Life update!

Today is the 1st of September – wow this year has gone so fast!

It is officially count down to my year abroad, I leave in 11 days! Crikey, it is definitely real right now. I’m going to be living abroad so so soon and I’m really excited but I did not realise the amount of work I would actually need to do. I received an email yesterday which I only found out about today that I need to prepare a 2-3 minute presentation about a recent legal development in my country and send the title to the Erasmus Coordinator. Of course, I have thought up the most recent legal development I have been aware of but that still doesn’t put into perspective the fact that I am being expected to complete tasks before my arrival (this university is incredibly serious). I am also required to read a book which costs 20€! What! Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining but I didn’t realise we had to do reading and If we did notice has come rather late. I’ve been relaxing and reading for pleasure but I ultimately have to get back into the swing of things.

Apart from school, I also recently celebrated my 21st birthday! Wow! What an age, I feel like I am aging and I’m not 100% OK with that. Of course, there will be people out there that will say ‘you are not that old, what about the people older than you?’ That is not the point. I just got used to being 20 and now I’m turning another age.

Today I also finished my last shift working as a receptionist, I had a half day today and will no longer be returning as I prepare to go abroad. I thank God for getting me this job and all the opportunities I have had this summer are as a result of His favour on my life. I serve a living God and I wish and hope that more people get to know Him – He’s the best!

My objective is that when I get to Belgium I am able to document my journey, studies, friends and walk with Jesus there on this blog so please do keep an eye out and let me know if you would like to know specific things about Belgium or things that you would like me to blog about!

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Going on a Year Studying Abroad is not easy #1

I am going to start writing a series of posts as I prepare to depart on my year abroad in Belgium. The posts are going to contain a lot of information about going abroad generally but also information about where I am staying and the sorts of things I get up to. I do hope it will be of help to those considering going abroad but also nostalgic for those who have studied abroad themselves.

First things first – going abroad is not easy or cheap. There are so many expenses you need to think about and you need to think ahead, for that matter. For instance, are you going to go by plane or train, perhaps by ferry or some other mode of transport?

I have had to complete various documents including an Erasmus grant application and a language competency test. I have also had to consider accommodation and I am very lucky to be staying with a kot a projet which is essentially a community of students who each have a project which they work on as an ensemble – I was actually really lucky to get this accommodation as they were initially full and I had to do a mini ‘interview’ sort of Skype session. They asked me about my background and why I wanted to stay with them for my Erasmus year abroad.

Apart from documents and accommodation, I have had to think about money which… I still need to sort out. I have had to think about who will actually take me to get my train to Belgium. I have had to think about phones and how to contact family. There is probably more I need to think about but haven’t so far. Please do let me know if you are going abroad and the sorts of things you are sorting out or have on your list of things to sort out.

 

5 piercings I like but would not get myself

Recently a lot of the videos female Youtubers have been participating in are those regarding baby names which they like but would not themselves be using. I have myself watched some of them and not all of the females are actually pregnant – it just seems like a fun and informative video to watch regardless of status or where you are in life plus it’s just really cool to hear other people’s ideas.

Nevertheless, it is from this video idea that this post was birthed. I wanted to make a post about the piercings I like in general or on other people but could not see on myself for several reasons. In order to narrow down the scope, I have whittled down the number of piercings to 5 mainly to give this post some structure (this is not to say there are more piercings I dislike on myself but simply that these are the piercings I have at one point considered but will never actually go through in getting).

This point is in no way offending anyone with these piercings because as stated above I have at one point considered these piercings at various stages of my life at some point for various reasons. I am in fact using cartoon images rather than people in the case where I can to show you what the piercings look like without offending anyone (with only one exception).

Just for your information, I only have my two lobes pierced (the most generic/basic piercing, even though the piercer did it incorrectly so I’m going to get it corrected at some point soon).

1. Septum

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The first piercing is a septum piercing and is one of two facial piercings I will mention in this post. My reasons for no longer getting a septum piercing are simple, I now no longer want one or think that one would suit me. I am also not very fond of facial piercings. I’ve heard that the piercing is painful when getting done and can make you tear. Moreover, it looks awkward and difficult to clean.

2. Daith

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I have always wanted to get my daith pierced because I find it to be a cute and rather inconspicuous piercing ( I like piercings that are unnoticeable). In fact, I often still consider getting my daith pierced. What is stopping me, however, are my ears. Sometimes I have issues with my ears such as a clogged up ear, an ear infection etc and I feel a daith would only add fuel to the fire because it is so close to the entrance of the ear canal. It, just like the piercing above, looks awkward to clean let alone to change. Finally, I like listening to music too much and this piercing might get in the way. I might change my mind but right now this is my stance.

