Youtube

I basically decided that, if I am ever going to become more confident in myself, in particular when talking to others, I need to, well, talk more… so YouTube is where I do my ramblings. “One take vlogs” are my thing, and I promise they can be relate able and funny (and never longer than 5 minutes)

Careers and Dreams

So. I finished university. Education complete (level up)! It’s crazy to think that I have finished my educational career. Although, of course, “you never stop learning”! And there’s so much more I want to learn- physics, astronomy, French, psychology and drama… As well as a huge number of musical instruments (piano, violin, banjo etc.) 
But I am at a complete loss of what I want to do as a “career”. Many people have a chosen career path, eg: a doctor, a teacher, a radiotherapist etc. But I have no clue. I am being pressured to get a job to earn some money and I know that I need to… I want a job but I just don’t know which job… (Does that make sense?) I’m qualified as a geographer. I DO NOT WANT TO TEACH! (Been there, done it a few days, could not do it every day. Please see previous blog for more on this). 
The only thing I have ever wanted to be, was an actress. But I was told at a young age that that was not going to be possible because of a lack of opportunities where I live. I also never had the chance to study “performing arts” or “drama” at GCSE or A-level at my school so I have never “learned” it so to speak. But I know about script writing, learning lines and accents. I know this isn’t nearly enough to get a career in acting, or even study it at any university. But if I was ever given the chance I would grab it with both hands. 
I believe that everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t change my degree, I love geography and the past three years (or at least the last two) have been the best time of my life. I’ve made new friends, rekindled old friendships and become more confident in myself. However, I am still crippled by social anxiety at times and am, as always, my own harshest critic! So I honestly don’t know how I would cope if I had to work in theatre. Although I feel that it would help me, in many ways, to confront my fears. In many ways, when I act, I feel more confident, because I can pretend to be someone who isn’t me. I can pretend to be the person that I want to be; confident, likeable and bubbly! Maybe that’s part of the reason I enjoy acting so much, I get to be someone who isn’t me for a while… 
I recently watched a talk (on YouTube) by BBC radio 1 DJ Greg James, a man I really admire and look up to. He’s funny and he genuinely cares about people and wants to do things to help people (like his “gregathalon” which he undertook to raise money for sport relief). He spoke about being a nerd. He spoke about how no one “deserves a job”. You have to work hard for it. You have to be a nerd about the job you want and you have to believe in yourself (quietly. Don’t be cocky!). He spoke about his experiences and how he came to work in radio. And it was amazing.

Greg also spoke about the importance of doing something for the right reasons. That if you go into radio and TV in particular, if you’re working simply to “be famous” then you’ll never be happy. You’ll never be satisfied. You have to do it for the right reasons. 
I love radio shows, BBC radio 1 in particular because I feel like I know the DJ’s / presenters like friends (that sounds so sad! I do have real friends!) listening to the shows, the podcasts, emailing / tweeting/ texting in, hearing your email / tweet/ text read out… Even though you are just one of thousands of listeners, you feel like it’s just you they’re talking to… And that is magic. 
As I mentioned, I wanted to be an actress from the time I was very young, maybe 6 or 7 years old. I wanted to do it because it was something I enjoyed, because I liked making people smile and laugh. I wanted to do it because I really admired the actors and actresses I saw on screen, their talent! I wanted to be like them, meet them, work with them. 

Even now it’s still burning inside me. That desire to make people smile and laugh. To entertain people. To make the world a better place (even in just a tiny way).
So basically this blog was just me getting my thoughts out onto paper (figuratively speaking). I want to be an actress or a tv or radio presenter. Not to be famous, but because I want to make people smile. I want people to feel that same connection that I feel with radio DJs and actors, to make people feel like they’re special (which they are) and that they are part of a community or a family… I know it’s unlikely, but everyone can dream, can’t they? 

Teachers..

I have just finished 17 years of education. Wow. That’s scary! 

7 years of primary school, where I learned a lot about myself and a lot about the world around me. It’s where I came to know Jesus and where I met some of my best friends.  

7 years of secondary school, which were not easy by any means. A testing time but all in all, educational, in a worldly way and a personal way. 

