Variety is the Spice of Life

A few weeks ago I shared in Your Attitude Can Change Your Perspective on my diagnosis of Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia in lay man’s terms an oversensitive stomach. It was heartbreaking. Sure I wanted answers and that’s what I got but I wanted something that could be fixed simply and quickly.

After the shock and devastation wore off I entered the management stage. There is not much information about Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia management. But this is not an unfamiliar road to travel as there is not much information surrounding Chronic Fatigue management, both tend to be quite individual. So it comes back to trial and error and finding what works for you. It can be frustrating and disheartening at times (to the point of tears) but when you get a personal breakthrough it is such an awesome feeling.

One of the things that was highlighted as a characteristic of Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia during the gastrologist appointment was that the stomach will enjoy certain foods for a while then not like them. By nature I eat similar things out of habit, because well, I enjoy them. But when my stomach became upset and nauseous three plus years ago I went on a journey to try and have a happy tummy again. One of the last things I tried before going to the gastrologist was a sulphite elimination diet which stripped a lot of things out of my diet before reintroducing them. It actually worked (for a time at least). As a result I ate the same thing, especially for breakfast, for about three months. Before you say ‘but that is so boring’ keep in mind I was so tired and frustrated of being sick all the time (even when I just woke up) that I was excited that I didn’t have to feel this way for the first time in a long time. Plus other foods I would reintroduce would make me feel sick and would have to be removed therefore the limited foods I could eat became like a safety net.

Ecclesiastes 3:12 – 13 “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God.”

Armed with the knowledge that my stomach could hate a food that it had previously loved. I decided to try and beat my stomach at its own game. How? By a varied diet. I now try to not eat the same thing two days in a row and I eat more intuitively; listening to what my body wants to eat. Although nothing is off limits anymore I have found sugar i.e. chocolate, ice cream, cake and processed foods to be triggers for reactions (increased nausea, needing to pee lots, stomach cramps, etc.) so I only eat these foods from time to time. I have also found if I am tired, stressed or have my period I feel more nauseous.

Do you know one thing that has been surprising? I have started having a healthier relationship with food. Perfect? No way! I still have to fight panic surrounding food from time to time. But I have noticed small changes.

I wake up excited for breakfast wondering what I want to eat that morning rather than eating out of obligation.

I eat when I am hungry; listening to my body; rather than starving myself because I had the silly notion that only one snack is allowed between meals.

I make eating enjoyable (I like to put some golden syrup in my porridge recipe) previously I would have had a panic attack over supposed excess kilojoules. During Year 12 I ate bland crackers, with nothing on them, because I was worried about the excess kilojoules. Definitely not the highlight of my health and fitness journey.

To be honest I think what has helped most is not only a positive mindset (which I have been working on) but I am finally at a weight I am happy with. I don’t know how much I weigh but I feel beautiful (at least most days) despite having health and fitness goals I am working to achieve.

If you haven’t been following my insta stories over on my Instagram page, here are some photos 🙂 .

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Recipe by @zocobodypro

 

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Recipe by @healthyfrenchwife 

 

 

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Love,

Cathryn

Warrior

This week’s blog post is unintentionally a follow on from Your Attitude Can Change Your Perspective. Sure I have been working on my attitude to consciously choose to be more positive, happy and hopeful; but there are still days, frequently I might add, where I feel crushed by the past that undeniably shapes my future.

It is no secret that life with Cerebral Palsy comes with daily challenges as I described in Letting Go:

I struggle with having to use a walking frame; let’s face it, it’s noisy, ugly and creates a force field which I swear has isolating powers. But I can’t leave the damn thing behind because I would get nowhere. Literally. I wish my life could have a more spontaneous spirit to it where I could go everywhere I want; unfortunately, my friends and family’s homes are often not accessible or public places have flights of stairs. I have always had a love of dancing, I even wanted to be a ballerina when I was growing up. If I want to dance with my brothers or dad at a wedding without a walking frame they have to hold me up which is physically demanding on them as I rely on them not to drop me, they haven’t – yet, thank goodness they’re strong!

As I was in tears yet again this week, over having Cerebral Palsy, I realised my personal challenges in life were being lived with the same crushing, heart – breaking intensity as if it were ten to 15 years ago. Yet I was at a loss as to how to change that. My Mum gave me advice that has worked wonders for her. Choose to stop being the victim. Choose to rise above your circumstances and move on.

