Life before social media…

If you can remember a time before posting online was part of your daily habits, consider yourself lucky. In my opinion we have so many special memories, ones that we remember even without it appearing on a timeline somewhere where strangers get to see it. These are the memories we enjoy, that makes us daydream & giggle quietly, not cringe at the sight of doing something silly (oh my twenties…) or saying something provocative (hey! Let’s just say 20-somethings feel invincible 🙂 )

Today I was remembering having pen pals. Do you remember those? I belonged to an International club and could choose friends from around the world. I chose someone in Mauritius, China, America, Italy and France. I think it’s safe to say that from a young age, I’ve been fascinated with the world and people out there in different countries & cultures. Even with writing… Hmm interesting what you learn about yourself when you reflect.

However, I only remember writing one letter to each of these pen pals. I don’t remember receiving post from them, except from the girl in Mauritius. Good ‘ol postal service… it could just mean the letters got lost in the post, I won’t jump to conclusions that they rejected me… I mean c’mon 😉 😉 Cute little 10year old me from Cape Town, South Africa… hahaha 🙂

I wonder where these “Pen Pals” are now. Do you think it would be creepy to just try & connect with them on social media… LOL I’m cringing just thinking about it. Wait, I’ll have to give this one some more thought before just randomly friend requesting a stranger. How often do I delete such requests myself!

This was a really pleasant trip down memory lane.

As a footnote: I’d like to apologise to my followers for not seeing me active for some time now. I suffered a tragic, sudden & shocking loss in July. My eldest brother passed away. Walked into hospital for treatment on the Monday & closed his eyes the Wednesday evening thereafter. This event reopened very sore emotions having lost my mom, dad & brother before him. Also, just days after writing about my 1st brother who’d passed away. I felt I was making progress with their loss, only to be hit with another.

Needless to say, I was certainly not feeling inspired by much. I always had my little blog in the back of my mind, but didn’t want to only write about death & tragedy. It’s a harsh reality, but not one I want to focus on.

I am still alive and I still want to live. That is important to me.

♪ ♫

I’m sure many of you have songs floating around in your head-space, please feel free to share yours & have a look at my Song of the Day

Is it there for a reason? Or did it just pop into your head & get stuck there? Are any of my other Songs familiar to you? I’d love to know 🙂

Here’s hoping you all have an easy-peasy Monday – with no blues!

xx

Walk on…

Big step for me today. I moved my late brother’s whatsapp messages to the archive! Not deleted… just archived.

This may not sound like anything huge, but since I lost him in 2013, these messages cheer me up when I find myself thinking about how much I miss him & feel down in the dumps because of it. After he passed, I had lost half of my family to cancer – mom, dad, and then brother. It’s actually surreal just typing that. You plod along with life, days become weeks & before you know it, years have passed. Though, that gaping hole remains. So often people tell you “time will ease the pain” or the cliché “time heals all wounds” or “it’ll get easier” That’s such bullshit! In my experience, time has allowed me to remember them more easily without bawling my eyes out. I’ve gotten to a point where I can think about them and smile. Remember things we did or things they used to say & actually giggle. But easy? Are you kidding me? There’s nothing easy about not having parents & losing a sibling whom you were so tight with. Not sharing your life with them.

My brother, Deon, & I were the last in the family home after my 2 other brothers and sister got married & began their lives. Deon was an absolute joy! Everywhere he went, he formed connections with people. People loved him. He was always happy & jolly. To the point where it would irritate me 🙂  He would take his last pennies out his pockets to help someone in need. We had quite an age gap, so when he was getting ready on a Friday night for a party, I would be in PJ’s asking a million questions about where he was going, etc. So often, he’d feel sorry for me & pop out to the shops to surprise me with some snacks, watch a movie with me or MacGyver on the telly (I even convinced myself he looked like MacGyver) before heading out. He was always willing to help. As I got older, he was always championing me to live out my dreams & “go for it babes” as he’d say. These are the kind of memories that make me smile.

The cancer came out of nowhere. He went for an op on his arm & a week later had been diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer. Do you think that got him down? Hell no! I’m sure it took its toll on him, but he never let us see it. Always positive, happy. So when he started saying he was tired, when we started noticing him cringing with pain & just disappearing to the bedroom, we knew it was real, and bad. At one stage, he said “I’ll just have to ride this out & hope for the best” This was weeks before he passed, just a year after being diagnosed and just 6 weeks after we lost my father too. 2013 was not a kind year at all.

I miss you terribly Deon. I can say that without the tears welling up as much as before.

I promise you I will live out my dreams. I am quite the dreamer!

