Many of you told me that you thought I had a lot of courage to move to New Zealand. Or that I was brave. I poo-poo’d your comments (in my mind, if not to your face). I actually thought I just had to keep stepping in the direction: Buy the ticket, have the garage sale, pack the bags. When I think back though there were a couple of occasions when I was frozen and one of you helped me get unstuck. Stephanie packed up my kitchen for me. Cameon physically helped me move stuff to Sarah’s house. Petrea and Sarah helped me get my stuff in my 5 suitcases the night before I left.
Now I am here and I am ready to concede: it does take courage. There are days when I do not know what else to call the energy it takes to get up and go out the door to meet people and see what God’s gift will be that day.
One of God’s recent gifts was the recommendation to read a fantastic book by former All Black John Kirwan (now the coach of Japan’s rugby team). He struggled with depression and his book is inspiring and amazing. Here is one of the passages I highlighted:
“When I was first going to Japan I said to Dad, ‘Look, I never thought I’d go to Japan. I’m really worried about it and I don’t know what I should do.’ And Dad said to me, ‘When you’re my age, son, and you look back on life, three years is nothing. Whether it’s a positive or a negative, it’ll always be a great experience.’ With that attitude, we could have the courage to try anything.”
The last couple of days have been crammed with good times… I met Sarah Clare in the Eden Market in St Heliers and she is a kindred spirit in every way. I am rejoicing. She was my first guest in my humble home.
I also had a truly Irish experience with my friends Terry and Dennis. I went along with them to an Irish pub, Father Ted’s in the central city, to watch the All Blacks annihilate Japan. Terry said something that was too true: “The Irish scatter around the world and then take every opportunity to get together with other Irish.” My favorite moment was when the underdog Japan team scored their only try, the Irish crowd went wild. (The attached short film clip is my first attempt to provide photos). This is just to give you a taste of the atmosphere at Father Ted’s and honestly there were times when I thought I was in Dublin. Finally, I had an awesome time volunteering at the USA Carnival in St Heliers. I met so many super people.
My life is a crazy yin and yang of looking for a job and figuring out how to live in a completely new place and the energizing fun of doing things that are uniquely NZ.