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posted by on Rambling

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So…

I came across this article: Why Girls Cant Take a Compliment a while ago and it got me thinking about myself and my inability to take compliments in general (my brain refuses to accept “nice” things), perhaps I am not sure people actually mean “nice” things when they say them and there is some kind of hidden meaning but in this post I will mainly deal with “sexual” compliments. The other day someone I work with came up to me and used this phrase: “You have bulged!” while staring at my hips. I am sure in his mind, this should have flattered me but in my mind I felt: “If I could gouge the eyes out of your head and make you swallow them, I would.” but I just smiled, mumbled something, came back to my desk and took of my heels and spent the rest of the day in flat pumps. Here’s the thing, I wasn’t dressed remarkably and I definitely was not “fishing” for compliments. I knew I looked OK but I was not by any means “dressed up”. I’m on the pill and its added some weight in very “womanly” places that complement me even though I grimace every time I see my tummy and swear I will never eat bread again coz it bloats me but I digress… Being told I was “bulging” no matter how well meaning did not flatter me and reminded me of that article above.

Its not been easy for me to be comfortable in my body, the usual teenage issues that translated to adult inadequacies, very little new there but I want to talk about how much “weight” (see what I did there? no? never mind then) we give to female “virtues.” There is so much value placed on how the rest of the world sees you rather than on how you see yourself. I don’t think I can recall my mother or any formidable adult female (or male) telling me that what I thought of myself mattered (except when my older sister was trying to push a rebellion on me and I feared disciplinary measures way more than I yearned for “cool points”), so some of my earliest foundations were: you only matter by how much other people value you and as a girl that will be valued by how short your sexual history is and how long your skirts are. That’s it. Look nice, be nice and all will be good, in fact if you could play stupid and just grin all the time, that would be fabulous.

Other people’s perception of a female’s sexual prowess, whether validated or not is going to be the only thing that matters. For instance, the other day on the radio, a woman was seeking “advice” on her domestic situation. She’s been “married” to this guy for at least two years (I caught the show in the middle so I don’t know exactly how long) and he regularly beats her. In 2013, he beat her while she was pregnant so badly that she lost her baby… after that, BOTH her family and his believed they would still be better off together, she is pregnant again now and doesnt want to lose this baby. And you know what the majority of comments were, “are you sure you are married?” (and other variations on establishing that she was indeed “recognized” by him and his family), “you need him because you wont be able to support a baby by yourself,” and then chastising her on not following up with the police when the police failed to provide any remedy to her after she filed initial reports (I think three different policemen called in with procedures on what happens in such cases and it was her fault why no traction had been made on her case). The dude is on the run and boasts that beating his women is what he does and there is no way the police can ever catch him. Of all the callers I heard, only one (the only woman) actually provided her with concrete other parties she could consult with for options and a method to escalate her case. Only one man told her to leave this fella coz she could die and I am thinking, “wait… how is it that she comes on radio, says she is an abused wife, has even filed a police case and we now need to “analyse” her moral character by suggesting that she shouldn’t be making these accusations if she isn’t married and then by giving her flack for the police not doing their jobs?” I am sure there was a reason I started on this tirade… gimme a sec…oh right! So, this lady on the radio did not sound “dis-empowered” and by that I mean she did not play the victim card. What she wanted was another option on top of what she had already tried, she sounded reasonably educated and therefore the perception is she has “lived”… and that is why those calls were the way they were. Attacking (I use this word for visual effect of course) her for not “fitting” the prescribed perception of what a wife should be: obedient, agreeable and mostly “not know any better”.

A colleague of mine once said to me that men always go back to their wives no matter what they do “elsewhere” and suggested the wives will always take them back and this is partly why compliments are difficult to take in for a lot of women, because they are generally so shallow that they do not even cover a tenth of the person you are dealing with. A compliment of a sexual nature doesn’t take me, the person into account. Its only about what you THINK you see when you look at me, what values you think I have based on your perceptions of how I present myself. When you are looking at me in that way, you are seeing an idea of what I should be… and that kinda pisses me off.

