27 things I know at 27

In no particular order

  • Hong Kong and Bali in just 3 months time. Morocco for Christmas. and next year birthday plans, I’m leaning towards Greecegiphy (5)
  •  I want to buy a gun – from complete abhorrence of weapons, to “hmm I kinda get it” to needing to book an appointment at the shooting range… ya, it’s time.
  • I suck at Tinder
  • Even when I feel a bit meh, I have it in me everyday to go to work. This is a good thing. No abusing my sick days, just doing what I need to do.
  • Although I am conscious, I am always learning. I don’t know everything (well a few things).
  • The best part of this past year? There’ve been so many – my kick ass cool apartment, a well paying job within international relations, being intellectually stimulated by my degree, less anxiety attacks, feeling loved and happy more often than not.
  • Since October 2016, I have been living my fullest and best life. Things are on track for me…financially, academically, emotionally and career-wise.
  • The times I have gone to Church, I have enjoyed it. Contemplating a return
  • I say sorry and mean it…when I mean it.
  • giphy (6)I have been single for 7 months. Yes it gets lonely but I’ve kind of shot my shot with someone who I see as the standard of what I want/deserve/need. I’m not going to jump into something that doesn’t fulfill me. I have patience, I can wait for that someone or someone better.
  • I miss my sister. I’ve reached out to her, and I want us to sit down and talk. I don’t care if it’s shouting or silent treatment, crying or whatever. It’s something that needs to be done. I’m ready, and I can wait for her to be.
  • Worst part of this past year? One above this… and having to wait for a solution. Ooh and today I found out that my identity was probably used fraudulently which is the actual reason why my credit score sucks.
  • I am thankful for my friends. For Kirst and her real-world advice. Amy for our heart to hearts. TK for pushing me and making me think. Lu, argh bae no words. Tapiwa, the almost best friend for keeping me grounded. Theresa for always showing me there’s beauty and kindness in the world.
  • People come to me for advice now. Although I miss the drama of my life (not really), it’s nice to know that I can be considered a voice of reason.
  • I’ve been talking a lot about my (somewhat new found) honesty – this is important to me, a skill I’ve been nurturing. I tie honesty in with bravery, they go hand and hand, and I really do aspire to be fearless. I’m doing a good job so far.
  • If a genie granted me 3 wishes: a winning lotto ticket, more time and a portal for me to pop into fantastical worlds such as Hogwarts, Westeros etc.
  • Marriage is (STILL) not a priority for me. If it happens it happens, but it’s looking like it’s not going to happen so why sweat it.
  • Don’t even try with the baby talk.
  • The crazyiest thing I’ve done this year? Had a feelings talk with someone important and did not die or regret it
  • Somewhere deep within me is the capacity for kindness… I’m not sure if I want to allow this trait to flourish. giphy (7)
  • This next year, I want to continue to be consistently good, keep the focus *imagines Idris slapping the booty*giphy (8)
  • I want to experience a love that is both humbling and exhilarating. That is ambitious and great and a modern day legend. That is Disney and Austen without the Nicholas Sparks. That is intellectual, strong, honest and forgiving.
  • I want to be remembered this year for living, loving and laughing.
  • I love my natural hair in all its wildness and curls.
  • Next year I’m going to graduate with a second degree.
  • By my next birthday I will be debt free
  • I will have to figure out how to become more accomplished so I can write another overly humble bragging blog post in May 2018

giphy-downsized-large

Awww shucks Rih-Rih you shouldn’t have

 

4 more days…

I sit watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for probably the third or tenth time. I know, I know – so few times – but in my defense it took me a while to expand my Tolkien universe after the greatness that was LOR.

I love birthdays – not just my own. There is something so special about turning another 365 days old that causes you to reflect on what was and what will be. You see – like Bilbo Baggins would soon find out, life is an adventure.

giphy (78)

It’s my birthday in four days time. Twenty seven years old. It’s nothing special, not some remarkable milestone… but I can’t help feeling wiser, happier, sexier and more confident in myself and my abilities. I don’t need to hype myself up anymore – self actualization is mine.

Twenty seven is a beautiful number. It is a perfect cube. It is also the age we lost the greats like Amy Winehouse, Kurt Kobain and Jimi Hendrix. With regards to anniversaries… the 27th modern one is a sculpture. It’s almost as if time has paused – I have officially surpassed my mid-twenties into my late twenties.

I don’t know what this year brings me but I know that I am heading in an onward and upward direction. This time last year, I posted dark thoughts – I was still very much lost, unhappy actually miserable.

