It feels good to write. I think it’s quite like exercise? I forget how much I love it until I’m actually doing it again. So here I am. Where to start? How about this… When I was twenty, I headed on a road trip with my Dad, younger sister and her then boyfriend. It was all a part of a big celebratory shenanigan for our cousins’ birthdays (two cousins – joint celebrations… just to clarify). The car was borrowed from an uncle and we took shifts driving. I can’t remember how we passed the time. Music? Talking? Number plate games? The only thing I can remember – besides the flat tyre on the way home – is that we found a talk-tape CD in the glove box and decided to give it a listen. It was a church topic talk and the guy was entertaining and surprisingly funny. That started my great love for listening and learning from this funny named, talk tape CD guy from America. He’d had a mass of other talks and I’ve since spent hours listening and re-listening to him. You know in the old movies how people used to make mix tapes for the person they liked? Well, when Josh and I started dating I never made him a mixtape, but I did lend him one of my talk tapes *giggles* Apparently, he seemed to like it too? It was a few months into this whole nike list journey when I had clicked on a link to an upcoming event I’d attended twice in years before. I started figuratively jumping up and down (it may also have been literally) because the funny named talk tape CD guy was going to be there. Unlike before, the event was out of state, so I was a little hesitant to say I was going, even though I really wanted to. I’d half convinced myself to go, but as soon as I spoke to Josh it was a done deal. He was psyched for me to go, and truth be told, a little jealous that he wouldn’t be able to come along. So I booked my ticket and wrote down in my notebook, number forty one…Go see John Bytheway at Time out for Women.
There are a lot of pretty thoughts about journey’s and destinations and the value in both of them. I think my favourite is currently, “Life’s a climb, but the view is great” (thank you Miley Cyrus). I am in that climb and sometimes it hurts so bad the only view I can see is my feet hitting the ground, watching every step, just to make sure it happens. Other times, I look back and think, “Wow, look at what I’ve done, how far I’ve come.” This nike list adventure gave me the opportunity to take a figurative break and ponder on that journey. I got myself packed and on a pretty Thursday I set off for Brisbane.
I’ve already shared a bit of my experiences in some Facebook lives (insert screaming emoji here), but to super quickly recap… total excitement, new experiences, first solo road trip, dancing and singing because no one is watching, pumped it loud, love the ol’ FM transmittor, lipsense is the bomb, doing it all because I want to live my life not sit waiting, hitting up Brisbane and the gold coast, pulled over by highway police, driving in a hail storm, chill time by myself, drawing, googly eye pranks, THE END.
The event itself is called ‘Time out for Women’. Although not officially run by the church, it is run by church members and focuses on giving women some time away from usual home/work life and an opportunity to refresh, be inspired and directed. And boy, did it deliver. If it were possible for me to let you be able to feel all the feels I had then you’d understand perfectly and I’d have no need for this entry. But despite all the advances we have in technology, I’m going to have to try and find the words.
There were a mixture of presenters. Some were authors from overseas and others were local presenters from Brisbane. I could try and give a quick recap of what each of them spoke about but I don’t really note take that way. I used to be the person who would try and transcribe every word, but I find personally, that it blocks me being able to connect with what’s being said in way that means something in MY world. So my notes look more like random pockets of beautiful that don’t make sense in a holistic sense.
So many incredible things were said, and I picked up on the messages that I needed the most. I know that in my writing I’m somewhat open about my life and my struggles, but some things I like to just keep to myself. So instead of pouring out my heart to the why’s of these random pockets of beautiful, I’ll just let them sit here. You can decide if they can do some wonder in your world.
Our bodies are uniquely designed for us to achieve our divine mission.
Courage is facing your fears with faith.
What has God brought me ‘here’ to do? In this time, in this circumstance, in this struggle?
Where is my area of greatest personal influence in this season of my life?
I left that event feeling inspired and uplifted and determined to do some things. These things have made a place in my life and I’m continuing to pursue them and I think that’s the point. Not just from the event, but life itself. Bad things happen, good things happen, and in all circumstances we should seek to change for the better. I have my head stuck down in reading that I start to get everything muddled up, so I’m not sure if one of the presenters said it or I read it somewhere else, but she was talking about this same concept. I’ll paraphrase, but the main message was that you can be in unfortunate circumstances and decide that this is who you are because x,y or z has happened to you OR you can ask yourself, “Who are you going to be because x,y or z has happened?”
I have had, what I express as, heart aching struggles with pregnancy failure, miscarriage, recovery, infertility treatments, and emotional struggle while close friends, family and what feels like everyone around me, celebrates the beautiful and amazing joy of having children. I’m not here to self congratulate or boast how wonderful I am, but I could give up on life. I could get angry at God, or life or my body, or fertile people. I could go numb. I could be a hopeless victim, but I don’t. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes I am numb, and for several months after the ectopic pregnancy I wanted to give up on life. Instead – despite the pain – I decide to let this experience change me for the better. And I have to do it every day. Sometimes a few times a day.
I become someone with compassion for those suffering the same struggle. I become someone who is an advocate for trying to keep it real that life is beautiful and messy and hard. I become someone who tries to be more trusting in the life that is mine. I become someone who is more actively trying to love each chapter of my story, rather than looking at others in comparison and jealousy. I become someone who is more reflective and aware of life and creating beautiful things. I become more than what I was before it all happened.
I love my nike list and this blog. I’m still adding things and ticking them off, but just to continue in the keeping it real… I am really struggling in an emotional sense right now (and hormone treatments so do not help in that department). I am desperately trying to live my life instead of watching it pass waiting for children, but right now I’m in a hard part. It’s been 9 months since the last miscarriage and I really hoped and thought something would have happened by now. It’s up and down and every day is different. Some days are great. Others are hard, and I don’t always make that public because I just don’t feel like it. So again, trying to keep it real. Not out of sympathy or fishing for compliments, but just as a reality check.
Life is a climb and the view is great, but sometimes people forget to mention the middle part. Thanks for making it with me while I find my views.