for downtown Auckland still causes me to catch my breath at times.  Something about it is just so very breathtakingly beautiful.  I don’t know if it’s just the SkyTower, or if it’s because the city practically rises up straight from the water, or because of the magnificent vast stretches of sky behind it.  Or if it’s some combination of the above.  But there it is again, the sky.  Any direction you look, it goes on forever.  I’ve heard people make these comments about Montana or Wyoming, but having never been there, I can’t make my own judgements there.

 

I can tell you that on a sunny spring or early summer day, when the weather is just right and the clouds oh so perfectly fluffy white and the sky is that cerulean blue that is considered to be almost perfect, on those days, it really does feel like nothing else in the world could compare to this place at that time.

 

Of course then the storm clouds move in and it begins raining buckets on your head, but that is going to happen anyway because we live on an island.

 

But rain! What about the rain?  Yes, we should talk about the rainclouds, the way they sweep in across the land and how if you know what direction you are facing, you can watch the storm systems moving towards you.  You can see the clouds forming and building and racing across the atmosphere, and even on a cloudy day where everything is overcast, there is still drama in the sky. The clouds build in layers upon themselves, and there are still shapes and forms amongst them.  And every now and then you get a spot in the clouds where the sun has broken through and there is glorious light cast upon everything.  And you can see the storm above your head and to your east, but to the west, there is sunny skies, and that beautiful blue sky.  Even as the clouds are racing overhead and you can feel the rain seeping into your skin, you know, there are sunny days still to come.

 

So while I love this county, and I do love this country, and I love the trees and the wildlife and the  people.  But the one thing that never fails to amaze me is the sky.  Photos don’t do it the true justice, since they only capture that moment.  To truly appreciate the New Zealand sky, you have to live it, watch it, be drenched by it, and then be dried by it.

 

One more thing that I love about New Zealand.

Insomnia

So here I am. 1am on tuesday morning.  And I’m still awake.

 

What could possibly be bothering me?

 

My Nanowrimo is done (unofficially and more about that later), my FBI paperwork came back clean and healthy (like there was really any doubt), I have a game plan for where and when and how to go through and finish up this visa application (ugh tediousness).  There really is nothing overly heavy weighing on my mind.

 

Except.

 

Well, I’m still unemployed. Which granted at this point is planned until after I get my new visa and then I can look for things that are not ‘temporary’ or ‘contract’ but I can actually get full time work.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am ok with being unemployed.    And I still have no idea what it is I would like to do.  Call centers, retail, go back to school?  Maybe a bit of this and a bit of that?  But all of that requires some soul searching.  And I just am not good at soul searching.  Especially if it involves any form of meditation.  My brain just refuses to slow down.

 

Also, I am thinking about the whole ‘what next’ part of my writing.  I have no done my 6th Nanowrimo. I have now hit my 6th mark of 50,000 words in so many years.  My world and my plot are coming together better now than they ever have before.  So what next?  Do I move on? do I try to finish up? Do I gather all of my previous writing and notes and details on this subject and scour them for details, information, bits and pieces and then put that all into notes on Scrivener (awesome program btw), and actually honestly attempt to write this book?  Or books?  Do I have the willpower to sit through, sift through, all of my writing over the years, trash what is crap and keep what is good, build on the rest and actually come out ahead with a story that maybe somebody somewhere will want to read?   Do I have this willpower?

 

Do I have the willpower to keep up with the weight loss?  I can tell that I’m losing weight because my pants are slowly starting to come off around my waist.  But my hips are still the same size they were, so no real loss there.  Also means no new pants.  Just have to keep fiddling with the old pants.  Can I really keep up with this? Can I lose enough weight so that when I head back to the States next year to visit, mom and I can go shopping for new clothes for me and I can actually maybe not wear the ‘fat girl clothes’?  How much willpower do I really have stored up?

 

And is it even willpower that I need? Perhaps what I really need is ambition.  I don’t really seem to have any of that.  Ambition.  It’s a funny word.  In some cases it is a strong, positive, encouraging term. In others it’s dirty, nasty, unkind.  And it seems to be difficult to balance the two levels perfectly.  What is a good level of ambition? And how do I get there?  Now that I think about it, Ambition seems to be the core of most of my problems.  Yeah, I know, First world problems and all that.

