Kimberly Fray

I AM HER

I stare at her in the dirty mirror on the wall

She stares back at me, all the cracks showing

Unwilling to smile

Asking me questions with her eyes.

She looks tired

She feels exhausted

Her body is in pain

Her back hurts.

Her eyebrows are untamed

I should do something about that,

I think.

What about the hair, it’s so dry and unmanageable

We should cut it,

I say

“No”
 I hear a whisper

The breeze floats through the open window

Strands of hair dances as it does

The sun frames me with a golden light

Almost angelic if I didn’t know better

Mmm, that felt nice, we both think.

I’m not that pretty,

I sigh

A bit on the bland side

You’re beautiful

I look away from the mirror

And inhale.

She exhales

We’re staring at one another

Through purpled framed specs

I’m tired” I think

I know” she whispers back

I arch my back in cat-like stretch

Feeling the muscles in the lower back

Tensing as I do.

She inhales

I exhale

I lift a cup of tea to my lips

Not too sweet

A bit cold

I lick my lips to taste

What are we going to do?”

I ask

We carry on

She replies

I move my hair from right to left

Feeling the texture

Dry, yes

But still beautiful.

A smile touches my lips

I look in the mirror hanging on the wall

You’re strong

She says

I hesitate

The eyes that stare back at me

Look hopeless

Deep set and underlined with shadows

As if years of sleep have been lost

And years of tears have been shed

You’re strong

She says again

Say it

I inhale

I exhale

I fix my hair

And straighten my clothes

I am strong

I whisper

This body is merely a vessel

Your spirit is flourishing

She becomes louder

I can feel her banging on the walls on the inside of my head

And my heart.

I inhale

I exhale

For every one thing that I find is wrong with me

There are ten more things that are right with me
.”

I hear myself say.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inhale.

Exhale.

I am strong.

I am beautiful.

I am capable.

I am

Her.

alpine-grass elke, flower, armeria alpina

LIVE AND LOVE LOUD

Watching Connie Ferguson at her husband’s funeral broke my heart. I can’t imagine saying goodbye to my husband of only 4 months, imagine the pain she feels of losing her best friend and life partner of 20 years. 
Death is such a painful experience and before I lost my mom, I couldn’t really relate to anyone who lost another person. I couldn’t understand that grief and pain. I couldn’t fathom the emptiness and now I see and feel it all around me, almost on a daily basis.

Shona and Connie Ferguson. Shona died this past week from Covid-19 complications

It’s painful to read, report or hear of someone dying, it’s heart-shattering. When someone you love dies, a part of you dies with them. There is constant emptiness, a dark and hollow feeling. You can never shake it and you live with it all your life. 
It rocks you to your core and breaks every resolve you’ve ever had. Then you have to rebuild. You need to start again. 

Something that is beautiful though is love, love makes the memories that you carry worth all the pain that you feel. Memories and the feelings associated with that person, makes it bearable. 

What this death has reminded me of, is that we run out of time.

We do not live forever.

The time that we have on this earth is more than precious, it is sacred. 

The people we have in our lives, the ones we love and cherish and adore, are the ones that deserve all that we have to offer. 

We cannot afford to be selfish and arrogant. We can’t live in a way where anger and hatred dominate our lives. 

Say ‘I love you’ as often as you can and mean it. 

Enjoy every minute you can breathe. 

Laugh as much as possible and love even more. 

Create art and enjoy it too. 


Live each moment as if it’s your last. It might sound like a cliché, but it doesn’t make it any less true. 

coruh river, river, streaming
girl, sitting, jetty

LIVING IN A PERPETUAL STATE OF SADNESS

IT DOESN’T SEEM TO END, DOES IT?


Every single day we hear or read about someone dying. They become a number in the statistics and leave a hole in the hearts of people who loved them.
Every single day when we hear of someone losing their lives; whether to Covid-19 or something else, our hearts break a little more.
You don’t need to know the person who has died. You simply need to have a sense of humanity and compassion to know that somewhere in the world, someone is left reeling from the death of a loved one.

The entire world is sad. We feel it all around us and see it on the news, we hear it from strangers. We see it in the tear-filled eyes of our friends. Some of us live it daily. It doesn’t seem to end.


