Happy New Year all.
It’s been a while since I wrote anything on here (gosh I start every post like that) and I wanted to share some photos and some thoughts that I had. If you don’t care much for my thoughts scroll past, because I promise the photos are pretty.
New years generally means a time to reflect on life and, it’s one of my favorite times of year because I love improving myself and to prove that I can exceed expectations. (Also it’s my birthday in January so…)
To me, running numbers in my head of what I’ve achieved and what I will achieve is like a drug. I love it. I love looking at my old to do lists and picking apart what I managed to do. I love setting goals and achieving them, year after year.
And so, despite the fact that I’m not a mathematician, numbers are constantly running through my head, and this year those numbers look to me like this…
- 19 years old.
- 1st year of university
- 2 years of chronic pain
- 4 new goals.
I’d like to get into each of these topics a little for this post, so sorry if this is a long post, I’ll try not to digress (for the sake of everyone scrolling past to the pretty photos)
19 years old.
I liked being 18, it’s the final teenage number- at least in my head. Now that I’m 19 I’m stepping out of the comfort zone that is teenage-hood and into adulthood. My teenage years weren’t very comfortable, to be honest. I felt like I was just jumping from one life crisis to the next, but still, it was familiar and in a way, I knew what I expected of myself.
Now I’m 19 and it’ll be different.
I don’t know how yet exactly, and that scares me cause it means I can’t plan. I do know though, that my room will no longer be the only important room in my life. I’m so comfortable hiding away in my room that the thought of building a life outside of it, scares me. A little pathetic I know, you’ll have to forgive me but it’s true.
Even throughout my travels last year, I missed my room and the comfort it provides to my soul.
So I’m 19 now, and that means life will look different. Honestly, I have so much hope for this year, but at the same time, I’m paralyzed with fear. The only thing I can do is move forward and pray that good things are on the way.
1st year of university
I’m studying psychology this year (it took me 4 tries to spell) and that’s really exciting.
I have been homeschooled for years so this will be the first time since I was a kid that I would be in a class setting for a long period of time. I’ll get to meet new people and hopefully make some new friends. I’m really looking forward to it.
My dad always tells me that university is the perfect time to start your life as who you want to be. The introvert can decide to be social. The nerd can be popular. And of course, the Jock can be smart.
When you start out, you start anonymous and you get to choose what to write on your own blank slate.
This is something right up my alley, and I absolutely love this idea.
So being me, I have a whole new wardrobe and I’m doing my hair this week.
But here the fear comes in because unfortunately, I can’t get a new spine to go with my attitude.
If you don’t know me yet, let me clarify I’m talking about my literal spine. My back which hurts every day for at least a couple of minutes and keeps me from being as strong I want to be.
I’m not going to go into it now because it’s the next topic and deserves its own spot, but I want to talk here about the fact that I already know that my back will influence people’s first impression of me. You see, I will have to tell the head of my sorority that I can’t participate in all the activities because of it.
My old instinct is to ignore my back and just pressure though, but I’ve learned that forcing my body to do what I want it to will only make my situation worse. So this is one setback I have to settle for.
So despite my wardrobe and my haircut, to at least one person I will still be the girl who uses her back as an excuse. The girl everyone else has to make accommodations for…
On this sour note, I think it’s time to move on to the next topic.
2 years of chronic pain.
At the end of January 2017 I got really stressed, fell behind on homework and like a champion decided I’ll put my butt in a chair until my work was done.
Five hours later I got up and my back spasmed, and I thought nothing of it. Two weeks later, the pain was still there.
See here I go with the numbers again. The irony is of course that I can’t remember if it was declared Chronic pain by a doctor at 3 weeks or 3 months.
Those first days all melded together.
My instinct when talking about my back is to explain everything, to overshare because I feel I need to prove to people that I’m not making it up. It’s not just an excuse to skip piano lessons. It’s not just an excuse to ditch church early. It’s not just an excuse to not clean my room.
You see at my worst everything hurt. I couldn’t be upright for 20+ minutes. My legs and arms were going numb, and I had migraines all the time. These were just the side effects that accompanied the burning spot that felt like a hole in my spine.
Then I got better, through dry needling and some exercise.
It’s still not gone though. And even though you see me moving around and smiling today, every night my body aches and every morning getting up feels like an Olympic sport.
It hurts, and I’m tired all the time and I can feel myself dipping into depression from time to time – as if it’s a pool and I want my feet to cool off on a hot day.
So you see January 2017 was 2 years ago.
And when I talk about my back I feel like I’m complaining. Like I’m whining and as if I’m being judged for not overcoming this.
There goes Enette, carrying her pain on her sleeve for attention and as an excuse…
Yes, parents and friends I know I’m the only one judging me this harshly. It’s just such a big part of my life now (it’s rather hard to ignore something that’s always there) and I find it frustrating how I can’t seem to get rid of it.
4 new goals.
I normally make five goals, but this year I could only think of four. Each one of them carries a hope I have for this year and something for me to strive for.
Finish the rough draft of WIP before NaNoWriMo
(this project is personal and something I’m passionate about, so excuse me for not sharing more. It’s still just a baby idea)
Blog once a week? Month?
This goal seems a little far-fetched for me, but I miss blogging and really want to get back to it.
Exercise for 1 hour every week.
This is of course part of the project “heal my back”
In theory, if I do all the right exercises my back should get better. It’ll take some effort but I want to start this change.
Attend all lectures and finish all assignments handed to me
Aka: work hard and get good grades, because this is something I want in life. I’m really passionate about helping people and I feel like studying psychology will give me the skill set to do so.
Now that I’m done with my ramblings, some of which are depressing, some of which are not, it’s time I truly reflect on 2018.
2018 was a good year.
- It started strong with a great birthday party and some ease in my back pain.
- My family helped me overcome adversity and I finished school six months ahead of time thanks to their support. This means despite falling a year behind in 2017 I still finished school ahead of my age group, which was something I never even aimed for.
- I got to travel… a lot.
- I had two weeks of doing a real job for someone, and I got to intern at a magazine for a couple of days.
- I traveled on a bus for the first time and then continued to do it many more times.
- I hung out with my grandma a lot. With old friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. I got to know one of my cousins that I never see. And all of it was great.
- I was at the southernmost point of South Africa and I got to go motor boating on a river.
- I sang with family members that I had never met before and learned lots of history of small towns.
- I saw the ocean and roller-skated on ramps for the first time.
- I watched a movie at some completely random person’s house – who I will probably never see again, but with whom my heart fell in love with for half an hour.
- I hiked up a mountain (nearly dying at the top) and went canoeing in the rain.
And It was all good.
Even though, I drank a lot of pain meds and I limped off of every bus I went on – 2018 was still good.
And thus concludes a post of ramblings and as promised here are pretty photos.
I hope you have a great 2019 and this year brings you lots of new joys.