Tears My tears are not hot and dry they are not hidden behind my eyes or stuck in my throat They are an overwhelming ocean a riptide of emotion My tears are powerful and visible for all to see They dare not hide My tears are ever present Always available I am never without My tears are worthy of accolades and applause My tears are not forced or fake They are real and organic Constantly flowing ravaging whatever stands in its way My tears have a life of its own Ever present and commanding Causing you to turn your head when they make their presence known
To the woman sitting alone in her empty house Full of memories and mementos, wondering where it all went wrong, I was you. To the young girl crying her eyes out in the office bathroom, staring at herself In the mirror, not recognizing the person staring back at her With bloodshot eyes and tear-stained cheeks, I understand. To the tired mother, using her last strength to dress and feed and play with her kids When she hasn’t eaten or had a decent shower in days, I have been there. To the friend that needs comforting and can’t control the tears from flowing, Feeling as if everything is falling apart, You will be okay. It doesn’t matter how strong you feel you need to be or how tired you are and How many times you need to start over, I want you to know that This too shall pass.
we are shaped by our experiences but we can choose how to live out those experiences. We choose how to live, we choose whether we give up or go on. We choose to forgive.
life demands of you to be intentional; intentional about your actions, your energy, your focus, your thoughts and emotions.
It hasn’t been easy but it has been fulfilling
love is one of the most if not the most powerful source of hope we have on this earth
Its not just okay to live as your authentic self, its absolutely necessary.
do not fear. do not tremble. do not question or second guess
These hard, tiring and busy days won’t last.
Your ability to nurture, love, care and encourage is God-given.
break out of the mould you created for yourself with all the things you thought you knew
I hope you relinquish all expectations you had of yourself for this next season and simply enjoy being alive.
Even if it fails, at least you know that you tried.
We all have a place in our minds where we wish to go, things we want to do and places we want to see but if I’ve learned anything, these last few years, is that you won’t get there if you don’t get moving.
It’s a beautiful day. The dog dreams. I breathe
Better to have a moment of awkwardness than to have a lifetime of regret.
I’ve been thinking a lot about missed opportunities of late. It reminds me of the feeling of missing the train, you are so close and you just make it through the turnstiles but you are just not in time. You do that run-walk, hoping against all hope that by some one in a million chance that the train will wait for you. But you know very well, that will not be happening.
You know that the train only stops for a minute and then it’s gone.
Much like opportunity and effort.
You do just enough to get close enough but you don’t push through to the final test. You know how desperately you want chance or that opportunity but you are unwilling to run the race to the end; its either too hard or you just don’t have faith and you don’t believe that you can do it. In fact, maybe some part of you believes you don’t deserve it. So you don’t go all out, you just do enough to say, ‘I tried’ and then live your life always wondering what would have happened if I just took the risk? if I just went all out on this, what would have happened ? What is on the other side of this fear and hesitation?
GETTING ON THE TRAIN TAKES BRAVERY
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced that. I’m not sure if it’s because of imposter syndrome or fear, maybe a bit of both but I always find myself thinking about all the opportunities I’ve missed because I wasn’t brave enough to step into that opportunity that was wide open in front of me.
Something else I’ve realised is, that we always need to be ready for any opportunity. Poor planning is my Achilles’ heel. It’s a really bad habit and because of my poor planning, I’m never prepared for opportunities when they arise. There have been times when I’ve been blessed despite this weakness and things worked out for my good. However, most times, I end up missing the train and I have to wait again and that wait, my friends, is long.
WE ARE ALL AFTER OPPORTUNITIES
Some of us will just do more to get it. Have you ever waited for the train on the platform, you hear it come along and then all of a sudden, everyone standing there with you, waiting for the same train, gets ready to get on the train. Others have been waiting and ready since they arrived, then there are those who are still sitting, on their phones and not seeing what’s coming and then there are those, who are running down the stairs, trying to make it, knowing they are late but again, hoping that they will get a chance to get on the train. Often those people, only get a glimpse of the train as it leaves the platform.
What I’ve experienced when I wait for the train is when that train arrives, people will push you aside to get onto that train, they want the best seats or simply a chance to sit and be comfortable. Those people don’t wait for the passengers to get off before they get on, they get on the train while others are disembarking. They don’t care who gets squished or stepped on, they simply want their opportunity to get onto that train and if you’re not quick enough and sometimes not aggressive enough, you will be left behind.
