Loading Jade | Who am I?
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Who am I?

And what to expect from this blog.

Hello, and welcome to my first ever blog post. You’re probably wondering, “why did she choose a name like ‘Loading Jade’?” Yes well, there’s no fancy reason for it. I was encouraged to choose a blog title that includes my name (which makes sense to me since this is a personal blog) and the word ‘loading’ is IT and gaming-related (which is probably an essential 70% of my being) so it just made perfect sense to me.

So, who am I? My name is Jade Armstrong. That’s me in the picture above. I’m a 21y/o female human living in Cape Town, South Africa. Sometimes I wish life was like an rpg where you could choose your race – I’d love to try out being an elf or a troll or something interesting. But life is often boring in the most inconvenient of ways.

I was born in Johannesburg but only spent all of what will probably only end up something like 8% of my life there so I have almost no personal connection to the place whatsoever. I just remember this gigantic house we used to live in. It was truly epic. The lounge felt like a whole new world – the ceilings were so high. There was a bar to the side. The garden had this huge pool and I loved swimming even though I was too small to swim by myself. The place even had a sauna and a jacuzzi, I’m not even lying. My mother told me the only reason we could afford it was because it was falling apart which made the rent super cheap.

Then we moved to Cape Town. It was super strange for me moving to a whole new place. I’ve never been very good at making friends – that’s a trait I can say I kept all the way into adult life. I just don’t have the same world view as most people. What also sucked was that Joburg and Cape Town schools were in completely different places with regards to math. By grade 2 they hadn’t even taught me what a dozen was yet. Despicable. I remember sitting at that group table and there was a math question we had to solve involving a dozen and everyone looked around at each other questioning their own knowledge of what a dozen was and I was like a rabbit in headlights because it seemed like I was the only one that didn’t know what a dozen was and I was so unbelievably embarrassed. Then there was Afrikaans. Cape Town was so far ahead in Afrikaans I was so lost and I had so little interest in the language I just never caught up. And I never will, Afrikaans can leave me alone, life is too hard to learn a language you have no interest in. I mean, I live in South Africa so I know enough of it by now.

At least I was good at reading. Ever since I can remember I’ve always wanted to read. One of my earliest memories is when I was very young and there was this giant book with beautiful illustrations. I think it was Pocahontas but I don’t trust myself to remember correctly. I couldn’t read so well at that stage but I desperately wanted to know what was happening in this story. I went to my mother and my sister in the kitchen. I think my mom was teaching my sister to tie her shoes properly – or that could be a different memory. And I asked my mom to teach me to read this book. She just put me up on the kitchen counter and carried on with what she was doing and nobody would help me read this book. As a little girl I was so frustrated. But I eventually learned to read by myself. Another of my earliest memories was when my sister and I were sharing a room and I had this Alice in Wonderland book which I stayed up all night reading and looking through the pictures long after my sister fell asleep. That’s probably why Alice in Wonderland is like an essential 101% of my being.

What frustrated me the most though was the teachers in Grade 1. By the time I got there I was reading with ease and they wanted to teach us how to read ‘I’ and my little self was just thinking “the fuck?” I was so sure by then that everyone could read ‘I’, surely nobody could be that incompetent. And counting was the worst. They wanted us to count to 20. I mean, really? But all the other sheep just counted along and I was the one scolded for staring out the window. Man, teachers can be assholes. Let’s not even talk about my high school physics teacher.

Talking about schools, I attended Kenridge Primary School when I was younger. I enjoyed none of it except for Grade 7. Review the bad at making friends trait. I mean, I was also pale and smart and just happy with who I was – nobody likes those kids. I mean, as adults most people pretend to accept those that are different but kids don’t give a shit. Everyone has to be tanned, pretty, struggling to get good grades and out with friends all the time. And all I wanted to do was play World of Warcraft. Grade 7 was just great though – I have no idea what changed but I had no troubles in Grade 7. Kenridge was a great place to be in Grade 7.

Speaking of games, I have to thank my dad for raising me as a gamer. All we ever did in the house from a very young age was play the newest games and that is epic. I think life would have been a lot more boring and a lot more awful if my daddy didn’t introduce me to games. So thanks, Dad.