Something that I have discovered in myself is the brutal honesty that I have begun to utilise – and with that comes an almost fearlessness where it counts. I am a tempest when it comes to this life thing, I feel invincible and what’s even better, I have a support system who has loved and stayed with me regardless.

The theme this year is “Veinticinco de Mayo” – Twenty fifth of May that combines the Mexican holiday with one of the most intriguing days – The day of the dead. However my birthday is the Day of life, my life – celebrating the death of an old Mallory and the evolution into a better form.

Let's spend a night on the town! (1) (1)

I look forward to a new journey – one that will prove to be greater. The stakes are higher and I want and need more. It’s in my grasp, but I have to reach out first, take that step and continue on and on, until I do.

Rest in Peace Karabo

Today we put black men on pause. Everything. The mansplaining, the excuses, the “not all men”. I’d largely removed myself from the conversation around #RIPKarabo. I didn’t have the emotional capital to get involved – but I really was kidding myself. You see women can never remove themselves from a world that is completely and utterly hostile to them.

Some guys (and girls) chuckle when they see the pepper spray on my key chain. “Do I use it? Why do I have it?”

Uber Drivers get beyond irritated when I request to check the boot of the car to see that it is empty, when I’m using their services at night.

My ‘paranoia’ is a joke, or an inconvenience.

Women, women of colour don’t get a day off from violence. Not a single fucking day. Even when we are not directly affected, it resonates in a friend, a relative or a loved one. It is there in a flinch or a quick change of the topic, omnipresent. And while we are healing or trying to heal others – we are being blamed, interrogated and criticized for not seeing the signs.

Today I discovered the sickening pattern and escalation created my attacker. From an emotionally abusive and vindictive boyfriend to a creepy guy looking to get lucky to then me… and one of the worst nights of my life. He was known on campus, infamous really. But not for one second do I blame any of the girls who were unfortunate to cross his path – I do not blame you or myself for not seeing the signs.

See the onus is not on us to protect ourselves – believe me, we do and we try. But if a man wants to get to you – he will… through emotional manipulation, isolating you and if it comes to it…physical force.

One of my closest guy friends today was responding to a tweet. He says, “No one lays hands on anyone by mistake. They’ve already answered the ‘what do I think will happen’ question in their minds.”

We aren’t supposed to wear this, laugh at that, go on dates, drive, breathe… I repeat again. If a man wants to get you – he can and will… repercussions? Laughable at best. We name names, we attempt court procedures or beg policemen to believe us… You can have all the fucking evidence in the world, and your case won’t be a sure a thing.

I had to jump on the phone today another close friend, and gave her the details of today’s events. Just like how we shut down white noise, so males can take a seat. Someone tweeted about the expectations men have of women… that you cannot expect us to heal you and teach you, love you to death literally…If men really wanted to change, or challenge their problematic friends they would – there’s enough literature, conversation, avenues out there.

What is needed is a space for women, we need to heal each other, be there for each other. We are making that space now, and it is making many uncomfortable – but it is necessary. Keep up the fight.

Why didn’t you ask?

I was never asked about it by you. There cannot be an answer if there was never a question. It’s been almost two years, and I’m curious as to how come you were never curious about it. Isn’t that odd?

In episode 9 of 13 Reasons Why the protagonist is horrified by the continuous silence by so-called friends and loved ones. But there’s always been a culture of silence – we don’t talk about things.

To be fair – that’s why I didn’t tell you in the first place. I didn’t have the answers to the questions, I thought at the time you’d ask.

What were you doing there? Were you drinking? or even worse a statement… We don’t believe you.

After you’d gotten over your shock, I’d wished you’d try to come to me.

Tell me the story when you are ready…

Are you okay? Are you okay…now?

Can I do anything?

Or was it my responsibility to come to you?

Having already survived, my fragility cannot be the concern. Is it because it’s messy? You’d rather not know the sordid details, your picture of me tainted even more than it was already. Perhaps you blame yourself – who knows what you discussed or think about late at night. Maybe it’s about keeping things private, dealing with it in the family – or just ensuring that you deal with it by yourself.

When you pray for me to be fixed… do you pray for this too?

You froze as I did 5 years ago. I didn’t fight back, and I feel that in this instance… I wasn’t fought for by you. You have another daughter, a second chance to do by right. Is she your first option if something ever should go horrifically wrong?

Trust the Process

For those who don’t know… It’s my second attempt at doing honours. The first time I wasn’t invested – but this time things are different.