 

But really.  I never had many ambitions as a kid, or even as a young adult.  To be happy and to be loved for who I was were about the only things I was ever determined to secure for myself.  And, well, now I have those.  And I’m lost.  I have no real ambitions.  Dreams, sure I have those aplenty, but ambitions?  To be a writer who can tell her stories and have people want to read them.  That could be one.  That’s about as close to an ambition as I have.  But I am still very unsure of how to necessarily achieve that goal.

 

I’ll have to do some more thinking on this.  I’ll get back to you.

 

But for now, It’s almost 130.  My mint tea is just warm enough to drink while still being hot enough to be soothing to the rather unhappy stomach that I have now (i think it doesn’t like peanut butter anymore), and I’m hoping that a few minutes of window shopping for a new menorah is going to be enough to settle my brain and calm my whatever it is that’s keeping me awake.

 

So good night, good morning, and have a pleasant day.

Rollercoaster

Man.

Life can be such a downer sometimes.

No really.

I start feeling like I can move up and on with things and life just pushes me back down with a firm hand.

sucks.

really.

but what can you do?

Get back up, off your ass, dust yourself off, and push back.

There can be tears, it’s ok to cry.

But don’t let yourself be kept down.

Fight.

Stand.

Win.

Ok, so this post started off to be just a normal post and then I started thinking about a roller coaster and I wanted to do a ‘typing format’ experiment, so I forwent my usual doubletap enter button and only single tapped it in order to attempt to give that first bit the look of a roller coaster. Up and down. Up and down. Not sure if it worked or not, but there you go.  e.e. cummings i am not.

But no, emotional roller coasters are a thing.  They happen.  You don’t have to be depressed to go through them. You don’t even have to be female.  Everybody has their good days, their great days, and their bad days. And their really bad days.   Last sunday was a really really bad day for me.  It actually started saturday night and just evolved into a massive mess on sunday.  My brain started focusing on everything that could go wrong. My visa application being denied. Getting hurt. Staying unemployed. Not finding a job that I enjoy. E coming to resent me because I’m not working. Losing focus on this weight loss.  Being overweight to begin with. being thirty and not having a clear sense of anything that I like other than cooking, american politics, and writing.  Also, classical music.  But what can you make all of that into?  A cookbook about american politics?  How would that even work?

But, slowly I got out of it. After bouts of just sitting down and crying for no reason, I slowly fixed myself.  And that happens.  To everybody.  Nobody is perfectly happy all the time. If they were, they’d probably be dead bone of the rest of us poor people would have shot them by now.  I am, in my life now, the happiest I have ever been.  I have a man who loves me, I have some goals that I’m working towards, and I have friends.  I am in so many ways ecstatically happy.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel sad at times.  That I don’t give into those voices in my head on bad days.  That I can’t curl up in a ball and cry for no real reason.  Crying is good for the soul. It cleanses.

What I’m saying is, it’s ok to have a bad day.  You need to have one every now and then.

And then, you need to get your ass back up off the ground, look those bad moods in the eyes, punch them into the oblivion, and focus on getting back to where you were before.   It’s ok to have a bad day. It’s not ok to let one bad day derail everything.

Also, Happy New Year!

Fort Minor

So, there’s a song by this group called Fort Minor and I enjoy it a bit.  The chorus begins with ‘where’d you go?’ and I figure that’s a question that I should be answering.  The long and the short of it is, I’ve been working.  And then sleeping.  And then working.  The original 4 week assignment has turned into almost 3 months, and we finish up on July 29.  Although that feels so very far away.

