As Kiwi summer comes to an end, so is my season here in New Zealand.
As much as I love the summertime, I love having seasons. I love the long balmy evenings of summer and the colours of autumn. I even love shivering (and complaining) my way through winter, because without it, we may lose our sense of wonder when spring finally blossoms.
As many of you know, I moved to Auckland three years ago to study. I was incredibly lucky to be snatched up straight out of uni, starting my first day at my new job in advertising only hours after handing in my last assignment. Work was good. I made awesome friends within the company, got to work alongside one of my favourite people in the world as creative partners and got to spend my days daydreaming and creating for a living. My office even had unlimited free wine!
Things were going to well until I was sat down over lunch and told exactly what “making it” in the industry would entail. I was told that it meant sacrificed relationships, a whole lot of butt-kissing and that leaving at 5.30 (the time I was getting paid until) should never be an option as a junior. I was taught different ways to “prove myself” and cut-throat tactics for climbing the ladder of an industry, which in that very moment, I knew it wasn’t for me. I knew that I didn’t want to waste away my twenties, which are meant to be some of the best and most memorable years of our lives, to build a career that in the end would never fulfil the desires of my heart.
Some people have said that this makes me a typical millennial, with an inability to commit, a sense of “entitlement” and an unwillingness to put in the hard yards. And I totally get why they’d think that. But looking around the office, it didn’t seem to be only juniors and people in their twenties that were slaving away and doing long hours. I saw that this wasn’t just a job, but a full-on lifestyle commitment - one that came with a whole lot of sacrifice. I’d have to sacrifice friendships, time with family, time to do things that I love, other commitments and my general well-being. These were sacrifices I wasn’t willing to make.
Within two days of deciding it wasn’t for me, I had quit my job. I knew that the long days and sleepless nights as the days got colder and shorter would send me on a downward spiral. Especially since any drop of passion for what I was doing had disappeared from my body in an instant. I was teary-eyed as I handed my resignation letter to my boss, who was a genuinely good person and I am still beyond grateful for my time in that workplace and in the advertising industry. I don’t regret it at all. I guess without trying I would have never got it out of my system in order to realise that it wasn’t for me. I learnt so much in the nine months that I was there that I’ll carry with me into wherever I end up next.
That was two weeks ago, I’m still working out my one month notice period and as soon as it’s over, I’m moving back to Sydney to figure out what the heck I’m doing next! I’ll take six months to live on my parents' couches, sort myself out and decide what direction I’m heading in - with my career and with life in general. I gave up a good thing so I’d better make it worthwhile.
Moving to Auckland for this season of my life was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve invested in friendships that will last a lifetime and have been surrounded by my extended family who mean more to me than words could express. I’ve explored the beauty of this city, and of New Zealand and got more in touch with my roots and where I’m from. But it’s time for me to go and chase dreams instead of deadlines, meaning instead of money and stories instead of success.