It’s Certain Now

I’m graduating.

Some of you may know that my graduation ceremony happened over three weeks ago and be thinking, yes, yes we know, you actually already graduated, is it only now clicking?

Well I walked across the stage, shook the hand of the President of the university and was given a diploma holder, but three weeks ago it wasn’t certain I was going to graduate.

Now realistically it probably was certain based on where I was going into exams, but to be really, really literal, our final grades weren’t in yet so we had no way of knowing and I had one class, this oneeee classssss that was worrying me a bit.

You see it was an ethics course, Ethics in the Marketplace, and while a business course it was also branched under philosophy and the last philosophy class that I faced off with nearly got me. I just scraped through that one with a D and I honestly don’t know how I even managed that. It was required for my minor and heading in I didn’t know it was philosophy. The methods and arguments all seemed so confusing and it being an 8:30am class probably didn’t help a whole lot either. When I sat down in my first Ethics class in January, a required course for my major, and found out it was a philosophy course my heart sank. And then, to top it all off, 20% of our grade was reliant on participation. My last philosophy course had gone badly and I’d never taken a business course; I felt at rather a disadvantage.

A few weeks in, time comes round for the first assignment to be due and the instructions were a bit vague so I did my best and waited to see what my mark would be. The day the assignments were being handed back I logged online to peek at my mark before the papers came round and was floored to see I had a 0. 0%? How can you even get 0% if you handed anything, like literally anything, in?!

After class I went up to the prof because my paper hadn’t even been handed back and he was like, “Oh yeah, did I forget your email in my inbox? Whoops! I’ll get that to ya as soon as I can!” (Super chill guy, probably my second favourite prof throughout university. Has like flowing, shoulder-length, ringletted, white hair and a double piercing in one ear in which he always has a set of two hoop earrings. I say he’s the retired pirate prof)

So next class, before it starts, he comes and stands in front of me and says, “So we have a problem.” My stomach drops and I’m nearly panicking, did I do it completely wrong? Did I misunderstand everything? Am I going to fail? Am I not going to graduate? Am I going to have to stay another year for this one course? Whyyyyy crueeeeel worldddddddddddd…. Etc.

“Your assignment is really good! You need to speak up more in class!” Relief could have melted me onto the floor in that moment. And while the class did end up being one of my favourites overall it was still very challenging. I always felt like I was uncertain in what I was doing and yet my marks usually implied I was doing alright so the exam was going to be the final test (like, literally, cause it was the last test, but like it also determined like everythi-you get it, it’s a bad pun :P)

Realistically I could have gotten 0 on the exam and passed the course, not well! But passed. Well, my mark was entered into the system two days ago. I done good guys… I done good.

I’m graduating.

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Failure, the Monster of Fear

I want to design things.

I keep seeing videos or projects or posters or fonts that make me want to make stuff. I listen to songs that make me want to make things and everything is just beautiful and so well done and I want to be able to do that too, but I can’t.

I hate the learning process. Let me unpack that a bit… I like learning new things, but I like to learn them and be able to be good at them right away. Maybe I like to discover things. Discovering things usually means they’re ready to go, like discovering a talent for something! Learning things means having to not be very good at them at first. It means being able to see something I want to be able to make so perfectly in my minds eye, and not being able to recreate it.

Learning is frustrating, it’s hard, it’s discouraging, it’s frightening. What if what I desire to create is something I will never achieve? What if no matter how hard I work and study and learn, I’ll never develop the ability to truly do to the extent I desire?

This week I feel like I’ve seen so many things that spark that desire to create, but I haven’t created a thing because I’m scared to try and sure I’ll fail. People tell me otherwise and they say I’ll be great, or they say, that’s part of learning! but that doesn’t actually lessen the sting of failure. I’ve built up failure as a monster of a fear in my mind’s eye, I might only be looking at the shadow, failure could be a mouse in front of a candle’s flame, but that shadow on the wall is big and scary and I’m not sure I can face it just yet. I begin to wonder if I’ll ever be ready to face it.

 

These are some things that I loved the look and sound and feel of lately:

Tessa’s music video for her song “Dream”

Dodie’s song “Sick of Losing Soulmates” (heads up, contains swear words)

Episode 1 of Emily’s webseries “Cold” (everything Emily touches is so beautifully made, her Letters to July series are amazing)

 

I turn 23 at the end of this week. It sounds too grown up.

-B

A Beginner is Cooking: D is for Definitely mostly Defrosted…

Today I decided to be bold. I am not making a one serve meal, there will be leftovers (intentional ones that is, as opposed to last time when I just got too full!). There could be waste. THERE IS MORE PRESSURE! No one but me has to eat these leftovers though so at least theres that. I don’t have to disappoint people!

