Tuesday, 1 June 2010

My last night in New Zealand and a season of rest

It's about that time to close the chapter on one of the best seasons in my life - the last 6 months in Auckland. Some reasons as to why I'd love this time so much are obvious: free rent, living in a house by the beach, not having to work, spending time doing what I love, amazing coffee. I don't need to spell it out too much. 

But my appreciation goes much deeper than the creature comforts. I am SO thankful for this grace-drenched season because I needed to remember that seasons like this do exist. Seasons when things fall into place, when you feel like you're doing what you love and what makes you come alive, when you physically feel yourself being restored. Life doesn't always have to be a struggle. I needed this. 

I've kind of alluded to this on my blog, though I've always tried to be diplomatic and positive, but truth be told, England kicked my ass. I had and have some amazing friends in England (you know who you are!), I did work that I believed in and I learned a LOT, but it was hard. For 4 years I felt like I was pushing against something, struggling not to be crushed but to be made stronger. I always smiled, always tried to be positive, always looked on the bright side, but it was tough. I don't blame England and I'm not bitter towards England because I know that it was about something much deeper - it was a season of resistance and training that just happened to be set in the UK. 

So that's what I'm thinking about - seasons. There really is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. There's a time to graft and push through and be stretched beyond comprehension. There's a time for intense discipline, training and resistance (such fun). There is a time to feel out of your depth, out of your culture and way out of your comfort zone. There's a time to put the things of your heart on the backburner to grow in other ways - patience, perseverance and character. 

But that's not it, because there's also a time to rest, to just collapse on a Kiwi beach with a flat white and a handsome husband and a good book and be overcome by unforced joy and sunshine. There's a time to go back to your comfort zone, changed and more flexible. There's a time to feel at home and to not have to fight for every last thing. There's a time to grab your heart back off the backburner and start feeding it again. There's a time to dream audacious dreams and a time to experience boundless grace.

So I just needed to say thank you. To Dan's parents for letting us stay here, to the amazing friends I've had here (you know who you are too!), and to God for not only training hard and pushing me to the limit in England, but for times like these, when I get to well and truly rest. My heart overflows with gratitude. I'm also so thankful for New Zealand in general, which has been so good to me. I'll always have a very special place in my heart for this place. And thank you to you as well for letting me gush on!

Well, next time you hear from me I'll be back in the States! Thanks for all the encouragement from everybody. This is an emotional time, moving across the world and all, but I feel blessed to be journeying with so many amazing people.  

I'd love to hear about places that hold a piece of your heart for whatever reason. Got any to share? 


Vanessa said...

Great post as always, Alisha! I felt a little lump in my throat when I read 'Seasons when things fall into place, when you feel like you're doing what you love and what makes you come alive, when you physically feel yourself being restored. Life doesn't always have to be a struggle.'

I too need this! My life is currently transitioning in so many wonderful ways and I am having a hard time accepting that this might be my time.

Very encouraging post to say the least! Wishing you safe travels!!!

Matt and Joey said...


Love to read your thoughts and word-smithing. I identify in part with your experiences: Maine was my UK, though much shorter and perhaps less purposeful. Transition has been our constant companion for the past three years. Hope to find rest and homecoming on the other side. Look forward to carving out life with you two.

Anne-Margaret said...

What a lovely post though I must admit I am rather curious about exactly how and why England "kicked your ass"?

I myself will be moving to Bham in the fall for grad school and my lovely British Beau. I have lived oversees before and know it can often be a struggle but with time gets easier so my curiousity is piqued when someone who spent a rather long period of time still struggled. Makes me wonder if perhaps I need to brace myself for something. Care to share?

alisha said...

Anne-Margaret, welcome to my blog. :) That's great that you're headed to B'ham soon with your British beau. B'ham's not as bad as lots of people make it out to be and has it's own certain charm. I'd love to tell you more about it and give you some tips though, so feel free to send me an email at alisha [.] sanvicens [@] gmail.com and I can go into a bit more detail.

I've had lots of American friends that studied in B'ham and absolutely loved it, so I think that location is only so much of the factor of the ass kicking for me. Working in temp jobs and having no money is pretty miserable anywhere, but I think it was amplified in the UK where everything is so expensive.

Anyway, do get in touch and I'd love to chat with you more about moving to Brum. :)

Rachael Randal said...

Dear Alisha

We are so going to miss you guys! It has been AWESOME to get to know you and Dan better over the last several months – what a blast! Flat whiting, day tripping, island exploring, board gaming galore! I am truly thankful to have had you as part of my life during this ‘season’ (as you so appropriately call it). Through this time of new challenges for me – following our big move to New Zealand and embankment on the healthypi adventure – your words and friendship have inspired and motivated me to look inside myself and pursue what I feel I am made for. Thank you. I wish you both all the love, hope and happiness for the next season in your life. I know for sure that whatever awaits you in Seattle, you will continue to achieve the Alisha mission to support and inspire people through your great great talents: your writing and your friendship. I will continue to follow Seattleite Imagery and look forward to seeing your book(s) in St Heliers library :-).

John Brown Rose said...

WOW!!! Bon Voyage!!!! All the best...I'll be thinking of you as you set up life again. And will be hoping it all goes better than you could of ever imagined!!!! You are one VERY inspiring woman! xxx

Melissa-Jade Gregan, said...

Alisha - that was so well said. I do love your writing. I also love your perspective on life - I will miss having that on a face-to-face basis. I look forward to keeping up with your journey on this incredible blog. All the best for this move babe, really. We have loved having you guys share Aotearoa with us.

Nadine said...

Beautiful post!! I'm so glad New Zealand has been so wonderful!

I look forward to hearing all about Seattle - it's going to be great and a wonderful new season!

TheLadyWhoLunches said...

We're eager to hear how it is going back home! Hope you had a safe trip. xo

alisha said...

I know, I know! Update coming soon. :)

shannon said...

I really like your idea of seasons... I took a 3 year one myself in NZ, after an intense period on the East coast of the USA. I just found your blog through a friend here in Italy and am really enjoying seeing NZ through your idea. Some days it feels like there is no one who gets my strange mix of my home (Oregon, NZ, and bits of other non-home places that I happen to live in for long periods of time). And through that all there are definitely seasons. Sounds like you were in a space to notice and take advantage of this one. May more be coming your way!

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