Sooooo sorry I haven’t been updating my blog lately. Things have been MANIC here… Tomorrow I leave to visit friends and on Saturday I go to Teenstreet. Please keep me in your prayers for safe travel, wisdom as I lead a small group, fab weather, deep growth for myself and the girls I’m leading, fun memories and clarity on what to say when I share at church on the 7th. Wish I could write heaps more… time is not in my favour.
After a lot of discussion these past few days regarding communication, as well as reactions and responses to what people do/say, I decided it was time for me to confess something. And today I finally shared it with Fitzy.
When Fitzy and I were in New York he was approached by a promoter trying to sell tickets for a comedy night. Since there was a famous person that Fitzy really wanted to see and since he thought it could be a fun night out he went ahead and ever so generosity bought the tickets. My reaction? Well… I threw a bit of a strop, and rightly so to him I looked like I was in a mood with him. True I thought he was too easily talked into this sale… but that wasn’t the problem.
At the time I knew what the problem was but I was too frustrated to communicate what I was really feeling inside or thinking. Since then I’ve been too ashamed to even admit the problem to myself. I knew all along had I should be straight up and honest with Fitzy. I also knew without a shadow of a doubt that Fitzy would understand this problem… But the problem was with me. I didn’t want to tell him because I was too ashamed to admit the problem to myself. So poor Fitzy for the past few months as never understood the situation and always thought I threw a hissy fit for no apparent reason. Dead right he thought that, especially when I couldn’t even tell him the reason.
So today…. I took the plunge and finally told him. “Fitzy, I can’t hear them.”
When I was in Perth, Fitzy ever so kindly took me and another friend out for the evening. One part of the evening involved going to a comedy club. Now I’d never been to one before and so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The night was a lot of fun… only when it got to the comedy club part, I didn’t understand a lot of the jokes because I missed so much of what was being said. I couldn’t laugh when others did and so I sat there feeling pretty foolish to be the only one not laughing. I especially didn’t want Fitzy thinking I wasn’t having a good time, because at the end of the day… I loved Fitzy and because he was having a great time… I just wanted to be with him. No matter what we did, no matter whether I enjoyed it or not… I got to hang out with him. And that’s what I wanted. I got to create moments and memories throughout the whole evening. I would have continued to go to a thousand comedy clubs if it meant I got to live life with him… But this time, in New York, I panicked inside. And the feeling of foolishness and embarrassment became too overwhelming.
I’ve been deaf since the age of 18 months old. Which means I’ve been deaf for just over 21 years. You would think after all the social work training on discrimination, oppression and empowerment I would be brave enough to admit this to Fitzy… but I wasn’t. I was deeply embarrassed and ashamed of my flaw. Which is so silly. So so so silly. And I know that. I know it’s not my fault I’m deaf, I know Fitzy would love and respect me in this situation. But the deep sense of shame strangled me and instead I made the situation so much worse. I don’t want to admit I’m different. I don’t want to feel I’m different to others. I don’t want to hinder others and prevent them from doing things in order to “make me happy“, meet my needs or to, I suppose, protect me. But I guess the reality is I do need to communicate it. The lack of communication just meant it looked like I was getting upset over nothing which is a stressful situation for any guy. Least of all did I want to stress Fitz out.
I’ll never be able to fully explain what I feel inside when it comes to my hearing, and why I feel such shame. I’ll never be able to fully explain how my hearing affects me. But Fitzy’s response today was what I was so sure it was going to be all along. He understood. I’m forever encouraging people to be straight up and honest with one another. It saves and prevents so many problems. But… truth is… I’m still learning this art of communication too. And I’ve gotta learn to have faith that the people in my life, like Fitzy… won’t reject me because of my hearing.
Oh my word… life’s a little random at the moment 😀 I actually forgot I had a blog these past 3 days. These past few days blogging has been far from my mind.
