Shit You Should Care About… The Bitch that is Winter
There are few times in a person’s life when they wake up feeling reinvented, like a new piece of clothing that has yet to be worn. For me such moments have been:
The morning after I chopped all my hair off and actually liked it.
Basically every January 1st, when I’m determined to fix every problem in my life right then and there.
Getting my braces off after three and a half years of orthodontists, cute coloured teeth (I think pink this month, Andrew), and choking on ‘raspberry’ flavoured moulds (scarring).
This is the exact sensation I felt on a mid-September morning when I awoke to the sun streaming through the cracks of my blinds for the first time in MONTHS. I was basically Snow White in that scene where the birds help make her bed, I even left the window open for them to fly through.
Rewind to 3 years before this blissful moment, when I was a wee 17-year-old gal trying to choose where I was going to be spending the next three years of my life. I wasn’t quite sure what to look for in tertiary education, so instead of comparing courses, or graduation stats, I based my decision on something that seemed more important: the weather. After hearing stories of my brother and his flat-mates being able to see their own breath indoors down in Dunners, and shivering my ass off at the open day in APRIL, I said a polite “no thank you” and headed far, far away, across the Cook Strait.
My research in the weather department was obviously sub-par, as I found myself in Wellington, where its infamous ‘good days’ barely exist, and Winter lasts a solid six months. With rent sitting at a lovely $215 a week, heaters were a definite no go, forcing us flatties to rely on the good old fashioned thermal to get through. Dreams of enjoying a “grammable” bowl of granola and coconut yoghurt while sunbathing on a balcony were prematurely crushed, due to the joke that is a $15 packet of granola (who knew), and the absolute stretch of the balcony assumption.
Instead our days started with a bowl of porridge (a do-able $4 a packet) under the fluorescent light of our windowless kitchen. It might not be Insta worthy, but the room’s heat retention is off the scale. This proved to be our saving grace when we wondered if the sun was actually some sort of myth.
But at least I could turn to social media to get my summer fix, living vicariously through the pictures of travel vloggers and ‘influencers’, seeing what my life could be like if I wasn’t 50 grand in debt. But the bank is most definitely still broken, so every winter break I find myself back in good ol’ Blenheim. After scrolling through a feed of friends vacay-ing in Bali, Bali, and more fucking Bali, I started to realise that the closest I was gonna get to a ‘Summer-in-the-Winter’ holiday, was a trip to Picton. But I counted my blessings when I saw that my flat mate’s Summer withdrawals were so bad, that she found herself taking a mid-July dip in Lake Wanaka (who actually is she).
So, you can see why on that mid-September day, when the sky was mostly blue and the temperature reached a sweltering 17 degrees, I rediscovered what it felt like to be a well-functioning human being. I wanted to jump out of bed, smell the roses, seize the day, and fulfil any other inspirational clichés I could get my hands on. Although, I still have no clue where the term Winter-Wonderland comes from, when the only ‘wonder’ is living through the bloody thing.
So yeah, fuck you Winter. I’m hoping at some point in my life I’ll live in a house with an excellent heating system, where the coldest I’ll get is during my five second sprint to the car. But, for now I’m going to continue to let the weather make a few decisions for me, and therefore will probably not be sticking around to do my PhD. Actually, I think I’ll miss next Winter altogether. But Spring has sprung, swim-suit shopping has begun, and the thermals can be finally tucked away for another year (or burned, whatever you’d prefer).