arrows

This morning I commented on a fellow bloggers post, sharing something someone had sent me.
I then decided that maybe there are others in this wonderful world of WordPress who may feel encouraged by it. So here it is :

”An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards.
When life is dragging you back with seemingly endless difficulties, try to imagine that it’s going to launch you into something great.”

It’s the imaginings, the possibilities, the hopes….
They bring gratitude, and appreciation. And help me through another day 😉

Short and sweet today. Like me 😛 (Sometimes sweet… 😛 But I am definitely the one who can do almost anything, except reach the top shelf 😛 😉 )

A long version of dire straits

THIS IS NOT MY USUAL TYPE OF BLOG POST – and yet in it you will find the pieces of me that tie up with previous posts. I am apologising BEFORE you read it for the raw emotions that will come across as negative – but there are snippets of positivity and lessons to be learned in reading it. Thank you for taking the time ❤

I’ve been struggling. There, I said it.
I didn’t realise how bad it was until I bumped into an acquaintance on Friday who asked me how the New Year has been treating me so far, and my eyes welled up with tears in response. I swallowed a lump in my throat and shrugged. I don’t know who was more embarrassed, him or me. I do know that when I threw the question back at him, I found myself in a situation yet again where I was the counsellor. Half an hour later we parted, him saying how grateful he was to have bumped into me and how much better he was feeling. I paid for my purchases, got in my car, and cried the whole way home.

This entire blog post will seem like a senseless contradiction – but there are moments where we just have to share what we’re going through and so that is what this is.
Because guess what? You are never going through anything alone.
I have no doubt in my mind that someone out there who reads this is probably in the same place as I am, but with different circumstances.

I read a blog post last week where someone listed their reasons for being depressed. I commented about them all being quite valid and I loved the response : ” I’m all for positive thinking and all that, but also believe in fully feeling and expressing our emotions so they don’t fester.”

It’s no surprise that the picture below is one that I agree with completely :

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Photo credit : onsizzle.com

I am WELL AWARE that things could be worse. I KNOW we could be suffering more. And hearing/reading about other situations and circumstances certainly makes me grateful if I am not facing the same – but just because my struggle is ‘less’, doesn’t mean that the hurt, anger and frustration that I feel has no validity. It also doesn’t mean that no one else can rely on me to be there for them and help them through their struggles.

I DO take time to self care, and just be. And I don’t know quite how to explain this next part, other than that this is my purpose – for some reason, even in my pain and tears, I will always make a way and be strong for those who need help. Yes, it’s a momentary distraction from my own circumstances, but that isn’t why I do it. And the strength to do it is not mine. My friends know better than to say to me, ”I didn’t want to ask you because I know you have a lot going on.”
Yes, I have boundaries. And there have been times where I have had to say to them, ”I’m sorry, I just can’t.” My levels of endurance are far too great though – and as much as I fight discussing religion and politics because of the damage that has been done to so many due to both, I KNOW that my help comes from above.

Recent events have left my faith feeling somewhat shaken – but unlike James Bond (shaken NOT stirred), something within me has stirred too. 

To be completely honest, things are looking grim. But I’m NOT giving in!

To outline some of the circumstances surrounding these things, I screenshotted a dear friend’s shared Facebook post – she is one of the most positive people I know, and very seldom dwells on the negativity of our country as it stands right now.

SAA is our airline. Eskom is our sole electricity provider. SABC is our broadcasting commission. Transnet is the custodian of ports, rail and pipelines.
The Eastern Cape is hit the hardest by all of the above – and that’s where I live.

With major infrastructure falling apart, it is no surprise that the effects are being felt astronomically by small business. There are no jobs available – the ones that are advertised have to select 1 employee from over 180 applications. Employers are offering very low salaries and wages because they know how desperate people are.
Here, if you work for one hour at minimum wage, you will be considered fortunate to be able to use that one hour’s wage to purchase one loaf of bread and one litre of milk.

I have lost four people in these 27 days of January to suicide – the reason being financial.

There has been a recent outbreak of a terrible stomach bug here – people have been hospitalised, and I believe that in the rural areas there have been deaths. It’s no surprise when you see my town’s main water supply – and consider the amount of chemicals that need to be added to make it run clear in the taps (pic from November last year)

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My children and I DO NOT drink tap water – which means we have to PAY for drinking water. And the three of us are water babies when it comes to drinking preferences (as well as coffee for me).

