Dumped In Darkness

Downtown New York

Downtown New York (Photo credit: sreevishnu)

I was dumped. I was sad. I wallowed. I ate. I felt the disappointment.

I got up. I ate. I drank lots of coffee. I got dressed. I kept moving.

And I kept moving not because I’m some sort of saint-in-life, but because my survival depended on it.

The last I “spoke” to you I was falling in love with New York. I had questions about whether I could be vulnerable and questions about how far and how deep it could go. I was hopeful, I was glowing and I was very excited.

After a few weeks of that tingling feeling of living the New York life, almost overnight some bitch stormed in and whipped up her accomplices in a frenzy of jealous rage as if to say, “if I can’t have him no-one will”.

And that, as they say was that.

Pure darkness followed. Cut-off and cut-out, with no explanations.

All I can say is that these things happen in relationships and happen in life. Sometimes things fail, sometimes we fail and sometimes we don’t know why.

Storms come and they go. Sometimes big, sometimes small.

Storm Approaching Paradise - Coral Island, Phu...

Storm Approaching Paradise – Coral Island, Phuket, Thailand (Photo credit: Captain Kimo)

I wish I could assure you that by living a certain way or in a certain place would guarantee a life free of struggles and free of storms. I wish I could assure you that these storms would pass you by unscathed and untouched by heartbreak and destruction. And I wish I could assure you that when you do get knocked down it’s easy to get straight back up.

All I can assure you of is that life is all about getting back up. It doesn’t really matter how or when, but it does matter that you do.

When I woke up every morning ready to complain about the electricity or the bucket bath I remembered that there are those who go everyday without this ‘luxury’. I remembered that there were those who lost their lives, lost their home and lost their dreams in this storm.

New York also reminded me that with the loss or frustration or heartbreak that these storms bring, they also bring hope. The spirit of people, of communities, and of those who choose a profession that puts them in the front line of danger in order to protect and serve, restores faith.

And it was those people who choose everyday to protect and serve that got straight back up. And on the weight of their backs we all got back up.

It’s in these storms of life that we realise that as fragile as we are as humans, we are also resilient. And in being resilient we realise the depth of our inner strength. And in realising the depth of our inner strength we realise our capacity to love.

And it is in realising my capacity to love that I have come full circle. I got dumped, I felt the full gambit of emotions but I came back to a place of love. New York remains in my heart.

It’s given me a new sense of freedom, a new sense of hope and a new sense of attitude.

With these feelings I’ve come back home to South Africa to celebrate another year of my life, to embrace the love of my family over Christmas, to usher in a new year and move on.

I’m still groping in the dark with regards to my future, something a lot of people don’t understand, but that’s ok, because I know, whatever may come, I’ll always get straight back up. And I know you will too.

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#L&Ltake NYC: The Truth

“Here’s the truth”. I’ve been saying that a lot lately. And usually it’s been followed by fall on the floor laughter. Mostly because I’ve just reached a point in my life where there’s no keeping it in. Not for shocked looks, nasty whispers or unwanted judgements.

So here it is. I’ve been dating and making out all over the show. That’s right. From park benches and cosy restaurants to arty theatres and long piers. From Belgian, American and French to Mexican, Japanese and Italian.

And I see you giving me the side-eye now. Yes you.

Don’t pull out the good book yet, I haven’t dropped my panties but I’m not holding back either.

Simply because there’s no reason to.

I’m love-struck. Love-struck over the freedom I feel in the arms of my future potential lover. Let’s be clear, they’re not safe or warm or cuddly, but they are completely uninhibited. They feel like they’re saying, “God bless you girl, you do you, any way, any how, any want.”

Be expressive. Be unique. Be purple in the face of green.

And you see this in the ancient fossil wearing her black leathers or the peacock prancing in his platform heels or even the ‘girl-next-door’ with her bright orange hair.

And you hear this in the boom box conversation on the bus or in the New Yorker stories from the neighbour or in the cussing of the pissed off cyclist.

And you smell it in the aroma of old dog’s pee on the streets.

