It Is Over | Part Two

The last post that I posted with this title was full of sadness and nostalgia. I’d just finished high school and youth group and GB, and I was feeling pretty down about it. 

This time, I am ecstatic to be writing this post. Why? Because I’ve finished Queen’s Award. 

For those of you who aren’t aware, Queen’s Award is the highest international Girls’ Brigade award. There is literally nothing better. It’s been two years of tasks and assignments and service and records. And, as of last weekend, I am finished. 

Well, not technically. There’s still the Presentation Weekend, and I don’t know for sure that I passed everything at Assessment Weekend, but I’m pretty sure I did. And if I did, I’ve finished all of the work. 

There was a day about a year and a half ago when I realized that I would one day be finished with it. It was never ending, the way it felt at the time. It had a beginning and an ending. 

Am I glad I did it? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Most of the time, yes. Am I glad it’s over? Absolutely, 100%, yes. 

Part of my ecstaticness comes from the fact that Assessment Weekend was a) way more fun, b) way less stressful, and c) way easier than I’d been anticipating. The other girls there were all really great, and we had an awesome time. Sure, we had to give a presentation at Parliament, and do a couple of tests, but it was an awesome weekend overall. 

I find out in a couple of weeks if I’ve passed everything from Assessment Weekend. If I have, I will get presented with my award by the Governor General (the Queen’s representative) at Government House in December. I can’t wait. 

Queen’s Award is over. And I couldn’t be happier. 

Tessa Ann

When You Know Yourself Too Well

I know I’ve been gone for ages. I don’t have a reason. I don’t know if I’m going to post regularly again. I just needed to share this. 

I’ve made a real mess of my life lately. I’m not going to go into detail right now, but things have not been going well for me, and it’s my own fault. 

At the current moment in time, I have a very large pile of things to do for my Queen’s Award that is due in 23 hours that I haven’t started. I’ve just been putting it off constantly, and now it’s come down to this. 

Now we need some backstory. Two ish years ago, I found out about the website, which enables you to send emails to yourself in the future. It was also two years ago that my procrastination first became a real issue, and I sent myself a whole bunch of emails, which I received a year ago. I must’ve decided to send myself another one after receiving all of them, because just now, as I was contemplating throwing in the towel with Queen’s Award and uni, I got this email from the past.

That is literally the most perfect timing possible. And it made me cry. 

Take away from this what you want. Maybe you needed to read that email too. Maybe you want to laugh at how well I appear to know my own stress and bad habits. I just felt like I needed to share it. Maybe it’s a turning point for me. I really hope so. 

This is going to be the most insane 23 hours. But, according to past me, I can do it. 

Tessa Ann

Home | Motley Monday

Yesterday, the first real opportunity to move out of my family home presented itself. 

I was talking to a friend at church, and she told me that the flat she’s staying in will have a room available starting in June. She told me how much it would cost and all that. I laughed it off a bit, saying that I don’t have an income ($15 a week doesn’t count as an income), so I wouldn’t really have any way to pay for it. 

But like it normally does, my mind starting wandering down the path of what if. What if I did move? What if I found some way to pay for it? What if I took this step now, instead of in fourish years? 

At first, I was thinking about moving in the sense of being in a new house. Then I clicked that moving to a new house would mean leaving my old one. 

This is the only house that I’ve ever lived in. My parents moved in about six months before I was born. I’ve had the same bedroom since I was a week old, and it’s the exact room I’m in right now. I know this house inside and out. I know where all the flaky bits of paint on doorframes and the partly painted screws are. I know the spots in the hallway where the floor creaks a little. This room that I’m in? It is the only room in the entire world that has ever been just mine. Sure, someone had it before me, but that was before I was born. For all intents and purposes, this is my room. 

This is home. There is absolutely no question about it. Maybe some people don’t get attached to places, because they move around a bit, but this is home for me. 

It’s not just the building. It’s the memories that it contains. You know, I’ve probably spent at least 50% of my life in this building. That’s a lot of time to make a lot of memories. And that’s a lot to think about leaving behind. 

Of course, there’s also the fact that I’d be leaving my family. Although it’s tempting at times, it would be an extremely difficult thing to do. 

