My Life Story In 20 Sentences, For The #20FunFacts Challenge

I write a lot about my experience with chronic illness, my diet and my faith, but there are many things about me that you probably don’t know. This is a fun post I wrote over on Instagram, but I wanted to share it with my readers here too. You might be familiar with the #20FunFacts tag that’s been going around on social media – this is my response to that.

My Life Story In 20 Sentences

1. I was born and raised in South Africa, on the East Coast, in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, also known as The Zulu Kingdom.

2. I remember the first black girl that came to our all-white school after apartheid was abolished and the transition began – I was about 12 years old – and that’s when I started noticing the inequality and separateness around me.

3. We didn’t have lions roaming the streets, but we had visiting vervet monkeys, peacocks, a variety of snakes and there’d be a chorus of frogs and toads to sing us to sleep at night!

4. I speak 3 languages fluently: English, Afrikaans and Italian, but I also know a few words in Zulu, Spanish and French.

5. My favourite subjects at school were geography, science, biology, art and religious education, but I really disliked physical education and history back then! 

6. My first job, which I loved, was working as a cashier in a supermarket in South Africa, I was quickly promoted to the cigarette counter and then the deli.

7. After leaving high school, I studied Beauty Therapy and ran one of our tutor’s salons while studying, but after my studies I never worked in that sector again.

8. My family moved from South Africa to Italy in 2000 and I lived there for 10 years before I moved to England at the end of 2010.

9. I have moved house 28 times in my 39 years – I love the excitement of moving to a new place and decorating a new space!

10. I studied to become an English teacher in Italy, teaching English as a second language to children and adults, a mixture of individuals and groups everyday, and I loved it!

11. I have never had a drivers license for a car, but I rode a scooter in South Africa and in Italy – so much fun!

12. I moved to London with no job or accommodation lined up, my friend and I each had just a carry-on bag and dreams of finding better job opportunities – and praise God we both did!

13. In London, I worked as a teaching assistant helping children with various disabilities and I loved this job even more than all the others!

14. I started going to church for the first time when I was 30 – although I’d always considered myself a Christian, and prayer and Bible reading were huge for me throughout my whole life, I just never attended a church apart from an odd Easter service as somebody’s guest.

15. I find it very hard to pray for myself, so I hardly ever do, which I think is strange, but maybe there are others out there like me?

16. I love being around water – the ocean is definitely my happy place, but rivers and streams are almost as good, so calming and refreshing!

17. I love gardening and being out in nature, but am allergic to dust and pollen, so it doesn’t really work.

18. I love being creative – drawing, painting, lettering, calligraphy, crochet, knitting, decoupage – and when I was a teen I even sewed myself some clothes!

19. As much as I enjoy technology and social media, I absolutely love paper and pens and prefer to write things down the old way.

20. I am extremely shy in person, I don’t feel comfortable in social situations unless it’s with people I know intimately – family and very close friends – one of the reasons I have always loved writing, I find it much easier to express my thoughts and opinions in writing.

a 6-year-old Char sitting on the rocks at the beach, her dad is seated behind her

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If you’ve just read this, then: Tag – it’s your turn! I’d love to read your 20 fun facts – let me know if you’ve posted yours on social media, leave a link in the comments below of just share them directly in the comment section!

More About My Life

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My Chronic Life Pages: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter M.E. Awareness Pics: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | The ME/CFS Community My Vibrant Hope Art Pages: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter Support My Work: Buy My Art | Shop My Favourite ThingsOr if you’d like to send me something, here’s my Amazon Wishlist – Thank you!

email chronically hopeful char at gmail dot com

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Chronically Hopeful
Chronically Hopeful

Char was born and raised in South Africa, but has been settled in Europe for over 20 years. She's passionate about finding ways to live well, despite chronic illness.

Apart from blogging, she enjoys art, cooking, reading, gardening, gaming and learning new things. She speaks English, Italian and Afrikaans fluently and is slowly learning French too.

She used to be a teacher, but has been housebound with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis since 2015. Since then, she's focused on spending the little energy and strength she has each day on the people and activities she loves. Finding joy in the little things and celebrating the ordinary.


Let's Chat! Leave A Comment Below:

  1. Just found your blog yesterday–what a joy! Inspired by your wonderful outlook. So much there inspires me and are things we have in common–faith, love of crafts, working in special education, more.
    I am 75 , have had CFS, brought on by Lyme Disease, for 25 years. (I have just finished 96 antibiotic infusions and am much better but CFS symptoms hang on.) Finding a doctor who would address all this is a story of its own!
    The structure of your yearly plan is just what I need–I also have ADD in all it’s glory and never finish anything!

    I have been seriously contemplating Keto and intermittant fasting–seems this may be another inspiration you have nudged!

    Char, God sent me to your blog. I have strayed from consistent–
    anything really–but yesterday read a meditation on Job 13:15.
    I always benefit from encouragment, need it really. So–thank you, really, really!
    I am getting out my watercolors today!

    • Oh Harriet, your comment has blessed me so much! Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I am glad you have been inspired. So happy to hear you’re doing better after your treatment. That’s amazing. Have a lovely afternoon with your watercolours!