The butterfly diaries


Staff member
I was originally going to call this blog something else, but I realised I was getting ahead of myself, then I was writing about my new cushions and this name came to me and I realised it fit perfectly.

I have moved to Hometown, alone, taken a job that will give me experience teaching some more senior parts of the curriculum, and I will save as much money as I can for the ability to apply for whatever comes next. Well, hopefully there will be a visit from Puck thrown in somewhere along the line and that will make a dent in the savings, but he might as well come while I'm here and can show him around my Hometown. Living here, I also get to spend more quality time with my parents, who unfortunately aren't getting any younger, and Dad will never quite be as vibrant as he was before his stroke. As well as them, it's an actual city, albeit pretty small, but there are so many things to do here - for a long time I thought I would never move back to the hustle and bustle of a city, but I began to desperately miss the opportunities that it presented.

I secured my new job a couple of months ago, but hadn't had much luck on the accommodation front. But, not long after Christmas and before the new year, I found a room at an extremely good price, sight unseen with interview via video call. I was happy enough with that call--and so was the landlord--that the paperwork was signed, bond paid and move in date set before that day was out. Subsequently, I arrived last Sunday and I'm writing on Friday night at 9pm with dusk happening outside. I should have gone to watch the sunset as I'm close to a great view, but there's still tomorrow, still lots of tomorrows and I want to cram a lot of living into them while I am here. This has been a week of nesting in my new digs. I have a huge bedroom by NZ standards, share a kitchen and bathroom with one other person who is young professional and really chill, and the upstairs landlord is lovely and fixed a broken wall socket within an hour of me pointing it out. The cat, however, is a snob.

Nothing I've done or bought has been in and of itself expensive, but I have been spending money hand over fist this week. I know I've just about run out of things I want to get, so I'll shift to the things I want to do. I've indulged in cocktails and company this week, catching up with old friends, even running into a sort-of-ex in the street (we only dated for a couple of months, long story). He was out with his currently lady and introduced me as an old work colleague, which isn't wrong, but certainly isn't the whole truth lol. He let me know where he works (where we frequently worked together) so I'll pop by next week for a longer chat when we aren't both on our way to respective dinner plans.

I spent a couple of hours today with my parents as well, showed them where I live, went out for a light lunch, and listened to Mum natter on as she is wont to do these days.

But back to this flat, as we call them. GPS brought me in in my extremely full car (but I did it in one car load!) and I wasn't entirely sure of my surroundings as I'd never lived over this side of the city, nor even spent much time here. I was delighted to discover that the bus stop is really close and that the route goes straight past my new workplace, with a stop outside that, too. I got a bus card and have spent almost the entire week asides from today bussing and walking about the city. I am well and truly home. (Note, I am well away that I will be cursing the weather come winter, but right now, it's windy, but glorious. I really need to be more diligent on the sunscreen, my face is feeling it today.)

I am happy, really happy, and yes, this is partly because I still have nigh on two weeks of holiday to go and I'm spending money like it's going out of fashion, but I know I'll also find a routine once work starts, one which will be a lot more conservative. This, however, is the time to recharge my batteries and, other than one pretty unfortunate blind date courtesy of Feeld, I've had a great week.

The day I arrived, I unpacked and then finally went to get some milk. I googled my local dairy (as we call small convenience stores) and it was definitely within walking distance so off I went. Well, I got to the end of my street and realised I could see the ocean. Also well within walking distance. So I headed down there, was delighted to see it extremely well used (Sunday) and got the milk on the way back. I haven't braved a swim yet myself, but I finally have no plans tomorrow (until the evening) so it's very possible that I will go be one of the masses. Unfortunately, the weather today was definitely better, but I had parents and then yet more shopping to be done. (Why oh why didn't I get new insoles months and months ago? Now I'm walking more, I bit the bullet and then immediately realised I'd been an idiot for not getting them a very long time ago. Treat your feet well, people.)

So, next week I have vague plans for a pizza night with a few new friends, and I'd like to go to the rock climbing gym and see if I don't 100% hate it because I have zero strength at all these days. I need to choose something fun (and new) for fitness, so I'll go find out if I like this. My need to "self-medicate" with junk food is currently non-existent. Between this and the walking, I've already lost some (not all) of the silly season weight. I have a long way to go, though, but I'm always less likely to over-indulge when I'm living an independent lifestyle.

I'm looking forward to seeing The Nomad again, too, although I'm a little concerned that this isn't really a good place to host guests. We'll see what happens.

