27/10/2014 02:00

To see the world in multi colour

that’s special

the red and the purple and all the hues

makes my world unforgettable

I’m flying high above the arch

wishing my wings were the ones to take me higher

with all the fire

inside of me

not us not we

recognising that all I see

Infinitely

Has no answers, questions or perfect

summation about me

breathing, crying, sighing

avoiding all that lying

about what I feel

No time to heal

Baby please conceal the fact that I’m hurting too

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An unexpected family…

I am blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful family. We are close, we talk and we laugh together. I am supported under my parents roof and not just financially. However despite this, I am always surprised and finding family in unexpected places. It’s not that anything was missing before… but there are people you cannot help but hold dear to you and care about.

On Whatsapp there’s a group called _We Social. I hated the idea of Wati adding me to it. After an hour over 150 messages had been sent…what could these people have to talk about? The chats were frivolous and I knew at once I wouldn’t take it seriously. I mean how realistic is it chatting with over 24 strangers who’s only clue to their identity were chat room nicknames.

Something in me forced me to get involved and the more I started chatting with them, the more I became fascinated with their personalities and stories.

Benita is constantly tearing up about something but always had something positive to say. Bugz is a trouble-maker like me, always ready with the dirty talk. Lee is the selfie queen and a tweleb in the making. Mpho, Ntando and Reuben and Riley are our guys who conveniently are only around when conversations about sex are happening. Then there are the creatives like Riz, Sihle and Trompie. Thatso has school and Tina is a single mom who is so compassionate and open. Wati is someone who brings us all together, surprisingly intuitive about what the group needs to get us talking or to change the tone.

Despite not knowing these people, my routine had shifted to needing to check the group as soon as I woke up and before I went to sleep. Appreciating everyone’s opinions and being able to share such personal experiences on an open platform with strangers- truly a safe space.  I’ve come to love and admire these strangers who set my phone vibrating.

Moving closer to home, my family extends from Johannesburg to Cape Town and all the way in between. I’ve found an older brother in Kasi who has given me some surprisingly serious and sobering speeches. Lindi I see now as a sister who I can battle out the confusing world of relationships with. My heart beats in Cape Town with my husband Lu and my brother in arms, Vuyo always keeping in touch with me, just to let me know that I’m still relevant in their lives and vice versa.

On 24 August 2014, I became a God mother. A sexy one of course. Her name is Athena Olerato Mothudi-Goremusandu and she has a Bots mother, an Zim father and four crazy local god parents. Athena is being groomed in my mind to take over the world, once I decide to step down from my throne. I hope to instil in her wisdom and a love of literature. Athena is also a physical presence of unexpected family. I fully recognise the importance of the role as a god mother. If anything should happen to her parents, I would be there for her in any way, she has a home with me.

This isn’t my most articulate post but the strongest sense I have of this familial connection that doesn’t always originate from blood. Being linked to these lives is a wonderful and inspiring feeling but it also comes with a certain responsibility. The more you expect others to open up to you, the more you must show of yourself and become vulnerable for them.

These unlikely family members are allowing me to slowly open up again and I’m loving every minute of it.

100 Steps to Happiness: Long walk IS freedom

Nelson-Mandela-Bridge

Nelson Mandela Bridge

So I accidentally walked over 5kms yesterday in Johannesburg’s CBD. I was given an early lunch and rather than drive around, I decide to explore a place that not many people I know would feel too comfortable walking around in.

The Johannesburg CBD is dirty with rubbish blowing past your feet, the stench of urine as you round the corner and not the most trust-worthy of characters at your back.

However it also also one of the most beautiful and vibrant  places alive. Many of my friends pity me that I’m from Johannesburg, the “crime and rape capital of the South Africa” and while I realise that more often than not their right, their view of my home town is incongruent to what I see and experience.

More than once I could have been a target of crime. The first moment was when I was at the bank and I’d not realised I’d dropped my purse on the floor (it had been laying there for quite a while). The second occasion was that I’d stupidly not zipped up my bag properly and the opening of it was facing away from me, enticing any pickpockter who happened to be near by. On both instances, people came forward and pointed this out to me- showing their concern for my safety and well being. Joburg isn’t heartless, despite our often “New York” attitude.

At an intersection I slipped on what I hope was drain water, in full view of busy traffic. Vendors and gentleman loading their trucks chivalrously helped me up and checked if I was okay. I was overwhelmed by the constant connecting of people in the city. It reminded me that no person is an island and that we need other people to be there for us.