This piece of advice allows my Mum to live life and share her story with others without the intense emotions of anger, hurt etc. Mum also pointed out this doesn’t mean she didn’t take time to work through her past and heal, neither does it mean she doesn’t cry or experience those emotions again in certain situations. It just means she has drawn a line in the sand and, despite what has happened in her past, she chooses daily to live free.

For me it means another, much needed, change in mindset. It means not ignoring the past because it did happen. The surgeries, the panic attacks, the bullying, the fears, the isolation, the wanting to fit in and many more painful life events did indeed happen, I was there. Yes I needed to go to counselling to work through things. I don’t know how I managed to stuff down the anger and hurt etc. deep down inside for so long. But it means I change the branding iron (negative) to seeing myself as a warrior (positive).

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

What I went through was so tough; what I struggle with today can break my heart. But… I AM A WARRIOR I have overcome challenges with the help of Jesus and my family and friends. With these people with me in every battle I know I can face the challenges to come and furthermore live the life of a warrior. Determined. Courageous. Happy. Hopeful. Free.

Love to you my fellow warriors,

Cathryn

What Do You Have?

Last week I wrote about my own journey to embracing self – love in What Do You See? This week I would like to focus on another aspect of self – love and that is gratitude. When I began my journey of self – love it came from a negative place. I would exercise because I ‘had’ to lose weight; my relationship with food was full of anxiety (it is still something I am fighting). I had to heal and grow to be able to shift my thinking to the positives rather than the negatives. To come from a place of gratitude that flows out to all the areas of my life; not just my body.

To be honest I was in tears yesterday because I was scared of the New Year. Why? I was scared of not achieving anything; assuming I didn’t achieve anything this year, so next year would be the same. Mum suggested I make a list of all the good things that have happened this year thus far. It changed my perspective. I went looking for the good, positive and beautiful. The verdict? It has been a truly amazing year so far. I shared part of my story to three different audiences with overwhelmingly positive responses, I achieved some health and fitness goals and my friend got married, are among the highlights.

Psalm 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

I realised through this simple but effective activity that I needed to get more specific in gratitude in areas of my life that I struggle with, such as where I live.

What are three things you like about your body?

What are three things you like about your personality?

What are three talents you have that you like?

What are three things you like about where you live?

What are three things you like about how you spend your time?

What are three characteristics that you like about your friends that you share?

What are three things you like about your relationship status?

Yes it is super easy for me to list the negatives but it is making a deliberate choice to focus on the positives. If I do, I feel not only grateful but more happiness, peace and hope. I want to encourage you to look at the positives about yourself and your life and all the things you can be grateful for.

Love,

Cathryn

What Do You See?

When it comes to self-love I don’t pretend to have it all together. The way I have viewed my body in the past has been honestly quite sad; with such comments as ‘you are fat’, ‘your arms are too big’ and ‘your skin is too white’ were among my personal favourite criticisms of myself. When I looked in the mirror I would see someone that was way bigger than what I really was and I would look at photos of myself until they turned ‘ugly’ only focusing on the parts about myself that I didn’t like.

It got so bad that one day last year I contemplated suicide. Yeah that’s how dark it got. I hated myself. I hated my life. The critical voices in my head were screaming at me. My spirit felt so heavy like a thick, wet blanket. Tears were pouring down my cheeks. I felt like there was only one way out of the mess I had gotten myself into. That was to end it all…

Jesus broke into my swirling thoughts and tumbling emotions; into a situation that was spiralling out of control. With a single thought if I chose to end it all, I would still be me. The thought devastated me because I wanted to be someone else. It also made me think if I will always be me I had better start liking me if not loving me. Those two simple thoughts would set me on a path for a healthier more positive journey of self –love.

A few months after that dark day, 18th July to be exact, Jesus revealed how much He truly loved me. I was reading verses in Song of Songs each verse seemed to leap off the page as if Jesus was there saying to me ‘I love you my darling Cathy so very much’. The truth had finally found its way to my heart. I cried tears of joy as I felt more secure in being myself than ever before. My spirit danced with a lightness when before there was a heaviness. I wanted to climb onto my roof and shout with pure happiness ‘Jesus loves me!’ I didn’t; mind you.

