Kolour Bubbles

When I first wrote this I was a few days away from my 31st birthday sitting at home with a diagnosis of burn out dissecting pieces of my life experiences. It is interesting and perhaps something for me to think about that I delayed putting up this post. Even after having written this piece, it took me a good 2 months to pluck up the something (not sure if it is courage) to post it. It feels like I had to think about the political correctness of this post and the implications of putting it up. Hmmm. None the less, here it goes.

The last couple of months of 2016 have been a trying, testing, teaching and faith building period for me. There are so many encounters I have had over the last years of my life, so many experiences, mistakes, achievements and opportunities that have taught me about life and myself; some in magical ways but mostly random and analytical worthy ways.

So far the one that is on going at present and the one that sits at top of mind the most is the issue of the colour of my skin, your skin, our skin. So many different, big, little, significant and insignificant moments have happened in the last few months that have made me realise that race actually does play a role in life…whether you like it or not. I grew up in a racism “free” country, raised in a racism free home and so moving and working here has been a series of tough lessons I have had to learn. My encounters with people of my race and other races have challenged my view of myself and how I relate to the issue of race. Fact remains, I am Black and I need to embrace it. I say this in a non-racist way because I am not racist. I also say this with an empowered voice because experiences keep showing me that you need to empower yourself and embrace your skin colour. Whatever it is. Black. White. Yellow. Pink. Red. Whatever.

I have been shocked to learn that as WOMEN of colour, we have to run harder and faster than women of other races but also than men of our own colour. I have had to realise that actually, my Blackness may not be an issue to me, but it is to others. And this has been the most mind-blowing thing that I am still struggling to get my head around. I have moments where I question what that means for my Black children. Should we decide to raise them in this country, does that mean they will have to learn these hard lessons earlier than I had to? If we don’t raise them here, does that mean that they will lead sheltered lives like I did and live in a bubble of no colour? How do I even decide or know which is the best thing?

I have recently learned that being a professional is no longer about being good at what you do, but it is coloured by your race. I have been privy to many conversations where the issue of how clients decide on a professional is mostly influenced by race is argued. This had me thinking about how I pick my GP or Dentist, how I feel about the race of my child’s teacher, and how I decide whom to trust. This is a difficult one to think about because the truth is that we, myself included, consciously or unconsciously, make decisions based on that. Obviously this is something that has (I imagine) always been there, but I am only really starting to think about it now. I know of people who only use professionals of their own race, and others who believe that a particular race is better than another. If we take the semantics out of it and be blunt – some people (Black and White) believe that White professionals are better. This is a historical thing but it is also a real thing. It’s a real thing when Black people are selected into academic programmes purely to meet a quota. It is a real thing when you are a Black professional and you have moments when you question if you were hired for your skills or for your quota meeting skin colour. It is a real thing when as a Black student or professional, you are made to feel lucky to be in the position that you are in. It is a real thing that we need to change.

What bothers me the most is that this is a possible reality that my daughter will one day have to face. I really do pray that by the time she goes to university and becomes a professional in her field of choice, the playing ground will be fair and more welcoming of females, let alone women of colour. I do not want a future for my children where they are made to feel lucky to be in certain positions that they actually worked hard for and deserve to be in because of their skin colour. I do not want a future for my children where they are made to feel uncomfortable or less Black because they choose to have friends or romantic partners of another race. I do not want a future for my children where they cannot express their opinions or have difficult conversations about race. I want a future where a person is a person. As parents, it is our job to create that future for our children.

So embrace your gender and your race and colour. Just not at the expense of others.

Advertisements

Not Breaking, Standing Still & Knowing He is God

IMG_0441

There is nothing that could have prepared me for this year.

This year has brought me to my knees. This year has unearthed parts of me that I knew nothing of. I have had hard years before, but this year has been challenging in its own special kind of way. To begin with, its not even June. I have not reached the halfway mark but I feel like I have been stretched, tested and grown immensely in what should have been a 20 year period. The audacity of this year to bring me to my knees. The shame of not know who I really am. The gratitude of locating my faith.

