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The one where I confess to ideas I haven’t written…

It’s a shock when I suddenly start getting notifications about comments on posts…I forget that I’ve scheduled different ‘Flashback Fridays’!

Life goes on, with continued rejection, continued issues with the flat, continued fatigue and today a little bit of grumpiness because when I don’t have proper meals, I get grouchy. Or I just start crying for no reason. Because apparently I’m a toddler.

Anyways.

I’m thinking a lot right now. About what I want to do, why all the doors I try keep getting slammed in my face (or closed politely) and ways to keep myself sane.

All while I wear gold and yellow.

Although I haven’t been writing much on my blog – I’m finding the fatigue is getting in the way of writing…too many evenings or mornings, I’ve sat staring at my laptop. I have found new quotes and written them out with my rainbow of sharpie markers. I have got the latest book from Our Shared Shelf to read. And another which means I likely will not be socialising (or eating well) at all next week in the lead up to pay day (and wedding weekend). There are things happening in my  brain, they just aren’t really getting out of my brain and being articulated via my keyboard.

There’s so much I’d have liked to have done, but haven’t managed. My working pattern sucks too and isn’t going to make it any easier!

For now, all I can leave you with is my ukulele playing minion – nightguard of my Smiley for Kylie bracelet, gold hair tie and russian wedding ring (AKA the only gold jewellery I could locate) and hope that some day soon, I’ll manage to write something a little more interesting. And new.

🙂

 

Flashback Friday: Quote of the Week 5

Originally posted January 31st 2013

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There is a wonderful movement of people who share their stories. Stories of second chances, deep inward battles and triumph over difficult circumstances. The idea is that by going first, it will encourage others to be able to say ‘Me too‘.

So often we think that we are the only one with a particular thought, experiencing a certain emotion or in a circumstance none of our close-knit friends or relatives could really understand what it is like to go through.

There is such power in sharing our stories honestly.

And even more encouragement when someone responds with ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one

In 2009, I went to South Africa for two weeks. The battle to get there was so exhausting that I didn’t really have time to think too much about what it would be like, and to be honest I had very little idea of what to expect. On arrival though, one thing made me very uncomfortable and that was the idea that somehow all us ‘privileged’ folks from the UK (and other countries) were there to help the ‘poor black people’. I kept my mouth shut about it, and was sincerely glad for the wisdom of our hosts at the Seed of Hope who made sure that was not going to be the case as young people from the township  and our two teams mixed up to make 3 super teams doing the DIY in the two local schools and running a holiday club in the township. We were just extra hands so the workload could be achieved in a short space of time and there were much more of us to give hugs, carry little ones and be climbed all over!🙂 I knew though that it wasn’t the same for all the other teams…

One day my roommate came back from her project in a bad mood. I think I was probably lying on my bed feeling like death warmed up when she arrived back. And after about 10 minutes she began to express her anger about the attitudes of white British folks feeling sorry for the ‘poor black people’ that apparently needed their help. And with that came her frustration of people brandishing the continent of Africa with mass generalisations, all the charities that think they help but actually perpetuate a culture of helplessness and so on. I was relieved I wasn’t the only one feeling the way – ‘Me too’!

After that we had daily conversations after our project, we prayed together and were very thankful to be in a room with each other. Our conversations carried on long after we left the country that we felt great affection for.

And then there is blogging. I have established several friendships when I first shared my story of unplanned pregnancy and abortion. Quietly woman after woman (and a few guys) e-mailed or tweeted me privately to say ‘Me too’. Other fellow aliens on Planet Christian have come out to say ‘me too’. We’ve bonded over cupcake baking, being women, loving American TV Dramas, musicals, Australian soap characters, anger at the messed up world we live in, uniting in the face of bullies in whatever form they take…

Many people blog to share sage wisdom and knowledge. Perhaps to promote the work they do. I started blogging to try and make sense of everything I was feeling and experiencing in that moment of writing. It was only when strangers starting coming alongside me and leaving comments of encouragement or understanding that it began to grow into other things and though the comments aren’t so many these days, I would just miss my online friends if I stopped! In some ways they are more authentic that the ‘in real life’ friendships I hold with others.

Do you agree? When do you think friendship is born?

Original Comments: 

  1. Doctor Idgie

    in the last month, two of my close friends have lost family members (a brother to suicide and a father to a horrible illness) – and I’ve been so grateful that when I was having a tough time, they were there for me, and that set the tone for a friendship that enables them to trust me with their feelings now.

    Aside from that, the first time I met someone with my personal ‘big issue’, it was like a lightening bolt – she was a few years ahead of me, and seemed to be ok, and it gave me faith that one day I would be too.

     
  2. Rebecca

    Have you thought about being a motivational speaker? You’re so good at these type of posts. I found myself saying ‘me too’ throughout this!

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Flashback Friday: Banana Breakfast Muffins

We’ll ignore the fact today is actually Saturday, but I forgot to post anything yesterday, and I saw the Uni Mummy request some snack recipes. This is one of my old recipes I used to make mainly for the purpose of keeping in my bag as a post work/pre gym snack. When I was doing my postgrad diploma I used to make Chocolate Banana Teabread and would freeze portions to take in with me. This is slightly healthier!
Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas

4 fl oz semi-skimmed milk

3 eggs

4 oz unsalted butter

2 tbsp honey

8oz self raising flour

4 oz of bran flakes

4 oz porridge oats

2 handfuls of raisins

2 handfuls of chopped nuts

Method

Preheat oven to 150 C

Melt butter and honey in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally (do not let it boil!!) 

Peel, then mash the bananas in a mixing bowl. Put bran flakes in a plastic bag (I usually use a freezer/sandwich bag) make sure the bag is closed then bash with a rolling pin to crush the bran flakes – then put to one side.

Add milk, eggs, melted butter & honey to the bananas and whisk together.

Add the flour, crushed bran flakes, oats, nuts and raisins and stir it all together. You do not want to stir too much, just enough so that everything is mixed in to create your muffin mixture.

Divide equally between 12-16 muffin cases. The muffins will not rise much, so you want the cases fairly full (fuller than you’d have for cupcakes).

Put in oven for around 25-30 mins where they should be golden on top.

If you put the muffins in a sealtight container, they can keep for up to a week. They work great as a snack as they full of fibre and more complex carbs for slower-release energy in place of a chocolate bar! Also useful for the mornings where you sleep in and don’t have time to make breakfast, or when you are about to go to the gym and your stomach is rumbling it wants tea and is threatening to ruin your workout.🙂 The use of honey, bananas and raisins means they still taste sweet, but the sugar is more natural and better for you than refined sugar used in cakes (and most definitely better than artificial sweeteners – please insert my usual rant about so-called ‘diet’ drinks and people putting sweetener or faux sugar in their tea or coffee here).

A little hopefully not needed prayer request…

…many years ago, I was diagnosed with what used to be known as M.E., but is now known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It was a difficult time. I had it full on for many months where I was essentially stuck in bed, and then a couple of years after where I was able to manage it by doing the bare minimum for university and a lot of support from my friends.

Over the last few years, my immune system has been a lot better. I still have to be a bit of a germophobe, but I can now suffer from a cold for just a few days instead of weeks, and can fight off a bug where I’ll feel under the weather but not taken down completely.

And I’m very, very grateful.

However. In the last week, I have been stupid tired. Like struggling not to fall asleep at work, falling asleep when I get home from doing anything. Stomach upsets when I try to push through fatigue. And today the horrible, horrible feeling of joint and muscle pain in my limbs (walking is not fun).

I know a few people are feeling a bit lousy just now – back to school bugs, change in seasons. And I’m hoping that’s all it is. But that little worrywart in the back of my mind is thinking this is an all too familiar feeling, and one that I haven’t had in a long time. So I’m praying that it’s just a passing thing, and by next week I’ll be telling myself off for being so silly to be worried!

And for those asking, the yellow and gold is going well. It’s become a bit of a joke with some colleagues at work where they ask where I’ve managed to sneak in my yellow/gold each day. It’s also led to some chats on social media with people who had no idea that childhood cancer research got so little funding because of its ‘rareness’. I’m posting a yellow/gold ‘selfie’ each day, it’s probably already boring as you see the same shoes, same nail polish, same tops over and over! But you can follow my very uninteresting instagram feed here. Nothing that I’m complaining about above compares to what too many kids (and their families) have gone through because of stinking cancer and the toxic treatments for it. So if my wearing yellow and gold gets people thinking and inspired to write to people who have the power to fund more research and support for families…I’ll continue to do it. I would like to do more but at the moment, not sure what I can do.

Flashback Friday: A letter to my 16 year old self

Originally posted August 27th 2010.

Writing a letter to my 16 year old self….where to begin? It was the most bittersweet year of my life so far, and it’s tough to believe it was as much as 10 years ago as it’s a year I remember soooo vividly!

Dear Laura Anne,

So you’re now 16, nobody ever calls you Laura Anne (except your friend Craig who for some reason likes to call you by your full name) and you have made some amazing friendships in this last year. Don’t let them go easily. Invest in those friends who you love and love you back – and most importantly have your back…always. As the years go on, and you face more of the ups and downs of life, the more you will appreciate the friends you’ve had since you were young.

I’m not sure if you met your boyfriend in the best possible way, and there are going to be complications from the decisions you have made now that will affect the rest of your life. Tread carefully not only with each others’ hearts, but the hearts of those close to you too. Especially as you face challenges far greater than most teenagers could barely imagine.

Choose life, and live it. I know that at times you feel there’s no hope, feeling so trapped between trying to survive through the life you are living, and working your way towards the life you can see but never seem to be able to reach. But the simple fact is, the dreams and visions you’ve been having – they are real, and their message is truth to encourage you. You will come through. There will be healing on the other side. There is a purpose for you in this world. Choose to live your life unselfishly.

Ask the GP for Depo Provera. It will save you from years of pain and embarrassing situations (and most likely an unplanned pregnancy). Plus, get a physio referral for your back injury! It will come back to haunt you later on if you don’t…

You are going to have so many opportunities in the next year…I know that you don’t want to go back to high school for another year. But seriously, make the most of it. Get stuck in, work hard and you will get the results you need. Listen to the teachers that are going to encourage you in your learning and help you achieve all you have to the potential for. Ignore the ones who don’t, and do not let the anger and hurt of them bringing you down with negativity get to you. Enjoy the trip to Morocco (you won’t need half the food you plan to take by the way), and get all you can from experiencing life as a dance teacher in Sweden too. You are making memories that will last forever.


Don’t let fear stop you from doing things in the future. Make an active effort to live a life of no regrets.

You’ll be going to university next year, leaving all your friends behind as they finish off high school. This is the right decision, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. You are not the same as everybody else, and these next few years your life is going to change more than you could ever have imagined. You’re going to make amazing friends, learn so much. Yes, you will go through more heartache, but you will not be alone in it. Perhaps leave the weird jacket and avoid the hair dye at home (it will not work in your dark blonde hair!!).

Do not get your navel pierced….or if you do, remember that if you are allergic to surgical steel earrings, you will be allergic to surgical steel navel bars (even if your infected belly button will get you out of classes pretty much whenever you like because it looks so disgusting, it’s not worth it).

Learn how to manage your finances. (Do not trust your father to teach you about this).

Make time to spend with your family. It will make things much easier as you deal with the rollercoaster ride you’ll go on in years to come with them.

Your worldview is going to change pretty radically in the next 14 months. Um, when the time comes to explain that to your family (particularly your mother and Nana) choose your words carefully so they don’t think you’ve joined a suicide cult.

Don’t put up with guys who treat you poorly. They are not worth it, and it is better to be single than to be with the wrong guy. Do not let them put pressure on you or make you feel guilty. In fact, while you are at university you might be wise to just not get involved in any relationships like that altogether!!

As I write from 10 years in the future, know that you love to sing even more than before (so Standard Grade Music wasn’t such a waste of time after all, huh?). You’ve been to Australia, South Africa, New York City, travelled around Europe, and you are still writing. Some of the people that you didn’t get on with in high school are now your close friends. You now love Starbucks (you’ll grow to love their hot chocolate). You still love to e-mail, and you will make even more friends online in the years to come. There’ll be great tools you’ll discover like blogging, facebook, twitter and skype! I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that the next decade you are yet to face is all milk, honey and apple strudel…

…but I promise you it’ll all be worth it.

Lots of love,

Laura Anne

 PS – It’s now 16 years in the future, and I’d like to reassure you that you saw the light again and realised that Starbucks Hot Chocolate is indeed the worst, plus they don’t pay their taxes in the UK so you’re still avoiding them as much as possible. I think you’ll be happy to know that.