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There has been many ups and downs in my own journey with self – love. I had to start healing from the past; you can read about it in Letting Go and Beautiful Scars. But I am learning more, seemingly each day, about loving myself in spite of the imperfections. For me confidence and happiness directly impact my level of self- love. It was therefore important to improve both by Nurturing Confidence and embarking on a personal Happiness Challenge. I also noticed the language I spoke about myself and to myself was really hurtful and negative. I realised I needed to speak and think more kindly and positively about myself that’s why Cheerleader was a big turning point for me. I can happily say I am quicker to give myself a compliment. Though full disclosure I am not perfect at this. I  am aware now when I am being harsh with myself; as a result I stop and take steps in a positive direction i.e. if the outfit I am wearing is not making me feel beautiful I change it; sometimes it is reminding myself how small I am or beautiful; asking Jesus to help me love myself also helps.

My self- love journey has gone into new territory lately. Worth. Boy is it hard. I have always struggled with this. I think it has to do with me not being physically ‘perfect’ due to Cerebral Palsy. I would try to measure up to an impossible goal of being a regular person. Worth would be something I would wrestle with from time to time. Now it has come up again due to another medical diagnosis of Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia (Your Attitude Can Change Your Perspective). Why? Because it made me question how lovable I really am. It has taken a few weeks but I can say to myself truly ‘I am lovable’ ‘I am worth having’ as a daughter, sister, friend, work colleague, etc. and also future tense as a wife and mother. It is something I have to tell myself every day. Repetition allows the truth to sink in.

So as I look in the mirror or at pictures of myself:

I see someone who is no longer running from her past

I see someone who has changed from who they once were

I see someone who is trying to love themselves each and every day

I see someone who is learning and growing in what is needed in her own self –love journey

I see someone who has more hope, love, confidence and happiness for herself and her life

I see someone who is finally seeing how beautiful she is inside and out

What do you see when you look in the mirror or at pictures of yourself?

I wanted to share with you my self –love journey up to this point. To show you it has not been a flick of the switch transformation. Nor has it been perfect neither is it perfect (I still have my bad days). It has been slow and hard to get to this point in an ongoing transformation. But the progress made this far has been SO worth it. Please never give up on loving yourself.

Love,

Cathryn

P.S I actually struggled to pick a favourite from the shoot, I liked too many, which is totally new for me 🙂

Your Attitude Can Change Your Perspective

Your attitude can change your perspective note that I didn’t say it will necessarily change your circumstances but it can help you cope when life throws a curve ball.

For about three years I have lived with constant nausea (not vomiting) without knowing why. No I am not pregnant despite a few doctors asking me even after I had told them how long I had been feeling sick for (it would be the longest pregnancy ever!). I tried many remedies to stop feeling sick from heartburn medication to nausea tablets (which did nothing) to having a concoction of naturopath supplements (which made my feet and hands radiate heat, needless to say I freaked out and stopped taking them). I tried a sulphite elimination diet which had me eating pretty basic for over three months. After several weeks I built a repertoire of:

Breakfast: banana smoothie (banana, almond milk, honey) poured over oats

Lunch: Wholemeal pasta with vegetables (carrot, peas, corn), plain chicken, homemade chicken stock and avocado

Dinner: plain chicken (without seasoning) with vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, sweet potato)

It seemed to be working. I was feeling better and I was so relieved. As I slowly added more complex foods back into my diet the feelings of wellness drifted away much the same way it did when I went on a blood group diet. Going from hopeful to disappointment.

I put off going to see a gastrologist for so long but for two main reasons; a) I am hesitant to have any medical procedures due to my colourful medical past (Beautiful Scars) and the biggest reason I was worried was; I would go and explain the situation only to be told there was nothing wrong with me, leaving me feeling awkward and stupid.

As the saying goes desperate times call for desperate measures. Yep it wasn’t common sense that compelled me to get a referral and book an appointment but rather frustration. Aside from the constant nausea that would spike at times, I also experienced other symptoms including: bloating, headaches, itchy mouth, needing to pee a lot, stomach cramps and emotional mood swings.

So I finally went to the gastrologist out of desperation; praying a simple prayer “Lord Jesus I just want answers.” Well Jesus answered a yes to my prayer but the answer to what I was struggling with left me reeling. Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia in lay man’s terms an oversensitive stomach. As the gastrologist explained I sat there stunned each point made as jarring as the last. No cure. Forever will feel sick. Not a result of allergies or hormones. No way to ease symptoms (as nausea tablets did nothing for me). Stomach will enjoy certain foods for a time but then not like them. If you find anything that really works for you let me know.