Tell me when I actually DO something that is worth talking about, set me a bloody goal I can aim for and attain that doesn’t centre on external validation but internal motivation. Anywho… I’ve gone way longer than I intended to. Let me know what compliments piss you off or what you think doesn’t get seen about you because people tend to get stuck at face value. O&O

Own Your Advantages

Jul
2014
30

posted by on Rambling

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So…

The other day I was checking out some Kpop videos (which usually happens when I feel like I might strangle someone at work and my Xbox is too far to kill something). The bright colours and weird wiggles tickle me, anywho… There I am checking these videos out and then this odd gem comes my way:  “Nice Body” by Hyomin.

Now… because I don’t want to be an ignoramus I try watch these videos with English subtitles (I don’t speak Korean) but I figured, there HAS to be a mistake because “what the frick?” but no… my (limited) search didn’t find any translation that changed the context of this video in any way at all!

Then I thought of this vid: “Yum Yum Yum” by Lip Service and I remember thinking “that’s a super fun catchy track and I am going to make my siblings ears bleed with it” but at no point did I have a negative response because I did not find it insulting or hurtful. Turns out though, that some people did (because they felt like it made fun of “fat Americans”) my response to it was simply, “girl… I am so with you! Dieting is the pits (even though I think my longest experience was doing the Atkins diet so I could eat more meat so I cant really feel your pain).” So I had to figure out why my response to “Nice Body” was “Hell nah!” and yet I had silly giggles to “Yum Yum Yum”.

One is an “I’m sexy and THAT is why you like me” and the other is kinda “It’s hard being a chick but we gotta laugh about it”. Obviously in my part of the world Hyomin’s body wouldn’t generally be considered sexy and that got me thinking about body shaming but I didn’t want to start a rant about how its easily we women hate on each other for being different (which would be pretty long coz we don’t even really need a reason), instead I wanted to find a way to turn my negativity into something positive. Like rainbows outta turd.

I didn’t really have to go far to do it too, so here’s my take. Thing with “I’m sexy and THAT is why you like me” messages is that they voice self acceptance, whether that feeling is honest in most cases is irrelevant. We’re all in a race for (and with) limited resources, be it that promotion at work or the dude who orders bran muffins from your favourite coffee shop. We want what is in little supply and we have to use what we have to get it but we have to own what got.

I know I am kind of skirting a murky line here but here is what I am not saying: Sleep your way to what/where you want. The reason why I am not saying this is because if you don’t believe that this is a choice you have actually made you are going to end up feeling pretty damn crappy afterwards and that’s just a bag of nuggets you don’t need. There’s a difference between using your looks because YOU know they are your added advantage and using them because “everyone else likes them”. The first comes from you. You have to validate yourself to be okay when other people’s validations are coming out their blowholes. Some people are literally rocket scientists and being that way gets what they want, other people have the shiniest, flowiest hair you have ever seen and teeth that look like God’s chiselled them. One is not better than the other, they simply have different advantages.

We just have to quit pulling others down so we can climb on top if them, especially over how they choose to use their assets. THAT is the key thing to take away here, as long as it is your choice work that. Be unapologetic for your advantages. Everyone has something they have that is working for them.

Accept it. Find Yours. Own It. And Work It.

O&O.

 

posted by on Rambling

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So…

A while ago I came across this article My Boyfriend Raped Me  and that first line hit me in the gut. How many times have you been in a conversation with your girlfriends and they describe an encounter that makes your blood chill in your veins or makes it slow down so you can hear it in your ears? Or worse, how many times have you been in that situation yourself.

I worry about having daughters because there are phrases I hear my mother say that right now I would stab myself if I ever said them and yet fear that “time will teach me she was right”, but that’s another conversation for another day.

Right now, lets talk about justifying your dude’s behaviour, or worse justifying someone else’s behaviour. I am not sure where the theory that woman “make men” do things to them. I have no idea why a fella cant be accountable for actions HE has made based on feelings HE has. And it bloody well annoys me.

