This year has not been great for updating my wee patch of virtual garden space. If this was an attempt at regular writing practice, I have failed dismally!
Its NaNoWriMo month! According to my profile I have been a participant/member for 6 years… I hadn’t realised I had 6 years worth of not producing that was publically viewable! *Cringe*
NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month (or NaNo) and the aim is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. On it’s own that’s not really RAH-RAH worthy but it does become exciting because of the support network created during that time. A bunch of strangers all striving for the same goal, cheering each other on when there’s a dip, celebrating success. It’s what good stories are made of! Pun totally intended.
I’m not generally a people person so I have never really taken part in the “community” aspect of NaNo but I can’t help wondering, perhaps that is why I have never ‘won’ a NaNo. Granted that could also be because I was too lazy, didn’t have an idea worthy of 50,000 words or just plain didn’t want it enough but you know… who’s counting?
In the past six months I’ve set lofty ambitions of what next year will look like. I know in my gut where my heart lies but the freakin’ fear monster keeps me trapped in the safety of my own discomfort. I want to rock the bloody boat I’m sailing but I’m terrified of sinking.
A friend of mine is considering becoming a housewife. Got me thinking: is that what I’d like for myself? My heart says no, I need something “other” than raising children and maintaining a home (as if those aren’t demanding enough), but I want to ACHIEVE something that will remain behind. Something that carries my name or whatever version of it I choose to put out. You could easily say children do that but the little people you make become their own people. You are only their custodian until they figure out they make who they are. You can plant an acorn seed in the ground and nurture it till your grandkids make out under it but you are not that tree.
I have another friend who tells me to enjoy the life I’m living and not focus so much on wanting more because I’ll just make myself miserable… I get that and acknowledge I am pretty bloody blessed but I want more.
I want to outlast the life I’m living, who else has that feeling?
Anywho, I’m just letting the few of you left on this desert patch that I’m still alive and plotting global domination. Starting first with slaying my fear monster!
I’ve been asking myself what is important to me. What do I want out of life? What makes me happy?
Truth is many things make me happy, some even surprise me. Flowers for one. I am not a flowers person (or thought I wasnt) but there was this vibrant rose bush in front of my old flat and pruning that little bush calmed me (oh, the many ways that could be twisted). Yoga, frees my mind… or rather, unclutters it and then I wonder why I allow myself to stop doing it. My cats. My mother in law gave me two kittens and while I seem to love one more than the other, those wee creatures settle me too (and I’ve always thought of myself as a dog person).
Those are the new things. Things I have always known sit well with me involve creating new worlds, solving problems and having a “safe” amount in the bank. I haven’t found the bravery to make the first two feed the last one and that’s what I want to do. Make my own income that doesn’t depend on a direct payslip from someone else (other than the people I need to convince to buy my work, not daunting at all!). I am still too afraid of things I know and things I don’t which is not a great place to be in for change to happen.
Within all this self discovery, I’m not sure what direction this blog should take. I know I am keeping it but I don’t know how I can make it helpful to both other people and keep it relevant to my own desires.
This should be a testament to my own self improvement and personal growth and mostly I see my own failure which sucks balls.
Therefore I need to figure s&*$ out…STILL.
I’M 30 YEARS OLD AND DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.
I am happier than I have been in the past (which makes me think I am missing something to be miserable over so I fall into the doldrums for no good reason) and while its frustrating not having answers, I am enjoying figuring things out, some of the time.
We glamourise our celebrities. Justified or not, they demand our adoration because they have attained what we all want, fortune and fame. And it doesn’t matter where we are in the world, its all the same.
Question is, what do we do when those celebrities fall off the pedestals we raise for them?
A few years ago, a local singer got into trouble over defiling a minor. His defence was she didn’t look like she was underage and a lot of people rallied behind him with that defence, he then went on to release a track in poor taste while the case was still in court and was found guilty. I won’t link to the song but in the age of the internet, these things don’t die.
Recently The President pardoned him. I don’t know if our president has a pro reformation of convicts agenda but this isn’t his first pardon. That’s not where this redemption song fails to strike the right note.
Oh no, this fellow goes on to (allegedly) beat up his third wife upon his release for… um… not fulfilling her marital duties. And the dialogue I’ve heard from my “fellow man on the street” is:
1) How do we know these are recent pictures, maybe he didn’t do this recently?
