3/52 Knights of the Vale

There is a certain innocence of youth that I see with Bunny. It’s the type that one has when they trust something to just be. Sort of like how you don’t think that the sun may not rise tomorrow, because you have no reason think that. The sun has risen every day of your life, and so it’s not something you consciously think about. Same goes for me and my family. Thinking back on it, family was one of those things that always just was. I was born privileged to have both parents around, and to have siblings. We were a tight-knit unit who migrated from country to country, only really splitting up when we the kids went off to university. I’m probably one of many who took my family dynamic for granted. Or at least I did until as an adult, I not only needed them but understood that having people show up for me is a blessing. One that should not be taken for granted. There are some moments that really stand out for me, where just like Jon Snow and the knights of the Vale in the GoT episode Battle of the Bastards, people I had not known needed showed up for me. Like, really showed up. I’ll share 3 of those white horse moments with you …

  

That time I got married…

We were young and had other priorities for our money which meant that a wedding was going to take place, but with a lot of DYI. True to my nature, I took on all of it and furiously made checklists upon checklists to make sure not a beat was missed. In spite of all of my lists, I still ran out of time because in there I forgot to add “be a bride”. I am so thankful for my aunts and cousins for taking over the prep work and running the day, my uncles for making sure we were restocked with alcohol when we ran out, friends for hosting showers and sisters for keeping me sane and showing up ready to do the thriller like they said they would. I was a bride in every sense of the word on that day because of the common sense and overwhelming love of the people around me.That time I had an emergency C-section…

After a textbook perfect pregnancy, I had it in my mind that I would have an 8 am -4 pm labour. I had not opted for drugs and had saved up a JR Ward book to start reading at the beginning of my labour, just to keep my mind off things. But what actually happened is that I went into labour on a Friday, but very slow labour. So slow that I was in no pain and had only dilated 1 cm further all weekend. As scheduled, I went in for the gynea check-up on Monday 9am. I had the good sense to have a full breakfast (rice and a quarter leg of chicken) before I drove off with my maternity bag in the boot. I guess I just knew. Once we had confirmed how far dilated I was and had come up with a plan of action to ensure delivery before 4 pm, I was sent to the maternity ward. There, I was strapped to the usual machines for heartbeat etc. when all hell broke loose. An hour later, I was lying in the theatre getting a spinal tap done for an emergency C-section. I was all alone. Then just as the gynea was about to get started I saw a familiar bag on the floor in the corner next to the door, and my aunt come up to me. Turns out she had heard I was in labour and had come to the ward to see me only to be redirected to the theatre. I was a teary mess. I had thought I would have to go through all that by myself, but it turns out I didn’t have to be an island. My people pulled through.

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That time I pulled a Dear John stunt…

Once again, I was surprised by the people who rallied around me when I walked away from my abusive marriage. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do for myself, but the support I had was humbling. I remember breaking the news to friends over breakfast the day before I left. We were sitting at Tashas in Athol having an incident free breakfast when I said: “I’m leaving him”. This was the first time I had spoken about any of this, and the responding love and support were so unexpected. I was offered help packing, empty boxes, storage space, a place to sleep, and lawyers details. And it did not stop there. In the 3 years it took to finalise the divorce, I had people I could talk to and bounce ideas off. People who rendered legal advice and got me in touch with lawyers. I had people help me pay the crippling legal fees despite having their own households to run on a limited income, and others cheering me on from the side-lines, encouraging me to live a full life in spite of the harrowing experience I was going through. When I made the decision to walk away from my marriage, I had braced myself for the barrage of criticism and an onslaught of doubt mongers. Instead, I had champions around me fighting with me for my life.

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I look at Bunny and I remember my youthful ignorance. I remember not having to think twice about my actions or having to actively build relationships within my own family because in my world family was always just there. Now, not for a moment do I take for granted the help that I have with school runs, babysitting, advice in general or school fees. My family is not picture perfect but rather a mishmash of colourful characters drawn together by our love for each other. Whilst some are through blood and others through conscious association, what remains constant is that they always go to bat for me. I am theirs just like they are mine, and I love each one of them dearly for the colour they add to the tapestry that is my life.

This is one part of a 52-week post a week challenge on gratitude. You might also enjoy reading other parts of this series. Click here to see more.

