Living in Auckland?

What is it like to live in Auckland? I am here to answer your lifelong question. Its a Friday evening here and I am currently in my apartment. (I do leave this couch sometimes) and I could describe to you what going on. I can hear The Neighbourhood playing on pandora (thanks Conrad) and Jamie making dinner searching for a lid to the pot and a giant protest on Queen Street. I do not know what about but every other week there’s something. I can see my fluffy blanket on my lap and the tv playing in the background. However if I was to take you outside on any given day this experience would be different.

Though its meant to be getting cooler now, you know how the season change and its Autum, that doesn’t apply here in the tropics because Auckland has four seasons in a day. THIS IS NO JOKE. NOPE.

4 BLOODY SEASONS A DAY.

Example:

Wake up. Its raining.

Puts on rain coat to leave.

Get halfway to destination and its the Sahara desert. Sun blazing, sweating and possible sunburn.

Arrive at place. Now there is a skin cutting wind. You start to think you are see through because the wind is crazy.

Leave destination and head for home. Its not calm and sunny.

The out of know where. Hail. Yep, fucking hail. ICE BALLS FALLING TO THE GROUND.

Auckland. 4 season. The wrath of some god.

Some of you are thinking I might be exaggerating this. There is only one thing that is consistent in Auckland. The humidity. Currently 82%.

So minus the weather whats it like to live up here. Mate there is a pace. A pace of life where everything is always on the go. The city is always on the move. There is no down time. 11pm on the streets is just as busy as 3pm. Coffee is produced in 1 minute and service is on point.

The food you ask and I can tell you is amazing. My bank account will speak for the both of us. You could have anything you wanted. Thai, mexican, sliders, cajun, korean BBQ, pasta, dumplings. Anything, google and go.

The nightlife you say? Well. There will be a door charge and never buy a redbull and vodka in town. But the girls are on fire, and the man buns are now thank god few and far between. The music is ever changing. From Wednesday through to Sunday. There is always a place to go. Catch some of the biggest acts chilling in clubs and rub shoulders with some amazing down to earth people. Also boys like Moet. Yep.

What is it like to be classed as a JAFFA? Or in what I was nicknamed J.A.A (just another Aucklander). Meh, not that horrible nor amazing. I do understand though when I meet a born and raised Aucklander. Couldn’t explain it but can just tell. Sixth sense or something!

Cost of the city of Sails? Well its not cheap. Its not getting cheaper. Countdown metro is a pile of crap and New World metro is the most expensive supermarket in NZ! Rent is the same price if you live in the city like me or 20 minutes out. I live in a two bedroom apartment that is above Whitcoulls on Queen Street. Rent is $570 a week including water and that is cheap. There is also a housing crisis up here so its not fun finding places to live.

People think Auckland is a horrible place to live. Thats not the truth, you can’t decided that till you live here. I can guarantee you will never be bored.  If you ever need a place to stay, let me know!! I have a nice couch and another mattress.

From this J.A.A to you have an amazing night and come see me at some point!!!

How to get over your ex boyfriend.

Ah what a topic. Like a burn and a paper cut rolled into one. An ex-boyfriend is weird. The whole idea that you go from being fully committed to someone, knowing who they are and what they are doing to strangers in a week.

Now if I ever have children, I hope that they are strong enough to get through heartbreak and all that comes with it.

I was talking to a friend of mine about a week ago when he asked me “how much do you think you have changed?” I was walking home and standing at the lights I personally didn’t think I had changed that much. But thats the thing. I had changed. If not changed then grown. When I met this young man I was completely broken. Whole heartly ruined. I was heartbroken.

I was 17. Young and eager. I went from being a girl who was happy to being a dark energy going through the motions. When this young man met me he saw me go from my worst to the woman I am today. He said to me that I was “a girl dangerously close to throwing it all away.” And I was. Thats the thing about being 17 and in love. There is not point in which you say to yourself to stop giving. You pour your life and soul into someone else without thinking and when it all ends you can only say it was half your fault because you couldn’t stop yourself. You fed a demon called a relationship until you ran out of whatever it ate and it all fell apart. So where do you go from there? You are broken, empty and well shit, you just want to sleep for forever.