A friend once told me that she was in an argument with her dude (at the time) and he’s never been violent but on this one day he shoved her with enough force that she fell and may have hit her head on a cabinet but I cant say with full clarity on what part of her was injured but she was in some way. This is the most recent memory I have of the “heartbeat in my ears” response because right after that she said, it was her fault she fell because she wasn’t expecting the shove and was wearing heels so she wasn’t grounded. After all the expletives exploded (once blood flow was restored) in my head I tried to point out that that wasn’t really the point. Its the fact that he shoved her, saw her fall with enough force to hurt herself and walked away. She thought I was over reacting and he never did it afterwards so I obviously was worried for “nothing”.

This logic scares me. To the core. I have “opinions” on everyone carrying their own weight because when people don’t work for their worth they devalue things, maybe even themselves but mostly all the suckers around them who have to deal with the extra load.

When someone treats you like you aren’t worth “more” or “better” then that’s their fault but if they continue to treat you the same way more times then that’s yours. At some point their baggage becomes yours and that only happens when you allow it.

Don’t ever justify why someone treats you less than you deserve to be treated unless of course you believe you don’t deserve any better which really is more about you than them but know the difference and carry your own weight.

I’m supposed to end this with a question but I get this ache in my chest when I think of all the women to whom rape was justified. This is so awfully wrong I cant take it. You have laws that dictate women cant be raped by their husbands. THE FREAKIN’ LAW! , girls being kidnapped but militia and sold off as wives because they are the wrong religion or are offending another religion by being educated and somehow NOTHING seems to change. These women are obviously in different circumstances than you and I and most likely die when they object to the status quo, possible consequences include death so what’s your excuse for lugging around someone else’s s#@$?

O&O!

Just Add Sugar

May
2014
27

posted by on Rambling

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So…

I’m a House of Cards fan and one of the things that amazes me about the show is how Frank and Claire Underwood are perfect for each other. It’s the ‘for each other’ part that I want to focus on. As individual people, I am not sure I like them very much… well, I could probably have moments where I don’t mind Claire but Frank is simply reprehensible.

But together, that is what a couple should be. They should be a united front and they KNOW each other. The only time I can recall them presenting ‘problems’ to those in their ‘inner circle’, those within that circle wouldn’t have known how it was a problem other than something aimed at them and they were on the same page or its presented in such a way you wouldn’t know it was a problem to begin with (re-writing that so I don’t leech any spoilers was bloody hard coz who doesn’t love a juicy example).

Love is generally complicated because there is NO WAY you can truly accept everything about another person or rather there are limits to what our feelings can permit and forgive (I am such a romantic). What Frank and Claire teach us is that it isn’t about accepting everything, its about KNOWING everything and this doesn’t necessarily extend to things like first boyfriend in kindergarten but they know what’s beneath the surface of the person lying next to them, its about knowing the breath beneath the heartbeat, you know? If someone tried to present a ‘secret’ about one to the other, most likely all they would be providing is details which the other person didn’t have but context was already in play and therefore opportunity to break them up is non existent unless on of them chooses it.

Thing with relationships is… they are like fruit. You watch it bud and grow and then its ripe and you pluck it but once you’ve plucked it, decay begins and that is when you need to protect it. Viciously. The rot is always there waiting to creep in but you have to guard against it. A fly doesn’t intend to infest decaying matter with maggots, it does what it does because that’s what flies do (and maggots are simply baby flies…). If your relationship is the fruit on a path to decay then everything else is a potential fly waiting to bless it with maggots.

This makes me seem somewhat jaded but I am not (well, not on this I dont think), weirdly I am in love with a fella that if he turned out to be Frank-like, I want to exude Claire coz we’re in it for the long haul and you have to see what is and not simply what you hope it could be. That’s the key for ‘perfection’. So you preserve that piece of fruit and you know the best things to preserve fruit? Sugar! You have to lather your relationship so deep in the stuff that the sugar is flavoured and becomes your fruit… which could be rather ‘porno’ and if that’s what you need go for it.

Have enough together to build on, common goals help, similar thought patterns or values definitely don’t hurt but whatever the case, there needs to be a set of building blocks and true emotion driving you too.

I am not a counsellor or trained relationship expert, in fact most of my knowledge is purely theoretical but life is going to hit you with so much muck that you don’t need to sling any at each other. But if you must sling some muck, make sure y’all are aiming in the same direction and your shots complement each other. Focus on the sugar to keep that rot at bay. Some couples need to have hot water together with the sugar to concentrate them and that’s fine, you’ll have jam instead of marmalade and most people prefer jam so it’s a win-win situation.

