A moment in brief

I know I haven’t posted for a while but right now I am trying to be a hard ass, sticking to an ultimatum I have issued and contemplating once again being a single mother. Not ideal. Not impossible. But not ideal.

Work carries on, kids keep growing, life keeps moving. I am standing still for now. Need this moment just for me.

Back soonest!

Minding my own business and then *ahah*

So much of who we are and what we do is left open to interpretation. Some choose to allow themselves to be stereotyped, and give in and conform and perpetuate said stereotypes. People rebel, so greatly, against some norm, that they themselves lose the individuality of living according to one’s own standards. Very rarely, does one come across a person who is just themselves. No need to conform. No standard to which they hold themselves. No constant need for approval. More and more, I wish I could *be* one of those people.

I have done the wild rebellion and lost myself in the fight against, uh, hold on, what was I fighting again? I have starved and made myself throw up, coloured my hair, cut my hair, grown my hair, worn make-up and certain clothes and tried, with every bit of me to “fit in”, it is exhausting! I have allowed, unwillingly to let myself be defined by the opinions of others. I have wanted, wait, needed, approval from many sources. It has taken me almost twenty six years to be able to let things with my mother lie, to stand up for myself, and to start taking the steps I need to take to become that person.

I know I have reached that “ahah” moment because the other night, while hashing our situation out with D and I found these words tumbling out of my mouth, words that must have been thoughts, but it happened so fast that it was only after having reflecting back on my outburst that the “ahah” struck me. I told him that my relationship with him does not define me, I am not just his fiancé, or the kids’mother, or my mother’s daughter, or my siblings’ sister, I am not just a friend or employee, no guy, I am me, which means and I am all of those things and so much more. I will not be pigeon-holed, I will not be defined, I need the space and the freedom to be me. Every aspect of my life requires some adjustment sure, but at the centre of that, I kinda like this me person. I mean like I am woman, hear me roar and all that.

In all fairness, there will always be standards to which I am held. I will need to do certain things to remain employed, I will need to compromise in relationships but I know for certain, that after having done it one too many times, I am no longer willing to compromise myself. I know what I want, I know what I need and frankly if any of it displeases you, feel free to stay out of my life. In order for me to get to where I want to be I need to surround myself with like-minded people, complacency is the enemy.

*cue Rocky music*

Onwards and upwards friends, life is too short to allow yourself to stagnate.

“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Hello Friday and Thank you!

Despite the company I work for putting both Blogger and WordPress on the blocked sites list, her I am posting because, well, I am smarter than them and found a way around their stupid rules, so yay me!

Last night D and I had a huge fight. Those who follow me on twitter and who were there to listen to me whine last night, THANK YOU!!! Much love here for free therapy and awesome people of the interwebs.
We haven’t been “ok” for almost a week now. There has been no physical contact of any sort, no happy to see each other. Just cold, distant silence and short snippy exchanges. For the record now, we have fought before, I have sulked for the maximum of about two days before we have great make-up sex and move on. This time has been different, for the first time I can imagine my life without him. I found myself making future plans around him not being there in my mind. This lead me to confront the issue head on. I shouted and pleaded and cried the ugly cry. He rolled his eyes and sighed and got defensive. We haven’t reached a resolution. *sigh*

It is not a question of whether or not we love each other, that goes without saying but at some point we have to face the fact that love does not pay the bills or feed the kids. I need certain things from him for our relationship to work. I need to feel like he is fighting as hard as I am for our life and honestly don’t feel that is too much to ask. As at last night he is willing to do whatever it takes, he says, to keep this family together. He says he loves me and refuses to lose me so he is willing to do anything to ensure I am happy and we get back to being “ok”

My brain hurts from everything that has lead to this point. I do believe if things get back on track the way I need them to, we will get married, we will grow old together. I do believe that for so many reasons we are meant to be together and that we have just faced so much together and gotten through it to go under over this. But like I said, my brain hurts, need to stop over thinking this for a moment

I must take a moment to say that I am very fond of my friends who live inside my computer/blackberry, there is something so intensely comforting about being liked for who you are rather than how you look or how much money you earn. I find people scoffing at the idea of making connections online, because to my mind some of these connections are the most real relationships in my life. All I am saying is, I love how you can “get” something without ever having met them. I think my internet connection has been my saving grace through the last while and without it would surely have killed someone by now. So to those who listen to me whine, make me smile, make me think and just accept me for all I am a very heart -felt thank you!
A long weekend lies ahead and I have every intention of getting some garden time in, spending some time building puzzles, playing cricket, playing peek-a-boo and just generally being mommy for a bit and hopefully working on my relationship and finding some ways to reconnect.

