About perseverance

I’ve been thinking about the word perseverance, how it is just a better word when used in the past tense e.g. I persevered and eventually won. It is a word which implies virtue and when used to describe someone it gives the impression of a sturdy person of character. It is a word better used in the past tense because it implies the work that was required to be put into the activity as one persevered, is done, finished and there was a happy outcome. The romantic story of how a guy persevered for years until the girl eventually realized he indeed was what she needed or wanted all along, sounds very romantic, but only when told in past tense by a couple now happily married. In present tense, imagine your brother being hung up over the same girl for five years. I would honestly be done with that conversation and would instead tell him how he needs to move on, how she isn’t worth it, how she isn’t that great anyway, etc etc. But told in the past tense, it’s a very appealing story which leaves us convinced of the love this man will have for his wife.

The present tense use of the word, is a painful one. It is a verb, which means it is a doing word, and the act of peservering is not a pleasant one. I know, because I am in a current season of having to persevere, and have never had to dig as deep into all my inner being to find the will to keep going as I have had to do in the past two years. What amuses me the most is that I did this to myself. For the longest time I have wanted to do a masters degree in anaesthetics. I love anaesthetics, I absolutely love what I do and I took an unconventional route of getting to where I currently am. However, now that I am here, actually doing everyday that which I love, I don’t know anymore hey.

I studied my diploma in anaesthetics in Zim in Bulawayo at a time when it was not popular for people to do it that way. If I had a penny for each time someone had told me I was wasting my time and energy, and would have been far in life had I already joined the program at UZ, honestly I would have quite a few dollars to my name. Yet regardless of a lot of people around me, including my own parents by the way, not seeing the vision I had for myself, I persevered. I had a thriving social life, and because I am a social being, who is fine as long as my social life is thriving, it was not hard for me to find the energy to keep going. Also, I knew that those who were advising me otherwise meant well, so somehow it didn’t really bother me that folks were encouraging me to take a different route to the one I had chosen for myself. It was a risky plan too, but to me, it was simple, move to England, then move to South Africa, then back to Zimbabwe, then retire. Seemed like a good plan to me.

However, life didn’t quite turn out the way I had planned it, so I ended up moving to South Africa first, and was not quite as mentally prepared for the position I found myself in. There is nothing quite like registrar life, which is the fancy word used in medicine to describe a doctor undertaking a masters degree. I won’t Lie, it sucks! It’s stressful. The workload is ridiculous. There is a whole lot more of studying that needs to be done, but no time to do it. You are a grown up, with other grown up responsibilities, but you are expected to work crazy hours, and still somehow find time to study and make presentations and conduct a research, and it’s a lot! I don’t think anything could really help prepare your mind for the journey, and it’s only in walking this journey I have come to understood, and admittedly hate, the verb persevere.

Perseverance is defined as the ability to continually do something, despite difficulty or delay in success. And therein lies the problem. In the definition. Ability to continually do something despite delay or difficulty in success. With everything else i have undertaken in my life, with every other path I have chosen, success may have not been immediate but it was somewhat guarenteed. I would see and note daily progress in the tasks I undertook, and that gave me the ability to keep going, and I defined it as perseverance. But, what I am faced with currently, is a whole new ball game altogether.

I like how this preacher man once put it across. He said, the only way to learn endurance when running a marathon, is to run a marathon. You can listen to a thousand audios on how to breathe, how to pace yourself, how to keep going, but unless you actually run the marathon, it will all not really teach you endurance. So, likewise, unfortunately, I have learnt, I can only learn perseverance by being in situations that will force me to keep going.

Only way to learn a certain character trait, is by being moulded, placed in situations that will force you to become what you desire to become. I love to teach, and all my interns will definitely have one thing in common to say about me, that I am a great teacher. However, my Zim interns would be very shocked to hear their SA counterparts describe me as the one of the most patient registars. Lol. I was very impatient before, and that’s because to me, concepts were easy to grasp and so if someone was unable to grasp them even after repeatedly saying it to them, then it must mean they are acting up on purpose. Haha, I must acknowledge God for his beautiful sense of humour, because now, not only do I find it difficult to grasp concepts sometimes, but I have had my seniors sigh and give me that look that says we have talked about this before but

So folks, unfortunately, the only way to learn certain things, certain virtuous character traits, is to go through the refining fire that form and shape them. The only way to learn perseverance and patience, is to be in a situation that demands that of you. Great way to learn humility, is to sometimes go through stages, where you are at the bottom of the food chain, and absorb the different ways people treat you, and decide for yourself the manner in which you shall treat others when you have the power and authority to be in charge.

I have been the sister I spoke of in the first paragraph, who has out of love, discouraged a one sided relationship, whereby my friend would clearly be head over heels in love with someone not reciprocating the feelings, for years; and I have been pleasantly embarrassed to receive the phone call announcing that somehow, she suddenly woke up, having changed her mind. Perseverance.

So folks, what do want in life? If you really want it, take steps and get that ability to keep going at it despite difficulty in seeing success. In Shona, we have a proverb which goes, sango rinopa waneta, which basically is meant to say, keep going. Persevere! You will obtain that which you desire, and with it, more, because your character would have been moulded, refined into near perfection.