Where does one find this sugar that binds y’all together? I think it depends on the people in play. If you wanna share yours or pick my brain further let me know but for now, I wish you happy hunting.

Good luck finding that sugar!

O&O!

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So…

I once rode a quad bike off a cliff. I wish I could say it was because I was attempting a stunt involving my left nostril and right butt cheek but sadly what made me lose control of that quad bike was caution.

I was re-uniting with a couple friends that I hadn’t seen for over two years and we planned an ‘action packed’ vacation in Hartebeespoort. Things had recently happened to all of us and we needed a ‘fun’ break to reconnect. On this particular day of festivities the itinerary involved horse riding and quad biking; only one of the three of us had done either of these activities before but we decided that it would be fun. And we loved it … the beginning that is.

The farm we went to was owned by a husband and wife team (as is usually the case) and had wonderful views, a pack of memorable dogs I loved because they were friendly and reminded me of some pups I had had and the wife half of the team was a dear… then we met her husband. But I am racing ahead. Obviously I cannot give the name of the establishment because this isn’t a great review for them and I don’t think its enough to say, ‘horse ride here but quad bike elsewhere’ or ‘find out if the husband is taking you on the bikes and if he is cancel!’ coz all of that seems kinda passive aggressive and really, perhaps you wont have the same experience there but I don’t want to tempt you to damage property to find out.

Now one of the first things husband part of the team said was ‘quad bikes can kill you’ and ‘quad bike accidents are nasty business’… those are the kind of things a girl has no trouble remembering. The ride was meant to last an hour, less than seven minutes in, husband owner is on his cell phone and we have to stop. No biggie, I reckon I will just soak in the scenery. Then he pretty much was far ahead of us and didn’t seem bothered with us at all… as in we are beginners on the bikes but he is acting like he is on a solo ride way up front of our ‘detail’. There were more calls but I didn’t get too irritable. The place was just too beautiful, we were on a different path than we had used for the horse ride so I had plenty to keep me occupied. About forty/forty five minutes into the ride we approached what appeared (to me) a very narrow ‘bridge’ so I slowed down and tried to crawl onto this impossibly narrow embankment (I was certain I would fly off if I was at another speed than toddler) but on making sure my right side was safe I was too close to the left and couldn’t steer away coz of the afore mentioned lack of speed, so I did what any rational person would do and tried to tilt the bike away from gravity but turned out I was lighter than the bike and so I fell off and watched the bike slide away from me. That ‘slow mo’ thing is real. It was like it was at quarter speed!

Its what happened after this that ruined the experience for me, once I had yelled loud enough for the person in front of me to know something was wrong, I went down that cliff after the bike and since it had landed top side down, I tipped it over which was not easy coz on top of being lighter than the stupid thing my arms are so weak that all the strength I have in them is imaginary. Just then owner guy comes down the cliff and not once does he ask if I am okay, instead he starts complaining about plastic pieces that are now damaged and he’s never seen anyone do ‘anything like this’. At the time I just felt miserable coz I hate causing other people pain in any sort of way and this was my fault. But then guy manages to start the bike and I sing on the inside coz if it starts its ‘not that bad’ yet he goes on about how insurance wont cover his business and maybe he shouldn’t be in it to begin with. Now I’m worrying that we are going to be hit by some damage clause that was definitely not on the disclaimer I signed but Ii wouldn’t have protested paying. So I follow him climb back up this cliff and when we are back on the road he tells me I must go back to the bike and ride it from there and I think ‘You saw me climbing, you didn’t think I needed to hear that before?’ But again, I had damaged his property so I figured just go back down and not be a nuisance.