 

Also, I’ve been sick.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m back in a call center and still getting my body used to being bombarded with germs from every direction, so that when one person gets sick, everybody gets sick. Or if it’s because of the weather change down here and it being Winter but not really a winter that I would call a winter so I don’t get as bundled up as I should.  Or if it’s because of the humidity and moisture in the apartment having finally settled into my lungs and refusing to go away.  Or, if it’s a combination of them all.  Suffice to say, I’ve been sick.  Stuffed nose, chesty cough, I even lost my voice the other day.  I start to feel better during the day and then the night hits and my body feels like giving up all over again.  I’ve been eating right and drinking plenty of fluids, so maybe all I need is rest. I’m not in work today simple because I could not find the strength or the energy or even the desire to move or do anything but hide in the bed.  Headache, nausea, and some light other intestinal problems along the way as well.

 

So today is for resting, and medicating, so that I can go back to work tomorrow, finish this week off strong and use the weekend to complete my journey back to healthiness so that I can stop feeling so damned miserable.  Being miserable is not a fun thing.

 

What new adventures am I having?  Well, we went out about two weekends ago and I bought myself a big monitor.  my little netbook is still running everything, but I can now see more than I thought possible.  the screen is about twice the size of my netbooks screen.  Awesome.  I have bought myself some early birthday presents as well.  A new bento box and lunchbag, and some video games for the computer.    Last weekend we went out and bought a dehumidifier.  To try and get rid of the excess moisture problem.  It’s a 20L tank and thank god for that.  We turned it on after we brought it home, around 5pm and left it to run over night.  When we got up the next morning, around 7am, the thing had sucks about 17-18L out of the air.  And I wonder why I’ve been feeling sick and chesty?  We’ve run it on and off again since then, but haven’t gotten the amount out again, thank goodness.

 

I’ve been exploring the goodness of a wok.  I finally got around to seasoning the wok that we bought back in february (God bless Youtube!) and we’ve been making some tasty stir-frys ever since.  And I’ve been investigating Tofu.  and the many different ways to make tofu. We’ve marinated it and eaten it just like that.  We’ve marinated it and baked it in the oven.  And we’ve added it to the stir-frys.  I think that I am starting to not only get the hang of tofu, but also to liking it.  I am not, however, going to be giving up my meat.  Tofu is just another alternative at the moment.

 

But mostly, I’ve just been working.  And I love the work. I love the people and the company and I even enjoy the customers.  Hard to believe, but it’s true.  Unlike American customers, it seems like Kiwis will readily tell you that they’re not really mad at you personally, but they are going to yell anyways, but please don’t take any personal offense.  And some of them, most of them, are quite easy to turn around and calm down after they’ve been allowed their moments of yelling.  It’s amazing.  I’ve been cursed at once by a customer.  And when I informed that customer to not curse at me, she immediately apologized and was calm from there on out.  I do enjoy the work.  And were it work that I could continue to enjoy in the manner that I have been (M-F 9-530) then I would most happily continue there.  But, it is a call center, and that means working rotating hours with rotating shifts and rotating days off.  It would mean never getting a normal sleep schedule, or a normal day off with Ee.  And that’s really not anything….

 

I came down here to start a new life, and go in a new direction.  And right now, in my mind, that new direction includes weekends with my partner and nights curled up on the couch watching a dvd.  Not days off in the middle of the week and coming home from work just as he is going to bed.  I’ve done that life before, it ruined the relationship.  And I didn’t come halfway around the world for that.  No.  As much as I love the office, I think it really is in my best interests to keep searching, to keep looking.  To explore more options and grow more as an adult.

 

But as a first experience working for a New Zealand company? I couldn’t have asked for more.  I think, however, I may want to look into the public sector.  Maybe a government job, if possible.  Eventually.  But for now, I’m going to go back to resting as I am feeling rather worn down, and I want to get better, faster.

 

So that is where I went, and where I’ll be.  Next update will probably be before Rotorua and after Orcon.

My Daddy

There’s all sorts of stereotypes and caricatures out there of the little Jewish girl and her Daddy.  Stories and tales and jokes made about the olive-skinned girl with the dark curly hair, the slightly prominent nose and those xdark brown eyes putting her hands on her hips, stomping her feet and whining in a tone that would make Fran Drescher shudder, “But Daddy!”  And of course the very next part of that story or joke or comment is that the Daddy in question folds and gives the daughter everything that she is asking for.   While I can’t completely deny that I did everything in my power growing up to get things from my Daddy, I can easily say that I never had to resort to such lengths.