If it wasn’t for my brother, the children and I would have starved to death by now.

But all doors are closing, fast.

Small business closed. 😦 No jobs available. The chain of payment for services rendered is completely broken – A didn’t pay B, so B couldn’t pay C, so C couldn’t pay D, so D closed its doors – which left E, F, G completely stranded etc.

I have extensively researched moving overseas. Those doors are all closed too. I cannot go anywhere without securing employment first – a company that will petition their government/immigration procedures and possibly give me a chance to be approved. The list of candidates and people doing their utmost to follow this route is extensive, to say the least. Their advantages? They are gainfully employed and have some sort of university degree behind them.

I didn’t get a university degree because I fell pregnant, and after being abandoned by the father, I chose to keep my baby. I then chose to get married. Youth, and the struggle of being a mother and a wife and working full time blurred my vision. As did the after effects of abuse. I should have done more. I take full responsibility for that, and understand that my complacency in the years that counted is the reason I am where I am now.

Stuck. Stressed. Frustrated. Angry with myself. Hurting. Sad.

I can’t afford to study now. And with our education system being what it is, there is a very real fear that in the three years it will take, any degree issued here will be worthless anyway.
I am deeply concerned for my son. He finishes his degree in July. There are NO JOBS. Many young people finished their degrees two years ago (I know three personally) and are still without employment. My only hope is that HIS degree will somehow be enough to open an overseas door for him – but he doesn’t want to leave us behind. There is merit in that – but at the same time, I need him to at least have a future.
(I’ll admit that recently I felt more pro New Zealand, for the simple fact that we could all go together – his age would allow him to still fall under me, 24 being the cut off. He can’t go with me, as my dependent, anywhere else. I don’t want to leave him behind either.)

My daughter has been selected for two dancing competitions this year – qualifiers for world championships. My mind is racing with regards to fundraising – I cannot carry costs and will not ask my brother – he does enough. And in the back of my mind there is that voice screaming, ‘how will you fundraise when people have nothing to give’. Impossible.

I’ve looked extensively at further study – diploma wise – with overseas correspondence institutions. I even went so far as to first search the possible industries and fields of jobs available to me in the US and the UK, and then find qualifications relating to those. The financial implications make all of this impossible.

There is a saying something along the lines of this : ‘Sometimes when one door closes, we are so busy staring at the closed door, that we miss the window that has opened.’

And based on the recent reblogged post, how dare I limit God???!!!

My mind is reeling – and I am trying to make sense of it all. Last night, I was just quiet. A meditation of sorts. But there has been no great revelation – I do know though that good things take time 😉

And for now we have food to eat and a roof over our heads – something NOT to be taken lightly in our country at this time.

It’s all hopeless. It’s all impossible. It’s all every negative emotion that you can possibly think of.

BUT

While I have no control over the circumstances and all economic indicators show that it is indeed looking dire, and hopeless – I have control of me. I may be a walking contradiction at this time, because I FEEL hopeless – and yet, I remain the prisoner of that beautiful word : H O P E. I want so desperately to just give up, because I really am exhausted. BUT I CAN’T. And not just because I have two beautiful ”children”. It’s just not in me. My spirit refuses. It simply will NOT.

The negative emotions are screaming loudly at me at the impossibility of it all. The choices I made in my youth, and as a defiance to everything I probably knew because of hurt and abuse that once again were not in my control, add fuel to the fire of those emotions, screaming belittlement and blame on me – leaving me feeling guilty and downtrodden.

But every tear, and every pain in my heart (and yes, it is almost a physical heart pain), whisper to me : It IS possible, there IS hope, keep going. You’ve come too far to give up now. 

And so, dear reader, do not doubt… I may FEEL that I want to give up.

But I won’t.

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Photo credit : Facebook

 

I’m going to look for my dancing shoes 😉

Are you okay?

I suppose this can be considered my comeback post.
It contains no great literary excellence and would not be attractive to any magazine looking for new article writers, because this post has not been well researched.

What it does contain, however, is some truth.

Personal experience gathered through another series of painful episodes, and I have chosen to spew some of that experience here….because you just never know who needs to hear/read this truth today.
So if you’re reading, welcome to ‘my world’, as it is at the moment.

The last few months have been a mixture of negative emotions : fear, anger, hurt, worry, a sense of hopelessness fueled by unnecessary anxiety. And yet somewhere deep inside me there is this determination that refuses to just let me rest.
Because there have been moments in all of the above where I look in the mirror and think, “I just want to close my eyes and sleep forever”. I think I may have even said the words aloud on a few occasions. Whoops! 

Because, ladies and gentlemen, truth be told : Life sucks, for everyone. It never goes according to plan, no matter how successful you are – the merit of that success being whatever you base success on. We all have a vision for the way we want / wanted our lives to be. And nothing has gone according to plan. And guess what :

IT’S OKAY!!!!

I don’t remember who said it, or where I read it, but I remember in my early twenties that I came across the following statement ~ 

If life was meant to be easy, it wouldn’t have started with something called labor.

All the negative emotions of the last few months have deprived me of so much, mostly restful nights of deep, uninterrupted sleep. I’m exhausted. Because, truth be told, I am, for the most part, a positive and happy person. I have my moments, but they never last very long. Of late, they’ve lasted longer than usual. I don’t know how to handle the experience of such awfully draining emotions for more than a day. And it has scared me.

Anyone who has any influence over my life – and media in general – have forced the words ”suck it up”, ”it is what it is”, ”stop being negative” into my brain.

acbba77346e27d716bc6c9b535ee75ac54948e9712e3981ebfb5f29b23e95ef2_1 Photo credit : ifunny.co

 

(I don’t have a baseball bat, which I suppose is a good thing, all things considered)

Again, I repeat, if you find yourself in a negative space consumed by crippling emotions, IT’S OKAY. YOU’RE OKAY! 
People (the world over) want to force the beauty of life on us. 
Reality is that some days (sometimes for a few consecutive days) life simply isn’t beautiful. 

I mentioned earlier a determination that won’t let me rest. Guess what? You have it too. Somewhere deep inside you, it’s simmering. Because you’re still here. (And hopefully still reading this.)
We’ve all heard that life is a journey. Well…what journey is perfect? Your boarding pass gets lost, or your luggage goes to a different destination, or the weather doesn’t co-operate, or the hotel isn’t exactly what it made out to be online, or the food/travel made you ill, or……
There’s a multitude of ”’or’s” in life. Embrace them. Feel them. Experience them. Even if you’re there for a few days. 

My epiphany of truth yesterday was simple : I’ve had months of more than one bad/negative day. I’ve been in valleys of despair. But I haven’t pitched my tent and stayed there. Each time, I’ve reached a point (after a few days) where I’ve continued on….carrying a heavy load….but continued on, nevertheless. Slow, heavy, burdened progress is STILL progress!

And THAT’S why it’s okay, and you’re okay. If you’re still here, you’re winning.  

I’ve suddenly realised that it’s okay to say I am NOT okay, because that makes me okay. (That sentence makes sense in my head – here’s hoping yours can find the sense in it too!) There’s no shame in admitting that things are not great. And it’s probably my greatest achievement yet.
Life sucks. It doesn’t mean that I have to.
My life is going on…. and I am going to live it. Bad days and all.
And there’s no promise that the good will eventually supersede the bad.
But I’m sure as hell sticking around to find out…I’m a sucker for travel 😉 

Necessary and Possible

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It’s called life. And despite my best intentions to control it, it still keeps happening when I have other plans.

And I have plans.

Plans that aren’t panning out at the moment. I take courage in the fact, however, that Life Begins At 40. I am not there yet. I still have a few more years to fine tune my motor, develop my mind, ready myself for what may possibly lie ahead.

And isn’t exciting to think that there is more lying ahead. Depressing if I think about the negative left behind; concerning if I focus on more of the bad, and less of the good. But exciting when I shift my attentions to the infinite possibilities of greatness coming my way.

Today, I read a quote that encouraged me…
Francis of Assisi said : “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible”.

Necessary – check.

Possible – check.

Impossible – challenge accepted.

Ah, yes, the awkward stage between birth and death.

Life.