It’s one of those rare, calm days here in Wellington city. I’ve taken to the waterfront, as I often do, for a little break from my laptop screen. It’s Monday. It’s the 18th of September. Like the bay, I am content.
As I wander, Siri documents my words. I look odd to the scattering of people whom I pass and yet, it doesn’t faze me. It is far more satisfying to adjourn with fresh air than it is with a blank Pages document. Fortunately I talk much the way I write anyway.
More than talking, I find myself thinking. I ponder my days: the way they can be so structured and scheduled, and then, all of sudden, far from. It’s a satisfying reality, not one without the potential for being very stressful.
Some days, work is endless, much like the list of people to whom I owe response. Other days would suggest I could walk and keep on walking. On my return, only an unread Etsy e-mail would hold me accountable. I enjoy the extremities. The opportunity to escape is most desirable when there is ample purpose to stay.
On that note, to let you into my average day is difficult. For my capacity to live out an average day is difficult. They can be wildly different. I’ll do my best, however, to bring you into this filter-drinking, copywriting, photo-taking, friend-seeing, sense of a lifestyle. That I haven’t so far as mentioned uni perhaps offers all there is to know about my life as a so-called student. It’s all there (by virtue of the fact that it’s not) in the very summary that lies above.
As I have inadvertently suggested, I am both focused on university, and I am not. Sure, I want this degree. I know I’ll get it. In the meantime, however, I long for and require to do more than attend several lectures a week. While to bask in lack of obligation would prove for many, most satisfying, I think it is exactly this which would make me feel lost, purposeless and uncertain towards my future.
I’m at university, yes. But more than this, I’m setting myself up. I’m working, I’m sourcing opportunity, I’m gaining experience. To speak with specificity, my heart is in my digital media work. It’s in fining this set of communication tools. And for now, this is by way of social media management, blogging, photography and website design (both including and extending from my own). To me, these early years are pertinent. Whether I stand here, I fall behind or I glide ahead, it shall be decided among them. I have since school days, lived a year younger than my peers. I intend to value such a gift as free time.
Here’s how I’m doing it.
Most mornings, I wake and to remove the cloud from my eyes, I work out. It gives me time to adjust, to think, to plan, even, to set my attitude for the day. I listen to good music, to the morning bustle. I get excited. I grow determined. I shove a sleeping giant I call confidence. Rest is a luxury for her. And yet, to meet each day with my best self, I rely most on her form.
I take time with breakfast. I eat a big meal – right now, chocolate-immersed oats. At least, that’s what I’m calling them. It’s really not that grand. I simply coat brown-sugar-and-cinnamon flavoured oats with a dash (a dollop) of melted chocolate. It’s warm. It’s decadent. It’s delicious. The single time AJ and I made pancakes, we melted chocolate and drizzled it atop some sliced banana. While this occasion, I felt like collapsing on the floor – it was far more a call to hospital than an energising awaken – I figured it might work with a lighter foundation. I was right. It does.
When my toaster doesn’t induce a power trip on each use (it’s developed the tendency as of late), I will enjoy some fruit toast to the side. Granted it’s not a breakfast I’d share with the curators of “What The Health?”, in my defence, I make up for it being vegetarian and also, by eating more thoughtfully throughout the day. My other excuse: life’s short. We ought to treat ourselves to a heart-warming breakfast in hope that our days ensue the same way. If they don’t, at least, our morning was lovely.
I take at least 20 minutes with breakfast. It’s that single thing I have always refused to rush. I like to sit down, watch my favourite youtubers (Shani Grimmond, Sammy Robinson, earthlingmaxi, pointlessblog, Jessica McClements, etc.) and enjoy some me time before another day plays out. I don’t like hunger (or anything else for that matter) to slow my pace just a couple of hours thereafter. With that in mind, I make the first meal count.
If I don’t have a morning class, I’ll usually make my way towards Prefab eatery or another of my beloved hubs for wi-fi, bottomless filter and (for now) cheese scones. Provide these three things to perfection, and you are guaranteed at least one customer here in Wellington city.
