Tuesday, August 09, 2016

What they don't tell you about "finding" yourself.

Finding yourself is not an action, it is more like a journey to self discovery, and by discovery I mean it isn't anything new, you just uncover what was always hidden away.

It's been a long time since my last post. the reason for this is not because of any type of lack of excitement. My time in the US has not disappointed me in any way. I honestly think I have grown into the absolute strongest version of myself. It's exhilarating to be here; my heart still overflows with an abundance of childish excitement every time I meet up with my friends from all over the world. I still can't contain my love for Starbucks, I still smile from ear to ear every time I visit DC, and I still feel like this is my best decision I have ever made.
Some of my amazing friends from all over the world.

Here I am at the beautiful Washington Monument in DC.

One of my silent goals when I came here as an au-pair was to "find" myself. Judge all you want, but I am sure we have all at some point in our lives felt like we needed to take a break and discover more about who we are. and Oh boy, did I discover some things about myself. Things that have surprised me, things that have excited me but also, things I that have annoyed me to my inner most deepest part of my soul.

Now that I know these things, I am able to deal with each one of them. I now know I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I can *try* to handle more complex situations without immediately freaking out, and I can have a conversation more confidently than ever before. Some other silly things I have uncovered; I have realized I actually do like hummus and my favorite season is winter after all. (Though, this opinion is very bias, and it may change when I go back home, because the humidity in Virginia is enough to make anyone pray for snow.)

Here's the thing though, "finding" myself has been nothing like the movies and books have portrayed it to be. It has been the most frustrating thing I have ever gone through. I have had to deal with every single part of me. The good and the terrible. The strong and the insecure. The awesome and the goofy. The hilarious and the crazy. BUT, it's not like any of these things are suddenly new. These are just abilities and pieces of information I have never come across, only because I have never had to deal with certain things and situations. Now that I have, I have a clearer view of how I handle conflict and uncomfortable scenarios.

I also still can't say for sure I know who I am, I am sure I will change in every season of my life. One thing I know though, is this season of my life, I am happy to know this part of me. I am content to know this 22 year old portion of my heart. The part who cherishes true friendship, and values deep, meaningful conversations. I am thrilled to know I can overcome awful situations and find blissful memories to cover terrible, meaningless criticism.

I also now, more than ever, find certainty in my identity in Christ. I still have a lot of sin, and I now more than ever need His Spirit to cover and guide me. The difference now, is that I don't long for something "more" anymore. I don't find peace in earthly hings. My realization is now that I will always be found in Him. I was never lost and truth is, I never actually needed to "find" myself. , I was just floating around the surface of something incredible and now I will never be satisfied without Him.

What they didn't tell me about finding myself, is not to look for more of me, but to be still, and to delve deeper into Him.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Homesickness - Not what I thought it would be.

"Homesickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. Its cognitive hallmark is preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects."

Okay. So I have been in America for 8 weeks, and what an experience it has been already. I feel like a newborn baby, experiencing things for the first time again.  The difference in weather - and a big difference might I just add, with temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius often, oh and even a snowstorm! - , a (kind of) new language, driving on the other side of the road, meeting at least one new person every day, new food, a new culture, Starbucks :D, a new house, new family, and lastly lots of American accents. 

Wow, I find myself spacing out at least once a day, trying to figure out why I did this, but I know why, and I keep reminding myself of that. 

So, I haven't been blogging for 2 main reasons, I haven't had time to gather a conclusive opinion about whether I like it here, or whether I love it here, (I think it might be the latter.) And also, I have been going through some phases of homesickness, and I didn't want to write a soppy blog-post. And yet, here I am, writing a soppy blog-post. :)

So according to google, when I typed in the word homesickness, it said something about longing for home, and wanting to be in a familiar place again. Turns out even google isn't always right.

In my fist 2 weeks here, I might have been longing for and missing home. Terribly But I knew that was going to happen, no shocker. Different country, different people, different everything. Of course I missed my home, my people, my work and my pets. (Not particularly in that order.)

As the weeks have past, and I have explored more things, and met new people, the definition of homesickness as a word, changed for me. I love being an Au pair here.  This experience has already been engraved in my heart, and I am so proud of myself for doing this. I have visited so many beautiful places already (watch this space for more of my travelling stories and trip pictures!)

Homesickness changes because I have realized that I do not miss home. I mean the literal meaning of home. I mean yes, would I like to have a cup of rooibos tea in my room watching Friends? Sure. Would I like to be in Mugg&Bean in Clearwater mall, having lunch with my bestie? Definitely. Would I like to soak up some sun and have great conversation with my Spiritual family? YES!! But, I like where I am now, and I am enjoying almost every single minute of being here, and marinating in the new-ness of everything.

I have a point.

I have come to realize that homesickness to me, means not being able to share the best time of my life, with my people.
Like being able to show my dad the awesome running and biking trials meters away from where I live, or going shopping in DC with my mom. I wish I could share the awesome nightlife in DC with my brother, and the amazing museums with my friends. I feel like I am missing out on sharing what feels like the greatest experience of my life, with those back at home.

So in essence, homesickness, to me, is I wish you were here with me sickness.

This picture describes my mood and feeling perfectly. - Thanks google :)

Thank goodness for Skype sessions, Whatsapp call, and Instgram. 