Then I went to high school. I attended Chesterhouse High School which then started calling itself Chesterhouse College but my sister and I always dubbed it Chesterhole. I had no problems (besides the aforementioned physics teacher) until the headmaster (who was absolutely amazing in every respect) unfortunately, passed away. Then everything just went to shit. I had a lot of health problems which didn’t go away until probably halfway through matric. But I developed an anxiety disorder in matric which I didn’t actually know about until after matric. Which is great, right? I always got extremely good grades until the matric exams where the papers were so different to the past papers that I ended up having a panic attack and not finishing most of them. Except for IT. I did well in IT because the teacher (who was awesome) just let me do my own thing. The classes were very loose and you could work at your own pace which was perfect for me. I studied my ass off during class so I eventually knew everything back-to-front and I was just so confident during the exam nothing could go wrong.

Self-study has always worked for me which is why I’m doing well studying through UNISA (which, for those of you that don’t know, is a distance learning institution). I almost didn’t end up studying through UNISA and my family probably would have been in huge debt over my studies. I was supposed to go to Monash but then last minute my dad told me he didn’t have the funds available for the initial fee (which was exorbitant). So I actually had a small life crisis and wondered what I was going to do with myself. I took a 6-month break after matric during which I can say probably all I did was play League of Legends. Then I decided I would have to make my own money to pay for university and started working for my parents. Don’t work for family – they pay you just enough so that it’s not criminal. Which I eventually realised. So I quit after 6 months and started waitressing at a sushi restaurant where I was earning 3 times what I earned working for my parents. I decided to study through UNISA because it was the cheapest option. I saved up enough money for my studies after 6 months which is when I quit waitressing and registered for BSc Computing.  I was then lucky enough that my dad then turned around and said he could pay for my UNISA studies because it wasn’t the exorbitant fees that Monash demanded.

Fast forward and after a year of studying without working at all I was feeling extremely broke. I had no money of my own to spend and to go places so, after considering it for a while, I thought to myself, “if I ever waitress again, hell is going to freeze over and have a new ice queen.” And so I decided that I would study makeup artistry! I needed something that I would love and enjoy doing. I didn’t want to sell my soul so I could go see the new Star Wars movie. I had all of this money saved up and decided to spend it on a makeup course through Kohl Makeup Academy. This was one of the best decisions of my life because I met my mentor SJ Van Zyl who has constantly encouraged me to do more and reach for the stars. It is an amazing thing to be so busy accomplishing amazing things to still be able to encourage others to accomplish more. At Kohl I worked my ass off again and it paid off. I was awarded Student of the Year! One of the prizes was representation by Gorgeous 2 Go which I am amazingly grateful for. I am super excited to see what comes next and to move forward with makeup artistry.

Now that my course is done though, I’m studying again. The makeup course was 5 months from July to November so I took a semester gap with UNISA. I could have just continued with my studies while I was doing the makeup course and that’s what I originally wanted to do. But if you ever want to study makeup don’t underestimate just how much work it is. I’m still drowning in file work that I have to submit before July. But back to UNISA; I’ve already registered for the first semester this year. Textbooks are unbelievably expensive, by the way. But I’m going full-force at my studies and can’t wait to get good results. My dream is to become a game developer so this degree will be a step towards my goals.

Whilst I’m busy with all of that I decided to start this blog (which is 100% thanks to SJ). I worked my ass off to try and get this up and running so I just hope everything runs smoothly forever with no problems. (That’s any IT admin’s dream). I’m basically going to use this blog to document everything that’s going on with me in 2018 and beyond. A lot of that will be makeup. I’ve also been trying to take some decent photos of my own lately so expect some amateur photography. Anime is an essential 3000% of my being so you know there will be posts about that. I’ve also been trying out watercolour lately which is going horrendously so I imagine you would be amused by my bad paintings. Maybe some writing will find its way in there. Oh, and I’m trying to learn Japanese so maybe there will be a post on that. But I’m sure you get the picture.

Wow, this blog post was long. But now you basically know my life story. And life stories are never short. But don’t worry, I doubt I’ll ever do a post this long again. I hope you enjoyed the read. If you’re looking forward to the next one you can subscribe to this blog to receive updates via email.

Have a good day,

– Jade

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