Lessons In Solitude

Solitude

I recently moved into my own space, and have found myself spending a lot of time alone,  which is something that is taking some adjusting to.  I am 100% certain that anyone who is related to me or knows me personally rolled their eyes at the first sentence because even when I am at home or at a social gathering I often become quite reclusive (anti-social extrovert), but to my defense, self-isolation in a house full of people or at an outing is different from being alone, I mean alone, ALONE. 

Home Alone

Although I grew up in a house filled with siblings and preferred moving in with my best friends when I first moved away from home. I have never been afraid of being on my own and to some degree thought that I naturally preferred it.  To my surprise, the first two weeks in my new home started off with trying to fill my space with noise, overthinking myself into an anxious pulp and eventually enjoying my own make-shift routine.  Even though my new found life of solitude is still taking shape, I’ve compiled a list of 3 lessons I have learned in my time alone… 

Lesson No 1: Value Time With Loved Ones 

Time on your own can remind you to value the time you spend with your loved ones, teach you to value their conversation, laughter and even encourage you to put your phone down.  For instance, when I was still living at home catch up time with my little brother was  often characterized by ”uhms” and ”yeahs” while we both stared at our phone screens but the last time I went back home we made it a point to get the picnic blanket, lay it out in the backyard and have an actual conversation, he even convinced me to give Trapo’s  Oil Change a listen.

Lesson No 2: Enjoy Your Own Company (boredom) / Get to know yourself

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The world will always try to put you in a box, label and tell you who you are but society will not have that hold on you if you are firmly standing in who you believe you are and you can only get to that point from spending time with yourself, battling through your boredom and literally getting to know yourself.   I personally believe in the power of Self-acceptance and Self-awareness.  The benefits of being aware of your habits, (sub)conscious coping mechanisms, strengths, weaknesses and the complexity of your humanity are essential for the progress you wish to make in any area of your life. An awareness of your strengths gives you an opportunity to know how to build on them. On the other hand, being aware of your weaknesses gives you an opportunity to turn them into strengths or simply embrace them. It is also important to note that, the world cannot invalidate you if you have already validated yourself. The world can not break your character if it is built on a solid foundation.

Lesson No 3: Make time for your spiritual well-being

” I sit in silence and find whenever I meditate
My fears alleviate, my tears evaporate
My faith don’t deviate, ideas don’t have a date” – J Cole

The world is filled with so much noise and pressure that we often find ourselves drowning in it. We seem to forget that there’s more to life than deadlines, he-say/she-say, Instagram likes disappearing and Twitter hashtags.  Making time for your spiritual well-being goes beyond Sunday services and involves habitual practice on your own. A few years ago a preacher told me that my mental and spiritual well-being are intertwined, which is something I have found to be true. So, in my experience, meditation, and prayer help alleviate my anxiety.  Making the time for my spiritual well -being includes 15sec conversations with God at hourly intervals and logging off social media platforms for as long as I need to. My time alone has allowed me to define what spirituality looks like to me even though there really isn’t a script for this type of stuff.

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No man is an island, we all need companionship and human connection. I believe in the power of community and the importance of the relationships that we have with the people we have in our lives. All I hope for is that this blog post has inspired you to make time to get to know yourself, take care of your spiritual well-being and hopefully,  see the value in being fully present in the moments spent with your loved ones.

One last reminderLife is a journey and no one will ever have it figured out but that should not stop us from trying.

 

 

Self-Validation is a Super Power

Validation

Self-validation is YOUR superpower, it is the ability to clap for yourself even when no one else is clapping for you. In my humble opinion, Self-Love and Self-Validation are CLOSE cousins…

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The ability to validate yourself allows you to own all the good/bad decisions you make and that is the fertile ground to cultivate the best version of yourself. In the long run, Self-Validation curbs self-doubt and negative self-criticism which often leave us feeling frustrated, insecure and unworthy. 

“Self-Validation is a form of Self-care, it also breeds Self-Awareness, which leads to Self-Acceptance.” – iSlenderSaMaCatalogue

I am a firm believer in mentorship and getting a second opinion, however, I believe that the most successful people in the world mastered owning their voice and setting the pace for their story. The likes of Oprah Winfrey, Afua Osei, Sho Madjozi and the likes individually learned to trust their voice and be their own hype man which now serves as the foundation to their success.