3 years of university. Year 1 was tough for many reasons but I got through it. It made me stronger and it made me realise that I am capable of surviving. The final two years of university were unforgettable. I met so many people, made so many friends and learned so much more. 
But through all of these years of learning, a certain group of people have influenced me far more than I ever realised. My teachers. 
In primary school 

 

I had so many inspiring teachers. I do not wish to name names, but a teacher, who didn’t even teach me, was amazing. She was known as one of the strictest teachers in the school at yet, she was definitely one of the most encouraging and inspiring women I have ever met. She helped me to realise that, even though I was different and even though I struggled more than the other pupils, I was still more than capable of working. 

Another teacher, again, who didn’t teach me, was the funniest teacher I have ever known. He was so kind and encouraging. And he left to go and do some amazing work in Thailand. Which is utterly brilliant and has really been on my mind a lot lately… 

My headmaster at primary school was another great man who truly inspired positive thinking and self confidence. He was, again, one of the kindest people ever! He was a great man who seemed to know every single one of his pupils. He still asks after me when he meets my parents! Which is an amazing trait in any principal! And he’s still head mastering in that same little primary school!! 

Each of these teachers taught me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to, that self confidence is, not always the key to success, but very useful and that, even when you’re knocked down, it doesn’t mean you’re out- you have to get back up and keep going. Because you can. 
Side note: I started learning flute in primary school and my music teacher was not necessarily part of the school but he taught there. And he was such a cool dude too. I mean he was so funny and he has definitely given me the sense of humour I have today. And as well as that, I continued my music until I achieved grade 8 in secondary school and he has encouraged me to continue playing. He gave me the confidence to play in front of audiences and try new pieces of music. 

In secondary school 

In secondary school, as I said, it was a rough few years. Thankfully I had several inspiring teachers (again!). The first being my physics teacher. He was young and cool. He was also very relatable. Unlike many other teachers in secondary school, he didn’t make a fuss about my eyesight, he actually made jokes, asked questions and just let me get on with it (this may be because he knew my brother and family so probably knew that I was fiercely independent!). I loved that. He gave me confidence to stand up for myself and speak out! 

A certain maths teacher/DofE leader helped me to come out of my skin and helped me to realise that I CAN do maths (a subject that I really struggled with!) if I put my mind to it and stop thinking so negatively! And he helped me to come out of my skin whilst introducing me to the joys of hiking! (It was the start of an addiction and the beginning of the dram to climb Mount Everest!) The (old) head teacher at secondary school was another great man (I am repeating myself a lot but they were great, great people!). Like my primary school principal, he seemed to know every single one of his pupils and asked them questions and genuinely seemed to care! 

I should point out that both my principal and physics teacher were men of faith and they weren’t afraid to share that. Another thing I admired about them. Physics teacher really made me think, regarding the Big Bang theory. 

“But what made the particles. And what made them collide?” #deep 

But I must say, out of all the teachers in secondary school (and there were loads of really lovely people- including a biology teacher who liked veggie tales and a “can teach every subject” teacher who was an amazing woman of faith too) my two geography teachers were the people that had the biggest influence on my life. First geography teacher was the one who encouraged me to study geography for GCSE. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He boosted my confidence when I needed it most, concreted the wry sense of humour I had picked up from my music teacher and taught me that anything is possible if you’re willing to work for it (he also taught me “rccccr” regarding the water cycle “rises, cools, condenses, clouds form, rain” AND “fail to prepare and you prepare to fail”). Even now, when I teach in school every now and then, he encourages me and helps me, every time, to realise that, maybe I’m alright at this thing called life. 

Second geography teacher has just been a great help regarding careers actually. And his enthusiasm for geography and teaching it to students astounds me to this day! 
At university 

Again, more inspiring people. Mainly funny people. They taught me that, no one ever really knows what they’re doing, you just have to roll with it! They have also helped me to realise my potential and, yet again, concrete that sense of humour I was talking about! 

Another man of faith who does incredible things for the school. A man who, dispute the sarcastic and insulting demeanour, cares deeply about how his students are coping. And many many more. So many great friends made with lecturers and students. So many memories made and so many things learned. I really hope they stay in contact…! 