I wish each of you the strength to change the things you can, the patience to accept those you can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.

Regaining a little perspective

So yesterday I guess I kinda let the wheels fall off.  I vented (needed that!)  and made my feelings known.  If I am honest, it felt really, really good.  For once I just said (wrote) what I felt.  I did not consider how it would make other people feel, I chose not to feel guilty for the way I feel and I went with it.  Quite liberating for me and my door mat type personality really.

I cannot claim the storm has passed today.  I am still in a bit of a funk.  With everything that is going on I just find it increasingly difficult to cope with becoming emotionally invested in other people’s crap.  This is difficult when I have this deep seated desire to get people to like me.  I am a people pleaser of note.  I stay awake until two in the morning making a banner for my “team” for the contest at our company function, we went on to win the contest and our team got much praise, me, not so much.  I have spent many an hour making cake and cupcakes for so many birthdays because something home made is so much more thoughtful.  I buy gifts I cannot afford and give and give and give when honestly the little voice inside my head is screaming at me to ask for a little something in return.  It should then not be a surprise that I reached boiling point. 

I am not the most patient person, I am the first to admit it.  The fact that I love instant gratification is pretty obvious.  I have a short attention span and get bored fairly quickly.  I often joke and say the only thing I have committed to long term is breathing and that everything else could be gone tomorrow.  Amazing the truth in that huh?  I have however, been beyond patient with certain situations.  I have kept smiling through D not working, I have managed not to scream at my sister for being a spiteful brat, I have remained diplomatic and professional at work and I have managed, not without effort, to maintain some kind of normality through my mind fizzling out.  I can attest at this point, that patience is in fact for the birds.  I tried it, it blew up in my face, I will now continue to be distracted when something bigger, better, louder or shinier comes along.

Now before anyone reads too much into that, I am not about to boot D out and go on a one woman tequila drinking, man using bender (though the thought did occur, if even for a split second)  For the truth is, despite my implication that I do not do commitment, the opposite is true.  I am committed (or have a need to be committed, ha ha) and I choose each day to love D, to remember why I ever decided I want to marry him and what our goal is.  Far too often I see people give up without ever really trying, I am not that person.  I get on a logical level that there will be times when I would rather kick him in the balls than hold his hand.  No one ever claimed it would be easy but no one ever told me it would be this hard either.  I know we have a future, I know this is a bump in the road.  If I am to be fair, I am a moody bitch and not easy to live with on a good day.  The fact that he still loves me despite the fact that I have been a raging lunatic on top of his feeling inadequate about being unemployed, that counts, well to me it does.

People often remark about how well we work together.  He is just the right height that I can wear heels and not tower over him.  There’s a line from a song, “A blue-eyed boy meets a brown-eyed girl, oh oooh, the sweetest thing.” That line makes me think of us.  He gets me in ways no one ever has and he has this look that is saved just for me.  The tiny kisses on the top of my head when he hugs me and the way his face changes when he smiles at me, those things make me realize that what we have is special and worth working for.

Yesterday I was angry, frustrated and in serious need of my good vent.  I am believing, because it makes me feel better, that everyone has those days.  In my mind everyone hides in the bathroom for a little peace and quiet every now and then.  I am certain that there is not a single person on this planet who has it all and I am surely not the only one ugly crying to myself in the shower when it all gets too much

A clichéd saying tells that life is a journey and not a destination, and frankly no journey is without its very own set of challenges.  It is how we weather the challenges that affects the outcome.  I have faced things in my life that when I look back I wonder how I ever survived.  I have fallen, and fallen hard, but each time I have gotten up, dusted myself off and continued on my way.  At times I thought about giving up, and have felt that at certain points I did.  Fact is, I’m still here and I’m still trying.  The fat lady has yet to sing where my life is concerned.

I am armed now with a plan, an idea and a little voice inside my head telling me the only one who can change how I feel is me.  I cannot control what happens around me, I can however change how I choose to react.  I know my negative feelings will not disappear over night, I know this cannot be fixed with a cup of tea and some chocolate.  I need to remember what my plan is for me and take the time to work through my own stuff and get back on track.

My most sincere wish is that in a few months time I will look back on this and smile quietly to myself at the lesson I learned.

10 Seconds from a nervous breakdown…

So as I sit at my desk, at five minutes to eight on a Tuesday morning, where I have been for the last hour and a half, I am on the brink of tears. My insides hurt from the repressed feelings and my mind cannot keep up with everything that is whirling through it at the speed of light. I feel like my dam walls are about to come crashing down, and for once I don’t want to stop it, I need to let it all out.

