Swag…What Swag?

**Chipo’s Post**

Hello to any newcomers, and hello to my faithful readers! Thank you for reading this post of mine once again…your support means the world to me. I mean it.

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Now, I know that I’m probably going to have quite a few (or maybe more than a few) people who will be rather mad at me by the time they’re done reading this post – if they manage to stick it through to the end. Nevertheless, I am going to keep writing. Before I go on though, please note that this is not a direct hit at anyone. Just a mere observation. You know what they say though: “If the shoe fits…wear it!”

Now. Swag?

What is swag? In this world we live in, I can never go a day without seeing or hearing the word “swag”. Be it in a song, in a tweet, in a Facebook status, as a caption for a photo, or in an average conversation. It’s a little sad, though, come to think of it. Swag is spoken about among youngsters on a regular basis. Try bring up current affairs and these same youngsters will go blank. But that’s another post for another day.

I am genuinely curious to find out what swag means to you. Once upon a time, not too long ago, swag used to mean being all kitted out in the latest hoodies, sneakers, and chains whilst jamming to the loudest, most nonsensical popular music out there. Now…swag has so many different meanings it should have a dictionary of its own.

Swag can be defined according to anything:

  • Having the most money in your social circle
  • Having the “fly-est” girl or guy as your partner
  • The clothes you wear
  • The people you interact with
  • The pictures you post up on Facebook

The list goes on!

Is there really a universally agreed upon definition of swag? Or is it just a word thrown around so that certain people can feel superior to other people? From what I’ve seen one man’s swag can be another man’s trash. I’m serious!

A few months ago, whilst conversing with a few “swagged-up” guys, a fashionably dressed male walked by. By fashionably dressed, I mean the brother was looking on point in his sophisticated attire (how’s that for some flashy vocabulary?). Me being the girl I am, looked and nodded in approval. The boys I was hanging out with, however, thought otherwise.

“Psht!” one of them spluttered. “That ain’t swag!”

“Why?” I asked curiously. “He’s got a good look. He’s got the manly walk. He seems to be in control of himself. Shouldn’t that count as ‘swag’?”

The boys laughed and shook their heads as if I was totally oblivious to the world I lived in.

“Chipo, trust me, that is not swag.”

So as I’m typing this scenario, I’m thinking: Well maybe swag isn’t so good after all?

Think of it. This guy – the fashionably dressed one -,whom I can call a good friend of mine now, has his plans on deck. He knows what he wants. He knows what type of image he wants to portray. He knows where he’s going in life. The other guys I was conversing with were another story. They were – and probably still are – part of the “Y.O.L.O” movement. Their lifestyle entails doing wild and crazy nonsense involving sex, booze and maybe even drugs is all they’re about. That is their definition of “Swag”. Let me be 110% honest with you…ladies…if I had to choose…I’d choose the focused “non-swagged-up” guy. Because as you all know – thanks to Facebook and Twitter – Swag is not going to pay the bills. 

Moving along swiftly.

Swag has wiggled itself into the very way we communicate! Decent English is not classified as “swag”. This is not coming from my own judgement. I’ve experienced more than enough times. Now I will not lie – I enjoy using big words in conversations. I enjoy intellectual discussions. That is me. I’m a writer for crying out loud. How else am I supposed to improve my skills and garner new creative ideas? Anyway. On many and I do mean many occasions I’ve been given enough the funny looks and disapproving opinions for my way of interacting with people.

 

tumblr_m97oqhTDzk1rr0skxo1_1280“Chipo, that isn’t cool. All those big words and what not.”

“Gee, smarty, calm down. That ain’t swag.”

If you think I’m lying…guess again. Real people. Real conversations. Real words.

But then again…what do I know? Maybe I’m just totally ignorant to the world that is “Swag”. Maybe I need to be educated on the essence of swag?

Swag. What is it to you? What does it mean in your life? How has it affected you?

As for me…I’m just puzzled. Girls running after guys with “swag” i.e. money, a car, and over-sized pants that are getting intimate with the ground. Guys practically selling their souls just to get some “Swag”. Rappers making millions and millions off of dysfunctional tracks that have the word “Swag” and its counterparts flowing in and out of people’s ears. If that’s what life is about then I’m just about ready to go join the Lord then…I am just saying.

A very funny thing, well I find it funny, that I have come across is that the some of the people posting up pictures and statuses like “Swag is for boys. Class is for men.” and “Swag isn’t going to pay the bills” are the same people blasting “Turn My Swag On” and the likes at any given time. Just a mere observation.

At the end of  the day, like me or not, this world of young adults is confused. Chasing after the most trivial things just to get labelled with popular culture’s version of “Approved” – that being the s word – I’m getting tired of saying it. Laugh. My question is why? Why go to all that trouble? Why is it so worth it? Enlighten me. Make me understand. Because from where I’m standing, all I see is fog along with a lot of lost people trying to justify the fog. If you get the metaphor…I may just give you a plate of cookies.

