Professional Girlfriend

Professional Girlfriending

You know how everyone has a favourite celeb, or celeb friendship, celeb couple; every now and then posting them as “goals”, thinking about what could possibly be your position if you were them? Come on now, don’t front. We all have one or two of those. Beyonce and JayZ were for the longest time a couple I know people saw as the ultimate “power couple”. Kim and Kanye West also come through often as an IT couple. Back home, Bonang and AKA were there too but we all know what happened there now.

One thing life has taught me, is that no matter what happens, you should ultimately aim to live life on your own terms. Truth is, experiences and livelihoods are not cut and paste situations or gloves that will fit everyone alike.

I admire every person that chooses to do things out of the ordinary. For a society that has been socialised to live a certain way, think a certain way, do things a certain way, it is a special moment to see people leave the chains of societal stereotypes and “norms”. One such couple that does this so well for me, are Cassie and Diddy (or Love).

The coming of the “Professional Girlfriend”

Cassie “Miss Official Girl” seems to have been at the core of the term “Professional Girlfriend”. Casandra Elizabeth Ventura (born August 26, 1986), known popularly as Cassie, is an American recording artist, dancer, actress and model.

Professional Girlfriend

For those who may not necessarily be active on the social media, let’s break down this term for you so that you are not confused along the way reading this article. Let’s try:

The Urban Dictionary defines the term as

“a lame bitch who goes from boyfriend to boyfriend without any period of being single and is in a relationship after 1 date. they date for like 3 years at a time and forget all about their friends as soon as they start dating someone”

errrrr ok. This just sounds like it was written by a heartbroken lame who has zero respect for a woman. SO let’s try define it ourselves?

The CHICA dictionary defines the term as

“A chica who is content with spending life with her prince charming without being legally married to him” – Hope this sounds a little better? – Please chip in chicas if you feel ngiyabheda la, I just wanted our readers to get an idea of what we mean. 

Official Girl! Or is it Unofficial Girl?

In 2008, Cassie bae released a song titled “Official Girl” featuring lean drinking rapper Lil Wayne under the Bad Boy Records label. Think this is where we can safely say the romance between Cassie and bhut’Diddy started?! The lyrics go something like:

“And I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m tired

Of being your (your) unofficial girl, unofficial girl

And I’m tired, I’m tired of trying (ooh, but I’m still your)

I’m still your (your) unofficial girl” – Home girl did not hold back with this song. The video is cute too. Check it out in case you were not paying attention when it was released

The pair started making the public wonder about their love affair from around the same time. Attending events together, altyd saam. It made sense since she was signed under his label, right? Kanti vele there was more to it, so the song made sense I guess. Only in 2012 did Diddy confirm everyone’s suspicions about their love affair when he posted a pic of Cassie with the caption “the luckiest man in the world.” – Cute right?

The pair have been living their best lives since and have somewhat become the icons of an alternative relationship – one that does not necessarily have a timeline and deadline for marriage.

Kipiting! Kipotong!

Remember I wrote an article last year about cohabiting and how numerous couples have chosen to live together without having necessarily saying their “I do’s”? Those couples are still together and still living their best lives. Read about it here if you missed it. Just to give you an update, Nana and Morena had a beautiful baby girl too in the beginning of the year. CONGRATS GUYS! 😊

Cassie and Diddy are not married, according to our knowledge (Because honestly speaking, they could be married and have just chosen not to say anything). The pair seem to be making it work so well. Unaware of the conversations between the two, one can only ASSUME that there is no pressure for Diddy to put a ring on it. We all know how the story usually goes. Society has gone to the extent of setting timelines for when a couple should get married after dating. This is a topic I would like us to tackle in the comments section. What I want to delve into now, is how you can spend life with the man of your dreams and still be protected as a couple that is married would.

Understanding “common law marriage” in South Africa

Let’s start by saying that I have read numerous articles that have clarified that there is no such thing la ekhaya.

However, where there is a WILL, there is a WAY! Pun intended. I don’t know what lengths Cassie has gone to protect herself should her and Diddy not make it “official” because really, it would be a shame to see her with nothing if it indeed ended. I wouldn’t want to have a 4-page letter type of article on what steps you can take, however, it’s something worth seeing a lawyer for.