So my second step was quite a profound one. Can you imagine how exciting your day is when you actively look for happiness in the smallest of things?

The Quarter Life Crisis

In South Africa, if you are lucky, it is possible to live up to the natural age of 52.62 years. This means that if all works out, I have around 29 years to achieve all I can before I perish and become absolutely irrelevant.

I’m in a panic. My entire generation is in a panic. We won’t get the luxury of enjoying a mid-life crisis at 40 where we can divorce our husbands for the youthful, hunky gardener or cash out our pensions for that hot, red convertible. Our life span has been shortened, and so has our craziness. A quarter life crisis is meant to be growing pains, a transition from teenage terror into functioning adulthood- where we as the young adults enter the real world. We’re supposed to feel out of place, chaotic, nervous and lonesome. I almost wish a hot gardener fits in with this description.

 

Thanks to the Generation Y/Millennials – which luckily includes me, this stage of development has been exacerbated. What makes Gen Y so special that we’ve drawn and literally QUARTERED our life span? Look at the developments that we’ve grown up with: cable TV, satellite radio, the internet, cell phones etc. Naturally we’re tech savvy and have to be connected to everyone, at all times.  I saw South Africa’s transition into democracy, I spent hours glued to the TV screen watching the Twin Towers Fall while flipping to channels and witnessing two Royal weddings, the US gaining its first black president and reality TV with the Kardashians.

Due to most of our parents who were raised in times of the struggle for freedom, we were told: “You can be anything you want”, now fly. And oh, like Icarus we’re shooting passed the International Space Station. Too ambitious for our own good, too confident and focused on achievement. And most importantly, we are never happy and never satisfied.

Here’s a great explanation as to why

We’ve been labelled as arrogant, selfish and narcissistic. Although, and maybe this is irony, I think we’ll be the greatest generation there is yet. But going through a quarter-life crisis isn’t fun, although since most of us are adrenaline junkies who thrive on stress (since stress= ambition) we won’t admit it. Every day, every hour I’m constantly thinking of the future. Whether its work, my education or my relationships, I have a fully mapped out plan of how and when I’m going to get there. If I take a step back it’s kind of scary, I have so much to achieve and often I feel like not enough time to complete what I need to do before the Grim Reaper yanks me off of this earth.

Anxiety for me, is like a chill pill for those who grew up in the 60s. If I’m not anxious, if I relax and let go, something is wrong- I’ve forgotten something or I feel untethered as if I’m drifting or floating. Last year I studied full time, I worked full time. It wasn’t enough that I’d gotten a job, no I had to get my dream job. Mission accomplished. Yet I’m already (2 months in) thinking about the next step, the next big move for me.

In a world of celebrities where we revere the social media gurus, my generation and I are struggling to remain relevant, to leave our mark upon the Earth. It doesn’t help that our inspiration and thought leaders are the like of Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and so on. We consistently check the Forbes list of the richest, or the most powerful or the most influential.

It’s exhausting, but that fear of failure, that fear that we will be that generation who have contributed nothing to the world remains heavy on our minds. I really do worry that with all this excitement, I’ll probably have a burn out in my 30s, a heart attack in my 40s and hey! conveniently expire at the expected life expectancy age. It’s strange but I’ve never imagined myself as a granny doing old-people things. And I will not repeat the four-letter abbreviation but paraphrase, Live Fast and Die Young. There are plenty of websites that claim they can cure the crisis, but honestly- who wants to. Ambition is sexy. I’d rather blasting forward than going nowhere slowly.

If any of this sounds familiar, yet you still don’t believe me, ask yourself these 10 questions

Ms Congeniality: NY Resolutions 2014

I’m not one for New Years resolutions, but I do believe in using a key-word to focus my energy and direction instead of making empty promises. The key word for 2014 is congenial, basically I want to smile more and be a happier person, to open up and allow people into my life.

There are four areas I’d like to work on in the upcoming year:

My Physical Health– feel confident with my body and look after it, so that I’ll be comfortable around people more

My Spiritual Well being– find again the goddess out there and within me, not just during troubled times

My Intellectual intake– I want to focus my mind, quiet negative thoughts and bring positivity to my understanding… and (this is for my BF) try not to OVERTHINK things, or at least calm down on that front

Social Investment– I don’t do charity, it’s not something I feel good about but what I can do is give my time and energy to others who are in my life who need it. I can be generous with my time.

