Acceptance, Comfort Zones and German Verbs

Me smiling in a cafe alleyway
This photo is me yesterday sat outside at a little coffee house in York. It got me thinking (not that it takes much :P) about acceptance, comfort zones, and, strangely, German verbs. (It’ll all make sense soon!)

This was the first time I have been to a coffee shop in months! I was a little bit apprehensive because I’m still not comfortable being around more than a couple of people, and am still definitely not ready for indoor meet-ups! This felt manageable though because I was outside, felt reassured that the owners had put the correct measures in place, and the place itself was quite quiet! That then meant that I was able to actually appreciate why I was there: to see my friends, catch up and have a good time!

I think one thing that has helped me recently is trying to accept (without judgement) where I’m at at any given point. Even little sayings like ‘this is where I am right now and that’s ok’ can be really helpful. The more I’ve been saying that, the more I’ve started to believe it.

Once I’ve accepted where I’m at, I can then consider whether that’s where I want to be. If yes, great! If not, I try to think of where I am now, where I want to be, and what steps I can take to get there. The likelihood is I will still have to push myself outside of my comfort zone, but having smaller, more attainable goals feels more manageable than having one huge goal that seems so out of reach. Having these smaller goals also helps me to feel like I’m making progress!

Take learning to ride a 2-wheeled bike as an example! If my dad would have taken me off my trike and put me straight on a bicycle with no stabilisers, I would probably have fallen off and given up. Riding a 2-wheeled bike was too out of reach at that moment. But moving me from a trike to a bike with stabilisers, to one stabiliser, to 10 seconds without stabilisers and so on enabled me to eventually reach my goal of being able to ride a bike! It took acceptance, perseverance, patience and a few grazed knees, but I got there in the end!

So back to current times. Maybe, like me, you’re a little (or very) apprehensive about coming out of lockdown. It can feel very overwhelming, like everything is happening at once and you just want things to slow down. Maybe others around you seem to be adapting more quickly, but that’s ok. It’s not a race! There’s often this sense that now we are allowed to do certain things, we have to rush to do them straight away, but that’s not the case! I never thought my German degree would come in handy for a blog post but I think it might!

In German (as in English), there are a group of verbs called modal verbs. Here are a few:

  • müssen – ‘must’ or ‘have to’
  • sollen – ‘should’ or ‘ought to’
  • dürfen – ‘allowed to’
  • können’ – ‘can’ or ‘able to’

Currently, we MUST follow certain rules. We are ALLOWED TO do certain things such as have a socially-distanced picnic in the park. Just because we are ALLOWED TO do something, it doesn’t mean we MUST, or even OUGHT TO. But what we are, or at least feel, ABLE TO do is a very personal thing, and can change over time.

Sorry if I lost you getting carried away with German verbs, but my point is this….

Maybe you are comfortable having a socially-distanced picnic in the park, or maybe you’re not quite there yet. Either way, that’s ok! Equally, there are some things that we’re not allowed to do right now, but that won’t be the case forever. Just like learning to ride a bike, it helps to try to accept where we are right now, and to be patient with ourselves and with the current situation. Step by step, we will be able to move forward, to reach those little goals and at some point, we will look back and realise that we have moved forward and have reached the bigger goal that once seemed out of reach!

So my questions to you… Where are you at right now? Where would you like to be? And what steps can you take to make that possible?

Onwards and upwards,

Rosie x

 

 

 

 

Goodbye York (for now), hello…. Vienna!

To those who know me (and those who don’t), this title may come as a bit of a surprise, but to be honest, it did to me too, especially during this time of uncertainty in lockdown!

For the past four years, I have been living in York. It is the place that I call home, and I imagined myself being here for a long time. I have loved discovering the hidden gems of the city, one of which includes St Denys Church which I started attending in week 2 of my first year at university, but I digress. 3 years in York wasn’t enough for me, so I got a job at the uni in Student Life and Wellbeing. As I’m writing this, I’m 2 weeks from the end of my contract and, although I am very sad to leave, it has been a great experience, and one which has taught me so much about work, wellbeing and much more! There have been many challenges and I’m not going to go with the cliched line of these past for years being the ‘best years of my life’, but they have certainly been the 4 years in which I have learnt the most and grown the most as a person!

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Over the past few months, I have felt a calling to go further afield and somewhere new, at least for the next year. I thought that I would end up in another city in the UK but in fact, I’m about to move to a whole new country!! In some ways, thinking of moving away from York is difficult. As I said, York is home to me. I have a great support network, wonderful friends, lovely housemates and a job that I love. Giving that up,or at least parts of it, even just for a year, feels quite counter-intuitive! At the same time, the opportunity that is ahead of me is one that can’t be missed, and it just feel right. As you know, I’m a great believer in pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, and it’s also a good trust exercise. In all the current uncertainty I am faced with, I must try my best to trust that God will lead the way and provide!

So for the next year, I will be working as an intern in Christ Church in Vienna. It’s certainly a massive change, but I am really excited to experience church ministry! It’s been lovely to join some of the chaplaincy’s zoom services, and to get to know some of its members a little more. I have such a good feeling about this place. Now that’s not to say that there won’t be challenges, but I look forward to sharing both the challenging and the exciting times, and all in-between! I am very aware of the tendency on social media to show the highlights of your life, and to perhaps not always show the challenges. I am therefore going to make a conscious effort to have more of a balance, to be more honest and to show a more realistic picture. That might take a bit of getting used to, so please bear with me, but I will try!

Anyway, I wish you all a week filled with peace and hope, and look forward to writing another post soon!

Onwards and upwards,

Rosie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome!

Hello!

If you visited my website/blog before, you might have seen that things have changed and my previous posts have been taken down. Since I was doing a revamp of the whole website, I thought it’d just be easier to start again, and to reframe a little! So if you’ve been before, welcome back and if you haven’t visited before, then welcome!!

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Previously in my life (Miranda quote for those who love a bit of such fun!), I mainly wrote about the importance of mental health awareness as well as sharing my thoughts on the ups and downs of recovery from mental illness. More recently though, I have felt the benefits of moving away from an ‘illness model’, and thinking more about wellness and wellbeing. That’s not so say I only focus on the positives (although lots of people would say I’m an optimist), but rather reflect upon the ups and downs of everyday life in general, not just everyday life in recovery. I’ll be writing another post soon to explain why I find this useful, so keep your eyes peeled!

Wellbeing (like mental health) is something that always exists, and that can change from day to day and hour to hour. Recently, I’ve been asking myself what has a positive impact upon my wellbeing. Normally, it’s the things that I deem to be important parts of my life (my faith, loved ones etc.) or things I am interested in (nature, sport and exercise, baking etc.). So I’m hoping to post more about those things and to also share my thoughts and discoveries about life in general. As a person who likes to think deeply about stuff and analysing pretty much anything and everything, I don’t think I’ll run out of things to write about! Well at least not for a long while anyway!

After having a break from social media and campaigning, now feels like the right time to come back! I’m about to finish my job and start a new adventure, but more to come on that in a future post! (Sorry to leave you on a cliff-hanger, it’s 10pm and past my bedtime!!) I’ll be back soon with more details!

Onwards and upwards,

Rosie x