You Are Not a Tree: An Update

Quote by Jim Rohn. Picture from

Quote by Jim Rohn. Picture from

I first read this quote somewhere online – probably on Facebook, and probably from my friend Amelia, who loves quotes.

On Friday Suzie and I enjoyed a BBQ dinner at the Rainiers’ (if you haven’t read my first blog, the Rainiers are sort of my Kiwi/South African parents). The subject came up of my plans, what kinds of jobs I was searching for, etc. And suddenly this quote popped in my head.

Ideally I was hoping for a writing-, editing- or communications-related job. Most of those seem to be in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. I applied to a few, hoping they’d allow me to telecommute. So far, no dice.

This afternoon it occurred to me that I’ve been in New Zealand for 40 days (positively biblical, I know). While I wasn’t expecting jobs to fall into my lap when I got here, it’s been a little discouraging that I haven’t found anything yet, not to mention that with the current exchange rate, my money isn’t going as far here as it did in 2011.

And so, this weekend I’ve been doing some re-evaluating of my priorities.

Unless I get a permanent job that allows me to switch to a temporary working visa, I’ve got 12 months in this country. The first month has passed, but I’m choosing not to see it as a waste. After all, I’ve gotten reacquainted with friends and Palmerston North, a city that has far more to it than you see at face value (even today, I went to a concert in a part of the Esplanade I had no idea existed. And there’s a giant rose garden adjacent to it. How did I not know this earlier?).

But I digress. One of the reasons I returned to New Zealand was to see more of the country, especially the South Island, which accumulatively I’ve only spent about two-and-a-half weeks on. I’ve never been to the Marlborough region but I’ve only heard great things (and, looking at these pictures, you can see why. I’m already fantasizing about kayaking and hiking there). So currently I’m looking at outdoor work there in vineyards, orchards, lodges, etc. Most of these kinds of jobs include accommodation, which is a fantastic two-in-one deal and one fewer thing to worry about. It’s been a bit more of a struggle to find ones that also pay, but I do have a couple of leads.

I like the idea of having a job in the outdoors vs. an office, particularly in this country where I’ve only got a limited time to explore. I may be a college graduate, but I don’t at all consider myself “above” a minimum-wage job. I was working one up until the week I left the U.S., and it was by far one of my favorite jobs I’ve held. Besides, as the great Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “No work is insignificant.”

At first I was hesitant to look for work outside Palmy. Nearly all of my NZ connections are here, and I’ve gotten established in a nice house with lovely flatmates and cheap rent. But then I thought, “You’ve already moved halfway around the world, for crying out loud. What’s one more move?”

It’s not that I’m unhappy here, as you might surmise from the first part of the quote at the beginning of this post. But the phrase “you are not a tree” keeps finding itself in my brain. And I think it can be applied to any kind of change, not just the physical. “Get out of your comfort zone,” it says. “Do something that scares you.” “Break out of the monotony.”

So, while I still have some job leads here in Palmy I’m pursuing, I just thought I’d update you with the possibility of this move. It has been a journey of faithful waiting and trusting that God will place me where I’m supposed to be. After a lifetime of following the expected route – high school degree, college, working in an office, etc. – I’m learning to make my own path. And I’m learning to be OK with – if not quite comfortable with – uncertainty. After all, uncertainty is, in part, what makes the future exciting.


About Andrea Nicole

NZ enthusiast in the PNW. Internationally published writer, educator, grammar nerd, genealogist, and all-around storyteller. Recovering homebody. @Whitworth and @WGU alumna. #edchat
This entry was posted in Life, New Zealand Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to You Are Not a Tree: An Update

  1. Terry Rayburn Mitchell says:

    You’re far more grown-up than I am, Andrea. I’m rooting for you no matter what you decide to do.

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