Archive for Random

Post #1

I use to write a lot. I guess that’s the worst part of depression (at least for me), no longer enjoying the things that use to make you happy. Not even wanting to try doing them anymore… Someone reminded me yesterday that I have the power – at the very least in my good days – to do the things I use to love. To make those things that I ‘use to do’ things I still do.

So here I am: a former writer who no longer knows if she can actually put a fully processed thought on paper any more… but I want to try! Like someone who has been on sabbatical or stuck with writers-block for years, I awkwardly spit out these words that might give me a glimpse into the inner workings of my mind… or maybe just a string of ramblings that will only make sense to me years from now… Who knows? What I do know is that I love words! I love the way my mind works, well most of the time that is. And if I could have one more opportunity to share my view with whoever is willing to listen or even just with that part of me that doesn’t always understand the rest of me, then I know it will be worth giving this a shot again.

So much has happened and yet nothing has changed. I still believe in the same 4 rules I made up for life when I was 5 years old and I still have all of the same experiences and thoughts of grandeur that will either lead me to tell my grandchildren a lot of almost-maybe-elaborated-stories or leave them with a legacy that they can be proud of. In the meantime, I just want to get back to a place where I am not afraid of what people think of me. Somewhere where I accept myself despite all of my many flaws and fears. Just a little corner in my mind that is free from the shadows that I use to keep others at bay….

So, for all intensive purposes, this is post number 1. And I’m sharing my view, feel free to share yours in the comments too.

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Fair Election

What is a fair election? Is it one where the winner is the one with the most votes or the one where everyone has a vote?

One would hope that in the 21st century everything would be equal and people would be free to do what they believed was right. And yet, here we are… elections around the corner. Very few people care… So many are willing to pretend that it does not exist… Most no longer believe that their vote counts… That their vote will even make a difference.

So how do you continue with your life ignoring something that could potentialy change the direction of your country? How do you continue to belive in a system that has failed you for so long? How do you risk being the one person who didn’t vote for the reigning president? How do you stand up and vote for the same person who has caused so much chaos in the country you love? How do you choose?

I don’t have an answer to any of these questions but I am finding it strange that everyone else are not asking these questions….

The Easter Bunny Did It

I remember being about 4 years old and running through the garden asking my mom “am I hot or cold” as I looked everywhere for that deliciously sweet egg that for some odd reason a bunny was leaving in random spots – secretly I hoped that I could follow the trail to the Beacon Chocolate Factory. Those hollow chocolate eggs coated in hard white sweetness were my favorites and back then no one really cared about the toxins in permanent markers so my mother (or as I thought back then: the Eater Bunny) drew cute faces on all of them that almost made me not want to eat them… almost…

Jump to a 10 year old me hanging out with my much older cousins at my grandparents house. It was great! My mother always went way out! Her sisters not so much but she involved all of my cousins – even the much older boys who were too cool for everything else. And we had really elaborate hunts that involved several misleading clues and booby traps. And then there was The Easter Bunny! Caltex was right down the road from my grandparents house (aka close enough for my mother to let me go with the minimal supervision of my cousins for about 20 min without flipping out). This lead to my grandmother mysteriously running out of carrots all weekend and in a non related incident we just happen to stumble among a large stock pile of Caltax Easter goodies. Good times…

When I was 22 and living in the UK I was really not into Easter as I was really far away from my parents and family. So a friend and I were hanging out with Pizza and movies while checking out twitter and the awesome Tony Hawk flooded my timeline (back then I only followed 100 people so if you tweeted more than 5 times a day, it felt like you were flooding my tl). He had an awesome world-wide 24 hour marathon of an Easter Hunt going and people could win skateboards and all sorts of brilliant goodies!! I thought this was so great of him; to take the time to excite his fans.

