Category Archives: Uncategorized

Life is no fun when you’re avoiding it!



Does anyone else go extreme avoidance when they are overwhelmed? That has been my life lately – hence why I’ve been a little absent on the blog front.

I’m almost 2 years past a really traumatic event that round-house kicked me in the guts and flipped my life upside down. But I can’t seem to get out there and try again. Right after it happened I was pro-active, getting straight back into teaching (probably too soon) and that turned out bad too. So now my go-to move is to avoid, to do the bare minimum, to not put myself out there because I terrified that I am going to get wounded again.

I had these big plans for my life, I started studying my Grad Dip in Play Therapy to help get me there, I got a new job, I joined the Volunteer Fire Brigade. I tried so hard to do all this new stuff and be brave but it hasn’t led me to my perfect future yet! I’ve been studying a year and a half and am still no closer to knowing what my big plans are.

This scares me! What if it doesn’t work out? What if people don’t like me? What if someone hurts me? What if I get caught in the cross fires again and cop an arrow straight to the heart? What if I can’t do it?

So yeah, I’ve been avoiding stuff. Avoiding conversations I know I should have. Avoiding my uni work and not putting in as much effort as I know I can. Avoiding looking into options for my future. Avoiding spending time with God. Avoiding going to a place where I don’t know many people. Avoiding doing my assignment that is due on Monday! Just being an ostrich and shoving my head so far in the ground, hoping it will be different when I come up for air the next time.

There’s this thing in my brain that says if you don’t try as hard as you did at that teaching job then you won’t get hurt as much as you did. Now I know how stupid that sounds and that what happened to me had nothing to do with how hard I worked and how much I loved my job.  But the voice is still there, telling me to just avoid it and then no-one can hurt me and nothing can go wrong.

Here’s some things I read about avoidance behaviours (and I pretty much encapsulate them all!)

  • You avoid conversations that may lead to conflict (check!)
  • You don’t test the actual reality of your fears (check!)
  • You fear and avoid things that might bring up negative memories (check!)
  • You assume the worst (CHECK!)
  • You put off activities that are unpredictable or create uncertainty (check!)
  • You try to avoid any potential of making someone else angry or upset (check!)
  • You avoid putting yourself out there (check!)

Now I am learning that avoiding stuff is a great short-term technique to escape my fears but it is also a wonderful long-term strategy to guarantee suffering. So there’s no point in sticking my head in the sand because my issues will just keep coming back again and again until I face it, deal with it and learn from it.

So here are some other things to help when you (but mostly me) feel overwhelmed and want to just run back to bed!

  • Your body will tell you when you are slipping into avoidance mode, so stop and think about what your avoiding and then work on shifting your behaviours.
  • Don’t assume that a conversation will be bad or the outcome will be the worst, you won’t know until you try and it might turn out better than you expected!
  • Break big projects into small, less overwhelming steps.
  • Catch yourself before you go down the black hole of worry because the worst case scenario you are concocting in your head will most probably never come to fruition.
  • Do it now! Stop putting it off because while you are avoiding it the stress is just building and building.
  • Find the evidence. For example: I am avoiding writing my assignment because I’m worried I might fail. I need to look back on my past results, have I failed any? Only one. So the likelihood that I will fail this one is slim.
  • Take responsibility if you do make a mistake. We are all human and it does happen – even for perfectionist like me 🙂

Avoidance won’t solve any of our problems or block any of our worries. So let’s make a deal – let’s try these strategies and stop avoiding the things that scare us because they very well may end up being the best thing we ever did!


Take care.


Looking after yourself is so important! Over these last few months I have learnt just how crucial it is to your wellbeing that you stop and take a moment for yourself, especially when life it tough. And truthfully, when isn’t it?!

After chatting with a beautiful friend the other day about how she was feeling burnt out and losing her love of something she enjoys and is really good at, I started thinking back on decisions I’ve made in the past to push my own needs to the bottom of the pile and deal with everything else first. I learnt the hard way that if you don’t take care of yourself – all aspect of yourself – then stuff gets so much harder, you feel overwhelmed and life is not what it could be. You’re just going through the motions, gliding through in autopilot.

After going through a really crappy season of my own life I’ve been provided with some overdue R&R time, I’ve been able to do some things I really enjoy as well as think about what I want out of life. Doing these things has gone a long way towards improving my mental, emotional and physical health. I have been able to put me first which is not my natural go-to move!

