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Peace

“It’s so exposing, so honest and there are sides of me I’d rather not show”

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They call it self-discovery or finding your passion

Well, it makes me long for the days when just settling was fashion

I mean, where do I even begin to look?

How will I know when it’s found?

Coz I didn’t find anything in that self-help book

Is it this thing on the ground?

Is it something I’m already good at, or will I have to acquire some new skill?

Coz all I do is watch TV when I have some time to kill.

I’m also quite good at crying, coz self-discovery is painful you know

It’s so exposing, so honest and there are sides of me I’d rather not show

So I wipe away the tears when I hear footsteps approaching, I rinse my face

I do it quickly, you know, I gotta win this race

Or so I thought…for so long with you I was competing

With your job, your car, your selfies…forgetting all these things are fleeting

But now…now all I do is congratulate- with a like, a retweet, a smile

Coz what I’ve found is peace, that will last me a whole lot longer than just a while

This peace is my answer and it’s my strength

I’ve found my peace

This peace is my???

This peace is God

  • Coy-Khoi

fire

Mentally healthy, or nah?

Growing up I was often reminded that “kinders kan nie stres nie” (children can’t have stress). I think my parents told me this because they didn’t want me to be stressed out about anything. I think they wanted me to remember that as long as they’re around I didn’t have to worry. I think they wanted me to have a “positive attitude”. And of course, they wanted me to pray about it. So growing up I was pretty “happy-go-lucky”… During my teenage years I wrote passive aggressive love poems, but I was generally fortunate enough to not experience any major depression.

When my parents divorced shortly before my 21st that changed, but I didn’t really know how to deal with it. So initially I tried to ignore it, coz you know… It’s not real. I mean, I can’t get depressed. Then when it didn’t go away I prayed about it. I cried a lot too. Also, isolation was something I thrived in. When you’re alone you don’t have to explain stuff, or talk about it. Smartphones made ignoring people a little difficult, but I had my ways.

This year when I started feeling like I did 5 years ago I panicked… I panicked, coz I knew that I didn’t want to do things the same way I did before but I also didn’t really know a different way. Thankfully, I had free Wi-Fi and lots of free time. I soon discovered that there were lots and LOTS of people who were going through what I was and that it was okay. It sounds really cheesy, but it’s true.

As people we like to think that we’re the first, or the only ones to ever be in “our shoes”. Opening up to my friends about how I felt and what I was experiencing was daunting to begin with, because to me talking about what I was going through meant I was complaining. And in church I was taught “jy kla op jou knieë” (you complain in prayer), which is great, but sometimes you need to vent to another human being. Someone who will say “ai vriendin, ek verstaan hoe jy voel” (I know how you feel friend), or who’ll just sit there with a look of empathy and I allow you to just…feel.

What I also learned is that your parents, friends, loved ones are JUST PEOPLE. Don’t let one unsympathetic or ignorant response make you crawl back into your hole of wailing and silent sobs. Forgive them and try talking to someone else. If you have the energy, teach them how to be sympathetic so they are better equipped to support you the next time you or someone else might feel the same.

Please also protect yourself! Too many people are out here suffering (emotionally) at the hands of “friends and family”. You don’t have to be around people who hinder your growth and healing. And you don’t have to explain anything to anyone either.

I can’t even begin to cover all the stigma attached to depression / mental health in our community, but I did come here to make some things clear. I want you to remember that: “jy is nie vol moods nie”/ “awuphaphi”/ you’re not “dramatic”, you’re never alone even though it might feel like it most of the time and it gets better. Trust me.

Do best. Stay blessed.

Daddy issues

I’ve been struggling to write lately because of many reasons, but mainly coz I’ve had too many (depressing things) to write about. Then the other day, my pastor asked me to preach on Sunday (Father’s Day ) and I declined. Then it came to me- daddy issues.

It’s important that you know I didn’t necessarily decline because of my daddy issues, or more specifically not because of the issues I have with my earthly father – I’m petty, but I also know how to put that aside to do the Lord’s work. I just… don’t feel particularly encouraged and up for it this year (it’s my annual slot).