Saturday was a total waste of a morning… it was EPIC. I truly succeeded at this art of wastefulness… I think it involved Facebook, email and the news… oh and video clips on MSN. Saturday afternoon Sara had a slight change of plans decided to come hang out with me for a week. So there we have it… Aki and Sara Macy Reunited. It’s been fairly awesome 😛
LOADS of chats, movies, I’m sure I’ve eaten my body weight several times over. It’s been so awesome to have a girlfriend here in the house. She was my cabin mate on the ship for a while and we’ve had numerous adventures together during my time on the ship. In many ways we’re so different and in many other ways we’re so similar. She’s the cutest at watching “I Am Legend” as she freaks out over the “zombies!” 😛 The ship and university has its flaws but I do love living with some of my friends as we get on so well… I know it was very random for her to come here and not at all planned… sort of like a very spur of the moment thing but… I’m so glad. I’ve had a lovely time so far. Things for me have been so busy and it’s been wonderful to have this unexpected situation as it’s been a real blessing. I feel like I’m on holiday even though I’m at home and still cooking for Laura! 😛
I really think reminiscing past events, especially happy ones, are so good for the soul. And how better than to do it with the people it actually involves. It’s so nice to look back and laugh with those who were there, they know, they understand… They can physically visualise the memories with you. I keep saying though “Why don’t I have a car?! The one week you’re here and the parents run off with the car?!” Slightly ironic that I’ve never needed a car before I passed my test and after I do pass my test I suddenly think “No!!! I need a car!” 😛
Tonight I finally understood the feeling for mothers when everyone has gone to bed and you have a moment to sit by yourself. It’s so relaxing! A stillness after the whirlwind of the day. To drink a cup of tea, put your feet up and have the cat walk all over you until he finds a good place to lie down… my legs… and purr. I have felt so encouraged these past 48 or so hours. It’s been wonderful to hear such encouragement about my thoughts and advice. Apparently I have some good stuff! Haha. No seriously… people have said this before but… it’s been very encouraging for me to know God is using me.
Sometimes I wonder if we go through things in life for the sole purpose of God wanting us to support another in that same or very similar situation. On one hand I’ve thought “God, no thanks, I don’t want that kind of pain and responsibility.” But at the same time… what a privilege to know God wants to use you to help another. What better life purpose could there be? The gift of trust and respect people give you when they open themselves up to you and your friendship… to be valued in wanting your opinion and thoughts to be shared…
Sometimes we think so big that we forget the significance of walking life with even just one person. What if our only purpose on Earth was to walk life with someone for 5 minutes? What if that was the ultimate climax of your life? One thing you say… one thing you do… Should we be upset and frustrated at our “tiny” role. No… we really shouldn’t. You were able to, in that moment, give a gift of knowledge, or love, or kindness, or hope, or peace, or forgiveness… something that no one else could have done because God set you aside to do that specific task. God ordained. We want big roles. We want to be superheros in the story of life… Can we accept that we are the superhero of one important and crucial moment? Can we accept that it’s the journey and the learning that molds us and not necessarily the destination or outcome?
I love life. I love people. I love talking. I do think more and more about counselling as a career path. I also know I love God and that he is so faithful to me, and to everyone. Time…. and time…. and time again.
Just a quick one to say the auction has ended and the highest bidder has been informed. A massive massive massive thank you for the interest, bids and support! An even bigger thank you to Stephen and Joyce for their lovely gift of the 5* holiday in the 5* cottage to auction in the first place!! Everyone’s love and generosity has been AMAZING!!! I hope the lucky people have a WONDERFUL time away!!!! 😀
It was essential that I write to you and tell you how my driving test went because you have all been walking this journey with me!! If you want me to skip right to it… I PASSED!!! Now I’ll tell you more of the details, how I celebrated and why the date 11th of July is significant to me!
I woke up early on Monday to take the car to the garage. One of the front lights wasn’t working… panic! Oh and two days before my hearing aid stopped working… MAJOR panic! But both of those issues God quickly fixed… phew! Thank you God! Anyways dad and I drove back to pick up mum so that I could keep driving whilst dad was in the office. It was good to be out driving in the peak hour traffic, people going to school, work etc… since my test wasn’t until 1.40pm I figured if I can drive through all that traffic in the morning, I’ll be fine in the afternoon.
