In my 23+ years, I have learnt a few things which I hope will always stick.
12 nuggets because that is half of my current age. I figure that I don’t have to be a 100% (24), if I am living in anything greater than 50% of who I want to be, then I am doing something right.
So I am writing 12 lessons not 24 because I am not yet all that I ought to be, but if there was a rating for where I am, I would be > than 50% and therefore above the ‘pass mark’. Always be above the ‘pass mark’.
- I have learnt that love is real, though we may not physically see, feel or touch it, it lives in each of us.
- Therefore, I have learnt to love infinitely & not to take myself so seriously.
- I have learnt that God is everywhere and you can see him in everyone.
- I have learnt that friendship is a gift & a treasure we all ought to enjoy.
- I have learnt that you never stop learning, never stop living & never stop loving.
- I have learnt that the essence of who you are is found not in what you were but in who you are working on becoming.
- I have learnt that with or without your consent, you are always becoming…something.
- I have learnt to cry out loud, (note the significance of this as I abhor wearing my hearth on my sleeve.)
- I have learnt that some people have the ability to make your heart smile, keep them!
- I have learnt not to betray myself. To constantly see beyond my now.
- Yet, I have also learnt to live in the now & to treasure it.
- Above all, I have learnt that I will never be done learning. With that said, many sequels to this are set to come.
I weep for my beloved country. For my own inadequacy, my ignorance.
I weep because I’m flawed. We all are, yet we judge those who came before us, who-flawed as they were -didn’t let their flaws be a hindrance. They gave our land all they had.
So I weep because we judge too harshly. Never taking the time to understand them or to walk a mile in their shoes.
I weep because of our amnesia. How quickly we’ve forgotten Mandela’s ‘It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die‘ or Mbeki’s ‘ And I know that none dare challenge me when I say -I am an African‘.
Our fighting has no limits. Our fingers find new victims everyday to point blame at for our situations.
We don’t remember them as individuals, as human beings who were flawed. We’ve packaged them nicely into ideals. Yet they were human, they were flawed. Some of us remember only their flaws. We see them only for their erring. Others of us remember them as saints, as glossed up versions of who they were. They were neither saints nor villains. They were human.But human as they were, they gave this land,this continent, their everything. Contrary to how we are, they put this country first. Never concerned about knowing those they sacrificed for personally,they were content with having brothers and sisters through merely being African.
We ought to celebrate them. In spite of their imperfections, they were heroes. They still are….
Give yourself room to grow. Live. Make mistakes and learn from them. Do BOLD things for God! Make mistakes there too. Allow God to shape you, to GROW you. The worst thing you could do is remain the same. To stay stuck in who you were. To watch as life passes you by. To forget to dream. To forget to live childishly. To forget to BECOME!
I find her becoming,
this woman I’ve wanted,
who knows she’ll encompass,
who knows she’s sufficient,
knows where she’s going
and travels with passion.
Who remembers she’s precious,
but knows she’s not scarce–
who knows she is plenty,
plenty to share.
― Jayne Brown
I wrote this poem for a friend of mine who was going through disappointment. I have subsequently found that it has been a pillar of strength for me when I go through stuff I don’t understand or disappointments. I hope it will do for you what it has done for me…..
Silence. All that remains is the thundering sound of her heartbeat. Her thoughts are all puzzles. Juxta pieces that even she cannot unjumple. Mind racing. Blood rushing. Her heart hurting. The hurt piercing. Her scars so vivid. Her tears so vigorous. She feared it. Yes, she feared it. She felt it. She knew it. Deep down she saw it. The hurt, the pain, the heartbreak, the heartache.
They all tell her to forget it but she cannot even forge a smile.
She will not fake or lie. Her heart doesn’t even wana try. All she can do is cry. Yet they say fake a smile!!
But the sun will shine again. Her tears will dry one day. Her heart will smile again.
If you don’t stay bitter for too long, you will see his goodness even through the storm.
Its true when they say let his kingdom come.
Coz then all you gotta do is remain calm and his peace will come calm the storm.
When your tears are dry. When your heart has forgiven. When the wrinkles in your eyes have forgotten and your lips have agreed to work synonymously with them to squint your eyes and force a smile, then remember: he did not forsake you through your darkness.
He did not dim his light but showered you with kindness.
Yes, he filled your heart with gladness. So don’t ever forget his goodness.
This one is for Charity. Friend, one day he will give you clarity.
I give you pieces of me,without restraint. Unbarred.
All there is.
