An update

What’s up buttercup?

I’m back, still alive, still writing and still cute.

 

It’s been really long since I’ve last blogged and a lot of important things have happened since then. I want to give an update that can sum it all up for you but since I haven’t really blogged in a year there is a lot to share.

 

So in advance, sorry if this post is super long, I’m going to try my best to fill you in.

 

My health…

I’ve been pretty open and honest about my physical health problems along with the mental blocks that come with it, but since I’ve been absent in the blogging realm for quite some time now, there’s a big chance a couple of my followers don’t know about it.

So here is a quick recap:

I hurt my back last year. It was the result of scoliosis combined with stress, but the result was chronic pain. So for about nine months I couldn’t sit for longer than forty minutes, spent most of my time in bed (watching youtube) and was constantly on the edge of an emotional breakdown.

It’s better now. I found treatments that work for me in November and have been improving ever since.

For more information about my life with scoliosis (what it was like growing up etc) you can go read these posts on my other blog.

 

 

 

I decided to share about my health first because it was a a big factor in a lot of how I’ve been faring in the other areas of my life.

 

 

School work…

Because I couldn’t sit a lot last year, I fell behind on school work. If I had been going to a normal school instead of homeschooling I’d be forced to redo a year.

As it stands I am currently trying to finish school in the next two or three months because I need to have my matric score before the university that I want to go to close submissions. Normally someone will just use their grade 11 marks to go to university but because I couldn’t work last year I don’t have any.

So I’m doing my GED now and praying that it will be good enough to get me into university.

I want to go study psychology next year, with either a language or education subject as an extra subject.

 

 

Job…

I’ve been providing after school care and tutoring for almost three years – but I recently stopped.

Me general experience in the field involved helping kids who had either been falling behind in school or who have learning disabilities to get back on track by providing one on one tutoring.

At first I thought it would be a simple job where I get to help my little cousin with some math, but I found it to be worth so much more than that – both to me and the kids.

When you help a child with their education, you spend a lot of time with them and have a lot of influence in their life. You are one of the factors that can make or break that child.

I love both the kids that I worked with very much (both little cousins of mine) and I loved to see them grow comfortable with themselves, hard work and me.

Despite the fact that this work was probably one of the reasons my back refused to heal (it’s a very intense job) I wouldn’t trade my time doing it for anything.

Now I don’t do it anymore, because I realized that I have to focus more on school – and I would have had to look after three kids this year, which is simply too much for my body to handle.

 

 

Writing…

This is the topic I think is most relevant to this blog (since it’s about writing) but the whole back problem, school and job topics happen to be really relevant to my writing, which is why I mentioned them first.

So in November of 2016 I wrote a book called Falling for Pink. In 2017, me and a friend of mine worked on ironing out some of the kinks.

Since I could not sit to write last year, I haven’t really created anything new. I also found that the combination of being over emotional because of the chronic pain and the exhaustion from looking after the kids while my body just wanted to lie down caused some writers block. My creativity has been coming in little bouts only to disappear for weeks.

Normally I’d just put my butt in the chair and work despite the emotional drain and lack of creativity, but the physical pain made it literally impossible for me to do that.

Now my back is better and I don’t look after the kids anymore so I’ve been slowly opening myself back up to creativity and writing.

I also signed Falling for Pink up for Kindle scout in April, unfortunately I did not get excepted, but I did wait much longer than the normal two days that they normally respond in and I was on the hot and trendy list for a day – so I honestly don’t think it was a complete loss. (How can I when my book got over 5K views?)

Obviously there are people out there who will want to read my books. This is very inspiring and makes me excited for when I do hit a break through.

For now I have to pursue school first though – but I’m definitely writing some short fiction pieces during the weekends.

 

 

Blogging…

Obviously I haven’t really blogged this past year – and while I can give you a list of excuses, the truth of the matter is that I’m sorry. When I started taking blogging seriously way back when I promised writing advice every week and fiction pieces every month.

I have not been living up to this promise, and I’m sorry. You guys are really great and have been very supportive of my writing over the years. I can’t make a promise that I’ll suddenly be blogging again every second day, because honestly I don’t know how often I’ll be able to blog in the future. I do want to try though.

So thank you for your support and you can expect at least something from me in the months to come.

 

 

 

Other note worthy things…

 

I broke up with my boyfriend of two years in October. I shared very little about my romantic relationships in the past – but I have mentioned it once or twice, so I feel the need to clarify on this. I was the one to break up with him, but at the same time it was pretty mutual. Both walked into that day knowing that we won’t be a couple anymore afterwards. To the people who read my blog and also know my ex – no worries we are still great friends.

