Reality Bites


Ok, so you have read some of my previous posts and my “About” section. And as you are sitting there reading this, you might think that I have this very rosy and naive outlook on life. This blog is clearly about how everything in my life turned out to be perfect and a walk in the park…

My life and my story are no better than anyone else’s. One of the main reasons for me writing this blog is to make sense of it all and to remind myself that we should never stop dreaming and hoping, doesn’t matter the circumstance.

Our outlook on life is determined by the places we’ve been and the places we allow ourselves to see the world from.  With so much uncertainty and hurt in the world, it is sometimes difficult to see the beautiful, soul edifying safe places we need as haven in our lives. We need this to survive the bundu-bashing of the everyday, soul polluting uncertain situations we find ourselves in…and there are so many of them: Despite being proudly South African, the stance of our beautiful country makes me very worried. What is it going to look like when our boys are our age?

I have several friends who are going through absolute hell at the moment.  Severe illness, bad luck, loss, sadness, broken and absent relationships and uncertainty are consuming beautiful dreams. My heart breaks every time I hear of something terrible over the news such as the Charleston shooting incident, another child gone missing or yet another murder that took place.  I hear of so many people running into walls as door after door of opportunity closes. I wish I could just wipe the slate clean and tell them everything is going to be fine. But it is not that easy…

After I sorted myself out and figured what I was supposed to do with my life (Read The Checklist for some background) I realised that I still loved to sing (I’ve been singing in choirs, vocal groups and worship bands for years) so in my mind this would always be a part of me. This is how and where I could use my talents and get energised at the same time. On the other hand I’ve also turned my career path upside down by going back to school and re-qualifying myself as Special Needs Teacher. I love what I do and I believe I’m good at it and making a difference…

In comes the spanner in the works…

Currently I find myself in a rather weird and unique situation. I am on unpaid long-term sick leave as I am experiencing serious problems with my voice. Yes, you read correctly… my voice. Did I mention unpaid and long-term as well? Two expensive surgeries (during this year), voice rest (last year and this year) and vocal therapy later, the problem is still not fixed. I was booked off for four months in order to sort out all the problems in order for me to return to my life as teacher and hopefully to be able to sing again. But it seems to be a little more complicated than that. Just as we think everything is now sorted and that I can properly recover in the remaining time I’m off, something else pops up, like my latest diagnosis: nerve damage on my vocal cords causing partial paralysis.

I am in the hands of the best specialists in this field, so I am very thankful for that. But, if you are a teacher and singer you would know that you use your voice extensively. And you need it healthy. After a complex and uncomfortable EMG test that confirmed the nerve damage, I will now again go into theatre for another treatment procedure. It sounds as if all might be “fixed” after this, so I am hopeful, but it is a process and I will have to wear a microphone while teaching from now on and continue with voice therapy.

I am not sure what to think… I absolutely love my job, I am honored working with special needs kids and would do it for years to come and I am excited to return to my class at the beginning of the next term, but maybe, just maybe I need to reassess. Maybe I am experiencing problems with my voice in order to discover another “voice”, who knows… I am however saddened to think that I might not be able to sing again… but maybe and hopefully this procedure will change my fate.

Never before have we been in such an uncertain place… All the medical costs as well as unpaid leave have set us back financially, more than we ever bargained.  I really don’t know what the future holds… this include our finances, my career and dreams…

I however have this very calm inner peace that (as a friend over a heart-to-heart cup of coffee said) good must prevail…and certain things happen forcing us to broaden our perspective and focus our attention. Through all of this we are experiencing daily miracles, which gives me a lot of hope.

I know that God has such a different perspective on all of this and I truly believe that we will be able to look back on all of this one day and see reason in it all….

But until then, reality bites.

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