For this is not a traditional love story. This is a Gotham city kinda love story.

And at the heart of this story is freedom… this is ‘New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of and where there’s nothing you can’t do’.

But like any great love it can suck you in, get you naked, love you up and spit you out.

This is for the brave, the crazy and the resilient.

This is for the ‘all in’ otherwise you’ll find yourself ‘all out’. This is for those who want to take a gulp out of a life and not a sip.

This is for those who know when to put on the blinkers, the ear phones and the protection and when to be like Eve.

Because when you fall prey to the seduction: the bright lights, flashy bulbs and limelight; the flattery and the false promises; the casual rather than the committed, the fall is long, hollow and hard.

It’ll leave you broke and broken.

This is the hard-knock kind of love. The kind that takes most of your time and energy and requires intense work.

It’s also the kind that needs you to dig deeper for the softer parts. For the downtime and for the quiet.

Whether it’s a walk on the Highline, kayaking on the Hudson, a nap in Prospect Park or a visit to the Met, there’s another side to be found and experienced, just like all great lovers.

And don’t we all want to say that we’ve had at least one great lover in our lives?

I’m 35, never been married and have no kids. I’m single and no, not desperate. I’m at a point in my life where most people are wondering when I’m gonna settle down. They don’t even have to say it, I can sense it.

But I don’t want to settle.

I want to be purple in the face of green.

I want to rock my black leathers and red lipstick. I want to prance in my platforms and I want bright orange hair.

Heck, I want to rip all my clothes off and skinny dip under the moonlight. I want to have mad, passionate sex. And, if we gonna be honest I want to have an orgasm too.

I want to fall madly in love.

Madly. In. Love

The only way to do that is to take a risk and allow myself to be vulnerable.

Maybe I’ve been infected by the madness of this city already. But who cares? I’m love struck. I’m talking crazy and I love it.

I’ve already proven in my choices that I’m not afraid to take risks. Can I be vulnerable though?

One thing’s for sure, I’ve been sucked in.

How far or for how long? Mmm, only time will tell.

P.S For more on #L&LtakeNYC visit LeanneTee

L&LtakeNYC: the Beginning

I suppose it’s not a good idea to feel almost suicidal when you’re standing in a queue at US immigration. But after crossing 3 time zones spanning 24 hours of travel, a 2 hour wait at US immigration had me teetering over the edge.

I wanted to have a big fat bitch fit, but I couldn’t. Because in order to get that last stamp of approval to enter the ‘land of the free and home of the brave’ you have to be appear to be on ‘happy pills’. You know, calm and relaxed and s t a b l e.

Clearly I showed great restraint because after a question or two, I was in.

In a taxi, in a different mindset and heading into the clutches of an old flame.

As the taxi passed the toll gate and the night lights of Manhattan flickered into view, my pulse skipped and my heart beat.

New York New York, ‘where the streets make you feel brand new and the lights inspire you’.

Our first meeting was in 2000. I was young, hesitant and inexperienced. The city was so daunting back then. The lights so bright. Too bright for a scared girl like me.

We took a while to connect and our love affair was slow to start. But start it did.

From Central Park to 5th Ave and onto Downtown. From Brooklyn to Harlem to Queens and onto the Bronx. I was enchanted. Intrigued. And infatuated.

I always felt like there wasn’t enough time to fully explore the possibilities of a relationship. Like we had unfinished business.

In 2006 I was lured back. This time for a friend’s wedding.

But the season had changed. I had changed.

The winds were icy and so was I.

Not exactly ideal conditions for rekindling a romance. Still, we made it work as best we could. Stolen moments for Macy’s, walking over Brooklyn Bridge and eating Mexican.

I left with mixed feelings. Was this love or not?

Well, in 2012, I find myself back. Back in the arms of my old flame. And boy does It. Feel. Good.

I’m older, surer, and more experienced. I’m fully ready to commit, to explore and to conquer.