The thought of moving out is daunting. But it’s not the money that’s daunting, or having to fend for myself, as challenging as it may be. It’s the thought of leaving home. That’s a phrase that we use a lot, to mean moving out, but for me, it means such a great deal more. I’ve never had to pack up, say goodbye, and move my entire life to a different location. I’ve never had to make a place home before. And the thought of doing that is the most daunting thing in the world. 

Right now, I feel very much like a small child, clinging to my mother’s leg, not wanting to let go and play on my own. So for now, I’ll probably stay. I mean, it’s the smart thing to do. Free accommodation and food and everything. But really, I’m staying because I’m not ready to leave. 

I’m staying because this is my home. 

Tessa Ann 

I Want My Life Back | Motley Monday

Three weeks ago, I posted about the blessing in disguise that came from having surgery, because the nurse visits forced me to start having a normal sleeping pattern. 

I’m so over that. I want my life back. 

It’s been five weeks since the surgery, and there’s still a long way to go until I’m fully healed and the visits stop, by the sound of things. I’ve had a nurse come to my house every single day to change my dressing since then. Some are nice and tell me stories about their kids when I tell them that I want to be a teacher. Others tell me off for changing the visit time to when they have more important patients, when I wasn’t even the one who changed it. 

I get told when I can and can’t shower. My bedroom permanently smells like a hospital. I spend my days waiting for the phone call that tells me that the nurse is nearly there, or that she can’t come till later. At one point, I was told that she would be coming at 8:30am, and she didn’t come until 3pm. I spent my entire day waiting around for her to show up. 

They look at me like it’s an inconvenience when I have uni and church and other commitments. One nurse even told me that I had to postpone meeting up with my friends to get my dressing changed, even though I’d told them that I would be busy. 

I don’t even get a little sleep in anymore, and I’m not a morning person. Every day, I have to be up, and then sometimes they don’t even show up when they said they would. I understand that other patients take priority, but most of them act as though the only thing I have going on is waiting for them. I was in the middle of tutoring the other day when the nurse showed up. 

I’m just so over it. I don’t have privacy. I don’t have freedom to spontaneously go places. It’s ridiculous, and I just want it to be over. I honestly struggle to remember what it is like to not have the nurse coming over. And I hate it. 

I’m sorry for the rant, but this is my life right now. Please pray for fast healing, because I might end up slamming the door in a nurse’s face if this goes on much longer. 

That was a joke. 

Or maybe it wasn’t. 

Tessa Ann

Poetry Corner

This semester, I’m taking a creative writing paper at uni. It’s very exciting, because I’m finally getting a chance to actually write.

This blog was originally the blog of a writer. But then I stopped writing, so the blog changed. Now I want to go back to the beginning just a little, and post what I’ve been writing.

To begin, we’re doing poetry. I’ve dabbled before, mainly to express negative emotions. But I’ve never written a poem based on a prompt before, which is what we’ve been doing.

So today I’m going to share three poems with you. For each one, I’ll explain the prompt before sharing the poem, so that things make a bit more sense. Please be aware that these are basically straight from my brain to the paper – no editing or anything, other than making a couple of wording changes. If I get a good response to this post, then I might make this a regular thing.

Poem One: Tumbleweed

Prompt: write a poem inspired by a word/words from a large list, beginning with the line “my real name is…”. I selected the word tumbleweed.

My real name is tumbleweed
I drift
I float
I roll with the breeze
I never stick around
You always see me passing by
In a desolate place
I wish I could stay

Poem Two: Mockery Soul

Prompt:¬†write a poem inspired by a word/words from a large list, beginning with the line “yesterday my name was…”. I selected the words mockery and soul. (Not sure if I should actually put a warning here or something, but this one mentions darker topics).

Yesterday my name was mockery soul
I stood on the fringes
Always judging
I would laugh in your face
I tore you down
When you thought you were alone
I was there
Sometimes a whisper
Often a scream
I never left

Yesterday my name was mockery soul
Today my name is depression
Tomorrow my name will be death

Poem Three: The Ocean

Prompt: This one is more complicated. We were told to write a poem describing an image in the outdoors that was a metaphor for a feeling without using abstract concepts. We were not allowed to use adverbs, and could only use a couple of adjectives.

