Pinky Restoration Project: Progress Report

I was going to title this post the ‘Pinky Injury Update’, but it’s nowhere near up at the moment.

deformedpinky1

This lil’ fella is still looking like the Hunchback of Notre-Dame. And I have nothing against those of you who have a hunch in your back at all, if that’s what you’ve got. ‘Cos hey, if you’re bent you must be feeling way more spent than this whiney little pinky over here. Although in my case there’s a few things wrong with this, because firstly fingers don’t have backs and secondly, there’s no Esmeralda on her way to love it for the curvy lad it is. Just a hunch.

***

On a serious note, I have been having two hand therapy sessions a week with two different therapists from the same clinic, which has been really helpful in my recovery. I like the way they all work in a team at this clinic, they aren’t embarrassed or too protective of their pride to get a second opinion on a patient’s injury. It’s been really clear to me as a patient that my overall health and the state of my hand is of the upmost importance every time I go in for an appointment.

This is a relief for me, because normally I am not a fan of going to the doctors or any kind of specialist due to the fear that my illness or injury is not worthy enough of receiving treatment. Usually I sit there nervously in waiting rooms, trying to convince myself that I’m there for a valid reason and that I won’t be wasting the medical specialist’s time. And by the time I’m out, the first thing I tell my family is, “Yeah it went well, better than I thought it would.” Not that I think doctors and specialists are spawns of Satan, it’s just that their aloof, intelligent demeanour can be really hard to read in an appointment and I tend to sink further down in my seat the more condescending they sound.

But it’s not the case this time around! They have been really helpful and caring throughout my recovery. They have been great at informing me on how to do my hand exercises, while explaining the human bioscience behind my injury and my physical goals during recovery. Turns out injuries are great learning tools for understanding the structure of the body!

deformedpinky2

The scars are looking really good, nothing too Frankenstein-like because it’s a glass cut. Which means that the skin wasn’t cut in a jagged way, and the surgeons didn’t need to get too creative in stitching it up by the end of surgery.

I also learnt about the roles of all the fingers. The pointer and middle fingers are our fine motor skill fingers, that help us sew, write with a pen, and fiddle with smaller objects. While our ring finger and pinky finger are our P O W E R fingers. Whodathunkit.

So many people have been telling me, “At least it’s your pinky!”, but little did they know that I actually lost some power. Yep, I’m like Thor when his almighty hammer got destroyed. I just gotta figure out how to use the power of lightening now without it.

Our P O W E R fingers give us that extra lift we need while holding larger and heavier objects. You’ll notice that if you hold a glass of water with only your fine motor skill fingers, that it’s hard to hold it completely up right without spilling a drop. But if you latch those nifty little P O W E R claws on to the bottom half of that glass, you Sir won’t be spilling a drop of that water on your Gucci slides. #LifeHackswithHay

***

I’ve been out of my purple Phantom splint for a week now, and my arm has been sore a lot more because I’ve been trying to slowly get back into using my left hand again with the more simpler tasks. This is because my finger tendons are part of the same tendon going up my wrist, to my arm, to my shoulder. And at times I get a bit carried away at home doing things, forgetting that it’s not used to doing any kind of activity besides hand exercises.

Regaining movement has been the most difficult aspect during the entire recovery period so far. I can barely get any movement in the tip of my pinky, and it’s so stiff around the middle joint I can’t even fully bend it yet after 8 weeks. They think that there’s too much scar tissue attaching itself to the healing tendons, making it difficult for my finger to have a smooth glide movement. I massage it multiple times every day when I do my exercises, but I don’t see much improvement in my pinky at all. So they think I might have go in for surgery again just to clear away the scar tissue, so the finger can feel less tight and be easier to move again.

They keep modifying my finger splint that I wear at night, that helps in straightening my pinky and hopefully loosening the scar tissue. At the 12 week mark if my pinky is still very stiff and unable to move I will be in contact with a surgeon.

***

But to be completely honest with you..
Despite this jokey and informative post that I have enjoyed typing up, I have been feeling really down and disheartened with this whole recovery. I get tired of dealing with work cover, having to always ask for lifts to my hand therapy appointments from my loved ones, seeing no progress in my recovery in the past few weeks and most of all I miss not being able to work. I feel useless and hopeless on my most low days, when it’s most difficult to remind myself it will get better again.

Only from August last year I felt like a functional adult. I finally managed to overcome my fear of driving and got my drivers licence. And in October I was finally able to get a normal job at a cafe, that worked really well with my part time, school term singing teacher job (that’s a post for another time).

Main point is, I managed to get myself out of a depressive hole and now I feel like I’m back in a similar place. I only got to enjoy my freedom and independence for a few months. I have no idea what God is doing here.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Honesty – A New Years Resolution

honestyblogpic

I feel the need to write on here more often.

But if I were to do so, I think it would be of things a little challenging or too honest to post to my loved ones and Christians in my online vicinity. That’s the thing about calling yourself a something in a certain community, naturally then there’s so much fear of what they will think of your words and actions published. Because I’m human. And I don’t think all my blog posts or any other kind of writings will always be Christ like or “perfect”.

Especially as a 23 year old young adult, who has no idea of where God is taking me, or why certain events seem to happen to me way beyond my control. I’m learning.

I think I would like this blog to involve more honesty on my flaws as well as my achievements posted. I want to work on having a more open conversation on here that actually projects a version of myself as authentic as I can possibly make it.

This is because I am constantly questioning and curious of the state of my own existence. Nothing is really stays concrete or the same in terms of my state of mind, for the rest of the recurring events of my life. Naturally my mind like a stream, is constantly moving and my thoughts (along with my feelings) are constantly adjusting themselves as I keep learning new things about myself and the world around me. I wonder if it’s possible to ever reach a immovable state of certainty in the mind, while the world outside is constantly shifting and changing it’s values to suit it’s current climate. Which makes me want to ask and delve deeper into questions such as: do we strive to change or improve values as a global society just to people please, or actually for the purpose of progressing the state of humanity?

***

I get nervous at the thought of posting an honest thought vomit blog post, because I really have no idea of what the response will be like. And usually the people I’m weary of responding don’t even read it half the time. So as per usual, maybe I am over thinking it. I worry about those who think my faith in God and Jesus Christ is stupid. And I worry about my Christian community reading my constantly questioning way of thinking that I tend to have, especially when it may be on aspects of my faith. I worry that people will think I’m whiney, that I’m not sucking it up and getting the job done. That this Australian way of approaching life in that you’ll be fine, you’ll get over it mentality will directly impact my inboxes or comment section. Or even worse, people will say nothing to me and instead gradually distance themselves from me, the more honestly I write.

But maybe I need that challenge. Not to see how many people I can push away as fast as I can from my life at all. Instead it could be exciting to see how much discussion my posts could ignite, and help me develop more confidence in myself as an adult. For those who have known me for most of my life, will know that I have always been awkward, shy and cautious (definitely not a thrill seeker, haha), about most things in life. So maybe this is a fun resolution to make for this year. To speak more honestly and openly in the way I would actually like to write.