Let’s skip back a bit, when I woke up I actually felt good. I felt like everything was going to be ok. In fact I was dancing around to Rihanna’s “Umbrella” song in the shower and kept playing the line “I’ve been praying more than ever!!” in my head haha. However when push came to shove, in the car with mum I was really getting stressed. I just could NOT get my parking in a bay or my reverse parallels right. After we picked up dad I had an hour’s break before he and I went back out to keep trying. The thing is… I can drive. I’m a really good driver… it’s just two of the five possible maneuvers they may ask me to do were a bit of a struggle… and in order for me to pass the test I needed to not stuff them up. It would have been a massive shame to have done so well driving on a test to stuff the whole lot up by “touching the kerb“.
We got to the test centre about 40 minutes early and took a little walk… I saw a dead and massively mangled rabbit on the road and thought “Oh my gosh?!?!?! This isn’t a good thing to see right before my test?!?!” hahahah. Closer to the time I took the car into the test centre and reversed into the bay… thankfully the bays are really very wide in there and so I was fine. The car was in between the white lines! Haha.
On the advice of a friend, I used the toilet before the test hahaha!! I was really nervous and could barely sign my signature on a document to say the car was insured. I used our car as it was the one I learnt it. So many people have given me so much advice about my driving test. Some said “Don’t worry it took me 3 goes“, others took 5 goes… And that’s great to know it’s not a disaster if I fail the first time… but it did make me think “Oh my word I have no hope!!” The night before I read that God is on my side. And I knew a lot of prayer went toward me and my driving test by so many people. My instructors gave me all the advice I ever needed to know… and these were all the things I just had to trust.
Eye test… check, two safety questions… check. She asked me to explain how I would test the brake lights and then she asked how I would check the head and tail lights. Easy. Then the actual 30-35 minutes of driving started.
The day before dad and I came up to the test centre to sort of just check it out. We saw that immediately outside the test centre was a stop sign on the road but no other markings. We both knew straight away that this would be the absolute first indication as to whether you pass or fail. Immediately to the right of the test centre was the ambulance station… pretty clever way to see whether people are taking in signs on the road. So I stopped, hand brake on, looked around and went when it was safe to do so.
The rest of my test I was nervous, my gear changes weren’t bad but not my best… my leg wouldn’t stop shaking haha. I did ten minutes of independent driving and only did one mini roundabout?! Thankfully the first half of the test was all places I knew and drove many times… So I knew little quirky things about those roads. Which gave me confidence. The second part was places I hadn’t been before but I still felt confident. National speed limits, one way streets…. And one maneuver. Reserve around a corner!!! YES!!!! My strongest one!! It started well until some how I turned on the windscreen wipers?!?!!?! What the heck?!!?!? Whilst trying to complete the maneuver I was trying to turn them off and lost control of the car a little. But due to good observations I managed to regain control of the car, straighten up, not hit anything and finish perfectly. Only got a minor for it. YES! Thank you Jesus!!! That would have been awful to have hit the kerb and my test would have been an immediate fail!
We drove back to the test centre and my examiner told me just to pull into a parking bay front ways. Dad who was watching from a distance saw this and though “Oh no, this isn’t good” because everyone we had watched before were all asked to reverse in. I don’t know what I expected her to tell me. I felt like my test went well over all but was bracing myself for a fail. But then she said “Congratulations, you passed!” And I was like “OH MY GOODNESS NO WAY?!?!?!” She then went onto tell me I only used 5 of the 16 minors that I was allowed. Amazing!! God is so good!
She got out the car and didn’t look or smile at dad, who was at this point thinking very bad news. He opened the car door and there I was with a big grin holding up my pass certificate. I even had to say “Dad I passed” because he just was looking at me like “Is that a pass? Did you pass?” He burst into tears and then called mum who too burst into tears haha. It’s been such a stressful journey for us all. So much pressure on us all for me to pass that it was such a release and relief to have passed. First time. Thank you Jesus!
