“Triple-major Bachelor degree” sounds pretty fancy ay? Then you add a National Certificate and Diploma on top of that and you have the start of nice, little résumé. That’s what my tertiary institutions assured me and that is what I believed. But I don’t think it is working for me at all right now.
(Hopeful University grad. Circa 2016.)
I am in the middle of the job application process… yeah you know, joining the adult world and stepping away from study’s comforts to make your own way in the world. You know what, the real world isn’t proving to be easy to navigate. I stepped into unemployment with the notion that I would apply for any job in my city and then from there once I have a secure income, I would be more picky about what kind of job I would change to. I thought that was a reasonable request.
My course finished 28 days ago and all the progress I have made is a lot of applications that businesses replied to with the pre-written, corporate response that thanks me for my efforts, but they found someone more suitable. Oh and that one interview where the boss just told me I wasn’t suitable for the job after two minutes of the process.
Now I understand I am having a bit of whinge, unemployment is a reality is a modern job market and I don’t know when I was expecting to be successful. But maybe its the fabled BA curse, you know the one where a Bachelor of Arts is unemployable… everywhere it seems.
My point here is I don’t know if I can wait that long with nothing to do. Talking to people, three months unemployment is pretty standard. I don’t think I have two months worth left of cupboards that need to be cleaned out. Everyone knows not matter how bored you get, you will never get bored enough to clean the oven…. I am currently living in the fear that I might actually do that… I don’t want a clean oven, I am racing against the clock where the holes in my shoes are slowly getting bigger and need to replaced.
(Shoe is worsening state.)
At the rate I’m going when I finally get an interview, I will pairing my blazer with a pair of chucks that barely holding themselves together which I suppose in a way will be quite poetic. Wish me luck.
“Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when your husband arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair; you must always be looking your best. Pride is a clean, proper and tidy appearance.” – Rules for a 1955 housewife.
Let’s just say it’s a good thing I am not a 1950’s housewife. Being a feminist and single at 23 is probably two strong contenders to why I wouldn’t quite fit in. But to be honest, one of things I would struggle with the most is having enough time to be ‘proper and tidy’ in my daily routine.
I’m not a morning person at all. No even remotely. I am almost as bad as they come, I have been guilty for getting guys to stay over in my bed so that I will have someone to wake me up in the morning. I will sleep through to midday without a blink of an eye and the only way you will ever see me before 10am out in public is because I have been forcibly removed from my bed either by my mother or my need to make my course attendance requirements.
(My bed; the culprit for my horrible morning habits.)
This is the way I have always existed. I don’t know a life when getting up in the morning isn’t a struggle for me. As a baby, I loved to sleep. Once, I slept for 16 hours straight as an infant that is an impressive feat in itself for that age. I was so hungry that I was shaking, yet I would not wake up despite it. My mother, for fear I might have become a ticking time bomb (or simply might just dehydrate) had to wake me up. It didn’t stop there, a lot of childhood photos I have are of me sleeping; whether it be in my bed or face first in a bowl of spaghetti (my parents never let me hear the end of that one).
(Little Alannah snapped while sleeping.)
In college, I was bad in the weekends and my mother would take joy in opening my curtains at 11am so the sun would stream straight in onto my face and I would recoil like a vampire. Yet, I did not have my mother to wake me when I left home for university. Instead, she was replaced with six alarms to wake me up to go to classes. When I had important tests, I had friends call me to check that I was conscious. You see I have a habit of turning my alarms off as I slept. I sabotaged my own studies while dreaming, transferring my nightmares of being late to class literally into my reality.
Now you see why getting ready is a problem for me. I struggle to be conscious, let alone be awake in the mornings. In fact, thinking back to my morning, even today, I can barely remember what I did to get myself up, dressed and out the door this morning. My life begins at 10am when I have my first coffee and my perky course friends are asking me if I slept at all last night because I look so tired. For which the answer is yes, the answer to if I sleep is always yes and that’s the problem.
I am a very sentimental person. You give me something and tell me to hold onto it (within reason, I ain’t keeping used gum. Ew.), I will not be able to throw it away. I have a feeling well up inside me that makes me freeze up and I suddenly start to look at that seashell that you just picked up off the beach as a glorious metaphor for the friendship we have. It becomes the very life blood that keep our relationship going, if I throw it away it’s practically condemning this part of my life to die.
(A seashell from a beach that now sits in my room.)
I’m 23. I have collected quite a few memories over the years and well, the aforementioned mentality makes it quite difficult to let things go. An example of this is that my teddy bear collection is nearing on 50 plushies of all different shapes and sizes. Giraffes to wombats, kangaroos to polar bears; you name it, I probably have it sitting in my childhood home.
There is one particular teddy bear that i am quite enamored with though, his name is Ted. Ted has been with me since day one. He went with me everywhere as a child; we shared ice creams with him, scared people together and even one time, I bought him a seat at the cinema. He came with me when I moved out of home and still sits at the end of bed 6 years later.
(A photo of Ted and I.)
My teddy bear means a lot to me because it was given to me by my late grandfather. He passed away when I was eight and Ted was the first gift he ever gave me and one of the only ties I have left to him. He taught me to love music (particularly Rock n’ Roll) and how to be see everything from other people’s perspectives. He was a peaceful, loyal and loving man and when I look at my teddy that is the feeling I get; I feel sick and when I hug him, I feel that.
I accept I am sentimental, I like that about myself. I see people in objects. I miss my grandfather, but to me he still is with me through my teddy bear. I just have to work on separating the gifts from my grandfather and the receipts I got from a bad date I went on that one time with a guy I never saw again.