I could be completely wrong about my opinions. They might not be as scary to put up on this blog, as I’m making them out to be. Because there will definitely still be lighthearted, humorous posts on fun things I do in the years to come, now along with some more honest discussion based topics.

I could be overreacting and overanalysing this (no doubt about it). I mean, I haven’t even posted them yet. And to be honest I don’t even know what half of them will be!

Stay tuned.

Books I Read in 2018

IMG_20181221_104056

Here is another nerdy blog post you might not have asked for, but being the bookworm I am; I’m excited to list for you all the books I read in 2018! Now if my friends or people I followed online posted about the books they read, I would be very quick to click. Because I adore books. The reading of them, the holding them in my hands, the smell of them old and new, the feel of the paper, the font, the cover design, the temporary world they are, seeing who it’s dedicated to, the author’s note at the end, chapter structure, names of chapters, the buying experience, the lending of them, the borrowing of them and last but not least: the talking about them.

There’s so much to experiencing a book.

What I learnt in 2018 is that reading a fictional book is not only a creative experience for the author who dreamed up that world, weaving it into a cohesive structure for an audience to see and feel. It’s a creative experience for us as an audience because we have to use a fair portion of our own imagination to be able to interpret what’s going on in terms of how a scene looks, sounds, feels and even at some point, smells. How cool is that?

Not only is an author asking you to read their art that may have taken a significant portion of their life time to put together, but they’re also asking you to take part in their temporary world by inserting your interpretation of their world into the collective ethos.

2018 Recurring Book Themes:

  • Neil Gaiman – at the end of 2017 I decided I wanted to read his books, and by George I read a fair chunk of them.
  • Race
  • Feminism
  • Graphic Novels

*i’ve also included links in the book titles to buy these books from the cheapest online places i could find

  1. The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
    ViewfromtheCheapSeats
    This was an interestingly varied collection of essays and speeches. The ones on books, authors and graphic novels, opened my mind to things I haven’t read. Things I wouldn’t normally think to pick up or even consider reading. Not that I was looking down on these authors and books previously, it was just that I had stopped liking fiction in the past few years because I was really narrowing my choices on what I thought I should like to read as a girl or as a woman. But reading Gaiman’s essays helped me be intrigued by the magic of fantasy and fiction in general once more. So thank Gaiman for that. I missed out on a lot of good shit.
  2. Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight
    GetYourShitTogether
    I think the title of this book indicates really clearly how I was feeling in January – a depressed mess. So I went for a momentary dive down the self-help book rabbit hole. At the time it was just an encouraging, refreshing, and funny read that I needed to help lift my mood and increase my motivation for life.
  3. You Do You by Sarah Knight
    YouDoYou

    Looking at both of these book titles now, I feel like she maybe could have just written one book? But hey I’m just jealous she can make a living out of writing. This was also a fun, entertaining read comforting me at a low point. I did take notes but I haven’t really looked at them since.
  4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    AmericanGods

    My brother Brayden bought this for me at Christmas (2017), and I was very excited to get into it. With work being off for all of the summer holidays this was the perfect adventure of a book to submerse myself in. It explores the interesting topic of what would happen to a God (of pretty much anything) if they weren’t worshipped as much as they historically once were. While following the steps of an unlikely main character of Shadow whose identity gradually becomes clearer, along with the main mission of the story as the book goes on. There’s great humour and sense of adventure in it with very well developed characters who pull you along a very odd yet intriguing ride. Brayds bought me the first season of the TV show it’s been adapted into for Christmas, and I’m very excited to watch it.
  5. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
    GoSetaWatchman
    Sadly this was a disappointment of a read.
    I did enjoy revisiting Harper Lee’s beloved characters of Scout and the Finch family, but…that’s about it. And it was interesting to see the impact of the court case many years afterwards on the town of Maycomb, Alabama. But what was really disappointing was the ending. From the start to the middle of the novel Scout was depicted as being quite a forward young woman for her time, but by the way she was easily swayed by her family and town’s inherent racism at the end really bothered me. Because I couldn’t understand how Lee had constructed Scout’s thought process of being very against her family, to understanding where they were coming from. Not because I have different views to these characters from an older time, it’s entirely based on the poor construction of Scout coming to a resolution of her thoughts and emotions for her family’s opposite political views.
  6. Mockingbird Songs by Wayne Flynt
    mockingbirdsongs
    I love reading about the mystery of Harper Lee AKA Nelle, because she did live a very private life and nothing much has ever been published about her. Except a few books she claimed had false information, whose discussions and interviews she said never happened. So it has been tough to find out who she actually is. But this book! Seems to be genuine. Because it is written by a real friend of hers, Alabama historian Wayne Flynt. He shares their letters they wrote to each other over the years of their friendship, sharing stories from their work life to their family life. It was a gorgeous and non-intrusive read about Nelle’s later years.
  7. A Rightful Place by Noel Pearson
    arightfulplace
    This is a book of essays written by prominent Australian indigenous individuals as to why the Australian indigenous community deserve a more respectful and fairer recognition in the constitution, than they have received in the past. So they can have an indigenous body in government that can work with our country’s leaders in preserving their ancient culture and traditions that gives a spiritual life to our land. This book was an eye opening and important read for a white Australian like myself. It helps me understand how ignored indigenous Australians have been in history, and how terribly misunderstood they are by not having enough representation of their own culture in our past and current government.
  8. Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou
    lettertomydaughter
    Now if you know me, you would know that I adored Maya Angelou’s auto-biography series along with her poetry. She was an incredible woman with a powerful yet tender voice that the world at the time really needed.
    This was a gorgeous book, with each chapter discussing an aspect of life providing warm, encouraging wisdom to all her female readers. When I began reading her work as a lost and confused 19 year old in my first year of university, I found that her words had a way of scooping me up and keeping me going despite the growing confusion of what adulthood really meant. So coming back to the comfort of the strength of her well written words, made for a beautiful read.

  9. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    thehateugive
    Best book I have read all year. Hands down.
    Angie Thomas unexpectedly entered my literary travels this year, and I am so so so grateful for my good friend Emmelyn lending me this masterpiece. If you want to read a gripping and well paced novel that is set in our life time, that speaks politically of our world today, then this is it. Am I going too far to suggest that this could be this generation’s To Kill A Mockingbird? Probably, but it doesn’t diminish the importance of the message and voice of the characters within this novel. It has brilliant flow and use of spoken language that I adored reading. I am going to keep up with whatever this author writes next.
  10. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    neverwhere
    This was a fun read, again with funny yet slightly dark characters.
    Gaiman knows how to put a seemingly dull, extremely human main character into the topsy-turvy landscape of a fantasy land where all moral values and rules are forced to be challenged and most of the time changed. There were no boring, stagnant moments, the pace of the novel kept me hooked falling down the ever-changing and dangerous rabbit hole Richard, the main character had found himself in. This book encouraged great character development, that assisted in providing an ending that I did not see coming.

