The End of The Year – 2016

So here we are on the Eve of a new year…and what a year it has been! Ups and downs, ins and outs, twists and turns! I am not complaining here, today at the end of the crazy roller-coaster ride. I however did complain throughout. Ask my boyfriend and he will confirm that with a “OH YES!”

The main thing that this year has taught me is not to doubt myself. Not to put limits on myself and to definitely not let others put limits on me! Not saying this attitude means I have not failed, or fallen flat on my face or come up short. Definitely have. Several times. No, what this attitude does is save valuable time and energy. Let’s be honest, once we start on the whole, ‘Oh, I don’t know…’ line of talk we are already half way to failing. We are spending so much time and energy thinking on how things could not work, how they could go wrong, be a disaster, that we really have no time to make it a success. Negativity is a cancer that bleeds away our energy and will.

This year was a lot of situations where I was thrust into things with not a whole lot of thinking time. It was an adapt and do or be in a lot of trouble kind of year.  I was a complain fest while it was happening but looking back I see that I needed this year. Needed that confidence boost, that growth. And as tough as it was, as emotionally draining, I would not trade it for anything.

My sincere hope and wish for you guys this New Year’s Eve is that you also find the ‘Can Do’ attitude to help you live your life to the fullest, doing what is best for your personal growth. Shine like the star you are and bring some light into this ever darkening world.

Happy New Year! 

 

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Lessons From My Garden

This morning, like every other morning of late, I woke up feeling tired, exhausted and completely down and out. I stayed in bed, I fell asleep again and finally managed to wake myself up and get a move on.

I decided to check on my kittens, (well they are pretty grown up now but I still call them kittens) so I went out of my house to locate them. It’s a dark, gloomy day, no sun in sight. It’s cool outside which is a most welcome change from the constant humidity and the first thing I notice is a plant that grows near our front door, it’s branches tend to go all over the place and I noticed a flower. On closer inspection there were more buds waiting to bloom. Now you may ask what’s so special in that? Flowers bloom all the time. What’s special is that this plant struggles, it’s not the healthiest plant, it doesn’t have the best nutrition, it’s branches die, it’s leaves are brown, it’s afflicted by one thing or another and yet here it is – flowering!

It got me thinking how similar to that plant I am, we all are. None of us can claim to be whole, we all have our issues, our struggles, our ghosts, our karma, the regrets, the mistakes, the things that keep us up at night, the things that don’t allow us to sleep in. We all are afflicted by one thing or another, we all have demons we fight on a daily basis. What that flowering plant reminded me of was that, inspite of all that we can still bloom into a beautiful flower! We can put a smile on another’s face, we can still shine!

Life is not a guaranteed happy journey. We go searching for happiness so hard that we forget sadness is also a part and parcel of it all.  Accepting the “negative” feelings we feel as much as looking for those “positive” ones is important. The more we try to ignore the negative or change them, the more we make ourselves miserable. Living in denial, for that is what it is, isn’t life. It’s a constant running away from life.

Sometimes we can’t change things, and that is okay. We don’t always have to be in control, holding on so tight the blood stops flowing to your hands. Letting go is alright. It’s scary, it’s panic attack inducing for me but sometimes you have to. Sometimes that is all you can do!

November…Welcome!

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A new month…

I am a big believer in, ‘everyday is a new beginning’. So the start of a new month is definitely a chance for new things.

I need new things. I need a fresh start. October took me for a ride. I was heart-broken, I was shocked, hopes dashed, revelations that left me confused and hurt; I was taught lessons I did not want to learn. I needed to learn them though.

I learned my right and wrong isn’t neccessarily someone else’s. That my code of honour are not known to everyone. That what I’d consider as betrayal isn’t betrayal to others. I also learned I was worth a lot more than I ever believed, that I deserve happiness and I have a right to it. I learned I get to choose who stays in my life and who does not, and sometimes it’s the people I love who I need to say goodbye to. I learned that sometimes you have to put on a mask because it’s the only way to survive.

With all those lessons and more, I move, full of optimism, to a new month. I am wiser, I am more ready for what comes next but I am also a little more cautious. I think October took away some more of my innocence, in that, I no longer believe that people do the right thing as often as they should. It was more a hope that, but the hope is gone now. Still, I have a positive outlook towards November.

When life gets you down so much, the only way to get back at it, is to smile. So smile today, tomorrow and always. People who love you will be glad, people who don’t will be mad. If we are being honest, both things are nice to know!