As I write this, I’m sitting in my kids’ bedroom, on the floor and the picture of my late mother is right in front of me. I moved it to their bedroom a couple of nights ago because my 6-year-old daughter was crying in her bed. After all, she was missing her Ouma. She too, is sad, having lost her grandmother just over a year ago.

woman sitting on wooden planks
Photo by Keenan Constance on Pexels.com


The sadness seeps into our lives, our work, creativity, our ability or lack thereof to be in social settings. It’s in our bodies and minds as we lay on the couch, watching yet another episode of a Netflix series that ends up adding to the melancholy.
You might think this post is so depressing but, the truth is, we are all living in a perpetual state of sadness. Denying that will do no good to anyone. It’s okay to be sad, don’t dismiss anyone’s feelings simply because it doesn’t fit into the narrative of the day.


But just because we are sad doesn’t mean we can’t have hope.

dandelion, flower, plant

12 THINGS I’VE LEARNED IN THE LAST YEAR

Earlier today: It’s Saturday afternoon, the house is quiet, the wind is howling outside, keeping the sun company. It seems like a good time to reflect on the last year.

I’m braiding my hair and thinking about this time of year. Last year (2020) we lost our mother. It was a Friday and she died in a car on her way to the clinic, my then boyfriend (now husband) right next to her. A shift happened then and a shift is happening now. My husband, sick with Covid-19 and myself, also sick but I haven’t tested for Covid-19 at the time of this post but we’re treating the situation as if I am sick with Covid too. Though I feel strong enough to clean the house and make sure we have something to eat, I still don’t really feel like myself.

REFLECTION

All these health issues have done a very good job of distracting me from what day it is. The day my mother died. I’m not feeling incredibly sad or melancholic when I think about it; I feel a sense of peace, maybe even gratitude, that we as a family have been able to make it through the last 12 months in one piece and then some. We had an addition to the family with my niece, we had a wedding and we had the birth of our company. Those are quite huge life milestones. It just goes to show that life really does go on after the death of a loved one, at least if you let it.

Still in the quiet of the house, I wonder to myself, why is it that these shifts or life-changing events seemed to have happened around the same time for the past 2 years and I can’t help but wonder will something else happen next year around this time? I also don’t really want to question why these things are happening and happening in the way they are and around the time they are. I understand that no one truly knows the inner workings of time so I simply want to breath and say, “Thank you Lord” .

sol, nature, gratitude
Have an attitude of gratitude

GRATEFUL

Something that has really stood out for me during this time of isolation over the past several days, is the kindness of people; everyone we care about checking in on us and bringing us food. That especially has reminded me of the week when my mother died; everyone brought us food and groceries so that we didn’t still have to worry about that. I’m really grateful to all the people who have come through for us during this time.

flowers. roses. love
Flowers from my friend Reesha.

With that said, I’d like to share 12 things I’ve learned in the last 12 months since my mother died.

  1. It’s okay not to feel in control.
  2. You can cry whenever and wherever you need to.
  3. Change will always come, don’t fight it.
  4. Nothing ever goes the way we expect or plan, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared.
  5. It’s okay to feel the ‘bad’ feelings; fear, sadness, anger, frustration ect.
  6. You won’t always succeed at everything you take on and that’s okay.
  7. You are allowed to want to be alone.
  8. Grief throws you into an unending spiral of self-confrontation.
  9. Cooking or baking is therapeutic.
  10. Love is all there is. It will get you through your darkest nights and brightest days.
  11. Don’t waste the time you have. You won’t get a refund.
  12. Live well.

japanese cherry trees, flowers, white

GRIEF

The other day I heard two young girls speak on the train on my way home. The one said to the other; “Time heals everything”.

I wanted to speak up and say no, time does not heal everything.

I no longer believe time heals everything. Time allows you to get used to trauma and pain. That, however doesn’t necessarily mean you are healed.

It simply means you’ve learned how to live with what hurt you.

self-care self love

SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH

I was looking at myself in the mirror the other day and I didn’t like what I saw. I felt miserable because my clothes didn’t fit right and I realised that I had gained weight. The truth of the matter is, I haven’t been taking care of myself lately; I haven’t been eating properly and I haven’t been giving myself well-deserved self-care.

Growing up, I know we are told not to focus too much on our outer appearance. We are taught that “it’s what inside that counts” I teach my kids the same thing but I’m learning a very important lesson now as an adult that we sometimes forget that it’s what we put inside our bodies that affect our outer appearance. I don’t want to look in the mirror and not like what I see.

I’ve been going through the motions; work, home life, kids and school, working on being a good wife and mother ,and all my other responsibilities but in all of that I’ve neglected myself. I find myself eating more than usual, drinking ample amounts of coffee ,and reaching for chocolate or cake for no reason other than comfort. Feeling sick, nauseous ,and weak has become the norm and my headaches are relentless. The worst part is, I am always and I mean always, tired.