God bless

is

I have been feeling really spent of late. Just done. Done with life, done with the season I’m in and just really hoping for an alternate reality. If asked what exactly about my life I’m currently unhappy with, I could easily summarize it and write it down, which I did, but the problem was, after I wrote it down, I realized I had no solution to any of the things I disliked. Only way out of it was to keep soldiering on. Sigh…

I have been mourning and mopping about my current reality for the longest time, probably since January. (Bless my sisters and cousins and friends for listening in to the constant whining since the beginning of the year). I had exams, and I thought passing my exams would make me feel happier, better, but if anything it’s just worsened the anxiety and stress of deadlines and exposed just how much I don’t know, because as Steven Furtick put it across, the prize for passing calculus 1 is calculus 2. The award for proving yourself a responsible adult, is more responsibility. 😀

I am just tired of being a responsible adult right now. It’s winter here, well, OK, the Durban version of winter which truthfully speaking is the equivalent of a rainy day in any other part of Africa, because it only rains, and becomes overcast but never really gets that cold, but still. It’s “winter” for me here, the sun doesn’t rise until much later, and sets earlier, and all I want to do is just sleep, Wake up, drink some tea and sleep some more, and ignore the pile of work I have to do.

So I am a social being. I thrive around my connections, be it friends or family, I draw my energy from social interactions. Which is what I don’t have in my current season. I have zero random visitors, zero visitors actually, and COVID has not helped make it better, at all. So I have had to learn to make do with technology, try as hard as I can to keep the connections, only telephonically, which isn’t quite the same, mostly because it gives the pressure to always be using words to keep the intimacy flowing. Plus, People are busy, have their lives going on as well, so people aren’t always available for the hour long chats my soul will be yearning for. πŸ™

So, I decided to take up a new hobby, and start penning down a novel. An alternate reality, in which I am in full control of the characters. I shape them, shape their reality, their words and their destinies, and you know what? It’s been awesome. It’s been what has kept me from going insane, and has helped me understand people like JK Rowling, who birthed entire parallel realities at their worst, and people like Charlotte Bronte, whose reality was bad, but she created a worse off reality for her characters so she could find solace in her own story. OK. Wait, I’m not saying what I’m penning down is anywhere near as good as these guys, far from it. But it’s really helped me understand that sometimes, the best of ideas are birthed out of the depth of despair.

So Look. I don’t know what season of life you maybe finding yourself in right now. If its a cold and dry season, I suggest you try work out why it’s a dry season. What exactly is it that’s making you unhappy. Once you have listed what’s making you sad, look to see if there is something you could do to make it better. Any small thing could help. Do you need to talk to someone about it? Do you need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist to help you work through stuff? Then finally, I strongly suggest you take up a hobby that will help you find the energy to just keep going, even if it gives you just enough energy to face the day. Find that thing that will make you get through the day; and who knows, Some day you just might be surprised to find that the best idea you have ever had, was that which was birthed during the depth of your despair.

So keep going soldier. You always have a little more strength and resilience within you than you think you have.

God bless.

How not to date

So… I have been having several of the same conversations with my friends lately, and we have been sharing horror stories of dating as an adult. The stories are hilarious, because each time I think I have heard the worst of the worst, there is always more to the story that just leaves me gobsmacked thinking no man, surely people aren’t that intense! And so, tonight, I thought, let me write a how not to date blog. Disclaimer, this is 100% my personal opinion.

So for starters, I know there is a teaching that one ought to know their worth, and be treated as such. Great. I absolutely agree with knowing your worth. But, there is a huge difference between knowing one’s worth, and demanding to have a red carpet rolled out for you simply because you have dared to step out of your house. I have had Guy friends complain to me after a blind date with someone I would have highly recommended they meet and get to know, and the number one complaint has always been, she fancies herself a princess and I her pauper. Demanded that I pick her up, open all doors, take her to a very expensive restaurant, pay the bill, take her home… Guys, all for a blind date?! Is that not a bit much? Look, you are great. Absolutely. But allow someone to get to know you and see for themselves just how great you are without you wanting them to break their wallets on the first encounter with you. Demanding red carpet treatment on a first blind date gives the impression of you being a self centered gold digger, so chill.

2. Don’t say no to everyone. Actually maybe this should have been my first point. I know so many men and women, who are really longing for a companion, but they say no to people who are asking them out on a date. I have heard all manner of excuses, he is too short. She is too dark,too skinny. The silliest one yet, I dislike his accent (really asikana, really?!) And my all time favourite, have you seen his status updates? Looool. Look, the whole point of dating is for you to get to know someone. So what they post only memes on their status updates? Or only scripture? It literally means nothing! Say yes to a coffee date. Take it from there.

3. Don’t do a check list on the first day! Sounds ridiculously controversial right, but look, don’t do it. Rather, don’t be obvious about doing it. I have had guys ask me if I can cook and who does my laundry and cleans my house seeing as I work crazy hours, in a very obvious i am asking if you will be able to cook and clean for me type of manner and i always think to myself dude, chill! You literally see someone checking off things on their list, do you want to get married by the end of the year? do you like kids? Would you want any? Where do you want to stay? Which church would you bring up your kids? Like seriously dude, chill! I came out for a coffee date to get to know more about you not for an interview. I don’t even know if I want to order coffee or tea and here you are asking me to tell you, a stranger, about my life plans, all my past hurts and trauma, on a first date.. Really? I know, it probably sells to say, I knew what I wanted and I went for it. But you know what, honestly, it doesn’t. Folks just leave that date thinking OK tjo, that was intense! Bye Felicia!

4. Christian brothers, please do not ask me how much I love Jesus. Honestly, I don’t know what that means. Is there a scale of love that you keep in your pocket? What things must I tick off on that love-meter of yours to score marks as a Jesus lover? Don’t ask me about my prayer life on a first date, like honestly just don’t please. It’s putting all of us off, and making you feel like there is a bunch of Luke-warm folk out there yet honestly, the only luke-warm thing being served is your conversation starters. I legit have a friend who sent me the questionnaire he received from a girl he had gone on a first date with. It asked things like, when were you saved? Do you speak in tongues? When were you baptized… Like tjo…. Guys, is this what Christian dating is like? Hmm no wonder folks think we be the most boring people alive! Tjo! There is always such a pressure for folks to declare their intentions on a second date and I’m always left thinking, what? Bhudi I don’t even know how to spell your last name kahle kahle but here you are already demanding that I declare my intention. My intent to what exactly? Exclusively date a person I barely know?