2) This is propaganda to make our current president look bad but all those other prisoners haven’t made the news when they were let out.
3) He was actually innocent this whole time because the underage girl he (allegedly) raped has a child.
I have gone back and forth over these arguments and some of them have left me doubting that the society I live in is one I want to raise children in. But these problems aren’t exclusive to my side of the border. Women are generally shamed in most sexually crimes and questions of whether “she asked for it” always gurgle to the surface.
As for this being an attack on our Commander In Chief’s (always wanted to use that phrase) skills, I never saw a criteria list for the other 280 (I believe that is the correct number but I stand to be corrected) and I don’t know what basis was made for releasing General Kanene. There may have been a publicised justification that I missed but I’m not aware of missing anything.
My only plea is that we quit victim shaming and look at the source of the violence. That we spend more time teaching our sons to speak than to throw their fists, that we hone their tongues as much as we stroke their muscles.
It is a far fetched dream but I do hope one day the norm of what a man is will be someone who doesn’t need to threaten violence to command, because in our glass towers and corner offices, we don’t need to be boxed around the head to know that “the man is the head of the house” and we don’t need to infer that because a woman has slept with one man that she is open to another, or even the same one…
Two of my friends got married recently in what could be considered “whirlwind romances” and while I vehemently deny having any romantic stirrings, there are a lot of books in my Kindle that suggest my fantasies involve being whisked away in a large poofy dress with layers of frills by a fellow with excellent horsemanship.
Here’s the thing, romance requires certain logic to go out the window. Logic I am VERY attached to even if I have minor flights of fancy. Romance and Marriage don’t often go hand in hand and when they do I suspect there is some fakery. But that doesnt mean I think one is bad or better than the other, they are just different.
Marriage is like fruit cake. Pop a piece in your mouth and your tongue has to deal with all those textures and if you’re lucky, its moist and rich. If not, its bland and dry. But all those ingredients are there, you just have to hope you had a baker that knew what they were doing.
Romance is like meringue, rush of sugar that tkes over your whole mouth. If you pick a bad batch there’s an eggy smell and could make your gums bleed. If you are lucky though…. ehrmagahd! All that sugary crunch and soft and I am lost in the dream right now.
Now, why are my friend’s nuptials worth talking about? Because my opinion about them DOES NOT MATTER. It really shouldn’t.
Marriage is a promise two people make, those two people have (hopefully) common goals and dreams THEY want to achieve. Everyone else is background noise.
So, as Valentine’s Day rears its round red head, try and find that balance between the dream of romance and the comfort of old love.
I’m not going to ask any question today but simply, love and be loved. Nestle into the euphoria Valentine’s can give and then don’t wait till next year to maintain that balance.
I’ve been on a few interview panels and one question I find myself asking is “Where do you see yourself in five years if you got the job here?” Personally, I hate the question but it’s a good feeler of the type of person sitting in front of you, even if they are lying through their teeth… in which case, maybe not that good a feeler. Oh, and there is no “right” answer to this question but depending on the person asking there are plenty of wrong ones .
At an interview you are selling the best version of yourself. Like on a first date, you don’t share that your poop leaves skid marks in the toilet and touching the toilet brush creeps you out so you leave them and never have anyone over and therefore this potential relationship is over coz you have no intention of sharing your skid marks with anyone.
When it comes to work though, people generally want to appear more ambitious than they actually are. Maybe it’s because they think that if you think they lack ambition then you’ll write them off. No one ever says “I want to be wherever you think I should be” because that may make the interviewer think you are lazy and being seen as lazy is a fast way to not get the job. So we sell ourselves as “hungry for more” even when we would be perfectly comfortable earning a wage that ensures we never have to worry about school fees or having three square meals a day and be perfectly content.
Oh, for the record, I don’t (yet) interview people for senior positions but it does cause happy “tingles” when a young graduate (haven’t dealt with old graduates so I’m unsure how I will find that experience) sits in front of you and says they want your job in five years but when they are part of “the system” they turn into furniture those tingles turn into lack of faith in humanity as a whole.
Here’s what I find generally happens:
PERSON A: Gets the job because he sold himself as a go getter who wants to climb the corporate ladder and continues to sell this image until he is confirmed. After being confirmed this guy’s ideas suddenly run out and he slowly turns into last person in the office in the morning and first person out at night. This guy happens to get along with his team so they carry his flack when he doesn’t deliver but you still occasionally have to remind him not to just skate by and he humours you for a bit before slipping back into being that “nice guy” that people don’t mind helping out as long as they don’t think about how often they are helping him out.