A quiet sea
No sign of waves on the horizon
A breeze
Blowing through my hair
Carrying the scent of the ocean
I glance out
There’s a ripple
A wave
Drumming in my ears
Rushing towards me
I can see it coming
But there’s no time to run
No escape
It all comes crashing down
I shiver as the water hits my skin
Taste the saltiness as I’m swept off my feet
Lungs burning
Arms and legs flailing
Searching for land
Finding none

That last one probably deserves a bit more explanation. I chose to describe the experience of finding out that my grandfather had passed away (this happened more than three years ago) – the peaceful sleep I was in, a slight disturbance, knowing as soon as I saw my mum’s face but not being able to avoid hearing it, everything crashing down. It’s quite specific to my experience, but it’s also vague enough to represent any number of experiences.

So… Those are my poems. I feel rather exposed right now, but maybe this will help with the whole writing process.

This is not so that I can get feedback, necessarily. It’s more of an opportunity for me to share something with you. And I’d love to know if you’d want to see more of this, or if you hate it completely.

For now, I have assignments to finish.

Tessa Ann

Two Weeks Without Facebook | Motley Monday

Two weeks ago, Facebook and Snapchat got deleted off my phone. 

It was not deliberate. I was running out of storage, so I put in an SD card which didn’t work, and, in the process, Facebook and Snapchat got deleted, and I don’t have enough storage to reinstall them. 

In an effort to waste less time, I decided to see if I could live without them, so I didn’t try and make space. I have spent the last two weeks completely Snapchat free, and only using Facebook on browser on my phone and the computer. 

So how’s it been? 

Let’s start with Snapchat. I miss it, mainly because I miss seeing random life updates from my friends. But I’d had it for less than a year, so it’s been quite easy to live without it. It wasn’t something that I ever wasted too much time on to begin with, but not having it has surely saved some time. 

And Facebook. Like I said, I have been using it on the browser on my phone and on the computer, but I find both of these much less user friendly than the app, so I’ve spent way less time with it. Instead of wasting hours scrolling through mindless posts, I’ve been going on once every day or so for a couple of minutes, mainly to check notifications. 

It’s been both good and bad. I’ve definitely been saving a lot of time, which has been great, especially starting uni. I still have Messenger, so I can still message people. 

But I definitely miss it. I don’t ever listen to or watch the news, so Facebook used to be my only source of news. Now, I hardly ever hear any news. I also miss seeing what my friends are posting. I went to visit a friend of mine, and didn’t know that she’d dyed her hair blue. What made it stranger was that my mum knew before I did. I miss seeing that kind of thing. 

But it’s been a good experience, and I don’t see myself reinstalling either app any time soon. Partially because I don’t have the storage, but also because I think it’s been good for me. 

Now I want to challenge you to go a week or so without using an app that you know you waste too much time on. Spend that time doing more important things. If, after a week, you feel like you can live without it for a while longer, then do so. Honestly, you may surprise yourself. 

Tessa Ann

New Beginnings | Motley Monday

Today is my first day of university. 

Today is the day that the next stage of my life begins. 

It’s absolutely insane. 

Part of me is scared. It’s going to be hard, and I’m terrible at time management. It’s just so different from high school. 

But I’m also so excited. I’ve been dreaming about becoming a teacher since I was 13, and this is the first step in that direction. 

Today is a day that I never thought would come. 

And yet it is here. 

I’m filled with anticipation. I have no idea what to expect. 

But whatever happens today, I’m ready. 

Tessa Ann

A Blessing In Disguise | Motley Monday

Sometimes even the most annoying situations can turn out to be blessings in disguise. 

Since my surgery two weeks ago, I’ve had a nurse come to my house every day to check on things and change my dressing. Before the nurse comes, I have to be showered and dressed. Which means I have to get up. 

I’ve mentioned on here before that I have very poor sleeping habits. I stay up far too late and sleep in far too late. But with the nurses coming, I’ve had to sleep at normal human times rather than ridiculous times, because they often come quite early in the day. Because of this, my internal body clock has slowly shifted, and I’m now at the stage that I wake up properly with my alarm, and I’m up in time to have breakfast and not have it technically be lunch. 

On Wednesday, Orientation Week starts at the university I’m starting at next week. I have to leave home at 8:30 to get there on time. If I hadn’t had surgery, I would still be sleeping at strange hours, and getting up that early would be a real struggle. But now I’m almost looking forward to it. If I hadn’t had surgery, my first year of university would likely have started very poorly, with me struggling to drag myself out of bed. 

So that’s my blessing in disguise. How have you been blessed in a surprising way lately? 