REACHING YOUR DESTINATION
The truth of the matter is that once you do get on the train, whether you’re sitting or standing, there is always a view and you are well on your way to your destination. We all have a place in our minds where we wish to go, things we want to do and places we want to see but if I’ve learned anything, these last few years, is that you won’t get there if you don’t get moving. And if you take a minute to lift your eyes of your phone and take a look around you, you might find that your opportunity is on that train.
This month I celebrate my 30th birthday. The last 30 years seem to have gone by in a blur but there were some hard and necessary lessons learned. As I enter my 30s, allow me to share 30 things (out of the thousands) I’ve learned before turning 30-years-old. My 20’s were for learning. My 30s will be for putting what I’ve learned into practice.
1.Everything is a blessing from God if you choose to see it that way and if you can’t see it as a blessing, see it as a lesson.
Isaiah 43:1-3 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
2. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache and frustration if you choose not to focus on what others think of you.
3. Time with family is more precious than money.
4. Its not just okay to live as your authentic self, its absolutely necessary.
5. Gratitude opens up the door to opportunities.
6. Comparison is just another form of ignorance.
7. Griefnever goes away. You simply learn to live with it.
8. Patience, persistence, preparation and prayer, these things will get through hard times.
9. Rest when you need to. You are no good to anyone when you are operating on fumes.
10. Inspiration is not something to be found. It’s something to be created.
11. To get through anything, you’ll need patience. You’ll find yourself waiting a lot. Waiting in queues, waiting for transport, waiting on people, waiting for signs and miracles. Work while you wait. (I wrote this part while waiting in a queue at a clothing store)
12. Always have a book with you. Whether its a reading book or a note book. You’ll either read something worth remembering or write something worth sharing.
13. No one will and no one should believe in your art more than you.
14. Prayer will guide you and conviction will save you.
15. You need to have honest conversations with yourself about who you are and who you want to be. You need to dig deep into your heart and that will hurt sometimes because you won’t always like what you find.
16. Marriage and love are beautiful thing things. Despite the fact that many people will make you think love is painful or marriage is pointless, once you find it and experience it at its purest essence, you’ll understand the beauty of it.
17. You children will never do what you say. They will do what you do. Make sure you do the right thing.
18. The world is full of bad things but there are even more beautiful things to be discovered.
19. Set goals for yourself, have a plan. Do not go through life rudderless.
20. Take care of your finances. Be smart about your savings and where and how you spend your money.
21. Mind your business but make it your business to care for others.
22. Read and study your bible. You’ll find all the answers you need.
23. It’s okay to ask for help. It does not mean you are weak.
24. Your mind can become a battlefield, you need to protect it at all costs.
25. Be grateful for the hard times. Grapes are pressed and crushed to create wine.
26. Change is scary but sometimes it takes a big change to move you into action.
27. Being kind doesn’t have to be a production. Sometimes its a sincere word, a hug or just a smile.
28. Not everyone is out to hurt you. Some people simply want to get to know you and love you. It’s okay to trust people.
29. Don’t make social media your life.Make time to live in the real world.
30. Love sincerely and wholeheartedly and never regret giving someone your heart, even when they break it.
“Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been” – David Bowie
This past December, my family and I took a road trip to East Londonin the Eastern Cape. I met my husband’s grandmother, and now my grandmother.
In the ten days I lived in her home, I saw and experienced raw strength.
She is the matriarch and a true one at that. Mama is my husband’s 81-year-old paternal grandmother. She is also as fierce and feisty as they come. For you to understand my admiration for Mama, you need to understand a bit of her life and her history.
Mama, as she is so affectionately known, lost both her husband and only daughter of five children, who was also the youngest sibling, within the space of 6 months more than 15 years ago. She ended up having to take care of her late daughter’s son, who was two years old at the time. He is now a well raised young man.
Through conversations I had with Mama during our stay at her home in Buffalo Flats, I was in awe of how she relayed stories of when her husband, Dada, died and then how she lost her daughter only six months later. When I listened to her speak, I could hear pain, sadness, loss but also acceptance. She made me realize that acceptance like that only comes from a very deep-rooted strength.