Zinzile Mlambo, Commercial Litigation and Tax Associate at Manokore Attorneys simplified things for those of us who have no idea where to start. This is what she shared on her LinkedIn page:

  1. Universal Partnership

A universal partnership  comes into existence when people  act  like  partners  in  all  material  respects  without  explicitly  entering  into  a  partnership  agreement.  This does not just apply in a commercial sense but over the years has been applied, in some cases successfully, to romantic relationships in our courts.

If there is no written agreement between you and your partner, when the relationship breaks down you will have to take the matter to court, which is an expensive process without guaranteed success. If you are successful in proving a universal partnership, the  court will  award  a  share/ percentage  of  the  assets  acquired (whether it is cars bought, property bought or investments made) during  the  relationship  to  each  party – but not necessarily on a 50/50 basis.

In order to convince the court that a universal partnership existed, you need to prove the following:

(1) that each of the partners brings something into the partnership, whether it be money, labour or skill;  (2) That the business (that being the “business” of the relationship and how you conduct yourselves in it) should be carried on for the joint benefit of the parties; And (3) that the object should be to make a profit. (Pothier: A Treatise on the Contract of Partnership (Tudor’s translation) 1.3.8). A fourth requirement mentioned by Pothier is that the contract should be a legitimate one.”

If you have found yourself in a situation where your long-term relationship has ended and you are left with nothing, consult a lawyer on how these factors may apply to your situation.

  1. Cohabitation agreement

As a lawyer, I naturally (and in my case, vehemently) believe that writing things down is essential. If you are in a committed relationship and are cohabiting with your partner but do not anticipate wedding bells anytime soon, a cohabitation agreement may be for you. This agreement is a contract, signed by both of you in the presence of witnesses (like any other contract). It sets out the agreement between the two of you: how you will conduct your living arrangements and your finances as well as your rights and responsibilities in terms of the relationship. Having your agreement on paper prevents the creation of misconceived expectations and will prevent legal battles in the future. However, it is important to note that this agreement will only be enforceable as between the two of you i.e. if you agree that your partner will pay your credit card debt and they default on payments the bank will come after you because the debt is in your name – regardless of what your agreement with your partner says. Should you choose to draft this sort of agreement, consult a lawyer: some provisions in a contract can be deemed illegal or immoral and therefore unenforceable by law.

  1. Will

If your domestic partner dies without a will you will not have a right to inherit in terms of the Intestate Succession Act 81 of 1987 (the Act that governs how a person’s property is distributed if they die without a will), no matter how long you have been together. If you are unmarried, the only way to ensure that your partner inherits something upon your death is to put them in your will. The Wills Act 7 of 1953 requires a will to conform to a number of formalities for it to be considered a valid will upon your death, so consult a lawyer to draw one up. The Law Society of South Africa hosts a “Wills Week” every year during which certain firms draft wills for free – keep an eye on this site for more information.

  1. Unjustified Enrichment

Unjustified enrichment is the general principle that one person should not be able to benefit unfairly at the expense of another. So, for example, if you have contributed financially to your partner’s growth in wealth, you can claim back your contribution to your partner’s estate through unjustified enrichment. This, too, will be a legal battle fought in court unless you manage to settle it outside court. Unjustified enrichment does not mean you get a share of your ex-partner’s assets, it simply means you get back what you put in – what was yours to begin with.

Another article to consider reading courtesy of Fin24: Living Together Know Your Rights

Or, perhaps, just get married 🙂  and if you do decide to go down that route, Theo outlined ways in which you can protect yourself and your loved one in “Which type of marriage contract will you choose? “

Happy Professional Girlfriending Chicas!

By Keagi

SuperSoul

I just started listening to podcasts in the car and it is one of the best things I could have done for myself. If you follow me on twitter you would have already seen this as I’ve posted and wow’ed about how amazing it is.

I’ve always listened to 702 on the way to work and back but for some reason it just doesn’t feel the same anymore. I started feeling drained after listening and was starting to roll my eyes a little more with each listen so I made the decision to feed my soul with positivity. Besides, I want to keep learning and so needed a change.

I didn’t know that Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations were on podcast and I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled onto them on but boy am I glad I did!!