3. Nose

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(image from wikiHow)

I would not get this piercing for a similar reasoning as to why I would not get my septum pierced, however, I also think that I would not suit a nose piercing. I generally dislike facial piercings. Having said this, when I was younger I always wanted my nose pierced and even to this day if I find a small rhinestone which has become detached from clothing I will place it on my nose and pretend it’s a nose stud (sad I know but let’s not pretend we haven’t done this).

4. Scaffolding

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Again, one of those piercings which alongside the daith I have always wanted. It is an absolutely beautiful piercing and I have always admired it on other people and always ask them if it hurt getting it pierced on not. The main reason I have not got this piercing is that when I asked my mother if I could get it she outright rebuked the thought.

On the other hand, I have not got this piercing because I’ve heard it’s incredibly painful, in particular when the bar pierces through the second cartilage ascending upwards diagonally. Moreover, I have read some horror stories about people getting keloids when they have got this piercing: this is not to say you cannot get a keloid with other piercings but it looks like heartache to deal with.

5. Tongue

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Last but not least the classic tongue piercing. I wanted to get a tongue piercing because it looked fashionable and something you could play with in your mouth. The reason I will not be getting this piercing is because I have simply grown out of this logic.

Let me know if you are going to get any of these piercings, agree or disagree with me or want to add your own opinions in the comments and remember to like and share this post. 

Tschuss!

And the praise is Yours

This post has one objective, it is to praise God and extol His holy name.

It is currently T minus 9 mins to 12 midnight (this post will probably go up sometime after that) and I wanted to write this post because the Lord has done so much for me regarding my personal and professional life. I would not personally consider myself to consistently read my Bible or always pray, although I aim to do both more times than not (that is every day – both morning and evening).

When I first started University, my faith in God was not very grounded. I used to go to Church because my parents did and my relationship with God was mainly vicariously through them. After flying the nest however and joining a church where I go to University, I have gotten stuck into the life of the Church – not simply being a spectator but actively participating in building the kingdom of God.

In all honesty, being away from my family makes me realise that my relationship with God does existent because when I am not with my family, to me I am with God and Him and I have the opportunity to be with one another. In essence, I feel like when I am by myself, I can have quiet time with myself and God all the time. The same cannot be said when I come back home however and the issue I have come to realise is my overreliance on my family’s faith rather than my own.

This is silly because God has done so much for me when I have been attentive to him, where I have served and when I have given. God’s blessings are immeasurable. All the blessings that have come my way are because of Him. Therefore all the glory and praise are His. He is the rock on which I stand, my joy and comfort.

Two sermons ago my Pastor mentioned the fact that as a church we should feel a heaviness or disappointment when someone who was unable to witness the love of God passes away. She is right in that from what I have experienced of the love and grace of God, I could not imagine my life any other way. In fact, I often speak to the Holy Spirit when I am walking out in public and there is nobody else I could ever speak to the way I do or trust the way I do the Holy Spirit.

Though I do sometimes forget to read my Bible or pray, I am always praising God and worshiping through song. Not a day goes by when I will not listen to or sing Christian music. I love Jesus and no power of hell or scheme of man will pluck me from His hand.

Please let me know about your experiences finding God for yourself, let me know if you do not know Him or whether you are still finding Him.

 

Nature is cruel!

Yesterday I witnessed the saddest but most surreal aspect of nature I have ever witnessed before.

I was making breakfast in the kitchen in the morning and I noticed there was a fly. It was buzzing around and I figured I’d let it out as it was clear that it accidentally flew into the kitchen without meaning to and did not know how to leave. It was also pretty warm so i felt sorry for it –  I myself was hot so I was wondering how he/she would be feeling.

I opened the window, shepherding it out when it fell behind the sofa metres from the window. This was probably the worst thing that could happen to the fly because as soon as it fell a spider came out of its cobweb (bear in mind this was behind the sofa which is in front of the window). Honestly, I cannot describe how fast that spider ran. I’ve never seen it in my life. The fly was only centimetres away from the spider but as soon as the spider sensed the fly was there ( probably gave it away from all the noise it was making) it swooped in and attacked.

Guys, you had to be there to see what happened. I was leaning on the sofa, looking at the back of it where the window, spider and fly were. The spider which was actually miniature in comparison to the fly swooped (it ran incredibly fast, I mean I’ve never seen this before in my life) in from the cove of web and grabbed the fly. At this point, the fly was struggling and making buzzing noises to get away. I figured I would not meddle in what nature intended – more so because I despise spiders but at the same time I felt so bad for the fly. I actually verbalised an ‘oh no’ and watched on as my porridge sat on the counter top, getting cold.

Every time the fly would make noise as if it was taking off the spider would spin its web cocooning him/her in and leaving the fly no chance to escape. I simply looked on as the fly struggled for its last breath (i mean anthropomorphism right?). Eventually, the fly stopped moving. I went to go grab my porridge and sat on the sofa. I just couldn’t eat it. I then took another look behind the sofa and neither fly nor spider were there anymore. I don’t know where they are or what the spider did to the fly.