Tessa Ann 

Whoops I Had Surgery | Motley Monday

I apologize for not posting last Monday, but it was kinda understandable. 

Why is it understandable? Let me tell you a story. 

Last June, I went to the doctor exactly two weeks before I was supposed to go to Fiji and learned that I had a semi serious (mostly just painful) medical condition. I’m not going to tell you what it is, because of the nature of it. Let’s just say that it is something that needs to heal over time and is quite painful. 

Anyway, the doctor said that if I took my antibiotics and had it treated, I should be able to go to Fiji, but it would probably come back. He also mentioned that if it came back, I would very likely need surgery. 

Over the next two weeks, I used all my willpower and received lots of prayers, and two days before the trip, I got the all clear to go. When I came back, everything seemed fine. 

Fast forward to late January sometime. 25th, I think. A Wednesday. I realized that it had come back, so I went to the doctor the next day. He put me back on antibiotics, sent a referral to the hospital for surgery (which they never responded to), and started treating it again. After a few days, one of the nurses said that it was healing fine, and as long as I finished my antibiotics, I wouldn’t have to go back. 

She was wrong. 

So back we were on the next Thursday, a week after I first went to the doctor. On Friday, I was told that if there were any issues over the long weekend (Monday was a public holiday), I should go to the local after hours doctors thing. 

On Friday night, there was an issue. 

So bright and early Saturday morning, I went to the doctor, optimistically thinking that I’d be home in time to eat a more substantial breakfast than a muesli bar. 

Nope. The doctor sent me straight to the emergency room with a referral for surgery that day. 

If you’ve never had surgery before, there is one important thing to be grateful for. You can’t eat less than six hours before surgery. I’d already eaten that morning (but just a muesli bar!) so we had to wait until at least 2pm.

So we waited. 

Thing is, there’s only one operating theatre on weekends. And while mine was painful and important, it was not serious or urgent. So I kept getting bumped down the list. There was an accident, then an emergency cesarean, and goodness knows what else. Finally, at 10pm (remember that all I’d eaten was a muesli bar 14 hours earlier), they admitted that I wouldn’t be getting surgery that day. So they gave me dinner and sent me off to bed (actually I’d been in the hospital bed all afternoon, but whatever). 

Then Sunday roles around. The night before, they’d said that I would be first in the morning, so no breakfast. Then at 8, they told me it would be at 9:30. At 9:30, they said it would be at 2:30 (FIVE HOURS. YOU CAN’T EAT IF IT’S LESS THAN SIX). Then at 2:30, I was told 3:30. At around 4, I was called. I sat in the pre-op room, signed all the paperwork, and was about to go in, when there was another emergency cesarean. 

So I waited for another two hours, and finally got in at 6pm on Sunday. And then I had to spend a second night in hospital, because they had to check my blood pressure and all that every few hours. 

So that’s why I didn’t post on Monday. I was still kinda dead from having surgery the night before, and I didn’t get home until lunchtime on Monday. 

My ninth surgery. Done.

And you know what the best part is? This doesn’t even fully fix the problem. This just helps with the one I have at the moment. I’m probably going to have another surgery once I’m fully better to try and fix it completely. 

But I’m grateful that the health care system in New Zealand is good enough that I can be admitted to hospital for surgery and not have to worry about getting diseases from other patients, or have to worry about how on earth I’m going to pay for it all. I’m grateful that we have the equipment here, and that it’s all relatively safe. Even if the situation was way less than ideal, I’m still grateful. 

So that’s what’s been going on with me lately. Anyone else have an exciting story to share? 

Tessa Ann


Yesterday, I made progress. 

I finally sorted out paperwork for my potential job and for university that had been sitting around for weeks. I ordered my textbooks and sent away a photo for my ID card. I called someone about my student loan and did other various tasks in preparation for uni starting in a couple of weeks. I made something that I’d never made before to take to the picnic I’m having with friends today. 

I also wasted heaps of time. I didn’t read, or work on my Queen’s Award, or tidy my room, and I still stayed up far too late (current time: 1:34am). 

But I made progress. I ticked off heaps of simple tasks that I’d been putting off for weeks for no reason. And that’s good. That’s progress. Maybe tomorrow I’ll finish a book for the first time in a week and put my piles of washing away. But for now, I’ve made progress. And that’s wonderful. 

Tessa Ann