 

My Daddy comes from a fairly small family, made smaller even by the family politics that he wanted to avoid. He married my mother and then promptly did everything he could to take care of her and his new family.  He worked long hours when we were growing up and made the hard choice to move us from Philadelphia to Delaware, away from his own mother, to help us get a better life.  We went to good schools, we never wanted for anything.  We were never hungry or naked (except for bathtime), and we went on vacation of one form or another every year.  A fond memory was when we went to Disneyworld for the first time (yes, the first time), My Daddy had set up a scavenger hunt for my brother and I to follow around the house, ending at the VCR where we pressed play and the information movie on Disneyworld started.    There were other vacations too.  Williamsburg, Boston, Cleveland, Scotland and London.

 

My Daddy made sure that while growing up I was being educated well.  I would bring my homework home and after finishing it, my Daddy would go over it with me.  Vocabulary words were always a favorite, as the usual task was to write the word out and then use it in a sentence.  But that wasn’t advanced enough for my Daddy.  Oh no.  The challenge was to use all of the words that week in as few sentences as possible.  I remember it driving my teachers crazy, but it was the challenge that my Daddy set forth for me.  Daddy had no problems helping me with reports, sometimes going so far as to teach me how to footnote and write in styles that i shouldn’t learn for years to come, just to make it a bit more challenging.  Mathematics were always a struggle for me, but I always knew that I could trust my Daddy to help me through them.  Whether it was a new approach to fractions (using a pizza pie), or just help learning my multiplication tables (A deck of cards), Daddy was always there to help me with schoolwork.  And when school became too intense in other ways, Daddy was always there.  The Principals of my schools knew my father and they knew better than to argue with him.  Daddy only became involved when it was necessary, like making sure the Jewish Holidays didn’t count against my absence records. Daddy and Mommy both volunteered every year when I was in the primary grades, coming in around Hannukah and Purim to give a presentation to the other kids in my school about what the holidays were and what they meant.  Daddy even took off from work one day when I was in the third grade to be our chaperone for the school trip to Washington DC.

 

My Daddy wasn’t just amazing when it came to school, but he was also supportive in everything else.  One of the rules that we learned quickly while growing up was that we could ask our parents anything, and we would get the answer.  There wasn’t a time growing up that I remember being treated ‘like a kid’.  Oh sure, there were moments where I was pretty childish, but then every kid goes through that.  But there was no questions that could be asked that would ever result in “you’re too young” as the answer. We had rousing dinner table discussions about everything, from school, to moving, to the assassination of JFK, there was no topic that was considered too adult.  I don’t ever remember having “the talk” with my Daddy, or my mother for that matter, but sex was not something to be hidden or not talked about.  We just never needed to have the talk, it was understood.  I remember the day that I woke up, I think I was just about to turn thirteen, it was two weeks before my birthday and I woke up and went to the bathroom like normal.  Only this time wasn’t normal.  The first person that I called was my Daddy.  I don’t know why, but it never even crossed my mind that it was unusual to do that.  I wanted to let my daddy know that not only would I be a grown up woman in our religion’s eyes, but in the eyes of nature as well.  Telling my Daddy never seemed weird, until years later some people commented that it was just odd.  Whatever, I say to that.  A girl should be able to tell her Daddy anything and have him understand.

 

My Daddy has been very understanding with me, especially as I got older.  I finished high school and went away to University.  I picked the campus that I liked, the school that I wanted, and my Daddy simply told me that he wanted me to be happy.  And when I failed my first semester so hard that it left scars, I called my Daddy and he understood.  He never once yelled, but simply said that I had to do better and he told me that it took him a few years to figure out what he wanted to do.  As the years went on and school continued and one boyfriend after the other rose and fell my Daddy would voice his displeasure, but he never did anything but that.  And his displeasure and disapproval was often enough.  My Daddy understood that I needed to get out of the wing, out of the house, out of Delaware to fully grow.  And so he let me go.  It hurt him a bit inside, but he let me go, because it was best for me.  My Daddy has always done what he determines is best for me.