I also realized that she didn’t have a choice but to be strong. She took on the responsibility of raising her grandson like he was her own. I cannot fathom the sheer determination and willpower it had to take for her to get out of bed every morning and be there for her grandson, the rest of her children as well as other family members.
SHAPED BY EXPERIENCE
I watched her as she sat on her red lumpy but very comfortable sofa in her home, hunched over with all the experiences from her past trying to weigh her down but she gets up every day, determined to live her life and do her daily chores.
It was at one of these moments when it hit me; she wasn’t sitting on a couch but a throne.
Mama also very much reminded me of mymother who died in 2020. Both women have seen and have been through some of the worst pain you can imagine, both refusing to be dictated to by bad and negative circumstances and both set in their daily way of life.
During the time I spent with Mama, I learned that yes, we are shaped by our experiences but we can choose how to live out those experiences. We choose how to live, we choose whether we give up or go on. We choose to forgive.
There was a point where Mama said to me that she didn’t know if she could ever accept or get through what had happened to her but God had gotten her through it and she did manage to accept her fate.
She could have chosen to be angry and to turn away from God, which I’m sure there were many of those moments when those bad feelings overwhelmed her. She could have chosen to become a lifeless vessel of her former self but I can assure you, that woman still has a lot of life left in her.
Her relationship with God is so secure and I truly believe that that is her source of strength. Every morning she wakes up and reads devotionals and her Bible. I’ve decided to put that in practice as well.
LIVING WITH INTENTION
Every time Mama would tell a story and explain the difficult parts, she would say, “but it doesn’t really matter“
For me, that didn’t mean she gave up or lost hope or didn’t accept things. For me it meant that in the bigger picture, the grand plan of God for her life, her focusing on the past was not the point. It was what she got out of all her pain and loss. Thewisdom and understanding that her loss and pain was not for nothing.The way in whichshe imparted her wisdom and what she learned, to others around her.It was peace beyond all human understanding.It was knowing that love is sacrifice and that understanding comes from compassion.
Mama showed me that life demands of you to be intentional; intentional about your actions, your energy, your focus, your thoughts and emotions.
I learned patience and I saw accepting the things one cannot change, in action.
I loved sitting in her company, I loved watching the movie of her life play out as she told me stories and showed me old polaroid photographs.
In ten days, I lived a life of 40+ years through the eyes of a woman who lost everything, was forced down on her knees and found herself in the perfect position to pray for the strength and will to live to tell the tale.
I hope you learn to appreciate all your flaws and find the beauty in every scar, wrinkle, and folded skin.
I hope you learn to love your voice. I hope that you use it to change your world.
I hope you learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made and, I hope you let go of the burden of guilt.
I hope you find love in all the different relationships in your life.
I hope you chase your dreams and get the chance to watch them come to life.
I hope you share your stories and adventures and inspire others to do the same.
I hope you learn to be gentle with yourself and remember that bad decisions do not define you.
I hope you find the strength to fight through the bad times and come out the other side a stronger person.
I hope you remember to pray.
I hope you remember how beautiful you are.
I hope you laugh more.
I hope you play more.
I hope you find more.
I hope you always look for stars in the darkest of nights
and know that the sun will always rise in the morning.
I hope you start believing in love again.
Just believe it again.
I hope you can look back on the last season in your life and find the good
And I hope that you will always be grateful that you have made it this far.
I hope you know that your story is far from over and that the next blank page is waiting for you to create the life that you want.
I hope you know that you have the power to change your life and I hope you remember to never give that power away.
I hope you know that you can push boundaries and break barriers.
I hope that you know that you are never alone.
I hope that you witness great things and climb majestic mountains.
I hope that you find the courage to reach deep within yourself and do what makes you happy.
I hope you walk away from anything that no longer serves you and, I hope you walk away with your head held high.
I hope that you smile again and laugh with all the joy in your spirit.
I hope it’s so loud that the rest of the world can’t help but laugh with you.
I hope you remember that saying goodbye is not always a bad thing. I hope you know that the pain doesn’t last. I hope you know that love is plentiful. I hope you dance in the rain and roll in the mud. I hope you plant seeds instead of picking flowers. I hope you remember that having a bit of fun is good for you. I hope you hold warm hands and kiss soft lips. I hope you get the chance to look into loving eyes and fall asleep in a warm embrace. I hope you take care of yourself.