  11. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
    whyimnolongertalkingtowhitepplaboutrace
    This book was another eye opening and brilliantly written non-fiction book on race, but instead based on african slavery in Britain, and how it’s impact on Britain is still quite a significant one today. This was a very well researched book using a lot of sources and fascinating interviews to back up her very strong arguments on the way Britain functions with systemic and structural racism still quite present in society. She argues her points for racial and gender equality fairly, using her words wisely as she speaks on what are very sensitive topics for our generation. Fantastic read, highly recommend.

  12. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
    the5pplyoumeetinheaven
    This was a very sweet and simple novel, with a lot of heart.
    It is an interesting topic to speculate on, considering what heaven may be like after life here on earth. But at the time of reading it I didn’t feel too excited about it, I just thought it was okay. I picked it up because I really liked his tuesdays with Morrie non-fiction piece, but I think he can write non-fiction better than fiction, because he knows how to interpret and write a raw human interaction that has had a genuine effect on him.

  13. Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung
    unpolishedgem
    I really enjoyed reading Alice Pung’s writing, she does it so well.
    I thought it was pretty amazing how much of her childhood she was able to recall and put down into the decent sized memoir it is. It was an intriguing read because it was another Australian upbringing I was naturally quite ignorant of. It showed me how hard working and strong immigrants really are, and that they truly fit in to the ideal of what it means to be an honest, hard working Australian.
  14. The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton
    theshepshut
    I was so excited to read this when I heard he was releasing a new novel this year. He’s one of my all time favourite authors, and I was eager to get back into reading his familiar outback Australian yarns. This story had a significant theme of toxic masculinity, about a boy who wasn’t taught how to show his emotions or properly acknowledge his own sensitivity to life. The main character Jaxie isn’t the ideal main character, and is quite repulsive at times. But I really enjoyed observing a character I don’t always read about or even the kind of person I would normally come in contact with. Winton really knows how to weave an important topic of today into his powerful story telling.
  15. Why I Am Not a Feminist by Jessa Crispin
    whyimnotafeminist
    This was a disappointing read.
    I felt like Jessa Crispin had some promising arguments at points, but she had no idea how to argue them effectively in the written format of a book. There were no references to sources and other research to give her the weight her opinions really required. The arguments she was making were poorly worded and written in an extremely biased fashion. I think there are flaws (like there is in everything) in the political movement of Feminism that this current generation does seem to enhance at times, that actually weakens the movement, so I do think this had the chance of being a more impactful book. Crispin reveals she is actually a feminist when she talks about her views and values, but hates anyone else who likes to think they can call themselves a feminist. With all her words thrown around in an awkward, whiney fashion, really made me quite dizzy by the end of this.
  16. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
    thevaginamonologues
    I loved reading this book.
    It contains raw and open monologues where women talk about the good and the bad of having a vagina. About the pleasure, the pain of genital mutilation, rape, sex, shame, joy, ignorance, confusion and the pride of having a vagina. In no way does this book make talking about the vagina more awkward, instead it tells women that it’s what they have, and there’s no reason to be embarrassed of it. I think it’s an empowering book for women, with well written monologues that will make you intrigued, raise your eye brows, feel sad, chuckle and smile.
  17. I Am an Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler
    iamanemotionalcreature

    I adored reading this book because of the varying monologues based on teenage girls around the world that I either found extremely relatable or the polar opposite of my upbringing. Ensler focuses this book on taking teenage girls and their stories seriously with a great deal of empathy. Her ability to write a monologue from the observation or interview with another person is really impressive. She shows her readers that the most vulnerable and honest voice holds the most wisdom in a situation. I would recommend this to teenage girls, teachers and parents to read.
  18. Her Father’s Daughter by Alice Pung
    herfathersdaughter
    A beautiful retelling and exploration of her family’s past and of how it affected her upbringing. While also bringing clarification to her own cultural identity in Australia. Her family fled Cambodia for a new life Australia while it was under Pol Pot’s communist rule. Pung goes through all of the horrifying, heartless, inhumane practices her Father observed while he was trapped in communist Cambodia, which is to explain why he was the overprotective father in her upbringing. After seeing so much terror, death and bloodshed it sheds even more light on what it must of felt like for him to see his homeland destroyed. And to be able to muster up the courage to escape to a safer, yet unknown land where the people have no idea what the worst kind of suffering is, is really inspiring.
  19. Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis
    merechristianity
    Everyone I spoke to who had read this book told me it was great and that Lewis really knew how to speak about Christianity in an open, honest and intelligent fashion. And I agree with most of that! I loved the way he explained how the Holy Trinity functioned, and how to make sense of it. Spiritually I feel like most of my queries or queries I didn’t realised I had were discussed in a really interesting way, really making clear for me what it meant for my soul being a Christian. And how intimate our relationship with God can be.
    The only issue I had was his chapter on marriage, and the supposed roles each gender naturally takes on. It really felt like it was written by a man who didn’t have any close relationships with many women – turns out he didn’t. His mother died when he was young, and sadly he didn’t have a successful stable romantic relationship with anyone in his adulthood. Which explains a lot about this chapter. He thought the wife, who of course would become a mother, couldn’t be the leader of the family outside the household because of course only a man could be the representative of the family. Apparently it would overwhelm the woman too much to take on affairs outside the household, and then of course she would get too bossy or hysterical for herself and her family. Because she wouldn’t want to be seen in that light as an outspoken, capable adult – it’s unattractive.I feel sorry for Mr Clive Staples Lewis, who never got the chance to properly understand and have a more sincere compassion for the opposite sex.
  20. Am I There Yet? by Mari Andrew
    amithereyet
    I first found her illustrations on Instagram (@bymariandrew), and I loved how cute they were. They could be about something heart warming, funny or relatable that I would love and show it to whoever I was hanging out with at the time. Or her illustrations would be more honest about her most vulnerable moments that would really catch my attention mid Instagram scroll. So when I heard she was releasing a book of illustrations and essays, I was keen to read it! I even got to see her when she came to Melbourne for her book tour, and she was just as funny and insightful to hear live.Of course as a young woman I found her essays reassuring and relatable in sections. It’s nice to hear that almost everyone finds adulthood fun, beautiful, confusing, and difficult at times. The written word really does hold a squishy, cushiony comfort in times of need.
  21. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
    thecolourofmagic
    I AM SO HAPPY I HAVE STARTED READING THE DISCWORLD SERIES. Pratchett’s writing is hilarious, and his characters hold many ridiculous qualities that took the story on such a weird, windy journey. I love the two main characters: Rincewind and Twoflower. First of all, their names are so absurd and silly, just like their personalities and secondly they are incredibly hopeless. I have no idea how long they will be able to stay alive for the rest of the series. Rincewind the wizard who only knows one spell, is the most relatable character I’ve ever read. He is quite daft and tends to get himself into a lot of life threatening situations, yet always escapes Death’s literal grasp. Not that I relate to the ‘always getting into life threatening situations’, I just relate to his sarcasm, fear of everything, failures and running with it despite the odds. I’m excited to read the rest!

