The Panic Mechanic 

Personal

Hi…I’m Roxanne and I am a stresspot.
Anxiety is a well known friend of mine and it’s a friendship I could probably do without. But then I think…what would I be…who would I be without it?

This may sound a little mellow dramatic but hear me out a second. Who would I be if I didnt lie awake at night making lists in my head, so scared I may forget something. Or sit in class and mull over each and EVERY project I have lined up and each and EVERY part of EVERY module I have that I am battling with. Then there are the days when your mom is not replying to your messages or sends one-worded responses or when you feel so sick in your stomach because you haven’t been to gym the past week and you feel like your skin is bulging over your tights and your arms feel like they flap when you wave or my absolute worst…when your pants get caught under your bum when you’re pulling them up (come on ladies, we all know this far too well).

Little things. But as every anxious or anxiety-prone person would know…these are the things that can very quickly define us.

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I guess you could say a bit of my anxiety flares from areas I can’t even pinpoint. You know, when you feeling a little stressed out and something is eating away at the back of your mind and you feel a constant clench in your stomach but you have NO IDEA what it is. This is something my friend Amy calls “feeling App” (App being short for apprehensive – duh). App is real. It is so so so real. It tends to flare when you’re having a fight with your boyfriend and you’re stuck with nitty-gritty whatsapp messages, or you’re worried about wether you will have enough allowance left to buy food or that ticket to We Love Summer or the lunch you planning on having with the crew. Another horrible trigger for this evil little “bug” is when you think someone is unhappy with you…or you think you have offended someone or said the wrong thing – this is something that can cause some serious stomach clenching for me. Then there are the basics : tests, exams (don’t we all know it), family feuds, traffic, time management, social anxiety etc.

Right now, at this point of my life, I am facing constant waves of App. It involves the fact that I have not been to gym in 2 weeks even though my gym is literally a minutes walking distance – this of course making anything I try on an absolute disaster because as us ridiculous female species do…we think we have picked up a ton. This unfortunately controls a lot of how I feel and how my stress levels are managed (a blog post on this topic soon to follow). I do not exactly eat (App tends to do this to you too). The work load we are getting this year for my degree which involves learning a new language, making items such as awareness dolls, activity MATS, beanbags, skipping ropes, balancing apparatus, makeshift bats and balls etc…and FIVE story books which have to be DRAWN and coloured on A3 card, each being about 15pages long (did I mention I cannot draw to save my life? And how LONG this is going to take). On top of this, I am looking for a job to earn a little extra and keep myself busy so I don’t have time to over think things or go mad.

 

Now…how do we get trough this App and anxiety and stress and these sleepless evenings?We pray.

Every morning. Every evening. You pray.

Pray for strength to carry your cross everyday. Pray for wisdom to make the right decisions. Pray for courage to face what lies ahead of you. Pray for patience to wait for what is right for you and what God has so carefully planned JUST for you.

Pray. For yourself and those loved ones of yours who also wake up every morning having no idea where to even start.

He will hear you and He will LISTEN (in my degree have learned about the big difference between the two)!

God Bless,

Keep up the good work. Don’t look at how far you have to go, look at how far you have come.

Roxanne

 

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Cutting It Out

Personal

Yes, it’s true. I don’t drink. Not anymore anyway. And quite frankly I hope to keep it that way. 

It was a decision I made on the 23rd of December 2015. I like that sort of thing. Keeping track of your accomplishments and seeing how far you have come to just urge you to carry on.

I will admit. It wasnt just a sudden decision. It’s actually something I have thought about for quite a long time…2yrs now if I’m not mistaken. I’ll try explain why – I would always picture this : One evening Im at a bar with friends or at a restaurant about to give my order…I get offered a glass of wine or a shot or a vodka and sprite (this was my go to drink) and I simply reply with, “Oh thank you, but I don’t drink.”                     

Imagine being able to say that? “I don’t drink.” Not just a “not tonight” or “nahh that’s not my kind of drink”…a straight up, “I don’t drink.” Somehow, for so long, that’s what I have aspired to be. To be THAT person.  

