Thursday, February 8, 2018

When all is said and done, who are we really?

Do you know? Do you know who you are without the commitments and have to dos in your life? Without the responsibilities to family, without the financial pursuits of work. Stripped down to your basic self do you know who that person is? 

Sometimes in life we become so engrossed in what we have to do we forget or rather sideline what we want to do. I would like to take street fashion photographs, but I would have to leave the house for that. Which I can't so let's shelve that idea. How many ideas in your life have you shelved because at that moment it is not practical or possible. Do you ever go back when it might be? Or is it just in that moment that the desire exists and when it has passed so does the desire. So it inevitably becomes a story about how once long ago you wanted to take some street fashion pictures. 

I can't leave it there. I shouldn't. I mustn't. Yet I have, because it's still not practical. Will it ever be? Or is it totally possible and in my narrow mindedness I'm missing the opportunity because I refuse to accept it the way it is presented. We all have an idea of where we want to go with a dream and sometimes it's easier to keep it a dream than to watch it wither and die. Because to bring a dream to life takes courage. Commitment. Huge amounts of effort. And the ability to remain unaffected by criticism. There are a lot of critics out there waiting to let you know where you fall short. Just like back seat drivers, there are backseat dreamers. 

So who are we? A bundle of unrealized dreams. We are loaded with potential and anchored by fear. Saddled with responsibilities. The reasons for 'not now' outweigh the reasons for 'absolutely right now'. We must harness that power. We can create the opportunity if we're willing to make the effort. The ones who have are flying in the sky holding their dreams with both hands. The rest of us are still here, grounded. Waiting and watching for someone else to clear the way for us. 

So the next time you have an idea, you can choose. Does it become a story about how you almost did something amazing. Do you leave the idea in your mind because failure is not an option. Or do you say this time I hear you. This time my dream will breath the air of possibility. I will make it so. And just like that a new journey of self discovery will begin. A new chapter in the story of you will begin. Because life is a book and you are on the cover and everything else is a chapter inside it.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

When giants fall... who is left to lead the charge?

I never thought I would be writing about this so soon. Somehow I always expected my teachers to be around to continue to teach me. Even when we had done our high school dance the music always lingered as long as they were alive. I was the student and they were the teachers. Ready to be called upon.

But when the teachers start to fall, the students have to step up and offer the lessons they have learnt, it fills me with fear and anxiety. I have not learnt enough! They have not shared enough! And when they leave us long before we expect them to, we realise we have run out of time. Out of opportunity. And they leave a cavenous emptiness we can never hope to fill. 

Mr Goolam Pandit was the most relevant, forward thinking, intuitive, inspiring, game changing giant I had ever met. He made a difference. Every day. In every moment. It makes me sad that I have lost him and it makes me even more sad that future generations of students  will never have the pleasure of having met him. I wish I had reached out sooner and let him know how thankful I am for the effort and time he had invested in all of us. I always hoped I would run into him again somewhere along my life’s journey. I imagined that he would have some witty, acerbic, sarcastic comment to deliver with his usual flair. And I would offer up something to match. For this was our language. Delivering foul insults with a comedic tinge. But alas that was not meant to be.

I guess that leaves us to lead the charge. To make sure proper English remains lit. Rest well my English giant. The world became too small for a man of your stature. You will always live on in the mind ripples you created in all of us. You took teaching to a fare-thee-well.

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” - Richard Bach

“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.” - Kahlil Gibran

Until we meet again.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

When Life says ... Bazinga!

First, there was one. Just me.
Dinner for one, travel for one, apartment for one. 

Then there was two. Us. So in love, so married, so happy.

We had a little halfling, which made us three. So content, so grateful, so amazed.

We wanted just one halfling more ... instead we were blessed with two!

After all the heartache and disappointment, the giddy highs and sunny smiles, here we are finally. A family of 5.

Bazinga! says Life. You thought you’d always be alone. 
Bazinga! says Life. You thought you’d never be a mom.
Bazinga! says Life. Here have some twins.

What a trip Life is. Just when you think you have things mapped out. The landscape changes. You change. You adapt. You evolve. You become another you.

You are fluid, Life is fluid. Change is inevitable. You cant fight it, you cant control it. Sometimes its glorious and you bask in its glow, sometimes its dark and dank and damp and depressing. 

But ultimately its the best rollercoaster ride and it demands to be ridden. 

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.     Albert Einstein

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The most interesting parts of yourself.

Since the rise of the narcissistic selfie, everyone has become obsessed with looking their best. 

Makeup, clothing, hair, picture background all have to be on point for the perfect selfie. All that effort needs to be made, highlighted contouring makeup, perfectly coiffed hair and just the right mix of light makes for a perfect selfie. Ofcourse you will have to contort yourself like a chinese acrobat at cirque du soliel and then proceed to take 534 pics so you can choose the absolute best one or five. As luck would have it somehow there is always a broom/mop or a toilet in the background but you can  overlook that since the part with your face in it is just too perfect. And if you are wanting to include more of your background or more people in it you can whip out your selfie stick and hey presto! ... a group selfie with a fountain or mountain or beach.

The irony of the selfie is that human beings are not drawn to each others perfections. Rather the opposite is true. Our curiosity is peaked by each others imperfections. There is no one more interesting than someone who has gotten divorced, failed, maimed, broke, got fired, made millions, won a car, got massive promotion, is famous etc. We want to discuss those people. We salivate just waiting for an opportunity to discuss them and their latest accomplishments or failures. 

