2012: A year to be thankful for

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So as 2012 comes to a close here are some of the things I am thankful for (in no particular order 🙂 )

1. A fiancee who loves me and an imminent wedding to make me his wife after 6 years of being best friends

2. A 4 year university conjoint degree, over and finished so that I can graduate next May and move forward in my career path

3. A family (and future in-laws) who supports me through stressful exam times, wedding planning, surgery, moving and so much more

4. A cat who is my baby and who gives me cuddles everyday (and who is still the cutest cat I know, despite her lack of a tail)

5. A surgery that I have needed for a long time that finally occurred and that will make life a little easier and my health a lot better

6. A Grandma who despite her disease remains someone I can spend time with, drinking coffee and appreciating the little things in life

7. A future that is uncertain but exciting and a present that is challenging but rewarding

8. A home that despite its many challenges has been a roof over our head and a place where we could put up Christmas decorations

9. A country where violence is minimal and Guns are heavily controlled so that we can feel safe at home, in town and in schools

10. Friends online and off who are a constant source of laughter, girl talks, beauty advice and support for all aspects of my life. This year I have met an incredible bunch of people who have truly changed my life (even when they live in a different country)

11. A blog that started as a little idea and grew into a lot of little ideas. Still growing and still deciding what it should be but a source of joy and escape from day-to-day life for me and a way to learn how to become better in a variety of ways

12. New neighbors that are nowhere near as loud or unfriendly as the previous ones

13. A flat that is situated two minutes walk from a mall. Both a blessing and a curse but definitely something I am thankful for, along with the starbucks that comes with it

14. An amazing Thai restaurant just down the road that I will miss with a vengeance if I leave

15. A summer Christmas full of beach swims, pohutakawa trees, ham and salads for Christmas lunch, family spending time in the sun and blue skies

16. Some amazing books that have filled my time with adventures and my mind with thoughts and knowledge

17. Children who have made my life tiring but fun-filled and who teach me more than any lecturer or text book could

18. Emotional challenges that although testing have made me a stronger, better person, happier in myself

19. A university education that has enlarged my knowledge as well as my options and opportunities in life. It also showed me the path in life I would like to walk down at some point in the future to create change and inspire lives.

20. A life that is full of love, laughs, challenges, chances, friends, families, strangers, smiles, tears, growth, cats, changes and so much more. A life that is mine to screw up and learn from fixing. A life that is mine to share with people who hold my heart. A life that I will always be thankful for, every second that I receive to live it.

Xx

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Where to from here…?

So if you read my post about what I learnt from Uni you may be wondering what will I do now? (Or maybe it is just me pondering this question).

After spending my life at school and then at Uni with no break in between study feels like my life, what I know, what I am comfortable with. So naturally I planned to carry on with it. Unfortunately the program I wanted to carry on with was a 4 year honors/PhD combined program in clinical psychology which took only 11 students per year and the key quality for them in choosing was Life Experience. I can quantify my grades, I can record every job of every year and every ounce of work experience. But life experience?  Despite my 21 years I feel I do have more life experience than some but I completely understand their reservations in training up someone who has never worked full time, hasn’t been married, has no kids and so on. How can I help others cope with the issues they face when I still have a lot of room to grow and mature? So I applied and in case you hadn’t gathered I didn’t get through. Was I surprised? Not at all. Was I disappointed? Utterly devastated. This is my dream and to be able to get in would have meant the next 4 years being planned and ready. Instead I was left feeling like I had failed (and I take failure a little too seriously some may say). Skip forward a couple days of tears and self-doubt/shame and I was feeling a bit different. I still feel embarrassed to tell people, even though it would have been a very slim chance of getting in I can’t help but feel that sense of not being good enough (which I wasn’t) and having to admit to people that I failed to prove myself this time around makes my heart hurt.

On the flip-side of this rather depressing coin was the positive thinking (which was helped by my amazing mum and fiancee who told me I was silly for feeling like a failure and reminded me of the facts). After 4 years of study I am tired. Mentally, Emotionally and Physically tired. So although clinical psych is what I want to do, going straight into another 4 years of study that would be a lot harder was daunting. To be honest I wasn’t sure I could take it. I needed a break and a change from the study that had consumed my life. So God shut this door for now and to be honest I don’t blame him. Maybe I am not ready right now for this 4 year program and maybe in a couple years time I will be in a better place to cope with what the course throws at me.

Okay whew that was a rambly explanation of what I’m not doing haha. Now onto where I am going in the next couple of years. First up I want to do a 3 week CELTA (English language teaching qualification) which is held in January and is a great way to start earning more than minimum wage in whichever city/country I happen to be in. Then in August/September the idea is that Edd and I will up and leave New Zealand to move to Paris for a year. I will work in English teaching and anything else possible (having just done an art history major I would love to do some work in an art gallery) and Edd will hopefully get some work in software/testing as that is what he has been doing so far this year. Why France you ask? (Probably not as I am sure France is pretty self-explanatory). I did French in high school/uni and love everything about France and Paris and Edd feels pretty much the same way.  Moving away from NZ has its downsides namely leaving our family which we are very close to and leaving Callie! Our lovely baby (Cat) will be relocated to one of our Family’s houses where she will be looked after and hopefully settle in. Leaving Callie feels a little bit like abandoning my child (a total exaggeration I’m sure but not having kids she’s the closest I’ve got haha – cue uncontrollable feelings of guilt haha). If I could easily bring her with me I would. Although leaving our family will be weird and terrifying for me at least, it is also part of why this is a good idea. Being reliant on family is something I need to work on and by moving overseas with Edd I think I can grow and mature in a way I haven’t been able to yet. So after a year in France we will come on back to NZ and I will probably apply for the psych program again hopefully with more life experience and a renewed ability to throw myself in to the program. So there are my next three years penciled out. Is France set in stone? Nope but it’s our main goal at the moment and to be honest sounds close to perfection. Coffees, walks through Paris in the rain, tiny apartments, boulangeries, endless varieties of cheese at local markets, Europe at our doorstep, weekends filled with art galleries and museums… It won’t be easy but it will be an amazing experience for us both.

I guess I should also mention a couple of other things that are fast approaching. First off in a couple of weeks (4th December all going well) I will be having nose surgery  No, not to make my nose beautiful and shapely but to reshape the interior and bust up my misbehaving sinuses, all which should help with my chronic sinusitis and other related health issues. I am a little terrified after being warned of the various risks but excited to get this done. Then after January and the CELTA course Edd and I have our wee wedding in Feb (17th) so that will be a pretty exciting moment in both of our lives! Needless to say I have mountains of wedding planning to work on whilst stuck home in bed for couple of weeks after surgery.

Well, that was a mouthful. There is my life laid out for ya’ll to see. I’m nervous, I’m excited, I’m … well I’m still a little removed from it all to be honest. It doesn’t quite feel real at the moment haha. For Edd and I the key is to remain flexible and yet hard working so we can keep saving the money that will allow us to go to France if we decide to.

This is an excerpt from one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken) which seemed rather appropriate now faced with the future. The importance of the choices we make and yet the inability to see the true effects each choice will have on our future rings clear as Edd and I try to make our way through the future. I only pray for the wisdom and strength to choose my paths in life and gain from them the most that I can, with my partner alongside.

Anyway, I am sure this is a pointless post for most but in case anyone was curious as to where my life was heading after Uni I though I would quickly throw this up. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend

Xx

20 things university has taught me

Here are some of my lessons learnt from 4 years of University , in no particular order:

1. The love and support from family is something incredible. Feeling like there are people out there who will love you regardless of your grades and will be there for condolences on a bad exam as well as praise for an A+ helped me get through Uni with a clear head and a happy heart.

2. Mums are great at supplying caffeine and chats and reminding me to aim for the heavens.

3. I am not the smartest person and I don’t know everything.

4. Learning is a process that will take me a lifetime and will never finish. This is a good thing.

5. People are interesting and different and incredibly intelligent so make time to chat to strangers and get to know the person sitting next to you. Smile.

6. Tea is a life saver at busy exam periods.

7. Assessments are stressful and there is little that can change this.

8. Retaining a sense of perspective is the only way to keep moving through the really hard times. In the end this is just one aspect of life and there is so much more.

9. My time management skills will never improve and I will always leave things to the last minute. Things could be worse.

10. Having a partner in crime to get through Uni alongside you is amazing and makes the experience much more enjoyable. It also helps knowing someone else is just as stressed as you.

11. Don’t drink large amounts of caffeine prior to an exam/tests.

12. Biology is fun and interesting but beheading and dissecting termites…not so much.

13. Don’t forget to laugh. Alone, with friends, on the phone…let it out and enjoy the funny moments in life.

14. Never leave home with out lip balm and a nail file.

15. Not everything is going to go my way and in the end I have to accept that the future isn’t mine to command and requires some flexibility.

16. Kitty cuddles can make a terrible day better again.

17. I don’t have to be perfect in everything I do. Mistakes are part of how we grow and mature (I must be incredibly mature for my age…) and there is no point beating yourself up about them.

18. Chocolate is great as an emotional study aid but eating healthy keeps the mind and body in its best form.

19. I am stronger now than 4 years ago and I know myself better than anyone else who tries put me down or judge me.

20. Last up Uni has shown me where I want to end up in 10 years time, as a clinical psychologist working with children and living a healthy life full of love and happiness. This might not happen straight away but having some sense of direction for the future is a reassuring thing.

See you all soon with a part 2 post about what’s happening now Uni is over.

Xx

P.s. this is not an exhaustive list, merely my tired minds ramblings on a VERY hot day

Made Me Smile: Tea and other things

 

Hi All!

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend where-ever in the world you may be. Here are the things from the last week (or a small collection of them) that made me smile 🙂

Monday was my last exam (Hurrah!) so now I am officially unemployed for the first time in my life (sidenote-awkward…) however to celebrate (and because I am lazy) Edd and I got amazing takeaways from a Kiwi burger/fish and chips joint in Kingsland that do amazing food! As per the photo we also splurged on some Rekorderlig cider which I hadn’t tried and was DESPERATE to. These were the two flavors recommended via Twitter and they were right on. These are amazing and unlike any cider I have tried (I LOVE cider!). Slow to the party as always haha.

For me the lack of exams essentially means more time for coffees (or chai lattes in this case) and reading! Gone are the 4 years of textbooks and lecture notes that made me feel guilty when I picked up anything half interesting. I may be unemployed but at least I can read fiction guilt-free. Its the small things right :P? On a side note this book is amazing so far and I also have a post planned with my recent reads which some of you may find dead boring but I hope at least one internet soul finds slightly interesting :-/

Went to visit Edd’s rather lovely family this week, one of whom is Tilly the lovely old kitty who Edd misses quite a lot (though he would never admit it). I really am very lucky with my future in-laws! (the people…not just the pets…)

Saturday…Ugh Saturday where to begin. AMAZING day (all concentrated into a couple of hours mind you) with a wonderful friend who took me to her local tea cafe where we chose from the WALL of teas. I was seriously in tea-lovers heaven.

In the end we chose Caramel and Cream Rooibos tea (I’m pretty sure I spelt that wrong whoops) and it tasted like a tea version of Werthers Originals. Delicious.

Did I mention I also got pancakes? Not enough maple syrup (I mean is there ever really enough?) but hit my sweet spot for sure. If you live near Milford check this Tea place out…Sorry I can’t be more specific than that haha, useful right? It has tea in the name?

The other major thing that occurred this weekend was Edd and I taking over My dad’s house with Kids and Animals included (YAY) for two weeks whilst Dad and my Step Mum are living it up in New York. Meet Tilly. (p.s. Children are tiring).

And how could I leave a week in smiles without this familiar face? Edd is keeping her company for several nights this week and I pop in every now and again to make sure she knows we still love her. Baby.

Xx

Surviving Stress

Hey Guys,

A really quick post today as I have two assignments that are due tomorrow that are finished but so terribly done that a lot of reworking needs to occur and in a miracle amount of time! I thought this may be an appropriate time to throw up some of the tips I have for how I survive the stress of study.

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