Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Life is a series of small decisions

Every morning we start our day making small decisions. Do we make our bed now. Brush our teeth now? What’s for breakfast today. Every move we make is governed by  these decisions. It’s a series of game moves that propel us in the direction we wish to go. 

Some choices move us away from our goal. We get distracted we deviate and some times we return to the initial path. Other times we change our paths and make the current path the new chosen path. It’s all programming. It’s the matrix. And it’s how we live our lives every single day. 

I wonder whether it would be possible to go about your day not making a single decision. Perhaps that’s what the movie the Yes man was all about. Removing your ability to navigate your own life and letting fate and the whims of others dictate where you end up. 

It might be an interesting experiment to yield fully to the ocean of possibility. Who knows where you might end up. You could end up in the gutter. Addicted to your vices. You could end up in another country. You could end up with a large family. The avenues are  so many. How many of us can truly let go. I know I couldn’t. I couldn’t imagine that someone else might know what is better for me. You’re not me. So how can you know how to make a better me. 

It’s a case of the reflecting mirror i suppose. So many versions of possible outcomes. And only one can be true. The others are all reflections of you. The amazing thing is that you can pick out the you that you want to become in that moment. That is power. That is endless possibility. That is owning yourself and your true raw potential. And it’s alive and beating every single moment just waiting for you to direct it. 

“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”     Invictus

We have become a race of tv watchers.

In the generations to come our generation will be known as the tv watchers. We watch. We watch our screens all day. We watch Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, twitter the list goes on and on. 

Where’s the time for free thinking? Where we dream. Where we plan. Where we build castles in the sky. Who are we if we have no dreamers left? Dreamers built the car, they built a plane, they built a spaceship. 

You won’t be building anything watching someone else’s social media profile. I would argue you should build your own profile but that just continues the cycle. And someone else will then be watching you. 

I want to say stop the social media but it’s become so useful. How else would we stay in touch? Heaven forbid we actually speak to anyone. You’d have to be ready with actual words. Not words you plotted out before you posted them as an impromptu Facebook status. 

Gone are the days of the handwritten note. Where words are chosen carefully and time is taken to write as mistakes are permanent. We’ve become so fleeting. Leaving nothing memorable behind. No lasting imprint. Movies are forgettable. Music is but a faint echo like a tune played by a passing car. Here for a moment and then gone and never heard again. 

We regurgitate instead of creating. We think we are improving but all we are doing is moving the furniture from one room to another. We hardly make furniture anymore. It used to be a requirement to have a set of skills that you may be judged by. One wasn’t enough, it had to be at least three. Writing which could be stories or poetry. Music. And ofcourse some sporting activity. There were also skills to choose from like wood carving, painting, collecting all sorts of memorabilia like spoons or stamps. 

People used to be so much more interesting. So many more layers. Mysterious and multi faceted. Now we are one dimensional and very very shiny. The more glamorous and glitzy, the more believable and popular we become. It all feeds back into the virtual realities we buy into that we watch on our screens. Screens will be our downfall. Because when we watch the screens we forget to look around us. 

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.