 

I got a new laptop, because my old one died on me. I managed to save all my writing and photos because I save almost everything to a cloud. The emergency did eat up most of my savings though so I don’t know if I’ll be able to pay for my blog’s domain name this year.

 

I got another dog! (also why my savings suck right now)

My mum saw photos of puppies on facebook and my dad told her that while we need another guard dog for our yard we can’t afford another dog, specifically the R500 that the pup’s owner was asking.

So I payed for the dog and now we have our little(big) Watson. I’ve got some great stories to share about this do, but I won’t get into it right now.

 

I turned 18 and got my first tattoo.

I got my favorite bible verse tattooed onto my arm along with my birth flower. It covers a scar I got through some medical problems as a baby, and honestly I love it very much. I’m going to go into some extra detail about what the tattoo means along with the scar it covers on my other blog, so if you want to read that you’ll have to go follow that.

 

 

That’s all I have to share about last year for now.

So thank you for sticking with me up to this point. I hope to write more again now that I have a little more time open, and that I can sit properly again.

 

If you really want to keep up with me though I suggest you follow me on twittertwitter because that’s the only place I really ever post to when I’m doing something. Beware though I mostly post silly and sarcastic tweets.

 

With all this said, it’s time for me to close off,

See you soon, racoon!

Turning a life around

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I’m not going to write some big dramatic intro that explains that my back has been sore since February.

But to get you on the same page as me I’ll tell you that my back has been sore since February and that this has totally mucked up how I saw my next few years going. I’ve really been struggling with motivation lately and I had a couple of rough days these past couple of weeks when it seemed like my condition was getting worse again.

 

 

So there was a point a little more than a week ago when I was in a really bad place and I just didn’t want to deal with the pain any more – I basically just wanted to sleep and be left alone. But then my mum took me out of the house and we went for hot chocolate – which I have an obsession over.

I felt like I was breathing again and it just separated me from the pain and the struggle for a little bit  so when we go home I was in a much better mood. I was sitting in my parent’s room next to their bookshelf with all our Christian books in. I picked up a book called ‘Communion with God’ and I started reading it.

The book is like a guide to praying (and I definitely recommend it) and I started applying it to my life.

That next weekend I basically just prayed for three days long all the way from Friday morning to Sunday night. I got a chance to talk to God and listen to Him and it healed a lot of my frustrations and made me peaceful again.

 

 

Now I’ve been planning to change my life in a major way but I just haven’t had the strength to do it. And every time I tried to make major changes in my life, I would just get exhausted and fall back into the pattern that my pain created. I would wake up and push myself out of bed despite being cold and sore. I’d drink water and look over my homework. I’d feel exhausted and overwhelmed and then just get back to bed.

 

It seemed really pathetic to me because I use to be, and still am, the kind of person who simply doesn’t stop working. My old mindset was that I can use sheer will power to get through anything but these days if I sit longer than say an hour my back starts to hurt very intensely and I can barely do anything except lie down.

So how I explain this to myself now is that life is like a video game where I get a certain number of energy points at the beginning of each day. Normally I could use these energy points on things such as school work and my job and my writing and then still have a little bit of energy points left at the end of the day.

Now those same amounts of energy points have to be distributed between more things. Now I get to spend some energy points on my school work but while I’m doing that I also use energy points to fight the pain. So throughout the day simply dealing with the pain steals a lot of my energy points.

So I can no longer do everything that I use to do because my energy points run out before the end of the day. Make sense?

 

 

Now back to me changing my life in a major way.

So after I realised that my old mindset and habits won’t be able to get me out of the pain I realized that I need to shift priorities.

I used to have writing as my top priority and then school and then my job and then my Christian walk and then my relationships and then at the complete bottom of the list my physical health and mental well being.

You’d think I’d change all that early after hurting my back but of course as a human I strongly protest against any change.

 

So here I am after a weekend of intense praying and I realise that my priorities need to look different.

Number one should be my relationship with God, and then number two should be my physical health.

The rest of the stuff is important too. But they can no longer come first because if I put all the work first then there will be no energy points left to keep my body and my mind intact. And if I don’t take care of my body, my condition will get worse.

 

 

Once I changed my priorities I also acknowledged that I can’t make any massive changes right now. As much as I would love to wake up tomorrow with a different body that doesn’t hurt and a set of life goals that I can work towards without a problem – that’s not my reality right now.

Right now I’ve got a sore body and a messed up head. I have a job and homework that I’m really far behind on and I’ve got three half finished writing ideas.

So if I can’t make that huge change in my life overnight I guess I’ll have to start with small changes.

 

Which is why on Monday night I drafted up a 30 minute routine that I decided will be the base of my life from here off on. It’s not something that will use a ton of my energy points but it consists out of things that will give me more energy points and ultimately have a real impact on my life.

