it's funny because i can remember a point at which new zealand was nothing more than a checklist to me. it was a country made up of items to check off a list, things i wanted to do before leaving, things i had never had the opportunity to do before, opportunities i wanted to take advantage of while i had the chance.
new zealand was itself an item on a checklist: somewhere i had decided i wanted to go once upon a time, and while i didn't still actively feel a strong desire to go there like i once had, it was something to check off my life's to-do list.
i remember a time, maybe halfway through my trip, when i sat back and thought to myself how glad i was that i would have managed to finish all the things i had wanted to do in nz, and how that would mean i wouldn't feel a need to go back and do any other things, because i would have accomplished everything.
hell, i remember talking to my mom on the phone, and her asking me if i thought that i was going to have to return to new zealand, if it had affected me that strongly, and i told her no, that i liked it, but once i left, i was going to be pretty much done with the country.
that was before new zealand became home.
that was before i had a life there.
at some point, and i cannot pinpoint when this happened, i fell in love with my life in new zealand. i loved my friends, i loved my routine, i loved our places, i loved every little thing, and i was so damn HAPPY.
and i don't think i really understood that. i mean, i knew i was happy, but i didn't really realize HOW happy i was until it was all gone. and i loved everything about it so much.
what i wouldn't give to go to karaoke at the bowler, or go get rice balls, or go lay out with a book in the botanic gardens, or just go kill an evening at grange. i miss that so much.
i miss the leith, and that willow tree, and looking at the peninsula from my porch.
i miss it all, and i don't know what to do about that.
new zealand is no longer a checklist to me. it's a place, and it's people, and it's a life.
more than anything, it's a time.
one i miss terribly.