Devastated is the only word I can think of to describe that moment. I didn’t even make it to the car before tears gathered in my eyes and spilt down my cheeks. With all my being I wanted to fix it, not add to my list of non – curable hardships first Cerebral Palsy then Chronic Fatigue now Non –ulcer (functional) Dyspepsia. I wanted my Daddy who was in a different state due to harvest season to be with my Mum and me. He is the steady one when life falls apart. Yet all I could do was talk to him on the phone crying before and after. All I could think of was all the social situations that I would be forever sick at: catch up with friends. Sick. Christmas. Sick. Weddings. Sick. Birthdays. Sick. The list goes on, I was even making my Mum depressed at the list.

Psalm 16:9 “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure.”

It was in the hopelessness of the situation I decided to look at the positives and regain my hope and to hold onto it with all my might. This is a few that came to mind:

I had gotten answers it was no longer a mystery

I didn’t need to cut out any foods or go on any restrictive diets

I wasn’t damaging my body the way I was eating

When I have children, they will get all the essential nutrients they need

My Mum and a friend added a few more to the list

I am still lovable

Going to the doctor sooner wouldn’t have changed the outcome     

I have been living my life with the condition 3+ years already

You had horrible periods (think post – baby type of level so I have been told) as a teenager yet your body has changed and you no longer struggle with this. There is a possibility your tummy could one day not feel sick anymore.

These points helped restore my hope but I struggled with the deep sadness that seemed to echo ‘this is your life now’. I wanted to be happy but I couldn’t shake my negative feelings. When I asked for advice my Mum said I had to make the choice every day to be happy despite my circumstances. So every day I pray a simple prayer “Lord Jesus I need your help to be happy. Help me to be happy despite my circumstances.” It has really helped my happiness level and focusing of the positives helps keep me hopeful and optimistic.

Love,

Cathryn

A Lesson from My Pa in Orange

My Pa in Orange recently celebrated a birthday. So this week’s blog post is a tribute to him. One of the biggest things I am trying to learn, which my Pa seems to do effortlessly, is to never give up. His life has been coloured with hardship, heartache, loss and health issues a plenty. Each time he gets knocked down he manages to pick himself up, adapt and soldier on.

For me I tend to break first; floods of tears, feeling like I just can’t get back up again. I have to make the conscious choice to not give up and for the last couple of months in particular, I have had to make that choice to never give up every single day.

A few months back in Sunset and Sunrise I wrote:

Two weeks ago I went to the doctor and explained that even though I struggle with anxiety the feelings of deep sadness, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts were new and they worried me. After a lengthy discussion I was diagnosed with reactive depression.

When I have feelings of wanting to give up it goes further than just having a bad day. It brings the feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness to the surface with incredible force.

Psalm 94:18 -19 “When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

For the last couple of weeks I have really struggled with tiredness, due to Chronic Fatigue (see A Mountainous Journey), to the point of having afternoon naps (which I never usually do) just to get through the day. I forgot it happens every year as the weather changes from winter to spring. This year I coped better emotionally for the most part. I say the most part because I didn’t cry this year; but I did feel like a horrible person for needing to rest. Like I was one point down in the friendship or family stakes. Without realising it at the time, I was able to better meet the challenge of overwhelming tiredness by becoming more like my Pa.

Become a self – cheerleader rather than a self – critic: Pa has always had a positive outlook on life; me I sometimes allow the negative to have too much of a say. In the past I have yelled at myself to the point of tears for being tired and tearing shreds of myself as a person. But Chronic Fatigue is largely out of the person’s control who is experiencing it. I have no choice of when it affects me more severely than other times. So I am learning to tell myself it is not your fault you feel tired at the moment and being tired does not make you less of a person people want to be around, in fact people love you regardless of the fact you struggle with Chronic Fatigue.

Ride it out: Whenever my Pa has a crisis in his life, he has taken it one day at a time. I couldn’t change how I was feeling despite desperately wanting to. So I took each day as it came. Interestingly I felt a lot worse if I slept in, feels like a hangover; compared to taking afternoon naps though, I will admit it did mess with my night time sleeping as a result but I struggled to get through the day without it because the fatigue was so overwhelming.