  22. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    wild
    This is the first audio book I’ve ever listened to! And it wasn’t as terrible as I originally thought it would be. My reasoning was that I love listening to podcasts every week, so I thought what’s so different listening to a book read out loud. It was weird to see that it was 13 hours long, instead of how many pages, but at the same time easier to encourage myself to listen to a larger portion of it at a time. Overall I give the listening to an audio book experience, 4 ears out of 5.
    Now on to the topic of the actual book. I liked it more than I thought I would. I didn’t think I would care about hiking as much as I did during the 13 hours I read of it. Especially when she was talking about all of her gear and the track she needed to take, with all her places to camp mapped out over the whole length of her hike. I was impressed of her being able to do it without any previous hiking knowledge and experience. It was really brave of her to really throw herself out there into the middle of nowhere, considering her mental state at the time, and a large portion of grief she was still coping through at the time. The way she wove in the reflection of her memories into the present moments of her hike, was done really smoothly. It was a heart breaking and empowering read. Although it doesn’t make me want to hike at all in the future, I’m not really up for the physical pain or endurance. 

  23. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
    anansiboys

    This book has the character Anansi from American Gods in it, although it isn’t a prequel or sequel, or any kind of story relation altogether. He began writing this novel first then he stopped, because he got the idea for American Gods and wrote that instead. But then he came back to this novel completing the story of Anansi and his two sons. The God Anansi doesn’t play a main character role in it, but he is a key character of the plot. It’s mainly about his two sons and their first meeting, figuring out their role in each other’s lives, along with the mystical identity of their father Anansi. It’s a funny read, with an unexpected ending.
  24. Useless Magic by Florence Welch
    uselessmagic
    Being a big Florence + the machine fan, I was very excited to hear that she was releasing a book in 2018. I’ve always thought that she had a brilliantly poetic way with words in her pop songs. Especially from her first album Lungs, where she had very dark, gothic themes and imagery, that were still able to fit into the fun upbeat compositions of her pop songs.
    I thought the illustrations and photos really helped in bringing a greater understanding to her already released songs. I liked the brutal honesty and vulnerability of her poetry. It was just as open as the lyrics on her most recent album High as Hope, which I thought were more direct with less imagery and metaphors. It’s quite refreshing and revealing for her as an artist who has been quite reclusive and shy for most of her career.
  25. The Power of Hope by Kon Karapanagiotidis
    thepowerofhope
    This was a beautiful and enlightening read, that I think is relevant for all Australians to read due to our current refugee crisis. Not only does he look at the crisis on a macro level but also on a personal micro level. On who we are as a nation in our psyche as men and women. While drawing on experiences of his own life, going through the many roles he’s played to get to where he is today. Detailing the speed bumps he had to get over personally in order to be where he is today as the founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and a mentally healthier more fulfilled version of himself. I highly recommend this book, I learnt so much in how we need to be a more compassionate and selfless nation in times like these, where people either homeless or seeking asylum are in a desperate need of a safe and welcoming land to call home.
  26. Award Winning Australian Writing 2017 edited by Pia Gaardboe
    awardwinningauswriting2017
    There were a lot of heavy trauma based stories one after the other, that I found really draining to read in one big go. But otherwise it was an interesting read, with quite a variety of styles in both the poetry and the short story fiction. There was one great fantasy short story that wished was a whole novel, and there were really beautiful Australian stories from a lot of different perspectives.
  27. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
    havealittlefaith
    This non-fiction piece contains really great story telling about two loving and resilient men of God. It involves Albom reconnecting with his old childhood Rabbi who is very ill and had asked him to write his eulogy. While also meeting a a Detroit pastor who is a reformed drug dealer and convict, who now spends his time looking out for those in his community and congregation who are in need of  greater support. Mainly for those who are poor or homeless, and are in a greater need of a life with more love in it.
    I really enjoyed reading this book because it’s also about Albom exploring his faith again, by going back to his roots while also seeing how important faith is in another community where God is clearly doing important work. A beautiful, heart warming read.
  28. everyone’s an aliebn when ur a aliebn too by jomney sun
    everyonesaaliebnwhenuraaliebntoo
    Sweetest graphic novel I’ve ever read. I feel like I’ll be constantly re-reading this for a while. It explores many concepts we all experience such as love, friendship, creativity, death, happiness, sadness, change, transformation, knowledge, wisdom, and the concept of nothing. He does this using a really simplistic art style, but in a adorable way that actually helps the reader think through quite complex thoughts and feelings. It really makes you question whether or not you are doing your bit for humanity in your surrounding community, by being compassionate and understanding to not just those around you, but to yourself as well, for the journey you’ve made to be who you are in the present.
  29. How It Feels by Brendan Cowell
    howitfeels
    This is an intense story filled with very unlikable characters but I found it really enjoyable because it’s such a well written book. I love the emotive use of Aussie colloquialism with crazy sexually and anger fuelled characters. It doesn’t make me hate this book because the characters are ugly, I like this book for how well the story was constructed and the way certain environments influenced each characters words and actions. Although it was a little confusing near the end, chopping and changing from moments in the past to moments in the present, I still really enjoyed it for the punch in the face it was.

  30. Unmasked by Andrew Lloyd Webber
    unmasked
    This was a very interesting and entertaining read! Providing great insight into how some of the best musicals were written and produced. He has a very natural and easy to read way of writing that keeps you hooked for the entire 487 pages it is. He speaks openly and honestly about every personal moment he decides to confide in, doing so in a delicate way. As a writer myself, I was fascinated about how he created the story and music of a theatre production with a great work ethic and passion of art itself. Apparently this is only part one of his auto-biography, so I’ll have to wait and see what his life has been like after his masterpiece The Phantom of the Opera.
  31. One Punch Man Vol. 1-4 by ONE
    IMG_20181220_123800
    I love this series a lot. After I finished reading the manga Assassination Classroom, I really looked forward to reading this other Shonen Jump manga. The comedy in this series is just fantastic. One Punch Man himself Saitama, is a really strong and clever superhero, yet he has many flaws to work on in the other parts of his life when he’s not a superhero. The most hilarious parts are when he is very unaware of observing other people’s social cues and body language, showing that he has a very simplistic view of living that most fictional heroes don’t have. Usually other fictional heroes are the really mysterious, dark and complex characters with a warped traumatic back story that is their main driving force for being a superhero. Where Saitama is just a hero for fun who has trained to be the physically strongest man he can possibly be. The funny side of all of this is that he lacks the compassion for others around him, and usually doesn’t save a life because he cares for it, he just wants to defeat the strongest villains he can. Which he does…but all in one punch. And it pisses him off big time! He only desires a decent fight to the death, that’s all.

  32. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak
    bridgeofclay
    This is a beautiful story of men and their women. A story that will stick with me for a while, because of it’s theme of the strong bonds a family can have if all relationships are nurtured and cared for. And how each family can have wounds that are in need of healing, in order to achieve a sense of sincere unity through forgiveness. The writing itself is so poetic, containing a beautiful flow in the dialogue between all of the characters conversations and inner thoughts. Making it a story that in a sense, gradually reveals it’s motive as the story progresses. Lifting off the many covers as it goes on.

