I’ve been in The New Zealand for one month and have had one job interview, two explicit job rejections and many, many silent job rejections.
I’ve been reduced to baking, turning out flat scones made with wholemeal flour. At least it gives the smoke alarm a workout!
It’s quite tough. Not having a job is confidence-undermining and dishearteningly dull. Your days are formless. You sleep late, having nothing in particular to get up for. Your schedule consists of empty pages, and the lack of structure makes you a little lazy – why exercise now when I could do it later, tomorrow, the day after, next week, never?
I attempted to build new habits, but only got as far as drinking water every morning. I bought a yoga mat so I could build a daily yoga habit, but it’s still in the boot of the car. The mat, I mean. But also the habit.
It’s cold. After 3 weeks of chilly sunshine, we’re having chilly grey skies and intermittent rain. The washing has been on the line for four days and it’s wetter now then when we hung it out, despite the wind.
But! There have also been adventures.
We went on a daytrip to Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, drove up and down roads twisting across and between forest-covered mountinis. We parked up at Whatipu campground and walked on glittering black sands through a sunny gorse meadow, then came out onto grassy dunes, vast rolling sands and the open ocean crashing onto the shore. Many natures were there. I befriended a bumble bee, saw a dead seagull and handsome blue but dead Portugese-Man-Of-Wars. Or dead Portugese-Men-Of-War. Plurals.
Walk east and then north, following the shore. The wind kicks up sea spray on a desert-like beach that spools out as far as the eye can see. There are scattered shells, sculptures of white, smooth driftwood and when you turn your back to the ocean, all you can see is sand, glinting or kicked up by the wind, and dunes in the distance backed by dark green mountinis. It could be a dream or another world – the same thing?
I won’t be able to stay here too long without a job. We’re already looking into moving to save money, trying to figure out what the breaking point will be. But I’m not done yet. I persist; keep throwing out those job applications and surely one will bring something back.
In the meantime, though, I think I’ll get some baking powder and see if I can’t get these scones to rise!
[Bertha the bumble bee chilling out on my jeans]
[Looking inland before the walk east and north to the desert beach]