This year has been incredible. It has been filled with tears, frustration, anger, hope, faith, disappointment, love, ambivalence, all and I mean all emotions you can think of.
One thing I know for sure, is that this too shall pass. As I stand in God’s grace, favour and mercy, I know that I will emerge stronger, wiser and more grounded in Christ. For as long as I know where my help comes from, I know that I will come out successful. For as long as I recognise who my provider is, I will not hunger nor thirst. For as long as I know who my redeemer is, I will not be defeated. For as long as I know who He is, I will remember that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. No weapons formed against me shall prosper, and I declare this with full confidence that He is Lord over my life.
The audacity of this year bringing me to my knees, the power of knowing that He is LORD. 

Silent Woman

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f7e/46110834/files/2014/12/img_0392.jpg

This is for every woman that knows the frustration of being misunderstood. For every woman that has been made to feel that their thoughts, opinions and emotions are not worthy of being voiced. For every woman that has been silenced. It doesn’t matter who silenced you, but learn how to use your silence to listen to your soul and mind. Allow your silence to put you in a position of quiet power.

Woman know thy place.
Know that thy place is a place of silence.
A place of frustrated submission.
Woman, know that you shall be seen and hardly ever heard.
Learn that woman means being present in a silent manner.
In a manner that imposes not your opinion, thoughts or feelings.
Understand that yours is a position of no freedom of speech,
no freedom of expression.
Woman, you need to comprehend that your voice results in offence,
in inexplicable hurts.
Woman, your voice is one that is deeply misunderstood.
Woman, know thy place.
Know that yours is a position of silence.
One where you silently agree to what you disagree with.
A position that renders you unable to allow the matters of your heart to be spoken.
Woman, understand that you cause offence.
Woman, accept that yours is a voice that is deeply misunderstood.
Woman, know thy place.

Psalm 3:- Faith In The Night

Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
(‭Psalm‬ ‭3‬:‭1-8‬ NIV)

Setting Myself on Fire

I don’t even know where or how to start this post. But it just hit me HARD that I could’ve stepped up to my dream years ago! Let me set the context. I’ve been sitting at home for the last three weeks recovering from a minor op, so I have had plenty of uninterrupted time to think. And this thinking might have to do with the fact that I am finally pursuing my dream. At the end of this year I am resigning from my job, I am finally going to do my Masters next year. After many years (at least 5) of talking about doing my Masters, I finally decided to stop talking and do. And after many sleepless nights of filling out forms and fervent prayers, I got offered a place in a program! I might add, this was in July.

But as the year comes to the end, and with my recovery time at home, I have had the opportunity to reflect. The last three years have been challenging at best and as a result, there was a lot of character testing and building. There is a song by Whitney Houston that talks about not knowing your own strength and wow, I can truly attest to that. I had no idea just how strong I am! So now with all this time and reflection, I asked myself, what am I doing with my life? What is my big plan? What happens when I graduate? How do I take my passion forward? What am I teaching my daughter?

And that is when I realized that a lot of the time the only thing that is really holding me back is lack of courage! It takes a lot of courage to tell a loved one how you really feel. It takes courage to recognize and acknowledge where you have done wrong. It takes courage to step out of the boundaries that you have (un)knowingly set for yourself. It takes courage to live your truth regardless of what others will think or say. It takes a lot of courage to stop what you are doing and chase your dreams!

There’s a saying that if your dreams do not scare you, they aren’t big enough. And I am now learning just how true that is! I am a ball of emotions! I am anxious, excited, worried, scared…name them all! I’m quitting my full time job to become a fully dependent (on my incredible husband) student for the next two years. I am changing careers and stepping into the currently unknown. I am finally doing what I have wanted to do despite my fears.

And this is how I know that to get to where you want to be, you need to not give into your fears. You need to trust yourself, you need to trust in God. You need to work hard enough to not have an excuse to not be successful. You need to keep your head up and know that there will be speed humps along the way. Steve Jobs was not born into Apple, he worked hard to make it what it is today. By the words of Maya Angelou, “I am a human being. Nothing human can be alien to me.” You can do and be whatever you want! You just need to be brave enough to set yourself on fire!