  33. Teacher: One Woman’s Struggle to Keep the Heart in Teaching by Gabbie Stroud
    teacher
    A book written with so much heart.
    Her heart for teaching and the heart she has for the children she taught is truly inspiring. Really informative and helpful for me as I consider doing my masters in teaching one day. But…maybe not? Maybe being a singing teacher is necessary for kids during this time. Giving them that one on one attention they could never get from their classroom teacher. It’s sad to hear how easily kids get left behind in our education system. They’re not robots who only provide statistical feedback, they are humans with valid emotions who deserve to be seen and heard during there years of education. Teachers need more time to be fully present with their students, because bad experiences at school easily ruins a person’s upbringing. Teachers are a key factor in the building of their foundation as a person. We need a government who cares for the wellbeing of the nation, not just the numbers.


  34. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
    mobydick
    It was a journey being caught up in Ahab’s bitterness and loathing for Moby Dick. Sounds like he was more devoted to killing and despising the whale more so than using any ounce of energy for caring for his wife. I feel tired just from finishing the book. I feel like I was a harponeer on that ship with Ahab. I’m mentally exhausted from reading this book, it took me nearly 3 months to complete it.
    I loved the first part before they got on the Pequod, where it was about Ishmael and Queequeg’s relationship, it was quite hilarious and heart warming. Then once they got on the ship in the middle of their mission – that’s where I struggled to hold my attention to the book.
    I think Herman Melville had a deep desire to write a text book about whales, as well as the monstrous tale of Moby Dick. The factual sections about whale anatomy and spiritual symbolism of the whale were interesting but they really distracted me from the main story of what was happening on the ship. In his factual (sometimes boring) chapters he did manage to draw really interesting observations and truths on the human condition and how they relate to the topic of whale he’s rambling on about, which I really did enjoy. And the way he poetically wrote the entire novel is what made me continue to the end. When he was writing his most interesting observations on humanity, they were worded beautifully and interestingly, usually in such ways I’d never heard certain thing described before. Ahab’s aggressive drive and motivation in the last section of the book came out really strongly too, which had me glued to the last few chapters.There’s SO much talk of Moby Dick throughout the entire novel, so when she’s in action in the last few chapters it’s a sweet relief to read the brutality of them fighting against her. I may need to read this again in a few years to fully grasp all there is in this book.

  35. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
    thearrival
    I was unexpectedly emotionally affected by the end of this book. The illustrations of each character’s face were so real and familiar, I felt like I was staring back at people I knew. The design of each country and environment was so bizarre yet very intriguing to observe. The odd designs of buildings, pets, food, the indoors and outdoors really made me feel just as lost as the refugee in the story did. It clearly depicted the terror of his home land and the dangerous environment it was for his young family. While also showing how courageous his act of moving alone to another foreign country was, in order to set up a much safer home for his family in the future. All despite the fear and insecurity he felt in being able to adapt to a whole new culture. Which involved adapting to the society itself, the language, the people, the local cuisines and the apartment. Many people have made this brave journey of immigration, and I hope that globally we can have more empathy for their situations. Everyone deserves to live in a safe country, with a roof over their heads and a promising future to look towards.

  36. The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou
    thecompletepoetry
    Okay, let’s begin this biased review with the expected statement: I’m a big fan of Maya Angelou’s work. I’ve read a few of her more popular poems before I bought this book, but it’s fantastic now to have a book of all her poems that I can read whenever I wish. I love the rhythm of her verses, and her interesting story structure in her particularly longer pieces. Some of them I can imagine her passionately speaking them, using the percussion of consonants and vocal tone of her vowels. With her more dramatic poems you can feel her attitude, her frustration and at times her sadness. There’s an honesty and authenticity in her work that she doesn’t try to hide or dress up in metaphors. As always her words hold a real sense of love and wisdom, that always have a way of comforting my anxious mind.
  37. Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
    theoceanattheendofthelane

    A comforting Gaiman read.
    Filled with the whimsy and magic we all remember from childhood (that’s if you were the type that used a huge chunk of your own imagination to enhance the fun in your play time activities), while also incorporating darker themes of adulthood, contrasting it with a child’s narrow view of life, along with a healthy dose of fantastical horror aspects along the way. I enjoyed it for the adventure it was, and the beautiful language used to describe Lettie Hempstock’s ocean. It made me think about what we seem to remember and forget about our upbringings; what we decide to hold on to and let go of. While also reflecting on the flimsy nature of our memories, especially if we are attempting to remember the voice of our subconscious from our dreams. The way the main character was able to understand so many things at once about life, while being submerged in the depths Lettie’s backyard ocean and then forgetting his newly gained wisdom as soon as he left the ocean. Made it quite fascinating to think about the information we subconsciously decide to retain in our life times, having no idea where our subconscious is really pulling us.

Image Credits:

My Soundtrack of 2018: The Newer Additions

IMG_20181218_212207

Here is a full list of music I only began listening to this year!
I’m usually quite terrible at finding new music, but thanks to my edgy brother and Spotify, I have been listening to newish music I actually really like. Like a lot.

Now, a majority of these songs and artists aren’t necessarily new to 2018, it’s just that they were new and fresh for me. It was a rare year of listening to music that weren’t my old reliable favourites. Although Spotify told me I did listen to Fleetwood Mac the most….

These songs and artists I have listed in no particular order or ranking, have been on constant repeat. Like 30-50 times each per song or no doubt even more.

Summary of the kind of music I have liked this year:

  • Female harmonies.
  • Female rock musicians.
  • Cute percussion.
  • Cheeky & funny lyrics.
  • Fun guilty pleasure pop songs with electric guitar that I can dance to.
    ….hope more males make the list next year. Sorry guys!
    • Jade Bird
      jadebird
      My Favourites:
      Uh Huh

Lottery

Love Has All Been Done Before

– Good Woman

  • Shilpa Ray
    ShilpaRay
    My Favourites:
    Morning Terrors Nights of Dread

Is It My Body

EMT Police and the Fire Department

Revelations of a Stamp Monkey

  • The Staves
    TheStaves
    My Favourites:
    – Jolene (Live)

Tired As Fuck

  • The Cornshed Sisters
    TheCornShedSisters
    My Favourite:
    The Message
  • Maddy Jane
    MaddyJane
    My Favourite:
    – No Other Way
  • Oh Pep!
    OhPep!
    My Favourite:
    Bushwick
  • Daisy the Great
    26841004_1349815658463321_5195417543647034689_o
    My Favourites:
    The Record Player Song

Built My Home On Hollow Ground

  • Elizabeth & the Catapult
    lizandthecatapult
    My Favourite:
    Underwater
  • May Erlewine
    MayErlewine
    My Favourite:
    Never One Thing
  • Melt
    22467315_328064287659277_8641207370086563504_o
    My Favourite:
    – Inside
  • Sports Bra
    27658011_549870895382072_5405059888966977979_n
    My Favourites:
    Present Tension

– Try Harder

– Thank You for Being Alive

  • M, Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté, Fatoumata Diawara (ft. Santigold, Hiba Tawji, Ibrahim Maalouf, Seu Jorge, Nekfeu, Youssou N’Dour)
    Solidarité
    – Solidarité

  • Carly Rae Jepsen
    CarlyRaeJepson
    My Favourite:
    – When I Needed You
  • Meg Mac
    megmac
    My Favourites:
    – Roll Up Your Sleeves
    – Maybe It’s My First Time
    – Brooklyn Apartment 
    – Never Be
    – Kindness

    – Grace Gold

    – Ride It 

    – Morning

Image Credits:

 

 

 

I Actually Don’t Mind Being Called Mate.

