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

 

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

 

Living in The Mother City

Personal, Travel

2015 has most definitly been one of my better years.

Falling in love with someone that makes me feel a new sense of thrill in life, making friends I don’t think I will ever forget, studying something I absolutely love and enjoy, going on adventures I think about everyday and of course…living in one of my favourite cities.

 

Cape Town is one of the most sought after cities in the world with it’s lush greenery, the magnificent mountain ranges, constant flow of “things to do” and its well known reputation for being one of the ‘vibeiest’, cosmopolitan spots around. It has clean water (clean enough to drink) and well maintained roads. Though this city indeed does have all these much wanted characteristics. It has its weaknesses too.

Constant traffic, lack of parking then paying criminal prices for the parking you MIGHT find, the cliques among the people that live there which are hard to avoid, the constant feeling as though you need to dress or look a certain way and just the general expense of living in such a profound city.

Just little things. Those little things that can put you in a small period of rage or make you feel irritable or even sad.

No. These things do not make me dislike this beautiful city. I’m not sure anything could ever quite do that. But little things I think this world could do without.

All in all though…it boils down to what you allow in your day to day schedule. The people you surround yourself with. The places you choose to go to. It can, in the end, all be avoided too. That’s what’s great about the city…it is your oyster…you have options, copious amounts.

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I love living here. I don’t like being away for too long. If there is one thing I can say about The Mother City, is that God sure spent a heck of alot of time in creating it. The mountains, the ocean, the beutiful vegetation, the stunning beaches…it all boasts about its Creator. Everywhere. All round you. All the time.

Last year, 2015, Cape Town was good to me. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me there this year.

God Bless!


 

My Adventure In Israel -Part 2-

Travel

On my arrival at Yotvata I was overwhelmed by the greetings of all the workers, kibbutzniks, volunteers and the scorching sun. I was introduced to people from Colombia, Uruguay, Korea, Holland, Germany, Australia…the list goes on. After coming from a small town – somewhat living under a rock – its quite exciting meeting people from all over the world. You experience different cultures, languages, personalities and mannerisms. Like for instance, if an Israeli gives you a drunken slap, its actually because he likes you (really though…its true).

I was assigned as a Date Worker…and man am I glad about it. I learned so much in this field and was literally thrown out of my comfort zone. Climbing trees, bending branches, heights, insects, dirt, waking up at 4 every morning…it was all there and I took it with a “as brave as I can be” face. Im not sure what the big deal was. What the fuss was about that was screaming in my head. But I truly, and really was…proud of myself. I pushed through some really bad migraines, anxiety attacks, countless scratches and bruises all over my body. It felt like I was really stretching the seams of my comfortable little bubble…I think all I have wanted to do was break away from it…have enough space to stretch my arms and not care that a little spider had just fallen down my shirt or that i had sand in my shoes or that the cuts on my arms would probably scar forever.

Maybe what I really loved was the time to think. Even though I went to Israel hoping it would take my mind off things and I would stop thinking about failed love and my future…I ended up thinking there the most. My body was working hard and my hands always busy, but my mind was on a different planet – i would be on the efron up a tree in the fields but my mind was a battlefield. Turns out…its exactly what I needed. Sometimes I found myself trying to stop tears from rolling behind my glasses so colleagues wouldn’t see and sometimes all I could do was smile at some of the things that would come to thought. All in all…I think that time alone with God was all I needed.

Not to mention the impact the people I met had on me. If ever I had met amazing people…it was in Israel. They taught me so much about myself, I can only be forever grateful.

You really get to know people when you spend everyday together – breakfast, lunch and supper. Sleep in the same little house. Swim together. Listen to music together. Drink together. Watch movies together. You become part of a family that no other can compare. Ill never forget this family I was so lucky to be part of.

Anyway, more detail about these beautiful people and our adventures in the next post.

God Bless,
Roxanne

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