Silent Night, Wholly Night

“The first Noel, the Angel did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay”

Oh it’s one of my favourite times of year again- Christmas which may come as a bit of a surprise since I’m the least Christ-ly Mass attending person I know… well besides the angry atheists. This afternoon I put up the Christmas tree, something I make a habit of doing every year by myself- even if 99% of the time we spend Christmas away from home.

It’s such a beautiful reminder of the season that we’re in- it’s easy to forget when you live in the tropical paradise of South Africa where the only White Christmas we have is sitting on a beach in Clifton.

Aside from the tree, I’m an absolute fan of Midnight Mass- it was a tradition introduced by my very Catholic mother and while I detest any mass longer than an hour, I have a special place in my heart for Midnight Mass. There’s truly something spiritual about everyone gathered in darkness on 24 December, dressed up with no where to go.

The reason why mass is so long is because an entire hour is dedicated to Carols- the soul of the mass. Oh Silent Night! The First Noel! We Three Kings! beautifully crafted and timeless songs that transports me back to Medieval times where minstrels played for the court- and there was truly an understanding of what such a splendid day meant. A meaning that doesn’t come from the swipe of a visa card.

Yule tide is nigh 

It is during times like these where I can see Christianity’s true connection with paganism- and that makes me so happy. To see the root of my family’s religion combining with the understanding of  mine.  Obviously I understand that Yule is only celebrated during December in the Northern Hemisphere… but I think it’s the one day I can cut the Catholic Calender some slack.

Yule,the winter solstice, gives us the longest night and the shortest day of the year. It marks a time that spring is on it’s way as from this day on, the sun will reign for longer in the sky.

Back in the day, bonfires were lit and spiced cider was toasted with (which sounds absolutely delicious). Holly and Ivy were made into wreathes and hung outside and inside homes in the aim that nature’s spiritual creatures would join in the party.

More importantly, yule tide is a time of introspection and planning for the future- something that as a Gemini, I cannot help but do. I’ve never been one for New Years resolutions but gee can I dream of what’s to come.

On a side note- which is obviously completely relevant- a good friend of mine is set to propose to his dream girl. I’m reminded that I’m a romantic, but more importantly, I love seeing those I care about happy.

So here’s to the start of advent, the week before Christmas and to me realising and recognising what I want from the future. Without the materialism. Without the distractions. Taking it back to basics, taking it back to the root of my beliefs, values and feelings.

Appreciation, not gratitude

I was reading the next chapter in The Goddess Bootcampand I loved the idea about how powerful the idea of appreciation is. Kagiso Msimango describes gratitude as when you “contrast between the positive and the negative to evoke” or force a feeling of gratitude in  the positive. For example, I was always lectured to be grateful for food (positive) because at least I wasn’t a starving child in Ethiopia.

The power of appreciation means that its all about the positive, without it being forced or evoked. The wonderful thing about it is that it all depends on me, and what I choose to appreciate. It may seem selfish, society does kind of push the agenda on what one should be grateful for, but to me I’ve realised that that is fake and doesn’t reflect the true me.

I have a lot to appreciate in my life. Last year was difficult, all my own doing. And 11 months into the year, every step I took to make myself better, to bring my life towards myself and fix things, have been my doing. I need to take the time out to appreciate my hard work.

I was genuinely worried that I wouldn’t survive the end of the year at my workplace. I was unhappy with work, exams have kicked in (I’m procrastinating now and I have an exam tomorrow) which added to the stress and all of this was even affecting my relationship. Last weekend, I felt the darkness creeping back in. That negativity was very apparent. I felt guilty because I felt ungrateful that I had a job, I was studying and had an amazing boyfriend who had to put up with my mood swings and insecurities.

Then my outlook changed. I was filling in for a colleague at work, doing the the traffic bulletins in the afternoon. I started chatting to the Drive time host during the break as we get along pretty well. He was commenting about how well I was doing as a standby and that he could see me on air, moving up the ranks. I thanked him and mentioned that I was actually offered the position of Breakfast producer- an influential and popular show on the line up. Mentioning this made me appreciate all the work finally paying off, my life falling into place. When you are unhappy, time drags. But when things start to happen for you, everything moves so quickly.

I appreciate how far I’ve gotten in such a short amount of time- because I chose to hold it together. I appreciate that once I finally get back to my books, I’m going to ace the rest of my papers graduate and then onto my honours degree. I appreciate that the boyfriend I have is constantly amazing me with his support and resilience and that we just work without all the fuss and fan fare.

In the words of Mae West, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!”