Naturally Awesome!

“Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?” 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/daily-prompt-nature/Image

 “Dad, where are we going?”

“We’re walking, Chipo,” he replied as he marched on. My ten year old mind wasn’t entirely satisfied with his response but hey. I was with Dad. We were spending time together. I was happy. We continued to walk. The midday sun was starting to affect me. My skin was starting to tingle; a bead of sweat was forming at my forehead; my legs were starting to ache.

“Dad, where are we going?”

“We’re taking a walk,” he replied calmly. I was starting to become annoyed by his response. We’d left my aunt’s home half an hour earlier. My aunt lived in the “countryside”/middle of nowhere in sunny Zimbabwe. I often loathed these visits because it meant no TV all weekend – just chickens, guinea pigs, and traditional food. As a ten year old, that was the equivalent of punishment. Now, at my age of twenty, I miss those days. Anyway.

Dad had decided to make me his walking companion. As an eager Daddy’s girl, I’d acceded with the enthusiasm of a squirrel on Red Bull – yes. As we continued to walk in the near-desert area, I was beginning to question my eagerness. I thought of the big shady tree that we’d left behind. I thought of the little puppies I’d abandoned. My legs were starting to hurt even more. Where’d this uphill terrain come from? I wondered. I wiped my brow. A couple of beads of sweat followed my arm. I wanted to complain but I felt bad. Dad looked like he was enjoying this enduring excursion. He was sharing all sorts of stories with me and there I was, trying my very best to pay attention. Suddenly, Dad stopped. I walked right into him.

“Dad, why did we stop?” I asked. He took my arms and turned me around. I was soon faced with a view that took my young breath away. Miles and miles and miles and miles of land covered with trees, sand, and more trees, filled my eyes. A wonderful, cool breeze embraced me as I took in the amazing view. Spans of land everywhere and there I was, looking at it from the top of a mountain range I hadn’t noticed before. Silence filled us all around and it felt good. Sure I was far from my TV and my comfortable modern home. Sure I was in a place where I had to watch people herd cows and plant seeds as small as my eyelashes. But I liked it. From where I was standing, I really liked it. My first encounter with nature and I loved it.

Nature over the city? Most definitely. Nothing beats the feeling you get when Nature comes and reminds you of how wonderful the world you live in is – despite the hustle and bustle, madness and sadness, crazes and mazes we call the big city. Nature forever reminds me of the good in the world, the hope we always cling to. Nature reminds me that we’re here for a reason and that reason is much bigger than ‘just living’.

 

Lessons and a Bowl of Frosties

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/daily-prompt-learning/

“Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure  – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.”

My eyes opened. I looked to my right and found my best friend still sleeping. I sighed as I found that she’d managed to kick me to the edge of the bed. I wasn’t surprised, though. I knew. Whenever I had a sleepover with my best friend I knew that there was no point in fighting. She’d always kick me to the edge – she was a soccer player and a damn good basketball player. How was I supposed to compete with that?

I sat up and stretched. Something felt strange. I couldn’t put my finger on it, though. I suddenly felt the warmth coming from the sunlight shining through my window. I adjusted the blinds and sighed with relief. I wasn’t entirely relieved, though. The nagging feeling that something was amiss was still there. My stomach grumbled loudly. My friend stirred in her sleep. I jumped out of bed and headed for the kitchen. The house was quiet which meant that my sibling was still asleep and my parents had already left for work. I opened the pantry door and began to search for my favourite cereal – Frosties. I located them, took joy in the fact that no one else had finished them, and proceeded to empty the entire contents in a bowl. I filled the bowl with a reasonable amount of cold milk and extra sugar (do not judge me). I shoved a spoon into the sea of flakes and made my way to the lounge. Someone had left the TV on. There was a soppy movie playing. I plonked myself onto the couch and decided to give the movie a shot. As I lifted my spoon to my mouth…it dawned upon me. I dropped the spoon back into its bowl. The nagging feeling. The feeling that something was missing. I realized what was missing.

