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?

via GIPHY

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

Miscarriage

I always heard stories about it from friends. In fact to be exact about 4 of them had similar experiences in 2016 / early 2017. I could only imagine how they felt as I had never experienced it before.

I’m a mother of 2 boys and it was always my dream to have 3 kids. Of course I would have loved to have a girl in between, Minnie ME! So my husband and I tried for our “last born” and we were blessed to be carrying another boy. Yes! I was to have 3 boys at home. At first I was a bit disappointed however I later embraced what God has given me. I truly fell in love with the idea of having a boys’ only home which meant I would be the only Queen in the house.

On the 15th February 2017 I had gone to Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist at Morningside Medi-Clinic, where they do a full ANOMALY SCAN to check everything about the pregnancy and the baby. I had to wait about 2 months for the appointment. Everything came out clear, meaning everything was normal. There were no abnormalities about the baby and no concerns about my pregnancy. My risk was 1:1331.

So I was happy and content with my pregnancy knowing that everything is fine as confirmed by the Specialist. At this point I was 25 weeks pregnant.

On the 4th of March 2017 on a Saturday afternoon I had come back from my Saturday routine of taking the little ones to swimming classes. While I was resting at home, I noticed a vaginal watering discharge (not smelly) coming out to a point that I needed panty liners and I changed them constantly on the day. Not feeling any pains yet. I contacted my Gynae; his phone was on voice mail. I then contacted a friend of mine who was pregnant to ask if she has experienced anything like this, she told me she has and that her Gynae told her it is normal. I then contacted another friend of mine who is a Pharmacist and googled on the side and she told me if it is not smelly, it is fine. Google also told me that this fluid is normal.

My helper, whom I am very grateful of, encouraged that I should go the hospital and not stay longer at home with something I was not sure of. My husband was away on travel. Luckily my younger sister had come for a visit so I went with her to the hospital. At this point I was feeling some pains but only for short moments and not that intense. I also got hold of my Gynae who also encouraged that I should go to the hospital.

As I walked into the hospital to check myself in an emergency, I remember joking to my sister saying, these people will laugh at me because there’s really nothing wrong with me as I thought the minor pains were probably from the fact that I needed some rest. I was immediately transferred to the Maternity Ward.

I remember I still called my husband and told him that I’m at hospital and that he should not worry, in fact there’s not even a need for him to come back as I still thought nothing was of major concern.

I met a very lovely sister/nurse who took care of me before my Gynae arrived and the first thing they checked were the contractions, so I went in a monitor for about 30 minutes or so. To my surprise I had regular contractions meaning I was in labour. “I’m 25 weeks pregnant, this baby is very tiny and premature labour is a risk” Those were the words running through my head. The nurse assured me that even though they have noticed the contractions, however she was still determined that the baby will not be out any time soon. I got an injection which they told me will stop the contractions. An hour later while I was laying on the bed my water broke. I screamed and called the nurse. Mind you I was to have a C-Section with the baby I was carrying. That’s when I called my husband and told him “Kushubile” you need to be here urgently. When the sister came I could see the look in her eyes being shocked for the fact that my water broke and upon checking me she told me I’m diluted and the baby is coming out.

I was then rushed into the delivery room. The time between my water breaking and delivery was about 10 minutes. At around 19h00 I delivered a tiny beautiful baby boy. He only survived for about 40 minutes and he was no more.

micarriage

I cannot begin to express how that felt and I now know and understand how other women who went through the same/similar experience felt. I can never explain the pain of losing your own flesh. Thank you to my husband, family and friends who supported me through such a traumatic experience. Everyone that knows me knows how much I love kids. I truly did not see it coming. However I have accepted that everything happens for a reason and that God was with me every step of the way.

Now my dilemma is, I don’t know what to call my experience whether it was a still born or a miscarriage. The baby was very small weighed 550g and hence he could not make it. His lungs were underdeveloped so he only lived for few minutes. When people ask what happened, I cannot explain it in better terms. I do not think it was a still born as they baby was born alive, at the same time it was not a miscarriage. Whatever it was, IT WAS PAINFUL!