Funny enough I stalled the car on the way home haha. Laura and I went for a drive later that evening and when I asked how she thought my driving was now… she ever so sweetly told me “I’m not sweating and the car isn’t nervous anymore” hahahahah. Whatta joker 😛 My first official drive alone was when I dropped off Laura at home and picked up dad in town. The phone was ringing off the hook all afternoon and facebook went crazy with “likes” and notifications. So many congratulations… I’m so privileged to have walked this journey with so many. To celebrate Laura and I went for a “date” in the car to Talkin Tarn (a small lake) and then to Asda to pick up ingredients for Pina Coladas. We watched “Game Plan” as a family and drank Pina Coladas. Yey!
My advice to anyone taking their test would be… firstly, don’t do it until you are sure you can pass. I drove for hours, over a long period of time, and in all sorts of conditions and situations. I did at least 100 hours, some with a driving instructor, some with the parents. Secondly, girls with long hair, tie it up; and both guys/girls make sure you make your mirror checks obvious. Thirdly, observation is critical. If you make a mistake you can easily correct it if you know what’s around you at all times. Fourthly, pray… a lot! Lastly, use the bathroom before your test 😛
Now… finally… why is the 11th of July important to me? Well… two years ago on the 11th of July, it was the last time I ever saw Mike. I may have said goodbye to him on the 12th but I have never been able to work that out. In a way the 11th is an anniversary for me and in a way I want to celebrate that day in my own appropriate way. Last year I hung out with friends on the 11th/12th… this year… I passed my test. I didn’t plan for it to be on that day to take my test… somehow it just happened and God in his mercy made it a great day. I’m sure Mike would have been proud of me… just like Laura was. She’s so sweet and I love them both to pieces.
Thank you again to everyone who prayed for me, encouraged me, congratulated me, “liked” my status on facebook… you’re all so awesome!
Wow wow wow. Past few days have been AMAZING!
I forget what happened on Monday but Tuesday I was running around with Laura trying to find a great present for our cousin’s wedding. As usual it ended up being a late night and very early morning. Laura wanted waking at 6am and so me being the most selfless person ever (yeah right!), I set my alarm to wake her. Dad was absolutely set on leaving by 8am, I was ready at 7.30am (when does this happen?!)… and they were still packing at 8.30am. We left, late, got 20 minutes down the road and realised dad forgot his shoes. So we drove all the way back to find out they were in the car all along. Waste of an hour! 😛 But who am I to care, I wasn’t driving and slept most of the way to Portsmouth. Just 7 hours in the car :S Fun!
Our cousin’s wedding wasn’t until the Thursday but it was such a long way, we didn’t want to risk getting stuck in traffic or anything on the day. Mum’s extended family live in the same area as the location of the wedding and so we decided to go visit them. My mum’s mum’s cousin. Soooo I guess my great cousin? :S We got here around 4pm on the Wednesday, enjoyed scones with jam and cream, and looked at pictures of our great great grandparents/uncles/aunts… it was all quite interested. That evening we went for dinner at an English beach and checked into a Travel Lodge. Usually these hotels are alright however this was was stingy. But that’s ok… Laura and I pampered ourselves, ate loads of goodies and watched Friends… The One Where Monica & Chandler Get Married. Can I just say… thank goodness we weren’t sharing a room with mum or dad’s snoring! 😛
8am was rise and shine, big day ahead! Showers all round and then hair. Laura did an amazing job of my hair. I later got sooooo many comments. We left that hotel at 11am, drove for breakfast and checked into the hotel of the wedding. The weather had been horrendous the past few days, including the day of the wedding. Suzanni, our cousin, had asked us to pray and so pray we did. Only the heavens opened up even more. Talk about torrential rain… Laura and I were so freaked out that our hair would get messed up walking to and from the car. Laura kept worrying about the weather… and I kept telling her, “No Laura… God has a plan.” I knew God was allowing it to pour down with rain so that it stopped in time for the wedding.