Pain.

I felt normal. My heart was beating normally. My mind was calm – well as calm as one’s crazy mind could be. The urge to cry or sigh dramatically was gone. I stared at the flickering images on the screen. The thought filled my mind:

I was okay.

A couple of months before this moment of discovery, my boyfriend of three years had broken up with me – for good. I, a hopeless romantic at such a young age, was beyond devastated. My days had been filled with painful memories, numerous urges to cry, sad sighs, and other similar actions and thoughts of the sort.

So it was quite a momentous moment (ha. Ha) for me when I woke up that day with a mind devoid of thoughts of him and a heart that was finally beating normally. Peacefully. Properly.

I was okay. I was fine. Sure I still missed him but I was stable. I could say his name without wanting to bawl my eyes out and/or strangle him.

It dawned upon me. Despite all of the emotions I’d encountered in the past months, the tears I’d shed, the arguments we’d had, the futile hope I’d allowed to harbour, the painful realization that I wouldn’t be walking down the aisle looking at him (once again – do not judge me) – I was okay. I’d survived the heartbreak. Sure I’d always have thoughts of what we could have been. Sure my mind would replay that dreadful day it all came crashing down. But it didn’t mean I was going to die. I’d survived the worst. I’d moved on.

I realized that one day, I’d find the right one. The right guy.

I learned that there is life after heartbreak – a lot of life. Too much life to spend crying over one individual. Way too much life to spend sacrificing smiles and laughs for something that probably happened for the best.

I picked up my spoon and ate my Frosties happily. I was ok.

I was always going to be ok.

I was a survivor. I am a survivor.

A lesson never to be forgotten. A lesson I’m glad I learned.Image

21st Century Me?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/daily-prompt-modern/

Daily Prompt:

Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?”

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Well I don’t have much choice but to belong in this day and age, do I? Some people may disagree and say that one can be in this day and age but they’re totally meant to be a 60’s kid. But…for some reason I beg to differ. What exactly makes one a person of another time? Their preferences? Can one really say they’re a person of the 60’s or the 18th Century whilst skilfully manoeuvring the latest iPhone which definitely wasn’t there back in those days?

If it were based on preferences, I’d say that I’m a child of all centuries. I’m fully adapted to – and rather comfortable with – the 21st century. But my music dates back to as early as the 60’s – I’m talking about tunes that I will dance to in public willingly – maybe. The books I read range from Aristotle’s time to Shakespeare’s era and right up to now – a time full of Marian Keyes, Stephen King, Sophia Kinsella, Stephanie Meyer, and so on. My favourite movies are from now and dating back to the 80’s. On different days I choose to speak like a modern 21st century adolescent or maybe even the Queen of Hearts from a time way back then. So what does that make me? A citizen of multiple centuries? Or maybe I’m just a young lady with a hell of an identity crisis – joke.

To be honest I’m glad I was born now and not back then in the 50’s where life was exciting with new discoveries – and rather tragic thanks to all of the upsets and disillusionment. If I were born in the early 20th Century I would’ve liked to have died before the 21st Century. Why? Well what on earth was I going to do as the world zoomed by me? How these elderly adults do it is beyond me. I’m barely able to accept the fact that shaking your behind in the most obscene way is classified as dancing – twerking. It took me a week or two to adjust to using a Samsung Galaxy device; and to be honest I’d rather read a paperback any day. EBooks are awesome and all but sheesh – I miss the feeling of turning an actual page. See, now I sound like I belong in the pre-technology era. But if you see the way I utilize social networks and all these devices – you’ll think “Typical 21st Century kid”.