20181130_112636

I think I’ve got it.
Yep, I can’t say I never achieved anything in my life.

I have the ugliest pinky. I might even give it a name like Paul.
Or Patricia. Or Patrice. Or Pa–whydoyahavetolooksostinkingugly.

Long gone are my chances of being a left hand model or even a two handed model. I just think my right hand lacks the confidence to carry out a photo shoot without the inclusion of my left hand. Yes my left hand might not be the dominant hand of my body, but lets just say, no one puts Lil’ Left Pinky Peta in the corner.

Pamela looks like two different left pinkies sewn together.
It was like the surgeons weren’t originally happy with the upper half of my pinky, so they swapped it with someone else’s who they were also working on that day:

“Ugh, what was God thinking? Giving her a pinky like this!”

“Hey lets give this poor girl what she deserves. A new pinky.”

*clicks fingers
*nurses roll in a fresh corpse
*surgeon checks ankle tag

“Wow this woman specifically wanted to be a small limb donor! Hayley, today is your lucky day.” 

*nurses give a teary eyed standing ovation

Or:

*surgeon and staff commence surgery
*surgeon begins widening gash to find the other ends of the severed tendons
*gets a little bit too into the stevie wonder banger in the background

“If you BELIEEVE in Thiiings that you don’t understand, then you suf–F*#k.”

*cleanly slices off left pinky
*everyone gasps, except Darryl who gets terribly gassy in shock
*Martha opens a window
*surgeon looks to first year nurse Wendy

“Surgery comes at a cost for both the patient and medical staff in charge of surgery at this moment in time. And today it is your duty, your opportunity to pay that cost for us all. Give us your fresh left pinky Wendy.”

“But sir I–”

“C’mon, do it for the team Wendy.”

“My children deserve a mother with two pinkies!”

*surgeon puts both hands on Wendy’s shoulders

“It’s for Hayley, Wendy. Does this kid look like she has the confidence to carry on in life without that pinky? She probably loved that pinky, gave it a name, dressed it up on special occasions, read it stories.”

“Well actually, I think she looks like someone with the confidence of a tone deaf singer on the X Factor, with great hair. And besides her left pinky is still there, just sew it back on.”

“I can’t do that to her. What is the number one rule in surgery? Go above and beyond for the customer. Let’s give her a pinky she will never forget.”

“She doesn’t have brain damage, Ron. How could she possibly forge–”

*Ron turns to face rest of his team, smiling wide like a proud dad

“Let’s do this Lads. Let’s give Hayley a pinky she’ll never forget!”

*team cheers. hoots and hollers. whistles. high fours. high fives.
high nines. high tens.
*Wendy bolts for the door and rethinks her career as a nurse

***

I saw my new hand therapist Ross this week, who is giving me a hand with the rest of my left pinky restoration project for the summer.
He seems like the man for the job, who understands how much this pinky means to me.

*takes off bandage around pinky

“Ugh it’s so ugly!” I wince in complete repulsion.

“No it’s not, it looks fine! It’s a clean cut, you have nothing to worry about.”
He tells me like an encouraging father figure. In the same way Mum tells me I’m not fat, after I complain to her about the look of my body while she helps me get dressed.

***

He pulled out all of the stitches in my fingers, taking around around an hour to get them all out. Apparently I have really good skin.
So good at healing, that it began growing over the stitches he needed to pull out. As it took longer than I thought it would take, I seemed to get more light headed as the appointment went on.

Holding my head in my right hand, it began to feel heavier and heavier, as he continued to point out the bits of skin attached to the stitches he pulled out. But what kept me going was Ross’ words of encouragement.

“You’re doing great Mate.”

“Good job Mate.”

What I learnt there and then in my appointment, is that I actually don’t mind being called Mate.

Throughout my 23 year long stint as a female on this earth I realised I have been missing out on this for far too long!

How warm! How encouraging! How inclusive!

Male? Female? Doesn’t matter!

I knew it was a thing that women could be called ‘Mate’.
I just never thought I would like to be called it. I really thought it was more of a blokey, male thing to do than a female thing to do.
And I don’t think many people have ever called me mate before.
I think they observe my quiet introversion as just having really good manners. The June Dally-Watkins kind.

June-Dally-Watkins-art

 

Main points to take away from this post:

  • I have an ugly pinky called Petunia.
  • I like being called Mate.
  • I have a weird sense of humour. Buckle up.

 

image credit –

 

 

 

 

Asking For Help – A Scaredy Cat’s Tale

20181010_132249

Asking for help has been a prominent fear of mine since I was in grade 1, when I couldn’t understand the concepts of basic mathematics. I just remember being given the work sheets with very simple equations, feeling overwhelmed looking at the list of questions thinking: I have no idea.

I would look at the paper for a while pretending I was thinking about the work and try cover most of the work sheet with my arms, as the teacher walked around the classroom. Luckily friendship and group work were encouraged at times so I could just “work with” my smarter friend sitting next to me and get the answers off them for the lesson, crisis averted. Or if we had to work in silence I became very good at copying the answers off the kids sitting near me. And if none of the above helped me in that lesson, I would then eventually do what teachers encouraged at the end of their very long confusing rants, which was to ask for help if we needed it.

But as I progressed through primary school, I learnt that asking for help usually made me way more confused than I was in the beginning. I would raise my hand for the teacher to come over and tell them, “I need some help.”
The teacher would say, “No worries, with what part?”
“Um, all of it.”

It was rare for me as a kid to feel better after asking for help.
Usually after a teacher “helped” me, I would do my best to pretend that I knew what I was doing for the sake of the teacher’s pride. I didn’t want to let them down by still not understanding. I got very good at nodding my head, saying “Oh okay, yep. Got it.”

Giving them a smile that I intended to say, You’re doing a great job. I’m just stupid.

Welcome to the mind of 6 year old Hayley.
Not a mentally or emotionally healthy one at that, because I was trying to cope in the classroom with an undiagnosed generalised anxiety disorder. Which is like playing the game The Floor is Lava, except everything in the classroom is lava.
I was in a constant state of fight or flight response every day I went to primary school. The overwhelming amount of kids in my class, the confusing teacher doing their best just so they could earn a living, the messy craft activities, the work I didn’t understand, the toxic friendships, the occasional “friendly” visit from the principal who made me wish I didn’t exist at all, and the getting to know each other games at the start of every year.