  
Of course, being 22 and deciding not to drink anymore right in the middle of season in St. Francis Bay where the party is always happening…it makes it challenging. My answer when my friends or parents or just ANYONE would ask why…”Well, it never brought any good into my life. So why keep it in my life?” *smiles then walks away dramatically* My go to line. My conversation killer. My truth. Because that’s just it. It’s the truth. An extremely summarised and simplified truth…but a truth nonetheless. 

So many years all it has brought was too many regret-filled mornings, terrible hangovers, 2 or 3 evenings where I was paraletic and lucky to have survived, a broken foot, dragging my name through the dirt – which by the way is something I have been taught all my life to work hard to avoid. Not just for the people around me, but in God’s name.

In the end, to get right down to it, I don’t like what it does to most people. How most people view alcohol. I don’t like what my friends become when they drink or the fact that so many people see it as their vice, their go to stress reliever, the only way they know how to be social. You don’t need it to have fun. I have always known this. Now, I’m just actually trying it.

Look…Ive had some good times and massive parties while drinking. Times we really did enjoy. I don’t deny that. But when I look at the bigger picture. When I look at my life. When I look at what it is actually doing to us…it goes so much deeper than just a good party. Then I think…am I the person I want to be when I am drinking? Is that the person I want my family to see? Is that the person I want my kids to see one day? Is that someone that is after God’s own heart? 

I’ll just leave that there,

God bless,

The reformed alcohol-consumer,

Roxanne

Our Chasing Cars Roadtrip (Part 1)

Personal, Travel

This is one holiday my mind always goes back to and my heart always longs for. The holiday I went on a roadtrip with the love of my life who also happens to be my best friend.

It all started with wanting to go camping in Hogsback for a night or two. Then my dad jumped in and said, “Or…why don’t the 2 of you do a camping roadtrip up around Lesotho to the Drakensburg then back again. You can take mom’s kombi too. It’s perfect to travel in.” It took no convincing at all for Sean and myself to decide…That’s exactly what we want to do!

After months of anticipation, planning and excitement…we had planned out a route that would take us through Graaf-Reinet, Gariep Dam, Goldengate National Park, Drakensburg, East London and back home. My mom’s old model VW kombi was packed with all our camping gear, food and supplies…and we were en route to our first destination – Graaf Reinet. IMG_3741.JPG

I never actually realised how beautiful this little town is. It is clean, the people are friendly and it holds so much history and culture. We stayed for 2 nights at Profcon Resort, a little campsite in town. There was a lovely gazebo provided on our campsite and had clean ablutions, hot showers and a swimming pool (which we used VERY often). Whilst we were there we took a drive up to Camdeboo National Park to see The Valley Of Desolation – how remarkable. Just another part of South Africa where God was showing off His divine majesty. We also got to explore an old military museum in the town centre. All of these activities were always followed by a swim in the pool to try rinse off the blistering heat of Graaf Reinet. This was also where Sean and myself had to stock up on a cooler box, ice, a fire grid, pins for the tent and camping chairs – because we are idiots and forgot some of the vital items needed for camping. But hey, live and learn.

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On our way to Gariep Dam we decided to make a quick stop in Nieu Bethesda to see the infamous “Owl House” which I had written an exam on for my first year in English. I had always wanted to see it so Sean agreed to stop off (even though it took us on an hour long detour). It is a lovely, quaint little town with an artsy vibe you can’t ignore. The “Owl House” though, I would not say is as bubbly as the word “artsy”, more creepy actually. Alas, creepy or not, I believe this house is something any tourist or “lover of beautiful things” should see. All I know is, Miss Martins (the deceased owner of the house) must have been cooked!IMG_3885

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We left Nieu Bethesda and headed for Gariep Dam, we stayed here for 2 nights. Hot is not the word I would use – Blistering? Searing? Sweltering maybe? But, despite the heat, we were luckily traveling quite early in December so the campsites weren’t too busy yet. This left us with a great amount of options, including sites with massive trees which shaded us from the sun. While we were there, even though it was what felt like 45 degrees, Sean and I went on a little hike around the dam. The dam was sadly very very dry. Though this did give us more space to explore and gave us more of an idea on how desperate this part of the world is for water.