The next hotel was amazing. Whilst mum and dad went for a swim at the hotel spa, Laura and I went exploring. Without a doubt we cherished the moment with a hot chocolate. 1pm arrived and it was off to the room to finish getting dressed. Make up and clothes. That was fun 😀 2pm Laura and I went back downstairs for a drink whilst waiting for the bride. Mingling with the family, extended family and future family is always fun. We even saw James, the groom. We asked, “How you feeling?” He answered, “Hot!” hahah. Before long the bridemaids arrived and then the Bentley. The weather… sunny. Just in time 🙂 I told you God had a plan. Anyways the Bentley was our cue to be ushered in upstairs.
The room itself was awesome. Great views of the harbour and sea. The mother of the bride, Auntie Sal, and Sam, Suzanni’s brother took their place; James stepped into position; the bridesmaids walked down the aisle… finally, Uncle Chris led our beautiful cousin to her future husband. Of course the wedding dress was amazing but what was more beautiful was Suzanni’s tears as she walked through. It was so lovely to see how happy she was and capture as many moments as possible on the camera. It was a civil wedding which was unusual… I’ve never been to a civil one before… very short and legal. But still lovely to see this lovely couple enter into marriage.
Drinks and photos followed the ceremony, still sunny and dry; and then the reception. Suzanni and James did a great job of the decorations and food choices. The speeches were hilarious and the wine flowed. What I quite liked was again after the meal there was a bit of a break for us to mingle before the next thing… the party! Dance floor, live music and open bar. AWESOME combination! It was SUCH a fun night. My Uncle Chris and I had “a moment” together haha. It was just lovely to give him a hug and enjoy the wedding of our daughter/cousin… with a shot of tequila and another of whisky 😛 Finally, the next morning a large number of party guests all ate breakfast together. What a lovely conclusion to the event. Actually then a number of us went back to Uncle Chris and Auntie Sal’s for lunch… THAT was a lovely conclusion. It was just really lovely to hang out with so many people in such a relaxed way.
In the car coming home I was thinking about a chat I had with my Auntie Jan at the wedding. Again it was just really lovely to chat together. Meant a lot to me. And I was thinking to myself “Well, I’ve never failed at a test before… I’ve always worked hard and God has always made sure I’ve passed. So in relation to my driver’s test… there’s no reason to doubt myself or God now.” The other thing I was thinking about was something my auntie said to me, “My plan B in life might be God’s plan A all along.” Doesn’t mean I’m settling for a lesser dream… it means God’s led me to his desire for my life. Everytime this has happened, it’s always been better than what MY plan was or ever could have been. It gave me hope to know God is in control.
We arrived home about midnight… and there was a letter for me. I had received my confirmation and congratulations from my university that I have my degree. Talk about a sign from God. I knew they were meeting as a panel on the 30th of June to decide my status… but didn’t hear anything back. But there it was… the document.
I started my course September 2006. I should have finished July 2009. But in the middle of my second year I became very sick and had to leave university for a year. At the end of my year out Mike died. I went back to university as planned but my entire third year, like my first and second year of university was a massive struggle. It was painful and I literally fought for my degree with sweat, blood and tears. I completed my degree in September 2010 however I couldn’t graduate or become a fully qualified social worker until I completed a compulsory computer course… which I finished June 2011. Today, I was finally able to hold that documentation of confirmation and congratulations. How lovely of God to have sent that to me two days before my driving test. Please continue to pray for me between now and Monday. My test is Monday afternoon 🙂
I went to university to get a First in Social Work and graduate before the age of 21. Instead, I passed with a Lower Class Second and a life time of knowledge, experience and love. Whilst I didn’t get what I originally wanted, God turned those shattered dreams into things that are beautiful. And I still got my degree 🙂 History in the making… for my self and for Suzanni and James. Congratulations you guys, love you!!
♫ I grew tired of the same, then one night
Packed my things, told the one I love
I’ll be back one day
Through the fight, through the pain
Booked a flight, took a plane
Told them not to cry
I’ll be back one day… ♫