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My blog is my escape, where my passion for people & writing come together to create something special. Be inspired. Be encouraged. Be blessed. Much love & keep smiling. x

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Little things make a difference.

Do you ever sit at a set of traffic lights and look at the car in the lane beside you or in front of you and just wonder what they might be doing today or where they are going? Do you ever sit at a bus stop or a restaurant and make up different scenarios about the people seated near you? Do you ever wonder if they are okay or what their story is?

Or maybe I'm completely wack and it's just me.

I remember one day I was on the bus on my way home from school. There was a girl sitting a few seats in front of me; she was staring out the window and by the looks of the high pile of textbooks and folders next to her, she was possibly in Year 12. The girl was sitting by herself and seemed to be trapped inside her own bubble of thoughts as she stared outside with her earphones in. Music turned up. World turned off.

I began thinking, I wonder how she is coping with all that school work. I didn't know this girl from a bar of soap (pause - I have never understood that saying, but it sounded good so meh), she was a complete stranger to me. I didn't know her story. I didn't know whether she was going through a rough patch at the time or whether she was absoultely loving life.

Either way, I decided I should pray for her. A short, simple prayer. The cool thing with prayer is that it doesn't matter how casual, how short or how silly you may think it is; God still listens and He still cares. All I said was, "Hey God, I pray that you be with the girl on the bus with the pile of books. I don't know what's going on in her life at the moment, but I ask that you fill her life with your love." 

A few minutes later she collected her things and before she got off the bus, she randomly turned around and looked down the aisle of the bus, then smiled at me and hopped off.
I am not trying to convince you that my small prayer 'made' the girl turn around and smile at me, but I do challenge you to think about it.

Last night we had Speech Night at school and I was voted School Captain with one of my closest friends in my grade. I was absolutely stoked and am so excited for what 2014 has in store for us. When I got home, I received a message from a girl that is in the year below me at school. The message said, "Hey congrats on getting school captain! You definitely deserved it and will do a great job! Glad I voted for you." To be perfectly honest, I had never really made an effort to talk to this girl at school other than a quick 'hello' walking between classes. I sent her a message back saying thank you and told her how much it meant to me.

However, her next message made me really stop and think how important doing small things for others is. "I remember thinking how nice you were after you pulled my collar up on the textiles excursion you seem really nice the times we have talked so I'm glad you got chosen."

We might not realise it made an impact while we are doing it or saying it, but it can honestly change someone's mood on a day. I hope these stories have inspired you to take a few minutes out of each and every day to do something small for someone else; whether that be holding the elevator door open just a few extra seconds to let that lady with a shopping trolley through or giving a $5 note to a homeless person on the street. 

This video sums up perfecetly how our small good deeds can create a flow on effect.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwAYpLVyeFU 

Keep smiling. x

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Future Avenue

So I recently got my P plates and have come to the conclusion that despite that awesome feeling of finally having freedom, I actually prefer driving with other people in the car. I love driving and being in control, but I feel more secure when I have someone in the passenger seat. Probably because there is actually someone there listening to me talk. Driving by yourself can be daunting when you don't know how to get somewhere. No road map or GPS. It's just you and the road. All of a sudden, your mind starts to become hazy and you are unsure of where you are. You are lost and you don't know what's going to happen next.

Don't get me wrong, the fact that the future is unknown is exciting, but it scares me too. We spend all our childhood years wishing that we were all grown up and out there in the real world. Then we finally get there and can't help but ask ourselves why we were so silly. We long for the days of being six-years-old again, where tying our shoe laces was the biggest of our problems.

I wish life had a pause button, so I could really soak in and enjoy what life has to offer at the moment. Before I know it, all my friends will be going their separate ways, ready to embark on their own amazing journeys. Some will go overseas, for a short time or maybe forever; others might stay here, score their dream job and raise a family. Truth is, I have no idea where my friends will be in the next five years, let alone this time next year, but I know for sure that God has some incredible plans for them.
I guess it is hard to comprehend how little we actually know. I suppose I find it difficult to get my head around the uncertainty. The possibilities are endless. If someone came up to me right now and asked me where I see myself in the next couple of years, I would probably answer something along the lines of "I would love to inspire people through what I write, because I love making people smile." I honestly don't know if I have any other talents or if God can use me through writing. It's times like that where I need to stop and think; if God has a plan and a purpose for everyone, He definitely knows what He is doing with my life. I just need to let Him jump in the passenger seat beside me and be the GPS. And yes, sometimes there will be dirt roads along the way and I will lose satellite reception or I will run out of fuel and have to get out and push, but those are the times I will need God the most. Those are the times I need to let Him take the wheel and trust that He knows the way.

Keep smiling. x

Sunday, August 18, 2013

One day

One day I will be done with school,
Graduation, it comes and goes.
I'd go to university and study,
Where that takes me, only God knows.
One day I'm going to work somewhere,
Where I can inspire others through what I write.
I'd love to make a difference,
I want to make things right.
One day I'll move out from home,
I'll say goodbye to my old bedroom.
I'll pack my bag with all my things,
Clothes, pictures, books, perfume.
One day I will have to pay the bills,
Electricity, water and phone.
I'll be out there against the world,
Doing it all on my own.
One day I am going to travel the world,
See everyone and everything.
I will go to Italy, Paris, Brazil,
All the places I've never been.