5. please be open minded. The reason you are going on a date is to get to know each other. Not to plan a wedding. Conversation flowed on the first date? Great, go for a second. Things are still going great? Great, go for a couple more dates. Really get to know the other person. Yes they say they are like this, but is that what they really are like? The only way to get to know an individual, is to spend time with them, observing them, their mannerisms, how do they spend their time, their money. Who are their closest friends? Don’t rush into anything, regardless of how old you are. Look, I’m not saying some things can’t be good from hello such that 6 weeks later you are exchanging vows, I know a couple who did this. But, keep an open mind, so that if it’s working, great you can make plans. But if it’s not, also great, you can part ways, either way, it’s a win win.

Lastly, throw everything I have said out the window. The simple truth of the matter is, there is no formula these things. You could do all my don’ts, and hit it off with a girl who will say I liked that on the first date he asked me if I could cook. That girl certainly won’t be any friend of mine, but that’s OK. My point is simply this. Live! Live life. Embrace it. This means embracing the person in front of you, taking in their conversation, their company, and trusting God that he will show you exactly what you need to see in a mate, before quickly attaching yourself at him/her. Guard your heart, for from it flows the spring of righteousness. Guard your heart. Don’t wear it on your sleeve, ready to give it to whoever opens the door for you on your first date.

Intimacy is not something you pick up off the shelf in a grocery store. It comes with getting to know someone, spending time with the someone, and creating stories together. So to expect intimacy from the word go, I daresay is to set yourself up for failure. Like all good things, give yourself time.

God bless.

Do not judge

It’s so easy to see someone else’s mistakes. To see exactly where they are going wrong in life, and why the same sort of things keep tripping them up. My cousins and sisters, bless them, but how they put up with my constant nagging is a miracle. I am always nagging them to change the way they do things, to live a little, to go out more, to meet more people, to go out on plenty a number of dates… I recently nagged a good friend into opening a tinder account, and she has actually started going out on a few dates as a result of that, and when someone asked me why I hadn’t opened one up myself, I had the perfect ten thousand excuses lined up. Truth is I did try, but just setting up that profile left me feeling so exhausted and drained I thought nah God, too much work.

It just is easier to see someone else’s errors in life, and be quick to come up with a simple solution and think, man, if I had your problems I would be fine, all the while ignoring all the many issues you have. I have been reading the books of genesis this year, yes for the past full 4 months, because sometimes I don’t like what I read and I reread it to try understand exactly what sort of God would allow Rachel to fall in love with Jacob, only for her to be the second wife because her own father did her gangster, and then close up her womb because the first wife, who is her sister by the way, is not loved by Jacob. Umm how is that my fault God? She the one who went in and married my boyfriend behind my back, ok… πŸ’†πŸΎβ€β™‚οΈ And then finally God gives her kids, and wait, there is more, because she then dies whilst giving birth to her last child. Hayi hayi hayi, no! What is that?

Then there is this guy by the name Judah, Jacob’s son. His two sons die, and as customary law then had it, he had to give the wife of the first son to the remaining son for her to bear children, but he is not interested in honouring that, and instead of him outright saying bru, sorry but I’m a sleeze, he sends his daughter in law away promising to call her back soon as his son is ready for marriage. Daughter in law knowing full well that this dude was a sleeze bag, who had no intention of fulfilling his promises, makes a plan, disguises herself as a prostitute and sleeps with Judah, her father in law, and falls pregnant. I swear you would think I’m describing some Shonda Rhimes series here! Now here is the kicker – When Judah hears that his daughter in law is pregnant, he calls for her to be stoned to death, and he was the one to cast the first stone. Wow!!!!

The hypocrisy in that. Wow! I read that and was like wow Judah wow! The ending is sweet, in that daughter in law had concrete evidence to show that she was pregnant by Judah himself, to which he then goes, oh you are much more righteous than I. Lol! End of drama.

Now iv been thinking about that a lot. About how we sit on our high horses, judging other people, and their actions, and we become completely oblivious to our own sin and hypocrisy. We are so quick to lay a heavy charge on others and expect them to know and do better that we forget they too are human just like us, and if everything were to be exposed to the light we would probably find this person we are so quick to judge and accuse is more righteous than us! I mean can you imagine Judah throwing that first stone to stone someone to death for adultery when he himself was the chief adulterer?

A friend of mine Tendi, once wrote this on her blog and I shall end this blog post with that, for your reading pleasure:

I like to listen to music when I am working and today I was listening to some old school Lecrae when I heard a song I’ve heard a gazillion times, but today it hit me a little differently. He said that we ask God to erase evil and yet we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The sin I hate in the world is the sin God hates in me. If God were to erase sin and evil where would we like him to draw the line? Rapists, liars, cheaters and politicians? What about my sin; my little white lies, impure thoughts and unforgiveness? Is my sin less offensive because it’s harmless in my eyes? What about those who are disregarding instructions to practice social distancing or quarantine themselves? The selfishness that makes good people hoard resources leaving nothing for the less fortunate? Or businesses that value the next dollar over the lives of its employees?

What category of sin gives me the right to point a finger at someone, and leave myself completely exonerated?

Matthew 7:1″Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3″Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Remember, whenever you point an ugly finger at someone, you have three pointing right back at you!

God bless

About success

What is success? Who defines it? Do you define success on your own or do other people define it for you? To what extent should society define what your success should look like? These are questions that I ask myself often, especially after someone says to me you need to remember to live a balanced life thoko. This is often said to me after experiencing a major win, e.g. I recently passed some very difficult exams to pass, (only 47% of those who sat for the exam passed, so it was a big thing for me), and after the congrats messages that came through, what followed was exactly that statement, with a now concentrate on other things in your life.

Now look, I am all for the balanced life. I am 100% a social creature. I believe in healthy relationships with people around you and I do not do mechanical relationships. Whatever form. Either I am all in, or not in. Even with aunts or friends or cousins, either we have a healthy intimate relationship, or we do not have a relationship. I do not do mechanical relationships, it’s just naturally not in my nature to do those. That’s how I also have approached my dating life, (perhaps that explains my lack of success in that area so far), but I just don’t play mind games, it’s simply not in my nature to do so.

So with this talk of a balanced life, I envision that a balanced life means a good career, a loving family to go home to, loving friends, a dog and throw in a couple of holidays in the mix and you have a balanced life right? But, I have been looking around at my friends, my cousins, people I know nje, and not many of us seem to have this balanced life. So many of the people I know, are doing really well in one or so area of their life, and the other is just that thorn in your side that try as hard you may you just can’t get it out. OK, I am just going to confess here, that’s my worst scripture. Just remove the thorn please and thank you God. πŸ’†πŸΎβ€β™‚οΈ

So my friends, are either happily married, but struggling to get a good job and a good career advancement, mostly because of the logistics of kids and leaving the family; or are like me, advancing careers, making serious progress in the field but socially just failing to strike that gold. Or, are married, happily, with a good career, but having other serious social problems that are a serious thorn in their side. Or, just struggling in almost every single facet. That balance strike just seems so elusive. If you have managed to strike that balance whereby everything in your life is great, then wow, kudos to you, please message me with tips.

I was chatting with a friend who said to me he would not want to work under a certain person because the person was polygamous (unhappily so) and so she felt she would not thrive working for a person who did not value marriage and a home. This really made me stop to think, is it fair for us to define what success must look like even for other people? Is it? And where do we draw the line?

Would it be fair for people to then say because thoko is a single woman in her thirties I would rather she not be my boss because how can she run a department well when she is failing to find that balanced life? Look, hear me out. I am not saying we are to condone the behavior of an abusive person or celebrate a failed marriage. But surely, we cannot define people based on their failures? I cannot explain it, but I have found that the truth of the matter is, some people make really lousy spouses, but are excellent bosses. Likewise, some people are great mothers, but will suck at being heads of departments. It simply is what it is. Are we to take away even the area this person has managed to succeed in because they have failed in another part of their life?

I think, we really ought to celebrate the wins we get in life. We really all want that balance in life, I want a loving husband, with dogs, a lovely house, and still be able to run a department whilst doing my muroora duties well, but truth of the matter is, I don’t have that right now. What I have going on for me at the moment is my career (and even then seems I’m skating on thin ice), so instead of me focusing on what I don’t have, and growing very ungrateful and bitter in the process, I think I shall focus on celebrating every single win I can get. In whatever direction it comes in even if it means it’s tipping the scale more to the one side, the very opposite of the balance I want. We all go through so much in life. But just because your Goliath is not the same as mine, I think is no reason to deem my life a failure whilst your life as successful.

So my point today is simply this, enjoy every single day and celebrate each and every single victory that comes your way. Run your race marked out before you. You struggling financially but have kids and a loving spouse? Celebrate that victory. You can’t have kids but love each other? Celebrate that. You have loving friends and family, but no “personal person”, guess what? Celebrate that. You have a dog? Fantastic, take him/her out for a walk. Enjoy that. You have plenty of money but no “personal person”, celebrate that money. Go for a holiday, invite a cousin along. Take care of your relatives. Find victory in the small things. Have none of the above but are healthy and well? Celebrate the good health.

There is always reason to celebrate folks. Always! Success is running the race set before you!! Not the race set before anybody else. The race marked our before you! If you on track and you are running it with all your might, then well done. You my friend, are successful!

God bless!

Be yourself!

Growing up, we used to play team games with the other kids in the neighborhood. The leaders of the play troop (usually the oldest kids) would choose their teammates, whilst we all stood in a line-up, praying to not be the last one picked. There was a terrible shame associated with that, being the last one picked, because it screamed reject, weakest link, the one Noone really wants but everyone has to tolerate. Initially, I was always safe, because my elder sister was around for the games and I had her protection, so I was never picked last. When she left for high school however, she left with that sure shield of protection, and I was left to fend for myself, and would stand there squirming, again really hoping I would not be chosen last in that line up of teams.

I was reminded of that childhood memory this week, because something in my personal life happened, which made it abundantly clear to me that I had not been chosen. OK, so here is the scoop. I really like(d) this guy. (He is a really great guy, kind, sweet, thoughtful, employed! You know, the works. Lol.) So I thought we were vibing, had a thing going, you know? . Then this week I realized he now has a girlfriend. And spoiler alert, it isn’t me. Shocker! Did not even realize he was vibing with someone else. So what did I do with this newly found information? Well the normal thing anyone else does of course, deleted everything. Everything! Catharsis! I never block people, but I do use the delete, reset button, often! Lol.

But still, could not help feeling a little down. A little like the one no one chooses. The unwanted one. The one who is just not good enough, regardless of how much effort I put in. Then, a random guy, from out of the blues, sends me a message, which read; you are too much for me! 😳

OK, so, I’ve been down this road a thousand times before. Been told, I’m a lot, and have desperately tried to tone myself down. Calm myself down, slow down, only speak when spoken to. I have even considered shutting down my blog, thought maybe that’s what makes me too much? Tried toning down she Shona within me. Could it possibly be my love of my language and of my people that makes me a lot? Or is it the way I am present in the moment? Is it the way I carry myself? The way I dress? Is it because I get really personal on my blogs? Is it the way I try hard to connect with people? Or is it a mixture of all of that put together that just makes me ‘not desirable’? Too much!