For the last 2 years I have been organizing my own low key Easter Egg Hunt at work. Last year I only hid 60 and it seemed like more than enough but it’s grown and now there are 200 that I hid and another 200 being hidden by my colleague tomorrow. This year has a little twist that has really helped amp up the excitement and team work aspect of it all. It’s rather cool to see adults jumping up and down when they finally find their first one or when they try to look casual as if to say “who me? looking for an easter egg? no… I’m to old for that” while secretly checking every corner and behind every door. Last year I could get away with hiding things in plain sight, this year, that was a little more difficult… Really had to challenge a few of them, which in turn challenged me and gave me the same excitement that they were getting from the search. I am proud to say there are still a few that have not been found yet!

I hope that when I’m a hundred and four and have grand kids around me during this particular holiday, that I will still have the same excitement I do now and that I will still be able to appreciate how something so simplistic and uncomplicated can bring so much joy.

Happy Easter!

Switching minds

As I was waiting for some crucial information today, I passed our Easter Chocolate stand. Now from a procurement perspective, I love it! It is not often that we get to have a full range and diverse prices and a quantity I am semi-comfortable with (you can never really be 100% happy with your predicted sales quantity). From the EDNOS side of me, I really don’t like it… just sitting there smirking at me. One more reason to hate food and what it does to my body. But I digress, while I was rearranging some things to kill the time and not drive myself crazy by taping my fingers on the desk, I noticed that there has been a lot happening around me that I overlooked.

For instance, my old office section was extremely hostile today. SO much tension and anger that were just being bottled up instead of just talking about it. In my current office, we yell at each other or storm out or simply just talk about it. Whichever method we choose, you know exactly where you stand with us at any given point in time. This is something that is lacking from upstairs. So I switched offices, expecting to just have a better view (aka more control) over the people I am responsible for but as it turns out, this has resulted in a switching of mind sets to some extent. I have been able to remove myself from a hostile environment and then get a change of perspective not just on how I react in the work environment but also how we were being perceived upstairs. It was not good…

So I guess, sometimes in order to really see yourself, you need to not be yourself. Allowing myself to adapt with my environment has meant that I am capable of starting over again and designing a better version of myself. You know how you start out somewhere new and all of the flaws are so obvious that they just scream at you but as you change some things and fail at changing others, these issues lose their obvious nature and you end up stuck in a circle of mediocrity until someone else shows up and points out the flaws you are no longer able to see. Being around different people while doing the same job has resulted in a very different priority list and some things that use to take me forever to get done, now happen in seconds because I am in close proximity to the 3 people involved in the decision. Yes, there are some annoying factors like not always being in the management loop and having to play catch up a lot. Or being summoned upstairs when you have 6 people already waiting for you and then having to explain that you are not blowing off your Directors but rather prioritising their clients. And then there is this little issue where I feel like my I’m loosing my best friend because we’re both so busy that we simply can’t chat as often as we use to… deadlines suck.

But all in all it has been a great experience, kind off like hanging upside down on a jungle gym for the first time…

Change is as good as a vacation

Patience is not one of my strong suits… I do not like waiting for people to do the things I know I can do better. But unfortunately there are only 24hours in a day and to optimize your time, you need to delegate and yes, that requires patience.

The funny thing is that as much as I hate waiting, my love of teaching is a million times stronger. Being able to pass on my knowledge and see that penny dropping moment expression on the faces of someone who is experiencing the magnificent moment of growth that comes from education. For the last year and a half I have been working in an environment where I was slightly in seclusion as far as my job is concerned. No one at my place of work can do my job. They have tried and somehow it always gets really screwed up. So a few weeks ago, I found an excuse to move out my office and relocate to another part of the building where the environment is very different. My job hasn’t changed; the pressure that comes with it and being the only one who can do it – which means if I get sick, I have to go to work otherwise nothing happens and we end up at a standstill – hasn’t changed, the only thing that has changed is the fact that I am surrounded by other people. Unlike the people in my old office, these guys are not on the same management level that I am (wow that sounds rather pompous of me but I don’t know how else to express this). Previously we were all busy in our own worlds talking about the future of the company and complaining about the lack of drive from the operation side and sheer lack of knowledge coming from ‘downstairs’. Now that I am here and get to see these guys all the time, it means I can I ask the questions as it happens instead of having them build up to the point where I need to have a whole 40min meeting discussion all of my queries. And the greatest thing about that is that I can give them guidance and explain why I am asking these specific questions while the event is still fresh in their minds. Plus I get to see them react to it and actually put it into practice or correct them if they misunderstood and it gives them the opportunity to express the challenges they are facing without seeming defensive.

