Thursday, February 26, 2009

A tad late, but hey, I can still write about it

What's "it" you ask? Well, the fact that I've passed my halfway point here. I didn't realize it until recently, but I have 5 months left here. It's quite strange how things like these go, because as I was going through it it seemed really long, but as I look back part of me thinks it went by really quickly as well. Then again, this seemed to have happened in many other situations of mine...Tongariro Crossing, Global Game Jam, the 2 vacations, the Rally New Zealand...All of them felt like they were really long-lasting as i went through them, but then right when they stopped, it felt unnaturally abrupt. It's so strange how these things all go through that same cycle. To me the strange part about it is that at usually the only things that take forever are the things you don't like, but I liked (understatement) all of those activities. Yes, even standing at a crosswalk for 18 hours at the rally. How is it that life seems to go by in such a manner? For all I know I could have an experience that no one else in the entire world could or would ever experience sometime, yet once it ended it would still seem like anyone else's moments. Everything would eventually get swallowed by the relentless advance of time, no matter the uniqueness, no matter how fun, no matter how long it lasted.

I can't think of a whole lot else to say on the subject right now, but I might as well write a small thing relating to my post, "The Night Before..." As I look back on my first half or so of my trip, was my not being knowledgeable about New Zealand as I came a good idea? I personally believe my choice was a good one. Why? Everything I saw I got to experience completely anew. In my first days, I saw a country that had an unmatched fondness and care for nature throughout the population. I saw a country that truly had 2 different sets of people that were treated as different sets, yet no one on either side had problems of racism, nor was there any negative separation. The Maori and Pakeha (used in the neutral sense) were treated as equals, and there were no apparent stereotypes directed toward either group, something that still plagues American people, consciously or not. I saw a country that had many different likings than my country's own, whether they were in work or play, in the house or out. These differences let me see my own country in a different light. Many things I thought were truly "American" were fully apparent over here, while many things I thought were common all around were nonexistent.

With these experiences at my back, and more experiences to come, I will see more new things, and as I first came prepared with an unprepared mind, I will head onward into these new things in the same manner. No premature expectations and no premature fears always leave an unblemished slate. That's a rule I intend to follow as I have in the past.


Yidete said...

Uhh, you really sound like a professional writer this time. I wish I had kept a diary or something when I was there, but good ideas often come too late. Anyway there is an AFS saying: ''For the first half of your stay you survive, for the second half you live'' It was very true for me (I think I will remember the last couple of months in NZ as one of the best times of my life) and I believe that your best time is still ahead as well. Make most out of it!

Bogdaddy said...

Before you could walk, our family went to your Aunt Helen's 92nd birthday. I pointed out to your brother on a tape measure how far along he was (less than 4) and how much farther she had come.

The distance she had traveled in comparison to me was astounding, and I felt like I had myself gone a long way!

Since then I have been having the kinds of perspective flashes that you describe here. They will keep coming and time will fly faster and faster.

The secret is to be happy with the moments as they come and go. You don't have to wring every last drop out of every moment, but it is much harder to look back and regret than it is to look back with fondness.

Perhaps, looking back, there are things you would choose to do differently in the last 5 months. That is the past. Look forward and be who you want to be for the next 5 months.

Mom said...

Being open and observant, as you have, will continue to bring you all kinds of possibilities.

What wonderful things you have noticed, learned and experienced, and what a wonderful way to express it.

Thanks for sharing, Andy.

Grandpa said...

Hi Andy,
Talked to Mom today and she said that you had a great chat on Skype and when she visits me we'll try it on my laptop since it has a camera. Hope it works.

Your upbeat comments on your experiences in NZ are good to hear. And your latter paragraph is full of thoughtful and profound comments. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Love, Grandpa

Anonymous said...

Wow andy,

You truly are an amazing writer...

I hope you continue to have and learn from all the wonderful experiences... I wish you a very happy time, good health, and good times and adventures in the next five monthes to come

Faq said...

Wow, it seems like every one of these is the "longest quote ever" this makes for pretty good reading. save these, you'll have a book at the end.
-Will Faq(Frequently Asked Questions)