The Magic of “Getting It”

There is something magical about finding someone who “gets you”.

There are certain things about me that I have never shared.  Things that form an intrinsic part of who and what I am, but things so private that I have never been able to get myself to open up about it.  I have, in a sense, denied myself being who I was meant to be.  I have never allowed myself to explore this part of me.  It’s not that I am ashamed of it.  It’s just too …. personal a journey, to just share with anyone.

Looking back, I can in all honestly say that I have never actually felt secure enough or safe enough to share this with anyone.  I have never trusted anyone enough to fully open up.  That much I am sure of now.  In a sense I suppose, the gut-feeling that I had that I could not entrust someone with this, should have been a tell-tale sign to me that it wasn’t meant to be.

Us girls have all been there, guys too I suppose (they just hide it better).  I am talking about that moment when you are sitting in front of someone wanting to share something, something so big and important that it burns you up inside.  The moment arrives, you open your mouth to let the words wash over them and then you stop dead, quickly coming up with something stupid to say just to fill the air.  The moment is gone, something made you stop.  Is it fear of how the person might react?  Is it fear of being laughed at or ridiculed?  Is it uncertainty, not knowing whether they can be trusted to keep this, your most precious secret, safe in their heart?

I’ll say it again – a hundred times over and over again – There is something absolutely magical about finding someone who “gets you”.

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Nothing can compare to the moment when you finally step out of your comfort zone and allow those words to be spoken and they sit there and go “I get it, baby” and you can see in the way they look at you that they truly do get it.  It’s not an absent-minded, o this is boring the life out of me, “I get it”!  It is “I get it” with fire in their eyes and passion in their voice, a smile curling softly around the lips.  Time stops dead and everything but that moment ceases to exist.  Could it be?!  And then, they go on to say or DO something that corresponds exactly with what it is that you just said, and they say and do it with gusto and you can see that it matters to them and they keep doing it, proving over and over again that, yes, they truly do get it!

I sat there as a sea of emotion washed over me, drenching me in swell upon swell of feelings and thoughts.  I wanted to laugh, but couldn’t get the sound past the lump in my throat.  So, like an idiot, I sat their grinning from ear to ear with tears running down my cheeks.

It is in that moment that everything else fades and you know that you have found someone who will walk a thousand miles with you.

It is beautiful and magical and exhilarating and scary.  Yes, exploring where you want to go can be scary when you have denied it for so long, but going down that road is an easy one when you share it with someone who gets it.

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Que Sera Sera (take 2)

que sera sera

Hello from the sunny shores of Zanzibar.  Yip, I did it!  I packed up and left for an unknown land.  My days are filled with nothing more than cocktails on the beach and snorkeling the coral reefs, my evenings are filled with music and dancing by the fire while the stars hold watch over me and my mind, at last, have reached Shangri La.  I wish you could be here to experience the serenity of it all.

Just kidding!  It’s still just me and nothing much has changed.  Well, actually, a lot has changed, a lot has happened and, you guessed it, there has been a lot of thinking.

I have been sort of at a loss for words.  I’ve tried to write a hundred times in the past month but the words just wouldn’t come out right.  It just didn’t make sense.  So here I am, late at night unable to sleep, dreaming up dreams and writing again.  On that note, if you are still here you deserve a Noddy badge after everything I’ve made you read during the past couple of months.  I know it’s been pretty ugly, but it was raw and real and “me”.  This is my space after all, not true?  Well done for sticking around and thank you, by the way.

I’ve learned a lot in the last four weeks.  It has been interesting and fun and exhilarating and painful.  I’ve made some new friends, some much closer than others, but have lost some who were not prepared to stick around to see where my journey will lead.   There has been camping and training (not enough) and one kick-ass 80’s party and laughing and crying and kissing and talking (not to mention a Mexican party coming up this weekend).  More talking than thinking and more laughing than crying.

Thinking, now there is one of the things I am forcing myself to do less of.  I think you can all agree that I think way too much.  And when I say “way too much” I mean seriously OCD way too much.  I’ve come to realize that I start thinking about a little thing and then obsess about it to the point where it stretches the fabric of my sanity to a point of elasticity as yet unknown to all of science.  I really need to stop doing that!