I’m slowly learning to trust my HoD’s and allowing them to take responsibility for their departments and not needing me as much. This was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. Yes, giving up control is hard for me but since I get to train them from scratch, it’s like I’m giving control to a mini-me rather than to a total stranger. Of course they will never do things the way I would do them but that’s the whole point, they should do it differently and hopefully do it better… And of course if you are the one calling the shots, you will make sure that it is followed to the letter and that it succeeds because it is not just some foreign directive that comes from above, it is your own little baby. My favourite part of training is that I get to show all of these people how to be better at what the things they spend a third of their day doing. And it is fun to let go every once and a while. Of course it also frees me up to do all of the other things that I cannot pass on to them yet.

Just today alone, we’ve had discussions about operations and staff management and searched for that pesky little line in a 15page invoice that prevents us from balancing… and we found it! It’s rather weird but doing all of these little things that we generally did not have the time to participate in when I was upstairs is giving me a break from all of the usual chaos of the rest of my job… like they say: a change is as good as a vacation and every time I get to change the conversation from something ‘life or death’ to something ‘mediocre’ it’s like my brain gets to take a break. And I think the fact that I get to spend a little more time with the people who have disappointed me and my team upstairs so much over the last year, is reminding them that we haven’t given up on them yet. Hopefully this new opportunity is not just therapeutic for me but also beneficial for the rest of our company.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that knowledge is most useful when it is shared…

Jerry The Bully

I remember waking up early on a Saturday morning; turning on the TV and trying to figure out if I’m on the right channel; trying to determine the time by the height of the Sun because at the age of four it seemed simpler than trying to read a clock… all of this just so that I can watch 15min of Tom & Jerry.

Watching it with my mom we always discussed how Tom was the bully who didn’t know any better and my mom made sure to point out that when things got too tough for Jerry, he asked for help from his older Bulldog friend. I liked watching the little mouse outsmart the sheer brut of the big cat; it reminded me that size doesn’t determine your intelligence or success rate.

After watching it today I’m not as sure about this cartoons integrity as a moral builder. Jerry has become the bully. He is no longer just defending himself; he is actually attacking Tom now. Tom has the defence of his natural nature being to chase a mouse (in non cartoon terms: what he learns from his parents) and yes, we all have the natural instinct that Jerry has to defend ourselves but a mouse attacking a cat goes against nature… lovable little Jerry has become the bully. If there was a psychologist bird or something in the cartoon, this would be where they would point out that Jerry is transferring his frustration of years of being bullied back onto Tom and thus completing the circle of destruction.

Jerry seems to be taking pleasure in seeing Tom squirm. Personally, I just feel sorry for Tom and think that Jerry is a total jerk. I know it’s just a cartoon and you think that I’m reading way too much into this but as a kid cartoons were where I felt safe and the world made sense… So now, when              I think about my little baby cousin watching a smirky mouse attack an old cat that doesn’t know any better, upsets me… It’s not like Jerry has ever tried to sit down and talk to Tom about it…

Yeah, I know: it’s just a cartoon but I worry about my little cousin and just hope that I can explain to her to that bullying is not okay… and protect her from that pain and maybe even help her build the courage to believe in her values and stand up for those who can’t do it for themselves.

As always, just sharing my view. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. Feel free to comment or chat to me on Twitter

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

I suck at these… not so much because I fail to keep them but more because I fail to remember them. Maybe that should be my New Year’s resolution: Remember to remember your resolution. Yah ok, that’s totally lame.