“A million likes will never be enough if you do not like yourself.” – Leanne Dlamini

Self-Validation is a form of Self-care, it also breeds Self-Awareness, which leads to Self-Acceptance. In the 21st century, being able to validate your decisions, your beliefs, your boundaries and simply being able to say NO is a form of Self-preservation. External validation prevents you from being able to put yourself first which results in your well-being taking the back seat. External validation makes the idea of prioritizing oneself seem selfish, which sums up my theory that Self-Validation and Self-Love are LA Familia.

I am honestly still doing the work, faking it until I make it where the need is,  intentionally choosing myself despite how anxious I get when I choose to let my friends down and miss out on on a ladies night in the name of Self-Care. Through trial and error, I am learning to confidently set the pace for my life, before I worry about what the next person will say, I owe it to myself to own my life and so do you.

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10 Lessons I have learnt in my 22 years on Earth..

The 27th of March 2019 marks my 23rd birthday, and what a journey it has been. So many lessons have been learnt, but who says you have to die in order  to teach ?

These are the 10 Lessons I have learnt in my 22 years on Earth (in no particular order):

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1. Your network is your networth.

2. It’s okay to ask for help.

3. Life is but a moment, but moments are always fleeting. Be present.

4. You are never alone, someone has gone through what you are going through. There is nothing new under the sun.

5. You do not owe anyone answers, except yourself. ALWAYS hold yourself accountable.

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6. Live your truth. Speak your truth, to be the truth.

7. Energy is currency.

8. What you think, you become.

9. You are worthy of self-love and self celebration.

10. Start with what you have.

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Here’s to 22+ more years of peace, prosperity and love. 🥂 🥂

FIRST-TIME VOTER JITTERS

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Uhuru Noun Swahili. Meaning: freedom, independence

 

It’s Saturday, the 26th of January 2019. A seemingly ordinary day, and I’ve set my alarm two hours earlier than it is usually set. I take 15 minutes longer than usual to get out of bed. I’m anxious. Today marks the first time I register to vote !
The first time a democratic election took place in South Africa, I was probably a vague idea in my father’s head and the other 4 times, I was simply too young to vote. My relatives mock me, I am uncertain if it’s because they simply do not believe in voting anymore or it’s because they don’t think their or rather my vote matters at all. I almost start feeling naive for believing. I almost start imagining my ballot paper being a drop in a rigged ocean.
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Excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s inauguration speech delivered on 10 May 1994, speaking on behalf of democratically elected ANC-led government.

I‘m usually an opinionated person, the type to debate and defend whatever it is I believe in to the point where I’m out of breath, but I can’t seem to find the words to defend my eagerness to go and register to vote. I can’t seem to find the words to defend my supposed “naivety” I mean I can’t blame them [my relatives ] for not trusting the system.

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Page 1 of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s 355-page report titled “State of Capture

 

I wish someone could tell the politicians that ordinary folk can see through the propaganda. By propaganda I mean, certain political parties showing up in certain communities only during election season. By propaganda I mean certain political parties hosting frequent events to interact with the community only during election season.  Yup, we see you kissing babies and exposing each other’s skeletons.. That’s right we see the propaganda !

The are so many obvious antics reserved for election season, and my primary concern is that political awareness and political involvement among the youth is only encouraged during voting season.

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An excerpt from a newspaper article written about the youth uprising in ’76

 

I wish I learnt about the works of Thomas Sankara,  Kwame Nkrumah, Chris Hani just to name a few while I was still in high school.  I wish the class of 2013 read ‘Black man you are on your own’ or ‘I write what I like’ instead of Animal Farm. I wish the youth of South Africa was conscientized to the history of our country and extensively taught about democracy and politics long before they reached middle school.

In that way when the important task of voting comes  the youth will be politically literate enough to understand that we vote for political parties into parliament based on their ideology and not family recommendations and the youth will be politically literate enough to understand that we identify REAL revolutionaries through their actions.

I started understanding political systems in my first year of varsity after choosing a politics and public policy module. It is through this module that I started understanding the different ideologies which are ruling around the world  and it is through this module that I learnt that policies are usually passed using the winning parties’ Manifesto,  but just because a party said that they will deliver on certain promise during election season doesn’t mean they will keep their promise when they step into office or rather parliament.

This election season I have taken the conscious decision to familiarize myself with political parties’ different constitutions and manifestos. I mean the answer has to exist somewhere right ?! but it’s still a huge responsibility to vote in a democratic country because when you vote, you give power away to a certain party/faction and hope that they will do right by you and your neighbor.

If  you have access to the manifestos/constitutions of any other political parties than those mentioned above, please share them in the comment section.
ALUTA CONTINUA.