Home Is Where The Heart Is

I arrived home today for my mid semester vacation at around 2 15 pm. As I disembarked the plane, the sun shone brightly, sending rays of warmth that are unusual for this time of the year. It’s like the sun was smiling down at me, copying the expression on my face. As I wheeled my small green suitcase behind me, I could feel my excitement growing.

I would love to say I was met by my parents, brother, and sister, all grinning and waving as I came through the arrivals lounge but that is not the case. They have lives. My sister is going through what I just finished. Her end of semester exams are in full force right now and my arrival is more like a gift from heaven for her (less dishes for her to wash). My little brother on the other hand is occupied with primary school related activities – think rugby games and music lessons. I was picked up by my slightly late dad and that was more than enough for me 🙂

The hour long ride home from the airport was not fun though. Talking about my future is always something that I don’t welcome. Maybe it’s because I have no idea what path I want to take with my life after University. Right now my focus is on one thing: get this degree. However, that is proving to be quite a mission. I really need to dig down even deeper and find motivation to finish what I started. On the bright side, I’m learning an extremely valuable life lesson at UCT – how to get back up when life knocks me down. It’s been a rough 2 years and I’ve got two more to go and I really want to see this thing to the end.

So, after having a surprisingly soul bearing and completely honest conversation with my father, we pulled up in front of the gate. Then, my dad pulls out his gate keys, hands them to me and says “Well, you’re home now so you better start acting like it”. Translation, go open the gate. Some things never change 😀

I had actually never opened the gate before. New house, new discoveries 🙂
As I wrestled my luggage out the car, with the help of my dad, my sister walked out the house, knife in hand exclaiming, “fair warning, we’re not making you anything special for dinner!”. Just like that, the playful teasing and light banter began. I swear, my family is amazing at small talk! We can go for hours talking about the most random things, laughing and joking together. It’s quite beautiful.

Once I stepped into the house, it was mayhem! I barely had time to walk into my bedroom when my brother hugged/tackled me onto the bed. What a greeting! 😀 He plays rugby and I have a feeling there’s more of those to come during my time home.

As the noise escalated and the hugs went around multiple times, I found myself taking off my shoes and settling down for an update on the latest news and gossip from extended family and friends. My mom gabbed away as she rolled chapati expertly while my sister sat on the kitchen counter periodically contributing to the stories. My brother went off to play some sort of computer game like any normal 11 year old. Once in a while he’d walk in to excitedly show me something – like how he had grown about 4 cm in 1 month and how he could make music with water and a wine glass. Then he would disappear again.

As I sat there, joking, laughing and mercilessly teasing my sister, I felt my troubles seep away. The tension of exams, the worries of assignments, projects and GPA were momentarily forgotten. In that moment, I was content. My heart sang and my eyes danced with laughter. In that moment I was happy 🙂

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I love my family 🙂 I really do. They are not perfect and at times I really wish certain things were different. However, I undoubtedly and unequivocally love these people. And, it’s in these little moments, those spent sitting on kitchen counter tops or lounging on the bed that I remember that.

Till next time,

Linet

This is how much I love my family, especially my little brother :)

This is how much I love my family, especially my little brother 🙂

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The Meaning of Life explained by a nine year old

Its funny what you can come across on the internet when searching for something. I was looking up Capital Punishment for an essay I have to write when I saw this eye catching title: Life, the universe, and everything elegantly explained by an exceptional nine year old.
I have to say, I am just in awe of this kid.
This is what happens when you teach a child how to think instead of what to think.
My favourite line: “the meaning of your life is what you make it…nobody can decide what you will do except for you”

Till next time,

Linet

Preparing for a rainy day

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Smile through the rain. You’ll make the day less gray

As I write this, it is pouring outside. The thing about Cape Town weather is that it is unpredictable. I woke up to a respectable blue sky. Now all I see is grey…and lots of rain. 