No cooking happened last week, apologies, situation at work, had to pick up a shift on my day off, ran out of time etc, we move on!

There was meat in the house today, a good start! And I planned ahead enough to defrost said meat, so far things are going very well! I even found a recipe with the word simple in the name which bodes quite well for me overall. Today the mission is Simple Lemon Herb Chicken with couscous and some kind of frozen vegetable that I will choose at a later time… There! I’m incorporating vegetables even if I’m not reaaaaaaaally cooking them!

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So cooking! Mostly this involved putting herbs and lemon juice on the chicken (based on a similar, yet different recipe, I also put minced garlic in the pan with the oil at the beginning and added in rosemary along with the oregano. I am adding things in that are not on the recipe?! Whaaaaat? Getting bold…)

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At this point the amount of sizzling happening was starting to freak me out a little. I mean I know that means its actually cooking but in my mind it sets off sirens screaming BURNING! SPLATTERING OIL! NEAR EXPLOSIONS! etc, so it’s really a thrilling process allowing myself to nibble nervously on my nails and not interfere long enough for things to actually cook through! I flipped the chicken and we hit the time when ideally they should have been cooked through…

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Some of you seasoned chefs (bumdumtss) may have noticed I used the words “ideally” and “should have been” there… That’s right. I do thankfully know enough to cut the chicken through at its thickest point to see if its cooked through before serving up so when I did that this time round I was a little bummed to find that they were noooooooooooot cooked through. Thus I was faced with a conundrum. I didn’t know how long they’d take to cook through or if the outside would burn if I just continued to cook them as they were, so I took the other idea that presented itself and cut ’em in half (and then mauled ’em a bit more to make sure as much pink as possible was touching the pan).

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I had forgotten that in a review of the meal the cook mentioned pounding the meat to even the width or something, which is something I love doing! and I forgot it! So sad… I also maaay not have been patient enough to let it all fuuuuuully defrost (but I think it was definitely mostly defrosted). Anyway, at this point I had made couscous and green beans so they were ready to go and after being fully confident that the chicken was thoroughly cooked (don’t worry, it may have ultimately been overcooked but I was taking no chances!) I plated up a full meal for mahself.

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It looked good, it smelt good, and dang it, it tasted good! It was quite lemony but the couscous balanced it out nicely or something and I was one happy camper! What with this and tuna casserole I can now provide meals for two days in succession, I’m basically building up a repertoire! (Warning: high levels of sarcasm have been found in this use of the word “repertoire”)

So there we go, I am no longer a useless college-aged student living for free in my parents’ basement. Now, I can cook two decent tasting meals.

January 8th

Today we celebrated our first annual January 8th.

Now you may be thinking one or both of two things:
a) Becky, it’s not January 8th.
b) Becky, January 8th happens every year already. What do you mean it’s the first annual January 8th, you imbecile?

Okay, so I could have been more explicit – and geez man, imbecile, really? That’s kinda harsh don’t’cha think..? – Anyway, January 8th 2015 was mum’s transplant day and we’re making it an annual holiday. My siblings and I have never known a healthy version of our mum, she’s had kidney problems for 25 years so we’ve all grown up with this as part of our lives AND NOW IT IS ALL CHANGING!! (*cue dramatic music*)

A prayer for her healing has been my most commonly prayed prayer ever and through it I’ve come to a full understanding of the point that God always answers our prayers, always. He gives one of three answers: “yes”, “no”, or “not yet”, and he always answers in his time and his way – not always word for word of what we pray for. We have a very limited view of our lives and the world, but he sees the big picture. I prayed for 21 years (okay more like 17 or something, surprisingly I wasn’t born talking) that God would miraculously heal my mum’s natural kidneys but the answer was always “no” or “not yet” (I didn’t know which). January 8th I learned it had been a “not yet” that became a “yes”, and that God answered in a way I hadn’t considered growing up. God answered and through the wait I think he’s caused our family to grow both together and with him. It was kinda rough sometimes but it was good, it was all part of THE MASTER PLAN (*maniacal laughter*)

Mum arrived back home this past Tuesday afternoon and has been doing really great. Her kidney is working just as well, if not better, than some people’s who have two healthy kidneys and being home is helping as she relaxes into the full recovery process. The most obvious adjustments at the moment (other than not having to do dialysis of course) are the dietary changes. Everything that’s been off limits for the last eight years is back on the menu! Yesterday I texted her from school to see how she was doing and got this in reply:

So everything’s going pretty well =D (However, her arthritis has been acting up a little bit in her joints so if you’re a praying person, if you want to keep praying for that alongside recovery, we’d appreciate it! Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!)