At the start of the year I adopted the quote Que Sera Sera as my motto for the year and promptly through that overboard the moment the Universe took my statement that “I am ready for whatever comes my way” seriously and things went serious pear-shaped.  I am refocusing on that, telling myself every day Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be.

Note to reader:  I am not disputing the fact that I might just need to be reminded of this at some point in the future, so please feel free to do so when the time seems right.

I’ve come to learn that regardless of how much effort I put in or how hard I try or what I do or say or think, regardless of all of that, I do not control either my destiny nor that of others.  I cannot, in a million years, make things work out the way I want it to.  I cannot, in a million years, make things different from what it is going to be.  It is all a matter of Que Sera Sera.  All I can do is to embrace that every day, be the best me that I can possibly be and learn, learn, learn – never stop learning.  Don’t think, just do.  Nike it!  Life, just do it!

I’ve learned that the best medicine for a serious case of the blues is exercise and, just so you know, laying off the juice helps a great deal too.

I’ve had intimate and first-hand experience of the workings of a bruised male ego – not a pretty sight.  I’ve come to understand that hell truly has no fury like a woman scorned – an even less pretty sight.

I saw the following quote and realized that I was lying to myself when I said Adios Dulce Amor.  I could never do that.  I could never not believe in the power of something so sweet.  I could never stop myself from falling with all that I am into the roller coaster of emotion that goes with.  Perhaps that is why I could never become a professional poker player.  I put all my chips on the table with the hand that is dealt me.  Is that not what it means to live life to the full?  What is the use of doing life if you are not going to go all in?  If I am going to live my life afraid of what the consequences will be, questioning and debating everything that comes my way, I might as well stop now.  Yes, there is the risk of failing or getting hurt, but there is also the risk of dying every day I get out of bed and head out to work, not true?

dont fall in love

So, for now, I will embrace Que Sera Sera with every day that I greet and enjoy what comes my way instead of obsessing about the what if’s and why’s and why not’s.  If the past couple of months have taught me anything, it is that regardless of how much I obsess, I cannot change the outcome, so I might as well enjoy it.  Don’t get me wrong, I still harbor the hope of everything that I have always dreamt of, but (and this is probably the most important think that I have learned) I cannot make it be so, it will happen when it’s supposed to in a manner which I cannot determine.  The Universe still holds a surprise or two for every one of us.

All we can do is say “Que Sera Sera” and enjoy the ride.

Adiós dulce amor , nunca más

goodbye

Friends, they all have these amazing little titbits of advice they feel compelled to share. I wish they wouldn’t.  I wish everyone would just forget about my existence and stop asking me if I’m OK and telling me that it will be OK.

One friend said something yesterday which has caused me to once again stare down the rabbits’ hole and I can’t get out. “Just find the pattern and make sure you do it differently next time around.”  What people don’t seem to realise is that finding the pattern and trying to figure out what I need to do differently has been my sole focus for the longest time.  I’ve spent countless hours trying to figure it all out.  I am so tired of trying to figure it out.  I would give anything for the person who could give me the answer to that.

Another friend said “Just stop looking for love and it will find you, the right guy will come along.” I don’t know how to explain this to anyone.  It’s not like I’m 16 and I’m the only girl who don’t have a date for the school dance.  I’m almost 40 and awesome and I do everything right, yet I am unlovable.

When you have a burning desire to do something, you decide that you want to do it, you set a goal and you do it. Let’s take Kilimanjaro.  Let’s say you have this burning desire to conquer Kilimanjaro.  You make the decision to do it and find out everything about it.  You research it, you train for it, you plan it and you do it.

I have a burning desire to love. It eats me up for the inside, in consumes everything that I am.  It is my one goal.  Yet, regardless of how much I try to research it and study, regardless of how I try I fail time after time.  I can’t train for it.  I can’t make it work.  I can’t do anything with it.

I can’t keep putting myself through this. I can’t feel like this again.  I cannot survive it.

So I must accept the inevitable.  I must bid it farewell.