So when we break that down on a smaller scale. Being perfect is not interesting or attractive. Being imperfect is. Your chipped tooth, your curly dry hair, your incomplete education, your weird laugh. The way you speak, walk, dance. Your silly jokes. Your crooked feet. It is all imperfectly perfect. So laugh more, less duck face. Actually swim, and forget to take a picture of you at the beach. You don't need a picture to prove that you actually did something. Forget makeup. Look around, listen, be present and climb out of your own head.

While I applaud the impressive advancements in technology. I mourn the loss of freedom. We used to be free to experience life without recording it. Without having to see our crazy, uninhibited selves and our actions again. We could remember it as we wished to. We could be surprised!! Life used to be so much more surprising. 

The most interesting parts of yourself happens when no one is looking. And that includes you.

Relax. Live. Let go.

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring"      -     Marilyn Monroe

I wish one day....

I could say "I didn't even know I was pregnant".

Just the same as those who say "oh look its dinner time, I completely forgot to eat lunch". The truth is infertility is not something you can ever forget. Its like moss on a river stone. It just lies there, slowly covering you so that you are no longer able to distinguish which parts are rock and which parts are moss. Over a long enough time it becomes such an ingrained part of you that you forget who you used to be before it consumed you. 

Its not the easiest thing to explain to those who have never experienced the hold it can have you. Perhaps you can just set it aside they say. Just relax, it will happen. You're stressed. Just have your mind think about something else. Imagine for a moment you tied an elastic band to your wrist. Sometimes its really tight and you can barely feel your hand and some days it's so loose you think its about to fall off! It never does. Its just there, every single moment of every single day. Thats how it feels. You can never shake it off. You can never control how its going to make you feel on the day. It just does as it does when it does it. Some days it makes you so happy knowing its there, you're filled with incredible hope and dreams that maybe today is the day. And sometimes it fills you with such dread and sadness because you know today is not that day. You become one with that elastic band and soon its part of your skin. You see it there in the dark, you feel it there even under water. It is you and you are it.

At some point you have to be that big girl that doesn't cry. The one who says "Fairy tales don't always have a happy ending. And I foresee the dark ahead if I stay"...  Well I don't want to be that big girl. I want to cry. I do not want to go gentle into that good night. I want to rage. Rage against the dying of the light. My head will be bloody, but unbowed. And my soul ... unconquerable. This will not beat me.

Instead, I will feast. Feast on all the joy, happiness, love and light that life has to offer. Some days the weight of infertility is crushing and some days it makes me stronger than I ever thought I would need to be. And in the end when you add up all the days.... they are all good anyway. Even the bad ones. 

Because what could be better than being alive and being happy.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Dear future self...

Dear future self, 

I wish you could write and let me know things are ok. Let me know that my dreams have materialized. I wish you could tell me not to worry. Just to let it be. But I wonder if the outcome would be the same if you did? Would I try less harder? Would I surrender easier?

No, better you stay quiet. Let me fight my fires without knowing the degree of burn. I've never been one to need to know the end before I've embarked on the journey. Being prepared for every eventuality is very different from knowing the exact eventuality. 

Which one would you choose? Knowing one, or trying them all. I choose all. Otherwise what would you do with the rest of your time?

Rage. Rage against the dying of the light.

Monday, March 23, 2015

What happened to my nerve??

As I've grown older I've slowly started to lose my nerve. I don't even know how it happened?? 

For the past few weeks I've been toying with the idea of an extra ear piercing. And every time I go to Canal Walk to do it, I find some ridiculous reason why I just cannot do it right now. My hair is too grey, I still have more weight to lose, I look too mommyish today. Its just crazy. I've had a nose piercing and a belly piercing already just for giggles. And now a little hole in my ear is scary. Suspending yourself with hooks off your back is scary! Free climbing is scary! Come on, a little old ear piercing can not be where I top out on the scary chart. 

Back in the day I would just dive head first into any situation I thought might be cool, interesting, fun but now I think I've become a party pooper stick in the mud kind of person! Oh my Ghad. The more I think about it the more I realise how true that is. When I turned 30 I almost skydived, I had it booked and everything. When I turned 40 I had to have a lay down at a lovely luxurious hotel! Where has my gung-ho crazy self gone to? I've gone and killed it.

This situation requires a serious remedy. I want to say I'm going to do it tomorrow… but then I think I already drove out there today. Seems so silly to drive all that way again. Might as well wait a few days. Build some courage. And there I did it again. Its like an invisible shield. Subconsciously activated. Its exactly like gym. I know I need to go. But I never pack a bag and I always drive to the mall first because … well a girl needs coffee.

At the end of March it will be 1 year since I stopped working. I haven't learnt any discernible skill, developed any artistic talent, or advanced myself in anyway that I could proudly wave a flag for. I've taken a gap year and promptly in the flow lost my nerve.  

How do you reawaken that part of yourself? I love who I am right now. Its taken me a while to get here. I'm accepting and forgiving and loving towards myself. Seems perhaps I've also become to comfortable in the lazy section of myself. I don't know if its just getting older and wiser that makes you realise you don't need that much excitement as you did before. I actually need very little since I get excited when there's a new episode of How to get away with Murder on catchup!

I guess its this stage of life when you relax, enjoy and saviour each moment. When you let life wash over you for a little bit. And when you're done you plunge in and start to swim again.