This is what I suggest. No matter how it ended.

  1. Take a nap. Lie the heck down and curl up for a few hours.
  2. Turn your phone off. The world will be there when you come back.
  3. Cry your eyes out. This won’t take much. Place cold flannel on eyes. Thank me later.
  4. If you ended the relationship remind yourself why. You made this decision for a reason.
  5. If the other party ended the relationship then remind yourself that it wasn’t meant to be and the universe has a much bigger and better plan for you than him.
  6. Take a long shower. Not a bath.
  7. Find an animal. Cats are great but anything that you like. Could be a bearded dragon. You don’t know.
  8. DO NOT GET ANGRY. This will not help.
  9. Take some deep breaths.
  10. Make a cup of tea. You won’t feel like eating.
  11. Tell your parent. By simply saying “Me and _____ are over and I would really just like a hug.”
  12. Tell your parent that you are not ready to talk about it if your not. You will just get angry at their questions.
  13. Make a nest. Blankets and tissues.
  14. Then clean your room. Its like hitting reset on something in your life.
  15. Contact a friend and let them do what they do best and be there for you.
  16. Have some alone time but not at 3am.
  17. You might not sleep so write what you are thinking about.
  18. Go on facebook and do the deed of ending the relationship. Make this unseen. Don’t be that girl.
  19. Do not talk to other person for a few days. See that you can survive without them.
  20. Go out on a big walk with your friend. The wild does wonders.

Look I have been through all the motions and it bloody hurts. And the one piece of advice I can give you is to give time, time. Nothing is going to make it go quicker. You just have to keep going and you can do that. You do not need them to live. What I also must tell you is that there is no ‘moment’ when you get over an ex. For every single person it is different. It may just be a day you didn’t think about them or no emotion towards them. There is two things that no one told me when I was 15 and about to have a serious relationship for the first time. 1. you will leave a bit of you with them and you can never gain it back. 2. you won’t give yourself to wholeheartedly to another person until they deserve you.

May I leave you with telling you that you are amazing. That you exist because you are the perfect distance from the sun with a body that has a beating heart and working functions. You are more than you could ever know and this will not hold you back.

From a mother duck to her ducklings. I am here if you need me.

A love like this.

I have been asking lately what I should write my blog about and a lovely creature called Renee told me to write about Dance.

Like that thing in my life. That I am studying. Yaaaass that thing. That Big ‘O Topic.

I don’t know why I have never written about dancing. It has shaped every part of my life for the past three years. I guess I find it a very sacred and special topic for me and I don’t want to be shot down for talking about it.

Heres the thing. I love what I do. Honestly. I love it. Heart and soul. Outside skin to heart. All of me. Dancing, its the damn best thing. Now you may be a student who is studying science or law or social studies. Well Done. Good on you. The world needs people like you. The country needs people like you. I am not being rude or nasty but I am thankful you exist. You might be a mother who takes care of her children. Go you, you educated them everyday without knowing and have the best anger management that even money cannot buy. You might be a guy working in retail. Shout out to you. You have a calm exterior and know where everything is.

But I am a Dancer. Yes I am an artist too. I am an advocate. I am more than you could ever think of. What I ask of you is respect. Do what I have been taught to do in this society and to respect me for the job that I DO. I create art. And guess what I BLOODY LOVE IT. 

I am never going to call myself lucky. ‘Lucky to do what I do.’ I am brave. Yes brave. So do not shoot me down.

I work part time in the hospitality sector because study link doesn’t cover my rent or the food I eat. I have work part time for three years. I work part time whilst studying full time. Now the one thing I can tell you is that people like to talk and chat and give an opinion. Often I get asked what I do other than my job and I say ‘study’. This is how the conversation flows.

Customer: So what do you study?

Me: A Bachelor of Dance Studies at the University of Auckland.

C: Oh wow, what sort of dancing do you do?

M: Mostly contemporary.

C: Do you like it?

M: Absolutely. I love it. (Thinks in head, why else would I spend 20,000 on it??) 

C: You look like a dancer. So what do you actually do during the day? 

M: I don’t roll around on the floor all day. Its half practical. 