I’ve gone bike riding in Central Park, had a taste of Shake Shack, taken a browse through Eataly, bought fruit from Union Square Farmer’s market, munched on cup cakes from Baked by Mellisa, caught a glimpse of Bergdorf’s, found a Starbucks hangout, a place to run on the East river, eyed out a Waffles & Dinges and made a long list of places to eat, things to do and people to see.

I already know that I’m in love. It’s time to find out just how much. Over the next few weeks this blog will cover my love affair with this City.

And the best part is that I get to do it with my best friend and sister, Leanne Tee. Our blog series, as you may have figured out by now, is called, L&LtakeNYC.

I hope you have your popcorn ready.

Will it end in hot sex or a hot mess?

A Pain Killer

In a few hours I’ll be heading to Beijing so I’m very happy to be sharing a guest post with you today. It’s by one of my favorite people in the world, Leanne Tee. The question people ask her the most is “Are you a model? Actress?” When you see her pic you’ll understand why. She’s a great example of someone who goes after her dreams. After having kids, a career in marketing and starting a business with her husband in South Africa she still felt like there was so much more out there to learn and experience. With the support and blessing from her husband and kids, they all packed their bags and moved to New York City so she could attend Parsons School of Design.

 

Sharing 3 ways to deal with Pain.

With the tumultuous present times intent on volcanically shaking us to the very core, everywhere is a HOT mess. Hot emotions have erupted in every direction spewing like molten larva all over the place…  it’s clear to me that its time to deal with the uglies.

Wait. The uglies?  It’s my new phrase for a collective of pain manifesting and wreaking havoc the world over in infinite ways. The anger swelling in the human ranks is palpable. I mean, in my home country right now where the have-nots are trying to get what the have’s have had for the last 60 or more years, there’s outrage over an artists impression of the Presidents penis. In America, the have’s are upping the ante to maintain the status quo against the have-nots, in what is shaping up to be the showdown of the year, the November 2012 elections. It’s lovely to know, if you take the long-term view that the net effect of all this is: Progress.

But for now… the uglies await us. So, if you want to stop reading here, I understand. Pain is painful.

For the braveheart.

The uglies as I’ve said, is a variety of emotional and physical pain felt by each us in one way or the other that emanates from fear and resides in the ego. It manifests and wreaks havoc in infinite ways. The uglies have so many forms but it all boils down, in the end, to one thing fear. The uglies have so many faces but in the end have one common factor, pain. The uglies have so many expressions but in the end it helps us discover one thing-who we really are.

I think the uglies will always exist in this world of ours. The great relief is we all have them. Even the pretty handsome ones, who would rather you think that all is perfect in their make believe world, have scars of pain. Even Presidents. Even Parents. Even Passers-by. Every people.

I have enough to last this lifetime and then some.  I’ve come to realize that in a whacked way, it’s what makes us human. Ughhh! Because you know, sometimes I just want to live in a nice, nice world all of the time….So before I lose my nerve and ditch this guest blog, let me share how I’m trying to deal with mine. I’ve figured this:

1. Deal with the cards you’ve been handed to get in the game.

Staying numb is not an option anymore. It’s time to deal with the uglies. It’s unavoidable. I have run away into denial land before. We all know it’s a temporary vacation, where you can enjoy free cocktails and overpriced cheeseburgers. When you get back to the land of the living, the emotional mess is still there. Life is just designed that way. Choose to deal and not deny.

2. Dance with your shadows

I’ve learnt that dancing with my shadow/s is like stepping in unison with the dance of life. The more I try to understand my pain the more in step I am with myself. Because you know that which you resist…persists. It’s the greatest experiment. Be daring enough to try out your own moves. There is only right and right. No wrong. Dance your truth. Dance the night away!

3. Design solutions for yourself

Lately, I like to think like this. I’m opening my heart and breathing in compassion. I’m listening carefully to my feelings. I’m building faith in myself. I’m zoning in. I’m only making moves when my hearts in it. I’m constructing my life around my dreams and the whispers in my heart. I’m getting fired up!

Brave hearts can conquer fear and pain. I’m fighting for my dreams. I urge you to join the good fight.

Where you can find me:

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http://www.tumblr.com/blog/leannetee

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