One day I will get married,
And we could travel the world together.
We would do all we could,
To stay in each other's lives forever.
One day I'm going to know what it's like,
To be in my parent's shoes.
I'll have kids of my own creating chaos,
While I'm trying to watch the news.
One day things won't be so easy,
Because life will always get tough.
I might fall into debt or lose my job,
Then just feel like I've had enough.
One day I'll wish I could rewind the clock,
Back to a younger version of me.
When I considered a hard decision to be,
Whether to have a hot chocolate or tea.
One day I'm going to look back on this,
I'll sit there and I'll say,
"Am I happy with who I've become,
Have I done everything I said I would one day?"
So that's a little something from me.
Keep smiling. x

Friday, June 21, 2013

The light of the world

"Every time you look at the stars, it's like opening a door. You could be anyone, anywhere. You could be yourself at any moment in your life. You open that door and you realise you are the same person under the same stars. Camping out in the backyard with your best friend, eleven years old. Sixteen, driving alone, stopping at the edge of the city, looking up at the same stars. Walking a wooded path, riding a rowboat, staring out the back window of a car, you're eleven again. Out here where the world begins and ends, it's like nothing ever stops happening."

This quote made me realise something. I realised that we are looking at the same moon, the same stars and the same galaxy that visits other people all around the world. I know you're probably thinking, "Um, thanks Captain Obvious!" but this time I really thought about it; and not just for five seconds. It is so difficult to fathom how incredibly huge our world is. There are so many people and not one of us is the same as another. Not even identical twins are the same. My fingerprint is different and unique to your fingerprint and I don't know about you, but that does my head in. There are over 7 billion people on this planet and not one person leaves the same kind of inked-swirl on a page as I do. It blows my mind.

Next time when you are outside looking at the moon and the stars, remember that we share that same moon with every other person in the world. The same moon as those in Africa for example, that are starving and trying to fight poverty. Put yourselves in their shoes perhaps, because let's face the facts: if you have food in your fridge, clothes that you can wear, a roof over your head and a place you can sleep tonight, you are richer than 75% of the world. Doesn't that make you feel so blessed, yet so sad. When you look at the moon next, I encourage you to recognise the blessings you have. Recognise the fact that just because you simply have some money saved up in the bank, a few coloured notes in your wallet and some spare change lying on your bedroom floor, you are in the top 8% of the world's wealthiest people. Thank God for these things you and I take for granted every day and pray that His love and light will overcome the darkness that is evident in other parts of the world; darkness that does not only exist at night.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16

Keep smiling. x

Friday, May 17, 2013

The happy butterflies.

So I had a go at writing a shorty story; enjoy.

"Katie, darling, you have cancer." It was exactly a year ago today that I was told I would only be alive for another six months. But here I am, seventeen years old and still managing to cope. Each day another piece being added to the puzzle of my life. The only thing that scares me is that I know my puzzle has one hundred pieces, and I have already pieced together ninety-nine. There are tubes attached to me everywhere and there is no escaping them. Each tube clings to me like a thirsty leach. I feel uncomfortable, but I suppose I am used to it now.

Mum walks through the doors and sits down beside my hospital bed. I am going to miss her. She is one of the most incredible women in the world and she means everything to me. After Dad walked out on her eight years ago, things have been really hard for both of us, especially this. Mum encourages me, she supports me and she is the strongest person I have ever met. I can still remember her waking up at four o'clock one morning to drive me two hours away for my Under 10s dance concert. She did my hair and makeup when we arrived and I was so excited. I told her I was starting to get nervous and she rubbed my tummy and said, "It's okay sweetie, that means the butterflies are happy!" She kissed me on my forehead and hugged me tightly. My dance was over before I could say the word 'ballet'. I came first and Mum treated me to ice-cream at the park nearby. I sat on the swings as she pushed me. I was swinging so high it practically felt like I was flying. Back and forth, back and forth. I remember telling her, "Stop! Too fast! The wind is going to freeze my eyeballs open forever!" I jumped off, "Mum it's your turn!" I pushed as hard as I could and she made it barely a few centimetres off the ground. She laughed at me with her hearty, contagious laugh. I stood there staring at her and crossed my arms, furrowing my eyebrows and exaggerating a frown. Next thing I knew, we were both rolling on the ground in stitches. I miss those days when life was care-free. When school wasn't so hectic. When I had time to partake in dancing competitions; or rather, when both Mum and Dad had time to even come and watch. Those days when Mum and Dad were happy together, completely in love. Those days when I could laugh with Mum about the silliest things. Those days when I didn't have cancer.

