Veronique’s Life Adventures, Continued

At this moment, I am sitting on a barstool without a backrest at a high counter with a table easel to put my work on because it hurts to bend forward and write like a normal human being. I am wearing a brace that goes around my neck and torso. The skin on my jaw and chin is red and irritated and on the verge of becoming a raw wound because of the brace. My back did not take into account when it fractured that I am in the last semester of my Honours year with four huge essays, two huge tests, and a giant thesis still before me. It apparently didn’t think things through properly. The horse that threw me off also did not take any of this into consideration (thanks a lot, Lady).

But. This is life, isn’t it? Things like this don’t happen if you’re just spending your life sitting on the couch. This happened because I am living. I am doing things. I am making my life as adventurous and full as I can. And that is not something that I will ever regret or wish away. So even though I am intensely frustrated, very super duper behind with my work, and planning a ceremonial Burning of the Brace when this plastic and foam creature can finally come off, I am thankful. Thankful that I just missed landing on my neck, thankful that this isn’t permanent, thankful for all the amazing people who visited me in the hospital (aka the Pit of Awfulness), for how amazingly helpful my friends and family have been, and thankful that this happened because I am living my life to the full. I am thankful for so many things that if I were to list them all, this would be a novel, not a blog post. And so the frustrations, while they are huge and my current reality, will pass eventually and somehow I will catch up with my work and everything will be okay.

Everything will be okay in the end. That’s all I know.

Mirrors

Obviously I have not posted in a while. I had such grand plans of posting once a week consistently this year, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. Anyway, it’s only March, so I’m going to attempt to get back on track 🙂

First of all, I’ve started horseback riding again. I stopped around four and a half years ago for two reasons: 1) I moved to Cape Town and didn’t have a car or money to ride, and 2) I had several slightly traumatic experiences with the horse I had been riding, which continued even after I spent hours and hours working with the horse to try and fix the problems, and I was afraid to get back on a horse again. When I arrived for my first lesson and she told me to get on the horse I kind of just stood there for a few seconds and seriously considered asking her if I could pass on that (and, what, stand and stare at the horse for an hour? I’m not quite sure what I was thinking haha), but once I got on and the initial terror passed, I managed to enjoy it.

The thing about horseback riding is that horses are mirrors. All animals are, in a way, but it’s more noticeable and marked with horses because they’re giant animals that you are trying to ride and stay in control of. This is probably why some people don’t like them; you can’t pretend with a horse because it sees right through you. It knows right away whether you’re going to let it do what it wants, whether you are riding with authority, and whether or not you are afraid. I have often had to reevaluate myself after a lesson or an outride, and last week was one of those times. I was struggling to get the horse to do an admittedly complicated turn, and I wasn’t able to get it right before the lesson ended. My instructor (who had been shouting “you’re in control! be in control!” the whole time) talked me through it, and then she asked whether I am generally a passive person.

I hate the word passive. I hate passiveness. To me it goes hand in hand with fear, because fear = paralysis and that’s basically what being passive is. But unfortunately I know that I can be incredibly passive, and it’s a fault that I like to ignore, but of course I can’t ignore it while I’m riding. And this year, my “theme” is You Make Me Brave. Brave. Active. Intentional. Adventurous. Unafraid. None of these things have anything to do with passivity.

I started the year off with a huge amount of excitement about academics, friends, trying new things (I even signed up for fencing, which I haven’t had time to go to yet, but I totally will eventually), and a determined decision to not. Be. Afraid. Anymore. I think I hit a slump, but today I am writing this to say that, with God’s help, this will be a year of intentional unafraidness. He makes me brave.

In Motion

Copyright © 2010 by Veronique Kruger

Today I have a little to say about a lot of things, so forgive me if this is choppy and boring. There will be little to no deep thoughts or insights; it is what we call An Update Post.

Firstly, if all goes according to plan, I have precisely 47 days (that’s 1,128 hours, 67,680 minutes, 4,060,800 seconds) until I finish school. FOREVER. After 4,060,800 seconds have passed, I will never have to do anything related to high school again (not counting my potential offspring, but at least I get a decade’s break, you know?).

Secondly, I have completed exactly 61.75 out of 90 hours of horseback riding that is required for my diploma. I can report that these 60-some hours have accomplished the following: 1) I’m not deathly afraid of horses anymore, 2) I can canter without getting a side ache, and 3) I know what those buckle thingies on the bridles and saddles are for.

Thirdly, I am now 19. I just thought I would add that.