Teachers are important. Whether you loved school or hated it, your teachers will have an impact on your life. My teachers influenced me in so many ways:

My sense of humour, my self esteem, my confidence and my love for a subject… And so many other ways that I cannot process right now! 
Whether you are a teacher or are considering becoming one, your job is worth it. You are an amazing and important part in young people’s lives and you have the power to make someone’s journey a better one, an easier one, a more enjoyable one. You can change the future and you can change a generation. 
Even if you’re not a teacher, you are always influencing someone with how you act, talk and use social media. Make sure your impact is a positive one. 
Until next time, God Bless x

I’m back, the future and life

Journey into the unknown, an epic voyage for mankind…

Ok so it’s been two years since I last blogged and that wasn’t even a real blog more a sort of “Hey it’s been a while I’m not dead” kinda deal…

So what’s been happening?

Well, first year of uni was terrible for a combination of reasons. I debated not going back but did. Second year uni was AMAZING and I loved it. I made so many great friends but they all left so now I am back to square one but feeling pretty optimistic about the future… Or am I?

 

As I enter my final year of university I begin to wonder “What happens next?”

It’s the social norm in our society that you go to school until you’re:

  • 16 then you leave and get a job, probably in a supermarket
  • 16 then go to tech
  • 18 then get a job
  • 18 then go to uni

Then after uni, you go get a job and join the real world

 

It sounds so simple and straight forward on paper. Study, then get a job but the reality is so much harder for so many people.

 

I have just finished my final year of university now, apart from an exam, and I have absolutely no idea what the future holds for me. Will I get a job? Will I get a job I enjoy? When will I get a job? Where will I get a job??

So many questions and uncertainties surround me as I start on the next chapter of my life, but I know one thing for certain, and I know it’s a huge cliché but I am going to say it anyway, God never changes and he will never leave me. Even when I am surrounded by questions, change and fear, He will never change and he will never leave.

The bible talks a lot about loving Go and loving others, but another huge topic in there is fear. It has been said that there are 365 mentions of God saying “Fear Not”, although that would be lovely, it is untrue. But it is in there a lot!! God doesn’t want us to be afraid of stuff on earth. He doesn’t want us to live every day in fear of what tomorrow brings! He wants us to get out there, experience this amazing world he has created for us and live life to the full (see John 10.10 for that bit).

In many ways the future is scary, because we don’t know what is going to happen. But would you enjoy a book or a movie as much if you knew the ending??

 

I made a collection of verses I find helpful when I start to think about the future and scary things like that, here are just a few. Let me know which ones are your favourites or any that you like that aren’t mentioned..

 

Hebrews 13.8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

 

Philippians 4.6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Joshua 1.9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, for The Lord your God is with you, wherever you go”

 

Matthew 6.34

“Do not worry about tomorrow”

 

Psalm 55.22

Cast your cares on the Lord and we will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

 

Deuteronomy 31.6

Be strong an courageous, do not be terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you

 

 

Summary:

I am not dead

The future is scary

God doesn’t want us to be scared

Live life to the full

Why are you here?

It’s been a long time since I blogged! But to make up for that, here’s an extra long one! Hold on tight, this could be a bumpy ride for some…
I have been thinking a lot lately about what it is we are doing here, as Christians. This weekend I was lucky enough to attend an event called “LOST- a youth event held in Limavady. The theme this year was “hope”. But more on that later.
One thing really stuck out to me, and it wasn’t even about the main theme, it was actually a completely different point altogether. It was about why we are here. Why we were there. What we were doing.
(DISCLAIMER!!!

I have no idea what I’m doing!
I am a Christian. I try my best to follow Christ’s teaching and try to live out his love for me. I hope that I do ok. I hope that people will “see” Christ in me. But in all honesty… I’m a rookie. I’m just muddling along and I hope that maybe what I babble out can help someone somewhere…)
The speaker at the weekend talked about religion and faith. He mentioned that Christianity and faith aren’t about Protestant and catholic. It’s about trusting our Lord and saviour. There are loads of Christians in the world and yeah, we differ in our views of some things but at least 1/3rd of people believe in Jesus. Which is cool but it also lead me to think, well, what about everyone else?
I am a strong believer that “street preachers” scare people away from Christianity. Like, even as a Christian, I fear people preaching on the streets shouting “REPENT!” It’s embarrassing to me! I feel that if people are ever going to come to know Jesus it will be through someone meeting them where they are. Finding out what’s going on in their lives and showing them how Jesus can help. Not by shouting at them to repent!

We, as Christians, need to meet people where they are. Find out about them, CARE about them and ultimately love them.

Jesus met people. He spoke to them. He didn’t just preach and quote the bible at them. He learned about them. He loved them.
So many Christians are merely focused on sharing the gospel, which is great, but I feel it’s more important to share LOVE.

Jesus didn’t just go to churches and prayer meetings, he went to parties. He mixed with all sorts of people. Jesus was a cool guy! Water into wine? Hanging out with rebels and criminals? He wasn’t what we would consider a “holy joe”! He got out there and he shared his love with EVERYONE! Not just the lonely person at school, not just that lonely woman in church, but CRIMINALS! I’m not saying you have to go and find a jail and speak to bad guys, but Jesus loved everyone- the outcasts. The church has such a bad reputation for hating and condemning minority groups such as homosexuals, prostitutes and even those of different religions. This is not what Jesus did! He spoke to sinners and he LOVED them. He didn’t have to read huge chunks of scripture at them he simply said, on many occasions, “your sins are forgiven”, “you are loved”. He made people who felt worthless in society, those people who were rejected by everyone they knew, he spoke to them and he loved them and they knew that he was special, that he was different and they changed.
My point is, “why are we here?”. Why are you here? Why are you a”Christian”? Are you just here so that you can wear the badge and please your parents? Are you just here so you can Lord it over everyone else because you are holy? Are you here so you can make people feel small? Or are you here to make a change? Are you here so that you can touch others’ hearts and bring them to know the joy that you know? Because if that’s why you’re here, you need to start loving. Stop preaching, stop telling others their faults and failings and listen. Listen to what they struggle with, listen to what scares them and listen to their story… Then you can help. Even if it’s just a silent prayer, you don’t even have to tell them you’re a Christian Right away. Just show them kindness and love.
We are here to change the world. We are here to build Gods Kingdom. What can you do to start?

Summary:

Why are you a Christian?

Jesus loved everyone, not just “good people”

Jesus was a cool guy who liked a bit of a shin-dig and he hung around with, what many would consider “the wrong crowd”

We should love everyone BY LISTENING to them and meeting them where they are
((I highly recommend listening to “If I was Jesus” a song by Paul Colman ))
As always please let me know your thoughts and / or any questions. And God Bless! (Also check out my other blog posts and, even though they’re old, feel free to comment!!)

Advice to a friend…

Hebrews 13.8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

 

My friend is facing some tough times at school. She feels like her friends just don’t “get her” any-more and she feels like darkness surrounds her on all sides…

I compiled a bunch of advice that was given to me when I have been in hard times and I thought I’d share it with you guys too…

 

 

 You are amazing. And so strong. Keep fighting this. Don’t let the devil and his darkness win!
I sometimes feel so lost and overwhelmed by what’s happening to Chloe that I just can’t see a way out, like everything around me is falling to pieces and that darkness is trapping me on all sides. I feel alone and scared and so so sad.
I don’t know if that is what its like for you… but if its anything like that then I know it is horrible.

But we are never alone. God is always here and he never stops listening to us. Our pain is his pain. He sees every tear. And when we are sad, his heart breaks for us. He never leaves us to manage on our own. He is right there just waiting for us to say “here god, I can’t do this any more. Take everything. All this crap in my life because I can’t hack it any more”.
The most amazing part is, not only does he lift up that weight off your shoulders, he carries you too.

True, friends fall away from one another. When I was in upper sixth I fell out with Kerry and shauna in September because of a blog I wrote.. it was about how scared I was that two of my best friends (ie. Kerry and shauna) weren’t Christians and had no real interest in god. They got offended and refused to talk to me. I apologized again and again and tried to explain that I meant no harm. That I had written the blog because I cared and loved them… but they wouldn’t listen
They still don’t talk to me…
It broke my heart and I felt like I would never be happy again
But sometimes friends grow apart.

And no matter what, God has a plan. Even though it feels like the darkness and pain will never end. Even when you ask yourself “what’s the point anymore?” (As I do so often) he has a plan. He’s teaching you. He’s going to use you. Because he has an amazing plan and a beautiful future mapped out for you…

Just love your friends. No matter what. Try to take an interest in what they’re talking about. Be happy for them.
“Kill them with kindness” like Jesus so often did. Love them.

And remember that you are never alone. You have your family and your God (and me ;))

Love you lots and praying for you xxx