Before this post turns into a novel, I’d like to end it with a stream of thought that I encountered during the wee hours of Thursday morning. Some of you have probably seen it on my profile:

“Swag…what exactly is swag? Is it the way people dress in an attempt to replicate the fashion sense of many well-known figures? Is it the way people put on fake “American” and/or “British” accents just to sound like a ‘real jetsetter’? Or maybe it’s the way people put up supposed affluent pictures of themselves just to gain a like or twenty from friends on Facebook?

The list goes on…so…swag? What exactly is swag?”

I look forward to your responses 🙂

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The Dreaded Second Post!!!

Before I continue, I just want to thank those people who read my first post. Yes this is highly sentimental but I just felt the need to thank those who took the time to read my young blog. For those of you who have not read it, I suggest you do.

https://mindmymindbut.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/the-beginning/

There we go!

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So this is the point in time that either makes or breaks a writer. The hype and excitement of completing the “First Post” has faded and now you’re faced with the reality:

If you want to get anywhere you have to continue blogging. What does this means? This means that you need to go back to your box of ideas and you need to start constructing more stuff! This doesn’t just apply to blogging though. The “Dread Second Post Syndrome” happens everywhere. It may not be a “second post”, though. It could be the second song, the second album, the second design, etc. It’s a genuine problem in the world we live in today…

People tend to gain enough energy and excitement for the introduction to their “Big Plan” but when it comes to the next step…everything goes *poof*. Why? Well 9.99999 out of 10 times it’s because no one ever prepares for the reality they are soon faced with. What is that reality?

THIS IS GOING TO BE HARD WORK.

The problem with a lot of us today – myself included once upon a time – is that we do not prepare for the reality that accomplishing our dreams and ambitions is going to involve a hell of a lot of hard work. One reason why it took so long for this blog of mine to come up is because I was daunted by the amount of blood, sweat and tears it was going to require. I want this blog to go somewhere. I know it is going to go somewhere. But that means that I’m going to have to deliver. Post after post. That’s just the beginning.

And that’s how it goes for your dreams. You cannot rely on blown-up hope. You need to plan. You need to prepare yourself. Think about all those people who have managed to make their dreams and ambitions come true. Some of the stories are downright painful. I’ll share some of those stories in one of my future posts.

“Chipo, what point are you trying to make?” – You may be asking me that right now.

Well, what I’m trying to say is: when you have something you’re really passionate about – sit down and plan. Sit down and reflect. Heck, you don’t even need to sit down. Plan. Reflect. Plan some more. Reflect even more. Come to terms with the fact that once you set out to seriously make your dream come true, your life will change. You will be subjected to hard work, sacrificing social time for your dream, and a lot of other things – I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you 🙂 *Insert ironic laugh here*

But really get up and get started. Don’t let the “Dreaded Second Post Syndrome” get you down. Once you’re done, you really are a step closer to achieving your dream. That’s definitely how I’m feeling now.

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Now for the third post…

The Beginning

This blog is beyond long overdue…

I’ve had the desire to create this here blog for almost four months now. Ideas have flown in and out of my mind. I’d be sitting there, reflecting on the blog-to-be, getting all excited and then *flop* I would carry on with life. I’d continue with the lifestyle of procrastination I was always so quick to deny. It’s a sad thing, though. Procrastination. We all indulge in it and, most of the time, we don’t realize the damage of our actions until it’s too late. By then, we’re so deep in denial we try and cover up the truth with different kinds of things.

I urge you right now…if you have a brilliant idea… DON’T STORE IT AWAY IN YOUR MIND. It will sit there and become more and more irrelevant by the day until it becomes nothing but a mention in a conversation years later.

“I had this amazing idea once but I just didn’t feel like it would go anywhere…”

Sound familiar? Don’t fall into the trap of “It won’t work”. We live in a world where anything can be achieved if we put our mind to it – and the hard work.

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A friend of mine recently got accepted into one of the top Universities in South Africa for Marine Biology. Please take note that when she matriculated, she hadn’t done science. Well in one year she managed to learn and understand 3 year’s worth of Physics and Chemistry. That required a hell of a lot of hard work and dedication. She’s my inspiration and I hope she sees this.

This blog is going to require a lot of hard work. I realize that. But it won’t go anywhere without your support…

Tell your friends about this. Like this blog. Comment. Please comment. Your comments are the inspiration for my next post. True story.

“Mind My Mind But…” is a blog that will voice the thoughts, reflections, and observations I hear, see, am told of, and experience. Meaning: Your views will play an important role in this blog.

I aim to inspire…to evoke emotion and provoke thought…

I sure hope that I’ll be able to do so…