I think the last time I had a proper self-care day was three months ago for our wedding and that wasn’t something I did for myself. Other people did it for me.

Self-care should be something we prioritise often. It should be a part of our lifestyle.

Self care can come in many different ways:

  • Getting your hair and nails done
  • Going shopping and buying yourself something that you’ve wanted for some time
  • Taking a break from work
  • Going on a short holiday away from your usual surroundings
  • Taking a break from social media
  • Spending time by yourself
  • Spending time in prayer or meditation

SELF REFLECTION

All these things can help bring you back toward yourself. We can’t take care of others if we’re not taking care of ourselves. You can’t give from an empty cup.

You’re scraping from the bottom of the barrel and giving yourself and your loved ones, your work ,and your business less than what they deserve. Less than what you deserve.

It’s okay to step back and reflect on your life. You can say no to another project or event. It’s okay to put yourself first. Sometimes, it’s required.

When I was standing before the mirror the other day, I looked around me and the house was a mess. I felt completely overwhelmed by everything that I burst into tears. It was tears of exhaustion. I hardly have the energy to take care of myself let alone the house but somehow I still find myself cleaning and cooking but I’m doing it from an empty cup. I’m scraping from the bottom of the barrel.

Reflecting on all of this has felt like a very honest conversation I’ve had to have with myself about how I’m treating myself and my body, my mind ,and spirit. I want to experience holistic health and the truth is, the mind, body ,and spirit are all connected. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. My family and career and all my responsibilities keep my life full and exciting. I see the growth in all the areas of my life, the problem is, I can’t seem to keep up with it.

If I don’t take care of the one, all the others will be out of sync. My family, career ,and business cannot thrive if I am not at my best.

MAKING THE EFFORT

As I said before, self-care has to become a part of my life. It is a daily habit that has to be learned through repetition. I now have to learn to take care of my body and my overall health. I understand now that self-care is simply doing things that will improve my mental state, everything else will flow from there. Below is a great list of how to practice self-care.

Remember, self-care is self love!

sunrise, boat, rowing boat

STEPPING DIFFERENTLY THROUGH PURPOSE

You step differently when you walk in your purpose.
You feel stronger and more confident. You know that when you have challenges, you are ready to face them and you don’t let it get you down because you know it is all part of the plan.

Your spirit is calm and your soul is at peace because you know and believe that where you are is all part of God’s calling for your life.

You become kinder and more compassionate.
You are filled with understanding and you are not led by your feelings but by your spirit.
You don’t go where the world goes.
You understand the importance of being patient and walking your road alone with God as your only companion.

I love this feeling that I am experiencing; I am confident in the grace and glory that God has placed over me.
It took me a long time to get here and I know I am only in the beginning stages but I am trusting the process.
I am not trying to be in control, I am letting God work and the weight that it takes off my shoulders is magnificent.

When I look back on my life, I am grateful that I submitted and surrendered.

I smile now and my smile is genuine.
When I feel tired, I know where to turn.
When I feel lost and confused, I turn to the Word.

I am walking in my purpose and I know what is coming next will be more challenging and it will test me but I am ready because I walk with God.

That glow that you see is not good skin or good health.
That glow is the light of God that shines in me and through me.

baby feet, heart, love

OH BABY!

Little one,
From the womb whence you came,
Only to be discarded on the side of the road.
Oh, baby!
Wrapped in plastic,
Near the stench of a filthy rubbish bin.
Accompanied not by warm hands and inviting smiles,
Instead, you’re surrounded by
Rotten food and hungry wolves.


Oh, baby!
Your cries drown out the screams
As she forces you out,
Two months premature.
She doesn’t want to remember
the day that you were created
in a night of heated passion.
Your sweet face and soft skin
Make her skin crawl.


Oh, baby!
She blames you for the loss of his love
And punishes you,
Gets rid of you,
Like yesterday’s trash.
A one night stand,
Mistaken for a love of a lifetime,
Resulting in 9 months of responsibility.
A lifetime responsibility.


Oh, baby!
Your little body; hands and feet,
Blue in the cold night,
Unaware of the love that awaits you
From a barren mother who craves you
Who wishes for you,
Prays for you.
Your sweet scent,
Your ten fingers and
Ten toes.
Oh, sweetheart
Covered in blood,
The only tie to your previous life,
Is the cord that binds itself around your tiny
Neck.