So there I was, thinking about how I know too many people who avoid going online on Father’s Day, or any other “father-loving” stuff like that and it came to me (unlike my daddy on my birthday haha), so here we are.

My daddy issues started after my parents got a divorce when I was 20. Before then my dad was the best dad as far as present and involved fathers are concerned. He showed up for all my choir concerts, took me to all my drama classes, took my friends home after netball practices – you get the drift. But one day I came home from class and he was waiting for me on the “stoep”… There was a gym bag next to him and he looked like he’d been crying. I knew what he was gonna say. He said it, hugged me and left. He left for, what felt like, a long time. THAT is the issue.

From what I can tell, all kids want for the most part is a “present and involved” father. I know children (more so when they’re younger) need food, school fees and clothes and people say “kids can’t eat excuses, or promises for lunch”. I get it. But I’ve seen hungry kids laugh and play with their fathers. I’ve seen kids in hand-me-downs walk to school with their dads too. That’s why I don’t get it, all they have to do is show up (to begin with). Yet they don’t…

As I grew older, read lots of letters from my dad, watched a bunch of TV shows and talked to too many people I love about this topic, I’ve learned a few things. One of which stood out to me: these men have to show up for themselves first. Society puts a lot of pressure on men to be a specific kind of father. A lot of them can’t take that pressure and they just leave. The kids are of course the ones to suffer.

I have, however, decided to stop making myself suffer. I did that when I stopped expecting my father to be something he wasn’t. It takes so much pressure off. This applies to all sorts of relationships, just believe people when they show you who they are. You then get to decide, if and how you want to continue. It’s hard, but it’s so much less painful.

I know everyone isn’t as fortunate as I am, but I do hope after reading this you start looking at fathers a little differently. I hope you start looking at them as people who are trying to find themselves, while doing the right thing (for the most part).

Ps. No excuse, pay papgeld!

I need to write

I need to write to fill the gap, I need to write

I need to write to pass the time, I need to write

I need to write to help forget, I need to write

I need to write, just to write

To feel like like I’m at least trying

Feel like all the disappointment is worth something

Like disappointment has ever made anyone feel worthy

But I’m willing to take the chance

A chance at freedom, happiness, peace…

Heck, contentment would be nice for a change

But in order to reach that I apparently first have to practice gratitude

So, thanks!

For…

The overeating

The short-temper

The boredom

Oh and a big thanks for all the confusion

The seemingly endless cycle of prayer-hope-faith-disappointment-repeat

I’m thankful for it all, coz it has to mean something… Right?

I just don’t know what it is yet, but I need to write

Averagely Adulting

I always used to think that I was a pretty interesting, or “special” kid and that was probably coz I was usually quite different to the kids around me (at any given time).

At school I was the only colored kid in my group of (white) friends for a long time. which also automatically made me the only poor kid, the only kid who could dance and my favorite – the funny kid (we all know colored people are there for the rest of South Africa to laugh at).

At home I was also surprisingly the only colored kid… but all my friends here were black. This then made me the only… actually I never really felt excluded or different in this group, at least not in a negative way.

Anyway, my point is (and I can go on about this all day, trust me) I never had to try hard to be different, remembered or feel special. If on the odd occasion I did feel like I was sinking into the background a little bit, I would just resort to my great story-telling skills, or drop a few bars and tell a joke if I had to coz people had to remember how special I was.

And then I moved to the big city and no-one cared. I didn’t even know that I did, until a short while back and that was scary but necessary. I read a tweet recently that went something like “growing up to be an average adult after being (told you were) a special kid” and that got me all the way in my feels…

I’m fine now though (in case you were wondering), but of course I had to cry, stress-eat and have pajama day every day for at least a week first. Now I get that I was a special kid and I’m a pretty special semi-adult too… and so are all those other super fascinating people I see in the street, who wear way cooler clothes, have way cooler hair and look like they actually have their lives figured out (I mean, they probably eat breakfast regularly! Before 11am even, wow).