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The one when I wish I had my own literary apothecary…

Today I finished reading The Little Paris Bookshop. What an incredible piece of literature, how uplifting and not at all surprised that the author gave a wee shout out to Harold Fry in her acknowledgements.

The last few days as I’ve been bored, fed up and just tired of being fed up and terrified that the best years of my life finished at 23 and it’s just going to continue to be this – reflecting on the friendships I used to have, the travelling I once did, the life I used to blog about. Reading the book made me think that actually, I’m most tired of trying to please people and be like everybody else.

My friends are forever saying that they wish I could catch a break, or wondering how I didn’t end up on drink, drugs or hanging from a tree. My whole life has often felt like one long fight, and one wise woman told me that I needed to stop fighting and let others have my back.

During this month as I spend my days wearing one of my three yellow tops (it was only two, thankfully the Myers clan sent me a fantastic t-shirt which I am today wearing proudly, so I’m less likely to be wearing stinky unwashed clothes!) or creatively coming up with ways to sneak in some yellow or gold when I’m working at my paid and unpaid jobs which require uniform, I’m thinking of all the people whose lives have ended prematurely because of cancer. Today, one of my friends, a wonderful woman who is the epitomy of what it means to be an encourager is in hospital isolation and is getting her stem cell transplant in the hope that it will rid her body of cancer once and for all. There are days when I wish I could swap places, because I have survivors guilt. How come these amazing people who do amazing things didn’t get to continue a life here on earth, and I’m still here?

It needs to be for more than just living every day being miserable and purposeless.

It’s two years since I stopped working in the field of non-profit management. I really miss it – not the crappy pay, but the people and the purpose. I honestly don’t know what I’d have done the last two years without having Girlguiding in my life to fill a little of that void. I guess I’m just someone who has to be giving…because I feel like without giving my life is completely worthless. And giving my time to captialism makes me feel icky inside.

There are so many things I’d like to do but at this point do not see a way for any of them to happen. Mostly at the moment I wish with all my heart for a job that enables me to have a car and travel again.

I miss my friends.

But also, I hate not being able to be there for the important stuff.

I want to be able to drive after work to do the barefoot beach cleans, and deliver books to people with no access, I want to go to support fundraisers and rally for childhood cancer research funding. I want to be able to go over to Italy and just wander continental Europe to be inspired to write and perhaps as a side note turn up on a beach in a Burkini to make a point.

I also want to know that I can travel to watch friends get married, or hop in my car and drive to keep a friend company if she ends up having to have emergency dialysis treatment for days on end. I want to go snuggle my friend’s newborn baby. I want to throw my friend the birthday party that I missed.

I don’t want to be sitting at my computer screen angry at people who (seem to) have better lives than me, who are getting to eat meals with the people that I love spending time with as I sit alone choosing between cooking a proper meal or being able to afford to buy a yellow cardigan in a sale. I don’t want to be grouchy with the friend who turned down work because they couldn’t be bothered because last year I chose working over losing a day’s pay to go to a party…and it ended up that I missed out on meeting my friends’ baby before he died a few weeks later as a result. But those are the decisions you have to make when you are on zero hour contracts.

Bottom line is that I’m tempted to one day just leave it all behind like Monsieur Perdu did. Mind you I don’t have a boat full of books to exchange for food so it might be an issue. But either way, I want something to change.

I’m in need of the sunshine, sea, books and an awesome Italian cook…!🙂

BK’s YouTube Pick: Wait for it…

I had wanted to post this on August 31st, but it was only on the Truth 365 facebook page. Now it’s on YouTube. Already, I’m getting responses from my yellowness where people have told me they had always just assumed that childhood cancer gets tons of funding the same as breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer etc.

There seems to be a lack of information on exactly how research gets funded here in the UK. I do know there is no government funding for DIPG, and I don’t think there was anything for Rhabdoid tumours either. To my knowledge, pretty much all the funding for research comes from very specialised charities like Love Oliver, Bloodwise, Sarcoma UK, The Katy Holmes Trust etc. I am very glad we’ve got the Teenage Cancer Trust too, which is a great organisation making such a difference not just for research, but raising awareness, education and supporting teens in adult hospitals.

You’ll probably find just about every charity has been started by a family who has lost a child to the disease they are researching. Because once you’re in it, and you discover how much is lacking and how much is needed…you can’t sit back and do nothing.

Hence….I’m wearing my yellow and gold!