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. 

Arohanui,
Tessa Ann 

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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. 

Arohanui, 
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. 

Arohanui, 
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? 

Arohanui, 
Tessa Ann

Am I A Failure? | Motley Monday

I was on camp for nine days, ending yesterday, so the fact that I’m awake enough to write a post is wonderful. 

On Tuesday last week, it was the day that high school students in New Zealand both long for and dread. It was the day that exam results came out. 

For those who aren’t familiar with the NCEA system, let’s give you a brief summary. In NCEA (last three years of high school), you get credits from internals, which are the in class assignments, marked by your teachers, and externals, which are the exams sat at the same time for everyone in the country, and marked by some mysterious people. For each assignment/exam, credits are given at the level of achievement that you did, and for most assignments/exams, you can get not achieved, achieved, merit, or excellence. 

For the three years of NCEA, I didn’t fail anything, aside from a mock exam or two. My pie chart showing my credits had no red in it. In fact, I passed each year with excellence without needing to sit exams (although I did anyway).

After exams this year, I was nervous. I was pretty sure that I’d failed both of my chemistry papers, but I was fairly confident about everything else. 

So when I checked my results on Tuesday, having waited all day for my phone plan to renew so that I had data, I got the shock of my life. 

Let’s go from worst to best. 

In Chemistry, I failed both mock exams. I also failed both real exams (honestly not surprising). 

In English, I got excellence in all three mock exams. I wrote basically the same essay for one of them in the real exam, and I failed that paper. (How???) I got achieved on the other two.  

In Classics, I got merit on both mock exams. In the real exam, I failed one paper and got merit on the other. 

In Maths, I got achieved on the mock exam. I got excellence in the real exam. 

I failed half of my papers. 

Not just the two chemistry ones. I failed papers in subjects that I thought I was good at. 

Having never failed anything other than PE before (which is understandable, considering my health issues), this has made me seriously question myself. Does failing these papers make me a failure? 

I’m divided on this. Part of me is completely devastated. I can’t believe that I failed these papers. I just want to cry and scream and pretend that it never happened. 

But there is a much bigger part of me that is saying that yes, I screwed up. Maybe I should have studied more. But honestly, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect anything. I still got runner up dux. I still passed the year with excellence. I was still accepted into university. And in one, two, five, ten years, I won’t even care. On my deathbed, I won’t be looking back at these exams and sobbing over the fact that I failed them. There are much more important things in life, like all of the amazing times I had and awesome friends I made at the camp I just went on. 

So. Am I a failure? Going by the definition of the word, I am. But more importantly, does it matter that I failed those exams? Only if I use this as a chance to learn from my mistakes. 

Maybe I am a failure. But I can learn and grow from this experience. I don’t have to dwell on it and hate myself because of a couple of exams. There are much more important things, and that’s what I plan to focus on. 

Arohanui, 
Tessa Ann 

That Cliché New Year Post | Motley Monday 

I told you that this was coming. 

Happy new year, everyone! I can’t believe that it’s 2017. 2016 was always the year in my mind that was the end of everything (meaning the end of high school), so I never really thought much about 2017. And yet here we are. 

Also, yesterday was my two year blogiversary, so that’s also exciting. 

At the start of last year, I wrote a post with my plans and goals for the year. Now it’s time to see if I succeeded. 

– Graduate high school (hopefully with excellence). I completed this one, not only with excellence, but also as runner up dux, so I exceeded my own expectations.  

– Turn 18. Yup, at the end of September. It was a good day. 

– Do more Queen’s Award stuff. I can say that I have done this. I actually failed one of the tasks, but I was able to resubmit it, and hopefully I passed. I have finally started on the assignment, although I still haven’t started another part of it. So in some ways, I succeeded. In other ways, not so much. 

– Take as many opportunities as possible, while still keeping on top of everything. I would have to say that I did. At times, everything was a bit overwhelming, but I managed, and I’m glad that I put in the effort.

– Try new things, like busking. I did this twice in January, and it was heaps of fun. Exhausting, but fun. As for other new things, I’ve done a few, but nothing too extravagant. Although I did discover that I like prawns. And I dyed my hair! I guess that was kind of extravagant. You can barely tell the difference, but still. 

– Maintain a tidy room. Debatable. In general, it’s tidier. I cleared out my wardrobe for the first time in about a decade, which is nothing short of a miracle. My current project is my desk. The top of my desk is clear at the moment, because I dumped everything on the floor and started sorting through it. But yes. I succeeded. 

– Practice flute more. Yes and no. I passed my performances, but only just. Now that they’re done, though, I never have to play pieces that I don’t want to. I’ve been accumulating music of songs that I want to play, and it’s made it much more enjoyable. I’m not going to miss performing. 

– Keep on top of my schoolwork. I mean, I didn’t fail any internals, which is a good sign (although sometimes I probably came pretty close). I don’t have exam results back yet, but my hopes aren’t high for Chemistry. I’m not very good at studying, so I don’t think I did too well. But I’m actually not that bothered. 

– Procrastinate less. The fact that I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed before midnight is probably a good enough answer for this one. 

