As I head back up the country line to my second city I felt the want to publish the following little piece of writing, which was me trying to articulate finding my heart and my feet in two different places, enjoy.
I am having an affair. You know, the love type. I’m that wicked child they talk about with godly parents whose daughter rebelled, yet whose rebellion wasn’t confined to years but simply a life time. But before your eyes open too wide, let me clarify with a wink and a raised cup of peppermint tea in a kind of salute-no, gesture, to the predicament I find myself in. I am having a love affair with two different cities. Wellington pleads to me on the weekends. The lights of the valley-nestled city beckon me home, but Auckland, the hustle bustle of this city comforts me in whole food cafes, communities, opportunities and an endless future.
If I lay myself on the sofa with many a pouf at my aid, I can counsel myself into remembering the starting point of the affair, and in the famous words of every children’s author who ever lived, I will begin my next sentence with… it all started long ago when I picked up, packed up and hauled my life up the country line from the little city of Wellington to the concrete jungle of Auckland to start studying at University.
Ahhh, university the final frontier. The stepping stone for us young adults before we are thrust unwillingly into the world of the grown, the working world, the coffee six times a day type of world (already there mate), but seriously, my heartache for home started as home sickness often does, when one is away for too long. I spent my first year of university booking cheap Jet Star flights (don’t get me started) and catching the almighty and bloody expensive airport bus at all hours of the morning to visit my little city.
Then life decided to show its face in Auckland. My down town, inner city apartment started to sprout many a potted plant, the sunlit patches in the corners of the room between glass and woodwork become much loved places to sprawl and study. I got a job at an ivy covered cafe and learned about whole food, wellness and yoga. I slowly, timidly, but surely made acquaintances that turned into friends. I got a car and begun to explore the outskirts where concrete turns to forest and where the refuge of the sea softened my outlook on city life. Soon Auckland began to hold all my laughter, Jet Star was just another thing to avoid and roll my eyes about and I began to become less frustrated with the bright lights of the city and more enticed by them.
Inching over my own thoughts on the last two years with one more year of study to go, I come to the late afternoon conclusion that love affairs are never an easy business to settle. The heartache of moving your life from one city to another is a difficult one to settle. Jealously of a place not a person, is odd yet ever present. But it does get easier, and the coffee does get better. Just as I believe it is possible to love more than one person, it is possible to love two different cities and call them both your own.
Two years on and I am grateful for different cities, for large ones and small ones. I am grateful that my new home does not have bitter winds. I have noticed that I have always lived on a hill and that flying into Wellington at night is incredibly beautiful. It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, although I don’t think the author of that saying had certain cities in mind. I thought that when I moved to Auckland I would be starting a new home and leaving the other behind, but it turns out I now have two homes, how incredibly lucky is that!
Being probably quicker of mind then I am, you may have already learned how to nip any home sickness in the bud but for those who still struggle for familiar sights, for dairy owners who know your name, and for having a street map on the back of your hands, embrace that feeling for it means adventure, growth and ultimately a new start.
One more year down and one more to go and then university will be like the rooftop views from my first year apartment balcony, no longer mine. They will belong to yesterday.