As I was pondering all of this (again) this week, I really felt reminded of a number of things. Firstly, there is this blog that I follow, which is written by a Canadian woman and I think it’s called the situation room (sorry Roxie if I’ve butchered your blog name). So reason I started following it, and I look forward to all her posts, is because she writes about her experiences, raw, unfiltered, bitter, sweet experiences as a single woman, and you know what, I’ve found myself relating almost 100% to all she goes through. The good, the bad the ugly, which fascinates me considering how different our geographical locations are, and how different our backgrounds and cultures are. But that’s exactly what draws me to her blogs, her authenticity. How she enjoys life, yet also is not afraid to share her fair share of disappointments, which I find extremely refreshing and encouraging.

Secondly, I got reminded that just because a few people do not choose you, doesn’t mean you are not worth being chosen. When I first moved here almost 2 years back now, I remember how cold and uninviting the tearoom was to me. Simply because i had not quite found my tribe yet. My dorky jokes were just that, bland and dorky to the folks listening and the stunning silence that would follow one of my jokes would make me wish the earth would just swallow me up. So I became mute at work. The quietest reg became my identifier. Lol. Now, doesn’t mean my jokes weren’t funny (oi, I stand by my dad jokes ok! Lol) just meant it was the wrong crowd. It is only this year, that I feel like I have found my niche. Where we try synchronize our tea and lunch breaks so we can enjoy each other’s company. And you know what, my jokes are funny the heck to them. It is possible we are a bunch of dorky geeks, but point is, these guys would choose me to be on their team, each time, because to them, and them to me, we are hilarious. And have so much to talk about. So many dorky references that leave us lolling on the floor.

Finally, I had friends who just spoke so much life to me. Reminded me that they are in my corner. Just because romantic avenues have not yet led to a good story, does not mean that I am not worth being chosen. Does not mean I do not have something special to offer the world. So, did you know, Apparently, a healthy plant emits a radiation that repels pests, and attracts bees and is able to blossom well. A sickly plant, likewise, emits a radiation that attracts pests and fungi and worms, so it is quickly eaten up and withers. That little fact blew my mind. Brought a whole new light to that scripture, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Listen, you are what you think! So, it is up to me to open up my eyes and see myself the way God sees me. The way those who love me see me. Not so that I can grow a big head, no. But so I realize my worth, and stand radiating the right sort of energy. You are what you think you are, and you attract that which you think you are!

OK, so, guess what? I am a lot! Lol. I won’t even deny that. I am a go go go typa person. But that’s never been an issue to my friends, or to those who love me. It’s never been something I have felt the need to change or tone down around them. And that’s why these friends are so dear to me, because they love me just the way I am. And I’m not too much for them, I’m actually, life, fun, energy, bubbly, etc etc. So folks, my opinion is this, be true to yourself. Does that mean you shall always be liked or chosen? No. You will never be everyone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t make you worth any less than what you are. You shall be too much for some, not enough for others, and just right for the right sort of people. Open up your eyes, to see yourself the way God sees you. To see the precious jewel you are, to Him, to the world, to those around you. Occupy that space. You may not always be chosen first, but you are worth being chosen. You really are. Let me leave you with this scripture to meditate upon.

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces..

You are chosen. You are loved. You are not invisible. You are worth it.

God bless!

About endings

One of the hardest things to do in life, for me anyway, is to walk away from something that is not working out. I think of the time invested, the energy, the finances, and it makes it that much harder for me to walk away. Then there is of course the infamous question of how I can be confident enough to start a new thing, what if that also fails?

One of the hardest truths for me as I started my 30s was realizing that marriages end. And not the ones you were expecting to end too, you know, the ones built of shaky foundations. No, the ones ending are the ones that leave you shell shocked and doubting in the entire institution. For in my naive twenties, I thought only the non Christian marriages ended, because I thought surely with Christ in the centre, a marriage can work. So when Christians announce their divorce, tjo… It hits hard for me.

Did you know, that according to studies done, the most stressful time in a human being’s life is when they lose a family member, and the second most stressful time is when someone is going through a divorce? That surprised me, I honestly would never have guessed that, but now that I think about it, it makes sense.

Announcing a break up invites questions, from people you did not even realize had your number. Suddenly they will be all up in your business asking you very intimate questions about what went wrong. And each time I’m always like umm, really now dear, I did not realize you and I were friends like that that you would think i owe you an explanation as to what happened. Lol. A friend was telling me when her divorce was made public, a person she last spoke to ten years back, who wasn’t even at the wedding, texted her to ask what she had done wrong, and when she did not respond, he then tried to call her. Lol. Is that not the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard? Yet, it is so common.

I once introduced a boy I loved very much to my aunt and uncle (sekuru na mbuya) and they also loved him. He was quite a lovable guy, I have to admit. But when it didn’t work out, (and I was completely heartbroken), my aunt would call and text me on several occasions to ask what it is I had done wrong. How it is I could have pushed away such a great guy. Shame man, before you throw daggers her way, she meant well. Her heart was in a good place. Did not stop her words from piercing the already bleeding heart though. For you see, I had already taken myself down this rabbit hole. Asked myself these thousand questions of what did I do wrong? Is it because I did not do this, is it what I said that other day, was it an act of omission, was it the way I dressed? Was it my personality? Was I too much? Too spontaneous? Not spontaneous enough? Was I too Christian? Not Christian enough? Too ambitious or not ambitious enough? Like I said, it’s a rabbit hole, and instead of finding answers down that hole all you find is a black mamba that will bite you and leave you to die a painful death from its venom.

