Thee Great Perhaps (published 08.02.16)
I do not know how many of you have read Looking for Alaska. If you have, then you are aware of seeking a Great Perhaps. That is what I am doing; I go to seek a Great Perhaps. I completely understand Francois Rabelais. I read the book in December 2015 and rated it 3 stars. I thought it was simply okay. But for some reason, the story has stayed with me. I ruminate on it. I cannot stop thinking about the Great Perhaps. It moved from being a Great Perhaps to the Great Perhaps. Unfortunately, seekingthegreatperhaps was taken. It was either thee or tha, and I am too much of a grammar Nazi to go for the latter.
I write. Not nearly as well as I would like. Not at all nearly as well as I would like. But I have always written. In primary school I loved writing compositions, and I legit always got an A. Last year I told myself I would start a blog if I ever decided to stop writing for an audience of just 1. So here we are. This inaugural post is the short version of what inspired this blog.
For a while I felt like something was missing. I could not figure out what. I just knew I wanted more. But now I know. I was subconsciously seeking a Great Perhaps. And I hope that is what this blog will do for me – make like the yellow brick road and take me to the Great Perhaps. I think about it so much it feels like a place I can visit physically. So perhaps THEE Great Perhaps is accurate. I feel like I am finally on my journey. I think, and hope, that this blog will become an important part of my journey. We’re not in Kansas anymore. Hehe. But for real, I feel like I am finally on the path to the woman I am destined to be. And it is exciting.
Woman (published 08.03.16)
Woman (woo m-uh n) – the female human being, as distinguished from a girl or a man.
When I think of what it means to be a woman, I think of my mother. She was born on International Women’s Day and I firmly believe that is no coincidence as she embodies everything a woman should be. She simultaneously holds qualities deemed attractive in women in both her generation and mine. That is highly impressive, given the feminist movement that has raged over the last couple of decades, empowering women to be more than society previously allowed.
Everyone thinks their mother is the best, and fairly so. Mums are everything. My mum though, she is levels above everything. I have seen this more clearly than ever these past three and a half years, when her strength has been tested in ways I deem grossly unfair. If I were her, I would have given up a long time ago. I cannot imagine dealing with both stage 4 breast cancer AND paralysis. The hospital stays have been many. The tears even more I suppose, but I cannot be sure as I have only ever seen her cry because of the physical pain. Not once have I seen her cry because she, as she puts it, has lost her dignity. Just imagine it, all the things us able-bodied people take for granted; turning yourself at night as you sleep, going to the bathroom on your own, seeing your child off at the airport … just imagine if you no longer had the use of your legs. This is after losing her hair and her breast, symbols of womanhood. A lot of people would easily give up. I probably would myself. She has not. She says she keeps fighting for her children. I think it is more than that. The strength required to deal with her daily struggles can only be innate.
My mummy – strong, fun, funny, loving, fierce, kind, amazing cook and baker, great dancer, compassionate, spunky, excellent driver (she drove a manual car for 23 years till she lost the use of her legs) brave, absolutely beautiful, fiery, generous, loyal, entertaining, spirited, caring, forgiving and tough as hell.
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mummy and a Happy International Women’s Day to all women out there.
Curtain closed (published 30.04.16)
I bought a journal on New Year’s Eve 2013. I recorded my first entry that same day. I filled up the journal just this past week on Monday 25th. I know that is a long time to fill up a journal, yet it is also the first journal I have filled to the end. For some reason I never fill my journals to the end. But, this post is not about journals past. This is about my most recent journal. About the girl who wrote that first entry versus the woman who wrote the last entry.
2014 and 2015 were very trying years for me. I could not have known it when I wrote my first entry NYE 2013, but my life was going to change. My heart was going to be broken. I was going to be tested in ways I never thought possible. I was going to be asked to be stronger than I ever thought I could be. And then some. Till now I cannot say if it was worth it. I feel it was too much. That what was asked of me was too much. But it is indisputable that it made me who I am. I am now a conscious human being, fully self aware. I know my strengths and my weakness. Even more than that, I like who I am now. I have fully grown into myself and I love and appreciate the woman I am now. This was all chronicled in my journal as best as I could, because sometimes things were just too painful to put down. Things are looking up now though. 2016 is proving to be a beautiful year. It is my hope that the hardships I endured came to an end with the end of the journal.
Which is what this post is about. Endings. On Friday was my last day at a job I had for almost three years. It is such a bitter sweet feeling. I had the best boss in the world and I would not be where I am without her. But the time came for me to chart my own path and see where it will take me. This would not have been possible had I not blossomed into the woman I am now. I am terrified, but also very excited. Not all endings are sad, and I believe this is one of those beautiful endings. It is time to try something new, something different and see where it takes me.
Happy Mother’s Day (published 08.05.16)
So, a little backstory for anyone who reads this but does not watch Supernatural. Crossroads demons are entities that make formal agreements or bargains with humans, granting any wish in exchange for claiming their life and soul at a fixed point in the future. Deals made with humans are sealed with a kiss, and contracts are written invisibly on the skin of the person. When said person dies either before his/her time, or is killed by a hellhound at the end of the appointed period, his/her soul is sent to hell. Terms of the demonic contracts vary, but the person selling his/her soul is usually given ten years to live after the deal is made. After this the person goes to hell and is transformed into a demon.
