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The 31-Day Blog Post Challenge (Part Five)

I have recently moved to Pennsylvania. So recently, in fact, that I don't yet have a house. My family is staying in an Air BnB in the Poconos. That being said, it has been easy to look back on the past and smile at all the memories I have shared with my friends and cry about the things I will miss about them. Of course, I will create new memories and make new friends but no one will replace the people I leave behind in Redding and I hope to always stay connected with them.

That makes today's portion of the challenge particularly fitting. Today I have some questions about my past to answer. I hope you enjoy reading a few things about my past before we move on to my future in a few days' time.

As always, the questions I will answer in today's post are listed below and you can jump to them by clicking the links. The challenge schedule is at the bottom of the post.

Something I miss

This is a hard question to answer only because there are a lot of things I miss. As I mentioned, I just moved from Redding, California to Pennsylvania and I have not yet had the chance to settle in and make new friends so I desperately miss my old friends and old church. I also moved from New Zealand when I was young and miss my extended family and the food I enjoyed when I was little (all the food is better in New Zealand). If there were two things I could have in my life at regular intervals that I no longer have in my life it would be these:

  1. Game nights with my friends at my elder friend's house. I have one friend who used to host game nights at her house with a number of our friends. The game nights hosted by her often had the greatest collection of our friends and the widest variety of people and games but even before I moved away from Redding, she moved. I miss those game nights and wish I could have them again but with even more of my friends and more regularity!

  2. Bread baking with Grandma and cousins. Back when my family lived in New Zealand, the cousins would occasionally gather at Grandma's house and bake bread together. Some of it would become loaves. The rest of the dough would be divided and the cousins would split off into teams to create intricate designs for the bread. While the bread was cooking, we made butter (some by shaking it in a jar). We even got to use Grandma's old butter pats! When everything was complete, we would sit outside with all the aunts and uncles and enjoy the feast with cheese and homemade jam.

The last time I cried

I can admit that I have cried a lot lately. Emotions have been flooding my system for months now and often, I won't cry when it counts (like when I left my friends at the airport) but I will cry at something random (like when Dad asked me to check if there was any paint beneath the porch). I am not totally sure when the last time I cried was but I will tell you this: I cry every time I write/speak about my medical story honestly. So that will be the next time I cry.

Something that always makes me feel better

There are a lot of things that make me feel better. Most of them are cheesy. My dog often makes me feel better especially if she is doing something stupid and/or funny. I love cheesy jokes and if they are told at just the right time, they will make me crack a smile even on my worst day. I love chocolate (especially dark chocolate) and an offering of dark chocolate may just get you one step closer to forgiveness. When I'm feeling terrible and can't manage to think about anything or do anything, I tend to watch TV (usually whatever I'm watching at the time) because it gets my mind off of the pain (be it emotional or physical) for long enough for me to reevaluate and work out a solution. That might be an apology, time in the Bible, or something else but sometimes I just need a distraction before I can focus on the problem. All these things are great at helping me to feel better at the moment but the only thing that truly deals with the problem long-term is listening to worship music, journaling for some time, or reading the Bible.

A difficult time in my life

Part of the reason I wanted to do this "31-Day Blog Post Challenge" was for an excuse to post my medical journey. I realized a while back that I had spoken of it time and time again without actually detailing the journey for readers. This journey was an important time in my life, something that changed me for the better, guided my beliefs for the future, and set the foundation for my published poetry book Imagine This: From Pain to Possibility. I wanted to ensure there was somewhere to read about the journey in full.

Originally, my plan was to begin the story in today's post but I felt that may be confusing for some. I don't want those who come to read my story later to shuffle through two posts to find the pieces. Instead, below you will find the outline of the story. Tomorrow, you can return to find the full story following the same outline. Consider this a teaser trailer for tomorrow's story and get excited for what you'll read about tomorrow.

How I Learned "God's Got This"
  • March 2015 - Hannah receives a diagnosis of tendonitis.

  • August 2015 - Hannah injures her left shoulder and has surgery on her tendonitis.

  • August 2015 - Hannah drops out of school because of pain in her shoulder.

  • December 2015 - Hannah receives a diagnosis of Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (The Suicide Disease)

  • January 2016 - Hannah receives a diagnosis of an enlarged aorta

  • January-March 2016 - Hannah enters and completes in-patient therapy for CRPS

  • May-June 2016 - Hannah's debilitating headaches and nausea land her in the hospital

  • August 2016 - Hannah returns to school

  • 2017 - 2019 - Hannah loses all but a few friends in high school, is evacuated from her home due to a wildfire in her senior year, and continues to suffer through medical problem after medical problem. She still doesn't know what to do.

  • 2020 - 2022- Hannah enters college seeking a Biblical ministries degree. COVID hits. She publishes an anthology of poetry that tells her story. Finally, after a COVID vaccine allows her back into her community, in communication with God, she begins to figure out the path she should be on and knows God has been with her the whole time.

The 31-Made-7-Day Blog Post Challenge Schedule:

Day One: Intro to the Challenge

  • An introduction to the thirty-one-day challenge

  • 20 fun-facts about me

Day Two: All About Me

  • My earliest childhood memory

  • An old photo of me

  • 3 personality traits I am proud to have

  • My deepest fears

  • My piercings/tattoos

  • My first celeb crush

  • My guilty pleasure

  • A weird quirk I have

Day Three: My Favorites

  • 10 of my favorite foods

  • My favorite comfort food

  • My favorite quote

  • A favorite childhood book

  • My most proud moment

  • 10 of my favorite songs

  • My favorite physical features

  • 5 of my favorite blog posts

Day Four: Daily Life

  • What's in my handbag?

  • A timeline of my average day

  • My worst habits

  • My pet peeves

Day Five: My Past (part 1)

  • Something I miss

  • The last time I cried

  • Something that always makes me feel better

  • A difficult time in my life

Day Six: A Difficult Time in my Life (part 2)

Day Seven: The Future

  • What would I do if I won the lottery?

  • My dream job

  • Where do I want to be in 10 years?

  • My top bucket list items

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