PERSON B: Gets the job because while she isn’t the best candidate you have ever seen she doesn’t seem like a “lost cause” and you don’t have time or budget to look for the “best person” anymore. So you take a chance with minimal expectations and find that not only is she actually quick on the draw with most things she is capable of more but keeps pulling herself back and is cagey when you ask her why but you can sense that she is actively fighting her grain to be more by doing less and it usually has to do with fitting in with the group.
PERSON C: This lady blew you away during interviews, you held on to her for all of two weeks before another company with better resources snatches her from your bosom and in five years she actually holds a senior position to you. You try not to hate her success.
PERSON D: Is exactly what he said he would be and while it may have taken him 7-10 years to get to where you are he got there in the end and is generally well regarded and is an efficient deliverer.
We all chase our version of happiness but sadly we are generally full of shit when it comes to what truly makes us happy because we aren’t honest about what happiness actually is to us. We sell faces that we think other people want to see to chase goals other people set and then mope about wondering why we feel dissatisfied with our lives when we have “everything we want”.
So you have to ask, how well do you actually know yourself? Most people are able to pants their way through most social interactions and be the person the situation requires. I, my dears, am not one of them, unless I have practiced what I am going to say my voice trembles if I have to project it to more than five people I dont know. I fear being seen as stupid so I don’t often speak and look like the silent idiot plotting nefarious intentions with your clothing coz that’s all I will look at while you speak or I will lick my lips nervously and make you think I’m up for some naked rendevouz when I am not (really, why does lip licking have to be a sex thing. Sometimes my lip balm is too far away and I have to use my saliva for moisture!).
I have gone so far off course here, what was this supposed to be about again? Oh yes, faces.
My question for today is what face do you find yourself wearing and do you like how it feels? How often does it feel like a weight? If you can’t remember when it last felt to be “light” around those you are nearest and dearest, ask yourself why you are wearing a mask for them in addition to the masks you have to wear in order to be politically correct.
I cant tell you to be who you really are because I don’t know what that means but it is awfully liberating being able to not pretend you are feeling things that you are.
I think in a past life I was a magpie, I am easily distracted with shiny new things and need a focus for me to stick to something. But I am an industrious magpie so I wouldn’t be a Chief Magpie if magpie colonies existed… I’d be more like Second in Command Magpie or maybe third. Close enough to the action without getting that glare from all the lights
Anywho, Wanderers. I’m off to indulge in more self discovery. Join me if you can and tell me all about your own forays into mental oblivion…
I am a little late on the draw but my new year starts on my birthday which is in this month so I take slow strolls into the new year, then I decide why should I use the Gregorian calendar, maybe the Chinese New Year is more favourable to my temparement.
Can you tell I am a little confused?
I’m not generally a New Year’s Resolution kinda girl coz I do that through the year but I am excited about 2015!
Recently I’ve found myself in scenarios where I’ve had to question what is truly important to me and I’m going to share them with you. Because I have work that needs doing but these thoughts are distracting me.
The First incident occurred while the dude and I were watching “What If” (if you want to see Daniel Radcliffe as a love sick drop out who could teach Harry Potter a thing or two and are a fan of quippy dialogue and have at least one romantic bone in your body then you should definitely check it out). I hate the title and don’t think it does the movie any justice but anywho, while watching it I was rooting for the female lead to go to Taiwan very strongly. So strongly it was actually impairing my ability to simply enjoy the movie because I was pushing my own agenda. She had a choice between going to Taiwan to develop her career OR stay in Toronto and have a stagnant career but stay with the potential (but as yet uncertain) love of her life OR maybe (and this was a distant third) pursue a relationship with someone she has been with for eons and go to Dublin because his career had taken him there but start from scratch with no prospects.
The Second Incident was going to a corporate function where I had a chance to meet a rather senior female executive that should have inspired me to believe that my own career could end at CEO level of a multinational and not that I don’t think this could happen but I spotted someone I was on campus with. I can’t remember if she was in my year or earlier than me but she was significantly further in her career than I was and I remember being impressed by the fact that she gets to travel as part of a senior executive entourage and has an opinion that commands attention. I never confirmed if she was at university with me because we didn’t have much in common. I was aware of her but we weren’t friends and it would have been a waste of both our time to start a conversation that I couldn’t hold simply because I was feeling sorry for myself at not being “at her level”.
The Third Incident of discovery was hearing of a former colleague of mine who is being considered for a position that would catapult his career at least three shots ahead of where it is now (and by default ahead of me). I really do hope he makes the move because not only would he be an ace at the role but his mind is bored where it is and this could be a chance to wake up the parts of him that his current role has deadened.
Now, why did these three things cause me self introspection (other than the fact that I must be some mega self absorbed individual to make all these things about myself)? I really am not that self involved but I do think there are lessons all around us if we are willing to see them.
So, with the “What If” sitch, it’s for me to see what I sought in my own life. It is so easy for women to lose their identities in their relationships and then convince themselves that what their partner wants is what they want even when they know it isn’t. I am not yet at a point where I have lost my sense of self but I am fearful that it has dulled a bit and will continue to slowly dull till in a few years I wont recognise myself.
Now, like most people I wear multiple faces. The most basic of these are the “work” and “home” faces. At work, no one can contest that I am dedicated to my job and am more than just “fairly competent”. At home I am the dutiful daughter and responsible sister. Both these faces aren’t me though, somewhere behind being dedicated and responsible, is a girl who decided to go to Japan for two weeks because it was a dream that she didn’t want to lose. A girl who wants to sit in a welcoming office dissecting how minds work both by telling stories that answer my own questions and speaking to people to get to their own. On a daily basis I do things to feed the work and home faces but nothing to feed the girl and she is beginning to scratch at me (again), warn me that if I don’t feed her she will climb into a cave, roll a large rock behind her and refuse to ever come out. And I am not sure I want to lose her.
Here’s the thing with the campus-mate scenario. I hate public speaking… or rather I am so fearful of judgement/embarrassment/failure that even though I’ve been told I am not terrible at it I cannot enjoy it or see my good points. What I wanted out of this campus-mate’s life was to go somewhere where no one knows you and command attention firstly because the company you keep gives your presence weight and then when you open your mouth you can carry your own because you know your sh#*. I’m not the greatest “public” person either. I am terrible at small talk, suck at jokes and crowds irk me. I don’t think I have a disorder or a severe anxiety but I definitely have a “healthy fear of ridicule” but that doesn’t stop me wanting to have a certain gravitas in public situations.
The third scenario was a little trickier to sort out because not even I understood it at the time. When I was telling The Fella about this person’s potential career projection I said I didn’t want “that”. He asked what I meant and I didn’t have a ready answer and then something more interesting on Buzzfeed took our attention but later on I thought about it. What was the “that” that I didn’t want?
It came to me on coming out of a nightmare of a ghost of a woman who eats children by licking them (because she ate her own babies slowly while they were still alive… I’m pretty sure I fleshed that out on waking up but it’s a compelling idea that has nestled itself in the folds of my brain because I don’t know why she did it), anyway I digress. The “that” was me not wanting to lose myself in the pursuit of an external measure of success that wasn’t part of my personal goal. This person’s personal ambitions are very far removed from this opportunity and if he chooses to take it, it will be even harder to go back onto his personal path because material rewards can be VERY gratifying and his personal ambition doesn’t guarantee that. The promotion does.
I don’t want to lose myself to fulfilling the campus-mate recognition by ANY means, I want to do it by MY means. You know the saying, by hook or by crook? I want all hook baby! No crook here.
But that is at odds of what I ACTUALLY do. I know the girl is screaming to get out so I shove a cupcake in her face and go read a book, play the xbox or watch TV, heck I even delude myself that I am a gardener and prune a rose bush! I know she needs to feed but I am scared of indulging her because its easier to focus on other distractions and its nice not to feel like a failure. If I get promotions I cant be that bad career wise. If I’m getting married then its proof I am not such a deplorable person because someone wants to spend the rest of their lives with me. But these things do not make the me that I am left alone with on either side of my nightmares feel any better. These things are great but they aren’t enough. I ran away from NaNoWriMo this year because I’ve failed it both years I actively tried it out. I don’t “write” because I think my words are garbage but I entertain ideas and then tell myself everyone has them so I’m not a genius for dreaming things up. That isn’t hard, doing something about the dream is and I’m killing mine.