I also gave Mama O a break and listened to Serial, which is a true life crime investigation. I was fascinated by how engrossed I got into it but after listening to 2 episodes, I went straight to the final episode, 12, as I couldn’t handle the suspense. Was interesting to learn that after the show ended, they actually agreed to give the the guy a retrial. Not sure how far that got.

It’s Baltimore, 1999. Hae Min Lee, a popular high-school senior, disappears after school one day. Six weeks later detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder. He says he’s innocent – though he can’t exactly remember what he was doing on that January afternoon. But someone can. A classmate at Woodlawn High School says she knows where Adnan was. The trouble is, she’s nowhere to be found.

This showed me that I like my podcasts short, which is why I loved the SuperSoul ones and here I would like to share my faves so far! You can listen to all these SuperSoul Conversations HERE. 

Though I will admit, I started listening to conversations with people I know, The most beautiful thing about this is that it has even got me listening to people I wouldn’t normally have. An example is Oprah’s interview with former US Vice President Joe Biden. That interview touched me man… it is high on my list so here goes:

1. Former Vice President Joe Biden on Losing His Son Beau: “It’s Not Like the Pain Ever Goes Away”

Supersoul

This interview was really great. Joe talked about losing his wife and baby girl years ago and then more recently losing his son Beau to cancer. He also spoke openly about why he decided not to run for President in the last US election, and why he thinks he would have beaten Hillary Clinton. I think I loved this because of how vulnerable he was, that powerful man, so vulnerable about his fears and putting family first, instead of self.

 

2. Pastor AR Bernard – author of Four Things Women Want From A Man

SuperSoul

I tweeted extensively about this particular interview and I loved a lot of what the Pastor had to say. You have to listen, if you are interested in conversations about Love & Purpose. The Pastor says his mission is to make Faith relevant. He said relevance means practictal, that it has to be something that you can apply the moment you leave the doors of the church service. It has to be socially applicable. It has to help you make sense of the world around you. I LOVED that!

3. Nate Berkus – Surviving The Storm

I did not know who Nate Berkus was before listening to this but I’m so glad I listened. in 2004, Nate and his boyfriend Fernando were vacationing in Sri Lanka when a devastating Tsunami hit, killing more than 30 000 people with another 5000 reported missing. One of the people is Nate’s boyfriend, Fernando. After a long search, Fernando’s body was never found. I’m getting emotional as I type this.

In the Supersoul conversation Nate tells Oprah that since surviving the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, 2004, he’s never defined himself by anything other than his ability to survive. He says, he doesn’t recognize the person he was before the tsunami hit and says he trusts himself and likes himself more today. It left me teary eyed.

4. Meagan Goode and Devon Franklin – The Wait

Of course I know and like Meagan and Devon but I delayed listening to this because I thought they were just going to talk about the book, The Wait (which is regards sex before marriage). Of course I wasn’t gonna listen because umm… never mind… But anyway, it was a beautiful conversation and I love how nosy Oprah is hehehe. She even asked how the sex was after they waited.

You should definitely check it out. They are

5. Shonda Rhimes – Her Year of Saying YES

I also saved this conversation for last because I have not yet read Shonda’s Year of Yes book. I almost regretted that because they really had another one of those great conversation. Man Oprah has great conversations with everyone…

I love how candidly they talked about not wanting to ever get married., you can watch that bit here:

“There’s a huge amount of pressure and the desire to want to get married is a lot like the desire to want to have children in our society. Like you’re supposed to want it and if you don’t want it, what’s wrong with you?”

6. India Arie – Spiritual Breakthrough

Oh man, this interview made me super super sad. I think if I were to run into India I’d go in with a big ass hug because whooaaa, lady has gone through so so much. She talked about all the setbacks she went through that made her consider leaving the entertainment industry.

There are 2 parts to their interview, please listen to both.

Here’s a clip of where they are talking about how she was nominated for 7 Grammys and didn’t even win 1 🙁

7. Sheryl Sandberg on Life After Loss 

This was another sad discussions and in it they talk about her book, Option B. Sheryl also talks about how after someone loses a loved one, we tend to avoid talking to them about their loss, purely we don’t know what to say or we think it’s inappropriate but she says after she lost her husband, she wished her Facebook colleagues would bring him up when she was back at work. But they did not.

Another interesting part of the conversation was her talking about dating 10 months after the death of her husband. She says that men date more but women get judged more.