I’m not entirely sure as to which era I belong. I’d like to say that I belong to the 21st Century because well…if I didn’t I would’ve lived in a different time. You may call me highly idealistic – I don’t really care. That’s my belief. People belong where they feel they belong. If you think you belong in the 60’s awesome; but you’re still going to have to learn to live in this modern madness. If you think you’re meant for the 22nd Century – you’ve got a bit of waiting to do.

I, on the other hand, am perfectly happy with where I am. But if time machines existed well…

Hey! Don’t look at me like that!

My Unexpected Angel

Daily Prompt:

Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/daily-prompt-kindness/

 

The rain beat down on my skin. I was drenched through and through and there was absolutely nothing that could be done about it. Cars zoomed by as I tried to push through the storm – tears streaming down my face, fear on the verge of rendering me immobile. Lightning flashed all around me. “This is it,” I thought. “I am dead.”

 

** One Hour Earlier **

I stepped out of my friend’s house and looked up at the sky. I felt my heart sink into my stomach. Where on earth did these clouds come from? I thought. When I’d entered my friend’s house an hour earlier, the sky had a couple of white clouds and a blaring ball of sunshine. The clouds had multiplied into big, black masses of doom and the blaring ball of sunshine was gone. I sighed. My house was a good five kilometres (3 miles) – walking distance – from my current location. The journey involved braving a main road that was as calm as a bathtub full of sharks – hungry sharks. I took a deep breath and began my journey. I took cautious steps, listening out for the sound of thunder. I soon realized that if I heard the thunder, there was nothing I was going to be able to do to change the situation. So I increased my speed and prayed that the rain would come after I got home.

No. Such. Luck.

By the time I’d reached the main road, the heavens had unleashed its entire reservoir. There I was – no umbrella, no raincoat, and a couple of kilometres to go. Suddenly, a flash of lightning filled the sky. I felt my legs turn into jelly. Those who know me very well, know that during these times, I had a deep fear of lightning. One flash of lightning and I was off to hide in the cupboard. Now there I was with no cupboard – or any form of refuge. I could feel the fear resonating in my heart. Vehicles zoomed past me as I struggled to walk through the rain. The thunder was becoming louder and the lightning wasn’t holding anything back. Vivid images of getting struck by lightning filled my head as my legs became shakier and shakier. I’d let go of all my pride by then. I was crying like a baby and all I wanted was to be in the comfort of my bed. I wasn’t even halfway home and the storm seemed to be getting worse. I felt my knees buckle as I fell to the ground. I felt hopeless. I felt scared. I felt cold. Cars with enough space for Africa zoomed past me. Not a single driver tried to make an effort to help me out. I picked myself up and continued to limp, in hopes of the rain clearing up. I could feel my hopes fading as I struggled to walk.

Suddenly, the sound of a hooting vehicle filled my ears. I turned around. It was a minibus taxi – the typical form of transportation in South Africa. I wanted to laugh. I ignored the hoots. The driver wouldn’t stop. I signalled that I had no money. As if a taxi driver, hard at work, was going to give a drenched individual like me a ride, I thought. Suddenly, the car parked in front of me. I sighed. I went to the door, found the taxi empty – besides the driver and his friend in the front seat – and told them that I had no money.

“It’s fine, sisi,” the driver said. “Just get in!”

Now, a rational girl wouldn’t have jumped into an empty taxi – during rush hour traffic – happily. There had been stories of girls being abducted and found dead a few days later. I don’t know whether it was desperation or resignation that drove me to get into that taxi. I jumped in and sat close to the door. The driver turned around and looked at me. I was taken aback by the concern on his face.

“Look at you!” he said. “You’re soaked! Where are you going?”

“Just down the road,” I explained weakly. They dropped me off without any incident and wished me well. I jumped out of the taxi and expressed as much gratitude as I could.

“Just get home in one piece please,” the friend said.

“Take a shower and drink tea,” the driver shouted. “Or you’ll get sick.”