The ride back was miserable and quiet and when we pulled up in front of his house he leaped off his bike and started telling his wife and two of his friends what happened which he couldn’t have because at no point did he find out from me. The two friends ask what happened so I tell them that I approached too slow and the bike was too heavy for me to put back in the middle of the path (granted I wasn’t nearly as composed or coherent, I felt royally terrible), owner guy had walked off before I had even started my ‘confession’ and his wife after him. The two friends seemed concerned about my plight (which I guess was easy for them, I hadn’t damaged their property) but when the wife returned with our phones and cameras my friends and I thought they would ask us to pay for the damage or something because on their disclaimer all that is there is that the business isn’t liable for any damage or loss incurred on their property, nothing about what happens if you damage theirs (they have probably changed that now). Wife had no smiles for us or any form of encouragement so I said another apology and we set off and on top of feeling terrible about the damage I felt extra guilty about ruining the trip with my incident.

For a while after that I couldn’t remember the pretty views, or my calm horse and another horse that kept stopping to eat no matter what my friend riding it tried to do. I couldn’t remember the silly Alsatian obsessed with playing ‘fetch’ or the guide that was so patient with us on the horse trail and was a true example of what a person in service to customers is all about. All that defined that day was how miserable I felt at the end of it.

Too often we let the misery define an experience. We are quick to take ownership of things that are beyond our control (this is more common for women than it is for men). I definitely injured that husband and wife team with my accident but they acted like I had done it on purpose and having them act that way added to my negative feelings.

So basically what I want to share with you is how often do you hold on to negative feelings not only caused by other people but caused by actions beyond your control?

It took me a while to separate my actions from that owner and look objectively at what had happened. I will probably never go to that establishment again and will not be as eager to get onto another quad bike but when I do get back on a bike. I am flooring it! Maybe it’s easier not to be upset with someone if they are a mangled mass of flesh under your machinery.

O&O!

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Ramble Ahoy!

“I wish we had met
When polka dot skirts and gogo boots were all the rage
I wish we had met
When common causes killed minor differences”

That thought has been floating around my brain for months. Wishes in general and how it is we romanticise what was simply because it “isn’t”. Does that make any sense? If it doesn’t, I am working on a poem, its nowhere near done and I don’t know what to do with it and it isn’t even that long but it has me stumped at the moment. And when stumped, it is recommended that one stop staring and do something else. This is something else.

So, recently I have been asking how much my dreams are worth to me because although I say my aspirations in my head and write them down on pieces of paper (sometimes in multiple colours), they aren’t really in my heart and bleeding out my pores and because of that I am not putting in the work required to make them happen. This is painful to admit because I hate having to admit that laziness is part of who I am and fear of failure is holding me back when I should be using that fear of failure to fuel me because according to my own personal definition I am engorged with failure.

How often does that happen to you? How often do you CLAIM something is important and then do nothing to HOLD ON to that thing?

Its not enough to aspire, we eventually have to DO. Unfortunately, we live in a time where we want the “quickest” way to do things, whether that is the ‘5 minute ultimate abs workout’ or whatever our version of ‘success with no sweat’ victory is, because we are bombarded with fame for infamy’s sake.

I recently told a friend of mine that perhaps she may need therapy to quieten the noise in her head because she just flits endlessly from one distraction to another when she should sit down, shut off all external noise and do the work but she cant because doing the work isn’t “sexy”… or rather it lacks fundamental glamour that I think she needs and just as my fear of failure keeps plonking speed bumps in my path, her need for excitement prevents her from doing what needs to be done…

We keep getting told that you can live the life you want to live (and I may have said it too earlier on the blog, sorry about that… *ahem* I still mean it BUT IT REQUIRES EFFORT) but I may have missed the point. Its not about working smart because that has been appropriated by working “short” or “easy”; Find the shortcut and use it, find the loophole and manipulate it. You cant forget to work hard. You have to earn your success by putting in the toll required.

If you aren’t happy its not enough to say it and leave it at that, if you are unhappy and don’t want to be, you have to DO something about it.

You have to decide what the manure for your life is and wishes sadly don’t bear fruit.  Its not enough to dream, you have to wake up, get out of bed and DO SOMETHING. There will always be a reason not to because that’s easy. But easy doesn’t make memorable and since life is generally short and we all die at the end, the most we can hope for is memorable. Even if its just from the three people outside your family that think if you started a comic strip it’d be awesome.

So, what work aren’t you putting in? What manure do you want to blossom? Find it and till that bugger till it bleeds!