C: So where can you go with it all??

M: I could get my PhD if I wanted to but the industry needs me so I must go to them. So I might do that later. 

(I then leave to do my part time job which they think will be my full time job because its dance.)

What hurts the most about this conversation is the raised eyebrows when I drop the line of what I do. You know as someone who studies human movement staring into someones eyes with raised eyebrows when they tell you that they are achieving their dream hurts. Remember that.

So why am I writing this? I am here to answer some questions. By giving answers I am hoping to remove the stigmatisms.

Let us begin and dive into this stunning life I have.

What do I study?

  • Contemporary technique (Stage 1,2,3)
  • Kapa Haka and Theory
  • Pacific Dance and Theory
  • Dance Education
  • Dance History and Context
  • Kinesiology and Somatics
  • Dance Choreography (Stage 1,2,3)
  • Dance Writing
  • Dance Interplidiscnary
  • Stretch and Conditioning
  • Community Dance
  • Safe Dance Practice
  • Psychology 109G
  • Anthropology 106G
  • Dance and Technology
  • Professional Practices

I have missed a couple I am sure but these are paper I have taken and/or taking.

Every single paper has a written form to it. Whether it be a 2500 word essay, lesson plans, Pecha Kucha (shout of to Sarah Knox for those little devils), injury prevention plans. I write. We write. A lot. What people don’t understand is that dancers are pretty damn good at referencing. APA STYLE ALL DAY EVERY DAY.

What does a normal week consist of for me?

Well that depends.

First semester is normally pretty easy going.

Monday: 3 Hours. Two papers.    Tuesday: 2 hours. One paper.     Wednesday: 4 Hours, Two papers.       Thursday: 5 Hours. Three Papers.      Friday: 2 Hours. One paper.

16 Contact Hours. 8 Outside Hours.

____________________________________________

Second Semester 

Normally the same ish.

16 Contact hours but then theres is this.

Up to 40 hours of dancing. In class, rehearsal, making choreography, in the theater, between classes in corridors because there is not studios.

In second semester my average amount of sleep is 6 hours. 4 hours when we are close to shows.

What do I eat?

Mate. Everything. Different semesters require different diets. First semester is lots of brain food that is slow releasing. Nuts, grains, root veggies. Second semester is carbs. 60% of my diet is carbs. Carbs=Energy. Simple math. No food is the worst torture. Hiss and run away.

Why dance?

I was told by a lovely lady “do what you love, let that be your career.”. It made a lot of sense to me. So I applied to come to Auckland. Where I write to you today.

What’s your back up plan?

Rude to ask. I will always find something to do in this industry. I am apart of a family. Always creating jobs that didn’t exist two years ago. However if I couldn’t do what I loved due to something. Though where there is a will there is a way. I would become a paramedic.

What do you want to do after university? 

Well you might be one of my employers reading this. If so hello. Thank you for being here. And doing what you love too. But I want to create and share. BROAD. But details are for me to know.

What do your parents think of this?

They are incredibly proud. They have always known it would be something creative. They are supportive and since they were the first of their kind (COMPUTERS) I will be the first of my kind to make dance as normal as computers in our everyday lives.

What do you struggle with?

Ignorance. I would like to see you enjoy a world without dance. Without people who make it possible. My own thoughts of being a tall dancer. Always think I am taking way too much room. So I never feel I am dancing to my ‘full’. I am 6ft for your information.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Really I could talk about this all day. I mean I am going to talk about it all life long.

In reality I don’t keep company of those who do not understand what I do.

Its a love like this that is so intoxicating that it cannot be left alone. I keep sipping from this damn cup and I am not going to lie when I say its the best.

If you have any questions about what I do honestly I would love to hear them and help you get some more information. These are my few 1300 words. However this is my passion and career so lets chat and I might even show you a few moves.

10 Guy Hacks

I know this is a little late but its here. Finally 10 guy hacks brought to you by myself and with a lot of help from Jamie, le boyfriend. So as it discovers, there are not many places that have guy hacks so we are hoping that this helps all you chaps.

