Table for one, PLEASE

“Can I get a table outside, with a view?”
I just want to listen to my thoughts. I want to observe and introspect without looking in a glass mirror. I want to get away from the worldly noise. I want to watch the birds fly over the magnificent, vast ocean and see how simple life and its ecosystems transpire around me. I want to savour the quiet moments where I don’t have to think of the next project, who to connect with, what’s for supper or the next beauty appointment. I just want time alone, with me.
“I’ll have the three course meal and Earl Grey tea.”

table for 1
I wish to spoil myself, I deserve it. There are many things I can pat my back for, so I’m doing it over expensive cuisine. I shouldn’t wait for the next person to tell me to celebrate and live life. People are important but this moment of appreciation is just for me. I feel so calm, complete and happy.
Of course society won’t allow me to eat in peace. Her pathetic eyes are on me like a hawk and her pejorative murmurs louder than a construction site. What they see is someone with no love around or no family; a pretty picture that’s empty.
Ha! If only she knew! If she knew that my phone wouldn’t stop ringing with praise, if she knew how many invites I’ve had to reject, if she knew that I was tired of some fake smiles, if she knew how much chaos was all around, if only she knew. She would understand.
As my luck would have it, here comes a pompous Alpha, with his chest out and cologne clogging up my olfactory canal. In his head, he must be thinking that his presence will enhance my space rather than disrupt it. He tells me of my beauty, he asks if I’m expecting anyone. The shock, horror and sneaky sense of joy he gets when I tell him: “No.”
He invites himself to sit.
Didn’t he also come here alone? Doesn’t he want what I do? Does tranquillity mean anything to him? Does he know how much I have given up for this one moment?
I can’t have it ruined.
In a few hours, life and its constant whirlwind-like tendencies will take over. I have to decline because this beautiful occasion may not come again.
“I’m not lonely; I just want a table for one, please.”
Allow me.

Presidential Girl- Bonolo Cebe

This week’s contributor to the online sorority is Bonolo Cebe. She is no stranger to South African youth developers and social entrepreneurs. Bonolo,22, was the youngest Fellow in South Africa to be selected for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Fellowship Summit 2014. She’s an extraordinary African woman who sees beauty in everything. Her work, passion and cause is to empower the African girl child to dream beyond what her circumstances allow. She is an innovator, speak-lifer and creative soul that is operating under the assumption that everything is possible. I asked her a couple of  questions about her experiences in America, being in the White House and Women in Leadership.

africa dialogue

SS: What was your motivation behind entering the YALI Fellowship Summit?

BC: The Young African Leaders Initiative for me, presented a unique opportunity to develop and hone my leaderships skills as a young woman on the continent and also meet some of the most incredible young leaders who are working to write a new history for Africa through the tangible contributions they are making. Going into it my aim was to learn as much as possible from these powerful young people and collaborate in addressing some of the challenges that exist.

IMG_20140727_131754

SS: What  thoughts were going through your mind when you realized that you were selected for the programme?

BC: I was excited, but I knew that it was not by my might and that the glory belongs to God alone. More than anything, I was overcome by a deep gratitude because for the journey.

img1404266723618[1]

SS: What was the first picture you took in America? Show us!

BC:The first (good) picture I took was at the Fayetteville Market

DSC_0343[1]

SS: Besides gifts, what have you brought home with you?
Three key things: A renewed sense of purpose; Strategies for greater impact; A wider network and new friendships

img1404124993845[1]

SS: Any challenges faced on your stay?
BC: The ignorance of some Americans pertaining to issues outside of America. The ignorance is real and it became rather challenging to engage with some people.

img1409601819963

SS. How did you overcome those challenges?

BC: Sometimes, to overcome ignorance one needs to get informed. I found myself having to invite people to have conversations that stretched and challenged their perceptions towards Africa.

img1405547776101[1]

SS: Did you feel there was a strong presence of Women in Leadership in the White House, or just generally?

BC: There is a presence of women in the White House however the nature of politics is still patriarchal. Also there is still a low percentage of women running for office in America. Although there has been some progress, the top jobs in the white house are still occupied by men. One of the sessions we had during the course was on women in public office and one of the key challenges that came up is the fact that the remuneration gap is still quite big between male and females working in the same jobs.

1405687876927[1]

SS: What is the most important thing you’ll teach women of Africa, after your trip?
BC: Dear African woman: Tell your story, tell it well so that it may empower others. Leave a trail, we all got to where we are because someone showed us how they paved their own journey. Share, so that other generations may walk in greatness.

Believe.

1406638789520[1]

Thank you Bonzolezza Rice! Greater things are yet to come! Keep the light shining and the fire burning!

I’d rather have the right God than the wrong man

SINGLE AND NOT WAITING

Posted by  on Thursday, October 24, 2013 

 

Flickr photo by Acy Varlan

Flickr photo by Acy Varlan

I’m 23, I just graduated from university, and I’m single.

Many of my friends are married, and a few are starting to have children. And I feel as if I just graduated from high school again. You could say my life is in transition. And it’s true; I am in the middle of shifting myself from university to the career world. But I’ve started to wonder about whether it’s right to refer to my singleness as an in-between stage.