You can watch that here

 

 

There are more SuperSoul conversations worth listening to but these are just 7 of them, and I can’t believe that I listened to all these and more in the space of 1 week. Feels like I’ve been wasting my time all along.

More: 

  • Maya Angelou
  • Iyanla Vanzant
  • Sheko Senghor
  • Elizabeth Gilbert

 

2018

A blessed and beautiful 2018 to you and your families CHICAs!  We have yet another chance to start a new, clean page to re-write our stories, let’s make it good!

I was browsing through the CHICA Relationship section (HERE)  and realized that most of the stories we shared are sad. I wondered why we don’t get a lot of the feel good stories? Is it because we are worried people will perceive that as bragging?

I really wish to hear more stories about love, friendship and just great stories of the little wins we don’t often acknowledge. Last week I asked people on twitter about how they met their Bae’s and it was really refreshing and funny to read the stories.. just shows how much more fun life could be if we just lived without inhibitions. Some of the relationships ended but it’s really amazing that people can still laugh and smile when they think about how they met their exes. I like that.

Below I’ve shared some of my favourite stories and I hope to hear more feel good stories”

 

And there’s a whole lot of other beautiful stories, so you can check them out HERE. Share yours and send any other feel good stories to us, click HERE for how.

I look forward to even greater interactions in 2018! May it be a blessed and love filled one for us all!

Love,

Lelo

Father's Surname

I am an unmarried mother of one, my son is now at an age where he can apply for an ID card and he’s brought up the topic of wanting to use his father’s last name. I don’t know why this feels like rejection but I got emotional about it and still don’t quite know how to handle it.

Just the other day he was a baby, I was changing his nappies and have been with him for every single day of his life yet today he’s this tall man who’s telling me he wants to take on his dad’s surname. My first thought was why? What’s wrong with my surname?! Did his father tell him to say this?! It brought down a rush of sadness.

I know I should be mature about this, look at this from his perspective (which I just can’t do right now), whatever it is but I am honestly struggling to bring myself to this level of calm and maturity. The reason he gave is that he wants to have the same surname as his siblings.

And yes I know our culture (or is it tradition? I get confused) says – if a father has paid damages then the child may take on his surname kodwa isn’t it more normal when it happens when he’s a baby rather than now? Is there a traditionalists who can explain the importance of doing this? I know a few people who have changed surnames in their 30s but I never asked, though I assumed, it had to do with connecting with their fathers or mothers.

I don’t know how to handle this…and am not sure who to ask so if your guidance would assist.

Nameless.

 

Therapy

Beginning of July I shared with you the journey I was embarking on, seeking professional help in the form of therapy.

In the article, I shared about how I was raped and molested by my oldest half-brother whom I met for the first time between the ages of 6-10 years and he was between 14-16 years.

I shared that you can forgive but can’t forget because you can’t erase experiences, even after burying them very deep inside, thus the title of my article.

I started therapy and did 5 sessions; my therapist was a white lady who seemed to be in her 40s and really looked like a spinster, and seemed quite fragile with a soft voice…
This was my first encounter ever with this form of help, so I didn’t know what to expect, other than what I’ve seen on TV. Therapy is not a very popular notion in the black community still, especially for those of us who come from the townships, perhaps the black middle class is/has gotten receptive to it. In actual fact, venting/seeking advice/solace from another in itself is not a foreign concept to us, it’s the professional aspect of it, particularly from a stranger that still seems odd.

The first session started with introductions naturally, her just getting to know who I am and what I’m about and thus the reason I’m sitting on her couch, then what I hoped to achieve with this journey.
I’ve always felt that if I were to become an actress, I would totally kill and thrive in the emotional scenes, because I am one person who is not short of tears. In most instances it’s not that deep but clearly my river is over flowing and always ready to flow out into little streams, so yes the first session was quite teary, just telling the story alone was enough to get me sobbing.

I think more than anything, I was overwhelmed because, other than my immediate family, and my then childhood best friend who was there when I confided in my older sister, then current best friend whom I also confided in about 3 years ago, no one else in my life knew.
These however, are people in my immediate circle thus I did not consider this as necessarily letting go, thus I was only doing it then in that session for the first time and it was a lot!
She’d actually sit there quietly whilst I gathered my thoughts to articulate myself properly, it also felt like she knew when I was holding back and would quietly wait for me to speak up.. it used to annoy me LOL.

