Why hello over there. Apologies for my prolonged absence. It’s been a red hot minute. What gives?
I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post solely to being ‘A life update’. It has been ages since we had a run-down about what’s been going on in life. Now, obviously I don’t NEED to do this but I feel if I am going to advise you on what bags to wear for Sping (coming very soon!) then you and I should grab a coffee and have a bit of a chat about what’s been happening. Let’s start with the obvious.
What happened to 30 Before 30?
#30Before30 was a brilliant plan and exactly the kick in the butt I needed in early September to get started on my blog again. I’d been feeling a bit distant from things and so I decided to try and blog every day for one month (more or less - I started early and did not finish). This served exactly the function I needed it to. It made me feel revved up about writing again and I loved producing blogs quickly and without much thought. Elizabeth Gilbert in ‘Big Magic’ described how Tom Waites admires his children making up songs and then throwing them away ‘like paper airplanes’. It matters/it doesn’t matter is an important paradox to remember at all times when you’re being creative. I had been a bit bogged down in ‘doing it right’ before #30Before30 and doing it lightly, without putting too much importance on it helped free my brain. So what? I got to 21. And then it ended. And that was ok.
Why did I not finish? Well, I reached my birthday and was only up to #21Before30, so it seemed a bit silly to label those blog posts as something they were not. Another big reason I ran out of time to complete this project was that I got swept up in Soap For Society (which went REALLY well) which was running for the second year in Welly and the first year in Auckland and Christchurch. That ate up a lot of my time the week before, during and after.
(As you may know, Soap For Society is a drive that encourages people to donate toiletries over one week to our City Missions! I now know the final results of how much product we collected, but I am going to cover that off in a separate blog post. But trust me when I say Wellington especially kicked ass.)
Soap For Society felt more important at that time to get off the ground so I decided to be kind to myself and let go of #30Before30, letting it gently float to the ground like an origami swan. Sometimes letting go of projects is an act of great strength and self-love.
How was your 30th?
After a year of anxiety, and my fretful blogging up until my 30th birthday, my 30th was actually really lovely, filled with all my favourite girlfriends. We had lunch at Noble Rot (I needed to find something my mates with babies/preggers could come to) and then kicked on. We ate, we drank, and we danced, ending up at my parent’s place (they were away) and getting our boogie on.
I splashed out because although I am getting married next year, I wanted to celebrate myself - alone - just one more time before I get hitched. It felt worth it doing something nice because we didn’t pay rent this year so had some extra savings to rely on. I also got paid out from resigning from my old job with annual leave. It was a blast.
When I sat around the table at my 30th and I saw a mix of old friends with new friends that I truly admire, I realised that if all I got out of this blog was some amazing friends (and some skincare), then it was all worth it in the end. Writing ‘The Residents’ has transformed life in Wellington for me, growing up in my twenties. It has put me in touch with people I could never have dreamed of meeting. For that, I’ll always be grateful.
Sometimes the media talks about blogging and Instagram and YouTube as if it were a get rich quick scheme - and the main reason people do it is greed; that couldn’t be further from the truth. You simply can’t sustain a project this long unless you’re mad and love it to bits, even when you hate it too. I am a volunteer on The Residents 90% of the time (or more). What keeps me going is a passion for writing and making stuff, and the amazing people I’ve had the chance to meet. Whether it is a former executive assistant at City Gallery Wellington who is now a close friend to the PR contact I had working on the Interislander campaign, I’ve made some brilliant friendships, and deepened existing ones, through The Residents. In October 2015, I updated my personal Facebook ‘About’ section to “Wellingtonian making friends and writing about it”. These words stand; nothing could be truer still.
Where the hell are you living now?
I am temporarily living in Ngaio with Matt because we are housesitting. We are here for another few weeks before it is back to Greytown for 3 weeks and then we are in Roseneath during December (woop!). Moving around this year has been extremely hard at times. Currently, we are really trying hard post-birthday to be sensible and not go out very much so that we save save save and achieve maximum gains for our efforts.
Are you saving for a house?
I will neither confirm or deny.
Have you bought a house?
Why are you not interviewing people at the moment? This blog is called ‘The Residents’?
My interviews with Residents of Wellington have indeed ground to a halt. I simply cannot interview people and transcribe our chats right now because it would take time away from my secret project which I need to be able to progress that. Sorry - please be patient with me a trust me when I say the sacrifice in the short term will be worth it in the long term. I cannot guarantee that I will keep interviewing people once I am a bit further along again. I hope you like what I am working on - trust me when I say it is a dream come true (but super stressful in its own right). Hang tight (until at least mid-2020)!
