I’m ready

I’ve been surrounded by a lot of family recently – family that is not my own. I sat surveying a Fathers Day breakfast I helped prepare for my friend’s dad during a trip to Polokwane. I was struck (not for the first time that week) how much I missed my own family.

There is a difference this time – a realization that I’m ready, ready to sit down and talk and work with them to chart a new path forward. When I say I’m ready, not in the sense that I can just pick up the phone or head on to my former house… not that ready. I mean I am ready to start the process of reconciliation.

The problem with realising this is that the real work begins, which terrifies me. How do you aggregate years of pain, anger, remorse and hope into a a conversation? How do you ensure that if and when things move forward, it is on new terms that are agreeable to both? How do I ensure I say the things I need to say – which will be hard – when at times, I wouldn’t mind just a wordless hug?

The time of year is appropriate – the winter solstice (Yule) was this week, which marks a time for darkness to give over to light. The sun climbs just a bit higher, the day lasts a little bit longer. It is a time of rebirth, introspection and planning for the future.

I’m giving myself a month to figure this out, I’m ready.

Sometimes… (Unfinished)

I get sad sometimes

It tip toes in

unsure and unheard and most importantly unnoticed

It’s there behind a hesitation of a smile

Like a lonely child in dark of night

sneaking into her parents bed

finding comfort in the safety and warmth

Is where sadness decides to stay

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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