If you are back home in my beautiful country, know that I miss our Culture, our sunshine, Afrikaans and quality time with my people.Oh, and if you are planning on sending me something, please send me a stukkie braaivleis!! ;)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Leaving soon... Why?

Life is so beautiful, one minute your planning your future, and the next a new opportunity presents itself, and you would be such a fool to say no.

In a little over 5 weeks I will be getting on a plane to start my new adventure. I cannot contain my excitement-  I am actually loosing sleep because of it. It is dreadful and wonderful at the same time.

The question I have been asked the most over the last few weeks after making my decision to be an Au-pair in America is "Why?".

My answer hasn't been the same once, As in life, you connect differently to different people -  your friend might not understand the same way your sibling does. And -  I have been receiving so many different responses that each time, I answer the way people would want me to answer.

I actually sat down and thought about my answer, the answer I want to give myself when I am daydreaming and fussing about my life choices.

I love children, I always have, not the teeny tiny ones that cry often (even though they are adorable! :D), but the ones who have reached the ages of being adventurous, and who are  discovering the world through their beautiful eyes, the eyes that pass  no judgement based on social status, or skin color, or disabilities or differences. The eyes that create their own identity and  whose spirits ooze of positivity and love for life. So obviously the Au-pair part was a no brainer.
 Also, please don't misunderstand what I am saying. I know the hard work and challenges that comes with working with children. (I have been teaching high school for two years.) But all in all, I would take a hiking trip, or impromptu treasure hunt, helping with homework, crying and emotional roller coasters or even a 15 minute mood swing  above an office job ANY DAY. Children seem to bring out the best person in me. I am more fun, more patient, more caring and more 'me' when they are around. Children don't care about how many hours I've put in in the gym to fit in my fancy jeans, they don't care about how much I earn or what I can include in their life to make it better.
They care that I love them, and that I focus my attention on them, in that moment  and that my heart is honest and caring toward them .

"Okay Vee, you want to work with children, I get it. But why in a different country?"

I want the experience, I want to experience a different culture and learn about new things, I want to experience the challenges so I can face them and come out stronger. I want to experience the world out there even if it is just another small part. I want to experience new, and creative ideas that I come up with on my own. I want to be independent and solve issues on my own. I want to experience what it is like to be new somewhere, where no one has pre-set ideas about who I am or who I am supposed to be.

I am so thrilled and honored that a beautiful family with two awesome children chose me, and I cannot wait to meet them,

I am now starting o understand my journey and what God has planned for me,
as Bethel says in one of my favorite songs,

'You wont lead me where You don't go.'

thanks google for this awesome picture!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Bucket List

Have you ever noticed  -  when people wish you a happy birthday, somehow, you always get the corny
"May all your wishes come true" post with the usual  happy birthday stuff?


Okay, well if you answered no, my blog would be kind of pointless, so just imagine you said yes. :D

Anyway, I am very guilty of the "May all your wishes come true" post, and I have decided that today, I am putting the end to it.

Lemme tell you why;

Is the only reason for your wishes not coming true, the fact that you are waiting for them to just happen? Magically? Just like that?

There's the problem.

Very rarely does any wish just come true.

9 out of the 10 times, wishes require work and effort.

Okay; rant over, here is my point.

I have always been fascinated by the idea of a bucket list. I've just never actually sat down and created one. Till now...

All right, I'm sure we all kind of have one of these. I too, have one. Only now, I am making these wishes public and official, and I will be adamant to cross these off my list.

I want to start ;living. Actually living. I'm talking about impulsive road trips, impromptu dinners  and making memories.

From now on, I vow to watch TV a little less, gym a little more. and make my own dreams come true. :)

(Be warned, that some of these are super personal, and others are super out there. either way, these are my deepest, truest wishes.)

1. Make a difference in someone's life.

2. Pray for an absolute stranger.

3. Be a mentor.

4. Go to a proper wine tasting.

5.Go to a 24 hour worship and prayer session.

6. Visit Israel, and get to know the place where my creator lived.

7. NYC!! ('nuff said)

8. Go to a live taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

9. Visit Table Mountain.

10. Sky Dive.

11. Run some sort of a marathon.

12. Go on a Safari.

13. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride.

14. Live abroad.

15. Plant a tree.

16. Go to Disney World.

17. Wear a bikini in public.

18. Eat Chocolate in Switzerland.

19. Sleep under the stars.

20. Visit the Great wall of China.

21. Watch a live Baseball Game.

22. Complete a degree, the honors, masters and if possible a PHD.

23. Become a volunteer for an animal shelter.

24. Be a counselor for women who are victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse.

25. Host a Christmas Party.

26. Go horse-riding.

27. Start a tradition.

28.  Kiss on the Eiffel tower.

29. Swim in the dead sea.

30. Visit the Anne Frank house.

31. Grow a beautiful flower garden.

32. Go restaurant hopping. (When you eat different courses at different places.)

Okay, I  reckon this is ambitious enough...

When I think of more, I'll definitely post them.
Do you have a bucket list? Have you crossed off or done any of the things on my list?
Feel free to comment, and tell me all about it.

'Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting,.. So get on your way!'
- Dr Seuss