O&O.

posted by on Look! A Story.

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Mercy hid the small satchel under the bed and dusted her dirty fingers on the front of her plaid skirt.

Her knees were scuffed and there was an assortment of coloured hair on her once white tights. With a merry skip she hopped out of the alcove and back onto the trail she really shouldn’t have left.

She thought about that satchel as Aunt Mima whipped her with a cane for ruining her nice tights and staining her beautiful dress. The satchel got her through Aunt Mima’s rage and she barely even registered the sting on her skin when she had her evening bath.

Daddy got home late, again. She watched him remove his jacket and Aunt Mima fuss over how tired he must have been. He didnt speak to Aunt Mima or Mercy. Aunt Mima served dinner for the two of them and Mercy silently ate her butternut soup while Daddy stared at his plate. Aunt Mima, quickly brought out his main course and Mercy hid her smile, even she knew Daddy wouldnt eat soup. He ate his steak as it bled on his plate and when he was almost done noticed that Mercy didnt have her main.

“Why isnt the girl eating?” He asked and Aunt Mima held her hands together as she narrated the butchery of Mercy’s beautiful clothes and this was a lesson in wasteful behaviour. “Wasteful only exists for those who cant afford not to, let the child eat.” Mercy raised her eyes to Aunt Mima and didnt hid this smile.

As she slowly ate her steak that Aunt Mima had to slice for her, her mind went back to that satchel. Soon, that satchel would rid her of Aunt Mima but not tonight.

Her father allowed her to sit at his feet while he smoked his pipe and she painted his latest train set. They spoke no words but the mood was comfortable and Mercy enjoyed having him in the room with her. Just the two of them. Like it used to be.

Aunt Mima came in on time as usual and shuttled Mercy off to bed. There were no late night stories like Aunt Helga used to read. Aunt Helga always smelt of rum and vanilla and if only Daddy hadnt started visiting her bedroom she would have stayed longer. Mercy rolled over and waited for Aunt Mima to leave the room. She heard her humming her usual lullaby as she brushed and braided her hair. She couldnt see her but Aunt Mima left the door between them open so that she could hear Mercy, it didnt help that Aunt Mima slept very deeply.

Mercy did not have to wait long before she heard Aunt Mima’s deep throaty snoring. She crept out of bed and pulled on her winter boots and Aunt Helga’s old heavy shawl before walking down the stairs, she peeked in on her father asleep and stepped outside. The satchel was where she left it. She smiled and walked back into the house.

Mercy walked confidently into Aunt Mima’s room and poured a bit of the brown powder into the water by her bed. She watched the particles sink and took a pencil to stir them till they were all gone, she was careful not to touch the sides of the glass. Soon Aunt Mima would be gone soon, the same way Mummy was.

 

posted by on Rhymes Optional

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So…

I have no idea where this poem is from, I was editing some older work and thought… well… I could share it… Sometimes my mind regurgitates some pretty morbid things.

Enjoy!

O&O.

*******************************************************************************

Final Correction

I will not speak of things I do not know.
I shall not hide what needs to be shown
I’ve blazed a trail, I alone must follow

You’ve been by my side, of that I am glad
You can accompany me no more
Your time in my life has run its course

Sadness has no place here
Sorrow even less
My love my dear,
Let me have my final embrace

Still your mind, my heart races
Today it ends, what began too long ago
I’ll kiss your cheek, wont allow you to kiss mine

Hold my memories, that’s all I am leaving
Tomorrow you shall awake and alone will you be
I heed the voices in my head and troubled no longer will you be

My blade reflects the serenity of tonight
Company it has been but our last conversation we will have
My love you tried, you kept me sane but my memories come when you aren’t there

I shed a tear that no one will ever see
My last bath I shall run, it is a small treat for me
My toes feel the warmth that my heart longed for
I should be calm, I knew this day would have to come

The water around my ankles reminds me
Of a time when the sun bared down on sandy shores
And my smile was enough to make you happy

Long have those days gone by and my bruised body
Cannot repent on behalf of the sins your hands commit
My love, my dear I cannot forgive one last correction

I sit in my final resting place
There is the serenity I have been seeking
I look up and gaze at your unsmiling face