I love this song by the script, six degrees of separation. The first bit of the chorus goes “first you think the worst is the broken heart, what’s going to kill you is the second part, and the third..” and as I was perusing through the comments I saw everyone asking what this second part that’s going to kill you is, because they never actually say what it is, but most agreed its just this rabbit hole you go down as you are asking yourself what on earth it is you did wrong. Especially if you thought all was well, and the other person tells you he just is no longer feeling it. The song goes on to say “5th, is when you see them out with someone else”.. This!!! You compare, contrast, try take notes, try understand, but like I said before, it’s a rabbit hole! (let me spare you some pain here, don’t do it. Just don’t!)

It’s really difficult to still be in love with someone who has checked out. Iv struggled with this, and iv never been married. I can only imagine how much harder it is for those who have had their spouses check out on them. In case Noone ever said it to you, let me be the first to say it. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry this happened to you. It’s not an easy thing to go through. And well meaning people will call to tell you that you need to pray more, fast, be more receptive to him, cook more, clean more, stop drinking, or start drinking, basically, change to suit his new taste. I don’t know about that.

Now whilst definitely in everything with prayer and fasting we should make our requests known unto God, i think I liked what this guy Elder Machando said. He said, “don’t spend time praying over something that should come naturally. A woman spends so much time and energy praying for a guy to develop feelings for her, or for this guy to marry her, yet these are things that should come naturally to the guy if he likes you”, and I’m inclined to agree. Listen, if someone has decided, for whatever reason, the you and them journey has come to an end, accept it, and let that person go. If you are single, and someone isn’t into you, it’s ok. Let that person go. There is so much more to life, so many other people to meet, befriend. So much more to life. If you are married, fight for your marriage, definitely, but if your spouse has made up his mind, that no, your journey together has come to an end, I daresay at some point you have to accept this. God is so much more gracious than we think he is. He will still love you, still daut over you.

The second part is the hardest, continuing your race, focusing on your lane fighting the urge to continuously peep over to his lane to see what it is he is up to. It’s a very tough thing to see your ex very happy and be this amazing person he never was to you, be all that you hoped he would be, but only to someone else. Because the temptation is then to say, so I’m the problem, I failed to unlock that which someone else managed to do. Look, I don’t know how the feeling business works really, but just because someone isn’t their best with you, doesn’t mean the problem was you. And the simple truth of the matter is you just have to stay your lane. Tough as it is, God will still have good gifts for you, good things to give you and He will remain a good father to you. And you know what, one day you will meet someone else, and realize oh… Actually, I get what my ex was saying now, we really were not good together, at all! Lol.

So folks, I’m just saying the old adage holds true, if someone wants to walk away from your life, let them go. Let them go. I have seen so many people hurt more by holding on, instead of letting go and running back to the father’s arms. There is so much peace and joy on offer there. So here is to living life to the fullest, alone, divorced, happily married, dating, looking, not searching with cats, here is to us running our race, and enjoying every single day, because it is a gift.

About preparing

So just coming from sitting for a mock exam. It’s not a secret to say, I don’t examine well. The stress of exams, whilst I may not wear it on my face, I certainly carry it with me in my soul, and I either can’t sleep at all, (spent the last three months last year sleeping an average of 4 hours per night because I just could not initiate nor sustain sleep from stress), or, worse, I sleep way too much, like try a straight 9 hours last night because of the mental fatigue I was feeling. Either of which are not helpful, at all!

Yet as I sat down to partake of that mock exam, mock as it was, the way my body tensed up, and the way I was typing away and concentrating like my life dependent on the outcome of this exam; the first thought that came to mind soon as I was done was how I just did not have time within the exam to think. Either I knew something, or I did not. There was no time to think, try conjure up answers from the magical world of hogwarts or Narnia. Second thought was how important this exam actually was to me. Which leads to what I want to talk about today, preparation.

The old adage holds true, failure to prepare is preparation to fail! Quick question, what are you spending most of your time preparing for? If you are as young as I think most of my readers are, that is, below the age of 50, then surely however you are spending your days is a preparation for the future. If you quickly review how you spend your typical day, what does it look like you are preparing for? What do you invest most of your time doing? I will tell you of one of my worst indulgences, daydreaming! My goodness, I waste so much time day dreaming. Either replaying things from the past, or conjuring up new things from my imagined future, or editing this and that of my life. If only I had said this, or not said that, or done this, or not done that! It steals so much time from me. I could wake up at 5am and spend two hours in my head having done nothing productive save for write or rewrite the script of my life. C. S. Lewis said this about his dad. That his father was always so busy in his head, that he could not learn any new information as a result of all the noise going on up there. That’s me to be honest. And like C. S. said, unless I learn to quieten my mind, no new information shall enter it and therefore no growth will take place.

In the exam, The answers coming to me quickly were of topics I had prepared well for, and funny how soon as you have answered the question and clicked next, you forget about it and move on. The ones I did not get write, I kept kicking myself an hour after, such that my colleague had to remind me that it was just a mock exam, and i still had a month to polish up what I needed to polish up. Somehow my moaning to my cousin led to me telling her about the words that ex boyfriends said to me when we were splitting up. So random right? I know! Yet the human brain is a funny thing. It stores up the most painful words spoken over you, for years, years, and sometimes, you even bury them so deep down you forget how much they cut deep and wounded you. Let me list, for your reading pleasure of course (lol), the words I was gifted with on my break-ups. Bf 1. I was just never attracted to you in that way. Yikes! After 3 whole years of dating! Gees man, Thanks for that! Bf 2. I don’t understand you. I feel like I don’t really know you, at all! Are you an artsy typa person, or are you into science? Fair enough, I’m a little mixed up myself on that. Bf 3. You have too much energy I just can’t keep up with you. You are like a go go go person all the time and it’s a little much. Fair enough, maybe? I don’t know. Point is, the fact that I am able to conjure up under stress, the exact words said to me, some a good ten years later after they were said, show how deep those words cut. How deep the wound was, and how it’s slowly festered underneath all the gunk iv buried it under.