I want to cry.  I want to scream.  I want to tell everyone around me why they make me feel this way.

I want D to get a fucking job.  I want him to stop relying on me not only to work but also to check the kids homework when I get home and make dinner and do all the cleaning on the weekend.  I want him to stop always being so fucking tired, what the hell is he tired from anyway?  I want him to make me feel like more than his bank account and slave.  I want to matter as much as he does in this.  I want to love him like I used to.  I want our sex life to go back to how it was.  I want us to be fixed.

I want to have maybe a hundred rand of my salary to spend on myself.  My whole salary goes to paying debt, which I have accrued over the last year by the way to constantly get us out of shit.  I am trying to make the make-up business work but for some reason its just not taking off like I had hoped.  I am contemplating a second job even in some dodgy evening call centre just to have enough money to live as opposed to just surviving.

I want my sister to stop making everything about her.  I gave up gym for us to travel together to save money.  I get to work before half past six every morning and don’t leave till five so she can work her preferred hours.  By the time I get home after six in the evening, get dinner on the table, check homework, spend time with the kids etc its too late to go to gym, the gym closes at nine.  Why is no one else making any sacrifices here?  Why am I living in misery to keep everyone else happy?!!!!

I want my manager to grow a pair and lead this team.  She needs to want to be here if she expects us to be.  She needs to take this lazy bitch who is dragging our team down on, and make her understand she is not above “the law” and that she in fact needs to contribute to earn her rather inflated salary.  I am done picking up all the slack for people who get by on doing the bare minimum.

I am done with people saying one thing and doing another.  I must always phone, sms, call or visit.  I also have a home that as things stand I spend a lot of money on and very little time enjoying, why not make the effort to see me for a change? 

I have given and given and given over the last year or so.  I give without hesitation and I give with my whole heart.  God knows if I can help I always will.  Right now though I have had enough.  I am tired of being blamed by my family and pulled in different directions all the time.  I am tired of everyone always wanting something from me ALL THE TIME.

If I had my car, don’t cos the sister uses it to get to work, I would get into my car and just drive, until either the road or my tears end.

I just can’t carry on this way anymore.  My understanding and sense of humour have left the building

Faith, or rather, the lack thereof

Faith. An interesting concept. An ideal. A driving force. What helps some people through things and what makes us human. It is intangible but as real to most as the ground beneath our feet. Our faith varies, we believe different things, we hold different things dear. My faith has been shaken so many times and right now it has been shaken to the core.

So for those who don’t know, I have known D for 19 years this year.  His brother and I are the same age and were in the same schools from grade one to matric.  We grew up around each other though our social circles were not always the same.  We knew each other but were not close in school.  D’s brother, B, and his wife S, started seeing each other when we were all in standard eight.  That is ten years ago.  They got engaged some three years ago and were married on 11 December last year.  We all believed they would be together forever.  He announced on Monday last week, he is ending their marriage.  We were shocked.

As it turns out, the very reason we didn’t always like her, like her tendency to use him and treat him poorly and her constant need to dictate to him the terms of his existence, were the reasons he feels he can no longer continue with the relationship.  He accepts they should never have gotten married.  He believed that marriage would change things, a bit naïve maybe, but he has been with her since he was 15, he needed to believe the best.

He has been spending a lot of time with us since, and has totally opened up to us.  He needs to leave for so many reasons, he needs to find himself and make peace with everything that has happened.  He needs to find happiness and love.  All we can do right now is be there for him.  Prepare for the backlash, and be ready to stand behind him and fight when this turns ugly.

The end of a relationship is never easy to be a part of but I truly believe after having spoken to him last night that he needs this.  I only hope his wife will accept his decision and not make it unbearable for him.  Truly.  He has given her his all for ten years and gotten very little in return.  A clean, drama free divorce is hardly too much to ask if you ask me.

So how then does all of this affect my faith you ask?

I have always been very secure in the fact that D and his brother are their father’s sons.  They are loyal, to a fault at times it seems and committed and truly take care of their own.  I felt secure in knowing that D would never walk out on me or cheat because that is just not how he is wired.  We have a life together and a family and he would never put us through the drama unless it was really unfixable.  Then his brother walks out on his wife and I am left thinking well if B could do it, so could D.  *Panic*  I suddenly became this insecure clingy person who needs D’s constant reassurance and that is not who I am.  I know it will pass, the feeling anyway, but accepting how fragile your relationship is, is a scary realization.