  1. During the day think of plausible answers to the inevitable question “what are you thinking about?” from that significant other.
  2. To avoid getting “awkward arm” when cuddling put said arm under her pillow.
  3. If you find a piece of clothing that you like. For example AS colour t-shirts. Buy three different colours. Don’t look like you never wash your clothes. You are not an animal.
  4. If you want to impress a girl whilst having her over for dinner. Get pasta and pesto. Cook the pasta, add meat and pesto. If she doesn’t like pesto or pasta. Move on.
  5. To stop your room from looking messy. Hang every single thing up that isn’t pants. T-shirts, jackets, shirts. You won’t have to fold them and it keeps them looking brand new.
  6. Have a roll on deodorant and a cologne. These are two different things. One is for your under arms and the other one is for your chest. Don’t buy lynx. You are not 14
  7. When looking for new music, always ‘radio’ (on spotify, pandora, etc) your favorite artists to see what else is similar in that genre.
  8. If you like a girl and want to get to know her, be genuine to her. Cut the cat calling and seedy eyes. Be a man and walk over to her.
  9. Have condoms. You can only blame yourself.
  10. Chivalry. If you don’t know what that is then go and use the internet.

If you are a guy reading this. (I can’t tell.) I would love to know if you are reading this. You can PM me or hit like on the FB post. I guess, the point of this post is to make you the best that you can be. If you already do all these things then congratulations on being a rather good human being.

Any way I am going to try my hardest to post more often. At least once a week for you cool kids.

Enjoy these hacks. From Seren and Jamie.

P.s Jamie would like to add he didn’t have much choice in not collaborating with Seren.

You don’t even know.

Today is Tuesday. It is also day two of the first week of uni. Auckland University thinks its a great idea to start so late. I mean its March. You know the third month into the year. But hey we do things differently way up here.

I would like to apologize for not having any recent blog posts. I have been rather blah. And I have been sorting my life out. Plus working. Being short staffed is not a fun time. I can tell you that now. I think I still need to sleep for a month to catch up.

I feel like just chatting to you all as I sit here on the couch. So, how are you? Are you well? (Like you can talk to me) Shall we discuss some things that have pissed me off lately. Shall we list them. I like doing that.

  1. People who don’t understand how lucky their situation is. Being the most basic of basic bitches. Please complain, thats what I wanted on my first day of university. A giant black cloud pouring out with rain. Take your weather elsewhere.
  2. Swollen glands. Mate, bain of my life. Can I not sound like a man. thank you.
  3. Heat. Humidity. Dammit Auckland. STAAAAAPH.
  4. People who do not smell themselves being entering into public. Yo, if I can smell you after you have been in an area. Go and deal with yourself. No one finds it sexy. Not in the slightest.

Is anyone else having trouble sleeping? Or are you all counting your sheep? Do you know what is scary is that I turn 21 this year. Jessica in my class said this “20 is such an ugly age”. And now that I think about it. I fully agree. Like what is 20? Icky. What’s worse that 20? Being 20 and engaged. Or married. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? If your news feed is anything like mine, full of babies and marriage. Last night a girl popped on my news feed, now engaged. She was born in 1996. 1996 people. SHES TURNING 19. When I was 18 I had to deal with study link. Not dimond rings. Each to their own. Just not in my 5 year plan. NO ONE GET DOWN ON ONE KNEE, YA HEAR?

You want to know an honest thoughts? I am just going to tell you anyway because you can’t say no. I have no idea what I am writing. Really its all word vomit and you are still reading. Congratulation friend. I really want a terrarium and some flowers. Lillys to sit in my bedroom and smell lovely. I am rather pissed off with one of my friends. Have been for a few months. The guy at the gym judged me for only working out for 30 mins. He doesn’t know I have a major back injury or study dance. He now sees me and comments on how long I work out for.  My mum who reads this blog. (Hey Jenny.) Told me that I missed the boat on my career and thinks I should do this all the time. Writing blogs. I thought with a debt owing to the government I could do both.

Its my last year of University and I am really not sure on whether or not I will do postgraduate studies. I could do my honors. Just a year and be done with it? I don’t know anything anymore. So watch this space.