After the exam, I decided to write down what is really important to me, so I focus on that. For starters, it’s really important to me that I pass all my modules and all my exams, so I don’t waste money paying fees for something I in the end don’t obtain. That helped me realize, certain things that seem to matter in this season, actually don’t.. like Netflix cough cough.. Two. It’s important to me that I have a full social life and that I have good relationships, romantic and otherwise, and so, that said, I must make good use of the time I have each day. And whilst I can, I must deal with the wounds on my heart inflicted by previous people, so that my future is free of baggage and ready for what the world has to offer.

So folks, what’s important to you? And what are you doing to attain it? What steps are you taking to ensure you block out that which doesn’t matter, and replace it with that which does matter to you?

Do not be fooled, God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he will surely reap. Galatians 6:7

God bless and may we remain safe in these perilous times. May the souls of the dearly departed from us rest in peace, and may we the ones still living, find comfort, and cherish each day given us.

Break up guide

Let’s face it. Breaking up sucks! I often pray I never have to go through another one ever again in my life. Doesn’t matter which end of the stick you find yourself, the one ending it, or the one being told its ending, either way, it sucks! It obviously usually is worse for the person who is on the receiving end of it, especially if it comes as a total surprise, mostly because it feels a lot like rejection, and leaves you with a whole hoad of emotions that you would rather not be dealing with. What’s worse is that people honest to God do not know how to break things off well and a lot of break ups always leave you feeling more confused and hurt than is necessary.

I speak from experience though. Breaking up sucks! Now, while I have always been the one who verbalized the end of the relationship, I feel as if I have more often than not been the one who was dumped. I say this because all my relationships have ended because of a reasonable cause. Like… I don’t know, dude just suddenly goes mute on you for weeks on end, and rumours of his being seen up and about living his best life with a female someone reach your ears, whilst your messages go unmistakably unread with those double Grey ticks on app assuring you that that which you fear the most is what is at play. I think the ability to see whether or not your messages have been delivered is the worst bit of technology in these cases, because stalker ish tendencies you had no idea you had suddenly creep up on you. You see his status board change to online, then last seen with your message Grey status update not having changed. After a whole 24 hrs the Grey ticks turn into blue ticks which gives you some form of false hope, because you think, ah, finally, an end to my suffering, only for you to see that nope, back to last seen and still yet no ping on your phone. Sigh..

Coincidentally, for the past two weeks I have been coming across articles and sermons which all have been talking about breaking up, so I thought maybe I shld write a guide on how to break up with someone. I have never used it myself, but I honestly think if I had known this information earlier, it would have helped me end things in a much smoother way in all my relationships past.

1. All break ups hurt, somewhat. We somehow think that just because we have decided to end it, and we feel really terrible, as in have an actual sore heart, that it must surely mean we are making the wrong decision. But news flash! All break ups suck. Even if it is the right decision to make, most often that not it feels as if you are letting go of a potential beautiful something. So if you find yourself thinking about breaking up, and you have the reasons lined up in your heart as to why it would never work, then just do it. Your feelings can always play catch up later.

2. Do it quickly. This is important. I have always broken up with someone, then felt bad, and somehow ended up back together again with the same person, yet I would know for a fact in my mind that this isn’t going anywhere. My very patient friends learnt not to be surprised when after a heartfelt coffee date with them, me pouring my heart out about how I just cannot be with this person, they found us together again over the weekend at some party. This did not do me nor the guy any favours. Once you have decided it is not working for you, quickly get out.

3. Do it cleanly. Now this is important. Just because you and this guy are not compatible, does not mean either of you are bad people. It just means you are not compatible. Running a well sponsored, loud mouthed smearing campaign to ensure you bring his name down does not help anyone. Close friends and family can know why you two ddnt work out, but the whole town honestly does not need to know the nitty gritties of what went wrong. I think allowing people to walk away from your life with their dignity intact preserves both your reputations and allows healing to come quicker to the both of you.

4. Say the truth! Recently read a blog y someone who said, “I wish people would just say what they need to say” and couldn’t agree with this more. Say the truth as to why this isn’t working for you. The whole “it’s not you it’s me” cliche honestly doesn’t help anyone because what that has always left me feeling like is confused. Because u ask myself, if I am so great, then why am I not a keeper? So speaking the plain truth whilst it may hurt at the time, will be the most constructive. You talk way too much for my liking. You don’t honour the things that are dear to me. You suck at communication. You are too much of a flirt. You are not what I am looking for. etc etc It may be a lot for me at the time, but it helps me understand why it is it has ended.

5. Once it’s over, it’s over. Once saw a meme that said, kana relationship yapera yapera Amana, this whole just checking up on you yave yeizve futi, uri social care worker here iwe?” lol Basically, once the relationship is over, it’s over. Give the person time to heal, to move on without you confusing their already mixed up emotions. Sending a message to say hi, just thought I’d check up on you only adds confusion (I think) and makes only you feel better. I speak from my personal experience, because these checking up on you messages have led me to get back together with folk a number of times, only for the train to derail again the roller coaster of emotions to start, again! So no.

Finally to the person being told its over, believe and accept it first time around. Noone jokingly says those words. I have unfortunately found out the hard way, because when I was told I want out, I took it to mean that the person was delusional, and surely my stepping up my game would make them change their mind. It did, for a season, only to find myself back right where we had started, me being told no, I want out, again! So save yourself some time, go through the motions of a heartache, and trust me, healing will come to those who seek it. One day you will wake up, and not feel as bad. Then one day you will wake up and can’t even really remember his second name. Lol. You may never get the apology you deserve, nor the closure you need from him/her, but chin up friend, better is always out there. Even if the better means being alone.