I must extinguish the fire and replace it with something else. Never again will I open my heart for love.  Never again will I allow myself to feel that way.  Never again will I allow anyone to get close enough to eventually hurt me.  Never again …

adiós dulce amor , nunca más

Like a cow to the slaughterhouse…

cow

Remember a couple of days ago I told you about being invited to a party? I bought a new outfit, painted my nails red and put on my most daring lipstick.  It was going to be a girl’s night out and we were going to have some fun.  Well, we did, and it was fun, but I remembered why I don’t do the pub scene and now find myself in two minds about the whole thing.  You see, I have never been the life of the party.  That’s just not me.  Turns out I may be the main attraction, but that’s where things get all fuzzy and the short-circuit of a million thoughts and ideas running through my mind gets a kick-start and I end up over thinking the whole situation … again (that is just so tiresome, right?).

For starters, I was the first to arrive. It’s easy to just sort of melt into the crowd if everyone is already there, but when you are the first to arrive, at a very busy very loud pub, packed to the brim with about 30 guys for every 1 girl there, turning on your heels and opting for an early night with popcorn and movies sounds like a mighty good idea.  But, knowing that I can’t let down my friend who invited me in the first place, I stuck it out.  O, what luck, an open chair right at the back in the corner – like it was waiting for me.  With my back safely against the wall I had the perfect vantage point to observe…

“You’re not from around here are you?” O fun, it only took 5 minutes for the first pick-up line to come my way.  I politely and discreetly make it known that, yes, I actually am from around here, but no, I don’t come here often because it’s just not my scene.

My friends arrive and we really have a good time, until suddenly I start to move, literally. Before I know what’s going on this random guy (that’s been eyeballing me all night) has his hands all over my chair pulling me closer to their table.  At this point I sincerely regretted losing all that weight.  His reason?  “It’s time for the little wallflower to be plucked from her perch in the corner because it’s very hard to get to know you while you are so very far away.”  And I’m thinking who said I want to get to know you?  At that point my friend indicates that she knows someone at the table and yes, sure, let’s sit with them.   Let me give you short version of how it all went down

He soon figured that I am very guarded and I need to learn to just let go. Spot on Mister

I reminded him of a mermaid, ever so elusive, but he can guarantee that he will show me depths of the ocean I never imagined possible. No ego problems there then?

We are, as per his psycho-astral analysis, completely incompatible and will drive each other insane within 3 months, which is why we should just consider this a one-night stand and be done with it. I mean really?!  Does that ever even work?  I made it clear that I am not the one-night stand kind of girl and would be better for him to just forget it and move swiftly along.  His response to that was a gleeful “OK, so let’s make it a weekend thing then!”  WTF!

At this point he decided that a more aggressive approach was needed and he should buy the drinks. “Cheers, but that ain’t gonna get you nowhere”, he didn’t seem fazed by that at all.

That’s when things became a bit… heated. He took it upon himself to tell me that he is an ass-guy and that mine is just perfect (blood reaching simmering point here, adrenalin coursing through my veins, all and any effect of alcohol vaporizing from my system). Despite him being an ass-guy he would love the opportunity to describe my breasts to me.  He puts his one hand on my waist while the other finds its way down to my booty.  Everything inside me exploded – and not in a good way.  This cosy scene ended with me staring him down, my fist centimetres from his nose, telling him in no uncertain terms that I am not that kind of girl and if he ever dares to lay his hands on me again he will regret it.  Surely that must be the end of it, right?  Guess again.  This tenacious bastard comes back, even more convinced that I just need to learn to let go.  He eventually gets the message and bids us goodnight and leaves the place.  Only to return, not once but THREE times, to see if I have changed my mind.  As if the loneliness and the sheer gravity of him departing would be enough to jolt me out of a lifetime of moral values and very high personal standards.

We had a couple more interesting events that went down, but all’s well that ends well and I managed to make it home alone, no phone numbers exchanged or calls to dodge, leaving the vultures behind as my gate securely closed behind my back.

Now, the conundrum that I am faced with:

So, do you

  1. go out and endure the torment of being meat on display at the market or
  2. go out and deliberately make yourself as unattractive a specimen as possible or
  3. just stay home

As a single, not completely unattractive female with a body that you work hard to keep in shape, you should have the right to get all dressed up, go out and just have fun.

Men, on the other hand, seem to then see you as a prime specimen on display at a cattle auction somewhere in sub-Sahara Africa where all the other cattle are either diseased or scrawny or just cheap, begging to be taken from that place. What gives a guy the idea that, just because you are there, he has the right to undress you with his eyes, throw cheap and corny pick-up lines your way and then grope you despite you telling him off? On what level do they perceive their cheap comments about your body and what you look like as compliments as opposed to making you feel … dirty (for lack of a better word)?  And it’s not like I could be giving mixed signals.  If you know me, you know that my face makes it very clear what I think and feel without me having to utter a single word.