What exactly am I in-between again?

“It’s the first day of the rest of my life.” I recently I heard someone on TV say this about her wedding day, and it really bothered me. While I don’t want to discount the gift of marriage, I must say I’m a bit confused and frustrated with this sentiment. I’ve heard the cliché before, but I suddenly felt the weight of it. As if it equates marriage as the start of life, or at least the good part.

Don’t misunderstand my frustration; I think there is a beautiful element of starting a new family with your spouse. I’m all for godly marriage. But what I’m afraid of is viewing life through the lens of marriage as the goal. For waiting to get married before life starts.

I’m afraid, because I’m afraid it has happened to me. I’ve been living like I’m waiting for someone to get here. And it isn’t Jesus.

I’ve wasted my time, my energy, and my emotions on this concept that singleness is just a waiting room for a relationship. I’m tired of this view that my life begins when I wake up next to my husband, because I’m pretty sure my life began 23 years ago when my mom gave birth. And this mentality has robbed my joy.

As much as I’d like to place all the blame on Christian culture, the perpetual “Have you met anyone yet?” question the world asks me, and the reality that my Facebook feed looks more like a Pinterest wedding board these days, I am convicted of my own failures.

I’ve been living like God owes me something. Like he hasn’t held up his end of the deal. He has given me the desire for relationship and marriage, and he just hasn’t followed through.

I’ve been living under the impression that I deserve a relationship.

I’d be lying if I said Christian culture does much to inhibit this mentality. There seems to be a deep understanding and appreciation for the gift of marriage, but not so much for the gift of singleness (if it’s treated like a gift at all). Rather, singleness is something to be cured. Like I’ve got a disease, and introducing me to your single friend might perhaps cure us both. Singleness is the lump of coal, the gift that is never on your Christmas list.

There are at least a handful of us standing around, wondering what happened. (After all, I have been pretty nice this year.)

But it’s never been about being entitled, or even about being nice. I have to stop thinking that I’m doing something wrong here.

Well actually I am, but it isn’t about fixing something that will magically make a boyfriend appear. It is about changing the direction of my heart.

 “I’d rather have the right God than the wrong man.” –- Christen Rapske

People talk all the time about pursuing people or things for the wrong reasons, but maybe we pursue God for the wrong reasons. Maybe subconsciously I’ve been treating God like he’s a vending machine. And my pursuit of him has really been a pursuit of someone else.

When did Christ cease to be enough?

And when did I stop finding my identity, self-worth, and fulfillment in Him, only to place my life on hold for someone I’ve never even met?

Each day is a gift, and I’m not waiting for it to get here. It is present in every moment, and it begins anew daily.  Man-less or not, I want to wake up every morning and be excited because I get to spend my day with the God who created the universe.

And I want to do that for the rest of my life.

A figurative meaning to MONOCHROME

A figurative meaning to MONOCHROME

My life in black and white. This choice of words is an obvious pun.
This is the South Africa I dream of! Where black and white only matters in clothing and style 🙂

Weight doesn’t count. THIS does

Weight doesn't count. THIS does

This picture defies dietary requirements, BMI’s, regretful photos of “how I used to look,” and every other kind of guilt we feel about ourselves when looking in the mirror. This picture brings perspective just before we self-hate. This scale is the one we should religiously wake up and measure ourselves on every day. This is what counts in life. THIS is purpose. How do you measure?

The arduous conflict between OPPORTUNITIES and CAREER

Image

I’m at a crossroads.

As a young fledgling, with one foot still in varsity and the other in industry, there’s no doubt about the career path I have chosen.

I see myself growing in almost all disciplines that it has to offer as I can’t seem to select one that I particularly favour or one I would want to do for the rest of my life.

So I sit here and wait for the not so obvious things, like world peace and the world to change, and wonder what to do with my mundane yet full of potential life.

Coming from a family of professional students, there is still a yearning to study further and continue this predictive path of preluded success.

Success, such a loaded word.

I wonder if this word includes happiness, growth, and peace in it or is it truly JUST the money, acclaim, fame and loneliness that everyone so charmingly packages.

I want to make my family proud, earn a reasonably decent paycheck, and climb a corporate ladder that will hopefully cushion my fear of heights. I also want to cruise in a beautiful depreciating asset and salivate over ridiculously expensive shoes, buy garish and gaudy garments that make me look like I’ve made it.

I’m attracted to the idea of opulence.

I look at my vision board that scorns the aforementioned dreams and substitutes my qualifications with facilitating women, wanderlust, retail and music. This board seemingly resembles the lives of the Real Housewives. Well sort of.

I am waiting for a sign.

I might just be afforded an opportunity to disconcert the dawn of my career and mission into a vacuum; be sucked in by the vast world and its forgotten secrets and pleasures.

How exciting!

I don’t know if I would be fulfilled though. Should I take the risk of being a dissident and do the unthinkable? What if my career catches up with me and results in me finding my purpose? What if it never does?

A qualified nomad is not what my mother sweated for.

Doesn’t it all work out in the end?

Sigh.

I need a life compass.