Oh, I do need (want) one more thing...cushion inners for some perfect cushion covers full of butterflies that I got at the craft market late last year. When I've got those, I'll post a picture. (And this is when I went back and edited the title and first paragraph).

So, right now, I'm in NRE with myself, my new life; it's one that hasn't forsaken the old entirely, I'm still me, I'm still in my current relationships (now both long distance), but I'm spending some time solo for a while. I'm over being a pupa, it's time to fly.
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I'm so happy for you. Dreams are coming true, and you made it happen!
I took myself to see a movie today. A delightful little rom-com called Anyone But You. Fresh cast to lend some newness to an old story, and enough slapstick and "wtf they actually did that?!" moments to entertain everyone. Even a couple of jokes clearly designed for us Gen Xers (the abundance of teens in the cinema did *not* laugh).

Tomorrow, I'm going to go try bouldering at the indoor rock climbing place. Ooo, that's a really good reason to file my nails done to next to nothing lol. My nails are a disaster and always have been, I got the bad genetics for that lol.

Puck's been in a cheerful mood this last few days, it's nice to see him get a reprieve from months of shit. I suspect that's a little of my buoyancy from this week rubbing off on him--at least for our interactions--too. God knows 2023 was my own slice of hell, but he had it worse. I cried on him today, largely because of a mood swing (pms/perimenopause, take your pick) just being sad about the waiting, and about getting older while we wait. So, I need to get this body back in shape so the long haul flights aren't torture.

Adam is visiting in 10 days, I'm looking forward to showing him around, and going out for a great meal, and just Hometown stuff. I start work on the Friday so he'll be here for that, too, although he's got his own function to go to that night. It's just an orientation day for new staff - big workplace needs one of those. There's another staff only day on the Monday, but that's everyone. I'm excited to start, it's a new challenge with a whole lot to learn but a lot more support systems as you would expect in a larger institution.

It's getting longer and longer between periods and consequently a little unpredictable, but hopefully The Nomad will be able to visit *between* next time, not *during* again and we can have even more fun. I'm look forward to catching up with him regardless, hell, even if we never got around to going back to the bedroom I'd enjoy the conversation. Gabe hasn't been very forthcoming with another catch up, which is a pity, I thought we got along great. I flicked Ayin a message wishing him well with his chemo and subsequent recovery, but I don't expect a quick reply.

I've been playing an online game that allows for chat between players and I've made a couple of nameless friends there, too.

I hope I sleep well tonight, I want to make the most of tomorrow.
Another "full" week, although there's a lot of downtime most days.

Monday, I went indoor climbing, Tuesday I went beach swimming, Wednesday I had a couple of Feeld first dates (ugh, I give up, if I'm going to meet new people this year I'm going to have more luck at outings - there's a full moon drum circle next Friday, I'll try that) and dinner with a couple of friendly people I'd met the previous week at a munch. Thursday, the day started rough, mood wise but I finally remembered I'd said I would visit my cousin in the afternoon, which was absolutely the medicine for the mood, then had dinner with a former play partner. Yesterday, being Friday, I went and had lunch with my parents and we ended up meeting up with a couple of their friends. We've all planned to go out for dinner next week as it is my parents' wedding anniversary. Adam will be visiting then, too, so that will be lovely. I have work the following day, so I'm glad I'll get to spend that final night of my holidays doing something special with my parents.

Today, laundry, groceries, much more of a home body day I think is on the cards. That's my usual routine when I'm working - Saturday is my day of rest, largely because I'm simply exhausted so I might as well get into that a week early. Tomorrow, I'm having lunch with Gabe. It was insane the night we went out last time, so incredible to catch up from 30+ years ago. Hopefully the conversation will flow as easily at a lunch and without all those margaritas.

Well, if I'm going to make the most of a day to myself, I better get on with it.
wow! You're really getting out there! :)
It seems like it, doesn't it, but to me I also seem to be spending a hell of a lot of time in my room playing a silly phone game and avoiding algebra. At least today I'm finally doing some of that algebra lol. It's been a long time and I never really understood logs, so to be able to teach it, I really want to know it.
Enforcing boundaries can hurt and use up spoons. Today, I had my long call with Puck and he was late, scattered and ultimately, he couldn't concentrate on what I was telling him. I caught him distracted once and paused long enough to see if he could self correct, but when it became apparent he couldn't, I enforced my boundary by letting him know I was going to end the call. He was apologetic and spent a few moments just sitting with me, but ultimately, the call ended early, and ultimately I was hurt and he knew it. But it was still better practice than trying to continue our time together.

And then, Gabe cancelled because of family illness. Understandable, but that was basically my last blow. I stopped functioning for the afternoon considering I'd only had about 5 have sleep max and I only just managed to finally take myself out for dinner. Unfortunately the beer was a poor choice (read: undrinkable and I gave up and ordered something else) and the burger woefully overcooked, even for NZ. Today has not been great. I hadn't planned in it being an at home day (an unproductive one at that) but here we are. Tomorrow, I need to do things again.
Okay, I tried the dating apps but oh dear god no.

I don't expect magic on the first dates but I've had four... Two I didn't want to see again (one definitely mutual, one probably mutual because of a massive cultural difference - he spent most of the date slagging off my city as an immigrant) and two didn't want to see me again. I actually thought those conversations went okay but apparently not.

So, work has started, I am enjoying some of my students already although I've only seen most of them once (today) and after my apparently failed date tonight I took myself out to dinner and drinks. I have zero shame going out anywhere alone, so I'm mostly enjoying the atmosphere of a cocktail bar as I write. It could be better if Hometownians knew how to have hushed conversations.

I'm going to be a bit shabby (that means hungover) tomorrow but I'm good with that given the vast majority of tonight. After all, I had a good conversation, maybe 20 mins of being taken aback that he didn't want a second conversation, and then back to enjoying myself. I updated my profile to say I'm 5'9 without heels, and now I'm drinking an incredibly complex cocktail for dessert.

Life does not suck. It's actually quite fabulous.

Next time, I'll really dress for the night out with myself.
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Maybe some of those friendly boisterous people will strike up a convo with you, as you sit there as a cute single lady. Ya never know.

I met Aries on Fetlife and we talked for 2 years as friends before we met. I'd given up on dating and dating apps at the point, or even in responding to most people who messaged me on Fet. But it's good to semi keep your oar in the river.

By the way, I am so on the side of the Maori protestors in your country. I've been catching up with that.
I'm going to a march next Tuesday in solidarity with Māori. We need to uphold our founding documents, not rewrite them through a legislative process. This government is disgusting.
It sounds terrible, racist, misogynist, just like our Trump era, and the remaining politicians of that ilk, and the citizens who love them and agree with them. Insanity.

I've been kinda binge-watching the All Blacks rugby team's hakas just to feel the fierceness of the support for and pride in the culture...

8 something.

(Puck made me laugh today. It's been a while. So I'm recording it for posterity 😉)
Works better spoken 😜
I took myself out again last night. I didn't really have a plan, I just knew I wasn't ready to go home on my Friday night. I was pointed in that direction though, but I got off the bus early and went to explore a place that's in the process of becoming a little more funky. I was too early for live music and still laden down with my work bag and extra shoes and jacket, but I went and found (an underwhelming) margarita at a very pretentious little bar and then went back to a place that's cool in it's own way.

The cocktail menu was...pathetic, but the bar tender (who is worth his weight in gold) did an absolutely magnificent job with the cocktail I ordered. Something with a pineapple base but ended up dusky pinkish. I told him that they are wasting his talents on a cocktail list of 5, only two of which are seasonally appropriate. The literal menus, the printed ones, are an embarrassing joke (there is clipart...) but on his recommendation (to stay away from the squid as it's just from a freezer bag) I ordered the pork sliders. Well now, these were actually pretty damn good. I'm not a huge fan of (read: I hate) very sweet and strong bbq sauce that often gets used to disguise any other lack of flavour in lower quality dishes, but although these had a little smokey and sweet hint, the pork itself wasn't lost and with an extra dash of salt, I absolutely devoured them. 8.5/10 would eat again, and again. I do try to take myself different places at least once a week, but I've been back there a few times, even after the disaster of the first beef burger.

After I got home, I ended up messaging with Mike for a couple of hours. I wasn't expecting him to be home on a Friday night, but we took advantage of the opportunity to break out something new he bought me (think, adult fun). Get that - someone actually bought me something, wheeee! That doesn't happen very often - I don't ask, or even suggest - but he had seen the thing and wanted to see it in action so he popped some money into my bank account and I ordered it. It's been sitting under my bed for nearly a week, so honestly, that wasn't too long to wait.

