TRIED AND TESTED

“You have to motivate yourself with challenges.  That’s how you know you’re still alive.  Once you start doing only what you’ve proven you can do, you’re on the road to death.”

                                                            Jerry Seinfeld

 

Tried and tested, a theory we stick to as if our lives depended on it.  We stick to our level of education, broken relationships, abusive partners, careers and so much more, because we know how to handle these.  We know what to expect.  Our fear of the unknown weakens us.  Even if it is something better than what we have at this very moment.

 

How often do you step out of your comfort zone and take a chance on new challenges?  Getting your diploma, finishing high school, applying for that job advertised in the company you are working for?

 

You have proven for all of this time you can do what you are doing right now.  People around you have seen it.  You are established, seen as a pillar, never changing.  However, for all of us there is a challenge ahead.  We never take the leap of faith because we think we can’t.

 

Step out and meet your challenge head-on.  Make a decision to tackle your obstacle, your challenge, your fear.  Don’t stop dreaming.  It is what keeps you alive.  Go on, lest you die.

Love is enough

“WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING LEFT BUT LOVE, THEN FOR THE FIRST TIME YOU HAVE BECOME AWARE THAT LOVE IS ENOUGH”

I hate to always refer to my past, but I cannot help but write from experience.  If I simply wrote about something I didn’t know of, it would simply be knowledge and knowledge alone doesn’t cut it for me.  I believe that knowledge plus experience means wisdom.  And one without the other would simply be either or.

After a failed marriage and all of the discussion going on around me, I have found that love is enough.  During my separation from my ex-husband I had nothing to my name but debt, hurt and humiliation.  I was stripped bare of my pride, smile and personality.  When I got home the day after the incident, I explained the situation to my family as if I was telling someone else’s story and not my own.  At that time it didn’t touch me personally.  I had completely shut down due to shock.

As the days and weeks dragged on I realized how empty I was.  All I had was my family.  They were there for me and loved me unconditionally.  They couldn’t always help out financially, but they were able to give me the necessary support.  We have always been a very supportive family unit, but at that time they proved to be so much more.  No one asked me silly questions except for one person that always had to magnify other people’s problems to hide her own inadequacy.  But even that could not take away from the amazing understanding I got.  You know how tiring it is to repeat a story over and over again, especially while you are hurting, but that was not the case with my family.

My friends, although very few, also played a major role in loving me.  I had hit rock bottom, but I was carried on the wings of their love.  I was re-assured and affirmed by them that even without anything, I was enough.

Here at home in SA, it is said that it takes a community to raise a child.  In my case it took a community of friends and family to raise me from my hurt and pain.

I don’t know the artist who sings the song, but there is a phrase that says: “Sometimes love just ain’t enough”.  Maybe that is the case in romantic relationships, but I found something different when it came to friends and family.

I came to understand that their love helped me rise like a phoenix from the ashes and made me stronger still.

HEY YOU, SUPERWOMAN!!!

Before you go off after saving Superman, Spider man and Batman, stop right there.  I just want to know when you intend on saving yourself for a change.  I’ve been sitting here watching you for a while.  You seem tired, worn out and run down.  I see that you are trying to hide behind the mask that you have so effectively used for such a long time.  It looks great on you, but I’m sure you are prettier and more beautiful without it too.  I wish you would take some time out for you.  I wish you would stop and realize that there are others just like you, thinking that if they don’t save the day, the world will fall apart.

I have some advice for you.  Let go of the struggle to be the strong one for everyone around.  Be vulnerable with your man.  Allow him to be your superhero.  Every superhero needs a helping hand sometimes.  So after you have prepared breakfast, driven the kids to school, gone to your job on your high heeled shoes, collected the kids, driven them to other activities, prepared dinner, helped with homework, checked the family’s clothes for the next day, listened to your family’s day and been an ardent lover at night, take some time for you.

I need for you to get a day off and do what you really want to do and enjoy.  Okay the house might be messy, all of your in basked not sorted for that day, the children may fall and scratch a knee and someone might have only had a sandwich for lunch, but I doubt that you can handle anymore.  I’m afraid you are giving to other, but you really are not.  How could you give something away that you don’t have yourself?  In your effort to give to others, you didn’t realize that your reserve tank had been empty for a while now and all you managed to give was NOTHING.

ONLY HE CAN HEAR IT

Every morning when we get to the office I see him.  Standing there and enjoying it, the screams and applause.  Only he can hear it.  When you look across the lawn, there isn’t a sound of human interference, only the birds that frequent the place. 

He bows his head and wields his guitar; the audience goes crazy for the sweet sound that he provides.  Girls scream and cheer for him.  Only he can hear it.  Some people laugh and ridicule him, but just like him, I am the only one who can hear it.

My foot taps to it; my vocal cords contract and relax with it.  I breathe a sigh of relief whenever the crescendo has been reached, breaking against their ears like the waves on a rocky bay.  I love the thrill and the ride of it, the wind soothing my skin.  The applause, the ovation, the love that they have for me and my music enthrals me.

We have never spoken, but we share a secret most people don’t know.  Nothing was said to elude as to what the secret is, maybe he doesn’t even know that we share this secret, but I do. 

 

I AM ALSO THE ONLY WHO HEARS IT, MUSIC MY LOVE, MY SOUL, MY JOY AND MY EXPRESSION.