To all the women that went through a similar experience, know that you are not alone. However, we never talk about it publicly; but I decided to break this chain as so many women revealed they had gone through a similar experience after I hearing me share mine.

Do not feel ashamed and I hope you have found comfort in God and healed. It takes time. I’m still dealing with it, but feeling better than before.

On a lighter note… I can fortunately still try again and hopefully it will be a girl the next time.

If you’ve had a similar experience, please share with us and let us know how you handled people asking, how is the baby?

 

By Theo

life lessons

In the wee hours of Good Friday I was on my way back to my place after attending my girl’s 27th birthday  dinner at Mash Braai House. I didn’t drive there because I was too tired and being far-sighted is a big problem when driving at night. Total nightmare. So I opted to Uber there and back and my drive back turned out to be on of the best Uber  rides I’ve had. My driver and I were just having a conversation about his life and everything he’s done: from working for Disney to travelling parts of the world and just being in love with his wife, whom he’s been married to for 22 years now. Cute, right? I melted.

I told him that I’ve been through a lot in the  past 4 years romantically and I’m steady turning away from the aspect of love or marriage because of my experiences and the burns they left on my soul. As we got to my place, this man switched off the car, turned around and unleashed some much needed advice. “You are a beautiful young woman, and by what I see, you’ve got a good heart. Whoever ends up with you will be lucky and I’m not just saying this to make to feel better- it’s to make you realise that you deserve everything you want in a man or whoever you like, doesn’t matter. Do not live your life in regret about what happened because no one will give you back that moment to relive it. It happened and unfortunately you got burned by no one wants someone who can’t love themselves enough to walk away from that pain” is what he said.

Life lessons

I was on the verge of tears because how could this total stranger get into my head so early in the morning?  I need to get to bed so I can wake up and travel home for Good Friday service! I sat there wide-eyed, listening to this man, trying not to cry. He continued to ask what it is I enjoy doing and I listed everything, including my desire to travel the world and experience different things, and that’s when he said: “So o re o emetse eng? the world won’t wait for you to fix yourself and live your dreams, it’s going to carry on whether you’re present in it or not. Your happiness is yours and yours alone.”

That drive really got to me and in a good way. We hurt ourselves by holding onto pain; doesn’t matter whether it was inflicted by a lover or family member or friend. Hurt people hurt people but we need to save ourselves from the effects that linger on after they’re gone. I’m thankful for that AM pow-wow, even though this is something I already knew, I think I needed a total stranger to slap me with the truth so I can actually push myself away from the internal mess.

We try too hard not to mourn what once was because we always want to run away from the pain that comes with dealing with loss- whether romantic or on a friendship level. We lie to ourselves often and utter the words “I’m really good man” when someone wants to know how we are holding up, so that we don’t have to dig deep and pull out the problem from its root. Because that’s also painful. You’re forced to relive events and memories that once made you happy, then continue to deal with what’s in front of you.

In this life we need to learn to take care of ourselves; this world isn’t friendly at all. It won’t stop for you. Rest if you need to, take some time out if you need to and enjoy rebuilding yourself. Be your own hero- give yourself the world without feeling guilty about it.

Pain does demand to be felt, but pain shouldn’t be given a home in our hearts for too long either.

By Masedi

Cohabiting

Relationships go through fazes; be it friendships, family as well as romantic relationships. Over the years, the ways in which we treat our relationships and go about experiencing them has also changed. For a South African, living in a country that has 11 official languages as well as a vast number of cultures, one is guaranteed to have an experience that is totally different to that of the next person.

When it comes to romantic relationships, the basic “steps” that have always been followed are: Courtship, start a relationship, get married and have children. That has been the fairy-tale vision and desire for most people, right? It’s what we were all raised to believe is the correct and only way to live. Culturally and religiously, a man and a woman living together before getting married is a BIG NO NO!

What I find most interesting about these ideas of families is how most of the current family structures in SA do not necessarily represent or support the idea that these are the best steps to follow; for one, a lot of families in South Africa, that may have started out in marriage followed by having children, have somewhat ended in divorce or separation. The divorce rate in South Africa has seen a huge increase while there has been a decrease in the number of people choosing to get married. But the latter has not necessarily stopped people from starting their own families together without getting married, right?

Other burning questions for me are: how many of these couples who have chosen to live together and live happily ever after are doing it without the knowledge and approval of their families? Does this nullify what they have or trying to achieve together? As much as everything remains about the couple, in the end, you are bringing two families together.

More than “I love you’s” and “Regular great Sex”, the living together thing is quite a big step if you ask me? What questions do you and your partner start asking each other before taking the big step? After how many months/years of dating do you decide to move in together? What happens should you break up? I still stay at home so to get a better understanding, I figured I would chat to people who have taken that step.

cohabiting

Nana & Morena

I had a chat with Nana & Morena. The bubbly pair started out by “Kicking it” during SA’s festive season, Dizzt tyd. But unlike many “Kicking it” situations one may come across, this one became pretty solid as the pair decided to make it official on the 26th of March 2016. P.S – Nana jumped into Morena’s Twitter DM by the way *wink wink*.

Them living together seems to have been a part of their “destiny”, considering how it happened. She had an agreement to move in with a friend, which fell through. This is when bhut’bae came to the rescue and decided to move in with her. For him, this was the perfect decision he could make.

“I didn’t want to live alone and the place she’d already found was convenient for me – but more than anything, it felt right to move in with my partner and cut out the unnecessary admin of having to visit each other.” – Morena

Society has embedded the idea that a man is expected to take care of his partner? He is known as the provider. I think we all aware that adulting can be tricky enough on your own and not everyone has it all figured it early on in their building stages. How this couple tackles it, is by going 50/50 on everything. Or at least trying to go 50/50 where finances are concerned. As for the house chores though, Nana is happy to take on most of the activities and Morena helps out where he can. They do not seem to put pressure on each other, by living up to society’s expectations except their own and I like that.

Something I found interesting though was that Nana’s family was content with the couple living together but Morena could not say the same about his family. He does acknowledge that his culture and his family’s strong beliefs in following tradition has played a role in them not knowing that they live together. It will remain this way until they can finally say “I do”, which is in their life plans.

Even though this may be the case, they do maintain that getting a marriage certificate should not limit them from living their best lives as a couple. The best way they know how.

“I see a solid future but more than ever Morena and I want to build together; attain our goals & achieve our dreams. Be happy. For us, marriage is more than a piece of paper – it’s a lifetime commitment and you don’t ever want to just settle. If it’s not crazy love then I wouldn’t want it. Right now, I am glad I have found it.” – Nana

Cohabiting

Sasha- Lee & Bae

Sasha-Lee & bae met at work and started dating in 2014. Being a part of the coloured community, they do not necessarily have the same challenges that Morena & Nana may have with parents knowing of them living together purely because they do not practice the tradition of “lobola”. But they do admit that Bae’s father was quite hesitant about the idea until they sat him down and explained what journey they intend taking by preparing for marriage this way.

Having been together for 2 years and both wanting to move out, this was the best financial decision for them which also helped them take their relationship to the next level of “seriousness”.

For them joking around about what personalities and habits that they each have would possibly annoy the other was what the led the couple to deciding to move in together. More than making financial sense, the couple felt it made more sense to get to know each other better before going down aisle.

“We decided to move in together, before marriage, to get to know each other better. We feel married. They say the first year of marriage is the toughest and we assume this is because people haven’t experienced each other while living together. It is a very different dynamic. We wanted to get this “first year of marriage” over, before being married. We felt that if the relationship did not survive the move, at least we wouldn’t have the headache of getting a divorce.” The couple said.

Sasha & Bae have also clubbed their finances together and work through them as a couple along with their house chores. More than finances and chores though, they have gone a step further and added each other to one another’s wills and policies because for them, at this point, marriage is merely making their commitment to one another official before God and the law.

From the other side

Ofentse Mogoshane from Soweto says:

“I personally wouldn’t live with a guy before we get married. This is mostly because of how I was raised and I believe in doing things the “right” way, so to speak. Also, if most girls lived with every guy they were in love with or thought they were in love with, how many guys would they have lived with?

I also don’t believe the “testing if we can live together before we commit” is a viable reason either. It’s hard living with someone you never lived with before no matter how much you love them and it’s easy to quit if there is no ultimate commitment. Marriage forces one to stay and make it work (the traditional marriage I aspire to have). I cannot see why I have to have and give the privileges of married life before I’m married. Maybe I’m just old school but that’s just me.”

Chica, did you move in with your partner and are now married? Or are you strictly against moving in with your partner till marriage?

Leave a comment on our Facebook Page or send us a tweet. Let’s chat!

A Nightmare for women

South Africa has become a nightmare for women to live in.

The stories that have been coming out from women on social media, sparked by the tragedy that happened to Karabo Mokoena are chilling!

What has happened to turn our own brothers into the monsters they are today?
The monsters who abuse us, who do not see us as people but as their property to do with as they please?
What has turned our flesh and blood into the shameless rapists they are today?
What is fueling this spirit of entitlement, to our attention, our bodies, our affection and our time?
What has happened?

The most disturbing and scariest is that we are now beyond telling women to be vigilant and aware because the violence finds them, us, in our homes, offices, churches so we don’t need to go anywhere or do anything to be attacked. Our mere existence puts us in danger.
How are we supposed to live like this?

The feeling of helplessness that consumes me whenever I read or hear a new horror story is unbearable.
It’s unbearable that all I can offer is a shocked reaction. What are we supposed to do make it stop? Is there anything that I, as a woman can do?
Besides the obvious, which is to make my son sensitive to our plight and teach him about the kind of man we need in society, what more can I do?

What are we going to do?

Yours,

Helpless in South Africa

My Dad

May 2017 marks 19 years since my father’s passing and I have been thinking a lot about him these past few weeks. As a result I remembered this post I wrote in 2010. It’s just in my heart to share it once more with you.

This post was first published at Just Curious on 4 March 2010:

My Dad The Best Dad…

My dad was the best dad ever and the most loving person I’ve ever met. He was such a softie… and we actually preferred to be punished by him rather than my mom because his slap (which would never ever be on our faces) was much more “gentle” than my mom’s, who would hit us like she was competing for a WWE Championship.

I never used to understand my mom yazi. She would shout at me, somewhere during the shouting I get asked a question & not knowing that I’m not supposed to answer back, reply to the question only to be met with a hot klap because I’m “back chatting”. Next time when the shouting starts and a question comes up, I would decide to just look at her and keep quiet to avoid another klap but still I will get a klap for “ukumjonga ngamehlo amdaka”. Next time it happens I keep quiet, look away but then I’d be accused of ignoring her & not listening to her so I’d still get a klap for that. LOL.

My Dad
Mom, Dad and my 2 sisters (where was I!)

Man, I understand that parents are different in the way they raise their kids and ukusibetha was her way of getting her message across and instilling discipline in us but I don’t know why she ever felt the need to klap me, I was never wrong. Hehehe

My mom had the gift of the gab shem… when she and my dad had fights (Which luckily never got physical), she’d always have the last word. Even manje, I always have to cut her short when I call her. Worst of all, she always repeats the same thing twice in one conversation & that’s when I start the “i airtime iyaphela mama, ndizak’founela ngomso”.

Growing up, I used to clash a lot with my mom and never understood why because I was not as unruly as my younger sister. It was only when on more than two occasions, a childhood friend of mine remarked about how similar my mom and I were. It finally made sense. Siyafana and that’s why we clash so often.

My ex once told me, during an sms fight, that “I know you are going to come up with a brilliant answer to this because you know how to play with words and you always have to have the last word, but I don’t wanna hear it.” That got me thinking, I was like tjo, he makes me sound just like my mom! Now that lady always had killa comebacks to whatever my dad had to say and had to have the last word too!

What I liked about her though is that she would hout at you; hit you if necessary (eish) but it would be over soon thereafter. My dad on the other hand, to compensate for not having the heart to beat you, would go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

In my head I’d be like, “When it’s an argument with mom, dude keeps quiet halfway but with us he carries on like this, TJO”, so I started walking out on him when I felt I’d heard enough. I mean really now, shout at me and get it over and done with but Bra Mhlophe would not stop. What killed me is that if I went outside while he was talking; he would follow me outside and continue talking. I come back inside, he follows me inside the house… obviously getting more and more upset but still not hit me. Ncoh maan 🙂 he was really a sweetheart.

All this would be followed by me complaining to my sisters “Utata akahambi yintoni ayosela namhlanje.” 

I would say that because nice as he was, he was even nicer when he’d had a couple to drink, which was often. Crazy but true, we had the best times with him when he’d been drinking and sadly that was also a huge part of what led to his passing.

I only regretted that whole “going outside when he shouts at me” thing after he died because I felt it could have added to the time spent him… but of course, I had no way of knowing.

My Dad
That’s me in the middle, dad with my sister by his feet and mom holding my younger sis

My Dad The Sweetheart

I truly loved my dad. He was kind and sweet. His and my mother’s sweetness (she is sweet too, don’t get it twisted) really irritated me at times. Why? Coz because of this sweetness, we would always have “abavakashi” ekhaya!

All the beds would be occupied by his distant cousins or wives of friends who came from ezilalini to visit their husbands who worked at the mines (we grew up in Welkom) or a friend of a friend who needed a place. I couldn’t understand why we always had to have visitors.

It was always a full house, which meant, we (the kids) had to either eat smaller portions of meat or eat umvubo while the adults bezinika ngenyama smh! We also couldn’t watch TV till late because sometimes the house would be so full that even “abavakashi” slept in the TV room, ematrasini lol.

My Dad & The Gym Shorts…

BelievingMy dad had one particular piece of clothing that we absolutely hated, which, he of course, absolutely loved! A
pair of white “super short” gym shorts that had a string in the front. Oh Lawd! When he comes back from work, he changes out of his work clothes, wears his “short” pants and takes a stroll… and we’d all just go “Bathong Tata ngale short pene yakhe!” while he walked confidently in his super short shorts, super white and skinny legs!

 

My Dad The Character

My dad was sweet but he was also a crazy character! The bit of craziness that’s in me definitely comes from him. I remember when we first had a Telkom line installed. LOL tjo! Because his only surviving brother lives in Cape Town, every time there was something in the news about Cape Town, whether rain, a crime or a fire, my dad would pick up the phone and call to find out if his brother is okay. He would talk to the brother, and after that he wants to speak to each of the kids who are at the house at that time to find out how they are doing. Umm…. his brother has 8 children by the way! Eventually the phone had to be disconnected… because the bill would be sky high, thanks to those calls.

My Dad The Softie… 

We never got to meet his mom and he used to tell us about how beautiful she was and loved talking about her. This would normally be a great thing but we had a problem whenever this topic started because we knew he would end up crying. LOL

So whenever he started talking about her (can’t remember what he used to call her), we’d all start rolling our eyes and prepare to comfort an old man who’s crying about his mother. We so used to laugh about this though and as time went on we found a way to start walking out of the room one by one if he started going to that direction.

I can still hear my sister going…

“Huwie, uqalile utatakho, uzokhala.”

And me replying “Nawe ngu tatakho!

I remember telling him once “Hayi Tata, wena uyatefa maan” and everyone burst out laughing. He was really a cry baby when it came to his mom.

If he’s not crying that night then my dad would go to his room, get in bed, light up a cigarette and call us all in there. When we get there, he’d start going…

“Culani bantwana bam, culani” and tell us to sing his favourite hymn “Ndikhumbula ngobuso, obabethelw’ emnqamlezweni”…..

We’d complain “Ha Tata, sibukele iTV!!” and he’d beg us to please sing for him & we had to do that till he fell asleep. Actually, this was abuse lol.

My parents’ bedding always had cigarette holes on it because my dad always, as in without fail, always fell asleep with a cigarette in hand… lol and you can imagine how that drove my mom crazy heheh. Oh, and as much as he smoked, he never had matches, we had to always go and light up for him via the oven. I told you he was a character hehe.

Yeah, that was my “Tata”, an angel. I called him a crybaby for crying over his mom but I guess I’m the bigger crybaby because I still have tears rolling down, each time I talk about him and the beautiful spirit he was.

My dad was definitely the highlight of my childhood!

What was the highlight of YOUR childhood? 🙂

Temptation

I laughed when I came across this quote online.

Remember how when you were younger all the good things seemed to happen to you but so did all the bad ones?

I mean you would go to the mall and meet an uncle or an aunt, they would give you R100 (good things whoopee) and then you would spend an extra hour at the mall shopping with that R100 and boom you would get home late, sometimes without all the stuff you were sent to buy and you would receive a beating (tongue lashing if you were lucky) and suddenly all your new purchases would be forgotten because they had brought you bad luck.

As you get older, all the things that seemed like a good idea when you were younger get less appealing. For example: eating a whole chocolate slab because it looked very tempting, as you get older you realize that eating that whole chocolate will have consequences on your body and thus you stay away from it or rather it stays away from you because it doesn’t even give you a chance to eat it, instead it ends up in the mouth of younger people in the household.

How about when people ask to date you? When you’re in your late teenage years to early twenties you have many suitors to take your pick from and they are all equally tempting (well not ALL) but you become very confused as to whom to choose. Get to your thirties and drought sets in, if you are single all the single men disappear, no temptations come your way what-so-ever and you start wondering what you have done wrong.

Wonder no more there is NOT a thing you could have done differently. It’s just old age stealing your ‘shine’ or rather stealing your ‘forbidden’ excitement aka temptations.

via GIPHY

So whilst you’re still young…. LIVE! Just don’t get arrested.

By Simphiwe 

Rise

I am trying to rise above and you should too…

These are the words that Meredith Grey uttered on Greys Anatomy amidst her fiery life; the words that my inner self utters to my outer self on a daily basis. When I wake up. After a client shouts at me and tries to make me feel stupid. After I down a few drinks and can barely maintain my balance, truuuuuust… I still see myself as a rockstar. Because Meredith Grey taught me well. I thank Shonda Rhimes everyday for her, because she has taught me strength and grace.

It’s so funny how with each year we always hope that the following year will be better. Better job opportunities, a more healthier bank balance, better health and more happiness than sadness, get into a stable relationship, blah blah blah… but life as we know it, always has something else in store for us.

Those were my hopes and dreams for 2017. I remember last year I told one of my friends while we were having a chat over lunch one time that I hope to get more gigs, more money, a promotion, further my CIMA studies, and remain hopeful and happy for the whole year. 2017 for me will be a year of greatness. A year when I eventually get my financial glo’up. Listen… The year I become a young level one or two Moreki.

Little did I know that 2017 had other plans for me…

Rise

On 04 April 2017, I lost my brother. Biologically, he is my cousin (my aunt’s child), but he was a year older than me and we basically grew up as twins. He is the reason I am the tomboy that I am today because I always wanted to dress like him, get rough like him like boy children do, etc. (You get the drill…). I looked up to him, in a way.

I won’t get into the details of his death, but it came unexpectedly. No one saw it coming. He was a tall, dark and handsome, young, happy chap who was supposed to be turning 25 on October the 4th. And now he is gone…

My life changed then. 2017 took a part of me when it took my brother away. A part of me died and I’m currently at a point where I am emotionally numb. I lost someone I loved dearly and most things in life don’t matter anymore. Took a break from gigs, I postponed my studies till at least the second half of the year because my professional work gets too much and I am more stressed than happy most of the time. My anxiety does the most and prayer and music at this point in time are the only things that calm me down.

But still I rise. Or at least I try to rise and you should too. Yes, life knocks us down every now and then, more than we can handle sometimes. We lose our loved ones. We reach negative bank balances and hope for the best for the rest of the month. We get heartbroken and give up on love every now and then and then fall right back in at a first glance of someone with a cute smile (I thrive on crushes). Our bosses and supervisors try us every now and then and sometimes you feel like your efforts are taken for granted.

