Hey there, friends!
I’m sorry I’ve left you hangin’ for all this time. I dove back into the life of school and have just resurfaced. Funny how as an adult you can easily invest 100% of yourself in school without a second thought or any regret for the late night bingers you’ll miss out on. Maybe it’s because you’re there because you want to be and hopefully you’re studying something you enjoy. At least, that was the case for me.
Ladies and gents, you are looking at a Trinity-certified TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) teacher. I spent five weeks in an intensive program and got my first taste of teaching. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how naturally teaching came to me and how much I enjoy it. I say “so far” because I have commitment issues these days and am hard to please when it comes to the whole career thing. One thing I learned last year is “life is like a box of chocolates…” so don’t resist it.
I’m one of those people who has never known what I want to be when I grow up. I used to torture myself about it and wrack my brain about what my calling could possibly be. Now though, I’m okay with not knowing what is it I am meant to do, and I’m also okay with the idea that maybe I won’t have just one career; maybe I’ll have lots of them. I’m driven and hard-working at everything I do (no, this is not a cover letter), so why not do everything? My trip abroad opened so many possibilities for me that it’s really hard to choose just one thing. Why must I only have one when I can have them all? Clearly, my trip abroad has also warped my self-esteem. Regardless… I am Steph. Hear me roar!
New Zealand has been a dream and a home away from home. I lived on Elspeth and James’s couch for 2 months, and they quickly made me feel at home, as well as their warm, wacky friends. I didn’t do much trekking or exploring while I was here (one, I’d done it last time I was in NZ, and, two, I was knee deep in books and schoolwork), but I still managed to have some lovely times with the Auckland crew, and I am so grateful for their welcoming embrace. I will sincerely miss them (see you at Elp’s and James’s wedding next year!).
As much as I love my Auckland friends - old and new (Facebook official means REAL) - NZ is a place I’d have trouble living in full time. Kiwis (that’s New Zealanders for the newbies) have crazy accents, drive on the wrong side of the road, walk around barefoot EVERYWHERE (restaurants, supermarkets, the streets), and have an all around islander vibe which is great, but also incomprehensible for a native New Yorker like me. Yes, New York City terrifies me now, yes I’ve developed a phobia of responsibility and being rushed, but I still can’t let go of my ingrained anxiety and fear of everything that makes me an American. What do you mean I can grill in this public park? What do you mean I am free to roam and take my dog wherever I want? And don’t get me started on the cost of living. Granted the exchange rate is $1 NZ = $0.75 US, but what is this about $14 NZ breakfasts and $2 NZ candy bars. Don’t get me wrong. NZ has a lot to offer: mountains, lakes, beauty, nature, views that’ll burn your eyeballs, but it gets small, and a city girl like me just isn’t cut for it. I need to be able to go shopping at 8 p.m. if the desire to buy lavish, unnecessary things tickled me, and cities need to take WEEKS to get around by foot (NZ towns are so cute and quaint, but, really, with my American ADD, I need more. I need chaos. I need noise). Now that I’ve written it all down I hate myself a little bit. There is absolute nothing wrong with NZ. There is something wrong with me. So I’m moving on.
I head out to Sydney on Monday where I hope to get a job teaching English (to the foreigners, not the Aussies) and eventually find an apartment or room to rent out. I’ll be staying in a hostel until further notice. As James likes to say as he overtly tries to convince me to stay in Auckland, I’m off to the land of ALL murderous animal species: spiders, sharks, crocodiles, you name it. I will sleep with one eye open, and I will love every minute of it. Why? So I can tell you everything that’s wrong with it when I decide it’s time to move on.
Seriously though. I love it every day.