I’ve never actually believed in setting a resolution (maybe I can’t remember it because I never set one… hmmmm) but I do believe in setting goals and I do believe in new beginnings and a fresh start. So in the last few hours of this year, I’d like to reflect on the goals I set throughout 2012 and maybe I’ll stumble across a few I want to set for 2013.

I wanted to find true love… ok, maybe that’s a bit dramatic but I had this life plan in High School and by now I should have been married. The plan made sense then, you know back when a week was actually a long time and back when our life expectancy was 70 and happiness measured by the size of your family. Now it makes a lot less sense: our world is a bit messed up and needing someone to love me in order to validate my existence is just as messed up. So, I didn’t quite find that one that I can grow old with but maybe in 2013 I can learn to love myself again.

I wanted to quit my job… yeah, that didn’t happen. Instead I found a weird way to actually like my job – by being sort of good at it. It’s strange but I finally feel like I’ve gotten the hang of it and since this is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, it’s rather cool. We did manage to win some awards and jump way ahead when everyone else just seemed to go backwards. Hopefully this year I can get the opportunity to share what I’ve learned with some of my pears.

I wanted to get back into Directing. This one I actually did achieve. Along with a friend we managed to trick… uhm I mean convince 40 teenagers to dress up in strange suits and mock history. We also produced a play wherein I was particularly psychotic – seems to suit me. I hope to do that again in 2013 but this time I want to use plays that I wrote and maybe even through in a pantomime just for good measure.

I wanted to get back to talking to my old friends. That did not pan out. Well, actually there are 6 that I reached out to again and even though there are still a few more I’d like to get back into contact with, I’ve realized that sometimes people change so much that they no longer have anything in common and it’s ok to let go of those people as long as you are willing to allow others into your life. In 2013 I’d like to learn to trust new friends more.

I wanted to be more fun in 2012. That lasted about 5minutes! I’m an only child and as such I like my alone time and just chilling at home with a pizza every once in a while. I did however go out at least 3 times every month and have a party at my house about once a month. I also took 15min a day to talk about movies and books and music and all the other normal things, at WORK! For me that’s really huge! I like having my life compartmentalized. Maybe next year I’ll make it 25min hahaha but in all seriousness, I’d like to be able to switch off more often and just sit on my porch (sort of like right now) staring out at the stars or watching the monkeys attempting to steal mangos.

I wanted to change my wardrobe. I forgot about this one and then one day I woke up and it was just sort of there… apparently my style is evolving with time. Who knew? In 2013 I’d like to donate more of my clothes regularly, rather than just keeping it in my closet gathering dust. I’d also like to have more shopping trips aka female bonding days – I guess this one should tie in with my being more fun resolution.

In 2012 I was happy just to aim to be good at my job but in 2013 I want to own part of the company that I helped build. I want to invest in my own future and not just float around waiting for life to tell me what to do. I want to take back my voice and stop being afraid to share it. I want to do all of this more calmly than in the past and maybe without jumping to any conclusions along the way.

2012 was a year full of ups and downs but in true Zimbo fashion I am holding on to the fact that next year will be better…

Have an awesome 2013!!

Today was better

So yesterday I was a bit all over the place…

Today, it was better. I felt really tired for no real reason but I did manage to get a lot done and that is always a positive. So I guess this is one of those rare moments where you get to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel; that every dark cloud has a silver lining and what ever other cliche you can come up with… in a really short space of time.

I share a lot of the darker moments on here (not darkest) and sometimes I forget to share the small victories with you too. So this is just a little ‘Thank You for caring’ along with a glimmer of hope… You may not realize it but every time you notice my ramblings, I feel less alone and that support is invaluble. I appreciate your support and I am offering all of you my support as well.

Much love

Too tired

It’s been a hard/weird few weeks… not that a lot have been going on, just that it’s been getting to me. I’ve had a bit of trouble keeping everything negative away from me but instead it has just overwhelmed me.