– Go to Easter Camp. Yes. I went. It was stellar. 

– Go on Year 13 camp. It was also stellar. So much fun. 

– Do a super exciting thing that involves a country I’ve never been to before. I went to Fiji on a mission trip in July, and it was both an awesome time and a very challenging time. I also went to Australia (which I had been to before) at the end of November, which was awesome. 

– Have two more surgeries. I had the first one in August, and I have an appointment to see the surgeon about the second. Progress. 

– Enjoy my last year of high school. I sure did! 

– Finish Girls’ Brigade. Yup, that happened. I’ll be going back as a leader, at least until I complete my Queen’s Award, but I’m no longer a Girls’ Brigader. 

– Write something, even if it’s just a little something. Barely. But there’s hope for this year. 

– Read lots of books. Final total: 160. I’d say that’s lots. 

– Continue blogging. More sporadically than I’d hoped, but I’m still doing it, so I’d say that I achieved this one. 

– Get closer to God. This year has been both amazing and terrible in that area, but I’m getting there. 

A mostly successful year, I must say! 

So. What are my plans for 2017?

– Go on GB national camp. This is in a couple of weeks, and I’m excited. 

– Start university. Again, I’m excited. Also really nervous and scared. But excited. 

– Get a job. Because university costs money. 

– Become healthier. My current lifestyle includes junk food, sleeping at weird hours, and minimal exercise. Which needs to change. 

– Play flute on occasion. I do enjoy it, so it would be pretty sad if I just stopped playing. 

– Get my Queen’s Award. There’s still heaps to do, but I can see the finish line, and I’m excited. 

– Get my learner’s license (maybe). I don’t drive because I have no depth perception. But I should probably at least try. 

– Procrastinate less. Always an issue. 

– Have a surgery. It’s literally been nearly a year and a half since I first went to the doctor about my eyelid being droopy again. Surely surgery can’t be too far away. 

– Write something. One of my papers in semester one is Creative Writing, so hopefully that’ll help. 

– Read lots of books. As always. 

– Become closer to God. Because you can never be too close. 

– Enjoy life. This is probably my biggest one, and all of the others are part of it. Honestly, if I can look back at 2017 and know that I was happy, then I won’t really care too much about most of the others. 

That’s the plan for this year. Who knows how things will turn out? 

Anyone have any big plans for 2017? Any resolutions? I’d love to hear them! 

Arohanui, 
Tessa Ann 

I Want To Write | Motley Monday 

This week is going to be insane. I’ve got an exam today, two exams (five essays!!!) and my Girl’s Brigade breakup on Tuesday, an exam on Thursday (my last school related thing ever), youth group on Friday, and then I’m flying to Australia early Saturday morning for my brother’s graduation. 

It’s a crazy week. And it doesn’t help that I’m currently in a fair bit of pain. I got hit in the head with a gumboot, did something weird to my back (feels like an extremely painful pulled muscle), and did exercise for the first time in forever, so I’m achy all over. Fun times. 

But anyways. 

On one of my first posts of the year, I wrote down a list of goals for this year, and one of them was to write. Literally a week later, I put up this post, which basically said that, as much as I want to write, this is not my time to do so. 

But now my feelings have changed. 

It’s currently NaNoWriMo, and I attempted to participate last year, managing a grand total of 10,000 ish words. For me, that’s not bad. But that was about all I could write before I exhausted my ideas. 

I’ve always written in the past, but I’ve never managed to write something fully substantial, despite my attempts. I’ve just never come up with an idea that’s had enough substance to turn into an actual novel. 

But I want to. I so desperately want to. Being in the blogging/writing community and not actually writing anything is hard enough, but during NaNo, it’s almost painful, watching people crank out thousands of words per day. My desire to write something is so strong, but, same as it was back in January, I’ve got nothing. And it’s not a fun place to be. I’ve tried to just sit down and force some words out, but they don’t come. Even when we had to write short stories for school, I struggled, basically only managing one. In the past, I’ve been bursting with ideas, but without the desire to see them through. Now it’s reversed. I’ve got the desire, but the ideas are gone. 

In January, I was accepting of the fact that I wasn’t supposed to be writing right now, because my desire to write was barely there. Now I can’t accept it. I want to write. I want to express myself with my words. I want to tell my stories and share my experiences and ideas through my writing. I want to make people laugh and cry and be moved by what I have to say. I want to say things in a way that no one else can, because I’m me and they’re not, and no one else thinks the way that I think and feels the way that I feel. I want to change the world with my words. I want to do all these things and more by writing. 

But how am I supposed to do these things when the words won’t come? 

Books have always been a huge part of my life. I grew up on books, and I grew up with the dream to create books of my own. And, unlike the dreams that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, this is one that is not going to die. It’s going to come true. It just has to. Books and writing have been too important in my life for it to not come true. 

I have the dream. I have the want. I have the desire. I have the end goal. I just don’t have the ideas to see it through, and I don’t know a solution to that problem. 

If anyone has any advice, I would appreciate it immensely. And thanks for listening to me rant. 

Arohanui, 
Tessa Ann