A Happy Easter and Back on Social Media

So today is Easter, the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. It’s supposed to be a joyous day spent in contemplation of His victory over death and our redemption through that. It also marks the end of the Lent period.

I woke up really early and went to Mass at the church I have started attending. I have been to the church services there a handful of times, three if I am being really honest but each time has left me feeling at peace! Peace, absolute, utter peace. That’s an amazing feeling for someone who has never really had a taste of it before. Amazing how we instinctively know what we are feeling at times even though we’ve never experienced it before.

Mass was great. I sang along to the hymns. I followed the sermon. I must be honest and admit that I did get distracted by two adorable little girls in the pew in front of us. How can anyone not get distracted by two little children? I always find children have an innocence and purity that just draws your attention to them.

After Mass, I had to rush to classes. I had informed my lecturer that I’d be late as I was going to church and I was pleasantly surprised when upon getting there he told me he started the class a bit later than usual. It really did leave me very surprised. Two things came to mind:

1) God’s promises are never broken. He did say in Matthew 6:33 that we should “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” I chose to put Him before classes, even though I am worried about exams and all, and he rewarded me by the class starting much later than usual. 

2) My regard for my lecturer rose because of his action. I am just one student and yet he was kind enough to respect and understand my choice to go to church and hence start class a little later than usual. The other students didn’t mind either, they never do! 😀 

All in all this Easter has reminded me of a few truths I had forgotten and I needed reminding of. I am happy to say I am happy! 🙂

Now to tackle the issue of being back on social media, because it is an ISSUE. The first thing I noticed was it is very easy to fall back into bad habits. I hadn’t being back on social media for less than an hour before it felt like I had never been away and found myself getting pulled back into alot of time wasting. Now I did not go off social media for 40 days to get back on it like I never left! 

So that leads to the second thing, I need controls in place. Personally for me, what I realised was social media has a way of distracting me and turning me into a walking dead person. I hardly look about me or take note of what’s going on around me. I do not want to go back to that so I have decided that I will only look into my facebook and twitter after 8pm. That way I don’t get totally distracted and lost during the day and can be more productive. And honestly, do I really need to know what someone had for breakfast or what they are doing right now?

So those are the lessons and the decisions for today.  

A Glimpse into a Whole New World

Yesterday, I went to my first ever job interview. IT WAS, literally, a completely new world! The corporate world is tempting and there’s a certain glamour in it (for me), but at the same time it’s not an easy world to manoeuvre in, especially for someone who has never come into contact with it before.

To say I was unprepared would be fair. I got the call informing me of the interview on Tuesday afternoon. The interview was set for Wednesday 11:30 am. The first thing, I had nothing to wear! My wardrobe is made up of clothes that are not at all suited to a job interview, and as presentation is an important factor as well, I had to rush to go find something to wear. Finding clothes that fit my petite frame is a difficult enough thing normally but it became downright impossible when shopping to look professional. After that, I had a few hours to research the company, which I am happy to say I did. I was nervous the whole of the day and the blazing afternoon sun did not help matters and at the end of the day, I went to bed with a splitting headache.

Come Wednesday, I had found my calm and was quite looking forward to the interview, well looking forward and trying not to run in the opposite direction. At sharp 11:30, I believe in punctuality, I was through the glass doors, got past security with a visitor’s badge and went onto the 12th floor where they directed me to the 13th. I was given a preliminary questionnaire to fill up, which I did, and waited. Waiting seems to be a thing with job interviews or was it just me?

I was there atleast an hour before I was called for the first stage of the interviews, got through that stage well. Second stage I was given an English proficiency test as well as an excel proficiency test and that took about an hour to complete. Should I have been faster? Then handed that in and waited another hour to meet the second interviewers and they liked me very much it seemed but I wasn’t what they were looking for. Then I waited another few hours for a third interview and after finally finishing that and been told that they’ll keep in touch, I was allowed to go home, which was 6hrs later!

I was pretty much told what to expect in an interview, the questions they may ask and how to handle them, but let me tell you been told what to expect and actually having the questions asked is a whole other thing. I was nervous and I was quite surprised that I didn’t get up and run out!

I do not know if I’ll get the job but I am happy to say I did gain some valuable knowledge that will definitely help with the next interview. I now have an idea about the whole interview process and the type of tests they may set and what kind of general questions they may ask. Next time I will be better prepared.

