life, self care

Resilience – or, bouncing back like Tigger

daisies in concrete

Resilience. The ability to tap into an inner core of strength and keep going. To bounce back. There are a plethora of great quotes on resilience. They centre on the idea of persisting despite failure, of overcoming obstacles through sheer tenacity and willpower, of rising to the challenge.  About choosing to be strong (which, in itself, is an act of strength).

 

This is a really important skill and something I think we’re not really helping our young people develop. I look at the changes in the student cohorts I’ve taught over the last 11 years. There’s been a big shift in their (outward) resilience. I see increased anxiety, apathy, a belief that if you don’t succeed the first time you’re just rubbish at it, a tendency to become overwhelmed at the workload and social pressures. Resilience is needed and I don’t think they’ve been helped to develop it in the system that we provide. Continue reading “Resilience – or, bouncing back like Tigger”

inspiration, life, Personal

Facing Fear, Acknowledging it, Beating it.

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A month before my 16th birthday, on a school camp, I fell down a mountain.

The mountain I fell down was Mount Doom (alright, Mt. Ngauruhoe but following LOTR filming it’s always Mt. Doom to me). Technically, I started sliding down it on my bum first, but when the snow turned into boulders and I dug my feet in to try and slow down, I flipped, and smashed head first into the rocks. I split my face open – you could see my cheek bone through the hole in my face. I ended up with 11 stitches in my cheek, forehead, and temple – 4 fewer than the man in the hospital at the same time as me who had 15 stitches in the massive wound the rebounding chainsaw had left in his face.  I knew then that I was incredibly fortunate – I hadn’t broken any bones, I still had both eyes, and a helluva story to tell when I got back to school (and hadn’t had to deal with a chainsaw eating into my face).

 

What I didn’t anticipate is how much it would affect me afterwards. When my parents drove down to the national park to pick me up from hospital and camp the day after the accident, I had been with my friends and was feeling cheerful and happy, but on the drive back when we stopped for lunch I refused to get out of the car. I didn’t want anyone to look at me. Your face is so much a part of your identity that when it is misshapen by stitches and swelling and bruises, you feel monstrous. Especially at the age of 15. I was so worried that I’d still look bashed and broken by the time of the school ball and my 16th Birthday. My mother made me get out of the car that day and I’m happy she did. She taught me that strength came in all forms and sometimes you need to be brave so you can see that the stares you dread hold compassion, not disgust. Continue reading “Facing Fear, Acknowledging it, Beating it.”

life, Personal, self care

Tragedy, Heartbreak, and Healing

Love is easy to write about. It’s easy to read. We all want it, in some form or another at least. But what happens when your heart breaks? When it seems like it will never be able to love again? When you start wondering if you even believe in love anymore?

 

Romance stories always include a bit of tragedy, a bit of tension and conflict and misunderstandings to keep the readers or viewers desperate to find out how the happy ending is reached. But there’s usually no doubt that there is a happy ending to be had. We can watch the arguments and hurt without any real worry that this is it; the end of love.

 

Real life doesn’t quite work like that. Loss of love, especially love you thought was pretty solid, or love you assumed you’d work out and everything would be okay, is a wound to the soul. It turns your world around. Things you took for granted are no longer there, and with their disappearance goes a lot of your trust of the world working out okay. Continue reading “Tragedy, Heartbreak, and Healing”