***

Having this hand injury has put me in a very familiar vulnerable position of needing lots of help, very much like my primary school days, but instead now it’s to do with my general state of living. Because believe it or not, a left hand is necessary for the kind of life I lead. The showering, making meals, getting dressed, brushing teeth, doing my hair, putting make-up on, and need for transportation, kind of life I lead. Whodathunkit.

Most of the time there is a significant amount of guilt felt with every request I make, because I don’t want to be a burden to the people I love. But this injury is forcing me to sit in the discomfort of it all, and accept that it is totally normal to need so much assistance at this moment in time. I’m incredibly blessed to have a mum and a brother so generous with their time and effort, in helping me out around the house with the more tedious yet necessary day to day tasks. And they continue to do it all without any fuss because they love me.

I’m constantly saying, “Sorry, but could you please help me…” or “Hey, could you lift…” Usually they even know what I’m about to request while I’m mid-sentence, so they start helping me complete the task before I even finish asking. That’s how good they are.
They don’t pull a face when they see me waddling their way, and they don’t groan in response to my many requests I give them every day. They smile, nod and make sure I’m comfortable with the need they do their best to meet. There’s no talk of owing them big time after full recovery, or them ordering me to put them on a pedestal because of it.
They’re family, they love me, that’s why they do it.

With God I even forget that I can pray for healing and a comfortable recovery. I forget even in my faith, that my God is there for comfort and nurturing during days when it’s most difficult. Especially when I’m trying to cope with the painful ache running down my arm to my wrist to my hand to my pinky. I forget that not only can I pray for my students at work, but I could also do myself a favour and pray for the pain I’m experiencing right before I start work. Just simply acknowledging my God, reminds me that my fragile life and state of mind is in His hands, and that as long as I have Him, I know for myself it brings me a more peaceful state of mind. That despite this pain, He may be teaching me a greater lesson He only knows I am in need of, for the current state of my well-being.

Asking for help is something I want to feel more comfortable with by the end of this injury period, no matter how awkward or embarrassed I may feel at times. Because I’m realising it’s human to need help at one point or another, and it’s not a shameful act at all. I mean it’s strange, when my students need help, a friend needs help or a family member needs help, I don’t find it annoying or intrusive of my day at all.
99% of the time I help them out because I love them. It’s funny, when you do genuinely care for another human in your social network, our love for them does direct our logic and reasoning processes in helping us do the best for them with anything they may be in need of.

I just need to remember it can work both ways.

 

image: i’d like to thank Oscar for listening to me when i said “look at the camera with those cute eyes ya got.”

 

 

 

 

Call Me Phantom

IMG_20181121_182914

Call me the Phantom!
Watch out as I fight crime with my super strong– wait no. My super fast– nah that’s not it either. My invincible– hang on, what does the Phantom do again?

*investigates on Wikipedia (beep-boop, beep-boop):
‘…the Phantom is a legacy hero, descended from 20 previous generations of crimefighters who all adopt the same persona…a powerful and indestructible guardian of the innocent and fighter of all types of injustice…He vows revenge on “the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms!”‘[

..that’s it?

He can’t fly? Read minds? Talk to horses? Lift up buildings?

Poor guy.

Well I get him, I mean I can’t do those things at the moment either.
Looking forward to lifting buildings again and talking to horses again some day soon.

***

I went into Maroondah Hospital again for my first hand therapy appointment, and oh my beautiful Jesus it hurt a whole hecking lot. The lovely informative therapist told me first off that I in fact, severed both tendons in my left pinky finger. That’s right ladies and gents, we can fit two whole tendons in our smallest finger, and I managed to hack the both of them. I also managed to kill all nerves, on both sides of the finger. Apparently the section of my brain responsible for sending and receiving sensory information specifically for my left hand pinky is completely turned off. So now I have to start observing other people’s left pinky fingers and try to imagine how it would feel doing certain actions (#pinkypervertalert). Just to start rebuilding neural pathways, to create some kind of feeling in it throughout my recovery.

To say I’m over-joyed is – actually has nothing to do with how I’m really feeling.

It suuucks.

Overall my left hand is very weak, and it can’t lift, push or pull things for 10-12 weeks. Keeping up with my painkillers and antibiotics have been my main priority since Friday, the pain is really unbearable. I feel tired more because of it, and to my shock just from looking at it post-surgery during my first hand therapy session actually made me feel very nauseous. So nauseous that I had to lie down for the rest of the session.

20181121_101114

This is really weird for me because I’ve never experienced nausea before from looking at anything bloody or gory! The therapist wasn’t surprised, she laughed saying “That’s why I asked you to sit on the bed.”. She continued saying that it was also normal for both the patient and the patient’s family member/friend/Uber driver also sitting in the room to feel faint as well.

Pre-surgery I was completely fine with my gaping finger wound out in the open, admiring my shiny white tendon, proceeding to show it off to the surrounding nurses. Yet there I was post-surgery all sewed up and I physically couldn’t stand the sight of it.
The mind and body are weird man.

phantom image: https://comicvine.gamespot.com/images/1300-2584949

 

My Baptism Story

Hayley

It is exactly one year since I got baptised, today on the 19th of November.
And I have only really decided to write about it until now because my faith journey, like many other journeys has been a confusing one. Leaving me reeling with many questions and thoughts, such as:

Why did God decide to reach me at the ripe old age of twenty?
Why do I feel a sudden pull, to pray to a God I can’t even see?
Am I worshipping God the right way?
Should I lift my hands higher in worship? Will He give me a high five in return?
Aw, dang my eyes didn’t close in worship at church. Was I really worshipping God?
The worship leader says to sing louder in the service, but I barely know the melody let alone the words with my eyes shut.
Nah, I haven’t read that story in the bible yet. Should I have read that already? Am I behind?
*Silently rehearsing prayer in group prayer* – worrying I’ll speak way too laid back with God and end with “Okay cool that’s all, in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Is this the Holy Spirit? No wait, this must be it– hang on is it this tingly feeling or am I just experiencing pins and needles?

It’s a whole other world I entered into as a baby Christian in 2016. An environment where everyone’s spiritual health and relationship with God is of the upmost important priority of care in the community. It felt like a warm, loving hug to meet people who wanted to pray for my ill physical and mental health issues, family issues, dreams and aspirations. These friends I have made in the Christian community are people who genuinely care for my soul. There’s something beautiful about someone asking if they can pray for you after you open your heart to them. And there’s something even more beautiful in the way people genuinely talk to God when they are in the midst of praying an unabashed love letter to Him.

In every year so far in my relationship with God, there has been varying levels of insecurity of whether I’m good enough as a daughter in Christ, or being simply good enough for the Christian friends in my community. Throughout all of this I feel like God has been teaching me to find strength in the person He made me to be.

