Embracing The Chaos

It takes one moment. One reaction. To alter decisions. To change the course of a life forever. To throw it into total chaos.

For one, I probably need a break from binging Dark on Netflix, but I can’t deny the perspective it gives on what our lives mean and what it means to wisely use the time we’re given to exist on this planet. If I could time travel, I’d probably constantly travel to either nap time or the time when it’s acceptable to open a bottle of wine and have a classy excuse to eat an entire block of cheese.

A few months back, the course of my life changed for good. I had the picket fence and the big plans were all in place for the start of a life most people spend their entire lives dreaming of and wishing for. The house. The dog. The family. The happy ending. What was meant to be this dream warped into something completely different and somehow my dog and I found ourselves sitting alone in the middle of a field watching the wind circle over the weeds. Not knowing what next or where to even begin.

It’s a deep well – starting over. We give so much of ourselves to build towards mutual dreams and protect each other that it sometimes happens that we lose sight of who we are innately. You’re expected to make sacrifices for the greater good. You’re expected to act in a certain way and have certain ideals because that’s just what society expects. Or at least that’s what those you surround yourself with expect. It’s how we’re shaped in order to be accepted. In this circle, you’re this person or the circle will close without you in it.

So why is it that it takes us so long sometimes to realise that we’re losing that innate self? That we’re not the self we truly are but rather the one we’re expected to be? What does it take to solidify ideals so strongly that no love or hate or expectation can break it? How much strength is required and what do you do when you find you don’t have enough of it?

Then again, there’s the other side of the story. I’ve never thought it acceptable for any human to, throughout their life, be the same person. If you’re not constantly working to grow or evolve then you’re pretty much just existing, right? You’re following some pre-ordained path where you never allow yourself to grow or learn exciting new things about yourself because you’re either too scared or too ignorant to enter the kind of uncertainty that allows this growth.

You’re too comfortable.

What I’m asking then is… how do you ever know who you really are and what you really want for your life if you’re trying so hard to be true to your real self yet simultaneously working so hard at becoming someone stronger and more enlightened than you were this morning?

I guess I can honestly say I still don’t have a fucking clue.

But what I do know is that questioning the self you embody and the future you’re building is never worth sitting in the middle of a field feeling sorry for yourself.

It’s been a wild ride. But in the words of Rupi Kaur: “A howling escaped me. Who knew girl could become beast.” No-one is going to save you in this life. Either you learn to hunt for yourself, or you’ll serve as food for the others.

Love yourself. And love yourself enough to put yourself first and allow that jump straight into the chaos. Because soon enough you’ll find it’s only in the chaos that you really find your truth.


Never Ever Ever Settle

I’m so over settling. Standing at a crossroad and choosing the easier option. Sitting in a comfort zone. Living the proverbial dream.

I’m over being told what to believe. Who to trust. Where to shop. What to wear. How to eat. What to cook. How often to exercise. What house to buy. What investment plan to have. Which decisions to make. What to be. How to look. How to act. How to live.

I find it hard to explain how frustrating prerequisites are. Those things that you should have all sorted by the time you’re 30. Why don’t you own a house? When are you getting married? What will your kids’ names be? Their names will be Not Now and I won’t be taking any more questions from you right now, dankie Tannie.

I recently found myself in a position at work that caused me unbearable frustration. Having skilled up and learnt the ins and outs of my position, I soon felt like each day was a churn as much as the next.

At the risk of being labelled a millennial – I worked my ass off. I gave my 110% and I worked my public holidays and evenings going the extra mile. In the end – why are you doing it if you’re not willing to do it proper. Why are you doing it if you’re not willing to push it a second mile to make it epic. Why are you doing it if you don’t care enough to ensure it is perfect? Beyond perfect.  An embodiment of the ultimate. Out of this world brilliant work that you know you are capable of.

And although it was a lovely reward knowing I was doing my utmost best, the frustration of not learning and growing travelled straight into those little fibers in those bones that feel emotion most. That feeling of being at a peak but the view isn’t quite as picturesque as you’d imagined.

What do you do when you’re sitting up there and your view is nothing more than a sea of clouds? Do you take the advice and settle and show gratitude for the job you have? Do you settle on those prerequisites and suppress your desires because you’re supposed to settle down and be grateful? Or do you do something more brave and take matters into your own hands – tactfully…

Here’s what I found to be my truth: You open your mouth and you speak the truth in you. You gather the best of words your mind can muster and you call up your boss and you discuss. You swallow your pride. You gather your confidence. You state your case. You take control of your future.

Soon enough you will find yourself in a position you love. One you believe you will thrive in. One in which you will give even 130% just because you want it so badly.

Celebrate your abilities.

There is no moving forward if you’re not willing to take control of your life.

There is no growth if you’re not willing to take the risks.

There is no shine if you’re not willing to polish some rocks.

There is no contentedness if you’re not willing to do any of the above.

Seeking advice doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be constructive. Sometimes it’s necessary to trust your own answers to your own questions. You know you. You get you.

You have no control if you don’t decide to shove the criticism aside.

The “don’t show your weakness”

The “don’t be too ambitious”

Shove that old school shit where it belongs.

I refuse to settle.

I will not be mediocre.

Rising into Mediocre Bliss

I’ve never been one for missed adventures. I like to be where the action is. I like living by the idea that the day I’ve just survived brought me something new – a new experience, a new friend, new knowledge or some sort of new outlook on a part of life.

The sad realisation is that not each day has all of this to give. At some point, every new morning really is just another morning. Lunch is pretty much the same. Work is work. Routine is routine. And before you know it, you’re lying in the same bed at the same time weeks later wondering what day it is.

This all kind of got me thinking:

I want everything. But I also want nothing. I want the award of happiness. But I want the bliss of being happy without needing anything.

I want to not always want more.

I used to attribute a lot of value to events. I think this is something most of us do. We look forward to the show. We wait for the weekend. We live towards our next holiday. We need something to look forward to because the idea of just doing nothing forces some sad notion into our heads that our lives are lame. There’s no time to chill. There’s only time to get busy and do shit.

How exhausting is it to keep expecting of your life to be more exciting. How terribly tiring to the mind to have to project some sort of fairytale-ised concept that what is now is not enough and what is next is everything. When I was younger I used to write about running from the chains of routine and the unfulfilling poisons of a responsible life plan and towards the prospect of an impulsive choice leading to a magnificent life. Dramatic, yes. Mind you, I DID make those impulsive choices and they sure led to some unforgettable adventures.

But as something different, what I’ve been doing for the past 3 months is a blissful pot of nothing. Most days are wasted away reading books, cooking weird new things, working out, eating a lot of broccoli, and going to bed at 20:30. No, I’m not your grandmother. I’ve simply never been this healthy, rested and well-read since I was a hadn’t-yet-discovered-beer student.

It has become all the more apparent that we feel happiness or despair based on how our minds compare our external environment and experiences to our expectations.

I’m not saying it’s greedy to look forward to the weekend. Or that being busy and making a lot of plans is too much. I’ve simply come to appreciate the bliss and the contentedness that a little touch of mediocrity gifts the soul.

Tomorrow I’ll drive the same route to the same job. I’ll come home to the same house with the same routine and I’ll end my day switching off the same light before closing my eyes and waking up to a new day.

My life is pretty average.

And for once, I’m pretty damn happy with that.