 

I have an alarm that goes off on my phone and when I hear it I go to drink all my medications. I put on pyjamas, wash my face, make myself hot chocolate and a hot water bottle (a must for anyone struggling with pain) then get into bed and read bible.

All this takes me between half an hour and an hour, depending on what bible verses I’m reading. But at the end of it I’ve wholly relaxed myself and then I get a good night’s sleep before I get up in the morning to do some light exercise.

 

It’s a very simple thing to arrange a 30 minute routine but since I started doing this I’ve been waking up better. I’ve felt happier again. I’ve felt more connected to God and I pray a lot more now.

The biggest thing though is that when I shifted my priorities I stopped beating myself up for any work that I couldn’t finish. I decided to work slowly and to take proper breaks so I don’t strain myself. And this nightly routine is the perfect time for me to accept what I’ve accomplished during the day and to celebrate it – while also letting go of the negative feelings I have over what I didn’t accomplish.

 

I’m more relaxed and at ease and I honestly feel like even though I can’t make any big changes any more, that this small step is a major victory for me.

 

 

That’s my life right now. I’ll tell more another time but for this moment I can simply finish off by saying I’m feeling positive and I hope you are too – in whatever it is you’re busy dealing with.

I wrote a post that is a guide for creating a short routine, so you can go take a look at that and maybe implement the idea into your own life.

So keep moving forward and I’ll write to you again on Friday.

A good week

Why is it that not every week is a good week? Why am I super productive during holidays and the equivalent of a potato during the school weeks?

I sincerely don’t get it! (It’s probably the emotional rest I get during holidays…)

 

In the past week alone I have…

Written an editorial calendar for July-Sept

I have written 7 blog posts (that’s one a day!)

Written my professional bio.

Arranged to write 2 guest posts

Scheduled my posts 2-3 weeks in advance

Got exercise! (so sore)

Wrote 5-7 flash fiction pieces

Went to a doctor for checkups

Practiced driving (I’m getting good)

Made an interesting lunch for 7 family members

 

 

Seriously why am I not this productive during the school weeks when I need to be (again it’s probably emotional energy)

 

 

I’m actually thinking of spring cleaning my room which is only something I do when I have *gasp* time.

 

Alright so now that I’ve bragged ranted about my week I should probably get back to it so I can bring you good content.

I’m going to clean my room and while I’m at it I’ll think of ways to make this energy stretch through to next week when school starts again.

Wish me luck

Make up post #2 – a thank you letter

 

 

Not half an hour ago I wrote and posted a post about how I recently participated in a talent contest and did not win.
I don’t know it you can read this in the post but when I typed that last part I was deeply sad and feeling really disappointed.
It’s true I was hoping to place in the finals because I felt like I needed a win after months of struggling with my body and my mind.
As I said in the other post though, I didn’t win. But what I didn’t say in the previous post is that I have been supported by my friends and family throughout my life, the past three months and yes this contest.
So this is a thank you letter to every one of those who support me. This is a thank you letter to all of you.

 

Thank you to my aunt who helped me pick my song and who kept telling me that she loves my voice.
Thank you to my dad who got me the supporting music for my performance, and who came to take a video of me singing.
Thank you to my sister for asking me if I’m ready and joking with me around the kitchen table the night before.
Thank you to everyone who watched and liked the video of the performance on facebook.
Thank you to everyone who left a nice comment, there are so many of you that I can’t name each of you individually.
Thank you to my grandma and cousin who messaged me personally to tell me that they like my song.
Thank you to my boyfriend who despite not being able to come to the performance personally still supported me over the phone.
Thank you to my friend who joined me in joking that I should perform on SA’s got talent.
And finally to the real hero of this show.

Thank you to my mother who not only paid for me to perform but who came to the performance to cheer me on. Thank you to my mother who made me a dress to wear – it is absolutely stunning and I really appreciate the effort so so much. Thank you to my mother who would hum while I’m singing and who tells me I’m the best singer ever.
Thank you to my mother who didn’t simply leave me to feel like a failure when we came back from that contest, despite the fact that I knew I wasn’t going to place.
Thank you to my mother who painted my nails when my left hand wouldn’t do it.
Thank you to my mother who put the video on facebook because she wanted to brag about me.
Thank you for pulling me back to that church today to go find out who won.
Thank you immensely for being my support.

 

So with immense gratitude in my heart I will once again just stop typing…
(because I’m awkward)

A make up post – and a pity post

 

 

Okay so I missed yesterday’s life lesson post so here is a bit of a makeup post. It’s like a makeup kiss but very possibly more intimate.