Find ways to regain quality of life: My Pa is a champion at this. For me, going through a low in Chronic Fatigue I chose to exercise as this helps elevate the daily living with Chronic Fatigue. I would do some stretching or go for a walk (which is what I usually do) but I also listened to my body, if I didn’t feel up to exercising I didn’t push myself as I knew I would feel worse.

This is the fourth day I haven’t needed an afternoon nap to simply get through the day. I will take that as #winning.

Thanks Pa for your love, support and encouragement and showing me daily what it looks like to never give up, and to be happy in spite of my situation.

Love,

Cathryn

Cheerleader

Last week when I wrote about 10 Things I Am Learning through My Journey with Depression I really surprised and hurt some of my family and friends. Why? Because I revealed an underlining thought pattern that has been with me for as long as I can remember. I am a burden. Four simple words that have wreaked havoc in the way I do life.

I have physical limitations that come with a life touched by Cerebral Palsy. There are daily challenges and impossibilities, such as I can’t put on my shoes no matter what they are, impacting my life. I adopted the habit of only asking for help when I really needed it, not just needed it. I would weigh up in my mind whether I have asked that friend or family member for too much help lately before I even approach them with a simple request like ‘sorry but can we please walk a little slower?’ My inner dialogue would get dark at times with things like ‘if you weren’t here their life would be so much easier’, ‘you are such a burden, what good do you add to their life?’

You can see how my family and friends were more than a little upset when I asked them whether I was a burden to them. I wanted an honest answer; and as to be expected they gave it. I got a resounding YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN to the point they were almost yelling at me in love. Yet the negativity and lies had become my ‘truth’. It is time to change what I listen to, especially my internal dialogue. I am tired of my inner critic tearing me down constantly. I want an inner cheerleader instead. After they said I wasn’t a burden on their life; I said ‘I am going to believe what you said to be true’. It was a conscious decision on my part, but a freeing one at that.

I shared a video on Facebook about positive affirmation. I have decided to include some of that in my own life. I am seeing small changes in my life happening. It takes time to change therefore it is progress not perfection.

Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true – think about such things.”

Every moment I am faced with a choice to embrace the positive and push back the negative or vice versa. This morning I chose to listen to my inner cheerleader; I had the house to myself so I cranked the music up high and sang and danced to my heart’s content. I had fun because I let go of the negativity. Negativity that I couldn’t sing in tune. Negativity that I didn’t know all the words or dance moves. And I just enjoyed singing with some of my favourite artists.

Love,

Cathryn

10 Things I Am Learning through My Journey with Depression

There are days when the struggle is really intense. On these days I am quick to tear myself to pieces. I feel like a huge burden to those around me. I wonder why they choose me as their friend or my family puts up with me because they have to; surely not because they want to. When the storm closes in tears are frequent. Overwhelmed is how I would describe days like these. I had one such day yesterday. I wanted to take on the world and change everything that second. I am feeling better today – what a rollercoaster.

Though there are days when I feel depression will break me I am learning things through it; that even though it hasn’t removed the storm I face, it has helped improve the experience. Here are 10 things I am learning through my journey with depression:

  1. See the good – I wrote a post on both Facebook and Instagram about writing down the good things in your day to remind us life is good and beautiful despite the challenges we face. Although there have been some days since that post I have forgotten to write the good things down I do think on them. It has changed my perspective. I now look for the good and additional ways I could add more good things to my day.
  2. Reduce speculation –Recently I had strong feelings of being a burden while I was at work. I tried to reason with myself but it did no good so I thought rather than allow the negative thoughts and feelings continue I would ask. Turns out I wasn’t and my supervisor thought I was a quick learner.
  3. Focus on what is real and true – I am reading a book at the moment called Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. It has encouraged me to think on what is real and true about myself, my relationships with others and my circumstances.
  4. Exercise – I already knew many benefits of regular exercise but I am learning afresh the benefits of exercise improving the mood. I love it!
  5. If it is meant to be it will happen – I struggle with trying to open doors that have closed for whatever reason. It is a slow learning process to let go and surrender.
  6. Acknowledge what is – This came from the doctor on a follow up consultation. It has been so entrenched in my life to run and ignore what is. One example of this is Cerebral Palsy as there has been so much pain associated with this. I wanted to be like everyone else, in many ways I still do, so for a long time to acknowledge it meant I would have to admit to myself I will always be different, I will always have challenges I don’t want. But the doctor advised that once you accept you can start working with it – celebrating your uniqueness. I am not quite there yet but I am willing to start trying – something I should have done a long time ago.
  7. Be gentle with yourself – When I am having a bad day my inner critic seems to yell the loudest and is the most constant. It has been a conscious effort on my part to be gentle, kind and positive about myself and my life.
  8. Don’t isolate yourself – Friends and family are great mood boosters for me and sharing together helps to feel not alone in our struggles.
  9. Be proactive with your emotions – If I am feeling like a terrible friend, for instance, I am now choosing to text my friends to see how they are going, putting into action how much I love and miss them.
  10. Be hopeful – When the storm is at its fiercest it is easy to lose hope. It takes determination to hold tight to our hopes and dreams but I for one don’t want to give up on them.