He was a die-hard Liverpool fan & I chose to play their song at his funeral…

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone

For my brother, Deon

Entries are closed…

So I missed a deadline for a photography competition I was really keen to enter. (Damn!!) When I first saw it I set a gazillion reminders for the last week of submission. Why didn’t I just enter when I first saw it? I thought of how to motivate my shot and why I thought it encompassed the theme of the competition. During a lunch break, in that last week, I decided ok let’s do this… And then the site was blocked (office IT restrictions suck!) I came home on the last day for submissions and was completely distracted by a new recipe I wanted to try out. Yes, this too is an interest which I dabble with now & then 😉 So tonight as I logged into the site, I was mortified with the big sign saying “entries are now closed” 😭This just made me angry with myself for not making the time to do something that excited me. Another opportunity lost. I know there’ll be more chances, but I just hate that I keep seeming to miss out because of my own procrastination. Or lack of commitment to what I want to be a successful photography path. 

Well, maybe it’s the universe’s way of telling me “not yet” or on the flip side it could be saying “commit to your passion”. I must stop procrastinating & get my shots out there!

Friendship – Beyond Borders

I’ve been quiet over the past couple weeks, but with good reason. I had a friend visiting from India for 3 weeks. This is a woman I met when I traveled to India in 2011 (I promise to share more about that another time 🙂 ) Since then, we have stayed in touch and this has been her 2nd trip to Cape Town. We are now officially, unofficially, whatever… sisters for life!

I took her shopping, took her to some places that showed off the gorgeous views of Cape Town and she cooked for my BF & I. Boy… can she cook! Without effort, willing every time she saw us! I had to beg to take her out, haha! Authentic Indian food, with spices she brought with her (and loads for me to keep!) When I was in India, she took me to a little street stall that sold Ginger Tea. I fell in love with it and she remembered, so she brought genuine Assam tea leaves from her home town to make for us every day 🙂 I say genuine, because the “Assam tea” I found locally was nothing in comparison. The size, texture & smell was completely different.

However, on this trip, the timing of her visit was so very unfortunate & sad. She had lost her father & wasn’t able to attend his funeral, in another town in India. On her second night here, she called me & simply said “I need you” I didn’t hesitate for a second & was with her as soon as I could get there! She just simply needed to be sad with someone she felt close to. What an emotional time. One which I completely identify with, having lost my father in 2013. It’s not easy. For her to feel comfortable & trust me enough to share her heartache, really means a lot to me. It felt good to be that person for her. To know, my presence meant she didn’t feel alone. So when we had to say our farewell last week, there were no dry eyes. When she departed, she was going directly to her mother in their home town, Digboi. I know she is with them now & can mourn together with her family, this somehow brings me comfort.

This friendship runs deep & is one I will always cherish. We don’t know when we’ll see each other again. We text & call & mail each other & I can’t believe that this seems to be enough for us. It’s just indescribable. I suppose we make very few special connections in life, like this one, but when the connection is made – you just know! Time zones, language barriers & distance just don’t matter.

My first Kidult party!

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve picked up on some new interests over the past couple months. One of these is Coloring in for Adults – relaxing with art.

My curiosity led me to flipping through a book in store & I fell in love with the sketches. (Needless to say I purchased it!) Somewhat mesmerizing, the little girl in me was awakened as these images drew me in. Coming home from a rough day at the office, picking up my colour pencils & settling down with a cup of coffee… I found I was losing track of time while just completely relaxing.

So imagine my delight when I found a group on Facebook, hosting a Kidult party! Essentially, it’s a kid’s party for adults 😀 Hosted in a quaint little coffee shop (Am I in heaven?) in Kalk Bay this past week-end, tables filled with color pencils, pages of sketches to be filled with color by all those attending – it was different, yet I didn’t feel weird at all. (Don’t ask me why I thought I’d feel weird in the first place)

I sat at a table with 5 complete strangers – medical students, a father, a self-employed lady, a photographer – all there for the same reason. To just be a kid again! It was also really cool to see other people’s approach to coloring. Some keeping within the lines, others just going free-hand, some blending colors. Really inspiring!

It was a really cool experience. After two hours, I was very eager to mention I’d certainly be interested in the next party. I chatted with Joy – the hostess, whose name really suits her – and told her what a great idea I thought it was & I wished her much success. Check out her site here:

http://www.meetup.com/Play-school-for-grown-ups/

Below are some of my first color attempts…I love them 🙂

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Eye love…

I’ve often said, I hope I never lose my eyesight. I see beauty in so many things. This is why I love photography so much. To capture an image that made me smile for some reason and to share that with someone else. A picture can transport you to a world you never knew existed. A picture can open your mind to wandering streets of far away places. A picture can make you feel! How powerful is that?!

Do feel free to check out some of my pictures on the “My Pics” page in this blog. I’ll welcome any comments you’d like to share.

https://lotshappeningupthere.wordpress.com/my-pics/

Today, I’m sharing one pic in particular. Simply because it’s cold & rainy in Cape Town and this pic reminds me of how glorious our summer was. (Although, Autumn is my favorite Season… 😉 )

Proudly South African

Proudly South African Surfer

 

Does it ever end?

Peer pressure doesn’t magically disappear when you turn 21. It’s something that takes a different form once you’re an adult. Sometimes it’s just blatant bullying.

For example, why don’t you have a boyfriend? (In the “what’s wrong with you” tone) You may even get nudged (or bullied) into a fix-up.

Now I have a great guy in my life, so the shift moves to “when are you getting married?” You then get reminded that you’ve been in a relationship for however long they can remember you being together. Also, you are reminded how many others have tied the knot. Ever consider, maybe we as a couple have just not found this to be a priority? That maybe we are happy & content with the way things are? And last I heard, weddings are frikkin expensive – we’d rather TRAVEL!

Next up…the “when are you having kids” questions. Oh my hat! Having been in said “long relationship”, my partner & I discussed this at length & came to the decision that we have no interest in having kids. We don’t have to justify or explain our decision to anyone. But the amount of brazen reactions we get, like;

  • You don’t know what you’re missing out on
    • I’m sorry? Sleep?
  • Who will you have when you’re old
    • I am enough & plan for my “old age”
  • Don’t you want to leave a legacy
    • Doing so everyday
  • How can you be so selfish? There are women struggling to have babies & you choose not to?
    • Am I to become a surrogate to ease your conscience? “Choose” = Choice = MINE

I live my life. I am not a sheep in the herd following what everyone else is doing. If something works for me, I am going with that. Surely, if I am happy, that should be enough? It’s hard enough being an adult, having to deal with grown up pressures, work stress, bills to pay, etc. Dealing with other people’s ideals is certainly not on my priority list.

Thank goodness I’ve gotten over the “people pleasing” otherwise I may just have popped some kiddies to “fit in” or make others happy.

So you really have to be clear on what it is you want. Before succumbing to the peer pressure & making life altering decisions.

Please feel free to comment on this topic.

Yawn…

I’m tired! Tired of being a people pleaser. Tired of wanting to be liked.

I think this is the point in my life where I’m realising just how exhausting & draining it is. The people in my life, the people I allow into my world, know me. They know all my quirks, get my sense of humour, cringe politely at my bluntness, they get me. Those who aren’t in this magical circle, don’t get me. I get that now. And I think I’m becoming ok with it.

So what if I’m not included in your hush conversation or private joke. Just because you’re giggling, doesn’t mean you’re giggling about me. This is something I really need to let go of. I am not the centre of other people’s worlds…haha! I mean, really now!

I’ve always wanted to be included & liked. From as far back in my memory as my brain allows! Often, this came at my own expense. So much so, that I don’t really know who I am. After always wanting to be something someone else wanted. Or, always thinking I had to be the same as someone else. This has to stop! Good grief! How am I going to live the life I love, do the things I love, dress the way I love, eat the way I love or just LOVE my way… if all I ever do is seek approval (albeit secretly / subconsciously) from others? So I smoke, I swear, I have a flabby belly… I’m not perfect, but I have yet to meet someone who is. So why do I seem to have the misconception that others are “better” than me, that who they are, what they are is better than what I am? Strangely enough, with all my imperfections, I am loved. I am liked. I am enough, just not for myself it seems.

Now where do I start? It’s so daunting! Having realised this, I now have to face change. Change in my mind. Shame, poor little head-space is overflowing! Ok, ok. I am also tired of putting pressure on myself, so I am going to take this one slow. Rediscovering who I am. What makes me tick? What makes me laugh, cry, hurt, enjoy? Over the past few weeks, I have started realising there are things I like & enjoy that may not interest people in my life. (More on this another time J ) Just because no-one else is doing what I do, enjoying what I enjoy, doesn’t make it wrong. It doesn’t mean I should stop, or be ashamed of it. This is part of who I am.

If the people in my life, in my magical circle, can’t understand these things about me or don’t like me the same because of it, then our circle needs to be re-evaluated. After all, not all circles are unbreakable.

Return of the finger…

I’ve been afraid to come back here & put typing finger to keyboard. Reason? Because it’s been a while since my last post. I started this blog with great intentions of getting out of my head-space. Then I missed one day & it became two days, suddenly I “didn’t have time” and “didn’t know what to write about” Now I feel like I’ve flopped…more accurately, failed!

Maybe “afraid” isn’t the right word. Maybe I’ve just been procrastinating. But I seem to be putting unnecessary pressure on myself to have to do this now. And when something becomes a “have to” I usually gravitate away from it. I don’t want this to happen because I remember the excitement & positive vibes I got when I started. So I am going to make a concerted effort to keep on! No pressure, just to enjoy the process. It’s quite fulfilling.

So watch this space 😀 (hopefully it won’t be empty space…haha!)