Journey Out of the Uncomfortable: This Space is Taken

 

So the other day, after a conversation with my mother, I decided that it was time to clear out my closet. It was a wreck. It started off well, I removed my school uniform from years ago, my old blazers, old clothes I’d forgotten about. As I sat on the floor to empty the bottom shelf of the cupboard, I discovered a pile of jeans I’d stored away for “When I Lose Weight”.

I’d kept those jeans for years. There were other clothes with the jeans. Clothes I wanted to wear “When I Am the Right Size”. The pile had grown with the years.

I looked at a couple of the jeans and realized, I’d probably fit them if I tried. But I didn’t try them on. I collected them and shoved them in a big, black bag.

I sat on the floor for a while and pondered on the times I’d done this in my life. Put things and people aside for “When I Am Right for Them”.

From books, to friends, to relationships, etc. I’d done that. If something came to an untimely end or so, I immediately thought that it was my fault and I set out to change myself until I could fit into their world.

The obvious result of my actions: Identity confusion. A worn out mind and body. A broken heart.

What’s the connection here? Between keeping old, small clothes and failed situations? Wrong intentions. A damaging mindset.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of my life carrying the label “Guilty” on my forehead. I took flak for wrongs I wasn’t a part of. I apologized for everything. I agreed to avoid conflict. I took the fall, so no one else would. For no reason, but to be accepted. To not be alone.

And I carried all this dead weight for years. This dead weight would come to life and become active in many of my human interactions over the years. Until I decided that it was time to drop the baggage and live in the freedom that I was given.

Part of that meant speaking up. Part of that meant taking a stand. Part of that meant saying no.

It surprised many and affected many of my relationships with people. And as the changes occurred, I reflected on how absent the person I was born to be had been.

Acceptance from people is nothing, if you’ve had to sacrifice your entire being for it. What’s there to accept? Nothing. Which is why people end up treating you like dirt, when you spend your life chasing after their approval.

Look at the world right now. Look at some of our leaders. Some people who got to where they are, by doing insane things for those in higher powers, just to be ousted by these same people.

It’s all over social media. The struggle for relevance. For acceptance. For shares, RT’s, and a heart here and there. A couple of emojis for control.

But there are enough pieces on social media behaviour and all; I was just adding my two cents.

What am I trying to say here?

Well, believe it or not: Throw out that old, and embrace the new.

That space in your heart you’ve kept for “the one who got away”. Clear it out, dear. Remove those damaging mementos, and allow yourself to let someone in who will take good care of that space.

The failures of the past? It’s time for them to vacate, friend. That space was meant for something better. Better does come. It really does.

Those jeans that will fit when you lose one more kg, stone or pound? Let it go. But don’t drop your hard work. What’s better than fitting  into old jeans? Walking into the store, finding a size smaller than what you used to be, and rocking the heck out of them.

 

ImageCred: http://freedomtentwo.weebly.com/

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Human Connections – Life and All Its Wonders

Connections

One man’s friend is another man’s lover the same way

One woman’s one night stand is her new receptionist’s brother.

Fibre glass cables flow through the world and connect

Man, woman, boy and girl

In ways we never really thought possible, did we?

The enemy of today could be an in-law of tomorrow.

That person’s neighbour could be our new source of sorrow because

They decided to borrow your sister for a lifetime of holy matrimony.

Life is short but relations are many.

Time goes by fast, but isn’t it scary how it takes a second to form a human bond

That could last an eternity?

To say a word that may join you and that being til death do you part?

In a flash of a second, connections break forth and join hearts of all people,

Some people, or just a few.

This very post just connected me with you.

You being a somebody who could be on the other side of the world, yet

There you are reading these ramblings of a young adult –

Who sometimes calls herself a girl.

Time flies by. Friendships grow stronger.

People grow weaker.

Relationships build as others break.

A new person comes, taking the place of

The one that walked away.

One leaves whilst another may return.

Bridges come up whilst others burn.

Words are said. Laughs shared.

Tears shed.

Connections all around us.

Connections everywhere we go.

Some broken by a simple “Goodbye”.

Others joined by a wonderful

“Hello.”