Did I wake you? I know I shouldn’t have
Cant bare this weight anymore.
Come keep me company

We say no words, what needs to be spoken
Has already been said
I cant leave I need your help

Your hands hold mine, mine tremble no more
I know what must happen. Shocked I am that it didn’t happen sooner
This is the most tender thing you have ever done to me

Right above the bruises you gave me last night
Lay a metallic silver kiss where your lips no longer wander
This is not as hard as when I told you about the child I am carrying

Neither of us do U want,
Neither of us will you have.
I gave you myself and only you can return it to me

The lights getting darker now,
Our baby kicks. When I meet him
I’ll tell him that daddy didn’t want him
But mummy couldn’t let him go

So together we shall be
Where your corrections no longer are
I shall hold the son
You gave to me

As your final goodbye

posted by on Imaginary Tea, Rambling

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Credit: Paramount Digital Entertainment and LXD Ventures

Credit: Paramount Digital Entertainment and LXD Ventures

A while ago I came across this video (Coming Out of Your Shell) and my heart did weird things in my chest (like it could do them anywhere else) because I GET IT! You should check it out. If only I had talent with the rest of my limbs and REAL co-ordination, I could create such beautiful visual things… *sigh*.

For a lot of my childhood, I was an immigrant in various places. And language has always been a “problem” for me. Apparently I used to speak Portuguese before “proper” school (lived in Mozambique at the time) but my mum would pinch me (or atleast I think that happened… but it may have been something I made up to make my loss of something so beautiful mean something) because she wanted me to speak English so I lost that right quick. I have an ear for languages but my tongue sits in my mouth like gum at the bottom of a shoe when I try and make it obey other linguistic rules. I cant even do slang properly. I am terrible at trying to sound “street”. Terrible… but I am running off the rails again. Lets get back to topic.

I have generally always had a good “command of English” and it made my mother proud but it didn’t really make me fit in (and what child trying to be normal, doesn’t want that.. or rather, that was the norm at the time, attempting to stand out didn’t really make you special). Among my own countrymen I couldn’t be a part of their private jokes and stories because I could not speak my own mother tongue or any other language from my home country (technically, English is my mother tongue because that’s what my mother used “on me” but “biologically”, my father is Tonga and my mother is Lala, both from Zambia) . My mother didn’t want my siblings and I to be “polluted” by the local languages we were bombarded with because that affected the sound of our English so we were a purely English household except when my parents wanted to share something between the two of them.

“Why didn’t you just teach yourself?” Might be a logical question and to that I would respond “Have you met other children?” They are brutal. Trying to speak a local language when you “look like it should be easy” but sound like a well meaning although ill mannered tourist is torturous and if you do not have the self esteem to ride through the bullying, you give up. Which is what happened to me, I gave up trying to learn my own languages and tried to ace “exotic” sexy languages like French and make sure no one else could “out-English” me, this was of course ridiculous.

I love the sounds of different languages and while I don’t have the same kind of negativity towards my parents languages, there is still too much residual failure in there for me to seek out teaching my tongue to move in that way at this point in my life. If its something my children want to learn in the future, I will not block them and will do everything I can to provide the tools necessary.

The problem with being an immigrant for so long is that even when you return home, it doesn’t quite settle on the bones in a way that truly fits. It may be comfortable but its not entirely “made to measure”. I know I found it easier being an immigrant when it was obvious that I didn’t belong than justifying why I didn’t belong because I looked just like everyone else.

I hope you find your own tongues and come out of your shells. You can only be the best version of you, you choose whether that best version is a watered down version of someone else’s expectations.

O&O

365 Days Later

Mar
2014
25

posted by on Rambling

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So…

This blog has been up for a year…

Happy Anniversary to me!

And yet, for all kinds of crazy reasons I have made up reasons to not be happy and not acknowledge my little victories.

Last month was a bit of a hard month emotionally for me, February generally is.

My sister died in February and the whole month turns into a countdown to that day and then after that I descend into “why the hell is nothing really different? Something should change!”. I don’t entirely have all the words for the feelings that her death gives me but hopefully one day I will.

New post coming up shortly!

O&O!

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