A little about grey-zones

There is something about letting go, or discerning a change of seasons and embracing that change, that is always very difficult. If we find ourselves in a good season, we want to stay in it. Build tents there and make those seasons permanent. If we are in a dry and bad season, we want it over and done with as quickly as possible. Human nature I suppose.

Recently experienced a very good season. I was on holiday, managed to travel, got to see friends and family, got to relax, unwind and spent time with a potential significant other and man, it was beautiful. Found myself day dreaming of the season not ending, of how if possible I could be on holiday until year end and get to relive the same moments over and over again. So you can imagine the sulk that was me this morning when I woke up back to my busy life, with a 7 am meeting to attend, and coffee doing nothing to rub the sleep off from my eyes.

But, surprisingly, I enjoyed the meeting. Enjoyed the shift in gears I felt in my brain as I had to now ponder all these difficult scenarios and questions being posed. Enjoyed the learning taking place and realized I had actually missed that bit of my life. This got me thinking and eventually lead me to what I want to talk about in this blog post today, Grey zones and soul ties!

Now I don’t know about yol, but I have had a good number of those in my short years of existence. I am not quite sure what about the manner in which I handle relationships always leaves me with a soul-tie, but I know the heartache and time spent on trying to undo them. I shall try highlight a few mistakes I have made that unintentionally I have found led me to having soul ties. I hope my use of the term soul-tie doesn’t put you off. It’s just a fancy way of describing a relationship with a particular person that you just somewhat cannot let go of. Even if you officially break up, if you tell yourself you are done, you tell yourself you deserve better, five months later this person could send you a text that could have you spiraling all over again and you find yourself in the exact same spot you were however long back when you had just decided you wanted to let go.

Mistake number 1. Not properly defining the relationship If I had a penny for each time I have allowed a Grey zone relationship to go on for far too long that it ought, I most certainly would have a couple of pounds to my name. I’m not the sort of person whom after the first few dates I’m already like OK, bruh, what’s the story, where are headed. Have never been that sort of a person. I love living in the moment, and not rushing into anything. But! But, there is a big difference between living in the moment, not applying pressure, and a full year of living in the moment.. I have “hung out” with the same guy for a full year, doing everything with this said guy, everyone asking me if we are together and me replying with a “not as far as I know,” and allowing this to continue. All the while I will be head over heels into this guy, and just twiddling my thumbs wondering when he will officially ask me out. I have not done this once, not twice, nope, a good three times, that’s a good three years of my life I have dedicated to Grey zone relationships.

2. Prolonging the undefined season This is kind of like a shackle around your feet. It slows you down. You may not even realize it, but it does. Most of your free time is spent with this person, you begin to pour out bits of your soul that truth be told you have no business pouring out to this person. Intimacy with this person grows as you develop your own person jokes, your way of doing things, he becomes your go to person when you have things around your house that need fixing, when you need an opinion on which couch to buy, what to buy your dad for Christmas, etc etc. The more time and energy you invest in this undefined thing, the harder it becomes for you to step aside from it, because the more entangled and comfortable you become in this relationship that’s not a relationship. I know we live in an Era where not defining things is deemed the cool thing to do, but take it from my personal experience, undefined things, lead to unmet expectations, and that is a highway to heartache and disappointment. I don’t know after how many dates or hang outs one must define things, but surely a year of undefinedness is not on.

When you finally decide to let go after either bracing yourself for the talk, or just realizing that this isn’t working for you, the heartache is a very difficult heartache to deal with. Because this person was never a boyfriend, it is difficult to mourn for him as such. He technically never asked you out, so blocking him and asking for space to move on seems a tad harsh and irrational. So begins the journey of untangling yourself from his grasp, which is OK when he asks you out for a movie or dinner and you decide to do something else, but it is very difficult to do when he is in a fix and needs your help, e.g. His mother suddenly falls sick. Such a situation with a clearly defined boyfriend who is now an ex, would be very easy to deal with. You would rather not have snythibg at all to do with his life for a season at least, until your emotions have caught up with the fact that he is now an ex. But with a Grey zoner, it’s not that simple. And this complicates your letting go and finding your feet again and just makes your emotions spiral.

3. Leaving your heart unguarded guard your heart for from it flows the springs of living water proverbs 4:23 I love this scripture, mostly because I struggle at it dismally. Lol. I have had proper relationships which ended, but on analysis I have found that I tended to overshare bits of my soul in the undefined relationships. I am not sure why, whether the false sense of a good friendship let me let my guard down, or because my sharing made me think perhaps if I tell you so much about myself you shall change the manner in which you see me and actually decide to define things, I don’t know. But what I do know is, post shutting it down, I have found myself wondering if maybe the oversharing contributed to his not taking the next step, and it’s just left me in a hot mess emotionally and mentally so no. Guard your heart, guard it, for from it flow the springs of life.

4. Thinking I wasn’t in control Finally, in as much as I would like to blame the other party for not defining things, for stringing me along, etc etc, the truth of the matter is that only I am in control of my destiny. Things went on the way they did for so long, and history repeated itself thrice, because I was a willing participant in all of those entanglements. As is often said, you may go for 20 dates and report back that all the guys you have dated are losers, but the truth is, there is only one common factor on all of those dates, yes, you. So perhaps it’s not so much about the loser dates you go on, but about the manner in which you conduct yourself which allows people to treat you like you are not worth the time and effort. It’s often said that we teach people how we want them to treat us, and I have to admit there is much truth to this. I was so afraid to define things, so afraid to share my expectations and desires because I feared the rejection that would come and yet the rejection came anyway, I just prolonged the rejection phase.

I propose that we learn to be the masters of our own destiny. That we cut off cleanly and quickly that which isn’t for us, we learn to discern and embrace the different seasons in our lives, and live in the moment of the current season, and not prolong seasons past as that only hinders our progression in the current season.

God bless.