Why did you stop YouTube?
I can’t really YouTube unless I am settled somewhere and can fully relax in my own private space. I haven’t been able to do it this year as much as I would like to. I may consider picking it up again when I have a permanent home but for now, it’s on hold.
Are you happy?
Yes, I am happy. This year has been one of the most challenging years of my life in some ways (I have cried LOTS), but also one of the most richly rewarding in other ways. I have grown enormously and recently dropped some of the files I accumulated as junk on my mental destop in the bin because those parts of my life are now over. Quick summary: The first quarter was amazing, the second was absolute shite, the third quarter was a rollercoaster and the final quarter will be great (I hope). House sitting is hard. Humans need a place to call their own. We’re very much creatures of habit and not designed to be nomadic beasts these days.
When are you getting married?
Summer next year. I am very excited about my photographer who is someone I completely adore. We’ll also have a few friends I’ve made along the way from this blog help us as our suppliers on the day. Stay tuned….
Do you have a new job?
Yes, I do! I had an excellent three and a half years in my old job but it had run its course. I am extremely excited about my new job and ACTUALLY I have a very special thank you to a Residents reader who brought it to my attention. She gets all the Negronis forever.
It’s my policy not to talk about my job on here, but what I will say is that this role is much better suited to my skill set and one of the reasons I was hired was because of this platform (as well as my policy/law and finance background). I am very pleased about that and feel like it is a testament to the idea that you don’t get your dream job by hoping it lands in your lap - you get it by working your way around, volunteering and making lots of connections with everyone - not only by networking with those in high-up positions. You can get a break through friends, acquaintances and people in entirely different worlds from your own.
Are you keeping up the Barefoot Investor?
Yes, I sure am! It has helped us achieve some really big goals this year and I’m forever grateful to my friend Ben Woodward for introducing me to Scott Pape in January.
How has your style of blogging stuff changed?
These days, I am much more inclined to be a homebody. Going to lots of events isn’t something I feel as passionate about anymore. Unlike when I was in Oriental Parade, and I could nip all over the place, this year I’ve really needed to plan if I want to go to something. As such, I am tending to lean towards blogging things that don’t require me to spend time travelling and getting out and about. This may change again when we have a permanent spot in the city one day, but I’m also more mellow, more content to work with what I’ve already created and felt more chilled out about not going to every single opening, event or show. I tend to ask myself whether future me will regret signing up to something - because I am likely to be tired from work or want to spend time with Matt - and if the answer is yes, I tend to say no. I’d rather conserve my energy for projects I can truly do my best work on. As such, I am getting better at saying no.
Finally, how do you REALLY feel about Wellington?
Okay - this is a strange one but hear me out. I have literally had to swallow my own medicine about Wellington this year. When Matt and I came back from overseas this time last year we were entirely geared up to move away within a year. The reason we decided to housesit was to save for moving overseas. However, along the way, I got the opportunity to work on my secret project (a lifelong dream) and Matt was offered another job he wanted to take. We decided, once again, to do the trade-off and to stay in Wellington for the foreseeable future.
At first, I was sad that I was YET AGAIN stuck in Wellington. Life was running out! I was going to turn 30 and then - you know - decay! *don’t laugh - these were real entirely non-rational fears*. Eventually, Matt pointed out that if I didn’t appreciate Wellington and start focusing on what we did have I would miss out on these wonderful times we DO have. He was one hundred per cent correct. I had forgotten what I myself preach.
Since then, I’ve actually fallen back in love with Wellington in a way I hadn’t for a long while. I feel excited by my new job, pleased to see our savings hum-along, and excited for what our future has in store. I feel grateful for it’s stable (well, not when it comes to earthquakes), compact, hilly city. I have amazing connections and friends here who can make things happen at the click of a finger. I can see my family whenever I want. That in and of itself is pretty darn special. Also, lots of good friends now have BABIES. I love that I don’t have to be in another country watching them on Facebook video, but instead, I can help them and be part of their baby-raising days. While I myself am not ready for a family, its amazing to see your most-loved friends at this transformative time in their lives.
Thank you for reading this life update. My next blog will be on something slightly more educational (Skincare!! All the skincare I’m loving!) but for now, it felt important that we connect and that I let you know about what has been happening. I will always be grateful for you in my life, and how you come back, again and again, to spend time with me here in my little corner of the internet. Sending hugs. *cheesy as a Tommy Millions pizza but oh so true*