What’s my age again?

I’m turning 32 next week. What a time to be alive! An orange man thinks he has a real shot at president and emoji’s are an actual language! I still remember tap dialling on a landline, the revolution that was the disk man, MS-DOS and floppy disks. What a time indeed…

 

I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time reflecting on the last 31 years and what I’ve learnt. Here’s 32 things that I know for sure:

  1. VH1 is what MTV used to be – good music 24/7
  2. Age is a state of mind
  3. Bodies get soft, and that’s ok
  4. Take care of your bones. They are irreplaceable
  5. An appropriate bedtime is 9.30pm. In fact, anything after 10pm is considered a turn upMjAxMy0yMDVlZWFjYTkyZGQ1OTc1_5127a2068be3c
  6. Getting drunk is a two-day experience because hangovers last all through the next day
  7. You’ve got to sustain some form of fitness. It’s not that easy to get back into shape after slacking off during winter (note to self)
  8. Pilates (or yoga) is essential. At the very least, it will save your back
  9. You are a source of inspiration to someone
  10. Be kind to yourself
  11. Forgive yourself for the mistakes of your youth
  12. Protect your credit score
  13. Live in the moment – chose joy, sing along on top of your voice, dance. But do so whilst wearing sunscreen
  14. Get a retirement annuity, you’re halfway there
  15. It’s ok to turn into your mum. She raised a wonderful daughter so she can’t be all that bad
  16. Family is not just blood, but authentic connections and real relationships
  17. Never give up. It’s always darkest before the dawn
  18. Do not settle for mediocrity
  19. Be unapologetic about your truth and brave enough to give voice to your feelings. You don’t have to agree with everything they say
  20. Life is too short to watch shit movies 3fd87c4f223e199b2f44e10d7ec9d43f
  21. Wear your battle scars with pride
  22. Fill your mind with useful things, and read fulfilling books (i.e. no more mills and boon)
  23. Don’t live in fear of the unknown
  24. Put down the technology and connect in person
  25. Privacy matters. Save something for yourself – not everything needs to be on social media
  26. Drama is not excitement. Stability is
  27. Travel – even if it’s just 30 minutes away
  28. Work to live – don’t take work on holiday with you
  29. 80% of the battle can be won with good eating habits
  30. Douche bags / fuck boys do not deserve a place in your life or in your head
  31. Be honest about your age (was 21 really that fabulous?). Also, it’s ok to use urban dictionary
  32. You matter the most. Love yourself enoughb84045ea194eef8e53a5af52b8b80aa8.jpg

You, Jesus and me make three

Originally posted on adventuresfrom.com:

Sexuality is an odd thing. A group of us could be sitting around a table talking about orgasms; each of us using the exact same vocabulary but our experiences will most likely be vastly different. Since there is no real test of objectivity to gauge that we are talking about the same experience, we can only assume that we are on the same boat.

I distinctly remember when I first heard that women could climax. I was 16 and standing in the second floor foyer in girl’s hostel. When Crystal said it, I looked at Baki, shook my head and immediately dismissed it as lies. I mean, how could that possibly work? What did that even look like? Was it a river-like flow, or a squirt? Where did it come from? Folklore, I declared it! The works of the devil meant to entice me into becoming one of ‘those’ girls. I was the epitome of good – I was raised Christian and was a boarder at a Christian school. In hostel certain events that were mandatory. Weekdays, it was 10 minutes quiet time every morning and devotions every evening. Weekends we had church on Sunday morning and Chapel in the evening.

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I was in the system for 6 years, and somehow unintentionally immersed myself in the religious kool aid because my sexual awakening only came when I got to tertiary. It was like I was in stasis then all of a sudden a light bulb went on. Boom, and I had hormones! But when that happened, noticed that I had some real problems with intimacy even though I never signed one of the many purity pledges that were circulated at Chapel. I had felt that it was too much pressure, and I was not sure I could make such a commitment. No pre-marital sex? Who knew when I would get married! I wasn’t sure I could keep such an open-ended promise so I gave the pledges a miss. I know there was that whole “I’ve sinned and want to be a virgin again therefore Father forgive me” thing that people did from time to time, but I hate my business being on the street. So my logic was if I didn’t promise anything then no need to seek forgiveness…

