Thursday: The Start of Something New.

Two days ago I bid farewell to 2013, the fabulously amazing year that it was, and helped usher in 2014… Well, okay, that’s sort of a lie. I’m fairly certain I was passed out drunk when the new year rolled around and I missed out on the big moment. That’s what too many shots of vodka will do to you.

But the point I’m trying to make is that this was a big year. The biggest year of my life, in fact. It wasn’t an easy year though. Some of you might remember my struggles with anxiety back in April and May, which was a day-to-day battle that took a physical and mental toll on me and put me in the hospital at one point. But overlooking that two month hiccup, the rest of 2013 managed to be extraordinary.

I graduated from university with cum laude honors – something I would never have thought possible back in high school. I took second place in my first ever poetry slam, and then went on to take first twice in a row. I went to my first ever convention, LeakyCon, with one of my best friends on this planet, and met several amazing celebrities. I had an art showing for my photography. I finished both Capstones. I corresponded with William Kircher a bit. I wrote more articles online. Everything was coming up Julia.

But there was one other thing that happened this year. Now let me see, what could that have possibly been…

Oh right.

New Zealand.

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Sunday: Future.

Sometimes I feel like I know exactly what I’m doing with my life. I know what I want to do for a job, I know the type of people I want to surround myself with, and I know what makes me happy.

But sometimes life chucks curve balls at us. I thought I had my New Zealand plans down pat: travel with Kathleen, do some long term WWOOFing, and do a lot of camping. Cheryl often says that New Zealand likes to laugh at plans. We might have one thing in mind, and then an entirely different thing will occur. If someone had told me that, come three and a half months into my trip, I’d be living in Wellington in an apartment with a girl I met in Queenstown, working a door-to-door sales job for an animal charity, and on the potential, fingers-crossed verge of my first relationship in four years… well, let’s just say I wouldn’t have believed you. That’s life though. We can never fight those curve balls. Our unpreparedness is not going to save us from getting pelted.

So let’s embrace the changes, because sometimes they lead us down a whole other world of delicious possibilities.

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Fan Girl Friday: My New Zealand Reading List.

To say I love books is a bit of an understatement.

I was the kid who got in trouble for reading Clifford books in second grade instead of paying attention to Ms. Voltz. Who got her copy of To Kill a Mocking Bird taken away in Chemistry by Mrs. Daschel. Who always keeps a book in her purse, just in case of emergencies. Who was on the Battle of the Books team four years in a row when younger. Who participated in the Summer Reading Program until surpassing the age limit. Who owns over five hundred books. Who can’t walk into a library without leaving with five or more books. Whose airport ritual is to go to the tiny Powell’s Books in PDX and buy one book.

Okay, okay, you get the gist.

Anyway, I’ve been doing some reading since arriving in New Zealand, so I figured I’d just talk a little about all of the books I am reading / have read /plan on reading. Enjoy!

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Monday: Working for the Weekend.

Gonna keep this entry short, simple, and to the point. I’m being lured by the siren song of my bed, and nothing sounds sweeter right now than a good ol’ fashioned full night’s rest. Mmmm, gotta love those seven to eight hours of unadulterated zzzzzz’s.

First and foremost, no, I am not dead. Despite the lack of writing that’s gone on here, I am pretty damn alive. Just been distracted as of late by the new job. I work Monday through Saturday, and considering I’m not home until ten o’clock most nights the last thing I feel like doing is sitting down and typing up a blog entry at the end of my day.

Basically my excuse is that I’m lazy – but what else is new?

Some actual proof that I am very much alive – and being social! Crazy!

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Monday: Willy Loman Ain’t Got Nothing On Me.

This entry’s going to be short and sweet; a quick overview of my ever growing resume.

I alluded to having a job in my last entry, if you’ll so kindly remember. Yes, I am currently employed. After about a week of fretful job searching, two waitressing interviews that were a bust, and dozens upon dozens of CVs handed out to any work establishment willing to take one, fate finally smiled on me. I got called into the United Advertising Group (UAG) last Tuesday for an interview, which was followed by an observation day, and by Friday I was going through training.

For some reason or another, I’ve always been particularly lucky when it comes to the efforts of finding work. I never had any problem finding babysitting jobs in middle school and high school. The first real job I applied to as a camp counselor when I was eighteen went swimmingly. I was one person in four clusters of group interviews (group interviews are the worstbut still managed to get hired by SOU Conferences. I spent an entire day handing out job resumes during the summer of 2010, and come the following day I was employed with the Ashland Motel. I guess the universe understands my insistent need to not be broke. How kind of it.

So what do I do at my new job exactly?

I’m a door-to-door salesman.

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Just call me Willy Loman.

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Fan Girl Friday: Julia Rants about Shrek The Musical.

I decided to bring FGF back, because they’re fun to write and they make me happy.

Let’s get the messy business out of the way first, shall we? I now have an apartment with Cheryl, as already mentioned in Monday’s entry, but now I also have a brand spanking new job (cue the standing ovation). I don’t want to write on it just yet though; not until I start next Monday. I will say that it’s a sales job and I get paid on a commission-type basis, but it’s more of a collecting-money-type deal than selling things. I’ll talk about it on a later date once I’ve, y’know, actually started.

So at first I thought I’d spend this Fan Girl Friday talking about my trip to Hobbiton with Kathleen some odd weeks back, seeing as I keep putting that one off, and then maybe I thought I would talk about all the books I’ve devoured in the last week (because the Wellington library is my best friend), but nah. Let’s talk about something not really relevant to my travels in New Zealand. Let’s talk about something virtually no one but myself cares about because, hey, I’m really good at ranting about my strange interests.

Let’s talk about Shrek.

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Monday: I’ve Heard the Word Before.

There’s something to be said about home life.

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I find it hard to describe the simple happiness that comes along with having a home. A home of your own, that is. A home that you’re happy in. A home where you actually want to be. A home in a location that fits. A home that feels like a home.

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Monday: The Hunt Begins.

Well, it looks like this blog might be slowing down a bit, at least in terms of recounting my tales of trekking around New Zealand to you all (though I am well aware I still owe an entry about Hobbiton – soon! I promise!). While these last two and a half months have been fabulous, I’ve hit a roadblock of sorts.

The roadblock? Money.

While I like to think I’ve been doing a decent job saving money – and I do think that I have – Kathleen and I did *ahem* a fair amount of pricey things together during our travels. Skydiving in Taupo, Hobbiton in Matamata, Lord of the Rings tours in both Queenstown and Wellington, not to mention some pricey purchases at Weta Cave. All of these things were fabulous and I’m so glad to have done them, but they did cost a pretty penny. I’m not completely broke just yet, but it’s getting to the point where making money should probably be something I start doing soon.

Which is precisely what this entry is about! How it’s time to be an adult in New Zealand and start hunting for both work and a place to live.

Yeah, cause y’know, I’m totally an adult, no questions asked.

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Friday: Revisiting Auckland & Napier On My Own.

It’s been two days since Kathleen took off, and so far I’m still in one piece. I haven’t managed to get hit by a car just yet (despite always forgetting they drive on the opposite side of the street here). I haven’t gotten robbed or mugged. I haven’t gotten dreadfully lost or missed a bus or checked out/in at the wrong time of a hostel. So far, I’ve been golden.

Lacking in conversation and camaraderie, sure, but hey, I haven’t accidentally killed myself, and that’s gotta count for something.

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Wednesday: One is the Loneliest Number…

When I asked Kathleen to come with me to New Zealand back in December, I don’t think I had any clue how well it would all work out. At the time, I knew two things: that I didn’t want to travel alone and that Kathleen was one of three or four friends I wouldn’t want to smother in their sleep after spending far too much time together. This was enough to conclude that she should probably come along with me, hence me extending an invitation after we saw The Hobbit.

Little did I know that we were a travel duo made in heaven. The two of us have balanced each other out beautifully this entire trip. Not to mention we’ve sort of turned into an old married couple. Not only did we reach the point of finishing each other’s sentences, we even began to say the exact same phrases/words at the exact same time with the exact same inflection. It was awesome and creepy all at once.

But just like I didn’t realize how amazingly we’d get on together during travel, I had absolutely no idea how devastating it’d be when the day came that she packed her bags and left this country.

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