I got home safely and was soon in clean, warm clothes. This happened three to four years ago but to this day I remember that moment of kindness like it happened a couple of hours ago. Here is one thing you should know. Taxi drivers, in South Africa, are seen as heartless individuals who have no consideration for others on the road. I will not say anything on this because it is a topic that can be spoken about for years.

Anyway, in my moment of desperation, all the ‘good and kind’ people in their nice, spacious cars looked past me – or turned the other eye – whilst I struggled. I was helped by the last person I’d ever expect – I used to be a firm advocate against taxi drivers. But ever since that day, I realized that kindness is not in appearance. It’s in the heart of an individual.

Just because a person is shining on the outside, it doesn’t mean they are all golden inside.

I always pray for those angels that saved me that day. It’s the very least I can do.

Think about the last time someone came to your rescue. What have you done for them?

When was the last time you were someone’s angel?Image

Take That Jump!

Daily Prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/daily-prompt-jump/

 

jump

Alright so picture this:

A cool breeze tickling your skin, teasing strands of your hair – for those who have hair that can be teased. The fresh smell of the sea filling your lungs with each excited breath you take. The sound of seagulls, maybe a few dolphins – if you’re lucky, and the crashing waves below you. The warmth of the sun on your back. The uneven soil beneath your feet – a few rocks making you feel slightly uncomfortable. The feeling of standing on the edge of a cliff, probably a lot of feet above the sea below. You look down. All you see is clear, blue water. No rocks. No obstacles out there to end your life. If you take the jump, you’ll drop into the sea and come back up – a few waves may knock you over but you’ll come out alive. Knowing this, will you jump?

I’m sure a number of you will say “No.” A few of you adventurous folk will say “Yes” without a single moment of hesitation. As for me? Well, my “Yes” is a pending one. I’ll explain.

That scenario I told you to picture? That’s one of the biggest risks I’d like to take. Jumping off of a cliff and landing in the ocean. No, I am not suicidal. I intend on coming out of the water alive – and in one complete piece. This wish of mine has been on my mind since the day I dreamt it. That exact scenario I described graced my subconscious. I woke up feeling exhilarated. I woke up feeling inspired. I woke up feeling rather pensive.

As much as I’d like to take this risk, I can’t do so right now. Why? Well because I don’t know of such a place where I can jump off of a cliff into clear blue water and come out alive. I know it is out there though. The moment I find it – I will mentally prepare myself for the jump for about ten years. I know myself. My fear of heights will not allow me to take this jump comfortably. But I want to get to a point in my life where I will overlook that fear and just jump. Sure I’ll scream – and curse a couple of times – on my way down but the moment I hit that water and resurface, everything will change. I can already feel the sense of victory; the sense of accomplishment. The pride that comes with overcoming a fear.

The thing about this risk is that – there’s more to it than just the literal. Figuratively, I have a lot of cliffs I’d love to jump off of. I won’t name them now – those are articles for another day. Why haven’t I jumped? Well because I need to find the right time, the right people, the right place – stay with me. We all have those risks we want to take. That one person we want to give our heart to. That one change we want to make with our hair. A change in environment. A relationship we need to end. A change in ourselves we need to make. We can see the outcome – freedom. But it’s the thought of jumping and taking the risk that scares us. Fear that a random rock will pop out of nowhere – even though there is no chance whatsoever that a rock will appear – and hurt us. All sorts of doubts fill our head and keep us standing on that cliff edge, soaking up the sun.

I want to stop soaking up the sun. I want to feel myself drop into something new. Something awesome. A sea of total awesomeness – yes, “awesomeness”. I know I’m not alone on that. Think carefully. Think deeply. You know there’s something you need to do – something risky – but your nerve won’t let you do it. You’re waiting for a comfortable time to take that risk. Here’s some news friend: that time will not come. You have to make it for yourself.

I may still be standing on that cliff edge…but I can feel it in me that I’m ready to jump. Lifting my feet slowly…bracing myself…

One…two…three. Here goes nothing.