So, after that lengthy post, how are you starving that inner girl/boy and more importantly what are you doing about it? If you aren’t, tell me about how you’re doing it. I am shelving up a bunch of emotions for a huge ass ugly cry tonight for all my failures (real and hocus pocus) and then I am starting again from scratch. I’m not going to lay down my plan here right now (because I haven’t the foggiest what it is yet) but I need to figure things out.
And then actually do the work, which can suck balls.
Kids make silly choices. That stating the obvious but its a natural side effect of not knowing any better and consequences being a far notion in relation to present gratification. I came across a story about kids sharing a blow job selfie (why, oh why? and also there were other people watching!?!) but it makes me think of a local Zambian case where a “well known” musician Bobby East and his partner in crime Ruth Mukanga made a “sex” tape (that is in quotes because there is debate on whether there is actual insertion which incidentally led to brief spate of BobbyEasting being a thing) . While my consumption of Zambian music is low, I am generally aware of artists even if I cannot identify their music but the only time I heard of Bobby East was due to his “mishap”.
First, a step back. Pornography is illegal in Zambia. Making of it (either for personal or commercial use) is considered “corrupting public morals” and obscene plus you can face jail time.
Bobby and Ruth decided they would record their “activities” on his phone. I obviously cannot provide a link to the video but they are both apparently clearly identifiable. The video somehow started getting shared around and lots of people were talking about… I kid you not, police on TV and in the papers were talking about it, the cell phone and internet regulator/authority (ZICTA – Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority) even made statements on how they can track that video being transferred which they later retracted.
Anywho, their defence is they made it for their own personal use and only after his phone got stolen did it get shared around. Unfortunately the theft wasn’t reported and the couple have since been convicted of corrupting public morals and await sentencing later today. Now, he is 25 and she is 21 (I stand to be corrected) and that is still young enough to believe life is so long you can outrun your own foolishness. Life still has a rosy tinge (unless you’ve led a harder life than most) but generally, you believe you own the world at that age. Life is good! Its in those Life is Good moments that sadly, being silly can cripple you.
This isn’t the first porn “scandal” that’s made waves here but it is the first that I am aware of that has resulted in a conviction. Now, Zambia prides itself as a moderate conservative society. We are slowly getting used to the idea that women wearing minis doesn’t mean that she is a harlot, and while you may go to a funeral wearing all black, you are inappropriately dressed if you aren’t wrapped in a chitenge (even if it is loud or garishly printed).
We recently celebrated 50 years of independence and my own observation is that it would be more meaningful if we had an actual self identity to celebrate (among other things but that is the seed to it all). That may seem like I am running away from the topic but there’s a method to my madness. See, that moderate conservatism is slightly out of touch with the growth that society is generally going through. In urban areas, young children spend more time exposed to ideals that do not match with the morals their parents grew up with and may want to fling at them when they are present. But parents are also so busy working to attain the same “material standing” that these “perverted ideals” present as an elevation from what moderate conservatism supports.
Does that make sense? Let me try again. What I mean is you have parents that want to live lifestyles that generally idealise not only how much money you spend but how “full” your life is with experiences at odds with conservatism. For example, working for a major commercial that supports family values on paper would probably come with networking at functions where alcohol consumption is high and illicit affairs the norm. So you spend your time schmoozing and schtupping other people while your kids stay at home watching unrestricted channels on DSTv or going to other people’s houses where they have access to that. You’re never home because you have to work and chances are its both mum and dad working because who can afford having a stay at home parent in this day and age?
So adults are going through that change, teens are watching it and children are living it. What we actually glorify is the “glam life” but we still want to hold on to that conservatism tag because of religious purposes and this case is “proof” that we are still a moderate society and youthful sexual exuberance should be quashed.
Is what Ruth and Booby did wrong? I don’t think so, they were simply stupid. Recording your exploits is risky business even in places where pornography is illegal (iCloud anyone?), so doing it in a country where it in fact illegal is quite risky. Do I think the law has better uses than policing porn, absolutely.
Kids do foolish things all the time, sometimes there’s malice. Blowjob selfies with an audience doesn’t seem like an action with love in mind even if it is puppy love. Private sex tapes that people make because they think it’ll be “fun to do” is simply silly. Jail time wont correct their morals. There are worse crimes than foolishness.