I think my favourite part of our time there had to be the one night where we just could not sleep because it was just too hot. So Sean and i got our swimsuits on and decided to go for sneaky midnight dip in the pool. I was standing outside the tent waiting for Sean to zip the door closed when something told me to look up – I should thank God every day for making me look up that evening – to behold something so indescribable. The black sky was lit up by millions, billions and trillions of stars. The sky was so clear you could see the milky way spread up above and over our heads. As though this evening could not get any better and could not be more blessed – We were walking hand in hand, both of us looking up at the sky and talking of it’s excellence, a shooting star shot straight across the sky. We both saw it. Together. How many people get to say that? It’s these little brilliant moments in my life I could cling to forever. It brought the biggest smiles across our faces and I remember just looking to my side, to this divine human being I was walking with and I leant over and gave him a big sloppy kiss on his cheek and I squeezed his hand. It is so odd how that sort of thing can make you all gooey inside. The stars I tell you, they are the most romantic thing.

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I’m going to leave this post there for now. I could write about it forever and a day. So I think it’s best I break it up into parts.

Watch this space for more stories on our unforgettable adventure

 

Love, Light and Blessings

Roxanne

 

The Long Overdue Update

Uncategorized

Where do I start? How does one pick up after over a year of missing information. Missing stories and emotions and experiences?

Though my last post was posted in May 2015, it was meant to be posted in December 2014. Yes…THAT is how slack I have been with my blogging. But I want to change that. I want to be consistent this year with all its “ins and outs” and “ups and downs”. I want to keep writing. Even if it IS just for me. Anyone ever told you how good it feels to write about those infinite moments, those unforgettable experiences? Give it a try.

So, to try keep up to date and NOT fall horrendously behind…I will try sum up the past year in roughly 4 posts. Each post will be based on a specific topic. A topic I feel will give you a wide enough idea of what the hell has been going on in my life since my last update. These topics will include – Living in Cape Town. Being a 1st year B.Ed student. An awesome Festival I got to be part of and the roadtrip I went on with my boyfriend, Sean.

Though these posts will never cover exactly what has happened, what I have felt, what I have learned and what I have experienced…it will do well enough to give you perspective on how far I have come since the rollercoaster year of 2014.

Im glad to be back. Im glad to be writing again. In the end, other than reading, this is my favourite way to indulge in time alone. Free time if anything.

To end off this post, Ill leave you with a few things I have learned and discovered over the past 14 months. They may not be significant to others but to me, the significance is monumental.
– Broken hearts DO mend. Time DOES heal. God WILL make it easier for you to move on. Just trust in Him

– Cape Town is expensive. Being a student in this place can take a toll on your poor little wallet…if you aren’t careful.

– Sometimes not knowing something is better. Ignorance really can be bliss

– Children pay attention to so much more than what you realise. Be careful what you say and do around them. Their minds are like sponges.

– Skipping 4 days of gym really can set you back by 2 weeks.

– I have learned that if something does no good in your life…don’t keep it as part of it. Let it go. Therefore, I no longer drink alcohol. Almost one month clean of all alcoholic beverages. It feels good. I feel fresh.

– A trance festival/party at night is only something the brave and the bold can endure.

Till next time,

God bless!

Roxanne-Colour-128 (Custom)

Photo by Sean Bennetts 

My Adventure In Israel -Part 3-

Travel

I really wish I traveled more in Israel. I wish I saw more of that beautiful country. Though, Im sure I saw what I needed to during my 2months there.

I was able to do some shopping trips in Eilat with the volunteer girls, other trips (which I was very fortunate to do) with our much loved Volunteer Leader, Voulla. Then I really made a dent in my wallet when I went on a shopping trip with the one and only, Nathan (who, might I add, bought more than i did).