I unfortunately fell prey to the deceiving hint of blue and walked out of my room in pumps and two minimal layers of clothing. By 2 o’clock, I was drenched. As I was running through the rain holding my bag over head and avoiding as many puddles as possible, it occurred to me: I should have been prepared. I am now a veteran ‘Cape Townian’. I should have at least had an extra jacket just in case. I had always been prepared before, what happened today? I was disorganized that’s what happened!

In my defense, the past week has been crazy hectic. I’m talking tests, quizzes and a Lab exam to top it all off, from Tuesday till today. Infact, the running in the rain was to the said Lab exam (which didn’t go so bad, thankfully :D). But whatever the case, I should have remembered to have that handy jacket in my bag like I usually do. So whats my point?…Don’t get caught in the rain!

Life is of course always a gamble. Somedays its sunny and beautiful and you feel like you’re in control while others are like hurricane central; everything seems to up in the air and moving way too fast. I guess the best thing to do when the occasional disaster comes along; I’m talking horrendous test results, friend drama, a sudden bout of sickness and generally anything you DO NOT need in your life at that moment;  is be prepared. Have a back-up plan so that when things get hectic, you know exactly what to do.

This is MY back-up plan. Its something I thought could apply to any situation I am personally in and hopefully you can apply to your life as well with a little tweaks here and there 🙂

  1. Pray. Praying always makes me feel better. Its the way I communicate with God and reminds me that at the end of the day, he’s in charge and will see me safely through whatever it is I’m going through.
  2. Know your limits. As they say, prevention is better than cure so know what you can handle on your plate. Don’t join too many societies on top of your academic work. Don’t make too many promises or plans that you end up not keeping. And definitely DON’T fool yourself into thinking you can pull an ‘all nighter’ when you know your body needs a minimum of 5 hours of sleep to function the next day (that’s something I found out the hard way).
  3. Have a partner in crime. Have a friend who will tell you when they see things going off the rails. If you haven’t been coping well academically, they’ll tell you to pull up your socks. If you think you can’t make it somewhere, know you can trust them enough to do what needs to be done without messing it up. Just remember to not always be on the receiving side; then he or she becomes your personal assistant and stops being your friend.
  4. Know what to expect. Always. I keep going back to academics because well, that’s my life right now but still: know your course requirements, know all your lecturers, tutors, teaching assistants etc. Know what the year looks like in terms of workload. Outside of the classroom; if you’re going to a new place to eat with friends or anything of that sort, Google it. Have a rough idea of the location. If you’re going for an interview, ask around on what kind of questions you’ll be asked. In general, do your research before you venture into unknown territory.
  5. DON’T PANIC. When things do get out of hand and trust me, they do, don’t panic. Sometimes its so easy to crack under pressure. Try to avoid this by putting yourself in a good space to handle the situation. A positive state of mind can go a long way. It can motivate you to take charge and be productive always. Plus, it just makes life a whole lot easier 🙂

So, next time you wake up and its raining (whether it be physical or figurative rain) don’t forget to take a deep breath, grab an umbrella (if its really raining) and figure out what to tackle first. Soon you’ll be back on track and ready to conquer life in no time at all. Like Mozart once said;

“The shorter way to do many things is to do one thing at a time”

Till next time,

Linet

Midnight Musings

… And so she said: I get you and you get me. Lets do this thing called life together.

He replied: Not yet. I have the world to explore and people to meet.

Her: But we can do that together…

He shakes his head solemnly and quietly whispers: I still prefer my loneliness to your company.

She gets up and walks away. After a moment she returns. He stares and she stares back. I was lonely once she says,  before I met you. But you took my loneliness away. Why won’t you let me do the same for you?

And to that, he had no answer…

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Writers note: sometimes I get these little scenes that play out in my head. I decided to write one down.

