Sunday, November 02, 2008

Lucky 13: Expataversary and more

A thirteenth anniversary is no big deal—when it’s someone else’s. Today is a big deal for me.

Thirteen years ago today I arrived in New Zealand to stay, which makes it my Expataversary. Because this was the date when my permanent life in New Zealand began, this is the date Nigel and I take as our anniversary.

It’s an odd thing, but sometimes I have no idea how long I’ve been here: I completely lose track. Part of that is probably because I’ve now been living in New Zealand as long as I lived in Chicago, so I have an equally impressive stack of memories from this place (Trivia note: I moved to and left Chicago on Halloween).

These have been the best years of my life. That’s not a comparative statement, but a simple observation; it’s always a little dodgy saying something like that—it could piss off other people in your life, people who were a bigger part in the past. It also implies in some way that you don’t expect things to get even better.

All of us, if we’re smart, try to live as much as possible in the present, to enjoy what we have right in front of us. We can’t re-live the past, no matter how wondrous or glorious it was, and we can’t know what’s in the future. At least, that’s what we try and remember.

For me, though, it’s easy to enjoy the present when it’s so good. Sure I dream about the future, and I smile at memories of the past, but I’m so glad for what I have right now: I do work that I love doing (and some of it even pays money…), I have enough money to pay the bills and I have someone wonderful to share it all with. And Jake, too.

I have no idea what life will be like in another 13 years, but that’s part of what makes it so exciting and interesting. And it’s fun just finding out.

So thirteen years ago today, I started on this adventure, not sure what I’d find or even if it would turn out well. That adventure today is still as exciting and interesting as it was then, and it promises even more for the future.

Yep, thirteen can be pretty lucky.

Related previous posts:

Ex, but not ex-

Eleven Years an Expat

Twelfth Anniversary


d said...

Happy Anniversary! =D

Roger Owen Green said...

expataversary: a terrible term. I keep wanting to add an s in the begiining of the third syllable.

but congrats anyway.

Nessa said...

Congrats Arthur (and Nigel too)!

Best wishes and lots of love for another 13 years!


Ann and Michael said...

congratulations!!! And I know what you mean about being careful on phrasing- I caught a lot of grief for talking too much about how great the New Life is back in the Old Country a month ago when there.

Ann, 2.7 years in NZ, 2.3 years until citizenship, but VERY PROUD of the US this election day (so far, so very good)