I honestly don’t know if I am up for this…

Someone said to me “if you don’t want to end up recluse, you just have to endure the pain”

I think I’ll opt for being a recluse then…

Tourist at home…

tree

I played tourist in my home town today. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened.  In fact, it was only out of sheer boredom that I decided to leave the house today.  I have everything I need right here and everything I need is enough.  I have enough to read and enough to watch.  I just got bored.

It started when I walked out the door and saw the mountains for the first time. I’ve looked at them a thousand times since I moved here, but today I saw them for the first time.

“and in the naked light I saw, 10 000 people maybe more – people looking without seeing, people hearing without listening, people writing songs, that voices never share, ‘cause no one dares disturb the sound of Silence. Fool, said I, you do not know, silence like a cancer grows…”

That’s how I felt when I saw the mountains – like I am one of those people.

I followed my normal path to the beach, but this time I really saw it all – the colours, the dogs, the people. I discovered a butcher / deli with the most amazing produce.  I must have walked past it a hundred times before.  I carried the air of “I don’t belong here, I’m just passing through your town”

As the tide went out I found myself looking at the rock formations and longingly thinking ‘One day I want to go walk there with someone’.   Something inside me replied ‘why wait?’ so I went.  It was like entering the belly of the beast.  I was intruding in a place that, in just a couple of hours, will be transformed and hidden beneath the waves.

I went to my regular restaurant, but didn’t sit in my regular spot. I didn’t ask for my regular waiter and I didn’t order my regular cream cappuccino.  An old man walked past me and turned to pause at my table.  I smiled, he smiled.  A hundred stories etched along his face.  Big liquid pools of chocolate looked down at me and he said “Do you know how gorgeous you are?” and he walked away.

I walked along the harbour wall and just sat there, right at the edge of the wall, with nothing between me and ocean, admiring the view when a voice said “You’ve picked a good spot”. That’s where I met the German born Mauritian that now calls South Africa home, probably twice my age.  We sat and spoke for the better part of an hour about what life was like before technology swallowed society and we became strangers to everyone around us.

I went to the club, in broad daylight (GASP!) and had lunch time drinks with the girls.

I got invited to two parties – one a birthday and one a farewell – both for people I’ve never met.

I walked home and silliness got the better of me, waving at completely random people, giving them a huge smile as they drive past. The confusion on their faces were priceless (do I know you, should I know you, have a forgotten who you are, shit I better smile and wave right back) and they all smiled and waved back.

I walked past my favourite tree, the one I touch every time I walk past it. This time I stopped, took a photo and did something that would make Luke die of embarrassment.  I hugged my tree.  I love that tree, it is so old and wrinkly and big and strong – never-changing, always there.

Now, I’m back home, enjoying a Cape Town Easter tradition: hot cross buns and pickled fish. You can’t do Easter in Cape Town without discovering this.  And the best part, there’s no one around that I have to share it with.  It’s all mine!

It’s been a beautiful day…

It’s all about Me!

So, I’ve come to know that it is time for me to do something for me. Not just a once-off something, a continual me-thing.

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All my life I’ve done things for other people. I’ve put their wants and needs above my own.  So much so that, when (in my recent fragile state of mind) Sailor asked me what I wanted to do, I had no idea what it was that would make be happy / bring me pleasure.  I sat there KNOWING that I need to do something stupidly outrageous, something that would get me out of the funk I was in, but I had no idea what it was that I wanted.  My options varied between taking a backpack and heading into the mountains to going to Israel and work on a Kibbutz for a year and becoming a cocktail waitress at a holiday resort in Zanzibar.  I knew I needed to do something but I had no idea where to even start to figure out what it was that I wanted.  Doing something, for me, just because it’s what I wanted to do?  Get real!  It just feels so … wrong.

Let me just clarify something first. I’m not saying this in a “Poor Me Pitty Party” kind of way.  I love doing things for other people.  I live for it.  I find absolute bliss and satisfaction in seeing how much pleasure they get out of doing what they want.  I’ve just become so used to doing it that way, that I never stopped to consider what I wanted to do and what would make me happy.

