Fear and Laughing in NEW ZEALAND
I’m moving to New Zealand!
No, this is not an empty threat for attention because ObamaCare is up and running. If it was, I probably wouldn’t have gladly signed up for ObamaCare, talked about it constantly, or forced a HealthNet telephone representative to share a moment of awe-filled reflection that we are both part of this very special moment in our country’s history. So, my move is not a politically-fueled temper tantrum.
No, I didn’t just get my heart broken and I’m not desperately seeking an escape from my sudden and shattering single life. We all know how my flirting goes so had that somehow yielded a serious relationship, there would have been a blog. And since we all know how I handle confrontation, had that relationship yielded a break up, there would have been a blog. I’m actually not so secretly hoping moving to New Zealand will allow me to find my husband at a beach or in a bar or online – someplace I definitely wouldn’t be able to find him here. But, no, my move is not just the more attractive emotional breakdown alternative to shaving my head.
No, I don’t hate my job. Training has been a very fun and exciting venture in my life. I get to talk to really interesting people all day long. And by all day long I mean, like, maybe four hours a day. This is a vast improvement from my previous job of nannying where I would talk to only semi-interesting toddlers for six hours a day. I’d pull my hair out trying to get Mort or Mitsy to share their thoughts on the ending of Breaking Bad. Not only do I get to have some great conversations, my clients listen to me and do what I say without me having to threaten a timeout. Ah, the power! And when all is said and done, I’m really just a power hungry maniac. So, my move is not a bold statement of ‘if I’m underemployed then who needs this American-ized idea of a job anyway?’
And no, LA has not chewed me up and spit me out. In fact, I’m dominating this motherfucker. I’m a regular at a local coffee shop that doesn’t know my name but knows my face and sometimes you just wanna go where everybody knows your… face. I have successfully thinned my blood to the point that I need to bundle up for 40 degree temperatures. And a 10 mile commute estimated to take 45-minutes no longer sends me into a white hot rage! So, no, this is not a disguise for the first step of many steps that ends with me moving back to Colorado (at least not yet.)
So here it is! The real reason I’m moving to New Zealand: When else am I going to?
I don’t have any real obligations in my life. I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I’m not bound to a serious career, and I’M SUPER YOUNG AND UNPREDICTABLE! It’s a crazy adventure and a complete shakeup but ever since my mom started telling me stories of a similar trip she and my aunt took in their twenties (stories that started when I was 5 and have not stopped), it’s been something I’ve wanted to do.
It all seems so counter intuitive, though. It’s taken over three years but I’m finally happy and comfortable in this Southern California life. I’ll say SANTA MONICA – not Los Angeles – feels like home (still trying to fully embrace the small country that is all of LA.) After years of struggle, sadness and freak out phone calls to my family, I found a job I really enjoy, I work with people I really like and I’ve made friends I really love. So when everything is so good, what ELSE is a girl to do but pack everything up and move to a different country?!
The first year in LA was without a doubt the hardest year of my life. With the exception of my unbelievable brother, who still doubles as my best friend, I had no one. I had no job and no direction except a dream of writing for a TV show. I’m still dreaming of writing for a TV show – if anyone knows a short cut to make that happen please email me privately – but of all the things I’ve learned in my three years in LA, the most important is that I can still have a dream and not have my life totally consumed by trying to make it happen. I nannied well past the point that it stopped making me happy because I attached myself to the idea that people chasing the Hollywood dream suffer through jobs they hate trying to make it. There are so many other things I want to do and I don’t want them to come second to writing for a TV show.
So a girl’s gotsta do what a girls gotsta do. Will moving to New Zealand make me happy(ier)? WHO KNOWS! But it can’t make me any more sad than that first year in LA. And, for that, I have this girl to thank:
Kyla, my dear friend from high school, is embarking on this adventure with me (despite the fact that she appears to be choking me out in this picture, I will be safe with her.) Kyla and I forged our friendship through high school basketball and our spot-on Kiwi accents. So the New Zealand move already has a leg up on the LA move because I have a friend and we speak the language! We kind of have no idea what we’re doing and it’s kind of amazing. We have work visas and a great attitude so what else could we possibly need?
I have a lot of emotions as our departure date approaches (February 2nd), but I can’t sort through them because it’s too much work. I do know I’m excited, though, because when I imagine myself in New Zealand I’m wearing a cool hat. I’ve always used the mental image of myself in a hat to gauge how much fun I’m expecting to have. Fedoras mean classy but casual events, such as a yacht party. Beanies mean a mountainous trip, most likely skiing or in my casesitting in a ski lodge. But what I see for New Zealand is a cap. Caps mean pure adventure.
There are so many things I’ll miss in LA while I’m gone. Trader Joe’s, my car and driving my car, my collection of scarves (can’t take ’em all), my improv team, my car, my clients who have become friends, my friends who have become family, my brother who has become both a client and friend, Black Beauty (what I call my car), and most importantly: Thyme Cafe’s turkey meatloaf sandwich and Dog Town’s iced coffee.
But I can’t sit back and think about all the things I’ll miss when I have so many things to look forward to and SO MANY questions! How will my fear of looking like a tourist play out? Are they as obsessed with Beyoncé as we are? When our New Zealand accents inevitably slip out, will we be shunned or praised? Whatever the answers are, I’m going to find them out. And when I do, I’ll probably be wearing this cap.
You might have noticed that throughout this blog post I included a lot of links to past posts, if you have not done so already, I highly recommend that you read those. Not only are they great, spiritual, life changing bits of literature, but they are also commemorative posts of Fear and Laughing in Los Angeles that will be put on a temporary hold and replaced with Fear and Laughing in New Zealand. There’s even this sweet new website to go along with it! Here you’ll be able to keep up with all of my tweets, blog posts and pictures while I’m gone as well as take a trip down memory lane with past sketches, Educated episodes, old blog posts and more.
Big thanks to my bro for the new site which reiterates my mantra: If you can’t walk to the walk or talk the talk, let your website do it for you.