Treasures

People come into our lives daily and like goods we buy, we choose the ones to stay.  Sometimes, like with everything else we get an unexpected surprise, a gem in a place that we didn’t look, and they become a gem to be treasure for a lifetime.  These are the people who make you smile just thinking about them on odd occasions.  They are like the expensive coat that needs an occasion to be worn, but always turns out to be a hit every time you wear it.

 

I am not a particularly sociable person.  In fact, people think me a snob until they we find each other.  If my wealth was to be measured by the amount of friends I had at any given time in my life, I would be certifiably poor.  However, if wealth were to be measured by the value that those friends add to my life, I would be listed in Forbes magazine.  These people are the roots to my tree, they may not be visible to the naked eye, but they keep me grounded.

 

I love being in my own company, I prefer it to being surrounded by people.  My thoughts are free to roam wherever I let it and that to me has always been wonderful.  In my solitude I am the only one to oppose my thoughts, but just like that expensive coat that I mentioned, my friends are treasures to me. 

 

I bumped into one such friend recently and how refreshing it was to have him grace me with his company.  It was wonderful to just have someone else’s brutal honesty.  Referring to one of my blogs on age, I feel like I just discovered again that I know everything about nothing.  He was so honest, that for the first time in a long time, I saw me from someone else’s perspective.  I am so self-righteous and stubborn, presumptuous and a total control freak.  Startling how much we don’t see ourselves.  Last night I got that precious opportunity again to see what my friend sees in me.

 

What makes it so much better is that nothing that he said was malicious.  It was pure water in the middle of the dessert, the oasis that provided hope where none was before.

Independent Women

So the discussion of independent women has been around for decades and we all strive to be that woman. Songs were written about it, women talk about it on TV and write about it in books and we teach our daughters, nieces, cousins or any female we come across about the independent woman. She is hailed wherever she goes, as the best thing to ever happen. I’m a feminist, but the truth has to be revealed some time or another, whether by a man or woman. Why it that every woman or girl thinks that independence is only a matter of her being able to take care of herself financially? The fact that she dresses herself, buys her own house and car and all things she desires seems to be all that we equate independence to. Yet, we constantly read of ‘independent women’ who are conned out of money. We read and know of women who are left with broken hearts, dumped for another and not being able to move on with her life. And if being an independent woman is only being able to provide for yourself and not having to ask a man for anything, does it mean that if I lose everything, for whatever reason, I am no longer independent. Cars get stolen, hi-jacked or written off due to accidents and houses burn down, washed away by floods and get damaged during storms. So again, if any of this would happen to you, does it mean that you are not independent anymore? An independent woman should not only be financially independent, but also independent in her thinking. It is often said that if you don’t stand for something, you fall for anything. If I cannot have my own opinion and be able to voice it and stand by it, until such a time as I am convinced otherwise of my convictions, can I honestly say that I am independent. All of this only because it is not in line with what is expected of me. Why can’t I be straight about what my feelings and beliefs are, about whatever the topic for discussion, without being labelled as ‘forward’, ‘bitchy’ or ‘wrong’? It has been seen many a time that society dictates what is acceptable and what’s not. So can I honestly say that I am an independent woman, if I let anyone dictate what I should say, feel, think or do? And does that in turn mean that the woman, who is not afraid to accept financial aid from her partner, is not independent? I guess then she fits right in there with being a ‘gold digger’ right? I am terribly opinionated, talk openly about money, sex, children, marriage, politics or any discussion that comes up and I often find that people think the worst of me. Some don’t say a thing, but by their reaction to me or what I have said, it is pretty obvious. On top of all of this I don’t have a car at the moment, use public transport and live on the same property as my mother, but each in our own place, so I guess I am not as independent as I always thought it was. That is if I am going on what the standard requirements are for being an independent woman. Gosh, my bubble was so burst when I realised this.

MY AMAZING TRAVELS

It all started while I was in school.  I couldn’t get enough of the travelling that became possible.  Being transported from one place to the next, they have become my way of escape.  Whenever one place got too familiar and boring I knew I could escape.  Sometimes the journey was not all that pleasant, but the mere fact that I had travelled far made it worthwhile. 

I vaguely remember having met Atticus Finch and his family in the book “To kill a mocking bird”.  I’ve always been a lover of books and bee an avid reader even before I could write and a while before I went to school, I read the English words, although it was incorrectly pronounced, I didn’t want to be corrected. 

I remember my years of teenage romances, the Mills and Boon collections were ecstatic trips.  Love, lust and the grand finale was always so rewarding.  It tainted my view of the world a bit, but I can’t think of a teenager who didn’t read them.  It made me believe in fairytales of all kinds.  All the romance in the world was possible.  I must mention that I don’t regret having read them.

I’ve met a lot of interesting people on my travels.  I met Julian, Letitia, Rosamond, Eliza and so many others in a book titled “Old Sins”.  A real grabber it was.  I couldn’t get enough, but I’ll introduce them to you soon enough.  I had recently returned from the United States having been in their judicial courts and met a long of people also.

I have met the abused daughter and witness the jealousy of a mother over her daughter and cried with the people she came in touch with.  I hope you will enjoy me sharing my trips with all of the people I have interacted with over the last couple of years and that you will understand my need to share them with you.  For all of the avid readers out there, you know that we can’t possibly all read the same books and travel to the same places as everyone else, so I hope a glimpse into my life of travels will suffice. 

 

Enjoy.