Plus, even if no-one else thinks I’m worth a second glance (except my mom,coz she gave birth to me and my fiance, coz, well he expects cuddles and compliments from me all the time-so they kinda have to) God thinks I’m worthy (hahaha thought I was gonna get through this without Jesus?)

I mean we just celebrated Easter guys. I know the pickled fish and chocolate covered marshmallows were lekker (I don’t mess with hot-cross buns), but surely you haven’t forgotten why you made you’re bi-annual trip to church. Yup, you were so special to Jesus he literally died for you. Even if you’re not as interesting as you thought, you’re still to die for (I can’t help but be cheesy sorry).

On the real though, remember that or at least remember one of these:

Psalm 139:13-14 You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this

Romans 8:32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?

*Cue Chance the RAPPER-D.R.A.M Sings Special:

Newness

I’m quite a creature of habit, I just like the sense of familiarity. Last year I wrote all my blog posts in poetic form. Besides poems being something I’m used to writing, I think it’s just so much… Better reading sad stories if they rhyme or are written using metaphors and alliteration. That way you feel less sorry for me penning down my frustration (there I go again). Anyway, I thought I’d try something different this time around. Since I’m in a new city and starting a new job soon, I might as well try something new and stop writing down my reality using figures of speech.

Don’t get me wrong, poetry is my first love and I’ll probably still post a few pieces on here. I will however also just… vent. It’s good to vent you know, get it all out. Some would even go as far as saying its healthy. It’s good for the soul, or something and this is my (digital) diary after all.

So, 2018 has been… interesting. I quit my job of almost three years, coz I just wasn’t happy (and a bunch of other reasons). This I did after praying, fasting, crying, questioning God and repeat. I moved to a new city (as I already mentioned) without concrete prospects of a new job, but a lot of faith. I’m of the opinion that if you’ve asked God for something, you’ve already received it and all that’s left for you to do is trust in God and His timing. I don’t know about you, but God has never taken me anywhere He couldn’t get me through. Up to now I haven’t starved, or had to beg anyone for anything. I have a roof over my head and I’m healthy. I don’t want to keep listing things, because then it will seem like I’m bragging but what I’m trying to get at is: God never leaves or forsakes us. I’ve seen Him reveal Himself in even the smallest of things and I plan to constantly remind myself of how blessed I am in every situation.

Yeah, this big city will probably show this plaasjapie some flames at some stage, but then I’ll just be smokey and serving God because He made sure I didn’t get burnt. I’m really excited (even at the thought of potentially getting lightly charred) and I can’t wait to brag about God to you some more next time.

Do best and stay blessed.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

What are you wearing?

Forgive me Father for I have done wrong,

I’ve turned my worries and cares into a funeral song.

I’ve turned them into a frown, a complaint, a nag.

Anchor for Negative News? I had that job in the bag.

And I wore that bag everyday, it matched all my shoes.

Boy, did I look good singing the blues…

Or so I thought, until I looked in the mirror.

Somehow when opening your eyes after prayer, everything seems clearer.

Now I know I looked ridiculous and I can change outta what I’m wearing.

I don’t have to keep wondering what people see when they’re staring.

I’ll know what they see now!

They’ll see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…

They’ll see You

Mooi

“I’m not my hair” she tells herself over and over
Yet she keeps following the same routine: relaxer, GHD, rollers
Sy top haar eie punte in die badkamer, want layers is mos nou in
My beautiful little princess, why so repulsed by your own skin?
By your own curls, your own coils, your own “donker van kleur”, your own kroes
Issit jou ma?
Het sy met al haar getrek en baby hair uitkrap jou selbeeld verwoes?
Or did you pay too much attention to your brother and his “Ek soek ‘n meisie met styl hare” dreams?
Coz there’s only one kind of beautiful, or to you so it seemed
It was that yellow bone chick, with the thick thighs and long hair
It was… not you, coz when you looked in the mirror she wasn’t there
But you keep singing India Arie, hoping some day every word you would believe
Believe that you’re beautiful
On your own terms and not the way they it perceive
Net mooi en klaar?
Jy is mooi