Sunday, May 25, 2014

A year with Alfie and some big news :)

This post is going to be random, so just a warning!

It's been a year today since I got Alfie and I have no idea where the year has gone! He is the cheekiest, cutest, lovable cat who demands to be cuddled then will bite your hand off! He has gotten much bigger but still acts like a kitten and is still obsessed with bells (Christmas was a challenge as the decorations included bells and sparkly things) and yes he is a box which is another one of his obsessions (I had ordered a few things online and they came in a big box which he was pleased about!).

Now onto the news of the week (or month?), no I haven't gotten a job (that would be nice but I am trusting God that I will get one soon) but I FINALLY PASSED MY DRIVERS TEST!!! It has taken me 4 unsuccessful attempts and a few thousand dollars in lessons but I did it!!! I did it at the same place I did my last one but with a different tester. I honestly can't believe it, I asked the tester 5 times after he told me I passed if it was true, I just couldn't believe it! It still feels surreal and I find myself thinking that I need to practice more or to book another test in but I don't. Instead I just have to get 25 hours of driving logged and wait 6 months then do another computer generated test and I have my license (well my P plates but I can drive by myself), I have logged just under 2 hours and Dad is making me drive everywhere and I am hoping that I can drive down south to visit some friends soon. But I have 6 months to do it all so no major hurry, my next aim is to get a job so I can save up for a car (I want a small car with 4 doors and preferably in a bright colour). For now my parents are happy to taxi me around and friends are happy to give me lifts home if they can :)
Because I failed my drivers test 4 times previously I thought I would post some tips on how to pass your Practical Driving Assessment:
  • Get a good sleep the night before and make sure you are wide awake before the test! I avoided caffeine before the tests as I found it made my heart race which made me more likely to have an anxiety attack (nerves and caffeine are never a good mix in my book!).
  • Wear clothing that is comfortable and allows easy movement in the arms, also wear shoes that will stay on your feet (no thongs (flipflops) or flats that won't stay on your feet!). I wore jeans, boots, a 3/4 sleeved top and a loose cardigan which meant that I was comfortable and didn't feel restricted when I was turning the steering wheel. If you have long hair make sure it is out of your face and if you prefer to wear sunglasses when you drive take them with you (even if the sun isn't out and they stay on your head the whole time, it feels good knowing you have them just in case there is a glare)
  • Arrive early. Its recommended that you arrive at least 15 minutes early and by arriving early you will feel less rushed and have a few minutes to gather your thoughts and calm down before the test.
  • Have a decent meal/snack before you go depending on the time of your test. I have to force myself to eat when I am nervous but I always try to force something down whether it be a nut bar or a handful of nuts or Nutella on bread or a baked bean and cheese toasted sandwich just make sure it will fill you up. There is nothing worse than your stomach rumbling during a test which will distract you.
  • Book a lesson a couple of days before. This isn't a must but it will help, and it will help brush up your skills and work out what you need to work on. Also many instructors will book you in for a lesson before your test if you decide to go through them, I found that it didn't help me at all and actually made me more nervous (which impacted my driving), when I did it in my Mum's car I only drove to the licensing centre and around the area for 10-15 minutes before hand.
  • Drive everyday leading up to the test. This really helped me and is what I think helped me finally pass my test. I practiced my reverse parking everyday non stop leading up to my last test and I felt confident that I could pass it, even though I didn't end up doing it (which is what I failed on last time, go figure!) I still felt confident and knew that I could do it.
  • Mix up your test locations. This really helped me, after failing 3 times at one location I decided to try another location which was less busy and I didn't really know (which made me pay more attention). Ask around where your friends did their tests as the chances are some places may be easier than others (or have more understanding instructors if you have anxiety etc. ).
  • Paint your thumb nails a bright colour. I don't know how much this really helped, but I found I was more aware where my hands were on the steering wheel as the polish really made my nails 'pop' against the steering wheel.
  • Take note of the time of your test. Try to aim to get a test for the middle of the day during the school term (less cars on the road) but if you do get an early/late test take note of any school zones and make sure to go the speed limit through them.
  • Finally do what works for you. In the end I eventually passed my test in my Mum's car, in a different location as to where I took lessons and it was on my 5th go. Its not uncommon to fail on your first (or second or third or forth you get the idea!) go and you will eventually get it, this coming from someone who has anxiety and co-ordination issues (Dyspraxia gotta love it!) and want to give up so many times but didn't.  
My next aim is to get a job, which God willing will happen soon! I figure if I finally passed my drivers test a job has to be in the near future :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Coming Clean

I crave the rain, I need the rain, I need the wet rainy days that were made for baking, reading, watching DVDs and snuggling with my cats. To some the rain is depressing but to me it brings new life and makes everything clean. I love the scent of rain mixed with eucalyptus leaves and how everything looks so magical after its rained. To me when it rains I feel at peace and that everything is somehow possible.
My life has been quiet recently, though the job market is picking up a lot of the jobs are unsuitable and I would have no chance in getting them even if I did apply. I failed my last driving test due to reverse parking but I have my next test next Tuesday (a small miracle when I got told that I would be lucky to get a test in June let alone May!) which means that this week I am going to be attempting to nail my reverse parking (even if it takes me all week!). On the bright side its just one thing to work on and I know that I can do the rest.
I honestly feel lost and it's hard when I realise that this time last year I had a job, yes it wasn't perfect but it was a job and I had an income. Currently I am relying on the government which I hate as I am capable of working yet I can't get a job. I have applied for so many jobs and I am lucky to get an interview out of every 50 I apply for (ok maybe that's a slight exaggeration), I just want to work! Yet here's the thing whenever I seriously begin applying for non-admin jobs I get a phone call from a company inquiring about my work experience etc sometimes it leads to an interview and other times the job is too far away or hard to get to so I turn them down (which happens very rarely).
I have spent most of this past week locked away at home, just because things haven't really gone to plan. I have watched a few episodes of Bones, tried willing the phone to ring, reading blogs and sleeping in way too late. I make an effort to get up out of bed each day and get dressed even if my plan is to stay at home, even when I am sick I don't stay in my pyjamas all day and instead will change into track pants (sweatpants) and a plain t-shirt. Yet lately I found myself asking 'what's the point?' and 'maybe I should just stay in bed', this to me is sign of my subconscious giving up. When this happened in the past I have been able to get through it yet at the moment it doesn't seem possible. I am craving change, I have a hair cut booked in on Saturday and honestly I can't wait, I haven't had my hair cut in over a year and I need it (I have split ends on split ends and with fine (but thick) hair I didn't think that was possible!).
The thing I know that God is in control of all this, so I shouldn't be feeling 'off' yet I am, I just have to keep praying and hopefully soon something will come of it.
So this is me coming clean and getting stuff off my chest that has been bugging me. This song has been stuck in my head all week and I love it (even though it's 11 years old and I remember when it came out!).