Finding a piece of peace

I love my home, but I also love my adopted home. There are so many differences and so many similarities between the two places I call home: Cape Town and London (read more about that here).

 Cape Town is like a slow leisurely drive on a Sunday afternoon, with the fresh breeze blowing through your hair and the sun setting just behind the mountain top. London is a little more like changing into fifth gear, putting the full weight of your foot on the accelerator, running a red and coming to a screeching halt outside the Morley’s down the road.
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Over the past year and a half, I’ve experienced so many changes in my life: new job; new flat; new-ish country; new friends and plenty of new adventures. It’s been a busy time with so many adjustments, many disappointments, major heartaches, many celebrations, many frustrations and many unbelievable moments. With so many changes it can be hard to keep grounded and I can honestly say that it’s been a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

For the longest time, I’ve been struggling to find a balance in my life. You know how it goes, as soon as one area of your life is going great, suddenly something happens in a different area of your life and totally upsets the rhythm of your flow.

Living at full-speed in a such a busy city, where FOMO is a real thing, it’s often tough to find a little peace. But  after a lot of soul-searching, I’ve  finally come to realise the value of down time and giving your soul some room to breathe.

As a serial over-committer,  carving out some ‘me time’ is still something I have to work very hard at, but I’m getting better at it. Also, I now have no shame in admitting that I won’t make it for your 10am brunch date next Sunday, as I have a plans with my duvet and my new book! LONG LIVE CHILL DAYS!!!

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Image source:

FOMO: https://b-is4.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/do-you-suffer-from-fomo.html

Lazy Days: http://weheartit.com/entry/group/48680185 

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The Unbearable Grief

Sad girl holding umbrella (Image source: http://www.hercampus.com/school/maryland/5-ways-avoid-winter-sadness)

“Grief has never looked so beautiful. Quite a paradox, as surely it must be the hardest emotion we have to bear.

It is said the only way out of grief is through it. Otherwise, it can hold us in depression or send us into a madness that can take lives.

Even in death, Ophelia is held in grief as firmly as her heavy dress holds her in water. The haunting subject makes this painting an unlikely favourite.”

– Tate Britain on ‘Ophelia’ by Millais

The ‘human’ in human error

 

 

Oops (Image source: http://www.wrestlecrap.com/icfyt/29204/)

In a world where we rely so heavily on technology to manage our daily lives, I sometimes wonder what the future holds for the human race. From smart tech in the home to wearable technology, the ‘smart revolution’ has changed and influenced nearly every aspect of our lives.

Now, I am certainly no prude and tech plays a huge role in my life, and in particular my work. However, when it does go all glitchy, (which let’s face it, it so often does) we go through the usual process of:

  1. getting frustrated
  2. trying to solve the problem ourselves
  3. rebooting
  4. getting it to work again (or if this fails…go to five)
  5. approaching a professional ‘fixer’ to get it working /OR/ giving up and chucking it

My job involves sitting at a desk all day, stringing together words to fill up blank pages on a blank screen, which then gets cut, copied, trimmed and churned into creamy butter, dripping off the pages of high spec laptop screens. Typos always ruin teh moment. (Image source: http://www.lolsotrue.com/usertag/typos)

By no means is it an easy job. I don’t always get it right and because I’m only human, I sometimes make mistakes. But lately, I have begun to question whether we’re more forgiving of bugs in our tech systems, than the bugs in our fellow man.

If your Fitbit’s not working properly and you’ve tried all of the steps above, you’d probably get rid of it, get a replacement or ask for a refund. I’d probably do the same.

But have our friends / colleagues / teammates / customer service agents, become as replaceable? Or have we just become less tolerant of human error and more reliant on tech to deliver near-perfect results. I suspect it may be a bit of both.

Have you forgotten?

strongblkwoman

Image cred: blkwomenart.com  

Have you forgotten how brave you are? How tall you are when you straighten your spine and square up your shoulders?

Have you forgotten how beautiful you are? Even though I’ve told you million times, even though we’ve all told you?

Have you forgotten how strong you are and how you always stand up for what you believe in, even when it’s not popular?

Have you forgotten what a big heart you have and how you never hesitate to share it with those around you?

Have you forgotten how many times you’ve picked me up from the dark, dusty, depths and taught me to believe in myself again?

Have you forgotten how fiercely you protect those you love, without ever flinching at the thought of your well-being?

Have you forgotten my dear? Have you forgotten that you are all these things and more? Have you truly forgotten?