So here are my top tips for taking care of yourself…

  1. Laugh! I have put this first because I love to laugh and it truly makes things better. Having a good laugh makes the crappy stuff feel a little easier to handle. Whether it’s laughing with a friend or watching a crazy cat video or remembering something funny that happened the other day – it all helps! Scientifically there are also a bunch of health benefits, laughing is actually good for your health!!
  2. Make the time to do something you enjoy. This can be hard when life is busy. You feel selfish for taking that time but in the long run I think it is really beneficial, for you and those around you. Being able to relax and reset gives you the oomph you need to give your all in whatever it is you’re doing. So whatever it is – painting, reading, gardening, having a bubble bath, doing a puzzle, working on your car, baking a cake, going for a walk or listening to music – do it! Do it for as long as you can (even if that is not much) but try and set aside a chunk of regular time, maybe once a week, that you can really get into whatever it is you enjoy.
  3. Move your butt! This is one that I really struggle with but whenever I get my heart rate up I feel so much better. And I am sure my body thanks me for it!
  4. Get amongst nature. Spending time in the sun (be sun safe kids!) or in nature is always something I enjoy. Not only do you get to see some amazing creations – flowers, birds, animals, insects; but your body actually benefits from it (science backs me up on that one too!)! I’ve seen it in kids, when they are outside they are learning so much and resetting their minds and their bodies. The smells and sounds and things they can touch are so different from the stuff that is inside and they benefit from it! It is the same for adults, our inner being needs nature to be happier overall.
  5. Do something for someone else. This one gives me all the positive feels when I purposefully do something for someone else and I think that the world would be a much better place if we all thought of others more. Is there someone in your world having a tough time? Can you write them a card, make them dinner, mow their lawn or shout them a coffee? Is there a charity you really like that could use some help making phone calls or doing some shredding? Take a minute to think of what you can do for others and I think you’ll find that you feel better afterwards.
  6. Spend time with people you enjoy being with. Whether it is friends or family, spend as much time as you can with people who really add to your life. Not in a creepy, stalker way but in a ‘I like to spend time with you’ way 🙂 If there are people who are not bringing anything positive to your life then spend a moment to evaluate if they belong and deserve your time. This can be hard but I think it is worth it. Now I know that there are people who you might not have a choice about (like a colleague, family member or friends’ partner) and I am definitely not saying you tell them to stick it and never see them again! But make the choice to spend your precious time with those who you truly enjoy being with.

Now I know there are tonnes more ways to take care of yourself, as everyone enjoys different stuff, and I am certainly not an expert on any of it! But I think it is really important that we make a conscious effort to do at least one of these and put ourselves first once in a while. Is there any others that you find help you to relax?

Take a deep breath, find something just for you and enjoy your life.


Where to from here?


So, it’s been a while since I put pen to paper…or I guess fingers to keypad. But I need somewhere that I can come back to in the future to reread about this particular season of my life, I needed to get it out to truly process it.

I think I need to start with explaining how I feel right now after possibly – actually no – definitely, the hardest time of my whole life. But you know what? I survived it and I feel more at peace than I think I have ever felt. More content with who I am and more importantly whose I am, because without knowing that I am a daughter of God, I truthfully don’t think I would be typing this from such a place right now.

The verse John 14:27 has been my mantra and truly that is all I have, God’s peace in my life. Even through such heartbreak and confusion I still felt as though I was in the eye of the storm. Don’t get me wrong I was IN the storm with cows whizzing by me and my body being lashed by wind and rain, but I felt at peace. Knowing that God was looking after me no matter what!

2016 was supposed to be the year I had more fun, after my Dad told me I was ‘thinking’ too much (which means stressing too much). But FUN is definitely not a word I would use to describe this year at all! I’ve faced many, many life challenges, both professionally and personally. All of which have seemed to be worse than the last. But each time God taught me something new and drew me into Him, which is a really special place to be.

I did not ever think that 2 and a half weeks after my 26th birthday I would be writing about the fact that I am unemployed and have no idea what my next step in life will be. Especially after I thought I pretty much had it all figured out. I’d finished Uni, gotten what I thought was my dream job and finally living in house that I really love! I’ve always had a next step or at least a general idea of what I wanted next. But here I am. Not sure what to do. And not as scared as I thought I would be.

I am so sure that I went through all of these really, super crappy things so that He could teach me some important life lessons.

To teach me to trust Him.

