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Three candles

The Daily Post: Daily Prompt: No Longer a Mere Mortal

You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LONGEVITY.

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Three candles

I spend my life trying to build
some kind of friendship
between my body and my soul;
but
is this not a cruel endeavour, when I know that
my body will decay
and when not a drop of life is in it
my soul will be spirited away to Heaven
and have to grieve its friend, cadaver?

Why encourage my mind to cooperate with my body,
when my mind may fail me before my expiry
leaving my shell?
What joy is there if you can move
but no longer be moved?

And would it not be worse still
if my frame were to crumble
around my still agile mind;
to have thought, wit,
but no beauty or energy
with which to adorn or enjoy it?

Why are mind, body, soul
candles each with their own wick?
One is sure to burn out before the others.


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Calling

teacher-doris-day 

The Daily Post: Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!

The most meaningful realisation I have ever had, was the one that I should become a teacher.

I went through basically all of high school dead-set on becoming a lawyer. I took legal studies in my last two years and joined the school’s mock trial team. I studied really hard slacked off and hoped that I would still get good grades, so that I could get in to law school. I got in, took my gap year off (to reward myself for all the hard work I didn’t put in in my final year) and then, in 2008, I started a Bachelor of Law/ Bachelor of Communication. I loved it and found it really interesting, albeit quite daunting and challenging at times.

At the end of my second year of law school, I decided that I would take a year off and do a one year course in Christian Ministry and Theology (just letting you know: I am a Christian). The plan was, get an approved one year leave of absence from uni, complete bible college and come back to law school the following year. One year at bible college turned into two (after much anguish about how I would break the news to my parents) and some time during that second year, something changed.

(Note: when someone asks you what you do for a living, and you say “I’m at bible college”, about 50% of the time the reply will be “oh right, so does that mean, like, you’re gonna be a nun… or something?”)

While I was at bible college, I picked up a job at a tutoring centre. I would spend a lot of time doing one-to-one work with children in their first years of primary school, helping them with their reading or mathematics. During my time there, I discovered my love for two things. The first thing was photocopying – especially the feeling of secretly holding up a big stack of still-warm, freshly copied papers against my chest while the boss wasn’t looking I AM NOT WEIRD DON’T TELL ME I AM WEIRD STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT! The second thing, and this profoundly changed me, is that moment when somebody “gets it”. You’ve told them again and again, in many ways, that 1+1=2 or what sound is made when the letters ‘t’ and ‘h’ appear together, and then, just before you grab the nearest pen and stab yourself in the chest, their face lights up, and a slow, uncertain smile creeps across their face. Their eyes twinkle. Their mouth opens, and they repeat back to you what you’ve just said. Skeptical, you test it. You show them a new word, or a new maths problem. They demonstrate that they understand the concept, and if you’re me, you’re almost in tears. Teachers call this the “lightbulb moment”, and realising how much satisfaction I got when somebody understood something I was explaining to them was a real lightbulb moment for me (so much lightbulb inception right there).

LIFESTYLE-BLOG-moment-you-realise-youre-grownup-525x375Something inside me told me that I could do this for the rest of my life. But part of me felt like I would be letting myself down if I didn’t finish law school. But what I later realised that I wasn’t worried about letting myself down – I was worried about letting other people down. Like my parents. Not that they are the type of parents who push their children into a top-tier career for the money or the prestige. They just knew how long I’d wanted to be a lawyer for, and how much time I’d already given towards it (and how much money they’d paid in uni fees). They also knew that I had now been out of school for nearly five years and was still living at home. I can’t blame them, and now that they know I’m serious about being a teacher, they’re happy for me. They believe in the importance of education.

But ultimately, you have to do what you have to do. And as much as I loved the mooting and the letter writing and arguing that came with law school, I was beginning to wonder whether I wanted to sign up for a career that would eat up my free time and cause me immeasurable stress (although I’m pretty sure I’m still going to have some of that as a teacher). I wanted a career that I could reduce to part-time if I wanted. I wanted a career without incessant butt-kissing and bitching. I didn’t want to take a few years off work to have some kids down the track, and have to start from scratch when I re-joined the workforce. In short: being a lawyer would have suited my gifts, my interests and my passions, but it wouldn’t have let me have any other significant things in my life. Not if I wanted to make a good run of it, anyway. I’d rather have a full heart than a full wallet.

So I applied to do a degree in Secondary Education and got in. I just finished Semester 1 of my second year two days ago. Although most of my old school friends and my friends from law school have now graduated, while I still have 3.5 years of training left, I’m easily able to shake off any jealousy. I’m really happy for them, don’t get me wrong. They’re smart, lovely people. But each to their own. I know I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing and I don’t see the windy path I took as lost time.

