How I’ve learnt to embrace the fog in my life

The other day I woke up anticipating throwing my curtains open and saying good morning to the early winter sunshine. My plan was to spread myself out on the couch like an old drag queen and just lay there, very dramatically, for as long as the natural warmth would allow.

Well, my theatrics don’t always work out because I didn’t plan on being greeted by grey. Not just in the sky but all around me. Normally I get to see the city wake up with me but on this day I couldn’t even see the city. The city was fog.

Fog

This wasn’t in the script for my day.

So what does a drama queen that’s set herself on a path of positivity and positive affirmations and flowing with the flow of life do?

She sighs very, very deeply. And just short of pouting back to bed she drags the words of every self-help book back to mind and ‘re-configures’ her thoughts to positive. Positive. Positive. Ok. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. “What a wonderful day”. Big smile.

Saying the affirmations over and over and over again she jumps in the shower and gets on with her day.

Did the morning go well? Yes. Did the fog lift? Yes. Did the sun shine? Yes……..eventually.

Just not when I was expecting it to.

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This is the thing about life. Sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of that fog. We have no idea what’s in front, what’s to the left to the right or what’s behind. All we see is grey. And then we pray and stay positive and expect. Something to happen.

And when nothing happens we start to doubt or fear or become despondent. And we start to question. Why is everything not happening according to my plan, my timings, and my needs?

Well, from what I have learnt from all the overhauls and make-over’s of my life, is that in becoming a better person or creating a better life, you need to have an extraordinary amount of patience.

It doesn’t happen overnight, in a few weeks or a few months. And voila! Then you’re cured. That’s it.

Oh no. You have to be in it for the long-term. This is a lifetime thing. This is a constant. This is a discipline. This is for. Ever. And Ever.

That’s right. Yes, I’m sighing. Don’t worry, it’s a good sigh.

When you start to doubt, fear or become despondent, try simply ‘getting on with your day’.

Just don’t STOP.

Because the fog does lift. And the sun does shine.

Just not always when you expecting it to.

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A Very English Girl Passing Through A Very Afrikaans World

If you are from Bloemfontein and are sensitive or defensive, PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS.

All Afrikanerism definitions from Wikipedia. I did not make them up. I promise.

Traveling is a wonderful thing. I love it. I love my country. I love traveling in my country. I love the diversity of the landscape and the people.

Sometimes though, just sometimes, like when you’re sitting in a sports car, and your face is Vogue ready and you’re wearing your Karl Lagerfeld’s and you’re looking pristine, and some moegoe (silly/stupid person) sticks his face through the car window and says, “Heita ousie (hello maid/black female)”, you just have to wonder whether you passed a border post and didn’t realise it.

These are just my thoughts, the thoughts of a very English girl passing through a very Afrikaans world, Bloemfontein.

If there is one thing traveling has taught me, it’s the good sense to differentiate between a language and an attitude. I have no issues with Afrikaans as a language; it’s one of the easiest and most expressive languages in the world.

I do have issues though with the attitude of some Afrikaans speaking people.

On entering the city, of roses, mind you, I felt like I was in a 1980’s South Africa, like someone had pressed rewind on the politics, culture and clothing. Like Nelson Mandela had never happened. Like vellies (veldskoens – traditional Afrikaans outdoor shoes made from hide) were still in fashion.

I felt like Posh Spice in the heart of Boerfontein (farmer’s land). Jislaaik! (Oh the horror).

But at least I cracked a smile.

Sometimes, just sometimes, when you travel, and you find that you’ve crossed the invisible border post, and you are in the middle of some sort of time lapse, you just have to pull in the bum and push out the boobs, and “gooi” (throw your weight/attitude/bitchiness) with the best of them.

When I was out in public, my laaitie (younger person, esp. a younger male), kept saying to me, ‘get ready for the stares’ and I said, ‘Don’t worry, 2 years in Korea prepared me for stares’.

Sometimes, just sometimes, when you travel, and you find yourself in an adverse or annoying situation, feel it, deal with it and move on. It’s the Universe preparing you for another situation. And because you have already been prepared for it you won’t feel the need to skop, skiet en donner (kick, shoot and beat people up) over it.

Just march on like the laanie (boss) you are!

If it sounds like Bloemfontein is a kak plek (crap/shit place), ag shame man, it’s actually not.

Sometimes, just sometimes, when you travel, you need to get past certain things and focus on the positive, and then you’ll enable yourself to just enjoy the experience.

Bloemfontein does have the most amazing skyline. It feels like you can reach up and touch it.

The streets are clean and the gardens pretty.

I got to run, walk and hike in a beautiful, quiet and peaceful wildlife estate.

 

Photo: The wildlife estate

I got to enjoy some quality time with family (great conversation, good laughs and lots of delicious food)

I satisfied my craving for pap ‘n vleis met a bietjie chakalaka on the side

 

Photo: Boerewors, lamb chops, pap and chakalaka

Bloem is mos a ander plek maar ‘n goeie plek. (Bloem is an ‘other’ kind of place but a good place)

This ‘ousie” may not be back in a hurry, but still, one love. We cool. Like that.

Ons sal weer om dieselfde vuur sit. Miskien.

Photo: Sunset Clouds