Fourthly, my India fund is going well. I’ve received a donation and I’ve sold my bike and am receiving the money in increments, but once I have it all I will officially have R1,350 out of R9,000, or $180 out of $1,300. Once again, any donations and/or prayers are greatly appreciated, and you can email me at africanstardust@gmail.com if you feel like dropping your spare change in my pockets.

Fifthly, I am going to write the South African National Benchmark Tests on Saturday, which include Math literacy and English proficiency evaluations. I’m not too terribly nervous, but I would appreciate your prayers on that day. I will be writing from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, so please be praying that I stay energized and refreshed and that I can stay focused for all that time. This has everything to do with my admission to UCT, so it’s quite an important day.

That’s all. I thank you if you stayed for all that rambling. If you visit (which is unlikely since most of you live across The Pond and the others, you know, have lives), you will be most warmly welcomed, especially if you bring coffee with you.

❤ africanstardust

Rainbows

I’m sorry I don’t have a picture for you, but Charlie had a bit of an *incident* and I have yet to retrieve all my files from the backup disk thingy, if they’re even there. So no photos. That’s also why the photo in the previous post is apparently AWOL.

I started my classes and I love love love them. Except for Trig/Pre-Calc, but I’m getting a tutor (if you live here and are a math genius, please let me know ASAP, thank-ye) so all should be good very soon. Also, I’ve applied to UCT for a MBchB. I have yet to send all the forms, but I figured I’d get a head start even though I’m planning on attending in 2012, not 2011. You can always defer the application to the following year, but they say it’s best to apply for university the year you finish school even if you’re taking a gap year. Anywho, so far I have a 98 in both Creative Writing and Psychology, a 100 in Chemistry, and an 83 in math, which may sound bad but for me is actually a massive accomplishment.

I’m currently working on asymptotes and dividing variables, which is literally like Greek to me. Seriously, I was good at math until 7th grade, and that wasn’t really my fault. I’m kind of hoping it will all just come back to me or something dreamy like that, but who knows? All I do know is that I have to get this stuff if I want to get in to UCT. Which I do. Quite badly. (See my other UCT posts).

In addition, guess who is going to finally grace the world with her presence in about two weeks? Yes. Kruger junior (who currently has no other name, except princess) is arriving very very soon. I’m working my head off so that the week we’re in Cape Town I can just pace the waiting room or whatever. Needless to say, we’re all super excited.

I also applied for a job at Disneyworld for next year, but I’m thinking I might want to do some kind of internship at Disneyland instead. I’d much rather live in California (East Coast People, who get to be capitalized, scare me). Besides, Chuck Norris lives in Anaheim. Come on.

Oh right. Yesterday I went for a 1.5 hour outride and the horse I was riding, who I haven’t ridden in forever, decided to be full of himself and took off galloping when all I wanted was a canter. Do you have any idea how much of a difference there is between a nice, slow, loping canter and a freaking gallop? Did I mention I’ve never learned how to sit or whatever on a galloping horse because it’s never covered in any kind of horseback riding school?? So what I did was this. I thought of the movies I’ve seen with galloping horses and how the rider sits. I thought of Dreamer and Seabiscuit and Racing Stripes. So I leaned forward, stood up in the stirrups, bent my knees, and held onto Jet’s mane for dear life. I have to say, it was actually very fun. The thing that made me panicky was that I couldn’t stop him and I was supposed to. If I’d been all alone I would have just let him go until he got tired, because the going-super-fast-and-not-having-my-aching-rear-on-the-seat thing was fantastic. The not-knowing-how-to-stop-this-massive-stubborn-animal-while-my-instructor’s-husband-is-watching thing was freaky. Anyway. Now that I’ve told you all about everything and possibly bored you to tears, I have to get back to asymptotes and 2x squared -3x + 1 divided by x – 2.

De-Horsed

I should be exercising, but I’m not. I’m posting a blog post. About, among other things, how terribly I miss horseback riding. Yes, lessons are painful, and yes, falling off is…also painful…and the pressure to be in shows takes a little of the fun out of it. But to just ride through a vineyard and only have the sound of the hooves and have the blue sky above you, and perhaps a peaceful breeze, is the most effective de-stressing technique I have ever tried. Horses are magnificent animals.

In other news, I am seeing my sister who I haven’t seen for five years tomorrow afternoon. I’m also seeing my sister who I’ve seen surprisingly often. Both of these make me incandescently happy 🙂 (What are you talking about? I have not been watching Pride & Prejudice.)

By the way, our friend who has cancer went to the oncologist, where they drained 3 liters (!) of water that had built up. She feels much better now, can actually eat, and is slightly more in tune with her body. However, she still has a lot of pain and the water will build up again, so please keep her in your prayers.