It’s even worse when you’re someone who’s perceived as being strong and non-problematic, the one who hardly needs attention and generally a happy chappy. People walk around you like you have a contagious disease when you’re down and out and going through the most, because you being “sad” and “defeated” cannot be something that is really happening. You’re supposed to be strong at all times. How dare you seek attention when you’re supposed to be the pillar of strength?!!

Things happen that we never even thought would happen to us, but oksalayo, we’re alive. Even under the circumstances. Through the pain and the hurt, we breathe and we persevere.

There are still 8 more months to go in the year. I still believe that my glo’ up will happen on one of the days before 31 December 2017. I am not the most religious person on earth or holier than thou but one thing I know for sure is there is a God out there who has looked over me since 15 October 1993, which is the first day Mother Earth welcomed me on her humble abode. Sometimes I wonder how I’ve even made it to my 24th year in life.

I still try and find joy in the simple things in life like the smell of coffee; the sound of the waves by the ocean as I sit in my little apartment watching my favourite local soapies like #TheQueenMzansi and #Igazi (this is not a Ferguson Films promo); that violin melody hidden in a house song; and the smile of my innocent 3 month old nephew. The little joys of life.

Rise

I am a woman. I am a warrior. And life better be ready to hear me roar. I refuse to end 2017 on a bad note, and you should too.

Life is aaaaaaa-lot.!!.Adulting is a mission, but this Earth was not created for quitters. Cry, grieve as much and as long as you need to, fall apart if you need to but never do all these things permanently. Like life itself, pain was not meant to be permanent.

Our brighter days are yet to come. I almost quoted Prince Kaybee’s “Better Days”, but I’ll stop here for now (it’s one of my feel good songs, by the way). Again, this is not a promo 🙂

Finally… May God’s love (whatever your interpretation of a God or God’s love is) be with you. Always… As you rise like a phoenix from the dry ashes❤

@Lebza_M

Being Strong

When Keeping It Together And Being Strong Becomes An Exhaustion

More often than not we deliberately and consciously tell us ourselves that we need to be strong and keep it together.  This also obliges us to supress how we truly feel on the inside, because in most times we are troubled about our reflection on the outside. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to stand on the mountain and scream aloud and tell the world and universe their greatest burdens but if we are so concerned about how we appear to the outside world rather how we truly feel about ourselves – how do we then ensure that we deal with our triumphs that sometimes take away so much from our well-being physically, emotionally and otherwise.  I often wonder if the little private moments that we afford ourselves to cry and fall apart are enough to lighten these loads or save us from ourselves.

Being Strong

 

I know for a fact that some people end up treating others badly unintentionally (some intentionally) because of how they truly feel and what they’re going through. Agree or disagree but sometimes keeping it together and choosing to be strong makes it even harder to ask for help even when we know we need it the most. We may not admit it but keeping it together and being strong drains and silently kills us too.

Sometimes we feel hopeless and uninspired and because we are too hard on ourselves we tend to forget that we are no islands nor made to perfection, that we cannot be FINE nor OKAY , we convince ourselves that we have to be in charge and in control at all times.

My dear darling – allow me to take this moment to assure that it is okay NOT TO BE okay sometimes , that as strong as you are made to be – you  need to be shaken every now and again just so you can be stronger even more. You are no island nor iron nor steel that you won’t get or feel hurt and sad sometimes. You will want to let go and give up sometimes and that too is okay – you are human , a perfect imperfection therefore sometimes it’s okay to just embrace your imperfections and allow them to just reflect because after all – it is our bruises and scars that make us who we truly are.

Truth is: – things aren’t always going to go according to plan, promises will be broken, our hearts will be shattered, we will be disappointed not only in others but in ourselves too – therefore when keeping it together and being strong becomes an exhaustion don’t be afraid to let yourself be after all “a wise man once said “it is not about how many times we fall but rather getting up every time we do”

By  Akhona  MsAcko  Zondani

Featured Image: puckermob.com