A miracle happened where the “boss of the dates workers and volunteers”, Ran, organized a trip to Masada and The Dead Sea for the volunteer girls. Wow, what a trip to remember. The Dead Sea really is one of the greatest wonders of this world we live in.
You float! You literally can only float. There isn’t exactly sand at the beaches that are along this sea. The shore line is just crystallized salt (which is rather painful to walk on).
We had the opportunity to go to the Dead Sea Spa where we could use the different mineral baths, the outside pool to wash off all the salt and the amazing Dead Sea Mud which us girls had lots of fun with smearing all over our bodies and faces (we looked like idiots, but our skin was loving it).

What I really loved was the drive from Yotvata to The Dead Sea. Literally just driving through barren desert – which is, as I now realize, one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The desert is a scary, powerful thing. Like the ocean, it has so many dangers – natural and man made. Here in the deserts of Israel, they have the Iron Dome – in short, it shoots missiles to collide with incoming missiles so it doesn’t hit the ground and cause chaos (as far as I know, this was Israeli invented, Viva Israel).

The work I did in Israel was “date picking”…for the life of me I have no idea why they call it that because not once did I actually pick a date. When I arrived I was on the Efron, bending the dates branches and tying them to the palm leaves, prepping them for harvest. Then I moved on to bagging dates, pretty much where we take these black bags and wrap them around the bunches of dates so that when it is harvest time, the dates drop in the bags. Just before I left I was able to experience a bit of the harvest. You sit on this “efron” that grips onto the tree then shakes it. All the dates then fall in this machine then need to be sorted – thats where I come in – I then sit at the end of a conveyer belt and make sure that the “good” dates are put into separate crates the ones with the “not-so-ripe-yet” dates.

I am sad though that I was unable to experience more of the harvest. I, unfortunately, left early due to a broken foot.

As much as I would love to say that I fractured my foot while climbing the trees, or maybe that I fell off the efron, I cant, because I broke it in a much more embarrassing, “not-so-hardcore” way. It was the Shabbat evening I decided to really just let loose and have fun. In short, I had one too many to drink and fractured my foot, while dancing at the Phsara. Yeah, I know. How lame. But we have a saying here in South Africa that applies very well here, ‘Die Sambok het my LEKKER gevang’.

It was tough, I will admit. Being on a kibbutz in the heat we had and a cast on was not easy. But hey, I even worked the last week of my time there, with crutches and casts and all. What I hated though, was that I had to rely on my friends (one friend specifically, who I was SO blessed to have during that time) to help me dish up food, make coffee etc. But, i was surrounded by good and helpful people who always tried their best to make “light” of the situation.

Which brings me to the next and second last part of My Adventure In Israel – the people.

Much love, light, and blessing,
Roxanne

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A Look Back

Personal

Hi,
So…Im Roxanne, and Im going to give you “a look back” on my life so far – just so you get a feel for where I come from and where I plan on heading.

I was born on 3 Dec 1993, in Humansdorp, Eastern Cape, SA. My family immediately moved to Johannesburg where we lived for around 5 years. After my dad got tired of the city, we moved to St. Francis Bay back in the Eastern Cape, where we stayed for a year then moved 20mins away, to Jeffreys Bay. After being in ‘JBay’ for around 6 years – where the Billabong Pro reigned every year, the Decembers always brimming with foreigners and the fishing was great – we headed back to St. Francis Bay where I have now been for almost 8years.

I was blessed to be raised in a family where I was loved and appreciated just as I am. I was taught ways that are different to the world and learned that the Bible is the most important piece of guidance. My dad is my hero and the only person on earth I trust with my life. My mom, she is my best friend and the most submissive and loving wife I have yet witnessed. I have 3 siblings – 2 younger sisters (Danielle,16 and CaraLee,12) and a baby brother (Stephen, 7).
A beautiful family is what I have and I am more and more grateful every single day.

As for my life at this moment – after school I did many different things including working for my dad, photography courses, makeup artistry courses, working at a salon, traveling and now…I am on a blessed holiday before I head to Cape Town next year to study Teaching at Varsity College. Makeup Artistry is a passion of mine, but my love and adoration for children is greater than any other….so I hope to be able to teach and share in the innocent, beautiful lives of my future students.

My love life is one for another time…but for now…this is where I was, where I am at…and hopefully where I am going 🌸

God Bless
Roxanne Lee

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