When I decided to follow Him I felt like He was challenging me to live as the most authentic version of myself because He knew that it was something I feared deeply.
The thought of letting everyone see me for the quiet, introverted, sensitive and awkward person I really am, really scares me. Growing up in a school system where the loud kids are praised and the naughty yet funny kids are put on a pedestal, I felt completely ignored and left behind. I had no teacher in my upbringing recognise my strengths or see how I was drowning in my own self-hatred at the time. From the way I was treated in school by teachers and fellow peers, particularly in primary school, I deemed that I was an idiot and that no one should like me anyway. High school then came along where surprisingly the work got easier and the teachers were easier to please. All I had to do was stay quiet and complete my work. So I did just that.

In university I did my absolute best to smother and bury the true version of myself.
I saw all of these older adults in my music degree being confident, loud and very expressive in their own individual selves, so I tried my best to match their energy.
I decided that I would much rather be like them because my real self was something I thought should be fully hidden, never shown to the people I loved and respected. If I wanted to be a good friend I should do the world a favour and hate myself for being the idiot I thought I was.

This deep seated hatred of myself has been going on for 17 years, and I’ve only recognised now where the seed was sown and watered in my upbringing. But this year in 2018, God has helped me come to the conclusion that I have no reason to drown myself in self-hatred any longer.

From day one in my life as a Christian, I feel like God has been going through different aspects of my life with a fine tooth comb, willingly untangling the knots I’ve always feared to untangle. It’s funny, becoming a Christian hasn’t made me a different person in the sense that I’m completely unrecognisable to myself, in fact I feel way more familiar and comfortable within myself instead. God has been teaching me how nourishing and sustaining the act of love is when it’s both given and received in equal measure.
Through His way of loving me, and blessing me with a loving community of diverse family and friends, I am on the way of being more accepting of myself for the first time ever in my life.

I am finally allowing myself to be the introverted woman with a quirky sense of humour, with such an acute sensitivity to the world that only now I’m learning to embrace.
I’m learning that it’s okay to be a sensitive and emotional person even though some people can find it quite confronting and awkward to be around. I don’t see other people’s repulsion towards myself as purely my fault anymore, and that is a sweet freedom I’m finally allowing myself to experience. God has helped me finally cut the ropes I’ve been tying and forever tightening around myself for the majority of my short lived life.

God has shown no fear or hesitation in approaching difficult aspects of my life, whether it be with my mental health issues, or even with family issues that have really froze me overwhelmingly in my tracks. My relationship with God in the past few years has been like breaking into a new pair of shoes, I just wasn’t fully aware of how literal the breaking in would feel like. God has been demolishing the dysfunctional aspects of my old thought processes and ways of processing emotion, replacing them with His own love and beautiful grace. When I read the gospel and began learning about God’s love for humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it was the first lesson in forgiveness I ever properly took in.

The thought that my sins were forgiven through Jesus’ death on the cross, really shocked me. My first thought was, why would He want to save someone so flawed like myself?
Initially I didn’t think I was worth saving at all, so I was intrigued to to actually read more into what it meant in Luke’s version of the gospel. The day I first finished reading it, I was in a shopping centre food court and I remember looking up from my bible thinking, He died for this?!

I remember being genuinely confused about what was so special about us as a humanity that God thought was worth saving. I mean really, we don’t have cool super powers, we all lead incredibly average lives. So incredibly human. I learnt there and then that I had a long journey in being able to love myself for the human I am, but more importantly I learnt that God’s Love for us all is so encompassing and inclusive that we can never fully fathom it for ourselves in our mere human minds. He’s here for us in the whole humaness of it all.

He showed me that he was ready to take on my imperfection and fears, that I couldn’t bear the weight of on my own. And He continues to show me that to this day. Even when I think I am too much trouble for Him, and that I worry I pray way too much to Him, He responds in love through the people He has planted for me in my life. His calm sureness of where He’s guiding me is what keeps me going.

I decided to get baptised last year after one year of being a Christian because I felt ready to affirm my life with Him. I felt ready to continue my journey with Him, because He had shown me a strength and boldness in the way He was prepared to lead me through life that I could have never mustered on my own.

Despite my childhood fear of being dunked in water, and despite slipping over afterwards in a hallway on my way to the bathroom (acquiring my baptism bruises as I like to call them), it was a really special moment for me.

My baptism photo depicts two things:

  • A young woman who is sitting absolutely drenched in a blow up pool, with messy unkept hair.
  • A young woman who was making one of the most integral first steps for herself, in living a life with more love and acceptance woven in the gaps of her tapestry.

 

 

Life Update: Severed Pinky Tendon

received_264527130928015

I severed the tendon in my left hand pinky finger (should an adult still call it a pinky? 😂) by dropping a big glass jar on it at work (cafe), also damaging the nerves and arteries, with a big piece of glass stabbing the bone but thankfully not breaking it. After it happened and I was running it under water, I couldn’t move it at all, the top part of the pinky just felt like it was hanging off my finger 😂
I went to Maroondah Hospital to take care of it, and it actually went really smoothly. There was barely any annoyingly long waiting time at all between the different doctors and nurses I had to see.

The triage nurse bandaged it up, then another nurse took me to a bed straight away, shortly after a doctor started looking at it and took pictures of it to send to the plastics surgeon. Naturally I asked, “Can I also take pictures of it on my phone?”, surprised at how comfortable I was with the glistening white of the tendon and the ruby red puddle of the blood in the gash, he helped me take not one but two photos of my pinky. Clearly aware of how much I cared for the closeness and the angles of the gash.

20181116_143519

Then they were saying that I probably wouldn’t get into surgery because of how full their surgery list was that day, and that I would have to come in the next morning at 7am for surgery. But as they were giving me a tetanus shot and giving me antibiotics through a cannula, they said they could squeeze me in ASAP! I was flooded with sweet, sweet relief and excitement for surgery.

As I was wheeled into the operating room ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder was being played over the speakers, I knew I was in safe hands. As they say, a plastics surgeon with good music taste knows how to repair a tendon.
I woke up a few hours later to a smiling doctor scribbling down secret pinky notes, with ‘Stop! In The Name Of Love’ by the Supremes on constant repeat in my head.

All is repaired, hand is in a cast for 6 weeks and I have 3 months recovery ahead with some hand therapy.
But with this friendly bedside buddy, time should fly. I hope this monkey can dance or do something cool, like a magic trick.

received_326901854770344

Originally I thought that this post would be easier than typing a lot of messages to you guys, although this has turned out to be a longer right hand typed post than expected!

Hope you and your tendons are well. xo

Press Pause

presspause

Press pause.

It’s Sunday.

I don’t want this peace to leave,
as we roll through this sunshine in winter.

It’s as if all the tension from the week,
is put on hold
and that humdrum feeling is traded,
in for a soft, sweet surrender.

Kelly and Finn,
familiar words and melodies,
dancing in the background of this Camry,
lulling us into a calming disposition,
as we drive out further from home.

Book open wide,
I read something of a useless magic,
heavy in my lap.
Letting the words wander in,
in-between
idly glancing out at the fast moving scenery,
just so they have the time,
to settle and take their seat.

It’s a moment,
just to let everything be.
All that is felt, thought and seen.

I never want this feeling to leave.

%d bloggers like this: