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That’s what he does everyday. Even in the midst of people.
He seems like he’s there but its only a shadow of his true self.
His presence is a mirage. An illusion.
In as much as he may ‘mm’ and ‘aah’ with conviction at the right cues and his flesh may be present,
his spirit, the definition of who he is is ever elusive.
His thoughts are about his life – what he imagines it to be in its ideal state.
But, what he doesn’t realize is that he’s wasting it away on thoughts that are characteristically fleeting.
How ever will he gets what he wants then, if all he does is think. think. think.
And not live?
And how has this not dawned on him when this is his life.
I have these wonderful conversations with my friends at work – yes, we have thrown caution to the wind and dropped the c-word (colleague) and opted for the powerful f-word (friend) despite much not to subtle protest. Anyway, we have these wonderful, crazy and often enlightening conversations about everything under the sun often at 7:30 in the morning because we are those annoying over-achievers who get to work an hour and a half to two hours earlier.
So, today the question of whether anger can and should be equated with passion came up. There seems to be this warped perception that if your love interest, boyfriend, girlfriend – or the newly inducted term of affection ‘ho’ courtesy of Jeh-rome-ay – screams and shouts at you while fighting then they are passionate and really care and the inverse thereof.
Take Ronnie and Sammy from Jersey Shore. A lot of us watched that show less for the flashes of Snooki and Dina’s “kooka” and more for the love-hate relationship that Ronnie and Sammy have/had (never sure about those two) and the explosive expression thereof.
Let’s flashback to Season 3, episode something or other when Ronnie and Sam had the hugest fight where she was hanging on a bed like a spider monkey as Ron was trying to throw the bed (and her) out accompanied with banging doors and skin-crawling insults. Like, WTF?
Maybe I’m behind the times, but I don’t believe that that kind of behavior and fighting is passionate and sexy in any way. I don’t think anger should at all be a measure for passion or sexual prowess and least of all love.
The idea that if I choose not to scream and shout at you ever – let alone in public – is some sort of an indicator of being “dead inside” or cold and unfeeling is crap. What happened to sitting down and telling you rationally that I don’t like something you’ve done? When did my choosing not to throw plates and chairs when we fight make me less interesting and less wanted?
Or better yet, when did passion in love-making or passion regarding my hopes, dreams and future for myself and for us become less important than the “passion” apparently seen and felt when you’ve got a glass hurtling towards your face?
I don’t know, maybe I’m that old-school fuddy duddy (yes, I’m in my twenties and I used that phrase – dramatic effect, roll with it) who believes that there’s a time, place and appropriate response for everything. And that some things should be taken at face value for what they are. Anger is anger. Anger is neither passion nor love as far as I’m concerned.
I must say, the idea that I may need to get a cochlear implant from being profoundly deaf after someone’s expression of passion for/toward me is not-so-hot-so, but hey, that’s just me, the one who used ‘fuddy duddy’ in this century *shrugs*
Romance is something that is ingrained into almost every single girl child when they are born. We grow up being told fairy tales such as Cinderella – where the prince comes and saves her from her life of poverty and slavery (let’s be honest) and Snow White – where the kiss of a prince saves her life – woah, brainwash much?
Then we grow up and start to read Shakespeare and his writings on love and romance – hello Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night and it gets further solidified in our minds that firstly, romance does exist and secondly, that women are entitled to having it.
This doesn’t change the more we evolve and advance in all ways. Today, a certain level of romance and chivalry is still expected – it’s the unwritten rule of dating and plays a larger role than many would even care to realize. I mean if men could write love poems and wear their hearts on their sleeves unashamedly in 19-whatever when they barely had water to bath with, why then wouldn’t men who have more than some ink and a quill pen do a little something to show women how they feel and how they want them.
Now in the times of smartphones, social media and economic, social and technological freedom, the little things seem to be forgotten. What happened to the phone call? What happened to writing letters? Even buying flowers for a woman is starting to fade – Why would I buy flowers when I can take a perfectly good enough photo of someone’s flowers in their garden, put it through a nice filter on Instagreezy and tag the person I WOULD HAVE sent them to; I mean take a picture it lasts longer, right?