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Except, when I did get around to being intimate it was difficult to leave the cool aid behind. I would literally see Jesus sitting at the foot of the bed watching in judgment. Sex was an activity, which in truth I did not get much pleasure from. I didn’t get what all the fuss was about but I still carried on hoping to find some joy and somehow understand what the big deal was. This brings me back to that thing I said about same vocab, different experiences. I thought I was doing ok and could engage in animated conversation with my lady friends on the mechanics of sex. That was until one ambitious sod spoke about having orgasms. Multiples. It was then at age 26 that I realised that I was paying lip service to both the conversations and sex, and just like Jon Snow I knew nothing.

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And so when I finally had some time and the inclination to do something about it, I put it on the live life list. The circumstances of finally finding my orgasm and having unwed sex without feeling like a sinner were interesting. I was halfway around the world with zero fucks to give when I found my free. When I got to check that item off the live life list, first thing that happened was the penny dropped. I finally got what all the fuss was about. Then I got mad that I had wasted so much time walking other people’s journey with God and vilifying myself for being a sexual being. There was the realization that my sexuality is just that: mine, as was my relationship with God. That allowed me to fully embrace my experiences. If I’m not getting the most out of my experiences, then it’s on me. Phrases like “make me come” have me rolling my eyes because I make myself come. You just happen to be lucky enough to be around to experience my pleasure. Also, if I’m going to go through the effort of taking off my clothes, it had better be worth my while. Seriously. Bad sex has no place in my life.

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Coupled with the religious kool aid, I made a couple of classic rookie mistakes along the way. I read too much nonsense. Cosmo is bullshit (who writes that shit anyway?). I spent countless hours of my youth immersed in written content that made me hella gullible and left my mind in la-la land. “12 types of sex EVERY woman has in their 20’s”? Really? Every woman? Because we are all the same? I’ll admit to occasionally reading Mills and Boon for vocabulary. How many ways can you describe a hard dick, eh? Engorged cock, throbbing member, turgid manhood, pulsing shaft…

…I digress

Coming to terms with being sexual and a Christian was mammoth task. I guess you never really know where in the kool aid immersion spectrum you are until you’ve been intimate. No early warning system there. I suppose each person needs to come to their own understanding of immorality and act in a way that makes them feel comfortable. Now that I’m over my intimacy issues, I will declare that sex is a beautiful thing. God created it, as well as our bodies. Sinner’s guilt is no longer my portion because I’ve found a way to walk with God, and have an intimate relationship with my partner. The two must coexist because in the bedroom, you, Jesus and me make three.

 

A reflection of my happy heART

I am happy. It is different from my previous sunny side up disposition. I am well and truly giddy with joy twenty four-seven. I have a skip in my step and I am bubbling over with bliss. I am in love, you see. And I am loved with equal abandon.

I have been on an unintentional writing hiatus. With this new state of bliss I am completely immersed in the moment. I can no longer relate to the content I had queued up. It was grounded in the past. I have been thinking about it and agonising at the blank space on my blog. Wanting to post something, anything really. I could not.

I would start writing and the words would dry up. I would revisit my notes. I was hoping to find something that I would reflect my current state of mind. I could not find a thing.

I never really thought about the emotional space that I was writing from. I was happy enough reflecting on my experiences of self-discovery. I had more ‘blank’ space in my mind. I had more anxiety. I had more questions and doubts. I now have acceptance. I am at peace.

I am now giddy with joy. I am determined to write beautiful pieces from a happy place. Angst isn’t art. I will still write from my heart.

I am happy now. I am excited at the new direction of my art. I am in love, you see. Let me show you my happy heART.

Say Yes

…on what has unintentionally become repeated exposure to my biggest fear.

Cat-Lady-Starter-KitSay Yes was intended to be a time boxed exercise to get me back out there. Borne from the rude awakening that I was a few declined invites short of becoming a social recluse who at 40, would find herself surrounded by only cats, a parrot and the stench of animal piss.

