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I never really thought about how a few seconds can change your life forever until it actually happened. It doesn’t feel like it has been a year since the earthquake. I have changed so much over the last 12 months and I don’t really believe that I’ll ever be okay.

All I could do this morning was watch the clock get closer and closer to 12.51pm. It was strange. Like I was in limbo. I remember that morning so well. It was my second day of my final year at uni. My friend and I were in the elevator going up to the fourth floor for our class. We made a joke about being stuck in an elevator during an earthquake. I was mad because my lecturer told me I had to go on the marae visit and I wouldn’t be able to go to Wellington that weekend. I left class early because I was bored. I thought about going into town to meet my friend for lunch but went home instead. I had just turned the stove top on to cook something when everything started shaking. I could hear the kids from the nearby school screaming. And then after sitting on the couch all afternoon crying and listening to the radio and realising that buildings had collapsed and people were dead. I couldn’t tell if the earth was still shaking or if it was just me.

Today was extremely overwhelming and sad, but the sense of community and care was amazing. Every single road cone I saw was decorated with flowers. Today it really felt like everyone was coming together; to mourn the dead, thank the heroes, and to grieve together over everything this city has lost.

"Grief is the price we pay for love."

I love my city. Thinking of everyone who lost loved ones and their homes <3

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