When life sucks

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.

lonely trees

There’s magic in Loneliness

I guess there’s a numbing sense of despair that comes with loneliness. It’s not that sad feeling you get like when you just finished a book and lost all the friends in it or go to the supermarket and find that your favourite fruit packer doesn’t work there anymore… It’s that deep cut to your being when you have epic news to share and you realise that there really isn’t someone specific you can think of to share it with. It cuts even a little closer to the soul when you’re surrounded by friends and family who care. But they just won’t really understand. They won’t really get it. They won’t really get you.

When I was little, I used to climb the tree in our backyard and sit on a branch singing all the songs I learnt in Sunday school. I thought I was singing to the birds. Like that princess in that movie. And I believed without any doubt that the little bird that came and sat on that branch that one day flew by for a bit because he heard me sing. A part of me remains optimistic over the probability.

But what I like to think back on is that I firmly believed I was at one with nature that day. That the universe heard me. We were connected. And even if I was only five years old, those songs and that bird changed everything. I never told anyone about the bird. The neighbour came by and told me my songs were beautiful. Which I’m sure they were. But what happened between me and that little bird would be mine. It would be me and nature alone to share it. A secret connection no-one would ever believe true.

And that is why I find the most powerful magic in what they call loneliness. It’s those little secrets you share with the universe that nobody can ridicule.

It’s you laughing at your own jokes. It’s you dancing on your own under twinkle lights. It’s you driving on the highway singing to your favourite songs. It’s you being you without trying. Without apology. Without fear. Without doubt. Without judgment.

Experiences don’t attain their credibility through sharing them with others. It’s you telling your stories to yourself and it manifesting itself in real life through the coy smile on your face.

And that is pretty frickin much everything.

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning.
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts.
And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans.
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure.
That you really are strong.
And you really do have worth.

And you learn and learn
With every goodbye you learn.

                                          -Maggie Oman