Forget regret

Since September 14th last year...

I have had a lot of major things happen, such as:

A second earthquake. 6.3, 12.51pm, 172 confirmed deaths, 181 estimated deaths, central city still cordoned off and our iconic Cathedral's main spire has fallen.

I was in bed, at home and alone for 2 hours. Power was out, water system was iffy and phone lines were being overworked.

I remember getting up. Getting dressed, wearing multiple layers of clothing and sturdy shoes. I brushed my teeth, went to the loo, took my mobile, a torch, battery powered radio, and bottle of water everywhere I went while I checked the house for damage.

Heard from my Grandma. Took ages to hear from my mum, dad and brother. Checked the neighbour's house. The street was so quiet.

Eventually everyone got home from school and work. Mum had picked up Grandma and my brother's friend Eliot was also with us.

We all dressed sensibly and packed the essentials: first aid kit, clean bottled water, a change of clothes, food, medication. Some went in each car and some stayed by the unlocked front door. Just in case.

I don't really remember everything that happened after that. Eliot went home with his dad. THere were frantic phone calls to friends and family. We got power back at 6.45pm. But we kept on listening to the radio.

I think that was the worst part.

Listening to the radio. If you look back at my Tweets from that day there's a bit of a running commentary about what's happening.

It was hard. Especially when I was alone in the immediate aftermath. Radios do not make good company. Especially when all you're hearing is how your city is falling apart. That buildings you've grown up with have pancaked and that there are dead lying in the street.

In some ways I'm greatful I was alone. I was able to cry freely without anyone judging me for my reactions. By the time I saw anyone I was mostly all cried out.

I remember going to supermarket a couple days later.

There was a queue almost to the entrance of the mall. They were only letting a certain amount of people in at a time.

I remember the feeling of sheer desperation. Everyone was there to get everything and anything that would help out in the days to come and also in case there was another one.

There were limits on certain items. Three bottles of water per person. Two loaves of bread per transaction. Two bottles of milk per transaction.

There were only two cartons of eggs left on the shelf.

At the counter they were strictly monitoring everyone's purchases, making sure no-one was being too greedy. I was lucky enough to be able to purchase two loaves of bread that had been taken off of someone else.

I remember thinking that I had to get it. Even if we didn't end up needing it, those loaves of bread could be the difference.

I don't remember much else. I had considered keeping a diary of my experience but I think it's better this way.

We sat in front of the tv for days on end. Wondering if we'd hear or see anything new. A ray of hope.

I remember that we'd all be quiet whenever they said they'd be announcing the names of the confirmed deceased. Just in case it turned out to be someone we knew.

After a while the tv didn't really mean anything. It was surreal. We couldn't leave home or go about our usual daily routine. Our side of town wasn't badly hit. So what we were seeing on tv was like watching one of those apocalyptic movies.

If I had kept a diary I don't think I could've gone back and read it. Not for a year at least.

Even writing this is hard. I'm trying not to let it get to me but I can't help it.

It's something that I have mixed feelings about.

I wish it had never happened but I am also greatful for the experience.

I'm old enough to know what Christchurch was. To know what impact the earthquake has had on us as a city.

But I'm young enough to help put it back together and see the new Christchurch.

For a week and a half I was something akin to a teamleader within the Student Volunteer Army (SVA). I helped co-ordinate the delegation of tasks to our squadrons who would then go out around the city and lend a hand, moslty with the removal of liquefaction.

It was good for me that week and a half of long, tiring hours. It felt good to be able to give back to my hometown. There was a real sense of community. And every night I'd fall into bed and go straight to sleep. It was nice not lying there awake with only my thoughts to keep my company. I liked knowing that I was making a difference, that was I was doing was important.

Without the SVA I don't know if I could have pulled through as well as I have. I think I might have had more crying sessions than I did.

Admittedly I've only cried twice. It's probably not enough. And it'll probably always affect me.

One day I hope to be able to use my experience in performing arts. By making my acting and my character seem more real by accessing real emotions.

I think I'm done now.

I won't read it to make sure it flows. I know it doesn't. It's really just a string of thoughts related to the earthquake.

This is me getting some of it out of me and into the universe.

Maybe I'll revisit the topic in the future. Maybe I won't.

This was meant to be a short and to the point update about the last seven months. Instead it was about the biggest piece of news I'll ever have.
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  • Current Mood: melancholy melancholy
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Yes I'm commenting on my own post.
Just thought I'd put it out there that at 3.04am (42 minutes ago) we had an aftershock of 5.3 magnitude.

It was big. An unexpected, though you could hear it coming.
Haven't felt one like that in a while.
A lot of people in Christchurch won't be getting a good night's sleep tonight I can tell you.