A Summer Of Change

I jumped onto the train and immediately started dancing in my seat. My beautiful friend was on the platform, preparing to wave me off whilst busting out some moves along with me; waving her arms and Beyonce bootaay shaking. A chap gave me an odd look in the carriage whilst I started ‘shimmying’ and doing the classic ‘walking down into the basement’ to Grace through the window. Stifling back the giggles, I saw people walking past on the platform, watching the pair of us larking around, behaving like the big kids that we are.

Eight weeks ago, I never would have thought that this brilliant situation would have happened. My friend Grace is a walking-talking miracle. She announced just after we finished our degrees that she had a brain tumour. It was a kick in the gut to hear and I wanted to give her a cuddle, but she was so far away! I was very low, went for so many drives to clear my head and really thought deeply about the lows of life on this earth. Anyway, to cut a long story short, our wonderful Gracie kicked that tumour’s butt and after a very lengthy brain surgery, the majority of it was removed AND it was discovered that it wasn’t cancerous! God is so good. Oh the power of prayer!

I had the true blessing of seeing this beautiful friend of mine (who I first met in January after being paired to do a presentation together, just the two of us, and we absolutely ROCKED it!) twice after her surgery. She is such an inspiration to me. She was before her surgery, and even more so now.

This summer has been really tough for me. Finishing university and not seeing my closest friends most days has been really difficult. I also put so much pressure on myself to be ‘successful’ and succeed in the ‘world of work’. In all honesty, I don’t really know what to do with my life. I’ve always said as a stock answer that I would like to be a Secondary School English teacher. Recently, a knock-back at a six hour long interview for a LSA job has slightly tarnished this ‘dream’. I felt inadequate when they told me that I didn’t get the job. This really hurt and it felt like an attack to my personality (especially when they told me that I was too enthusiastic). Since this, my confidence was knocked greatly, and I spent all of my time reading in my garden, not going out (only to take the dog out with the family in the forest) and was generally quite sad. (It was a lovely relaxing time though, don’t get me wrong!)

I couldn’t help but feel that I was failing. Failing at being successful. Failing as an individual. But, as my wonderful Mum who has always been wonderful (particularly over the past few months) often says to me, “Sarah, you just haven’t realised your gifts yet.” This is very true.

However, a series of occurrences this summer have been slowly teaching me lessons. Firstly, Grace’s health scare. She helped me to realise how truly important family are and I’ve spent a lot of quality time with my parents over the past couple of months which has helped me get back into the swing of living back at home. It also helped me to realise that I shouldn’t put such huge pressure on myself; that I should enjoy doing the little things that I love and fully appreciate them, rather than wishing for other opportunities. She has taught me so many other things as well, and she doesn’t even realise it! She got me back into reading, inspired me to be happy with who I am and to smile always despite the mini wars that all go on within ourselves.

Secondly, I spent this week at the New Forest Show working alongside my ridiculously hilarious and talented Dad, Mr Dave White. I nipped over to speak to my friend Stuart Travers-Dade, who is also a trade exhibitor and a great encourager to me. I met him five years ago at the show and we always have the greatest conversations. I explained my situation and how I didn’t know what to do with my life etc. These were his wonderful words to me:
“I urge you, do not stress. Opportunities crop up. They just happen. You’re not a failure as you think. Do anything you like after uni. For the moment, don’t stress, continue to earn a little bit of money, think of adventures and try and do something different each day. But ultimately, don’t stress.”

These words have stuck with me. I burst into tears as soon as he said them and walked off quickly so that he wouldn’t see! He’s fab.

God’s been slowly teaching me, through the people He’s put in front of me, that I shouldn’t worry about my life. For opportunities will come up and I will regret the time wasted worrying. I will continue to enjoy the little things, take life at my own pace, trust God’s timing and appreciate the beautiful things that I do have. I’ll continue to cover my friend’s maternity leave at my part-time job and try to smile the days away with my colleagues.

Every day is a new day. I’m taking each one as it comes. My close buddies know how much I love this man, so of course, I am going to quote him. Are you ready for the almighty Tom Hanks? 😉 Okay, let’s go:

“And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”

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