10 Girl Hacks You Need To Know

This is my pre-valentines day gift to you ladies. Sorry that was a reminder. Ever so sorry. But love yourself. Sly tip for you.

Any way the title kinda ruined the magic of this blog post but hey, look you’re still here and reading. So go forth, and read my lovelies. If you are a boy and you are still here thats cool too, I will be doing a collaboration with my boyfriend very shortly and have 10 tips for you also. Yeeeeaah, I will have all the hacks. Will I become the ‘Hack-Queen’ I don’t know. But its 2015 so anything can happen.

So I live in what I would say is a fairly fast paced life. If I am truly honest I am rather lazy. Put those two things together and sometimes I look rather rough around the edges. I admit that. I really do envy the girls who look flawless 24/7. You all deserve some sort of crown. Now taking the equation of: needing to look flawless + not having enough time + being lazy =  10 Girl Hacks.

  1. Have chipped nail polish? Grab a glitter nail polish, gold is ideal and then dap a bit on the end of your nail and feather is out to an ombre finish. Finish with a top coat if you can be bothered.
  2. Eyelash extensions. These bad boys save you time. The first time my boyfriend called me beautiful I had eyelash extensions on. Word of warning though, do your research.
  3. Have a go to look for each season. It will save you looking and make your shopping more efficient. And your wardrobe won’t be such a lost place.
  4. If you treat yourself by getting your nails done but then also made the rookie mistake of not knowing what colour to get and the lady is now filing at a very slow pace to buy you some time. Grab a gold sparkle, nude or grey. Any of these three colour will work with any outfit.
  5. Carry around at all times; Chapstick, plasters, tampons, condom and Panadol. These are at any time a life saver. Its all about being smart. Never be caught out.
  6. Do take a multivitamin. Whether it be a woman’s daily one or something you need. I always take a multivitamin high in magnesium. You can thank me later.
  7. Wear a perfume everyday. You will then discover what it is like to have ‘a scent’. Mine is Summer by FCUK. But I love Coco Mademoiselle Chanel and Daisy by Marc Jacobs.
  8. Dry shampoo. Honestly saved me at RNV! It’s worthy of your money.
  9. Give yourself a face mask once a week. I am in love with Mask of Magnaminty by Lush. Will make your skin beautiful.
  10. Clean the wallet out. Not in terms of money but of all the things you don’t need in that bad boy. I am known for coffee cards, receipts from the bus and random lists. You will feel so much better the next time you use it.

So these are my ten girl hacks. I am sure once you have seen this I would of thought of a few more so I might do a 2.0 version. Try some of these and let me know how they go. From the girl who is just trying to keep up with another flawless beauties out there.

Bittersweet.

Personally I think there is nothing worse than something that is bittersweet. Nothing seems to make me angry and deep with rage than bittersweet.

I mean the definition of the damn word is a let down:

bittersweet
when something is good but there is a bad part about it
I’m a girl who doesn’t get too angry all the time but some things are just stupid. For example:
  • People who label sale items wrong and they are more expensive than written. (You can bully sales people into a better price but don’t be that kid. Retail people hate you for it.)
  • Going to the supermarket and they don’t have anything you want. Just the things you are trying to avoid. Regular occurrence in Auckland countdown.
  • Getting cheap flights and booking them. Then missing a choreographic workshop because your not allowed to miss the first day. FML. (This may be the point of the article)
  • Working valentines day. Hard pass.
  • Having uneven eyebrows. Even when you try fix them. Blah blah they are sisters not twins. I WANT TWINS DAMN IT.
  • Baking great looking cupcakes. They taste like crap and sit there teasing and laughing at you.

There are many things that are bittersweet. But the list above really just bugs me. Yes I just wrote an article on being thankful. Really it is not ideal. But I shall pull out a saying I rolled around with at the end of high school.

NEGAF: Not even giving a fuck.

I think really I am just a little tired and frustrated. No actually I’m hella frustrated. Not even Beyonce can calm me. I mean give it half an hours and I will be cool calm and collected. I will understand that the sweet out weights the bitter and its nothing a cup of tea and a tequila shot with a dash of laughter can not fix.

WRITING OUT THE POSITIVES.

Freshly painted nails.

Humidity is 57%

It is Friday.