I give those unbattered, unbruised,unabused parts of my soul.
The parts that are reserved for unselfish,lavish, extravagant love.
I give you everything, even if it is but the little that remains untainted and untamed in me.
Will you delicately cup it in your hands.
Do that which I am too weak, too feeble and was never able to do.
Will you love it, for only you are strong enough to revive it.
Will you re-ignite my passions, my dreams, those things that now seem like surreal distant memories to me.
Will you teach me again how to love myself.
How to dream.
Teach me how to feel. How to heal.
Lord, can I dream with you?
Can we go back to that image in Eden where we co-laboured.
Where the sound of your voice excited my soul.
Where my passion was you. My only desire was you. My very breath of life was you.
Will you show me again how it felt to know perfection?
How walking with you was my sole ambition.
How it felt to know true love not this disfigured, deformed version earth only knows.
Show me again those marks and scars that prove your love.
Teach my lifeless soul how to love perfection.
He said: let us hold hands and dance under this moon. Let us romance, forget that we are mortal beings just these few moments. Listen to the whispers in the wind, tonight its our orchestra. Let’s laugh till the stars envy our lustrous smiles. He said let’s make history. Start our own rhythm and forget the blues. Yes we have woes, but can we forget that we are clothed in fitted suits called skin for this one night? Let’s make room for our bones, even just a window for them to breathe. Tonight, with the moon bracing us with its fullness, the sky is pulling all the stops in cheering on these glorious moments. Let’s pretend like these streets are our own, the mood is already set. With street lights as our dim lights, let us slow dance. Let’s imagine that tonight, God decorated the sky just for us. With this night as our witness, let us make something beautiful, he said.
Only, he didn’t. Since the scene was already set, the moon above us, the wind whispering as we locked hands, I left it to my imagination to say these words. I guess that’s what they call day dreaming.
I pretended that for this one night, he was my knight. That he was the prince charming I had been praying for, the awaited answer that I had been asking for. So I convinced myself that this night was meant to be.
Yet this magical one night and my playing make-believe certainly tampered with the strings of my heart.
I toyed with things not meant for children. Sunk my teeth too deep too quickly, I gave my heart to him too easily.
Stupid butterflies that I entertained, look now how my heart got battered.
Needless to say, I’ve certainly learnt.
That God left me in charge of this organ so fragile, its up to me to guard it.
Put a fence around its chambers and remember that anyone worth it will break every fence till he finds it.
Better yet, its safer when hidden in the one who formed it, so I choose to let Christ safeguard it.
Like the rest of me, it was he who formed it so I’m not doing God any favours by letting him guide me.
I’m merely returning what was his to start with.
To do with it as he pleases, whatever his will, I’m certain it will appease me.
Beauty that one should see in themselves is now left to the admiration of those who see nothing but a piece of ‘ass’ in her.
Yet if they stopped objectifying her to see her for who she really is, then they would have to look with eyes far greater than those appearing on their faces.
To a broken little girl, desperately crying for there to be one who sees that she needs love.
That she needs a hug.
That her chocolate dark skin masks secrets of internal scars.
That behind her big brown eyes lie all her cries,
Her scars are ripped open each time she hears someone holla @ her “yo baby”.
That those words take her back to the age of 4 or 5.
To an uncle who thought it “wise” to use and abuse her.
An aunt who accused her of asking for it with her cute ponytails and flirtatious eyes.
To a mother who vowed that she would amount to nothing.
To a father who left too soon.
Behind those big boobs lies a broken heart.
One which cracks open each time a guy looks @ her like some piece of meat.
Taking her back to 13.
To that first boyfriend who thought it “wise” to use her past that she so vulnerably shared with him, to abuse her.
To friends who told her that was the norm.
To a God she swore could not exist because if he did, he would never have dared let her be such a victim for so long.
Behind every swing of her hips lies insecurity
A girl unsure about the world, about HER world, about HIS word, about her dad…
The one who left too soon.
About the boy who followed suite..
Behind every guy’s “African dream” lies a broken little girl. Scared that all he sees is her chocolate skin, her big brown eyes, her big boobs, her wide hips…
that all he sees is his “African queen”. Nothing past his desire.
I EXIST, I AM, I AM HERE, I AM BECOMING, I make my own life and no one else makes it for me. I must face my own shortcomings, mistakes, transgressions. No one can suffer my non-being as I do, but tomorrow is another day, and I must decide to leave my bed and live again. And if I fail, I don’t have the comfort of blaming you or life or God. Leo Buscaglia