A few things I’ve picked up in therapy are that, therapists are not God/ly thus not ready to give you solutions to your life problems, theirs is for you to find a comfortable space to HONESTLY share your feelings with no judgment (supposedly) whatsoever, they observe you closely; to see and understand you and your inclinations so they can coach you into figuring out the answers you need or at least the path to finding them by yourself, for yourself.

This understanding came later on though, at first I thought she’d just tell me what to do and how to do it and thus I’d be done with this whole ordeal. I’d never have to carry it with me again; I’d be completely relieved of its burden and adverse contributions in my life.

Therapy was just a start, it was a start of me letting go and not allowing that experience to have a hold on my life anymore. It was a start for self-love, accepting that, that horrid, cringe worthy and very unfortunate situation happened, to stop blaming and to forgive myself.
Most importantly I learned/realized that self-love is a verb, conscious and active.

My last session was about a month ago and I had started feeling a form of relief as soon as I started because I got to offload and have been taking it a day at a time. My life did not immediately and automatically change but I can feel the ripples of change in me and I’m ready to take charge.

By Noluthando

Unattractive

Hey Beautiful Women,

I have a bit of an issue that I was hoping maybe you’d help me tackle.
I’m a 22 year old tertiary student and in my 22 years of life, I’ve never had a boyfriend. To be more precise, I’ve never had a guy approach me or ask me out or anything that shows ukuthi the guy is interested.
I have girl friends who tell me that there’s nothing to rush for and also have some people saying this is abnormal.

I’ve even lost all my self confidence and am no longer even in a position where I can say I’m ready to date. I don’t know if I’m too ugly, too fat, just uninteresting or everything combined. I even started working out last year to lose a bit of weight, but self confidence still dololo.

I have male friends but I’m not entirely comfortable around them except two, because we’re at the same res as of this year. My friends however are mainly girls (I went to an ALL-GIRLS boarding high school and then stayed at an ALL-GIRLS res for 3 years) so I’m uncomfortable around guys.

Is anything wrong? I mean what can I do to be attractive to guys? Or must I not worry at all?

Anonymous

Life Balance

Life is tricky. Perhaps a more nuanced version of that is that adult life is tricky. As I have come into adulthood, I have learnt that there is a lot to think about. There are feelings to protect, one’s self to interrogate and relationships to preserve. The part about preserving relationships is a real art. I don’t mean the romantic relationships in the story books; I mean the real ones with friends, colleagues, and family. Remember when friendships were strengthened from a place of convenience (playing together at break time = BFF), when you were incredibly close to your aunts and cousins because you spent school holidays at your grans place, when your relationship with your parents was glorious because all it took to make you happy was a trip to the Rand Easter Show or that gift you’d been begging for? In those days, convenience was the commodity of happiness. It didn’t take much then because if it was all there, it was easy.

Oh but now.

People often say they’re happy with small friendship groups and limited human interactions overall. It’s not because they’re terrible people. It’s because managing people dynamics is difficult. The societal focus on relationships is towards romantic relationships but the truth is that there is a fragile relational element to everyone we factor into our lives. Every friend, every relative and every colleague. This reality isn’t overwhelming for everyone, but it certainly is for some of us.

I’ve struggled to juggle my life’s relationships. I’ve often had to ask myself how to ration my time to make everyone in my life feel valued, which has left me with little time for self. As I sat to journal about a month ago, I realised how much I’d been doing yet I couldn’t articulate most of it. It had been work, volunteering, birthdays, bridal showers and everything in between. So much had happened but my reflections of each of these events were at surface level to say the most. Thinking back at all of it, it was all NICE. Not life-changing, or eye-opening. Nope. It was nice.

NICE is not how my life should be. I don’t want to be the kind of person that is constantly busy and tired as a result yet left with an incredibly average description of my life’s experiences. So in that journaling session, I decided to think more deeply about what I want my life to look like.

I’ve baked over these thoughts for over a month now and the realisation is astounding. I’ve decided to split my life into two distinct sections:

  1. Life for marks
  2. Life not for marks

Back when I was in school, the teachers would give us assignments to work on at home or during breaks. With every assignment that came, the teacher would have to disclose if it would be “for marks” or not. “For marks” meant that the particular task would count towards one’s overall term mark and “not-for-marks” meant it was beneficial to complete the task but it was unlikely to be graded. As such, students typically worked diligently to excel at the task that would be graded and relaxed on those that would not. We knew how to prioritise then.

So it follows that this elementary learning has informed my adult approach. I will apply myself fully to the things in my life that I consider to be for marks and unapologetically excuse myself from those that aren’t.

My mental health is for marks. I need to be mentally strong to make it through my days at work and as such I have decided to take the time to read and rest, even if that means missing a birthday party or bridal shower.

My friends and family are for marks. Supporting them through their achievements and shortcomings is important to me so I will be there when I feel I need to, even if that translates negatively into other departments of my life.

God is for marks. I need him to survive so I will prioritise my faith over a deadline because that is what is important to me.

Partners that require more than I’m able to give are not for marks. Family politics with origins that I was never party to are not for marks. Racists & misogynists are not for marks so I refuse to engage.

Splitting my life this way has saved me plenty of tears and time. I haven’t mastered the full art of these principles as I often learn when I have to stop myself midway through an engagement only to find that “it’s not for marks”. But I encourage you to stop and think about this question as you go along.

By Nozipho

Therapy

You Don’t Grow Out Of Your Childhood, You Grow With It.

Hi Chicas

So I’m about to start therapy..

I’d like to think I’m a typical girl with typical problems, like they say, life happens to all of us, it is in the way we respond to it that sets each one of us apart from each other.

Life happened to me between the ages of 6-10 and throughout my teenage hood, I’ve tried so hard to bury it that I can’t even remember the exact age, or maybe I don’t want to.

It took a number of failed/odd/distant relationships between lovers, friends and family for unexplainable reasons to realize that I needed to have “the talk” with myself, that I am in my head a little too much that I fail to be in the relationships, that I am so comfortable in my head that nothing outside of it could ever be good enough.

I am 20 odd something years old, my 30s are creeping up. I grew up in a Christian (don’t touch, don’t say, don’t even think) and traditional (typical black parents) home. A full, warm and fun house, we did everything together, had favorite TV shows and loved gambling with cards together, my mom is the biggest mafia I’ve ever known when it comes to playing cards, tricks for days. One day however, over the years, I realized that all this had ended, it just stopped. I noticed as well that I was also pulling away, the older I got the more my childhood creeped up on me, at first I didn’t realize that’s what it was but over time I started to notice my behaviors and wondered how and why and answers to that made me resent my family. I started feeling like I was owed protection and caring of thereafter. It took me realizing that my parents didn’t know any better either and how they’ve tried overall to be anything and everything to us wherever else they could, even though they perhaps failed me here.

So my mom had my oldest brother at a young age and trusted extended family to take care of him in the rurals whilst she hustled in the big bad Jozi. Extended family however was not too kind to my brother and he ran from home quite a few times to find solace in the streets, I don’t know what happened in the streets, I just know the person he eventually came back as, came back and moved in with the rest of the family after our mother married my dad and started building a home in Jozi.

He was probably between the ages of 14-16 and raging with sex hormones, and I was at the receiving end. Maybe if I was born and grew up in front of him things would have been different, I don’t know. I told my sister who told my parents and they did what they thought would be best at the time, which was physically punishing my brother and me lightly for not speaking up immediately..

Years later, we’re older and I’ve forgiven and thought I could forget but see, you don’t forget, you can’t erase experiences. It’s the trying to forget that has actually harmed me, because thing is, we are products of our past, present and future ambitions, I believe, all of those shape how we look at and tackle life. Between 6-10 it was the molestation, not more than 3 times though, I think.. During my teenage hood it was my parents’ marriage, when my mom grew tired of the abuse she was receiving from her in laws and how my dad was a spectator during the whole time instead of fighting for her, it was the age old, “my family doesn’t like my wife” tale and my mom had had it, so they bickered every night for what felt like forever, that I deliberately went to varsity in another province to escape their toxic relationship.

What I’m getting at is that, all of this happened and not once did I ever confront this and how it affected me, I just kept it moving and little did I know that the manner in which I was moving was heavily influenced by all this. I became sexually active at an older age compared to most of my peers, I would easily claim it was because of church and the fear of my parents but honestly.. It was because I wasn’t going to bleed at the first encounter like the other girls do because it wouldn’t have been my first time, yet I can’t share my first time.