I also found out I have more patience than I give myself credit for. I sat and waited for hours without complaining and normally I’d have thrown a tantrum. I didn’t even feel inclined to, which tells me, I can look past my needs and wait on others. Which is a good thing!

I also proved to myself that I can step out of my comfort zone and get things done by myself. I do not need someone to hold my hand. After that experience I feel everything else in life that I was afraid to do, simple things by the way, are a piece of cake. 

Like someone said, “There are no such things as failures, only lessons.”

So, till my next venture into this new world, I shall continue life in the world I know, but with a new attitude!

4th Day On My Journey of Lent

“Human beings are hardwired with the impulse to share our ideas, and the desire to know we’ve been heard. It’s all a part of our need for community. That’s why we’re constantly sending out signals and signs, and why we look for them from other people. We’re always waiting for messages- hoping for connection.” 

 

It’s been four days since I gave up social media for Lent and I am slowly feeling as though I’m drowning in an ocean of despair. Yes! Despair! I said despair! I know, sounds a bit melodramatic. While I do have tendencies of melodrama at times, on this occasion I am being completely honest and real! 

What I am actually missing is not facebook or twitter in themselves, what I am missing is the feeling of being surrounded by people I used to get when I was on social media! That knowledge that even though you are not actually in the presence of friends or family or even acquaintances, you just knew they were around by their activity on social media. Does that make sense? To be honest, I never really thought of it that way till now. 

The quote at the start of this post is from the TV series Touch. I just love the series and the message it tries to get across. And I think it’s pretty relevant for this post. All the time off social media has left me with plenty of time to think about things. I’m not saying I am a bumbling, unthinking fool when I am on social media, but rather that I have more time to think deeply about things now. I am coming to realise that human beings do crave communication and we do crave to be heard. When and if we don’t, we feel invisible, unimportant, lost. I guess that’s what I have been feeling lately – a bit lost to the world, like no one knows I’m here and no one cares. Which is silly on my part as I have friends I meet and talk to and text and I am always surrounded by family who love and care for me.

Social media has somehow warped my mind into believing that, if I’m not on it I am lost and alone. Yes, yes, I know, I do sound like I need serious psychiatric help. I’m saving up for that! Don’t worry!

But on a serious note, I am finally starting to understand why I “need” social media so much. It’s not a healthy reason and I am going to have to tell myself that what my mind believes to be absolutely necessary is in fact just a “want”. Not a “need”!

This period of Lent is really opening up my eyes to quite a few things. My job is to not drown in depression as I’m prone to do at times, but face whatever I am being taught. Life as they say, is the greatest teacher! But even the greatest teacher can’t teach a student who is unwilling to learn. Trust me I know that! So wish me luck on my journey of 40 days of no social media and whatever lessons it may teach! I’m sure if I keep my mind and heart open I will have come out of this a better person. 

First Week Of Challenge

I am doing a 30 Day Challenge which a friend of mine came up with that is proving to be exactly what it’s title says – a CHALLENGE! Don’t get me wrong, I am quite enjoying it. I’ve found I like a good challenge, but at times I really want to give up and throw my hands in the air and say, “I can’t do this!”

The first week has been in my organised mind a mess!  Juggling a lot of things, even with schedules, I’ve found is quite difficult, atleast for me! I was feeling quite discouraged about not being able to accomplish everything perfectly. Having said that, it has helped me realise a few things about God, life and myself.

First and most important thing I learned is that I don’t have to do everything perfectly. God doesn’t expect it and honestly speaking, let’s face it, I won’t ever be perfect! All that matters is that I try my best. Most times my best is enough!

Secondly, I was going through the challenge, just trying to finish it! I forgot to enjoy it and most importantly relax! I was tense and stressed and I realise I tend to get that way about most things in my life. I start to try and control everything around me and that’s impossible, which in turn leads to more discouragement. Never a healthy thing.

Thirdly, this challenge is supposed to draw me closer to God. That has been kind of impossible, what with worrying and stressing and running around (sometimes literally) trying to accomplish everything. Somewhere along the way, I forgot to trust in God…Whose strength I’m supposed to rely on (Proverbs 3:5; 1 Chronicles 16:11).

So with those three lessons under my belt, so to speak, I’m looking forward to the coming week! It’ll be hard,or shall I say it won’t be easy (is that the same thing or is there a subtle difference due to the wording?) but that’s half the fun, isn’t it? Till next week…

P.s. If anyone’s interested in the challenge, I reblogged it. Also take a little time to read my friend’s blog! I don’t think you’ll regret it!