 

giphy (50)I must say, I was damn nervous. I’m not sure why – I know I can write, and I can read. Already that seems good. And I have a great capacity to understand. Honours to me seemed overwhelming. I rid through the curriculum and immediately started to doubt myself – was I smart enough (on paper) to pull this off? Add the pressure of wanting nothing less than a distinction shouted out as I cross that grad stage in the future, and I could feel the anxiety start to drown me.

giphy (51)

When I spoke about my mini thesis with my best mate it was clear by his facial expressions and constant topping up of wine that I had little to no idea what I was doing. I was all over the place with ideas, and questions and just general blank stares.

giphy (52)

I was disheartened, but I sat down and started writing anyway.After a good two or three months of perseverance… something weird happened. I started to enjoy myself, I started to realise that there was an argument somewhere hidden between verbosity and the vagueness. In fact – I think I was starting to sound smart on paper.

giphy (53)

I had a process, I trusted in it, and I got to it. I’m feeing so confident right now, working weeks ahead of deadlines and staying consistent. I think that doing this degree – it’s an inception-like metaphor for my life right now…

giphy (55)

What I mean by this really is that I’ve been speaking my 3 year plan into existence, and I’m so close I can almost LIVE it. I just need to trust in my process, my plan and keep at it. There’s really nothing else to say aside from that.

giphy (54)

Slow up… speed down

Slow down little gemini – always  in a rush to be here, there and everywhere. I would be rich if I had a Rand for every time my horoscope told me to just be chilled take it easy, be patient.

I know this is true but I fight against this advice time and time again? Why? Life is the most beautiful thing given to us – yet it has problems, pain and challenges… but that’s what makes the really good stuff even more special.

I don’t want to waste my life, my time… act or be a certain way to appease people. At the end of the day, I am living for me.

I’m amazed at how good I feel when I put it all on the line. You know in sport, we are told to leave it all on the pitch… by the time you come off you know you’ve worked and done your damnedest. Even if you take an L, there is nothing more to be done but at least you will never worry if you could’ve, should’ve would’ve tried harder if the circumstances were different.

There is so much fear in a generation and age when we are supposed to thriving. We are growing and have grown… and my impatience and rush may be immature, but it comes from the concern that I may have wasted a happy moment, an opportunity…and considering how unpredictable life can be, I don’t want to be regretting inaction, months even years down the line.

Did I take a L this weekend? Maybe… maybe not. The optimist in me says that time will tell… maybe I should rush to show patience, so that the rest of the world can catch up. Slow up to speed down.

An addiction to the odds / Dancing around the salt

Sometimes I feel so brave… invincible even. Apparently it’s a sign of youth. You aren’t restricted by mortal concerns, in fact you flourish more knowing that the opportunities are endless, that the world is yours.

I feel out of sorts because the older I get, the more I want to risk more, do more, try more and be more. I’m almost 27 years old, birthdays are a big deal for me – I know my friends don’t get it, but each 25th May is like a marker – measuring how far I’ve come, how much I’ve learned and how much learning I still have to do.

I’ve always admired courage – and I never saw myself as someone with valor. I don’t see myself as a hero, or a warrior even although I’d like to be considered a fighter some what.

But I realize that when I finally realize what I want, I’m going to go for it – no matter how hard. That it’s worth trying.

Everything in my life in 2017 is going according to plan – except one thing. See you cannot be brave without fear… you cannot have fear without potentially losing something.

“Bran thought about it. ‘Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’
‘That is the only time a man can be brave,’ his father told him.” – George R.R. Martin

Once upon a time, my shrink told me I had a gambling personality – she made it sound bad, an addiction to the odds. I didn’t like her, or that statement although sometimes it is true. Why should we not take a gamble on life – if we truly believe that the goal is worth it. It’s a frightening thought. I’m supposed to be settling down, becoming more conservative and stable… yet the more I gain, the more I want to push myself, and push those around me to realize that life is fleeting and shouldn’t we be living it to the fullest.

You have nothing to lose if you go for it – the worse that can happen is that it doesn’t work out. But at least you will have your answer… perhaps the dice didn’t fall in your favor or you bust.

I had a long talk with my girl Amy, the other night. And what she said resonated with me so  much…

“What are we waiting for? If the excuse is not good enough, then I’m sorry you’re wasting time”. I hate wasting time. Amy uses this perfect imagery while we are at dinner. She places a salt shaker in front of me, then uses her fingers to tap the table around the shaker. She calls it “dancing around the salt”.

I think it would help if I didn’t feel that being brave wasn’t all on me – that it resonated in and amongst those I’m closest too. It’s hard being brave alone. But I have to do it, until someone joins me for the ride.

I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those ten seconds or less, I’m free. – Dominic Toretto (The Fast and Furious)