D is once again not working.  Not his fault at all, turns out the job he started was one of those fly by night operations and basically he could never do enough work to actually be paid what they said he would be earning.  This puts me right back at square one with regard to the pressure I am currently under, financial and otherwise.  I need to fill my make-up classes and fast!  I am working as hard as I possibly can and just wish those people who always gained from my generosity would now swing a little my way.  I am not asking for charity here, I am providing a service, just needs bums in chairs.

The kids have all been sick in varying degrees over the last week and a bit.  This has been heartbreaking and exhausting to say the least.  I cry a little inside when Squish calls daddy when he is sick/sore L  But I have to face that daddy is there all day with him and for now he sees very little of me and does not associate me with comfort.  It just feels like I am making sacrifices for my family and in so doing am being made redundant in my role as mother.  My kingdom for enough part time income to leave the rat race, really!

I love my job, I love the company I work for, I tolerate the people I work with and could see myself doing well.  I just feel rotten for missing so much of what happens with my kids,  I hate that work will always be here and their childhoods will soon be over.  I am just not feeling the working mommy love right now.

If anyone is interested in a make-up basic school class, I am putting one together at a cost of R300.00 per person which will include tutorial information regarding undertones, colour suggestions, basic principals etc and a practical “play” session.  Please email me on lynstep@gmail.com for details and to book a seat.  This is set to be a lot of fun and a great learning experience!

Six years and brain farts

Things are constantly beginning, ending and just going with the flow. No matter how much you are hurting other people laugh. No matter how happy or excited you are other people scowl and judge and are mean. So many times I have heard that the world does not revolve around me and how true that actually is.

Today marks six years since D’s dad shot himself in his bedroom at lunch time on Friday afternoon.  It has been six years since D walked into that room and found his hero, still with a pulse, still warm to the touch, mere moments from death.  This day six years ago changed D, shook his world, hurt him more than anything else ever has and I believe more than anything ever will.  Six years ago he lost his father, he lost his hero and he lost his best friend.  My heart aches for the man I love today.  I wish I could take all his pain away and steal the image of his dad’s body from his mind.  I can’t.  Instead, rather uncharacteristically, I will be sympathetic and nice, all day, even when he irritates me.

Also, in an aside.  Norman, though we never met, thank you.  Thank you for being the man you were and for being the father you were.  If not for your character and your beliefs I would not have the most incredible man who is your son to love.  So although you are not here now, your sons both would make you so proud, they are great men.  D is a great father and B will be too.  Thank you!

The move is happening in two days, I have yet to actually do anything to facilitate this actually happening, shocking I know but I am having a grand old time playing ostrich right now.  I have every intention of going home this evening, pouring a BIG glass of wine and getting to the packing but I am also very tired, so only time will tell if this will in fact happen.  I am very excited to move now, just want it to be over with so I can veg  on my new poofy couches and drink wine in my pyjamas like a grown up J

I am currently doing a lot to get my make-up business going, my website will go live within the next few days, I REALLY wanna have some bloggers come through for an awesome morning of make-up tea and gossip, my treat, so we can take some pics for my website and hopefully create a bit of buzz around the whole concept and business.  I love doing make-up and think every woman should have a few awesome make up tricks in her bag.  I have such great stories and knowledge to share.  Also, my freelance work is gonna help feed my kids…LOL.

Today has been tedious to say the least, I seem to have lost my motivation to be at work and am finding being nice all the time draining.  I am sure this will pass and get better, and next week I will go back to gym which I know for certain will help.  It’s just getting there that is the problem.

I see now to have run out of things to say, will be back when I can manage more than a brain fart

Everything happens for a reason

When I was about 12 I began to form an idea of who I wanted to be when I grew up. I can’t say there was ever any urge to do anything heroic, I had no illusions of going into healthcare, no hopes of playing cops and robbers and certainly no inclination to run into burning buildings to rescue kitties. My passion was then, as it is now, words. I wanted to use words and my passion for languages as the basis for my future.

I didn’t just want to write, I wanted to be a journalist. Not a Cosmo feature writer mind you, I wanted to be a hardcore news journo focusing on politics and economics. I imagined being the person hiding behind the sandbags in some war torn country, writing in my notebook as the dust from an explosion fell and dirtied my page. I wanted to live the making of history, I wanted to be the person who gave those stories to the people. Honestly, this is the only thing I ever really wanted to be.

Then in the year 2000, sounds a bit naf but bear with me here, I had just turned 15, and believe me, I was every bit as stubborn, rebellious and plain nightmarish as any 15 year old girl. I had my own opinions, I knew better, I did what I wanted without fear for repercussion and for the most part acted 15. My mother and I were always at odds, nothing much has changed there, haha. We fought, she screamed and yelled and threatened while I ignored her. It would always end up with her phoning my day, the conversation was always the same, “Michael, you need to sort your daughter out…” He never took sides, but he always stood up for me, while begging me to please give my mother a break. He was the only buffer in that less than ideal relationship.