2/52 Down in the DM

I’m very private about current events, which makes this one of the most intimate posts I’ve written. But if anyone deserves an exception to my personal privacy settings, it’s you Mzezman.

 7th November 2015. The day I had finally had enough.

I was going through some of the biggest heartbreak of my adult life and was still trying to find my centre. Everything I thought I knew about adult relationships had been tested and found wanting. Left with nothing but time and my thoughts, I went back to my vision board and took a critical look at what I was searching for in a partner. On that board, I had listed them: God fearing, family oriented, humble, generous. When I looked at that list with my eyes glazed over from the hurt in my heart, I immediately recognised that I had veered from what truly mattered and was inadvertently inviting heartache into my life. Somewhere along the line, I had started subscribing to other people’s notion of partnership. I had started relating to people in a way that was not authentic, which did not honour who I was and what I needed in my life. I had drifted away from what really mattered, and put more emphasis in the fleeting and fickle. So, when I sat there looking at this list I knew that the only way this man would manifest would be by first surrendering what I thought I knew by putting ALL my faith in God. And getting some standards.

I started blogging as a means of voicing some of my frustrations because in my mind, the walk by faith was going to be long and likely yield some really interesting experiences. Little did I know that it would be the path that lead me to you.

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Faith is an odd thing. When you stop psyching yourself out, making a plan for every possibility and just allow God to handle business, He does so in a braggadocious way. Our story was scripted so perfectly from how we ‘met’ on Twitter and took it to the DM, surprise wine shipments and care packages of Battlestar Galactica. I first fell in love with your spirit and how your soul speaks to mine. One of the things that I love most about you is your big heart. Your generosity and selflessness are breathtaking. Being with you makes me want to be a better person, want to be more selfless so that you don’t have to be. I am so excited to grow together with you, one mud monster at a time.

This is one part of a 52-week post a week challenge on gratitude. You might also enjoy reading other parts of this series. Click here to see more.

1/52 Searching for Silver Linings

Has the world gone mad? There is so much anger and hate in the world right now, it’s completely bonkers! I’m crying for my country, black lives, our economy, our children. It makes it hard to watch the news or spend time on social media. My heart has been so heavy with all the killings, oppression,  hate and anger. In typical fashion, I’ve done an ostrich with regards to the whole thing and stopped watching the news and reading things on social media. I’m not live streaming anything for the next little while because Lord knows what I might watch. I just can’t anymore with all the negativity.

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I’m in a serious funk, and all the closet hate that’s spewing out for the world to see has me furiously searching for silver linings everywhere. I have an overwhelming need to be proactive, to do something to bring about change, even if it’s just in my own life. So it’s probably the right time to embark on a 52-week challenge with a central theme of gratitude. I hope you’ll join me on this journey and engage with me through this blog and hopefully, we will heal our world one positive thought and action at a time.

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge 

  1. Why start this challengeSearching for silver linings
  2. Spouse / significant otherDown in the DM
  3. FamilyKnights of the vale
  4. A family memberOMG! I’m becoming my mom
  5. Something someone gave youThe Gift
  6. The city you live in – Getting into Formation
  7. A friend 1You are the weakest link, goodbye!
  8. Express gratitude to 3 people
  9. How did you do & feel?
  10. List 5 things you like about you
  11. Someone who inspires you
  12. Your favourite personality trait
  13. A challenge you’ve overcome
  14. A talent you have
  15. Things you like about spring
  16. Simple things in life
  17. Something you take for granted
  18. The weather
  19. Health
  20. A friend 2
  21. Things you like about the summer
  22. Something you use everyday
  23. Favourite physical trait
  24. A book you learned from
  25. Education
  26. Someone you got to meet
  27. Favourite spot in your city
  28. Your past
  29. Your favourite memory
  30. Your current age
  31. Core value
  32. A city you’ve visited
  33. Something you look forward to
  34. Things you like about fall
  35. Your neighbourhood
  36. Your home
  37. Something you created
  38. Music you love
  39. Your heritage
  40. Greatest accomplishment
  41. Hobbies
  42. Your favourite possession
  43. A mentor / teacher
  44. Your favourite holiday
  45. What you do for fun
  46. Technology
  47. Opportunities you’ve been given
  48. Your job
  49. Things you like about winter
  50. Lessons learned this year
  51. 100 things to be thankful for
  52. Did this challenge change you?

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