So, is romance dead though? Or has it gone through a process of evolution and become what it is today – he changed his Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’ – he must like me… Or, he hash tagged “My Boo” on twitter and ‘atted’ me – we in love… Or, have you seen the pictures he’s tagged me in on Insta with the sweet message, he’s the one.
I find myself wondering more and more if wanting some of the more traditional ways of courting – yeah I said it – such as a phone call instead of a BBM/whatsapp chat and being picked up with flowers and chocolates en tow is outdated and a bit irrational considering the times that we are living in? Or should it be one of those things that should be the standard and shouldn’t change.
I also wonder if it is even plausible in the times of men ‘loving bad bitches’ and wanting ‘racks on racks on racks’ and where women twerk on demand, pour it up in the clurrbs and don’t need no man to get by’, is The Notebook/Romeo & Juliet kind of love and romance be something that should fast become a figment of imagination and be replaced by twerking, balling, strategizing and ‘playing the game’ or should we all step up and take it back to basics?
Photo Credit: 1zoom.net and hiconsumption.com respectively
the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.
“we shall allow our intuition to guide us”
[ih-rash-uh-nl] Show IPA
without the faculty of reason; deprived of reason.
without or deprived of normal mental clarity or sound judgment.
not in accordance with reason; utterly illogical: irrational arguments.
not endowed with the faculty of reason: irrational animals.
Often we are told to listen to our intuition as a guide because it is the one thing that won’t steer us wrong.
ABC’s Scandal with Kerry Washington as its leading character Olivia Pope has an overarching theme of intuition with Pope known for listening to and trusting ‘her gut’ because her ‘gut is never wrong’.
Thing is, at what point does it stop being intuition and start being irrationality, jealousy or down-right insanity.
One of social media Whatsapp’s defining characteristics is its “Last Seen” option that lets you know when last someone was on their Whatsapp. Many a relationship has fallen victim of this feature with girlfriends (and boyfriends) hounding their partners for answers as to why they were on Whatsapp until 2am when they had said good night to them at 10pm – yikes. These women then foster possible reasons as to why this may be the case with infidelity almost always being the only reason that makes sense to them. This is then accredited to intuition confirmed by the ‘last seen’ on Whatsapp.
A lot of times when it comes to cheating in a relationship, women are often heard saying “You always know your man is cheating before you find proof, you’ll feel it in your gut – you’ll just know”.
While this has proven true a number of times, there are those times when it hasn’t been true – in this case, was the intuition wrong or was the woman insecure to some extent and as a result irrationally conjured up a scenario that made her feel better about her insecurities because for some reason it is easier to deal with the dragon of cheating than it is to admit “I’m scared I’m going to lose my man because I just don’t feel good enough for him”.
Essentially the point here is that while intuition is a guide of sorts, there are instances when it verges into the irrational and is used for a scapegoat for deeper issues. But then again, there are instances when it really is intuition and it should be listened to.
So, how do you know? How do you know when your intuition is serving you or when you’ve fooled yourself into thinking its intuition when it’s just irrationality? What if you ignore what you’re feeling as irrational but find out much later that you were right and you should’ve been Olivia Popesque and listened? But then again, what if you are wrong and end up unnecessarily damaging trust within your relationship?
I suppose this is one of those catch 22 situations where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Urgh.
A person’s “twenties” are considered to be one of the most exciting times of their life. You turn 21 and have a big party; if you pursued tertiary education, it is around age 22 that you get your qualification – with honours if you are lucky; and then you turn 23…. and what you get is a resounding “so… when are you getting married” – CRINGE!
For some reason, with a lot of black women of different cultures, once you turn 23 your mother, aunts and older cousins start to hear wedding bells on your behalf and if you don’t hear them yourself, you are looked at as if there is something terribly wrong with you.
In the Tswana language there is a word “lefetwa” that refers to someone that has essentially missed the ideal age of marriage and it is believed that once you have missed this age then marriage has passed you by. You are then given the ‘wonderful’ title of Lefetwa. This is possibly the worst title that you can be given because it essentially means that your family has almost lost all hope that prince charming (for lack of a better title) will find you and take you off the shelf. This issue is among the top 3 biggest fears of mothers with daughters, along with having a baby out of wedlock and being unemployed. Yes, it is THAT serious.
This fear is driven into irrational insanity when we tell them that we are going to break the age-old tradition and get married just before we turn thirty due to the pursuit of our careers. This new age thinking is something that our mothers struggle to wrap their heads around, because, well, having a husband and family is ranked pretty high on the success scale.
I, for one, am not in a particular hurry to get married and according to research, I am not the only one. According to a research article by scholars Budlender, Chobokoane & Simelane (Date Unknown), women in South Africa are increasingly getting married at a later age. In 1990, women were getting married between age 22 and 23 whereas now, women are waiting until age 27 or 28 to get married.
Interestingly enough, it is not only us South African women that have developed this aversion to marriage at a young age. According to Barkhorn (2013) women in the United States are also waiting until around age 27 to get married. Gone are the days when women waited with baited breath to be swept off of their feet and live happily ever after in a constant state of Utopia it seems.
I think that women and especially young women have developed this crazy ambition and are so empowered that they are looking to better themselves first before taking on the responsibility of being a wife and mother. This is definitely the case for me. I believe that in order to have a prosperous marriage and life in general, one needs to be happy within him/herself first. This will go a long way in preventing a wife who resents her family for having made her miss opportunities to get her dreams.
In as much as our mothers fear that we will “miss the boat” of marriage, I think that missing the boat of life in general would be much worse and have longer lasting effects on everyone.
So, while the fabulous dress and probably ridiculously opulent wedding ceremony is something that will bring temporary joy and help in avoiding being dubbed “lefetwa”, I would much rather catch the boat of my life and be happy within myself in order to make sure that I am happy in all areas, as a woman, journalist, future wife and mother.
Journalist Sandra Koopman says that “We are not incomplete without partners, so our partners should not seek or be expected to ‘complete’ us”… nor should we be made to feel as though there is something wrong with us if we choose to hold back on the idea of marriage. Now, if only our mothers can get on this new boat…
There are times when I feel like I should be more… just more…
As a person who is observant as well as an (over)analyser, I find myself looking at other people’s best qualities and sometimes wishing I had more of THAT thing.
I have a friend who is unshakeably sure of who and what she is; what she wants; where she’s going and how to get there. As a more “free spirit” I sometimes look at her and think ‘I need to get more surety’…
Another person that I know has got to be one of the most, if not the most, humble people that I know. When in her midst, it is inevitable to get in that zone and find yourself wanting to emulate or actually posses that kind of humility.
There are many people that I know who hardly sleep almost every day because they are “hustlin” and chasing their dreams. I think we have all come across those people who make you feel as though your efforts at chasing your dreams could qualify as the bare minimum.
But then, I sit back and try figure out why I (and many other people who may or may not admit it) am my own biggest critic…
I suppose the same principle is in effect as when someone genuinely says something nice about you and your instinctual response is to feel embarrassed rather than triumphant… It’s weird to toot your own horn because the line between confident and arrogant is sometimes too fine to even be seen.
But, I’ve realised something in all this insanity… that I am who I am and there’s no point in being something else and that there’s also nothing wrong with celebrating who you are, flaws and all.
While there’s always room for improvement; and trying to better yourself is totally respectable, it is also (if not more so) respectable to accept yourself in your current form… So, here it is…
I am an intelligent, ambitious and hard-working person; hard-working to the point of fault because I become like a machine when I’m focused on something and even end up kind of neglecting the people who mean the most to me. I am funny in a crass way and sometimes in a way that people find silly… but I’m cool with that.
I am a sociable person but simultaneously have a deep need to be by myself. I am confident but I also question certain things about myself across all boards… In some situations I find myself wondering if I sound intelligent enough while in others I wonder if I come across as pompous. I can be lazy, I’m not much of a ‘lady’ – I like to get down with the guys and have a dirty mouth and every now and then. But I am also rather girly with a love for make-up, fashion and all that feminine stuff. I’m emotional, empathic, intuitive and observant too…
Point is I AM ME and that’s all I’ll ever be. I think that we tend to focus so much on getting and better that we forget to appreciate the current reality of things. You are always going to be you, the only difference is whether you are the best version of you or not… And that’s the thing; the best you can and usually is different depending on many things including your environment, the personal stuff that you may be going through and many other things. For instance, the “best you” that you are at the office may not necessarily be the “best you” that you are/should be at home… For every person that you deal with and in each different setting, you tap into different parts of you that all comprise the essence of who you are.
You are you and no one can be the best or worst you quite like you can so you might as well not only love, but embrace and celebrate that fact. So, cheers to you you’re literally one of a kind *raises glass*
Photo Credit: SAMday.com; elitedaily.com
You’re in a retail store, probably buying groceries or toiletries and as you finish picking up all the items you need you suddenly have this deep feeling of regret in your stomach because you just remembered that now you have to go pay for them… Now, the regret is not because you are parting with money per se, but rather because you know without a doubt that the 5, maybe 10 minutes, you’re going to spend at the till with the cashier are going to be the longest of your life!!
I’m sure we all know the types of cashiers that I’m talking about – the ones who are inherently unhappy and/or annoyed with their jobs to the point where you, as a customer, hope and pray that they don’t attempt to crack a smile for fear that the earth would spontaneously combust out of sheer shock.
I, personally, worked in retail from the time I was 17 until I was 21 and I must say it is not an industry for the faint-hearted! Customers are demanding, managers are slave-drivers, hours are ridiculous and sanity is a blessing if you manage to hold onto it. Having been on that side of things, and knowing what it entails, I generally have a soft spot for people who work in retail, HOWEVER, I also expect a certain standard of quality regarding the service I get as I know what I am entitled to.
Being in retail, you soon learn (or rather are SUPPOSED to soon learn) that it is not about you. As a sales assistant, cashier, whatever, you are nothing but a mere vehicle to someone else’s happiness and satisfaction. And yes, you could rant, rave and protest all you want but that would not change the facts. And the facts are this:
- It is very rare that a customer will walk in and care about who you are, what you’re about and what your problems are, so stop expecting them to…
- …However SHOULD a customer care to be nice and friendly, you are OBLIGATED to respond in kind because well, it’s good manners but also, it kind of is your job (or at least it should be).
- Just because you don’t sit at a desk and work a 9-5, doesn’t mean that you can act unprofessional
- For whatever reasons, YOU chose your job. And no matter how much it’s making you unhappy, you are also the one choosing to stay in it.
Being angry doesn’t make the situation change or go away any quicker or make the days any shorter or less painful so you know what you might as well do, SMILE for goodness sake! It won’t kill you, truly it won’t. If anything, it’ll make your days a little easier to bear….
…And keep verbal and/or written warnings for not fulfilling a key aspect of your job away from you.
**Photo credit: madscientist12.hubpages.com and thecolorgray.com respectively
I recently had to do a journalism newspaper assignment that required an opinion piece on various topics. One of the topics was President Jacob Zuma’s statement regarding the violence in South Africa, where he stated that South Africa is not a violent country but just has violent people. I don’t particularly agree. I speculate that maybe Jacob Zuma does not live in the same South Africa that we do.
Currently, I live in a South Africa that is rife with all kinds of violence that occur on a daily basis in all parts of our country. The numbers of violent incidences that have taken place in the past year alone are horrific.
I live in a South Africa where 34 miners and two policemen were killed in a tug-of-war between the miners and police at the Marikana mine in Lonmin. I live in a South Africa that was the stage for 17-year-old Anene Booysen’s brutal gang rape and murder. I live in a South Africa where a few weeks later, model and actress, Reeva Steenkamp was killed by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorious on Valentine’s Day. I live in a South Africa where taxi-driver Mido Macia was tied to a police van and dragged along the road by policemen. I live in a South Africa where advocate Dali Mpofu was mugged and stabbed while minding his own business and enjoying a stroll on an Eastern Cape beach. This is the South Africa that I know of.
Our country has always been strewn in violence, after all, it was violence of sorts that led to our liberation as a country and afforded us the freedoms that we are all enjoying and even abusing today. That violence, however, had a good cause attached to it and was also in retaliation to the violence that was being inflicted on the indigenous people of South Africa by its oppressors. It was a sort of violence that people were advocates of and were proudly associated with as it served the greater good. The kind of violence that is occurring today, however, is haphazard, unjustifiable and completely heart-breaking.
Just yesterday, The Daily Sun posted a video of an old lady being brutally beaten by two young men because she had been caught shop-lifting. The level of violence bestowed upon her is really unnecessary and absolutely inhumane, in my opinion. Yes, a crime was committed and, yes, she should be punished for that but not in the manner in which she was. The kind of beating that this woman received was fit for a hardened criminal who had done something truly sinister. My heart, compassion and sense of justice went out to this woman and sided with her, rather than her abusers who thought they were bringing justice to their community.
Another thing that really bothers me about this particular incident, as well as the state of South Africa, is the inhumanity of it all. The fact that people are capable of such cruelty disturbs me but what really breaks my heart is the fact that this video of this woman being beaten up even exists, and more so, the fact that the person recording this is laughing at this woman’s pain and misery as she is being beaten with a belt and a mallet and being stepped on. Is this really who and what we have become?
The thing that makes matters worse is the fact that our President not only does not live in this South Africa, but seems to be unaware of it, if he can makes statements such as these. The President knows of and lives in a South Africa where he can renovate his home for R200-million and not bat an eyelid; a South Africa where he travels with bodyguards and an impressive security detail to protect him from the kind of violence he’s claiming does not exist. He lives in his own South Africa, detached from the people of society and the issues that they are facing. This is the only explanation that can satisfactorily explain how he could make such a bold and untrue statement.
I understand President Jacob Zuma’s philosophical stance that it is not the country that is bad but people in it, but what is a country if it is not its people? What defines society if it is not the people of that society and their actions? Granted, it is not everyone that is morally crippled and capable of heinous crimes and violence, but it is a significant portion of this country. Also, the nature and extent of the violence is too ugly and brutal to ignore, regardless of the fact that it is not necessarily everyone in the country. The fact that most of the news regarding South Africa lately has been linked to violence is enough for me to say that Jacob Zuma’s statement was untrue, outrageous and irresponsible to an extent.
We would all love to live in a society and South Africa that is devoid of violence and especially violence of such a gruesome and horrific nature. We all have hopes, aspirations and ideals for the kind of people we want to be and for the way that we want the world to see us and to think of us, however, these ideals should not blind us to the current realities. Our leader is not one who should be acting oblivious to the obvious social and moral decay of our society because until such time as we can admit to our social ills, it will only get progressively worse. If we are to begin to change and fix this, we need to first accept and admit this about our country and society, because in the words of psychologist Dr. Phil, you cannot change what you do not acknowledge and it’s time for our President to sit up and pay attention.
In the weeks leading up to graduation, I found myself being alarmingly calm and almost unphased by the whole thing. Everyone around me was extremely excited and the girls were speaking about doing their nails and hair and what they were going to wear. My contribution to this conversation was a smile, an occassional laugh at the theatrics of it all and polite nodding. This happened until the day of graduation, mind you.
The day of graduation, I kind of HAD to get in the swing of things because, well, the day had arrived. I painted my nails a loud pink, curled my weave and did my make-up ‘extra nice’ that day. Still, I was not phased. I put my dress on, my heels and made my way to campus with my mom, older brother and sister-in-law. The car ride was pretty tense because, at this point in time, I was running late and frustrated.
We got to campus and walked to the venue and sorted out all the documentation needed for the much advertised stage photographs. I started to see my classmates and my mood lifted (just a tad though).
I then went to hire out my graduation gown where I bumped into one of my favourite people and my mood lifted just a tad higher. I got the gown and put it on….. My life changed in that moment.
For some reason, once I had the gown on, it all became really real and it dawned on me that I was graduating and what that really meant. All the sleepless nights; all the stress; all the anxiety suddenly became worth it.
In that moment I fully realized just how much I had achieved and how amazing and great a privilege it was for me to be wearing that gown and what it meant about me. I realized my strength and determination. There were many times where I wanted to throw in the towel but I hadn’t; also many times when I wanted to curl up in a ball and not have to face the world, but I picked myself up and kept soldiering on… And in that moment, I fully realized that it wasn’t all in vain.
Varsity is great.. It allows you to meet new people; grow up and either find or fully understand yourself. It also sucks… It shows you how easy it is to fail and knocks you down along the way but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to get back up and kick it in the face.
There’s no sweeter revenge than success and I got just a little taste that day and man oh man, was it amazing. The greatest part of all this, is that I get to do it aalll again next year when I graduate Honours… Hopefully Cum Laude this time.
Until then, congraduation to me and the rest of my class!
I have always loved you, even before I understood how complex and multifaceted you are. You take on so many forms – personal journal-writing, poetry, song-writing, authoring, blogging and so much more.
As a young teen, your poetic form appealed to me in a way that was surprising. I don’t think I really understood you – the effect of being wet-behind-the-ears, I suppose. I thought that it was only through poetry that one could showcase their love and talent for writing and as such, I just threw myself in that mix. It was great for a while but, truth be told, poetry was never my niche. I think it was my way of trying to show my depth in a way that was acceptable to the world according to the standards of that time and the people I was around. This belief changed, as many things do with age. I came to the realization that not everyone needs to be Shakespearean to be taken seriously and considered skilled or to “have a way with words”.
Enter personal journal-writing and therapeutic writing. I think I was about 16 or 17 when this on-again-off-again relationship with this therapeutic form of you. You became my safe-place; my shrink, my serenity, my best friend and really just my everything. I could be the truest form of me, with my guard down and no fear of judgement of any kind. You still play this role in my life, although, I must be honest, I don’t use you in this way as much anymore – must be the fear that somehow creeps up on you and attaches itself to you as you get older. The pure freedom that we all have as a default setting when we’re born having slowly but surely faded. Regardless of the fear, you are still a part of me, an integral part that I can never erase.
As a result, I took another route – the journalism route. You, writing – my love and touching the lives of people – my other love. Studying journalism made you change drastically. You stopped being just a friend but became a great tool and you became more formal and academic. I had to start using you objectively, with a clear and pre-determined purpose rather than going with the flow and seeing where you would take me. For the longest time I didn’t use you in a personal capacity, but it didn’t much matter – as you were still close to me.
Towards the end of my degree, I spoke to the general manager from DSTV Online as well as another senior lady who works there about you. The advice I was given was to blog to get a feel for you, writing, in a less academic way but rather a more real and practical way. My heart almost stopped at the thought of sharing you, one of the biggest parts of me, with the world that way. However, I wanted and still want to know you in a professional way one day so I rolled with it.
And I’m still rolling with it despite not knowing where this love affair is going and what fruits it might bear one day. All I know is that I love you, unconditionally, whole-heartedly and now in a way that’s more real and realistic than ever before. I’m going to keep you close and use you in as much as you will let me; to slay dragons, tell stories, help those in need and on the flipside, entertain people.
Thank you for always being here and for being the key to the success that I know we’ll one day unlock.
You are me, and I am you.
I love you always…