Till Next Time,

Linet

The Prospect of Falling In Love

Latest-Love.jpeg

I hate that term. Why must I fall? Can I not walk, if not run into, at or through love? Falling happens when you lose balance. You lose control of your core and your body weight shifts causing you to end up somewhere you didn’t intend to be – usually the floor. Should the doing verb in the this widely used term describe something that we naturally have no control over? Is love that powerful to take control of our beings and cause us to end up where we don’t intend to?

Furthermore, if I fall in, can I not fall out of love. Yes, I can – many people do. It’s why we have so many instances of break ups and divorces. That infamous movie line, “I’m not in love with you any more”… Should love be something we can choose to be in and out of at will? I bet many will argue that it is not planned, the in and out ‘just happens’, or that ‘people change’. Yes, people change. But, shouldn’t your love change with you too? Grow? Develop? Expand. Slowly, gradually, layer by layer until it begins to have a life and breath of its own with so many facets and personalities that it’s infinitely different from what it began as.

That love. That layered, nuanced, rich, fat and flavourful love. That’s what I want.

No. Please don’t fall for me, want me, be happy when you’re with me, fall in love with me. Please don’t. Please choose to love me. Find me, discover me, decide to say yes, and please keep saying yes continuously. That kind of love – the conscious and thought of love. A sure love. That’s what I want. That’s what I hope for.

” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…

1 Corinthians 13:4 – 8 (NIV)

My decisions and beliefs on what love is are based on what I read in the bible. Love is a choice, sustained by living in the Holy Spirit, dying to self and choosing (daily) to love not only your spouse but all those around you. By learning about and hoping to be more like Christ, through the strength of the Holy Spirit, I believe I can choose love consistently. And even though I may not always succeed because I am a sinner incapable of pleasing God in my own strength, I rejoice in the promise of the grace and mercy of my saviour and Lord who loves me unconditionally and teaches me to love others unconditionally as well.

Till next time,

Linet

How Are You…As A Person?

I just got asked that. By a friend. On WhatsApp. After the usual generic greetings that often elicit varying degrees of answers (from both parties), all bordering between half truths and lukewarm lies, he asked me this probing question. Too probing for his nature actually, which made me smile. The tables had turned and I was the unwilling participant behind the HD screen typing away vague statements and fake emoticons that do not truly mimic my true facial expression. I smiled when I realised that I had rubbed off on him – just a little. But, as they say, that’s a story for another day.

Upon reading that question, my mind descended down a rabbit hole, analysing, conjuring, dreaming.  How am I really…as a person? Well, I am tired. Tired of life, of friends that don’t add value; of family that remains broken; of trials that never cease. I am exhausted, of reminding myself that it’ll be all right; and that perseverance produces character; or that people don’t always mean to disappoint. I am tired of this world in general. But I am grateful.

Grateful for life, for breath. For food and shelter. That’s something that another friend reminded me via this very useful tool called WhatsApp. No matter what we’re going through, we should be grateful. “Imagine life on an empty stomach” he said. And I knew he was right. Because I have food, a home, and an education and so much more than so many in this world. And so, I am tired but grateful. It’s cliché I know but what can one do? After all, he asked and I answered.

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You get the idea…

Till next time,

Linet

Facing 2016 – 10 Reminders Collected from the Year Gone Past

This time, I want to look forward. No more looking back because that journey has been travelled already. I have been spent and the experiences have been had. Personally, I would like to focus on what comes next.
In order to do that, I have sat down and determined all the lessons learnt this past year that I’d like to take along with me into 2016. The rest shall fall away. After all, what is done is done right?

So here goes nothing….

1. Remember to recognise when you are being used.
This is an important one I believe. There’s nothing worse than caring too much while the other cares very little. It’s incredibly draining to be the one giving all the time. In the days to come, I hope to remember to stop being the one to sacrifice my happiness for others.