{Note to self: Perhaps on some stupid irrational deep psychological level you don’t think you deserve to enjoy anything….  Just a thought for another day}

As I always do, I’ve made a list. Apart from the first one, which is a NOW thing (as in within the next week NOW), the rest have no specific order of importance – just a list of things that would give me pleasure.  (At this point I giggle with glee – and that is so not like me)

Some of them might sound stupid to you – the reader who has all their shit together. Some of them might sound overly ambitious.  I don’t care.  It’s my list.  It’s what I want.

I need to do something outrageous NOW.  It could be Shark Cage Diving or Paragliding or just getting dressed up for no reason whatsoever, go somewhere and have a big party – something different from what I do every day, something weird and outside the norm of what encompasses my life.  I’m working on a couple of ideas and I’m sure I will figure it out soon…

Make some friends (now for the readers who have their shit together, this one will be stupid, but bear with me).  I’m not talking about casual acquaintances.  I’m talking about real friends, people who have seen the best of you and the worst of you, people who you can call up at 3 in the morning when you are stuck in Put Sonder Water and you know you messed up but they will be there to bail you out (literally or figuratively).  You see, every time I go into a relationship I make friends.  Then, when it ends, I withdraw completely.  I stay away from the places we used to go to, I avoid the people I’ve met.  I just disappear from the scene altogether.  That’s wrong.  I need to make me some friends that are my friends.

Keep doing the things I love and start something new.  On the day Sailor and I broke up, I texted my Jiu Jitsu instructor to let him know I won’t be back.  (Part of the disappearing act above)  Well, I’m going back there.  I loved every second of it.  It was good for me.  I’m going back there.  And also, I’m taking up Latin dancing.  I’ve always said that in a previously life (if that sort of thing existed) I was of some Latin decent.  I’ve always wanted to learn the Tango and Samba and anything ballroom-like, but I’ve always said that I will wait until I can meet a partner willing to do it with me.  BS!!!  I’ve found Solo Latin Dancing classes just around the corner from my house and I start next week.  #Excited!!!

Go on holiday.  The one and only time in my adult life that I took a holiday was my honeymoon in January 1999.  That is 17 years ago!  I take leave every year, but I never go anywhere or do anything.  I live in the most beautiful country in the world and I never visit any of the amazing places that tourists pay thousands to see.  I will take myself on holiday.  Perhaps I will go to Spain or Israel or Peru.  Perhaps I will just go to Knysna.  Even if it is just a week in a place 2 hours from here, but it will be a holiday and it will be all about me.

Get a boob job.  My mom, my sister, my gran – every female in my family in fact – has boobs and they name them.  I mean, my mom has Deloris and Delilah (her set of DD-twin sisters).  They all have boobs.  Big boobs.  I got booty and brain.  I want me some boobs.  When I was pregnant with Luke I had the most amazing set of boobs and I just wanted to show them off (never did, but wanted to).  After he was born I went to a very normal, boring B-cup called Blertsie and Blapsie (there is unfortunately not a way to properly translate it to English to have the same effect, but think in the line of dab of toothpaste – never too much, just enough).  Now, thanks to weight loss (and age I suppose) I have regressed to a pitiful Aaah-shame.  I have no aspiration to get to where my mom’s at, that’s just way too much for me to handle, but a nice full B or small C will do.  I’m gonna get me some boobs.

Get another tattoo (and fix the one I’ve got – the one that was never supposed to be).  I know what it is, I have the picture.  It’s long overdue.  I’m going to get it done

I’m going to take up sailing.  Now this one sort of ties in with Do something outrageous, Start something new and Go on a Holiday.  But the plan is so outrageous and big and overly ambitious and just downright scary that I think it deserves a special place on my list.  This is a 3-part project with one major goal at the end.  I’ll tell you more as it progresses, but it’s going to be big.  I just figured that I’ve overcome this super irrational life-long fear I had of the water and I thoroughly enjoyed the sailing part.  So why not carry on with it?  Why not give it a special place in my life and make something big out of it?

That’s a list of 7 things – 7 things that would bring me joy, 7 things that are just about me and what I want.

It’s small, but it’s a start.

It’s my story, my life, my journey and I can’t wait for the next chapter.