For our first annual January 8th party we ordered in pizza (something I don’t recall having ever done in my lifetime, even before dietary restrictions) and had pizza and cheesecake and watched the tv show “Happy Days”. It was pretty great. The fam is now watching Guardians of the Galaxy again (it’s becoming a family favourite =D) but I left partway through to get ready for bed. I have an early start again with school in the morning and my headaches are starting to warn me that I’d better start getting more sleep, so I’m off!

First January 8th was a success, future January 8th’s will (probably) be celebrated on January 8th, and I have to wake up before 6am tomorrow so GOODNIGHT HAVE GOOD LIVES TALK TO YOU TOMORROW!
-B

A Visit!?!

Today my brother and I got to go see my mum!! When she wrnt in we were told we wouldn’t be able to see her until she got home, she was only allowed two visitors to minimize any contact with germs as she’s on high immune-supresents as her body gets used to having a new organ in it. Without the immune-suppresents her body would attack the new kidney as a virus or invader and destroy it. So the immune-suppresents are a good thing, just not for my brother and I. My dad was obviously one of the apporved visitors, and the other was my sister who’s out of school and took the week off work.

So I had resigned myself to not seeing mum until she comes home (which could actually be as soon as Monday now!! exciting!) but then today I was texting her (gotta love technology) and she said, “The nurse said you can come visit if you want to” and I was like what, like now, okay I’ll come now!! So my sister came and picked up my brother and I and off we went!

Mum’s doing well, pretty tired and sore, kinda hard sleeping in hosptial beds and soreness is a normal post-surgery ailment, but she’s recoving. In fact, today the doctor told her her phosphates were low and she should eat some chocolate! She hasn’t been able to eat chocolate for seven or eight years now because her phosphates were always too high!! So dad got her a selection of things and she nibbled away at them guilt-free =)

Then this evening after I’d come home, my dad posted on facebook that my mum’s “blood clearance levels are now officially NORMAL! That means that [her] new kidney [(from my uncle)] is already cleaning her blood to such a degree that she’s getting the very same blood-test results that someone with a pair of healthy kidneys would get! Her nurse just exclaimed that she has never seen anyone reach NORMAL so quickly after a transplant! Thank you Lord!” So YAYYYY that’s exciting!! =) There’s still a ways to go with recovery but so far everythings good and God willing it will continue this way =)

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers, they’re very appreciated! Talk to you all tomorrow!
-B

Surgery Complete

Well today were my uncle and mum’s surgeries. My uncle went in first to have his kidney removed and then after the oporating theatre had been reset my mum was taken in at 11:30am. 2:20pm She came out, the doctor said told us the surgery went well and the kidney was working! Mum was in recovery for a few hours while they kept a close eye on her and now she’s in her room at the hosptial where she’ll be until probably Tuesday or Wednesday. She’s doing good, but very tired. My uncle is doing well too, has been quite chatty in reocvery I hear!! 😉

Thank to all the pray-ers and well wishers, we really appreciate it!!

-B

Nearly Transplant Day…!

I uploaded a video today! Fancy that!

 

Also, my mum and my uncle have their surgeries tomorrow. My uncle is donating a kidney to my mum who has had kidney disease for over 25 years and has since had kidney failure and been on dialysis for years. Tomorrow, all that changes *cue dramatic music*

But in all seriousness, this is a really big deal, this will be giving her a new kidney which means when her body accepts it (which we’re praying it will happily do) it will then be working better than it has been in 25 years. That’s longer than I’ve been alive. For more than my whole life my mum has been ill, This surgery is going to make her better.
And I’m kind of scared, major surgery is a big deal, and I’m sure they’re nervous – my mum’s never had major surgery before and my uncle isn’t overly fond of needles and stuff (so likely surgeries too), but we’re excited, this is a turning point. Gosh, I’m hyping myself up here, but the last few evenings, I start thinking about it and I start to panic. I need to get a better hold on my imagination… Hyped up is better than panicing!! It’s gonna be great, it’s all gonna go well, they’re both gonna recover just fine. They’re young and healthy, it’s cool. But if you’re the praying type, please be praying that their surgeries would go well, that their recovery times would be short, and that my mum’s body would accept the new kidney!! Thanks friends! =)

(Left picture, L-R: My sister, my Mum, and myself. Right picture: my uncle)

(Left picture, L-R: My sister, my Mum, and myself. Right picture: my uncle)

Talk to you all tomorrow, POST-SURGERY!!
-B