By now, I hope that you have taken a long hard look in the mirror. Asked yourself some tough questions and hopefully, been brutally honest with the answers. With a little luck and a bit of effort, you are well on your way to becoming more comfortable in your own skin, the real you. I also hope you have started to prioritize yourself and that you understand the importance of being selfish and allocating quality time and self-care to the most important person in your world – You. This entire process has likely stirred up a plethora of emotions in addition to the existing ones that you had from day to day. Any experience in life is made up of two main parts; the event or occurrence and secondly, the emotion it elicits. Our emotions largely fall into two broad categories; Emotions that we feel about ourselves and emotions we feel about other people. We are constantly churning out emotions literally every second of the day. Every single thing that comes into contact with any of our senses elicits a reaction from us which is described as a feeling or an emotion. What this also means is that our emotions
One of the greatest challenges that we all have is Time. Our Time. Demands on our time. Trying to figure out how to make our time fit all the things we feel driven to do. Like any other mortal I have always struggled with time. I had an even greater challenge. For most of my life, I had this habit of putting other people before myself. It had a lot to do with lack of self-worth and an inferiority complex that I had battled since childhood. As my self-awakening journey continued, one of the things that greatly held me back was my resistance to allocate time to myself. I needed time to introspect, spend time alone with my thoughts and get to the true depths of my inner self that was yearning to be discovered. However, my precious time was all tied up with things that I believed mattered. External things and people that gave me the validation I so desperately craved. Validation I believed I needed. Not to mention, I had been conditioned to believe (like most of us) that taking time for yourself is selfish. That being focused on self, prioritizing your care is vain and frowned upon.
When is the last time you looked at yourself in a mirror? Like really gazed into your eyes till you got lost in yourself? Never? Well you aren’t alone. I had never really looked at myself in a mirror my entire life. Don’t get me wrong – I have plenty of mirrors that I use for guarding against wardrobe malfunctions, applying minimal makeup and generally making sure that I don’t leave the house looking like a scarecrow. But I had never really looked at myself. Ogling at my body made me very self-conscious to be honest. When I began to feel the pangs of self-awakening, I instinctively knew that I had to start with a long hard look at myself. Not just a physical look, but a deeper searching of my inner self. I began my introspection out of pure necessity about four years ago, following an uncontrolled rage incident that made me realize that I was out of control. I had been spinning for so long that I no longer knew what was real and what wasn’t. I had no idea who I was, what I was doing or why I was so angry at the entire world. I
When I first started the “Life begins at 40” series back in March, I was honestly still grappling with the shifts that my life had undergone in the past couple of years. In this year alone, there have been such huge fundamental shifts in my persona that at some point I just had to take a break from everything to try and comprehend the transformation. I had never understood why people often said that life began at 40. Now I believe that I have the experience to venture an educated guess. My theory is that most people don’t really try to find their true selves till their late 30s or early 40s. Why? Well, following your tumultuous teens is the adventurous 20s where you are basically trying to find your way in the world – hustling for employment/business, trying to eke out a living. In the late 20s, some people start to settle down and get married, have kids and start to put down roots. Then you usher in your 30s, full of optimism that you have life figured out. This decade, in my opinion, is nothing short of treacherous as far as life is concerned. This is where the
Today I turn a year older. It might as well be ten years older though, based on the events of the last fourteen months. Two heartbreaking deaths, entry and subsequent exit from a business venture, additions to an already complex blended family, not to mention the daily routine of being a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend – all this while trying to maintain some notion of sanity. Everyone I tell my story stares at me dumbfounded, wondering how I have managed to get through the past year without being admitted into a mental facility. And yes, not only have I managed to keep my head above water, I have somehow found tranquility in the midst of all the storms that continue to rage around me. A hungry stomach, an empty wallet and a broken heart teach you the most valuable lessons in life. I am not sure who came up with this quote, but it’s a concise summary of my life’s experiences in the past decade. I have endured each of these situations in various degrees of intensity, riding wave after wave of adversity, and somehow getting back on my feet each time I got knocked down. For
Exactly one month and one day ago, I saw my dad alive for the final time. I didn’t know then that it would be the final time. That he would take his last breath two days later. He was in good spirits as usual, despite looking frail and being very groggy. The next time I saw him, he was lying peacefully with a beautiful smile on his face, eyes closed in eternal bliss. In life I learnt a lot from him. The man was larger than life after all. I was shocked to find that I am learning even more from him in death. The outpouring of love, support and heart wrenching tributes shared from all the people whose lives he touched have been nothing short of amazing. As a family, we have come to learn of things he was doing for others, of which we had absolutely no clue. I wasn’t particularly close to my dad, no one really was. He wasn’t exactly the touchy feely type of dad, didn’t openly express his feelings – you know, typical African dad. I only told him I loved him once in my entire life – the day he was admitted in