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/daily-prompt-connection/

Flip Flop|| Hidden Heroes

Flip Flop

An attempt at fictional blogging! Image

“Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRANSITION.”

 

She crinkled her nose. She hated the smell of airports. To be honest, she thought, she hated airports. Period. She tapped her foot impatiently as she waited for the baggage carousel to start moving. She’d just jumped off of a thirteen hour flight – and it hadn’t been a pleasant one. Her mind flared as she thought of being surrounded by four wailing babies. The audio jack for her screen wasn’t working so she’d been left to fend off the agonizing wails of the infants. The bags under her eyes were visible enough to make her pass for being a blood-deprived vampire. She checked her watch. Where the hell were the bags? She barely noticed the arrival of a new human being. She heard his cheerful whistling before she saw him. The sound grated her ears. That was a result of her abominable mood.

“Looks like it’s a slow day today,” he chirped. She looked at him. He was talking to her.

“Yeah, looks like it,” she replied quietly. He nodded.

“So what’s your story?” he asked her. She looked at him, astounded. This guy had only been standing next to her for a couple of seconds and he was already asking her questions like “what’s your story”? That was a rather forward move. She blinked a couple of times.

“What do you mean?” she asked him.

“Exactly that,” he replied. “What’s your story? Why are you here?”

The nerve of this man, she thought. How dare he question her like he had a right to do so? She sighed.

“Flew in from South Africa,” she explained. “Student looking to take a break and find herself.”

He nodded.

“When’d you lose yourself?” he asked simply. She looked at him, lost for words.

“I beg your pardon?” she asked him, partially flabbergasted.

“When did you lose yourself?” he asked again. She felt a surge of annoyance travel through her system. She didn’t have time for this. She, for some reason though, felt a need to reply.

“A while back,” she replied. He nodded. He bent over and picked up a single backpack. She was taken aback; when did the carousel start moving? She wondered. He stood up straight and smiled at her.

“Well, I’m off,” he said. “Good luck finding yourself.”

He sauntered off before she could reply. She shook her head. What kind of guy was he? Asking her such questions like he knew her. She wrote him off as a typical twenty-something male who thought that he had the right to question everyone around him. She hauled her suitcase off of the carousel with the force of an angered warrior goddess. She checked that she had everything and headed for the airport entrance. She sighed. Let the journey begin.

**

Six months later.

She exited Starbucks with her Vanilla latte in one hand and her prized cinnamon-coated bun, safely packaged. She looked around. London mornings were the epitome of the term “hustle and bustle”. People everywhere with important things to do, important people to see, and important things to say. There she was just hoping she’d get back to her flat with her breakfast intact. She allowed the chilly breeze to tickle her cheek as she waited to cross the road. The traffic light was refusing to change but it didn’t bother. In her six months of “self-discovery” she’d learned the true meaning of patience – she learned the hard way. From blatantly manipulative cab drivers, to bartenders with very shaky hands, and all the way to the rather grumpy people she encountered on the daily – she’d learned. She’d learned a lot of lessons and she was glad.

“Look out!” she heard someone yell. She looked around but didn’t get a chance to see anything as she was tackled to the ground.

“What the…?” she looked up and gasped. She knew that face. It was him. The cocky guy from the airport. Her world came into better focus as she heard the commotion around her. She sat up slowly and looked around. Her mouth formed an oval shape as she saw a cab partially wrapped around the pole she’d been leaning on. The driver was standing above her, simultaneously asking her worried questions and apologizing. A small group of people surrounded her but she kept looking at “Airport Guy”. He was looking at her.

“You saved me,” she said. Her voice sound terribly weak. It must have been the shock. He grinned.

“Yeah, looks like I did,” he replied. “Fancy meeting you again like this.”

She nodded quietly as she looked at her spilled coffee and crushed cinnamon bun. She shuddered as she realized that had it not been for Airport Guy, she would’ve ended up in a far more severe state compared to her crushed breakfast. Airport Guy helped her up.

“How?” she asked. That’s the only thing that could leave her mouth.