Right, good work team. Great chat. Let me know what is bittersweet for you. Either on here or on Facebook, tumblr or don’t. Thats cool too.

Misleading Daydreaming

So for once Auckland was slightly less warm than usual. Which meant to my flat “The Hot Box” being less hot and all activities being less painful and a lot less sticky. So I was sitting on the bus that was slowing chilling me from the outside in. So for once I was able to day dream and not think about how hot I was. Now I am huge on day dreaming. Could do it all day if it was needed. I mean I even did a choreographic piece on day dreaming. You see I was thinking about how only a select few say thank you to the bus driver when they hop off. So this is how my day dream went, stay with me okay?

Saying thank you to a bus driver

Being thankful.

And thats where it stopped. Long right? I then started to gather all the weird things I am thankful for.

  • Polite neighbours with adorable children.
  • Headphones.
  • Cold weather.
  • Cookies and cream ice cream.
  • Flat mates who make me laugh.
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Good banter.
  • Swimming in rivers.

Its only fair that I say these are only a few. I suppose that I was thinking about very random things and slightly concentrating on the fact that my physiotherapist had just stuck needles in my butt because thats how you fix a broken Seren.

So I finally made it to the CBD and as I hopped off the bus I said thank you to my bus driver and walked to my apartment entrance. I then thought about how much my life has changed since I first moved away from Nelson (my home town). I thought about how I could never move back for good. Not right now. That I had grown too big for that tiny town. I guess I am thankful I grew up there and now I see the appeal of raising a family there. But thats a long way off. About 10 years.

So be thankful is what I guess I am trying to say. For the weird things. Or at least go and have a day dream.

Will it last you a life time?

The Human Body

I went looking for an ideal body to work towards. I scrolled through Tumblr, Instagram and a few other places and as I was scrolling I thought to myself that these girls were stunning, truly they had worked for their bodies. Now I know that I have a good body but what girl doesn’t want to be a goddess. When I was naively looking I wasn’t searching for envy or “thin-spriation” just some motivation and what I feel I could get.

I got bored and rolled through my news feed and what I saw made me laugh to myself. We will get back to why this made me giggle out loud after I explain a few thing.

  1. I am a dancer. I study dance at The University of Auckland.
  2. My body is my tool of employment.
  3. I don’t treat my body as a temple and I know I should.
  4. I have a fast metabolism.
  5. My idea of the “ideal body” image has changed.
  6. As long as I am healthy then I am happy.

So scrolling through Facebook as I was, there I saw a girl who did my degree. She is fit, strong and happy with her body though she is working on it. (Hence her full body photo as progress shots). Now she was not anything close to my “ideal body”. She was beautiful though. What made me outwardly laugh though was that her body was what she needed for her lifestyle. This gal is active every single day. She eats her greens and she truly treats her body like a temple. She wasn’t thin. She was built, and good on her. I had a moment of realizing that my body wont ever look “ideal”. It honestly wont.

Why?

  • My legs are powerful, they have muscles to do a job of taking me through the air.
  • My arms have definition. Because they have to carry the weight of myself and someone else sometimes.
  • My stomach isn’t dead flat. It doesn’t have abs though either. It is the power station of my control and stability.
  • My lungs. Cardio. I have little of. I do not need it. It works its way to be as much as needed per show.
  • My feet. Well they have a job to do and there is no point trying to make them pretty when I rip them up everyday.

I have a dancing body. It has a job. I work it to each show, job, contract. What happens between those times is up to my diet and how well my body recovers.

What I now have burnt into the backs of my eyelids is that “you only have one body make it last”. As I write this I am currently on the couch. Confided to this one place. On the 26th of January I did something to my back/nerve/leg/buggered myself. Went to the hospital-yes I did a good job. I have a week of work, two specialist appointments and another doctors appointments. The one thing keeping me from doing all the things; work, dance, run, workout. Is that if I do not take care of my body now I wont have a body to work with for the rest of my life. For a 20 year old, thats PRETTY BIG.

So whilst I sit here and type, think about your actions and if your body will last a life time. Re-think your ‘ideal body’. See what your lifestyle really requires you to look like.