My 2018

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.

 

Trip #1: Feeling welcome in Welkom.

I posted recently about me finishing high school and wanting to travel during my break.
The simplest way for me to travel is to visit family and friends all around my country. Where better to start my break than to go visit my grandparents?

Welcome in Welkom

I haven’t gone to visit my grandparents in over a year so when my mum suggested I go visit them for my first trip I had no objections.
Along with me I took clothes, my laptop and my grandma from the other side of the family. So now I need to clarify some things before things get confusing.
I hung out with both my grandmas that week. The one is grandma N and the other is grandma E.

 

Fun fact is that I’m named after both my grandmothers. My name, Enette, is a mix between theirs and sounds almost exactly like grandma N’s name. So it was a very confusing week cause when I said grandma both grandma’s would answer and when ever grandma E called for either me or grandma N we would both answer.
This is just the the boon of living in an Afrikaans household though so I’m practically used to this confusion. (my grandpa and brother share a name. My brother’s second name is my dad’s name. Me and my sister share a middle name and my name sounds like my mothers. It’s all very confusing.)

 

 

What did I do during this week?

My grandparents live in a small town called Welkom, and when I was little I thought only grandparents lived there. There’s a lot of stores, restaurants and a florist.
Other than that there is my uncle’s factory that I will probably always think of as grandpa’s factory, and of course my cousin’s house.
So my grandmother’s utilized what the town had to offer and so they took me shopping.

What did I buy during this trip?

During this trip I bought way too many things but I’m so thrilled with all of it
Most important on the list is the books I bought.

  • I bought ‘Egg and spoon’ by Gregory Maguire. It’s a children story written by the original writer of Wicked.
  • I bought ‘Kitty and the silver hand,’ written by Carrie Vaughn. It is book five in a series I’m collecting.
  • I bought’ The petrified flesh’ aka the first book in the ‘Reckless’ series. This is written by Cornelia Funke. This is not a romance novel as I expected but it’s still a great read.
  • I got ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Wilhelm Shakespeare, simply because it’s a classic and I’ve never read it.
  • I bought a book of Afrikaans short stories, written by Leo Tolstoi.
  • I bought ‘Great expectations’ by Dickens. Another classic that I haven’t read yet and wanted to own.
  • And finally I bought ‘J.R.R Tolken  a biography’ which was written by Humphrey Carpenter. I bought this one simply because I’m obsessed with the biographies of writers.

Along with the books I also got/bought.

  • Makeup sponges
  • Highlighter
  • Stockings
  • A scarf
  • Cookies
  • A pen
  • The card game ‘Joking Hazard’ by Cyanide and Happiness.

 
Other than shopping we also ate at some cool places such as the modern panty pantry, where I got juice and cake.

We also went to The green house where I ate some great toast and hot chocolate.

One of the meals that stood out though was when we went to Spur for breakfast on my last day.
I got myself French toast and bacon.
What made this meal stand out is the fact that there were golden syrup practically melted into the french toast, and a piece of bacon for each piece of bread. There were also caramelized banana spread around it but let’s be honest, I loved this meal for it’s combination of syrup and bacon.
With this I got a chocolate milkshake but I think next time I’ll just get juice since both the milkshake and the meal is very filling and I couldn’t finish it all.

 

What did I write while I visited.

Well I wrote two blog posts, on writing which you will be seeing soon, and then I also wrote a lot in one of my stories.
I’m participating in camp NaNoWriMo this month and I was trying to catch up since I am seriously behind.

 

During this visit though, I got to focus a lot on my beauty/hygene routine.

I had just started to wash my face with a honey and lime mix which was honestly something I was sceptical about since my face and it’s breakouts hate me.
The thing is though, it’s only been a week but I’m pretty sure it’s working.
I mention this not to brag about the miracle uses of honey though, but because I don’t normally focus on hygiene and beauty at home. So taking care of myself and playing around with makeup again for the first time in three years actually felt really great. It reminded me that I feel better when I take care of myself.

 
Anyway, the week was fun. I loved hanging out with my grandmothers, and hugging my grandfather.
I was spoiled and taken shopping, which was weird for me, but I loved it.
It was great to return to a town that I hadn’t seen in over a year and to visit family that I missed a lot.
But that’s all I have for now so….
See you soon racoon.

 


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I finished high school!

Done with high school

 

Three weeks ago, I finished high school and let me tell you I am very happy about this. Up until last year I was a pretty decent student, passing with okay grades. Since I home-schooled my high school journey looked a lot different from those of my peers, but I enjoyed it. I liked learning for the first couple of years and I put a lot of work into all kinds of subjects, ranging from Math and business studies to art and languages.
Unfortunately last year threw a wrench into my plans when my back started giving me problems.
I’m going to be honest, I thought I’ll have to stay back a year because of how much work I missed last year. But my parents were patient and we switched plans at the beginning of this year.
Instead of continuing with the British standard and supplier for my school work, we switched to an American one that focuses on helping you finish your GED and be ready for collage.
So I quit my job, and put all my effort into not only doing my schoolwork but doing it well. So here I am, finished with school six months ahead of everyone else my age – and I’m elated about it.

So what am I doing now that I’m done with school?

Well just like any other teenager who just finished school I plan on traveling before I have to start university next year. I don’t have a lot of money, or even a lot of expectation for where I’m going but I am going somewhere beyond my room and that’s enough for me.
The plan is to travel between family friends for the next six months, doing jobs where I can and just enjoying people’s company.

I’m going to admit that I don’t like spending time away from my family. My siblings are my best friends and my parents my rocks so it’s always kind of uncomfortable for me to leave them behind when I go somewhere, but I really do want to get out of my house. I do want to see the friends and family that I haven’t seen in years, and experience new aspects of life.
I’m stepping out of my comfort bubble (aka my room) and I’m planning to see little bits of the world.
It’s just a shame I can’t take my dog with me 🙂

 
Cheers for now I’ll write again later!