The “problem” is that I love my own company. I, like most introverts find being alone quite refreshing. Quiet time is quality time. But there came a point where I preferred my reading spot and Kindle over human interaction, which made this item incredibly necessary for my live life list. Because cats, parrot and piss.

The principle of say yes was very simple in my mind: if someone asked the answer would be yes, barring illegal requests. So armed with a lot of yeses and dash of trepidation, off I went into the world ready to open my life up to new experiences. So far it’s been a liberating exercise. It has led me to new friends, new hobbies and exposure to the things that have historically been out of my radar. By far the most surprising discovery from say yes is my attachment to obstacle course racing.

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I first heard about the Jeep Warrior Race when a colleague mentioned it and invited me to join his team. That never materialised, but in the spirit of say yes, I went on to register for a solo race. Which I showed up to. And finished. And absolutely loved! But here’s the thing: the designers the Jeep Warrior Race as a standard put at least 1 jump or slide-free fall, usually as the last obstacle. That ordinarily wouldn’t be a problem except I have barophobia (a fear of falling), and don’t intentionally go around trying to cure it through repeated exposure. I hate flying, amusement parks and long elevator rides. The height thing doesn’t bother me and going up generally isn’t a problem either. It’s the gravity thing. It’s that moment during descent when my stomach drops. This brings me to the point I raised earlier about unintentionally facing your fears. With say yes coupled with my attachment to the Jeep Warrior Race and my brave heart, I find myself literally willing myself off a 6 meter platform at every opportunity.

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That’s an action shot of me jumping. Looks cool, huh? Until you see my face…

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That’s terror. I always look like this when I jump. Always

I love doing the Jeep Warrior Race, and I love the sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing. I hate the jumps, but I always do them – once cradling my dislocated arm because for me, it’s not a Warrior Race without doing the jump or getting the finishers medal.

At every race without fail, I balk at the prospect of jumping. But still I say yes, because with every yes I learn more about my own strengths and limitations. I learn that in every experience there is beauty to be found.

 

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30 by 30: My Live Life List

So much to do, so little time…

Rutendo, how many years ago did you get married? It was at your wedding, as we were waiting in the church for you to arrive that this list started. Now, Rutendo is one of those annoying people who is never late. EVER. I love her to death, but her precision planning leaves us mere mortals feeling incredibly disorganised. I’ll admit, it is inspiring. But only when one isn’t recovering from her side-eye for either being horribly late, or in my case, always showing up unannounced.

But I digress…

So, more or less 3 years ago, we sat waiting for Rutendo to walk down the aisle (she was only 30 minutes behind schedule, but we recovered time beautifully). Whilst waiting, I chatted to the dear Doc, who mentioned her 30 things by 30 list. Sounded pretty cool, and in true FOMO style, I wanted in. But also, being the overachiever I am, I was not about to list anything ‘unachievable’. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but I know my limitations. There is no frigging way I will parachute or bungee jump. Nope. Never. Finish and klaar! At the time, I didn’t have 30 things (sad, yes, I know). But I really enjoyed experiencing my 26 items that I started adding more. So now it’s more along the lines of 60 things by 60 list, and I’m having the time of my life experiencing life. Read more about my ‘live life list’ here!

  1. Go on a solo holiday
  2. See Van Gogh Starry Night
  3. Be swept off my feet
  4. The big “o”You, me and Jesus make three
  5. Learn to ski
  6. Learn to snowboard
  7. Learn to ice skate
  8. Learn to pole dance
  9. Get out of debt
  10. Live credit free
  11. Pay off school fees
  12. Cum my Master’s degree
  13. Wax and groom monthly
  14. Get my nails done monthly
  15. Buy nice shoes every month
  16. Buy nice lingerie every month
  17. Learn another language
  18. Climb Kilimanjaro
  19. Shark cage diving
  20. Swim with dolphins
  21. Walk with lions
  22. Skinny dip
  23. Sunbathe nude
  24. Visit Victoria falls
  25. Attend a tantric sex workshop
  26. Visit the Pyramids
  27. Visit the Taj Mahal
  28. Visit Australia
  29. Fall in requited loveA Reflection of my happy heART