 

My Daddy is my hero.  He let me discover life on my own and when it became too much, my Daddy rescued me.  He never once told me that I had to live with the mess that I had made.  My Daddy never once pushed me away into the darkness and left me to flounder.  When I thought my life could not get darker, when I was drowning in the inch of water left at the bottom of the barrel, my Daddy fished me out, dragged me to the surface, and saved my life.  He gave me a firm place to put my feet, a safe place to rest my head, and the rock to lean on while I tried to get myself back together.  Never once in my life have I ever said “Daddy I need help” and My Daddy hasn’t been there for me.

 

There’s a thing, with writers, that we try to find all the words to cover everything, to make it clear and true and ring deep into the hearts of our readers.  That’s a difficult thing to accomplish with emotions.  I could write the words, “I love My Daddy” and they would convey the emotional impact well enough, but not deep enough.  There are some things in this world that have to be felt, that have to be truly experienced to understand, not just read.  I am the woman that I am today because of My Daddy.  He raised me as best he could, did everything in his power to guarantee that I had every possible opportunity that I could have ever wanted.  He sent me to England with university, he took me to see stage shows, the circus, Disney on Ice, and a million other things all because it was good for me to have the culture (and because I asked).  My Daddy has suffered through Thundercats and through WWF.  All because it made me happy.  He has put me through University, helped me buy a car, rescued me from my own stupidity, and he has done it all while providing food, shelter, and security for the entire family.  My Daddy has finished his Doctorate and he takes care of his patients, working ten hour days, if not sometimes longer.  My Daddy has run a side business helping to educate urology nurses across the United States and sometimes Canada.  My Daddy has done all of these things, and still been there for when I needed to talk.

 

I have memories that will never fade, of laying on the couch with my Daddy watching football, or the Three Stooges, and eating pistachios from their shells.  Of my Daddy hugging me after my Bat Mitzvah, and of my Daddy hugging me one April in Maine.   Memories of my Daddy at my high school graduation, and of My Daddy driving us through the Scottish Highlands at night.  Memories of dinners at restaurants where it wasn’t needed to tell me to behave, I already knew how.  Of swimming pools in various hotels across the country, of talks about the craziest things from the time I was old enough to have memories.  I have never wanted for anything in my life that I did not get, eventually.

 

I’m far away from my Daddy now, living on the other side of the globe, a completely different hemisphere and time.  I am happy here, I am finally coming into my own being, coming into the point of being who I am.  I can’t give my Daddy the hugs that I would like to.  I can’t make him dinner and try to get him to work on his blood sugar.  I see my Daddy via skype on the weekends, and sometimes that’s enough.  Other times, I miss my Daddy and would like to give him a hug.  But I have to live my own life, make my own way.

 

Luckily for me, I had My Daddy to show me the way.

 

I love you, Daddy.  Happy Father’s Day.

JWO

Or, Job Week One.

Let me just say this, it was a bit of a rocky start, but I am absolutely loving this job.  Monday was difficult with getting lost for a bit, getting locked out of the building, not having anything but paper to stare at and try to absorb.  Tuesday was almost as bad, but we got through it all and then wednesday morning was going to be the big test.

We headed to the actual office and spent the day sitting with a buddy, listening and watching as they took their calls and performed their duties.  Some of us got the chance to do some calls as well, just to try and get us used to it.  Then, we were going to be pulled off to do our own training on the side.  Which almost happened.  Until the computers that were set aside for us weren’t on the network.  Oops.

And then came Thursday.  We were going to be ‘on our own’.  Luckily, nobody is really ever on their own.  We were sequestered in a small area, had one of the team leaders with us to help us through the day (lord bless Michael).  Halfway through the day some of us got put on calls, while the rest of us stayed doing emails.