2. Don’t be scared to love (again).
People tend to dissapoint and that can diminish your faith in them a lot. Then with that lack of faith comes a lack of respect and love. When you have been hurt once, it’s so easy to put up barriers to protect yourself from further hurt and disappointment. I dare myself to be brave enough to walk without shields next year.

3. Fear will only hold you back from what could be.
So much second guessing and doubt caused me to not voice out my true feelings to someone this year. I then ended up having missed out an opportunity of exploring ‘what could have been’ – that recurring “what if” train of thought can be a difficult one to bear. Even so, I learnt from it. Fear of taking the plunge is not an option. For it is better to try and fail than to never try at all.

4. You are doing well – just keep going.
Achieving goals can be a messy business. That constant struggle to get to something that does not seem to draw nearer at any rate. I learnt this year that I have been working slowly but steadily. I got my driver’s license; I was able to pass all my academic work of the year fairly well; I saved up enough to finance a trip that I had been dreaming of for years; and most importantly, I gained even more independence and self reliance. Such achievements can sometimes seem small when compared to ‘the big dream’ but in reality, they are all stepping stones – indications that I am doing something right. In 2016, I hope to cut myself some slack once in a while.

5. Remember to show love to those around you.
I have seen beautiful results from those around me when I showed them just how much I loved them. Whether it was from  saying how much I loved and appreciated them or presenting them with a gift or token of appreciation. I mean, let’s face it – people like being told how much they’re are valued. So no more unvoiced songs of praise from me next year.

6. Hurt is temporary.
It’s like that saying ‘this too shall pass’. 2015 bore some of the most painful moments of my life and I would be a fool to soon forget them. However, I would be even more of a fool to remember the pain above the fact that it eventually went away. Heartbreak, loss, betrayal, disappointment…all of these are worthy contenders of monumental memories. But they are precisely that, memories. They passed and morphed into lessons for me to carry into 2016.

7. God is sovereign above all that you’re facing.
Sometimes, the biggest comfort I’ve had in all that I faced in 2015 is that God has a plan for me. That understanding that whatever it was I expected to happen but didn’t happen was my future plans crumbling to make way for His plans. He sees the bigger picture, not I. And that’s fine by me.

8. Family won’t always be there.
Like I said earlier, people disappoint – even people we call family. I’ll do well to remember this in 2016….and not hold those closest to me in too much contempt when it does happen (like I did this year).

9. Just let it go.
I really don’t need to explain this one now do I…

10. Friends will come and go.
Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, we promise things what we are not able to keep. Like being friends forever. Life is uncertain and so are the future of most friendships. Even though I will be sure to make the effort to keep those I care about in my life close for another year, I won’t be surprised when come December 28th 2016, I have lost a few souls along the way.

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Sounds a little like a motto to live by me thinks

Till next time,

Linet.

A Letter to the Girl I used to Love

Dear Girl I Used To Love,

You are the girl that gets the guy. I don’t know if you know this, or maybe you do, but you have this super power of getting men to love you. Heck, your powers work on women too – like it worked on me. You are simply irresistible. You’re smart, funny and remarkably unapologetic. Your legs are long, your eyes wide and your smile incredibly bright. In fact, I’ve heard from one of the guys you bewitched that he fell for you the minute you smiled. I may have fallen for you too in the exact same way. It’s hard to tell exactly but I know why I stayed in love with you for a while. You have confidence like I’ve never seen
before. You’re so sure of yourself and you don’t have time for losers. So when you give anyone even a glimpse in their direction, they feel like they’re something. Like they’re not losers. That’s how I felt anyway. I wonder if that’s how the guys that fall for you feel too…

Now, this thing you have with your eyes…this charm. It definitely worked on my first love. My only love to be precise. I gave him my heart willingly, honestly and wholly – he was the first man I ever did so for. He was the one who knew my fears, the one who picked me up when I fell. He was my company at 3 am and my loneliness at 12 pm. He was my friend, my Tim. We were never romantically involved. That was to come later. That was my future. I was so sure that we he was my future. I guess I was wrong.