There hasn’t been anything in particular that should have made me feel this way. In fact it’s been a pretty low key month so far. And that’s coming from someone who has instinctively always hated September. But I just don’t have any energy and zero drive. It’s hard enough trying to get up in the morning but then half way through the day it gets sort of worse because not only am I frustrated that I can’t make more out of the day but I also start thinking about how soon this day will end and how little I would have accomplished only to have to attempt it all over again in less than 24 hours… this feeling sucks.

I know a lot of you feel this way too. So here’s my bit of wisdom thrown in with this too tired to talk attitude: it’s ok. Today can suck and tomorrow can suck too but one of these days it will be better and in that moment it really is worth the effort. I’ve learned that no matter how much I want to withdraw and hide from the world, I must resist the urge and take that first step. Simply saying hi to someone or taking a second to allow others in is a big part of recovery… It’s not easy but I really need to do that more…

So here’s the deal: when you feel at your lowest (so low that even your favourite artist can not make you smile) talk to someone… talk to a friend; talk to a colleague; talk to an old high school friend; talk to a cousin…. or talk to me.

We all feel so alone, yet we really aren’t. There are more people who suffer in silence than we realize and it is up to us to break that silence. So here I am, saying that my week sucked but writing this little post that someone might read some day and that might just give them a little bit of hope, this makes me feel a whole lot better.

Just sharing my view, hoping you’ll share yours too…

The Other Side Of Racism

I grew up in South Africa, so I’ve always been really aware of racial conflict and the prejudice that can come with it. My country has worked really hard to make sure that there is a generation that cares more about your intentions than the colour of your skin…

We always talked about the aspects of racism… a lot…. and I also spent a lot of time apologizing for things I didn’t even do. The thing is, racism is very much about misguided hate and cultural ignorance. So why am I talking about this? Well, today I was walking down the street and… wait, first I need to make sure you know that I now live in Zimbabwe. There are a lot of similarities between Zim and SA but there are also a whole lot of differences – the positive ones are the reason I moved here and the weird ones are the reason I started this blog…. So, I was walking down the street in a small town in Zimbabwe and I greeted a stranger.

OK, I’m pretty sure I lost you there. I know it’s polite to greet people and throughout my life I have greeted a lot of strangers and none of those times have been worth mentioning. SO what makes this time different? Well, I guess it’s the way I felt and what I thought when I was greeting this stranger. I felt relieved and a faint recognition. Like I was relieved to see another person who has the same cultural back ground that I do. I felt recognition because for the first time in my life today, I felt like a minority. I felt completely out-of-place and seeing someone who could speak my first language, reminded me that I’m not alone.

It was a weird feeling. Really weird. I’m not really sure how I feel about this. On the one hand I feel guilty because in that one moment I obviously reacted to a part of me I didn’t know existed and I’m not sure I liked it. But on the other hand, this is not something that I do. It is not something I have ever done in the 25 years I have been alive and it is not something I think I’ll ever experience again, so technically I didn’t do anything wrong… I mean, it’s not like I disliked someone for having a different culture to mine or even liked this one who has the same culture I do more… I just felt comforted by not being alone…

Not sure how much sense that makes. This is just a moment in my life that felt different and made me feel like an outsider in my own life. Something I can’t explain but for the first time in my life I felt like a minority… I felt ‘different’… like I wasn’t allowed to be me… Since I’ve lived my whole life as a minority I find it strange that this sneaked up on me, now. Even all of those times we were in school and forced to learn the same piece of History over and over again and discuss the same one-sided books and we’re allowed to have an opinion and all those times you were looked at weirdly because of your appearance… even through all of those moments, I never felt isolated or like I wasn’t allowed to be this part of me that I can not change.

So, I guess today I just want to say: I may be a minority in a lot of aspects of my life but I refuse to allow anyone – even myself – force me to feel bad about it.

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