I can’t believe it. Our year abroad in New Zealand has flown by, and now we’re getting ready to head home. As a family, we’ve gone through so much, learned so many new things, and become closer than ever. This year has made me into such a better person, and I’m so grateful for it.
When Mom and Dad told me about the year ahead, I freaked out, because I didn’t know. I didn’t know what life was like here, I didn’t know what would happen to my life in DC, and I didn’t even know where New Zealand was. That’s what is hard about life, is that you never really know what comes next. Mom told me that everyone’s life is like a book, and sometimes you’d give anything to just read through it. But I now understand that it’s alright not to know, because life sorts itself out; maybe not always according to plan, but things will be ok eventually (or as the Kiwis say, “she’ll be right”).
At the beginning of the year, family was all we had, and it was really tough, but we kept growing our life here and battling our comfort zone. I remember wanting so badly to hang out with friends, and instead having to hang out with Chloe and Julien (no offense, but it’s not always the same). I was so lucky to meet awesome new friends, and I learned a lot from them. First of all, I learned that even in New Zealand, 13 thirteen year-olds are pretty much the same as in the US: they talk about the same stuff, play the same video games, and act the same. But at the same time, they’re very different: they use different expressions, play different sports, and eat different foods.
And that’s the beauty in it, that everyone’s different, and with every person you meet you gain more and more perspective. Perspective is one of the most important things you can have in life because with it you can do so many good things with your life. If we hadn’t come here in the first place, we probably wouldn’t have known the things and people that we know now. For example, I met my amazing tennis coach, Andy, who has become not just a tennis coach, but a great friend.
The biggest thing I’ve taken away from this year is this: You don’t know what you don’t know. And the only way that you’ll ever have the best life possible is if you get out of your comfort zone and explore what there is to explore.
I’ll end my final blog with a simple but brilliant quote:
“Hakuna Matata” — The Lion King.