If you struggle with depression or know someone who does, just remember everyone’s journey is different.

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Love,

Cathryn

 

Happy 1st Birthday

It is one more sleep until we have made it a year! That’s right on 15th September 2016 I posted my first blog post for Dandelion Dust & Honey called New Beginnings. I was never really the person to be like ‘one day I am going to start a blog’ I mean what would I call it and what on earth would I write about? The excuses kept coming. Yet Jesus kept nudging me with the idea. I remember a friend’s dad once said to me something like ‘Jesus only shows us one small piece of the masterpiece He is creating at a time’. That was the last conversation I had with him before he suddenly passed away. Jesus echoed in my thoughts as my heart was shattered what are you waiting for? And Dandelion Dust & Honey was born with the simple purpose of encouraging everyone who reads. I had a few ideas what I wanted to write about in the first weeks of blogging but mostly it has been taking each week as it comes and the writing reflects that. It has been amazing to watch it unfold the way it has. Thank you, to YOU, my readers, for coming on an adventure with me I am so very grateful for the way you all have embraced Dandelion Dust & Honey.

Below is a few of my favourite blog posts.

Love,

Cathryn

 

Fighting Back

Letting Go

Beautiful Scars

A Lesson in Gratitude

Loving Yourself

Just Breathe

Determined Yet Flexible

Nurturing Confidence

Happiness Challenge

Confidence is Growing

Do you remember last week in Happiness Challenge I wrote you are volunteering to gain confidence to be able to apply for paid work? Well over the last couple of weeks my confidence has grown little by little to the point where I didn’t have a panic attack and talk myself out of even applying for a job. Yay! At least for this time anyway; as I am prone to my anxiety ebbing and flowing. A few days previously someone said to me that I should apply for a position, to which I quickly responded that they would probably require experience which I do not have. Yet when I looked at the job description years of experience were not required. Each dot point was met with a: I could do that and after a friend encouraged me to apply; I applied.

Sure I am not perfect for the role I don’t have the required first aid training and in probably many ways I am as green as they come. But whether I get the position or not doesn’t really matter to me. The fact is I applied for a job! We need to throw an ‘anxiety didn’t have the final say’ party. It is a personal achievement for me and for that I am grateful and happy.

Riding on the high, I even looked at applying for another job which I didn’t end up applying for due to two reasons a) theoretically, thanks to my Strategic Communication degree, I could do what was required but I didn’t have demonstrated experience and b) travel to Melbourne and around Victoria would be required, which is challenging to say the least. I am disappointed but surprisingly I was able to let it go and not be critical of myself for days over things outside my control, namely Cerebral Palsy which is another personal win.

So what have I learnt from this experience?

When you are working on your weaknesses, mine in this case being confidence, be prepared to be surprised by yourself and Jesus.

Look at how far you have come and how much you have grown rather than lamenting over how much growing you still need to do.

Create smaller, short – term goals (I really struggle with this, so much so I needed to ask for help) to reduce the sense of failure and to increase the sense of accomplishment.

If it is meant for you the door will open, if not, that door was not meant for you. I have had past experience of trying to open doors that would not budge; leaving me with bruised emotions. You can read about it in Unexpected Detour.

Surrender; Jesus has even more awesomely, amazing plans for you than you can even imagine.

Don’t set your heart on it; I have had too many broken-hearted moments when my plans have fallen through. Have a backup plan.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Love,

Cathryn