“I saw you, recognized you and was on my way to greet you but then I saw the cab hurtling towards you and you were in a world of your own,” he explained. If she was white, she would’ve been as red as a tomato. “So I took a risk and rugby tackled you to the ground. I half expected you to deck me when you sat up.”

“Why?” she asked. Since when was she a woman of monosyllabic words? She wondered.

“Well, I didn’t think that you’d want to see my face,” he responded simply. “I pissed you off at the airport.”

She looked away sheepishly.

“Sorry,” she replied quietly. He tilted her chin and smiled.

“It’s alright,” he said. “I’m used to it. The whole judge a book by its cover thing.”

“Well, I’ve revoked my first review of the book,” she smiled. “This book is a piece worth keeping.”

He grinned.

“Well it looks like you lost your breakfast,” he observed the sad sight that lay a meter away from them. “How about I treat you to a proper breakfast?”

She looked at him suspiciously. He raised his hands in the air.

“We’re all friends here,” he said. “Besides, no one can turn down good bacon.”

“True,” she smiled.

“The joint may look a little disappointing,” he warned. “But trust me, your opinion will change once you’ve had a forkful of eggs, toast and bacon.”

She nodded happily.

“Well it wouldn’t be the first time my opinion has changed about something,” she added. They looked at the harried crowd that surrounded the accident. She shrugged.

“Let’s go,” she said. They walked away cheerfully.

“So the last time I checked,” he said, “You were on some journey of some sort? Rediscovering yourself?”

She laughed and nodded.

“Well, how’s it going? Have you found yourself yet?”

She paused thoughtfully.

“No,” she replied. “A wise someone and their smart aleck questions taught me something.”

“What’s that?” he asked, amused.

“I never lost myself,” she said simply. “Never have and I never will.”

“Any other gems you picked up?” he asked.

“Yep,” she responded. “One person’s annoyance is another person’s hero. I was the lucky bugger who got both.”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/daily-post-transition/

Power, Pleasure, Pain

Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/daily-prompt-inspiration/

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So, I’m the type of person who will hear a song and abuse it until the end of time. When I came across an acapella version of Seal’s Kiss From a Rose a couple of weeks ago…well…

A particular line in the song caught my attention –

“You became my power, my pleasure, my pain.”

Imagine that. Being someones power…pleasure…and pain. I don’t know if I’d go around walking on clouds if someone said that to me. I mean if you really look at that line. What does it mean to be someone’s power, pleasure and pain?

You’re the source of that person’s power. Their will to get up and do something revolves around you. You are their motivation. Their inspiration.

You’re that person’s source of pleasure. Their smiles, laughs, and warm fuzzy feelings and butterflies, are because of you.

But…you’re also the source of that person’s pain. They feel your tears. They feel your heartache. They feel your sadness. They also feel the pain you inflict upon them. They feel the fire in your angry words. They suffer as they feel the sharpness in your cutting words. The pain you cause them is real.

Sounds like a lot of pressure, huh?

My mind can’t help but wander to the side of the possessor. You know the person who’s made you their “power, pleasure and pain”.

So often we throw ourselves into a commitment – be it a friendship or an intimate relationship – and we give people the authority to control our state of being. We base our emotions, moods, and stability on the state of being of another person. Why? Because we love them. I have no problem with that. Who am I to judge? I’m guilty of doing such too…

The problem comes, though, when people make well…the wrong people their “power, pleasure, and pain”. Abusive people. Manipulative people. People who just don’t deserve your affection but you choose to give it to them anyway because you’re hooked.

Because you need them. Because…you love them.

I’ve seen enough of my friends and peers tear themselves apart – emotionally and mentally – because they’ve given their all to an individual who’s taken that affection and turned it into something so…sad.

It’s a cold world we live in huh?

But there’s hope…a glimmer of hope…

A fraction of these people realize their errors and withdraw from these parasitic relationships. They learn from their mistakes and manage to invest in people worth investing in.

The others?

Well…some never learn…some never leave…

But we keep praying that one day they’ll wake up and smell the coffee. And when they do…they’ll realize that the coffee they’re stuck with sucks. So they’ll throw it out and get new coffee. Better coffee.

Worthwhile coffee.

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