Now, I don’t blame him for falling for you instead. I know why he did. He did so because you’re an uncrdible human being – no doubt about that. Instead, I blame you for making him fall for you. You knew how I felt about him. You knew that I gave him my heart. I told you so. You knew. Is that why you had to do it? Is that why he perked your interest? You knew what he meant to me. Did you want him to mean the same to you?

It’s okay that he loves you though. I did too at some point. But you need to understand that you traded my love for his the minute you thought ‘I want him’. I know why you love him too. He’s perfect. Otherwise, I wouldn’t love him as I do now. But we can’t both love him and we can’t both want him. One girl gets the guy and like I said, that’s you. I’m not mad he chose you either. I was before but I’m not anymore. I can’t compete with you. I never stood a chance. And I bet you knew this.

So instead, I chose to let him go. I chose to love him enough to let him go. I mean, what is the point of hanging on to an umbrella that keeps blowing in the wind in the opposite direction? I let you have him and I let him have you. I loved both of you enough to give you that little piece of happiness. But I can’t let you have me too. I love myself too much to let you have me too.

You see, it still hurts. Not because I let him go, but because when I look at him, I don’t see my future. I see yours. There’s nothing worse than looking at an image that you know is off but being powerless to change it. That’s how I see him now – he’s still the same man I fell for, yet he’s different now. He’s not mine anymore. Maybe he never was and I was too stupid to notice…to think otherwise.

Either way, I grieve for the possibilities lost, for the moments written in the sands of time that were wiped away before I could see them. I grieve for the loss of surety. I was once so sure of where I was headed. The path of my life seemed etched deeply into the grounds of my heart, blatantly visible. Now I don’t know where to place my feet anymore.

I know I’m supposed to be a ‘good person’. You apologised. I believe you expected me to let it go afterwards. But you know, I already have let it go. I already forgave you. Truly, I did. But forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetfulness. It doesn’t mean we get to go back to square one. Things have changed now. I cannot just rewind the tape. It’s not that simple – you see, you  can’t erase the moment when trust was lost. That’s too monumental an event to wipe away. That’s one for the record books.

So instead, I will move on with dignity. I will love you, and him, with full intent and purpose. I will wish you the very best in life. The very best in your future. But most importantly, I will continue with mine.

Your friend from before,

L

Crawling in dark spaces

Today is one of those days. The ones that render me silent, listening to the inner turmoil within. I personally get lonely. Very lonely.

It’s exhausting to be alone. To have no one to smile at. To laugh with. What is it about having someone that makes life much more worth living? Is it that they’re there to share in your  happiness and your sadness? Or that you have someone to hold you when words aren’t enough.

It feels like I’m alone in this world. Like the people around me are living beside me but not with me. Maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe I’m the one retreating into myself and shutting off contact with those surrounding me. Either way, I can’t seem to find comfort in the presence of those close.

This echoing sadness, this pit in my stomach that seems to stretch upwards through the expanse of my chest – this needs more than a bowl of this ice cream and a good movie. This needs a friend. A lover. A mother or father. Funny thing is, technically speaking, I have all those people in my life.

I Am Content

My heart beats for you.
With every contraction of my heart muscle
Your name flows through my blood vessels
Cut me now and I bleed you

Etched on the deepest recesses of my mind,
Your name escapes my lips, subconsciously, I can’t help but let it slip
I meditate on your memory and flatter myself with potent vanity
That your smile was meant for me
I just may be going crazy but my memory is far from hazy.
The moments we shared together, so pure and simple, forever I shall remember.   

I am content.
That this is what was and will never be
Like a flash of lightning, we had a spark that flashed bright
But then it disappeared only to leave night
The hand that touched mine, platonic in intent,
Made my heart skip a beat and my breath rush in gasps through the vent of my lungs.
Yet it was not mine to hold
And you are not mine to love
I guess then, we were not meant to be