For I have not, I have always been in your corner. I have been here, waiting, watching and willing your heart to remember.

To remember that you are brave, you are fierce, you are beautiful, you are important and you are enough. You are and always have been more than enough! Never forget it!

 

The road back home

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Photo Credit: Author

I’ve lived away from my family for most of my twenties. At first being in a new country and discovering new things about myself and the world was the most exciting journey of discovery and the longing was only minimal.

I’d regularly make the long journey home to see family and friends. Getting a quick glimpse of the highlights, which usually included births, deaths, love, careers and the latest gossip.

These brief encounters always repeated, like the latest trailers, only showing the best bits. And part of me was happy to get a snapshot of people’s lives without delving too deep into the details, making it seem like a picture book fairytale. All the mundane day-to-day stripped away, all the drama, big losses, hurt and regrets placed neatly in a corner, to be dealt with another time, another day.

Truth is, as I’ve gotten older, I realise how much I’ve missed out on, living so far away from relatives and friends. The big milestones like weddings and births, but more so the mundane everyday things. Lunch with my mum, spa days with my sister, barbecues with the family and gossip sessions over red wine with my best friend.

Time moves so quickly and before you know it, it’s been a week, a month, a year and you’ve missed out on so much. Yes there’s the phone, Skype, email and Whatsapp, but inevitably there is no replacement for being there in the moment.

Louis Hung said it well: “Communities and families are not built on huge extravaganzas or the occasional, remarkable occurrence; they are built on the intimacy of everyday. With my family and friends, I have not shared such an intimacy in years. Sometimes I feel like an outsider. In many ways I actually am an outsider.” You can check out her post here: http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/ive-given-live-abroad/

He said. She said.

Source: http://piccsy.com/
He said: I think you’re lovely.
She said: you’re okay I guess. 
He said: can I take you out to the movies?
She said: I’ll have a large popcorn with some Coke and jelly beans. 
He said: I love you more than all the stars in the sky.
She said: stop talking and kiss me already. 
He said: let’s get married.
She said: OMG! what a gorgeous ring!
He said: I promise to love you always.
She said: I promise to stick by you forever.
He said: you’re the best wife a guy could ask for.
She said: I couldn’t imagine my life without you. 
He said: two ply or three ply?
She said: three ply and chocolate.
He said: let’s get a puppy.
She said: let’s have a baby.
He said: what’s for dinner?
She said: dirty diapers and kisses.  
He said: you’re an amazing mother to our kids.
She said: I love you, but I wish you’d help out more around the house. 
He said: what’s the matter, you seem different.
She said: who is she?
He said: she makes my world spin.
She said: but I was your world. 
She said: you are my heart. 
He said: I’m sorry, I just don’t love you anymore. 
She said: Don’t go!
He said: Goodbye!

This is what I know for sure

Source: http://piccsy.com/

I’ve been married for all of one year now and I guess you could say I’m still n the honeymoon phase. But after a year of sharing my space, my shampoo, the blanket covers, my popcorn, the last piece of cheese, my dreams, my fears, my annoying habits, there’s a few things I’ve learnt.

I’ve learnt that love is a wonderful thing. 
I’ve learnt that relationships don’t just exist they endure because you work at it. 
I’ve learnt that time is the most expensive gift to give and the most precious one to receive. 
I’ve learnt that happily ever is not exempt from bills, responsibility, cleaning house, laundry days and even grocery lists. 
I’ve learnt that compromise is key. 
I’ve learnt that doing nothing together is the best quality time you cold ask for. 
I’ve learnt that tough times don’t last forever, but tough people do. 
I’ve learnt that you can make room for daydreams in your reality. 
I’ve learnt that forgiveness can mend hurt.
I’ve learnt that “me time” is as important as “we time”.
I’ve learnt that man is flawed, but there is perfection in our imperfections.
I’ve learnt that life has its ups and downs, but it’s so much better to have someone to share the journey with.
These things I know for sure!

Source: http://piccsy.com/

Beautiful Imperfections

Image source: http://piccsy.com/
I may not have exotic eyes lined with kohl, mesmerising you with some Persian promise.
I may not be a perfect size ten , with skinny thighs and humble breasts.
I may not have sleek black hair, with the scent of coconut oil.
I may not move with the grace of a swan or twirl like a gentle breeze.
I may not bow to your every command or soften my voice so as not to be heard.
I may not be all the things you think he needs.
I may not be your idea of beautiful, but he sees more beauty in me than I’ve ever seen in myself.