This morning, I checked to see if the spider had returned. It hasn’t. There is no sign of the fly either. It’s amazing how nature works! I just feel like this should have been on a David Attenborough nature programme or something even though it was on a small scale!

WOW! I’m actually now watching spider videos. What’s wrong with me?!

Today is significant for a few reasons…

Today I finished my last exam and therefore my second year at University and…it’s bittersweet. Of course, I am glad I do not have any more exams to revise for as in fact I was feeling drained and did not know how much longer I could last. Having said this, next year I will be going abroad to study for a year in a country I have never been to, whose language is not my mother tongue leaving most of my friends behind who will be graduating next year. This means that I will not be seeing most of them upon my return as they will have either moved back to their home countries or left the city I am currently into work elsewhere. Thus, today, reality struck. We’re all growing up, and time waits for nobody. I started my degree thinking University would be a long four years – I’m learning that years, months, minutes and seconds pass so fast we often do not realise. I want to take the opportunity then to reflect on the things I have achieved both academically and personally (though I will not mention them in this post, I simply want to internalise them). In comparison to my first yet, I have done a lot less and that’s simply because I want to focus on my studies.

What must be said about University is that you really cannot have it all – the social life, the grades, and sleep. You must choose two out of three if that. In fact, two might be stretching it because I felt in the last couple of weeks I’ve been lacking a full night’s rest. In principle, however, I’ve chosen the latter two but this sometimes makes me ponder whether I am missing out on the University experience; the sorts of things I will look back on, the memories, the laughs, the crying (happy tears, I mean) and the embarrassing moments and not forgetting the people I spent these moments with.

In reality, I do not feel I am able to state I have had such moments yet, nor can I definitively state the people I am likely to stay in contact with, bar a few of my friends. Undoubtedly, my experience at University is going to be different to the next person but it’s important I state this. Hear me out, despite the long held and often repeated idea that University is THE BE ALL AND END ALL, the place where you meet your friends for life, potentially your soul mate, this is sadly not always the reality. Undeniably, I have met some amazing people who I hope to stay in contact with in the future however these people are by no means in the two digit figure and they are also likely to be under 5 in number.

I appreciate this probably sounds a little unfortunate or sad, but I’m not sad at all, in fact, it’s rather therapeutic to realise this while I am still at University so it helps me to build better bonds with those i really care about. It may even incentivize me to make more of an effort!

Moving from the topic of University life altogether now, today is also signficant because wordpress reminded me that it was my three year anniversary today. Three years today, inspired by Maya Angelou’s life and literature, i started this blog. I do not regret to this day starting this blog. It has helped me to document my thoughts (you could say streams of consciousness – a bit like this post ay!), my creativity and my weirdness. However, what i do regret is my failure at keeping at it and posting much more frequently, than i do. I honestly do not have an excuse for it – this makes me sad. I’ve always been a writer. Always enjoyed putting pen to paper to write down my internal thoughts and thanks to a teacher that recommended blogging, this became the perfect platform, however i feel i am not using this platform to my advantage.

I am hoping to turn this around – I am focusing on me this summer and working both on reading and writing as often as I can, documenting the things that happen and the things that don’t. Here’s to creativity and inspiration .

You are what you say you are…

…life and death lie in the power of the tongue.

This statement will eternally be true. I am a culprit of forgetting the significance of this statement because it is so easy to self-criticise even when you do not think that is what you are doing.

I have often found that I speak down on myself even without realising whether it is a passing comment or accepting what other people say about me. But I have realised that this has taken a toll on my self -confidence and it needs to stop.

For instance, I’lll say that I can’t do something and then laugh and shrug it off but really this is ridiculous. Why can’t i do it? I give no reasons whatsoever but just come to conclusions. I do it so often now that it has become a habit and not only is it annoying for me but it must also be annoying for those that have to listen to me complain all the time.

Every week i tell myself i’ll be better, that I won’t be so negative and it’s really difficult because i have grown accustomed to this behaviour, but I say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. There comes a point where you realise that you should not be relying on other people to pick you up and be your cheerleader but that you have to do that yourself. I am starting today – by loving myself!

I have been destroying myself with self-doubt and pity while everyone else is living their own life and not realising that it is the enemy of progression.

No one ever became what they wanted to be without believing that they could do it and even in the face of doubt they always professed that they would be able to do it. This is the mentality I am hoping to adopt for the rest of the year and beyond.

It is not about what the grade said, how your friends or teachers looked at you, it’s not about not understanding something. It’s all up to YOU and your mindset whether you achieve the best grade you possibly can, whether you ignore those looks and comments and go after your dreams or whether you choose to understand the concept.

I pray to God that he will help me!