To my dearest and sincerest Auckland, we may have said our goodbyes, but you live in my veins, my thoughts, and my heart. I love you, I always have and I always will.
You raised me. In the plainest and simplest terms. You allowed me to make mistakes, to be careless and carefree, not without judgment, but often without fear, which taught me not to fear the judgment of others. You were my safe haven. You allowed me to run wild, to stay up all night, exploring and wandering and you kept me safe, time and time again. You were our bubble, protecting us, holding us tightly until we were ready to go.
I miss you, not in a sad way but in a way that makes me quietly warm. It’s a comfort thinking of you because so much of me is from you. I will never take that for granted. Auckland, you raised me and protected me. At times you broke me, but you let me go at the right time. You let me go when I was ready to be who I wanted to be, without fear.
To the city that raised me, I will never forget being fourteen and dancing so hard at Mint Chicks gigs that my shins bled onto my bright red boots. I will never forget the nights spent in parks, that turned into mornings spent in parks. I will never forget wandering up and down K Road, weekend after weekend. I will never forget driving along the motorway every morning on the way to work and staring out at the sea. I will never forget the moments where I came alive, the moments I fell in love, and the moments I felt I was never going to make it. Thank you for showing me I could, that I still can and that I’m okay. You raised me, you showed me who I am and taught me that nothing is permanent, that I am not the sum of my histories but the sum of my possibilities. I am not bound to who I was, or even am, nothing is bound at all. We are all just possibilities, ready when we are.
Auckland, I love you, and I will see you again. Look after the next batch of children of the night. Look after the newborn adults who fall between former selves and future realities. Look after the dreamers who run into you and away from you.
I owe you.
Take care, and be kind.