Mother’s Day is here, yet what I would like to get my mother, unfortunately I cannot get in any shop. I wish I could enlist the help of a crossroad demon. I would not even think twice about it. I would gladly sign over my soul ten years from now if it meant my siblings and I got to have my mother healthy, alive and kicking, for another ten years. I wish I could give her her hair back. I wish I could give her her breast back. I wish I could give her her legs back. Man fuck cancer. But I cannot. So I make do with chocolates, flowers, Amarula and more of her favourite things. And it never feels like enough. Of course.
This is one of those posts I do not really know what I am saying, because I still do not fully understand things myself. I do not know how, or why, things went downhill so fast. But I do know I am lucky to have my mum alive in the first place.
So Happy Mother’s Day to my darling mother and to all mothers out there. Mothers are E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G!
New Year, new me. And all that bullshit. (published 01.01.17)
I am absolutely excited for 2017. 2016 was a wonderful year. I mean, I fucking won the EatOut Nairobi Restaurant Week trip to Dubai. I got a new job with a promotion to a more challenging role, within the first quarter of the year; which happened to be within the timeframe I set for myself. My mummy was hospitalised just once, and that was because she had to do some scheduled tests that would be “cheaper” inpatient. As in, 2016 was so great, I gained 10kgs. Lol, and, le sigh. As my now ex-boss once told me, you cannot have two bad years. And she was right, coz 2015 was the absolute fucking worst. It was so bad I even stopped smoking. Lol. For real though.
For that, I have to say thank you. To the universe for (finally) giving me a break. To my friends and family for holding me down. And to my new friends, the Scanad digital team, for reminding me just how fun life can be.
I am absolutely looking forward to this year. I look forward to wholeheartedly fulfilling Know Better. Do better. Be better. It’s the last one in my twenties. I’m going to make it goddamn count.
Cheers to you 2017.
Previously On Supernatural (published 12.09.17)
I can feel it. At my bedroom door. I can feel it watching me. I know what it wants. It wants to possess me.
It creeps towards me and I know it’s after 3am. That’s when the demons would come for Emily Rose; as a mockery of Christ dying at 3pm.
Help! Somebody help me!
I try to shout, but my screams stay lodged in my throat. I kick and I punch, yet I lay as still as a tomb. I’m pinned powerlessly to my bed as it now hovers over me. There’s a pressure on my chest and I can feel it trying to claw its way in. Panic so profound wells up inside me as this uninvited being steals my breath. I try to remember every prayer I learnt in Catholic school in a valiant attempt to keep it from possessing me.
Somebody please help me!
My eyes fly open. My heart is hammering madly in my chest. The prayers I desperately tried to recall die on my lips.
I’m okay, my brain finally registers. I take a few deep breaths, urging my pulse to slow down. My pillow is wet with tears, sheets drenched in sweat.
This terrifying phenomenon is known as sleep paralysis. I cannot elaborate on what does/does not cause sleep paralysis, as there is no single answer in all the literature I have come across. Scientifically, it can be dumbed down to a feeling of being conscious but unable to move, occurring when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. On the other hand, Christians believe there is a more supernatural explanation to it; they believe that it is indeed a demonic attack.
Sleep paralysis, though one of the most terrifying sleep disorders, cannot hurt you in and of itself. Eventually, you will wake up. And unfortunately, that is the only comfort I can give. Oh, and try to avoid sleeping on your back while you’re at it.
New Year, New Me. Really. (published 24.01.18)
My mum died December 13th 2017 at 1:10 am. I kicked off 2018 without the woman who had always been the most important person in my life. If that is not a new reality I really do not know what is.
Late last year I read an article referring to the loss of a mum as the mother of all losses. That description cannot be more apt. Her death has left this void inside me I doubt will ever be filled again. That switch, one minute your mum is alive the next she is dead, is staggering. Yet amidst all that heartbreak you have to plan for a funeral. Which, just as an FYI, is the hardest. I hear it is as hectic as planning a wedding, but with nowhere near that amount of time. You have very little time to go from accepting what has happened to “okay, designing and printing the church programs will be from x and will cost y”. But I was determined to give my mum the best possible send off, and we did.
It has been just over 42 days since the love of my life passed, and I still find it hard to believe she is gone. Gone. That word now carries a finality to it, a weight, it never had before. I will never see her again, hear her voice, her laugh, feel her love … she is gone.
Except in my dreams. Sometimes I dream that my mum is still alive. I hate waking up from that because for a few disorienting seconds I think that it is just a nightmare; that my mum did not really die. Until my mind catches up and I realise my nightmare is my reality. She is gone. Other times I dream that she is alive but I now know she does not have much time, meaning I get to say a proper goodbye. And when she dies yet again, I cry from my soul. That is the only way I can describe it. I wake up feeling the weight of those tears. The mother of all losses indeed.
I hate this new reality. But I cannot go back. After all, parents are not meant to bury their children. There are so many things I wish I could change though, so many things I wish I could go back and do differently. Maybe then my mum would be around for the big things like her children’s weddings, to knowing and loving her grandchildren. Or even the small things like seeing where my sister moved out to, to hearing all about my brother’s first flight as an employed pilot.
That is why I got my three little birds tattoo the same evening as my first half marathon. I had a feeling that very soon I would need to remind myself, even if it hurts – especially when it hurts – it was time to let her go. That no matter how badly I want to, I cannot change the past. And most importantly that, in some small ways, I was starting to be okay with the past.
Why can’t mums live forever though?