I look around the room, from Mum to all the cards and gifts that have accumulated over the past year. There's a picture frame sitting beside my bed with a photo of my best friend and I at our Year 10 formal. Emma has been there for me through everything; from breakups with boys to last minute sleepovers on school nights. We have been friends since preschool and she knows every little detail about me; we are practically related. I can remember our formal, it was the best night. We both had helped each other pick out an outfit. We took nothing short of a thousand photos before we left her house for the formal. I don't know how we managed to pose differently in every photo, but we did. However, this picture would have to be my favourite. It was actually accidental. We put the camera on self-timer, but as we leant in to take the photo we knocked heads and began laughing. The next day as we were looking at all the pictures we took, we realised that the camera had still taken the photo while we were laughing. It was the most genuine sort of 'happy' I had ever seen and it beat any of the peace signs, pouts, attempted winks and assortment of other poses. 

My eyes wander around, taking it all in once again. The greenish-blue hospital-coloured curtains are pulled back letting me see the breath-taking view of the beautiful garden outside. An old, tattered seat surrounded by small, prickly rose bushes overlooks a duck pond painted green by the hundreds of lily pads afloat. An elderly couple sit down and watch the ducks swim past, gracefully dunking their heads under the water and coming up at different intervals to take a breath. The man has a few slices of bread in his hand and gently rips it apart, giving them to his wife who scatters them generously on the grass in front of them. Within seconds, the elderly couple are the new popular attraction of the garden. However, the woman soon finds the twenty-odd ducks surrounding her feet and nibbling at her toes a bit too overwhelming and tries shooing them, before clinging to her husband's arm and waddling away. Somehow, this made me smile.

I have always loved seeing elderly couples still together and so in love. After seeing my parent's marriage crumble in front of my eyes, it makes me believe that anything is possible if you fight for it. I suppose it's a reality check from the world today. Love is so beautiful, yet can be the cause of so much pain. If two people are so passionate about one another, then love really can last forever. Just as these thoughts flood my mind, Riley walks in. My train of thought goes completely out the window. He smiles at me; his dimples staring me right in the eyes. I am going to miss his cheeky smile, his dark brown hair and his warm eyes. He leans over and kisses me on the cheek. I can still remember the day he asked me to be his girlfriend just over two years ago at my favourite theme park. I was shaking and speechless. Not because I didn't know what to say or because I didn't want to be his girlfriend, but instead the fact that it was straight after we had walked off my first ever roller coaster ride. Obviously, once I caught my breath, I said yes. I guess from then on life has been a roller coaster ride in itself. Probably the longest and scariest one as well. It's been full of ups and downs, twists, curves, spirals and times when I've been thrown completely upside down, but thankfully my Mum, Emma, Riley and God have all been there for me. They are the handlebars that I hold on to. I need them.

The doctor just walked in the door, a clipboard nestled under his arm and a pen in his hand. This was it, the test results were back. I hold tightly onto Riley's hand. Was this going to be the last puzzle piece? "Mum, I'm nervous," I whisper. I look at Mum sitting next to me. She smiles at me; her eyes full of hope, "Katie, don't worry okay? Everything will be alright. The butterflies are always happy, remember?" I nod, wanting more than anything for her to be right. I mean, Mum's are always right, aren't they? I say a prayer and silently hope that the butterflies stay happy for another six months. I am not quite ready to fly away just yet.

Keep smiling. x

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Roller coaster ride anyone?

I'm scared of roller coasters. They legitimately freak me out. I will sit down and either:
a) scream the whole way or b) say nothing and be completely still, because I am afraid that I am going to die. Despite this, somehow I still manage to enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes along with the screaming. This said, I only realise I enjoyed it after I have come to the conclusion that I survived the ride. The first roller coaster I ever went on was one in Movie World aimed for six year olds. I was thirteen at the time...

I don't know why, but roller coasters are so scary. I have never been able to completely understand the concept of "having fun" while you are being thrown around at the speed of light. You can't see anything, because everything is either a blur or you have your eyes shut. The only things you can hear are people screaming or being violently ill in the seats behind you. You line up in queues for what seems like days just to get on a ride that lasts a minute. I probably could have walked the entire theme park three times in the period of time it takes to wait your turn. This is why they have never made sense to me. 

Three years later, however, I am proud to say that I have been forcefully dragged, pulled and pushed on to plenty more roller coasters after a holiday to America where we spent a few days in Disney World. 

I have come to realise that life is very much like a roller coaster. One day you can be so happy, then without warning, in the blink of an eye everything changes. It's as if we are given a compulsory ticket to get on this crazy upside-down, curvy roller coaster we call 'life'. There is no escaping it. Once you sit down, you are strapped in for good and you have to wait til it is over. 

If there is one thing I have learnt about my roller coaster ride so far, it is that I couldn't have done it alone. Roller coasters aren't fun without your friends beside you; there would be no one to potentially make deaf through the constant yelling. You need to be surrounded by other people in life for both support and encouragement. They are the ones screaming next to you; they make you feel better and help you remember that they are always going to be there for you, through the ups and downs.

But you also need to lower the handle bars. They keep you safe and protect you. God protects me. He looks after me and He is my handle bar. I can hold on to Him when I need Him the most. And you know what the best part is? Even if I throw my hands up in the air and scream the loudest, it's okay, because He will always hold on to me. I have learnt that there is no reason to be scared of life's roller coasters, because God will never let me go.

Keep smiling. x