This house reminded me of something last week.

I’ve walked past it more times than I can count over my lifetime and have never seen it in quite the way I did last week. It’s one of the few houses left on its block from when I was a child. It might even be the only one. The others have been sacrificed on the altar of progress; hulking modern apartments fill the spaces where they once stood.  

Growing up, I lived at the Mount in summer. My family would make the annual pilgrimage from Blenheim, Palmerston North, Wellington and, later, Hamilton, swapping wind, rain and fog for salty air and barbeques at the beach around from Pilot Bay. 

I was a five-year-old here, playing with Matchbox cars on the postage-stamp-sized lawn outside my parents’ bach. I was a 10-year-old here, surviving near-drownings with my sister. I was 17 here, experiencing my first summer romance and my first real heartbreak. I was 32 here, struggling to adjust to our new apartment after the sale of the old family bach and all the memories it held. Now my kids are here every summer, breathing in that same salty air and frolicking on the same stretch of golden beach. 

This house has held its ground throughout all those years, refusing to give way to the new places creeping up around it.  

The Mount isn’t the utopic place it was in my childhood. The mini golf we used to play on cold days, the Oceanside Hotel, Leisure Island and the old-fashioned ice-cream shop are gone. And yet it’s the same, because this house still exists. It might look out of place now, but it accepts itself for what it is and stands tall and proud anyway. I love that, and I believe it’s something everyone needs to do more of in business, and in life.  

Believe in who you are, don’t be afraid to go against the grain, always stand tall, and remember there are lessons in even the most ordinary experiences.