Lying in the dark, freshly washed and smelling of lemon verbena, cuddled up in bed, ready to fall fast asleep. And then, a shrill sings out in the darkness, banishing the serenity that filled the room. It’s accompanied by flashing lights and subsequently followed by three sharp beeps and one painfully iconic notification ding.
My phone is going off and I can’t answer it.
(A screen full of notifications can be hell on earth.)
It’s just sitting there, unchecked, just waiting. I get an mental itch develop, the one that makes you straighten picture frames in stranger’s houses, alphabetize the herbs and spices in the pantry or make excel spreadsheets keeping track of the television shows you watch.
I was challenged to do 24 hours without internet and phone, disconnecting myself from social media entirely and it wasn’t that hard; the social media part was easy, but not being able to clear the little numbers telling me I had multiple messages sitting on my phone were difficult to forget about. It was reinforced to me that I am perhaps a little OCD.
I love to be organised. It’s my thing. I am known as the person who has their life together, to-do listed and all the key parts highlighted. I don’t like to play board games because you have to have a thought out strategy, card games you are expected to know the rules and video games you should have enough skill to not drive into all the lampposts in Grand Theft Auto. This makes me the worst company on rainy days. I like to know what I am doing.
It’s a safety net I developed a long time ago, getting as much control over the situation as I can so nothing can surprise me. Therefore being without internet or my phone caused me to learn to forget about what was coming and instead live in the moment. I remembered what it was like to not live with fear in the back in mind of what my friends, family or the world was up to and instead listen to music, sit in the sun and relax on a beautiful Sunday evening.
(Left: Myself chilling in the park on a sunny day.) (Right: The view from my apartment.)
“Alannah! It’s clear what your type is! Haha!”
“Oh yeah… What is it then?!”
“F**kboy, your type is most definitely f**kboy. Easy.”
Hold on… No, I like guys that are nice, decent people…. Don’t I?
No, surely not… My first love had the most beautiful smile, but he did string me along for years…
Well, then there was dark, tall and handsome, we had some amazing adventures until he stopped replying to my texts….
Hey well my ex-boyfriend was fantastically intelligent and a lot of fun until he took another girl home.
I have always known I like guys in leather jackets with fantastic hair and well if he picked me up on his motorbike, I am as good as sold. But I accepted a long time ago that I will not find a John Bender or James Dean just wandering the streets of Wellington. That kind of stuff doesn’t happen.
Therefore, I gravitated to the rebels, musicians and extroverts of the Wellington night life, the people that look like they just stepped out of a Ramones gig. Unfortunately, that also translates to cocky and self-absorbed men.
Well what am I supposed to do, go after the clean cut dude with the pressed pants and bow-tie who looks like he will be home by 10pm to finish off his uni work for tomorrow. That’s not interesting. I would much rather have one amazing night out with fun, exciting guy that I never see again than be bored out of my mind, playing it safe with Mr Sensible.
Damn… Maybe they may have a point.
Chilling on the grass, soaking in the sunshine on a beautiful summer’s day and having quality banter with Robert Howard, died age 46 who has been lying six feet under me for the past 90 or so years. Every time I have a free day and it’s sunny outside. I will make it my mission to explore new places, but nothing quite beats a cemetery. At this point, you may think I’m crazy, trust me I’m used to it.
You think cemeteries are bleak, depressing places where stories go to end. I understand, doing a quick internet search and that’s exactly the impression you get.
(Tumblr shows a bleak image of what a cemetery is.)
For me though, it’s different. I suppose I come from an odd family. Much like the Addams family perhaps, we visited cemeteries around my hometown as a kid as a Sunday activity along with tip top ice cream and fish and chips on the beach. Death isn’t a sad thing for me, My parents have always been open about it and I have experienced it from a very young age. To me it’s when suffering ends and a new stage of life begins.
Cemeteries have this knack of taking up the best real estate in Wellington with the most amazing views over the city. They are away from the city; great wide open spaces with beautiful architecture, flora and fauna filling with the best kinds of people, sharing stories from their lives with their loved ones.
(Various photos from Karori Cemetery.)
This is the best way I can explain it, listen.
Peaceful, that’s how I feel at cemeteries. The best way to spend a beautiful summer’s day.
Trump wants to build a wall that is impenetrable, beautiful, inexpensive and keeps out the undesirable. I am desperate for a summer and I think Donald’s techniques could help us out here. I want him to build in here in Wellington, New Zealand.
It is not summer. It just isn’t. I am used to barbecues, roadies, nights out on the town and festivals galore. That is what we call back home ‘a countryside Nelson summer’, but I am stuck in the Wellington’s ‘it’s kind of summer, but not really at all’.
For the first 22 years of my life, the typical kiwi summer culture was at my fingertips. This year, I decided to remain here and try a Wellington summer. I imagined trips to Kapiti where I had been teased about these amazing river spots, impromptu harbour jumps five minutes from town and roaming around the nightlife and city vibes that is Wellington, filled to the brim with great people. The weather has been cold, rainy, and we even got an earthquake tossed in there, shutting down a lot of local businesses.
Therefore, I suggest that us Wellingtonians get our summer back. The problem with the weather is you can’t tie down one specific person or group to be responsible. Therefore, if we adopt Donald’s technique and just keep everything out, we are bound to solve the problem.
We must build a wall, a kind of bubble around Wellington to keep the horrible weather out. It can run from coastline to coastline, cutting off Johnsonville and everything higher from the rest of the lower North Island. Only thing is it would be made out of solar panels to harness the sun’s energy because we aren’t stupid enough to believe climate change isn’t real. That would solve all our problems, we could even get the commuters coming in from the coast who take up all the space at the beaches to pay for it! That way the summer is here for us to enjoy and nothing could possibly go wrong.