Getting engaged, getting out of town and getting real about life

During the past two months (November/December), there has been SO MANY exciting, fun, totally Instagram worthy things that I’ve had to share. Yet instead of doing so, I went totally AWOL in terms of blogging and writing. I’ve taken some time to recap, and address why sometimes it’s bloody hard to talk about life.

In November, I GOT ENGAGED. Capital shouty letters because it was pretty exciting and now I get to call my boyfriend my “fiance” and that makes me giggle a little.

Also I have the most beautiful ring!

In December, pretty much everything in my life changed (for the better). I finished studying (well almost, I am still finishing up my thesis), I (finally) got my driving licence and moved to a new city full of beauty and opportunities and all round wonderfulness.

You’d think with everything happening, there would be so much to write about. But after two intense months of packing/planning/saving money/travelling/unpacking/exploring, I’ve finally had some time to reflect.

I recently penned a thing on Facebook, quite possibly the most personal thing I’ve ever written. So much of our lives goes up online, mostly edited and curated to show only the very best. And while I’ve had many opportunities to show off all the good happening, I realised that I couldn’t because in reality I spent the last two months feeling too exhausted, too stressed and too anxious to even begin to talk about it. Perhaps this is why I’ve also struggled to write consistently, because there’s this pressure to only talk about the good. So for once in my life, I spoke about the bad. Here goes:

“I want to say it’s been a good year because I got engaged to James, started a new life and in many ways challenged myself beyond what I imagined I could. But honestly 2016 has been fucking difficult. I had to do multiple jobs while also writing my Masters thesis (don’t ask me how that’s going). I had to deal with the feeble hope, the fear and the disappointment that comes with having issues with a parent. I had to lecture to a hall of students, despite my anxiety. I had to deal with the horrible soul crushing realisation that I had no passion for where I was or what I was doing, or that at 23 I already felt old and tired. I had to use up all my money to move to a new city with no real plan, no family here and no job (because I couldn’t bring myself to go back to a place I associate with toxic family issues). I had to drive the 870km here, despite getting my licence just the week before. And I had to spend the festive season alone (which no amount of wine can fix).
I don’t think 2017 is going to be any easier. I’m so broke I’m not entirely sure how I will remain here. I have no clue when I’m going to see James again because we’re from different countries. And I have to somehow find my place while being alone in a city that feels so foreign to me. But despite all these uncertainties and difficulties, I am here and I have survived so far. I’m writing this publicly to remind myself of that because sometimes the thought of what you still have to deal with makes you forget what you’re already capable of. Whatever happens next, my only option is to thrive. I can’t afford to fail. Stumble, maybe, but not fail. Somehow it’s going to be ok. And sometimes just being ok is more than enough.”

I don’t have any resolutions for 2017, but I would like to commit to writing, writing and writing some more. I want to write the creative and the exciting, but I also want to write the tough and the not so glamorous. I want to write life. 

This is the start. 

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Champion MEN deserve champion beer?

I recently ranted about the perceptions of women who drink beer, and in particular the gendered associations with specific beers. I was going to blog about it but here it is in my local paper.

I dedicate this one to all the men who order “girly” drinks for women because 1. you’re clearly incapable of buying yourself a drink and 2. the drink you need is definitely a pink Brutal Fruit *insert sarcastic eye roll*

beer-article

National Appropriation Festival, perhaps?

IMG_6999With so many Aum signs everywhere, it was hard to believe that I wasn’t back home in my grandmother’s prayer room, waiting for her to light the lamp. But then the high pitched shrieks of teenage girls in flower crowns and teensy crop tops passed by and reminded me that this wasn’t my amma’s house in Phoenix, Durban. If she was anywhere near, even a sari that didn’t properly cover your belly would be deemed inappropriate.

This was the National Arts Festival, revered as 11 days of amazing by some and slammed by others for being a space of incredible privilege, only accessible to mostly rich white people. And yet the products been sold at the Village Green, the main trading hub of the Festival, could have easily been mistaken for your local Gorimas or Memsaab store. Continue reading

How can we return to “normal” after a protest like this?

My Writing and Editing class used our lecture time yesterday to discuss how the Rhodes protests against rape culture had affected them so far. Currently, there’s an interdict against protesting and lectures are expected to resume as normal. What the students want to know is how do we get back to normal? Perhaps things will never be normal from here onward, someone suggested. Then how do we do and how do we be in a space that has been turned upside down? How do we go about living our lives with all these raw emotions and unaddressed concerns? Can we actually do something ‘normal’ and separate to the protest movement without feeling guilty or selfish? Continue reading