And if you’re wondering who I plan to model my teaching career on… here you go…

 

lol


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Road Trippin’

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The Daily Post: Daily Prompt: Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

Road trippin’ with my two favourite allies
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies
It’s time to leave this town
It’s time to steal away
Let’s go get lost

 

This song, Road Trippin’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, well just this verse really, captures a lot of the essence of why I love road trips. The planning and dreaming before hand, the squish to fit everything in the car, the fighting over shotgun, the Russian roulette of the truck stop diner (where what you buy to eat may turn out to be delicious or may, in fact, kill you), tracking the kilometers (like miles, but better, because they’re metric), playing ridiculous road trip games and singing ninety nine bottles all the way through, backseat driving, the squabbling, the cheesy playlists; they all make for one of the most hilarious, authentic bonding experiences you and your friends could have.

Also, they give your Instagram account’s ego a big boost, with plenty of opportunities to take photos like this:

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Born in the wrong decade

The Daily Post: Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen

Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?

I absolutely, well and truly, undeniably, do not belong in this time.

My beloved Aunty Joan once told me that I was born eighty years old. You would have to know how my family works and how I work to get that that wasn’t an insult (alright, it wasn’t totally an insult). If you knew me, you’d probably also get what she meant. I am, at least on some level, an emotional Benjamin Button.

Let’s do the maths on that one. I was born in 1989, after what my mother will assure you was the longest, most stop-start labour in the history of humankind. If I was eighty in 1989, then I was born in 1909, and supposing that a woman is at her cultural, social and fashionable prime in her twenties to forties, then I was born to peak in the 1920s to 1940s and I think that is absolutely right. Because I would die of happiness if I got to look like this every day (I do own a hat like the one in this picture which is not mine).

Unfortunately, that would have meant I would have had to live through the two World Wars and the Great Depression, and I am much too prissy to ration my stockings or my bacon. I’d also be dead by now, well, probably. Especially since, as mentioned above, I would have died of happiness every time I opened my wardrobe.

So my next preference is to have been born in the 1960s, so that I could have fully enjoyed the music and fashion of the 1980s. Look, 80s culture; it’s a love-it-or-hate-it kinda thing and I love it. I’m not ashamed. This is a photo of me when I was twenty, all dressed up for an 80s-themed costume party (which were all the rage in the late noughties, apparently):

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I still own that jumper. I wore it yesterday. And the day before that.

I think having been born in the 1960s would have suited some of the attitudes I have now. It would definitely match some of my behaviour. For example, like a fifty-something year-old, I often fall asleep in the middle of a television show, walk into a room and promptly forget what I went in there for, or go on a frantic search for an object that is in my hand. I also find myself bemoaning the attitudes and sometimes even the music and fashions of the rest of my generation, and I have caught myself saying things such as “when I was younger…” or “I remember when you were a baby! I changed your nappies!” (the perks of being a babysitter).

Also, these photos would never have happened:

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So basically anything other than that would have been better, right?

And if you’re not convinced about how gorgeous I would have looked in the threads of the early twentieth century, or you haven’t seen enough of my embarrassing childhood photos, here is one of me (centre) acting in a play, when I was about seven:

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Morality

The Daily Post: Daily Prompt: Morality Play

Where do your morals come from — your family? Your faith? Your philosophical worldview? How do you deal with those who don’t share them, or derive them from a different source?

I am a Christian. I’m stating this right upfront for a few reasons. First, I believe that I have nothing to be ashamed of in that. Second, if the fact that I’m a follower of the one true God offends you, then you may as well know who I am now. You are excused; have a lovely day. Third, I am a Christian before I am anything else. To ask a serious Christian – a Christian who actually has an active relationship with God and a strong connection to a local church – whether their morals come from their family, their faith of their worldview is misguided, because their (spiritual) family, their faith and their worldview are all tied up in God.Image

As you might imagine, as a Christian I cop a lot of criticism from people (some who are smart; some who think they’re smart but aren’t) about what they think Christianity represents. Sometimes they’re misguided, but unfortunately sometimes they’re spot on. People and organisations have done awful things to others in the name of Jesus. You can only tell somebody so many times that people aren’t perfect and God is great even though His earthly “representatives” are often dimwitted jerks. But at the end of the day, frankly, people who don’t follow God have beliefs about certain issues – and one that I will name publicly without fear about whatever you may say is abortion – that are dead wrong. But whether I disagree with somebody on one point, or whether I think they are bumbling buffoons who need some serious etiquette lessons, I think the Bible is clear on two things:

1) God loves everybody

2) therefore I should show as much love as I can to everybody else.

I don’t think that means I need to go about giving everybody kisses and cuddles. I think it does mean that I need to respectfully listen to people’s views and try to see where they’re coming from (among other things).