IMG_0082-0.JPG

Being Thankful

You hear this all the time, be grateful for what you have…count your blessings and not your worries…be thankful. It must be one of the easiest things to say but the most difficult to do. And I find that it’s the one thing that most of us, well, me anyway, forget to do! It’s so easy to spend so much time on your knees in prayer and when that prayer is finally answered, we forget to thank God. Sometimes it’s easier to thank Him silently, but why can’t we thank Him with the same fervour, intensity and passion that we prayed with?

I think it’s because life can really weigh us down so much that we forget to take a step back and really be thankful for what we have! It’s so easy to get caught in our own little depressive clouds of worry that we actually miss the small things that count. Next thing you know a whole year has gone by and you missed out on the way your husband looks at you with love, or the tone of laughter of your little child. Stop. Step out of your rut and be truly thankful! Be thankful that you have a loving husband, be thankful that you have a child and be thankful that you have that job (that you hate). At least you can pay your bills!

Like I said, this is a whole lot easier said than done. I know that for me I need to get back to a heart of worship. Today I will be thankful.

IMG_0366.PNG

Rouge Lips

At the beginning of this year, I discovered the art of wearing lipstick. I discovered that you can wear different colours without them wearing you! Experimenting with colour has been the most exciting and character stretching part of wearing colour on my lips! Learning how to strike that balance between YASSSSSS and uh, no girl! It has been incredibly fun and it has brought the fun out of me! So far, my favourite colour is the classic red. Red lips have a mature, feminine, classic, vintage, all things lady-like about it. You can’t go wrong with red lips! I found this on Pinterest and I thought I would share!

red lips

So here are the lipsticks that are recommended as best sellers

1. MAC Ruby Woo – this happens to be one of my personal favourites. I just need to figure out how to stop my lips from chapping while wearing it!

2. COVERGIRL Lipperfection Lip Colour Hot

3. Yves Saint Laurent Pure Colour Lipstick in Le Rouge

4. L’Oreal Paris Infallible Le Rouge in Red Fatale

5. MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Intense in 42 Satin Vermillion Red

6. MAC Lipstick in Russian Red

7. NARS Lipstick in Heatwave

8. Bite Beauty VIB Rouge Creme Lipstick

For more info on these must-try lipsticks, go to http://www.ebay.com/gds/The-Best-Red-Lipsticks-Tips-for-Choosing-the-Right-One-for-You-/10000000179145813/g.html?roken2=ti.pVGVyaSBDb3Nlbnpp

You can thank me later!

Fear of drowning

Getting clean

You know in that one moment that you feel like your world just stopped spinning AND THEN someone turned off the lights! That moment when you wonder if you have the energy let alone strength to get out of bed and deal with more of whatever your current situation is. That moment when you question all 29 years of your existence and many years of decisions. That moment that makes you wonder how and why you ended up in the situation that you are in. That moment when all silly clichés like ‘there’s light at the end of the tunnel’ makes you sick to your stomach because geez, this is one really long tunnel. That moment when you really just need to turn to God.

How easy is this? How do you know that the same prayer that you have been praying over and over for how ever long is really reaching God? How do you know if it is even the right prayer? The truth is that we don’t. We don’t know if we’re praying the right prayer or even praying for the right thing! We don’t know if our hearts are still in that prayer or if we’re just reciting from memory. At what point do your pleas become desperation? At what point do you finally stop and listen to God’s answer?

All of the above questions have no real answers. All I know is that no matter how dark it gets or no matter how much I think I am drowning, it is all in God’s hands. It is all about having faith, but most importantly spending time alone with God and listening for his response.

The hardest and most testing part of faith is allowing for the process to happen and trusting that God is not drowning you, but cleansing you.

Tonight, I surrender it all.

Blog Revived!

Since the inception of this blog a year and a half ago, ALOT has happened and seemingly, it has brought me back to my idea of starting a blog! I have no idea how I have come full circle, but I have accepted it and I vow to myself that I will make the effort into making this blogging thing work.

So now I need to start from scratch and figure out how this whole thing works. How do I get things to look like they should and place them in the correct pages? LOL, this should be fun.

This will my brain fart space, my uncensored place, my lack of creativity and attempts at creativity space.

Here we go!