Talk about overwhelming.  It was a lot to take in and try to absorb.  We were being trained with about half of what we should have been given and then being tossed to the wolves. The lions were going to feast upon our flesh.  And then, slowly, sometime in the lat afternoon, it started to make sense.  And then, as part of the bribery deal made earlier, Michael came around with his bag of chocolate goodies and gave us all one.  I tried to bargain him up to two, but he stood firm that I only got one.  He did, however, tell me that I was his star for the day.  And that was the confidence booster that I needed.

of course, over night I started to wonder if he had been joking, so when i went in today I asked him and he informed me that he was very serious about it.  I had been the top performer out of the temps and I was the star.  Good way to start the morning.

We did emails for the first few bits. and then the call queue went up so they put us on the phones.  And it only got better.  The more I did, the more confident I felt, the less I had to call for help.  I think I may have even saved an account for the company today, which is killer awesome if that’s the case.  I feel good about what I’m doing and I’m actually starting to enjoy it.

Now, the fun part.  The office itself.  It’s set up like most any other call center you would expect, but there is nothing wrong with talking with your neighbors or surfing the internet, so long as you are also still getting your work done.  The customers really aren’t even as bad as you would imagine.  They’re friendly, polite, and very understanding.  Even when angry.

There’s a lunch room with a big flat screen tv, complete with skytv (cable basically), and xbox, an air hockey table (it’s broken) computer with internet.  That’s the fun side, the food side is awesome.  Two microwaves, two refrigerators (one is for food, the other one seems to be primarily for milk. Lots of milk), a sink with a regular tap and a tap for filtered cold drinking water, and a 3rd tap that spits out boiling water. Yes. Boiling water from a tap.  What do you need the boiling water for? Oh to make cup-a-soups, the the instant coffee granules, or the hot tea that is also provided.  Two dishwasher drawers.  And, an espresso/cappuccino machine.  Kiwis are apparently notorious for their coffee snobbery.

There are windows everywhere and you can look out of the lunchroom, straight across the marshland next to the bay and you can see the sky tower and the harbor bridge.  It’s really quite lovely.  The office is not dark and dingy at all, it is surrounded by windows (like almost everything else down here) and the desks are colorful and fairly up to date.

There is a sore lacking in chairs, the one that I was in today had like no padding on the seat at all.  I would have been better off sitting in the lunch chairs all day for comfort.  But, that was my own fault for not grabbing a more comfy chair.

So that’s the environment (oh and a cafe downstairs at reception. pastries, mini-pizzas, hot drinks, all kinds of things. and on Fridays whatever food is leftover downstairs becomes free food) that I’m working, and it only gets better when you focus on the people.

Everybody has been super kind, super understanding and very welcoming.  Nobody has declined to help us out when we needed it, some have even come over and volunteered their help when we were looking panicked.  And they’re just fun guys to be around. There is plenty of joking and conversation to be had, and it’s really just a high energy place to work.  I actually walked out today with my head held high, back straight, and a huge smile on my face.

I can’t remember the last time I could ever say that about a job.  As of right now, I am happy.  This is only for 4 weeks as of right now, but maybe it could turn into something more.  I hope that it does.  My next job is going to suffer in comparison, I’m afraid.

But now, it’s the weekend.  And as much as I would love to stay up late tonight and sleep in tomorrow, i think i’m going to sleep tonight and sleep in tomorrow.

Keep sending the good thoughts!  I need them still!

A Job

Yes, that’s right. I have a job.

It’s a temporary job, of course, but it is something.  Four weeks of work for Orcon, one of the local telco’s doing work in their Billing department.  I start work tomorrow morning at 9am for training and then work for the company for 4 weeks.

is it ideal? No, not really, but at the moment Temp work is all that I’m going to be able to get.  At least until next April at the earliest, due to how the visa situation is working out.  But that’s ok.  This gets me something in New Zealand, on my resume, which can only help in future job hunts.

Life has been pretty good, I’ve been meaning to post something, anything lately, but the inspiration just hasn’t been with me.  My cooking has been uninspiring, and my random thoughts unfulfilling.  I am thinking that maybe now that I will be riding the bus more often, I will have more time to think and who knows, maybe my writing will come back to me.

But for now, I am not gone, merely hibernating in this winter that isn’t really a winter at all.  Strange and beautiful place this is.