To teach me there is more to me and more to my life than being a teacher (which is a tough one because I think that has always been my identity to some degree).

To teach me that there is so many people in my life that love me and support me. Lucky me!

To teach me that He can take anything away from me (friends, jobs, opinions, thoughts) until I only have Him, which I have learnt is all I need.

How is it that sometimes we need to be whacked on the head with a 4×2 before we actually realise something?! I think God has been trying all year to get me to this place but I was too stubborn and stuck in my ways (I am a creature of habit!) to fully let go and say “Alright God, this life is Yours”. And it is still a day-by-day decision that I have to make.

So as I look out to my future, not having any idea of what it holds for me, I know that whatever it is I can handle it because I’ve got God on my side (and some pretty amazing friends and family too!). What does your future hold?

What a small world!!


Recently I went on a bit of a road trip to QLD for a friends wedding…

Side note – what a beautiful part of the world!! I mean I knew this because as a kid we used to travel there all the time to see my Aunt and Uncle who live up there. But I was reminded of just how very nice it is!

I found myself on many occasions just thinking “wow”. So many beautiful views and beaches and markets!!! Oh I do love me some markets!!!

Which gets me right back on track…

While at the Eumundi Markets (if ever you get the chance to check these out you should definitely do so), we were looking around and my friend noticed a book shop across the road that she wanted to check out, so across we went.

I started looking at the cards, as I tend to do to get ideas for when I make my own and found these beautiful black silhouette cards. So cute! So I turn them over and notice the brand. I get quite a shock when I see they are made by someone I know from where I grew up. I went to church with her in my early high school years. Oh what a small world!!!

So I do a bit of Internet stalking and discover she has a blog of her own. Which you should definitely check out. Link below.

I get home and am blown away by just how small our world can be sometimes. By travelling all the way up to Queensland I see something designed by someone from my country home town. Wow!

Anyways lovely people, from this I have been reminded to be open to the detours of life. If my friend hadn’t noticed this book shop across the road from the markets I would not have been there.

God places little things in our path and if we are too busy getting to our destination we just might miss a little happy moment he has popped there to brighten our day.

As I have been taught to do by my Mum – stop and smell the roses, look up at the stars, notice colours and nature, enjoy the smell of rain or mown grass because they just might enable you to see something you didn’t expect 🙂



What a blurr…


Oh wow! What a terrible blogger I have turned out to be!!! Sorry guys!!

I have had the busiest, craziest, most exciting 6 months. I have officially finished uni and am on a mission to find myself an EC teaching job somewhere around my area. Hopefully!!

I cannot believe that I have finally finished uni!! Who’d have thought that would come along so quickly? Being a teacher has been this thing I have wanted for so long and now that it is finally here I am soooo excited but also a little scared 🙂

Looking back on the last few months, I can see God in every single aspect! He is always looking out for us, even when we think he isn’t. He provides for us and knows exactly what we need and where we are going. I am believing for the perfect job that I know he has set aside for me.

In the last 3 or so months, I have quit my job to go on my final university placement and completed my placement with flying colours. I had a blast and was able to complete all aspect of what an Early Childhood educator does. God enabled me to be without a job throughout this time and be ok, he also gave me the skills and courage to be the teacher I am and will be.

It is this verse that has been with me for much of my life that I feel is quite relevant for this next season I face…

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. What a God we serve!!

I am looking forward to what comes next but I’m also enjoying the fact that I have nothing much to do but catch up with friends, books, movies and TV shows 🙂 And hopefully some more blog posts, I would like to do some more artsy stuff so watch out for those to come.

Thanks lovely people!!

It’s Jess!



I guess I should start with a little bit about myself.

Obviously I’m Jess 🙂 a good place to start I guess. I am 22, single, a Christian, a sister, a daughter and a broke uni student who is studying to be a teacher. I also love to paint, play hockey, watch movies and babushka dolls!

I’m finally in my last year at university and am overjoyed and overwhelmed at the fact that soon I will be a teacher with my own class!! How exciting! Being a teacher is something that has been a dream of mine ever since I started babysitting when I was about 13 or 14.

I am not exactly sure what this blog is going to be or how regularly it will occur. I guess I am just wanting somewhere to store cool things that I see or experience to look back on or to use in the future, I’m totally not expecting other people to read this but if you do I hope that you get something out of it. I love having a “that’s so cool!” moment and I think that is kind of what I am aiming for 🙂

Well I guess that is ok for a beginning post? Until next time xx