I felt like I would have to explain myself when I eventually do it, that it would be obvious how it wasn’t my first time and I just wasn’t ready. Felt like I’ll never be ready and when I did find the courage at 24 years, I needed to get the dreadful second first time over and done with quickly, and I basically went through a period of no strings attached after that, they were very distant with very little if any feeling.

Growing up I was warned that every girl gets very attached to the first guy they sleep with because it is such a sacred event that he takes a piece of your soul along with your virginity, I didn’t experience this attachment and not one guy from the few I’ve had sexual encounters with do I feel any deeper connection with.

The thing about caring something you consider a deep dark secret is that, you are always very careful not to draw attention to yourself, lest somebody observes closely and pick it up. There’s this shame and stigma around molestation/rape that somehow gets carried by the victims, I can’t explain why or how this was my shame, as aware as I am that it shouldn’t, it wasn’t my fault, I did not entice my brother (who was a stranger at the time) in any way but somehow, I was so scared. I felt so guilty and it seemed easier to tell my sister eventually instead of my parents and it has been my shame since and completely affected how I approach relationships of all kind.

So I’m tired of carrying some else’s shame and instinctively responding in a manner that is contrary to how I actually want to respond because I can’t it. So I’m about start therapy and I look forward to it.

 

By Noluthando

Make Friends

I received an email from a CHICA reader who reminded me of one of the reasons we started this platform. In my welcome post, I mentioned that I often experience moments of loneliness & had hoped that Chica would fill the gap for many of us who go through those moments so her email hit a nerve because I felt like somehow I’d abandoned, or haven’t yet fulfilled the promise of Chica’s purpose. To solve for what she raises.

I’m going to post her mail, we’ll call her ‘Tshidi’ and hopefully you will be able to answer the questions, both for Tshidi and me. And I know there will be at least one or two other Chicas who’d want to know, but also more who will have answers 🙂

via GIPHY

The Email:

Hello Chicas, lovely blog, thank you for allowing us a space to be ourselves.

Would one of you ladies please write an article about finding friends.

I am turning 25 and I have no friends. I’m talking friends that I can regularly hang out with and trust, like true sisters.

All my life I’ve sort of had a best friend. I had one in high school and one in varsity however people move on, meet other people, move to different places and suddenly the friendship just ends.
Does this just happen to me?? Please say it doesn’t!

I am quite an introvert which I suppose is not helping my situation.

I have no one to hang out with, no girlfriend to halla at or do any “friendshippy ” things with.

Is this normal? Do any your readers have this issue?
Please tell me, how do I make friends and where do I find them?

_______________________

What would your response be and how did you meet your friends?

Thinking about my current friends, I realize just what a big role social media played in meeting them.

Lookong forward to hearing what advice you have for Tshidi. And me.

 

LeloB

 

Happy

I am feeling so happy right now.

At first I attributed it to the excitement of having finished writing exams but man, this sudden happiness is accompanied by creativity, unprecedented motivation to work hard, to do more with my life and a feeling of just wanting to be great. So it can’t just be exams then, right?

Pic by @VictorDlamini

I tried thinking deeply and looking back to see what could have happened in my life recently to trigger this feeling and literally, nothing has changed. No promotion, no new money, no new trip planned. Life is normal yet I’m feeling so so happy.

My reaction to feeling happy had me thinking about why I was so concerned about the reason for my happiness. I asked myself why that wasn’t how I feel every single day.

So why do I need to think so hard about why I’m happy for no reason?

And why is it even a question that we ask ourselves when we are happy and don’t know why?

Why have we not accepted that as the default setting? Or rather why do I not have being happy as a default setting and only seek reasons for being unhappy?

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Happy

While googling what illness my happiness could be a symptom of, I came across this book, and the penny dropped.

happy

Happy

 

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Tweet “”Outside factors don’t determine happiness, happiness determines outside factors.” “]

WOW! Think about it, babies don’t have cars, big houses, girlfriends nor money but they are happy, yet we always feel like we need things to feel happy.

Sjoe.

Well, now that I know for sure that I’m not sick, I fully embrace this feeling as my new default state of mind and may unhappiness be a foreign and rare feeling.

Are you happy?

 

By LeloB