When Is Running Away the Right Thing?

running 2

Running away has a negative connotation. We’re often advised to face an issue, deal with it and go through it, rather than escape it. Enduring hard times and seeing things through promotes good character, yes? I believe in this and all the reasoning behind it, but naturally, at my core, I’m a bit of a runner. I’m a little too familiar with giving up and calling it quits.

There are a number of situations where that’s cost me. For example, I wish I never threw the towel in with learning instruments when I was younger, or sticking with languages at school. It was all too hard, so I made seemingly valid excuses and broke up with German and French, and cello, piano and flute. I regret that.

But is it always bad?

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Good Music, Kiwis and Mullets

Last Thursday (10/05/12) was a good day. Firstly, my beautiful niece Kaylah-Star was born! See here, she is a real cutie:

This is my third time at being an aunty (so legit!). I left when Ashton, my nephew, was only two. He was just starting to like me, and I ruined everything and moved away! Then 18 months ago little Asylah was born, who’s basically adorable. Now there’s Kaylah…

I’m missing out and it’s starting to kill me slowly. I may have to go home for good soon, because I hate to be missing out on all the cuteness! After learning about this wee one’s birth last week, I got homesick. Real homesick.

Luckily that night in North London, I got to experience ‘home’ for a few hours (minus the breathtaking landscapes, that is). An awesome band called Six60 came to London to kick off their world tour, and a couple of friends and I went to their first night. It was rockin’! I only know about them because I’ve been home recently, and they’re only just starting to get known worldwide. My point: the audience was largely Kiwi, bro.

This is why I love New Zealand and what I noticed with all my fellow Kiwis in one room:

The rats-tails and mullets. I don’t know where else you will see such disgusting hairstyles, but let’s just say I hadn’t seen either in London till Thursday (and I’ve been here a while).  Just as it is a great accomplishment for a man to grow a mustache, the same goes with mullets and rats-tails. I will never understand why, though I will always appreciate it (but I’ll never date a man who owns either). Getting this picture amongst a heaving crowd wasn’t easy, but it was well worth the effort:

The friendliness. So many smiles, so much camaraderie. We all had something in common: we are from a far-away country at the foot of the planet, and have found ourselves in one of the biggest cities in the world. There was a silent ‘I salute you, cause it ain’t easy’. We are a kind nation of chatty individuals. We say ‘thank-you’ to the bus driver and smile at anyone who makes eye-contact.

The dancing. There was no awkward sways or ‘bopping’. There was just intense rocking out. Everyone was MOVING, all the time, and it was awesome. I may have lost all inhibitions and went nuts, along with everyone else…

The drunkards. Within the first 5 minutes of arriving, a very tall man fell over in front of us. It was only 8pm. The southern hemisphere have a reputation (this side of the world) for binge drinking, and it can’t really be denied. Maybe I just don’t go to the right type of gigs enough, but I’ve never seen this happen before. (To be fair, I’m not very hardcore at all so it could happen a lot, I don’t know).

Everyone knew everyone. It happens all the time. To quote my friend Jenny when we arrived – ‘I wonder how many people we will know.’ You go anywhere with Kiwis, and you’re bound to know each other, or at least have mutual friends back home. It’s a small world in a big city. A completely random guy recognised my friend Jo because her sister went to the same gym as him in NZ. Jo and her sister look very alike, but that’s pretty funny! He came straight up to her and said, ‘Hey, do you have a sister called… ?’  Then two of my long-time friends back home tweeted/texted me to say that I should go and say hi to their friend, who happened to be the bass player in the band. I got a picture for them:

All in all, it was such a fun night! I love where I’m from, and I know I’ll go back eventually. It’s green, it’s beautiful, it’s authentic and special. It’s the best country in the world and it’s my home. But the rest of the world is still pulling at my heart strings and waiting to be discovered. I’m not ready to call it quits yet.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs by Six60. Enjoy!

Home is Where I Am

I’m stuck in this emotional rut, you see. This rut of being happy somewhere, but struggling to accept it as ‘home’. This rut of wondering where I will end up, whatever that means. This rut of planting my roots where I am and being here now.

This rut, it scares me. Because I don’t know the answer and I won’t know until the very last moment, when I really need to know. God often works on a ‘need to know’ basis with us because that’s what requires faith and perseverance, and that’s what produces more faith and good character. I don’t know about you, but I desire faith and good character more than anything else. I’m not saying that to sound great, I really truly mean it. Because my whole life will benefit out of the overflow.

It seems unfair and like God is cruel by holding back but if we knew everything all the time, it would be insane on the membrane yo! Did you ever see the short-lived series ‘Flash Forward’, where through a global disaster everyone saw their future? It messed everything up because we’re not meant to know. We’re meant to be here now, do it well and let tomorrow take care of itself.

I think too much about how everything will work out, about how this contributes to that, etc. Yet I always end up at the same conclusion; I can’t do this alone and no man or friend can do it for me. It’s a God thing, it’s always a God thing.

All I know now is that the UK is where I have been since being a real adult. Actually, it’s where I became an adult. I don’t know what it is to be an adult in New Zealand. I do know what it’s like to be a school girl, a daughter, a sister, a friend, but not an adult.

I left so naive but so ready, craving adventure, growth and life experience. It was meant to last a year but life got away with me, and that year is coming up to four. Four crazy/beautiful years that have broken me, rebuilt me, and broken me again.

Only now do I realise that this is home. It’s always been about location for me, this struggle of having my heart in two places and never really allowing myself to settle. There was always a reason or person that was my excuse for being here. Now it’s just me and I still want to be here. Damn it, I still want to be here and it frustrates me. You may not understand but hopefully you do.

I went ‘home’, and immediately become the daughter, sister, friend again as if I had never left. But I wasn’t the school girl, I was the working girl that plays grown-up everyday in London. And it’s not pretend, it’s real. I’ve changed and I’m not mummy’s little girl anymore. That’s a pretty hard adjustment for any mummy and little girl.

So yeah, I did leave and there were moments when I was home that it felt so alarmingly obvious to me and everyone else. There were moments where New Zealand felt so foreign and that makes me sad, because it means accepting the end of an era that probably ended a long time ago.  My childhood home was just that – the home of my childhood; my mother’s abode. My adulthood home? That is what I’ve created and that isn’t in New Zealand. That’s here, I am here.

I don’t know what I want for lunch let alone where I want to settle. But it’s time to settle this year, here. Because it’s right. I am not displaced, I am purposefully placed, even if I don’t know why.

Say it with me: My home is where I am, my home is where I am.

Do you know how I feel? Have you ever had to leave somewhere or something behind, and say goodbye to an era?