At Prefab, I’ll work away, scheduling clients posts’, creating mood boards, organising shoots, editing photos, following-up sales calls, and making website edits (to name a few tasks). I might even attempt a 2000-word research essay if such is required of me. For a break, I’ll do as I am right now: go for a walk, call my family, see a friend. More than likely, I’ll have a meeting with a client lined up. I might be making some door-to-door sales visits too.
1-4 times a week, I’ll shoot for varying, small businesses (cafes/eateries, food trucks, hair salons, functions or rather), if not for Currently Loving. Between the same number of times, I’ll head to the gym to practice or curate new Zumba content. I teach classes at Victoria Recreation (mostly on Sundays) and I like to ensure they’re fresh, motivating and relevant.
I have uni just 1-2 times a day (often 2 hour lectures) and for the most part, I make a thing to go. Unless it’s a beautiful day, best lived outside, I prioritise the gist of conversation I gather (while I complete other, timely work) during lectures. I often feel guilty that I don’t devote my utter attention. I know if I offered this, however, I would be forced to drop a number of other things I do. I’ve decided I am content with slightly lesser results, if it means I can gain experience in aplenty else simultaneously.
When the pull of numerous roles grows momentarily tiresome or tedious (granted I bring this on myself), I’ll grab a friend like Chels and vacate the walls of the city. We’re not pretentious hikers (I understand this can also mean safe), so we don’t bring much. I swear by nothing but a snack lunch and my stainless steel bottle by Zoku. I like it because it’s sleek, it’s double-walled and it’s also the one thing I have which makes me looks professional. Not that I’ve needed it for 70 hours straight as of yet, it’s good to know in the case I do, my water will still be cold. With me and Chels, you never do know what the future will bring.
Together we walk – and walk and walk and walk – and while we do, we talk. About life. About ourselves. About our tendencies, our worries and our dreams. 2k too late, we decide to talk about our geographical positioning. It’s okay. It’s how we like it. We don’t so much intend to get lost. That we know we will anyway is much the reason we go.
Early to late eve – post-cocktail session in summer, hot chocolate cheersing in winter – I’ll meet with AJ. I’d say we make dinner together, but bless his soul, prep tends to land 75% in his lap, with the smashing avocado part (worthy of a grand 25% because its important and also I’m pedantic) being left to me. It is the nature of my job, and also, study – that each day does not conclude itself indefinitely at 5pm. I suppose this is another sacrifice of wanting to do so many things. I’m fortunate to have a boyfriend who is not overly resentful of the fact, instead, remaining supportive.
If I’m not too swamped by work, we’ll snuggle in bed for at least one episode of whatever series we’re watching. Right now, that’s Entourage. I really shouldn’t like it given its constant objectification and belittling of women. But I do. I love it almost as much as Ari loves to swear and Drama hates rejection. Don’t take the bro dynamics too seriously, and it can offer a light-hearted way to relax into the evening. Salt and vinegar chips are a nice accompaniment.
I try to get a good sleep, and yet, I am also the very reason this endeavour fails. It would appear that 11pm-1am, I transgress from McKenzie in Wellington to Morgan Freeman in “The Shawshank Redemption”. To anyone who will listen (often not even AJ, who falls asleep), I offer ponderation towards some of life’s most sophisticated questions. That I can provide no answer myself is not to say at all that I don’t expect one – and quickly – from my companion. In hindsight, it’s probably not a nice pressure to receive at midnight after a long day.
Ah well, it’s not something I’d change. That my eyes are a bit heavier in the mornings is not always a sign of poor living. For me, it can often indicate the opposite.
So where are we, then? In some sort of Wonderland? For sure. But here days can be long. They can be arduous. It only makes sense when you’re striving for bigger things: the way you live also ought to be bigger.
At the end of the day, I love what I do. I love what I see myself doing, learning and becoming. I even love that I am (slowly and surely) finding balance in life. I am losing it from time to time too. The truth is, I think I’d be disappointed if it were another way.
Photos: Two Dark Coffees