Tonight, I'm torn. I feel like I *should* go do something, but the appeal of just chilling out in my space is also extremely appealing. I haven't organised anyone to do anything with (I got invited to dinner at an old friend's place but he has teens and there's so much Hell No to having anything to do with teens most weekends including this one) and although I reached out to Gabe a handful of hours ago suggesting we do something spontaneous he either hasn't see the message or saw enough of it to leave it "unread." I'm honestly a little disappointed we haven't met up again, I really thought the first night out was so much fun, it would have been cool to see him again, but although he's said he'd like to as well, the actions don't match the words.

Oh, and The Nomad is stuck somewhere further north with a broken down van.

I probably should have used this afternoon's lull to do some work. I might remember to do that next week as it would free up my Sundays a little more. As it is, tomorrow I'll be going into my office to nail off some emails and prep. At least I should get to talk with Puck in the morning for a more extended period of time again.

Meh, it's too late to go out now, and I've just had a call from a cousin to arrange a picnic tomorrow with their family so I'll have an early night and be ready for tomorrow. Puck, Cuz, and work. That's full Sunday. I'll go try and read a book for the rest of tonight. That's a novelty these days.
Thank goodness for setting alarms days in advance. Turns out Sunday was even more full as I had a poly meetup to go to late afternoon. It was fun, I met a couple of cool people and because it's a small city with an even smaller poly community, I already had people in common with at least one of the other attendees.

My focus since then has been work. I know it's not supposed to work this way but it rained for the first time the other morning, and so I got quite wet on the way to work and now I'm sick. I felt 'off' enough yesterday that I booked today as sick leave, then woke up this morning thinking I had been silly and I felt good enough to go to work but oh well, too late now; but I've now been awake for about 5 hours and I feel pretty rough, enough that my job would have been extremely challenging today, so I'm now glad yesterday me made that call about taking today off.

I was messaging with Ayin a couple of evenings ago. He's having a really awful time with his cancer. He had urgent brain surgery last Friday as the latest scan showed a new tumor that wasn't there in the previous month's scan, and in the back of his brain, so he's lost some eyesight. His orchiectomy is today and he said they are going in through the groin and he'd be on an 8 week recovery, lifting nothing heavier than a book was his words. And probably more chemo since that brain tumor would have sprung up after the scan when he finished the first three months of chemo in January. I'm not close enough to him to be going through this by his side, I know he's got family for that, and I just hope I get the chance to make some of his future days a bit brighter again, like the ones we've had before.

Okay, time to get myself up enough to do things that will make me feel better tomorrow.
Today is definitely an improvement on yesterday. I'm both feeling guilty I took the day off work, and glad that I did because if I had to be "on" all day, it would most likely send me backwards, health-wise. I totally forgot a bunch of stuff at the supermarket yesterday, so I'll take another pass at it today, the (slow) walk will do me good. God knows I actually want to eat really decadent things (oh to get those incredible ingredients, or to dine out at somewhere new each week), but I am still trying to cut back on my budget so I can save. Right now, I have a whopping (yes, irony) $600 saved for my 2025 goals. I look forward to being able to say when that's $6,000.

Adam and my anniversary is next week (10 years of marriage) so he's coming to visit. I've planned a restaurant dinner and a museum visit.

Puck and Charli are still going, although he told me she's started seeing someone else, too. I still don't think he'll be able to visit me this year, there are just too many obstacles still. The finances are currently just too insurmountable, let alone him trusting that she won't have a melt down, again. Long distance is hard. I already suspect that he'll actually be just like Trask, and like Lance, because NZ is just too far away for most people to actually come to, the people there take precedence because proximity is easy, and money gets used on sensible things like debt repayment and home maintenance, not international travel. That's just middle aged life. I'm going to keep forging ahead with my plans...I do want to teach overseas, which might mean the US if I can get a job there, or it might be somewhere else entirely. But for now, I'm learning and saving. Honestly, I love where I work so much I actually wish I could stay another year, but I don't know if that will be an option. And I might feel differently in 9 months anyway.

Okay, time for the supermarket. The sun is out and I've just heard from The Nomad that he's about 90 mins away and would I like to catch up. I've said yes, but full disclosure I'm at the tail end of a flu, so we'll see.
Well, that trip to the supermarket was far, far worse than yesterday thanks to some arrythmia that made me feel absolutely awful. And just as I got home I got a reply from The Nomad saying thanks for the flu disclosure, so no catch up this weekend, and that he's moving semi-permanently north and won't be down this way much (but let's still catch up when x/y/z happens). So there goes that because I know full well those stars never actually align. And I'm really sad about that, like more than I thought I'd be.