On the morning of Sunday 20 August 2000, I woke up feeling uneasy. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was in fact very wrong. At around lunch time a police car pulled up on our driveway, they asked for my mom, she wasn’t there. When she got home we told her they had been and were looking for her so she went to the police station. In the hour or so she was gone, I knew, I don’t know how but I knew, something had happened to my dad. When she got home, with tears in her eyes, she said, “Guys I don’t know how to tell you this, but your dad, he’s, he’s gone.” I can remember feeling like someone had just kicked my foundation out from under me. I was winded, shocked, scared and completely overwhelmed. My mother walked toward me and put her arms out, all I remember telling her is not to touch me and that I was going to my best friend’s house. With that I turned and walked out the door. In hindsight, I definitely could have handled that better, but hey I was going through the worst moment of my life, right then, my feelings were the only ones that mattered to me.

My dad dying was the match that lit the fire. I stopped caring about studying and being a journo. My marks went downhill. My mother was home less and less, every weekend my brother sister and I had a house party. I drank, I did drugs, I had sex. It was easier to be reckless and hung over than it was for me to accept that my every belief had been destroyed.

The one person who had always been there for me was gone. I no longer had unconditional love in my life. Instead of hurting, I stopped caring. I let sex and booze replace love and honestly thought I was having the time of my life.

In October 2001 I was 16 and I peed on a stick for the first time in my life, there were two lines and I was devastated. I cried for what felt like an eternity before switching to pretending it wasn’t happening. In my mind if I didn’t think about it, it wasn’t there. Pretty darn stupid for a smart girl huh? There was no denying my ever expanding waist, or the flutters of feeling the baby move. I was scared to death, but knew for certain I loved this baby and had to find a way to make things work. I told my mom I was pregnant when I was a good six months along. She promised it would be ok, that we would make it work. That moment, knowing I was going to keep my baby, that moment saved my life.

Suddenly I had a reason to try again. I had another life to consider. I had purpose. I was having a baby. When my Monster arrived on a freezing cold morning in May, all perfect blonde hair and big blue eyes, for the very first time I knew what unconditional love meant, and it emanated from my very core. I knew my life would never be the same, and as I kissed the top of his tiny, soft head, it was with gratitude that the tears flowed from my eyes.

Now I get this is how every mom feels about having their baby, well most anyway, but you need to understand, when I had a life plan, it never included babies. I never wanted kids. I wanted to travel and to write. To be the cool aunt my nieces and nephews saw every couple of months. The one who took them clubbing and bought them beer. I never saw myself as mother material.

Anyhoo. Monster happened along in May of the year I was in standard nine, I went back in July and finished the year off rather well all considered. I was still with Monster’s father, he was abusive, drunk and high most of the time. So yes I was 17, had been kicked out of my mother’s house, about to start Matric and had a baby and an abusive boyfriend. We lived on his mother’s plot with her though I do think for the sake of the story, a good old trailer park setting would likely work better.

My Matric year was a challenge in every way, I tried to do homework and art projects while pushing the baby’s pram with my foot. I got up every hour with him at night cos he was quite a sick baby and his father was usually passed out drunk anyway.

I pushed through school and my less than ideal home life and managed to pass Matric with distinctions in English, Afrikaans and History, I broke up with the loser boyfriend and for the first time felt like I could breathe a bit.

Between then and now there are almost eight years. There are two more babies. There are many more victories, many more heart breaks. There is a man I am going to marry and there is the family we have become. I never lost my passion for words, I like to believe I have just postponed using them to make my living.

 I work because I need to, because there are bills to pay. I am a mom because I choose to be. I choose to love my children through temper tantrums and learning problems. I love them enough to love them when they say they hate me. They are my reason for trying, my reason for doing and my reason for never giving up.

I had a plan, I knew what I wanted to be. Destiny had other ideas. Life is indeed what happens while you are busy making plans. Would I ever take it back? Would I change anything? If I had the chance to do it over, would I do it differently?

I tell you now, I would not, for all the rice in China, change one single thing. When Monster with his long gangly legs still snuggles on my lap, or the Princess giggles or the little Squish gives me a rare kiss and cuddle, those moments, the watching them sleep, feeling my heart glow with pride when I look at them, without a doubt, that, beats the adrenaline rush of reporting on war, it trumps expensive cars and designer clothes. I work hard for the right reasons, and those reasons are my children.

So despite being everything I never wanted to be, there is not a single thing I would ever change.