Now yesterday was by all means a successful day.
I woke up early with the sun and went to get some exercise in at my Pilates class.
Pilates I find is a lot of fun, and it actually manages to push my unused muscles despite it being slow exercise. I’m the youngest member in my class with everyone else being older than my mother but I have to go. I have to go because this is the exercise that my doctors and physiotherapists said I need to do to help get rid of my chronic lower back pain.
Which as a teenager is a really weird thing to explain to people.

 

I then got to spend hours on writing and I spent it well. My story high queen has been stuck. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I kept trying to start it and then not manage to write anything that really works. To me this is important because if I don’t like my own story then why would anyone else?
So I went and I pulled the story planning apart and looked at what it is that was bothering me and I fixed it. Now I’m feeling much more connected to my characters.

Then I went to the main event of yesterday which was a talent contest. I had about a week to prepare and my mum made me a dress.
These are my one entry…

I feel really proud of my performances. In the second one my microphone died because of flat batteries and I feel proud of how I handled that.

Then I finished off my day by going to my small group. I went there and I got to tease my boyfriend a little.
Then I got home, took a bath, and went to bed.
Good day right?

 

Today we got the results for the contest and well I did not win.
I wasn’t second or even third… I didn’t place among the winners this year (I was second last year)
So now I’m sitting in my room drinking a pity can of coke and hoping that no one who passes my open door notices that my eyes are red with crying. I messaged the news to my friend – she hasn’t responded yet. I haven’t messaged my boyfriend yet because I’m not yet ready for someone to tell me that it’s okay that I didn’t win.

I know that’s not why I participated. I participated because I love singing and my mum loves hearing me sing. I participated because last year was fun. But you know what? I at least hoped that I would place.
I feel like I needed to at least place.

I’m not going pretend that this is the best year of my life and after three months of not managing to achieve anything I really wanted win at something. Singing has been the first thing I’ve truly attempted since hurting my back and I wanted to just break away from this period in my life where I’m stuck.

I considered ranting a bit more about how I feel and share that I think it was unfair to make me compete with grownups. I feel like I could complain how one of the winners just repeated the same act as the previous year while I had to learn a whole new song on short notice. I could be mad at myself for not practicing more but I’m not sure that would have helped anyway.

I’m not going to spill everything that has been leaving me feeling hollow though because if I do that I’ll just be frustrated with myself for not being able to suck it up and get myself going again.
After all I have to take ownership of my life and after three months of complaining I’m really getting tired of my own nonsense.

So that’s it. That’s my makeup post… I know it doesn’t really make up for anything and now I realize I have no idea how to end it off.
I’m just going to stop typing now…

Really random order of business.

I’ve designed three kinds of posters this will go with each of my blog posts.

They are to help you understand what kind of post you can expect before even reading it. (It also solves the fact that I’m too lazy to create an individual graphic for each post)

They look as follow, and I’m absolute in love with them.

These are also the first step to giving this mash up blog some semblance of order.

What do you think of them? They’re pretty right?

 

 

 

 

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Reintroduction because I have been missing :)

I know I haven’t been very active on this blog lately. I’ve been so inactive in fact that I wouldn’t be surprised if you forgot about me. While I am hoping to start making up for it soon I figured that I might as well mark my return by doing a new introduction. (Especially for all my new followers)

Okay, so what is there to say about me?
I am an introvert, I write books and I can’t function without tea in the morning.

I am a teenager, a middle child and a homeschooler.

I am surrounded by two sibling who I love, amazing parents and a wonderful boyfriend. My friends can be found in all kinds of odd places – like book stores and churches. I can honestly mean it when I say I appreciate all of these wonderful people 100%.

This is the part where I have to choose between telling you about my life growing up and my life in the future. I think that while my past help create me, my future is what this blog is about. This blog is about my future and how I create it.

I want to be a published, and successful, author. I’m not always sure how I am going to reach that goal but I believe I will. I might also go study to become a special education teacher when I’m done with high school– I am not sure about that exactly, but it’s time I start thinking about it and I know this is something I can be passionate about. So it’s definitely being considered.

I like to think of myself as a vivacious young woman who can shape her own life to her liking. I guess that is another thing this blog is about.

I can’t exactly think of anything else to put here and I guess that sums me up pretty well… I forgot to plan this post before creating it – which is something I guess I should work on.

I hope that this gave you some insights into me and this blog because that’s what this post was about… I guess.
Unless of course there is a secret reason for writing all this!
What could it possibly be?

My secret reason for writing all this is to say welcome to all my followers, both old ones and new ones. I know I haven’t been active lately and I’m really sorry about that but I plan to turn things around again.
So thank you for reading my ramblings and liking the advice I share on here. I really appreciate all your support.