A Disclaimer of Sorts

Having a blog is a strange thing.  I enjoy it, but it’s strange.  It basically means that I’m writing about what I’m thinking, feeling, and experiencing right now.  I don’t do a whole lot of retrospective analyses on here, because there’s so much going on in my daily life that I want to record and remember.

I love being able to look back and see how Joe has changed and grown.  I really like reading through my pregnancy posts and remembering what I was thinking and feeling.

But there are some posts that, when I read them, I kind of cringe.  Especially as regards to moving to New Zealand.  Or to Massachusetts, for that matter.  I’m not the type of person who can just pick herself up and be plunked down in any old situation and immediately feel at home.  I’m “slow to warm”, to use a phrase from my child psychology class.  I know this about myself.  Its why I said that I needed to wait at least 1 year before making any judgment calls about life in New Zealand.

I’m not perfect.  To make a blanket statement like, “wait a year before making any judgment calls” is fairly unrealistic.  I definitely made some judgments during that year, but I tried very hard to refrain from forming any concrete ideas.  I’m glad that I took this approach, because I read back through some of the posts that I wrote during that first year, and I shake my head, silently chastising the 9 months ago or 5 months ago or 12 months ago version of myself.  If there’s one lesson that I have learned through blogging and from all this moving around, its that you need to give yourself time.

I can remember being taken aback the first time that we went shopping in New Zealand.  I’m not referring to the prices.  I’m talking about the amount of selection.  It was pretty slim.  I still remember finding only one type of floor cleaner in the entire store, and thinking it was a tragedy.  Buying the bottle and realizing that it did a pretty crummy job of cleaning only made things worse, and I know that I overreacted about it.  But now?  Now, I love the fact that having only 1 type of floor cleaner forced me to learn how to make my own cleaning solution, because I love my cleaning solution and it’s about 99 times cheaper than the cheapest stuff you can buy.

I think about my concerns and complaints regarding the high cost of gas here in New Zealand.  Nowadays, I rarely think about it.  Why?  Because we don’t own a vehicle.  Most Kiwis do own cars, but we made a decision to live in an area where we could go without one and not encounter too much difficulty.  There were moments when I groaned and snorted about this, but now?  I love it.  I love that I can walk pretty much everywhere that I need to go.  I like that I’m comfortable and familiar with the bus system and don’t have to worry about navigating through traffic.  When people ask me about driving and “don’t you want to drive?”, I can truthfully tell them that no, I don’t.  I’ve driven over here a few times, and I can do it if I have to,  but I’m happy using the bus or pushing Joe in the pram while walking on my own 2 feet.  I’m guessing that as Joe gets older, we’ll have to buy one if we’re still in New Zealand.  Kids have a lot of activities that require chauffeuring around.  But for now, I’m glad that I was “forced” into going without a vehicle and learning something new about myself.

Then, I think about my feelings regarding midwife-care during pregnancy.  I can safely say that, had I been pregnant in the States, there’s about a less than 1% chance that I would have used a midwife.  Over here, the majority of women use midwives.  I wasn’t too happy about the fact that I had to use a midwife, and, in typical me style, I over-dramatized it.  I’m actually cringeing as I sit here typing, remembering how I felt at the time.  Ugggh.

Now, I think that I’ll probably use a midwife for my subsequent pregnancies.  I still believe that an OB is the way to go for any problems or high-risk situations, but I truly appreciated the amount of care and professionalism that my midwife demonstrated.  Yes, there are bad apples in every barrel, and I’m certain that there are bad midwives out there.  But I’m happy with how our situation panned out, and I never would have experienced it had I not moved here.  Even then, I still dragged my feet about it, but I’m glad that I was “forced” into it.

So, for all of you readers out there who stumble across some of my old posts, please keep in mind that I change.  I’m not the same person that I was 3 months ago.  Or 3 weeks ago.  Or 3 years ago {and no, this isn’t my way of supporting Hume’s views regarding the self… must put that out there so as to appease the hubby}.  My opinions and feelings change, and having this blog is a good reminder of that to me and to others.  Maybe you’re feeling sad right now about something.  Or maybe you’re depressed.  Or perhaps you’re thinking that your life isn’t where you want it to be right now.  If that’s you, then keep me in mind.  I’ve felt a bit sad and upset and frustrated about things, and I know that I’ve gotten mired down by it.  But looking back on these posts is a great reminder to me that life changes all the time, and we change with it.  Usually… thankfully… for the better 🙂

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7 thoughts on “A Disclaimer of Sorts

  1. I love your blog and hearing about your experiences, and reading about your pregnancy and birth and now life as a mom, I only expect it to be about now. I never judged you in your new experience, quite the opposite, I think how brave of you to not only have a baby, but to give birth in a different country. I’m still getting used to life in NZ, and now that some time has passed (8 months) I find myself reflecting on my first impressions and yes I realise I was judgemental too, but I can see why. It’s such a change, and a lot to get to know. Even just learning how to dial a phone number was a massive challenge… it made me feel like I didn’t know anything, that I would be useless here because in a time of need (like the the time our plane didn’t land in Wellington and we just arrived and didn’t know where we were) I needed to know what to do, and I didn’t. I had to re-learn the ways. Now I know 🙂 So when I read along with, I know you figure it out, find ways, learn new things, experience change, and I read along to see how you are doing – I don’t expect more than how you’re going now, and I like it!

  2. I found this quite thought-provoking! I have actually always appreciated the fact that you have given some honest portrayals of the ups and downs of migrating. When I started my own blog, my intention was to do the same because I really believe in sharing the true complexity of any experience. Focusing on the positive isn’t the whole story and I actually have it in the back of my mind that if I do so, I’ll be ‘misleading’ others who are considering emigration because the truth is it’s darn hard at times and fantastic at others. NZ is a very positive society – that’s something I have come to value about it, but it’s also something I really struggle with when I do just need to complain or express sadness about something. It’s like doing so is ‘not allowed’ sometimes. I’ve also found that ‘honest blogging’ is far harder to do than I thought it would be, because I don’t want to insult NZ’ers, especially my good Kiwi friends, or anyone else for that matter. So anyway, I just wanted to say, keep up the honest posts, they are kind of therapeutic for us other immigrants who need to know we are not alone in our struggles. We can still celebrate the good stuff too!

  3. A great post and so true, it does take time to really settle into a new place and a new country. We take time to adapt and be flexible. In time we start to work with the flow, rather than feeling friction as we rub against it, comparing everything to our old lives. Reading this post it sounds like you are feeling so much happier and settled. That’s great news! x

  4. I know just what you mean, and I love that you wrote this. I feel that I did the same, and also get that cringe feeling at some of my old blog posts. I hate that I would just make blanket statements about things that I know now I really didn’t know much about.

    I feel like you always try to be positive, and show open mindedness on this blog. I’ve never thought your posts were complainy or judgmental. The way that I look at it is that the blog is a picture of a journey, and it is OK for others to know that we learned things along the way or didn’t love everything, at first!

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