When I was growing up in New Zealand all I saw were the grey clouds, the rain, the endless struggle to make ends-meet, the people who bummed around all day and seemed to do nothing except cause trouble, the annoying grass that endlessly needed mowing and the millions of weeds that constantly needed weeding.
To be honest I didn't want to come back to NZ. I was happy in Perth, where all the pretty things were so easy to see. Like the never ending blue sky. And the orange twilight that lasted for ages after the sun had set. The big red looking moon that rose up over the red sandy desert. The pay check every week. The clean beach that stretched for miles and miles that would one day be jam packed with kite surfers as far as the eye could see and the next be so calm there was barely a wave breaking. The new clothes and concerts and all sorts of other exciting things. The warm evenings where all you needed was a pretty dress, and some good company. I'm going to cherish these memories forever.
But what mum has taught me since I've been back is that beauty is all around us, wherever you are, even when you can't see it. You just need to take the time to look a little harder and look outside the tunnel vision of everyday life.
She's taught me to appreciate the beauty of a single flower that's got pink petals with purple on the tips. And the deep burgundy of the leaves on a tree. She's taught me how to notice a soft cool breeze and warm autumn sun on your face after a brisk walk. And a whispy cloud that's pale orange as the sunsets over misty hills. She's taught me to listen harder to hear the birds singing. And to see the little rabbits hiding in the grass thinking you can't see them... She sees so much more here than I'd ever bothered to notice before and I think that even tho you have to look a little harder.. It makes these things that much more special. I love that I've been able to take the time to see these things with her and she always points these pretty things out to me when I least expect it. I hope one day I'm as good at appreciating the little things as she is.
Moving home has also made me appreciate what my family and friends mean to me.. They support me 100% even tho most of the time I'm not sure what I'm doing with my life.
It has also made me appreciate my partner so much more. The fact that he believes in me and is proud of me and is willing to support me in this. I mean it's not just financially... At this point I feel I'm probably stable enough to go back to work on a part time basis... But he is supporting me to NOT go back to work but instead follow my dream of starting my own business which is something I've always wanted to do but just have never had, or made, the 'time' to start. He's taught me the value of just living and going with the flow rather than taking every opportunity just because you might not get another, or planning everything every step of the way. He's shown me that things work out no matter what.. Planning or no planning good things will eventually happen and at least with no plans you don't have the disappointments that go hand in hand when things eventually don't go to plan.
This whole thing has been a massive learning curve for me. Before I found out about TSA I'd planned my life out how I thought was pretty much perfect.. We were going to save up this year to do a 6 week trip over to North and South America, visit Rio de Janeiro, walk the Incan trail at Machu Picchu in Peru, spend a crazy few nights in Vegas, catch some sun and surf in Miami and do a bit of shopping in Dubai on the way back to Perth.. Save for another year or so.. Move back to NZ and buy our 2nd house.. Start my business and then have a family... That's what my 5 year plan was...
My new 5 year plan is? ..... What ever happens.. Happens.
I'm no photographer, but here's a couple of little things that I've found to be a little bit beautiful...