Oh, baby!
Please hold on!
Someone is coming.
Oh, baby!
You are wanted
and needed.
You are a source of joy and laughter.
Your precious life is a gift from the heavens.
Oh, baby!
Please hold on!
That yellowed grass patch might be your beginning
But
It is certainly not your end.



write, create, art

A NEED TO LIVE LIFE AND CREATE

A DESPERATE NEED

I need to create and leave something behind that will live long after I’m gone.

I don’t want to lie on my deathbed one day and have so many regrets that I can be buried underneath it.

My purpose is to create something out of nothing,

To fill blank pages with my sorrows, worries, and fears and turn them into something beautiful to share with others.

In this way, I connect with others.

This is why I create, why I need to write. It is why my life needs to be an open book.

There is a need to build a bridge between my fears and another’s loneliness,

To leave breadcrumbs in the form of poetry and stories so that someone else can find their way and their voice.

Sharing my life gives another person the courage to be brave enough to share their own story.

This is my calling.

FULLFILLING MY PURPOSE

Every day that passes that I do not write, express or create, feels truly wasted. On those days I feel as if I’ve betrayed my calling. I feel as if I have wasted an entire day not living as I truly should be living.

I feel as if I did not live at all.

Even when I’ve tried to avoid it or ignore it or tell myself that it wasn’t important, there is always this nagging feeling inside of me, tugging at me, pushing me in a direction.

It is a futile feat trying to turn my back on it; I am an artist. I am creative.

You may not always understand what I create, you may not always enjoy what I share and you may even mock me and laugh at me, but that will only encourage me more.

This is not just a calling but it is also a responsibility.

Writing is an art; the blank page is my canvas, words are my paint and the world and this life is my muse.

What you finally see before you; is my work of art.

My gift to you.

woman, lady, pretty

LIVING WITH IMPOSTER SYNDROME

I came across this term last year, I think. If I’m honest, I’ve never heard of it before coming across the post that referenced it and I just ignored it. I then saw someone on Twitter explaining how imposter syndrome has kept them back from fulfilling their potential and I started to do some research.

Turns out, I have had my fair share of imposter syndrome.

WHAT IS IMPOSTER SYNDROME?

Imposter syndrome is defined as not believing you are as competent / able as others believe or perceive you to be. Its basically an internal belief that you have about yourself that tells you, you are not good enough. Imposter syndrome relates to your intelligence, achievements, perfectionism and social context.

One definition defines IS as you feeling like a fraud within a certain context you find yourself in; whether it be in your job or social circle.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

When I read these various definitions and explanations about IS, I realized that this is something that I have been struggling with. It seems the reason for my lack of content of late could be attributed to me feeling as if my writing is not good enough. I always see other bloggers and I see their content and always ask myself, “What am I doing?”

I always hesitate when I am writing or when I get to the point where I have to hit publish because I don’t feel as if I deserve to be published or I don’t deserve that my work be read. Many people have complimented my work and have told me how they have been inspired by what I write and even though I’ve been published on several platforms, I still don’t believe I am good enough.

There are so many times when I thought to myself that I am a fraud or a phony when it comes to being a writer. This thought or belief I’ve had and sometimes still have about myself has held me back for so long and caused me to miss so many opportunities. I realised recently that because of this fear or belief I have that I am not good enough, I have been slacking on my writing and my ability to push out content has wavered.

CHARACTERISTICS OF IMPOSTER SYNDROME

An article by Arlin Cuncic on verywellmind.com lists the following traits of IS:

–  Self-doubt

–  An inability to assess your competence or skills

–  Attributing your success to outside factors eg luck

–  Berating your performance

–  Fearing that you won’t live up to expectations

–  Overachieving

–  Sabotaging your own success

–  Setting difficult and challenging goals and feeling disappointed when you don’t achieve it

alone man person sadness
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Imposter syndrome is such a deep poison within in your thought patterns that you start believing you can’t do the things you are certainly capable of doing. Things that you are actually an expert in. You start doubting yourself so much that you block yourself from even trying. You end up doing the bare minimum because you tell yourself, “Why should I even try if I’m going to fail anyway?”

Imposter syndrome is an internalized fear that you cannot do what you are skilled and qualified to do.

WAYS TO GET OUT OF IMPOSTER SYNDROME

  • Talk about what you’re feeling to someone you trust.
  • Understand the difference between feelings and fact.
  • Work on emphasizing the positives.
  • Develop a healthy way to deal with failure.
  • Visualise your success
  • Speak more positively to yourself.
  • Reward yourself.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Understand that you can’t be perfect.
  • Say yes to opportunities.
board, school, self confidence

If you want more practical ways of getting over imposter syndrome, check out the TEDTalk by Valerie Young below: