"They discovered that it was easy - easier than it should have been - for life to swallow up the extraordinaory and weave it into normality."  

"Scissors Paper Stone" written by Elizabeth Day
It seems that it is human nature to develop some sort of routine. Even if the routine seems chaotic and spastic, everyone has a method of routine in their lives. It is what gives us structure and awareness of what is expected of us. Whether those expectations were developed by society or by ourselves. This is how I found myself feeling recently, that this "extraordinary" trip I am on had become "normal", ordinary and regular. Nothing unique or riveting or inspiring about it. What an easy trap to fall into. Isn't it a bizarre fact that a person can take a situation that they truly enjoy, that truly makes them feel good and, over time, begin to view it as simply just a situation...no longer one that brings great joy or good feelings. It just becomes something that must be done... something on the day's checklist of activities to be completed. Life began to feel this way in New Zealand. And... as is the way of the intricate and mysterious ways in which life tends to work... a solution was produced even before the problem was fully realized. :o)

And here begins the story of finding our third home in the Mount (the first being the terrible disaster of a place we called home for only a few hours - click here to read about it)

Luke and I had been living in Mount Maunganui for four months... in a wonderful home with two wonderful roommates. We were content and happy. Nothing to complain about. And yet, we weren't ecstatic about life. Even living in a beautiful, comfortable 'posh' apartment became a bit dull, simply just a part of everyday life. And then our roommates asked us to move out. They simply wanted the chance to live on their own. At first we were shocked and saddned by the news. As I said, life was good. Nothing to complain about. And this news brought on a dilemma - the stress of finding a new place to live

Will it be affordable? What's affordable? What if we don't like our new roommates. 
What if we can't find a place that we like. 

The questions went on and on. It didn't help that at this time I was exhausted and frustrated as I had just begun taking antibiotics to kick the strep throat that set up camp in my tonsils. Yippee! If there's one way to ensure that you will not react well to negative information... its to already be exhausted and frustrated. Anyways... Luke took a much appreciated leadership role in our search for a new home and diligently called and texted as many places available as he could find. We, - him, excited at the prospect of a new home, and me, wanting to drop down to the ground, curl up in a ball and cry out for mommie's comforting touch, - viewed a few potential new homes, only to groan and sigh as soon as we got back into the car, exhausted by the disgustingness of the flats. It seems that it is common for landlords in the mount to cram as many foreigners into one little dirty, dingy, dark and moldy apartment as possible. I found the entire process extremely tiresome and depressing. The only thing keeping me engaged was Luke's relentless positive attitude, re-enforcing that we needed the change and that it was likely to end up being a really good thing for us. 

Finally we found our new home... equipped with a wonderfully friendly new roommate from the Czech Republic, literally in the heart of downtown and a few steps from the beach. It has a real bed fit for two whole people, an actual wardrobe meaning our clothes are not folded on the floor of our closet and best of all... a big sliding glass door from bedroom to sunny patio. YAHOOO! And so, here we are, beginning a new chapter of our adventure of living in Mount Maunganui,  with excited anticipation for what the summer months will bring our way!! Suddenly.. the "normal" once again is viewed as extraordinary !!
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Our new bedroom - photo taken with my blackberry
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enjoying a glass of wine in our new living room
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Our view of the Mount from our patio
 
 

"Do What You Love...Love What You Do"

Where in that quote does it explain how to pay your rent? Buy food? Develop a sense of financial security? Hmm, that piece may have been left out, no?
When do you know and how do you decipher between the things you need to do and the things you need to let go of? When is giving up on something an active, progressive and positive choice, and when is it simply wimping out? How much negative is one to endure before it is socially acceptable to LET GO!?
I recently spent three months working at a job that at first, it was okay. It was a means to an end, it supplied some funds, it allowed me to meet some locals... it was okay. Then as time went on and it became a part of my daily life, I noticed it was soaking up every ounce of my positive energy and hiding it far far away from me. Within five minutes of arriving at work I would feel desperate to just "get out".  Even sometimes simply walking to work, the act of moving my body closer to such a negative place, would take my chipper, happy, sunny, on-holiday mood and absolutely butcher it. I became irritated, moody, negative, complainy... you know, and all around joy!! :-S 

But... it paid the bills.  And there were hours for me.  I had truly tried hard to find something, anything else as a means of income, but being the wrong season in a small summer surfer town, I was constantly rewarded with a big fat "nothing now". 

I began to lose sight of why I am here, in New Zealand. I am here for a working holiday. Yes there is the word "working" in there... but I know that there are many forms of making money that do not need to be considered "work", as long as you find what you enjoy doing! 

So...how long is the "right" amount of time to endure such horrendous conditions? Was I being a baby, a wimp, for wanting to leave? The past five months have been a true holiday for me, minimal "work" involved.. so was this me having to "pay my dues" for all the freedom I previously enjoyed? Or was I being an idiot to stay somewhere that made me so incredibly unhappy?
I don't know the answers to my questions. 
I don't know that anyone does. 
But, this is my story:

After many many many squabbles in my head about what was the right thing to do, I made the decision to quit. No activity in my life should generate such unhappiness. Yes it brought me some money (it was basically my only income) but there is NO way that money is THAT important in my life. I would much rather have no money and feel happy and grateful for my life than to be rich and feel hollow. 
Anyways, back to my quitting. I strategically planned my exit in my head, I wrote the letter, I told my friends, I prepared Luke for a fun-employed and broke-as Deanna, I made it real. It felt great. It felt amazing. It felt...free. 

My heart-rate raced, my cheeks flushed, I began to perspire and I could feel my pulse in my ears. I placed my letter on the desk. FEWF! It's done!

And then... interesting things began to happen to me. The catering company that I had worked for very casually began calling me for more shifts. I found a fun weekend promotions job online and they fit me in. I was called for an interview at a coffee shop. I got the name of someone at a call centre who was looking for staff. So many positive things, especially concerning making money, began to fall into place. All because I had let go of that negative tumor and opened myself up to accepting new positive beginnings in my life. 
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it's in your hands!
It's scary to let go of anything. It really, truly is. But how do you know that letting go of one negative thing isn't going to bring you five more awesome things? You never know until you take the leap and just trust that you can make it work!