For the first time in a very long time I feel whole again. I look in the mirror and I am able to recognize every bit of myself and every time I look into any mirror, I see that I am worthy, I am enough and that I am everything. In the past year I have learnt that life happens: persistently, irreversibly and deliberately. Luckily for me, I have come to a place where I can do the exact same thing. I am living: Persistently and deliberately. I am happening. Every day.
When I think of this year, there is one word that springs to mind. Bravery. I have learnt that bravery doesn’t always coming charging full speed down the road in a glorious super hero outfit. Sometimes bravery is waking up in the middle of the night and admitting the fact that you need help. Sometimes bravery is driving 700KM’s by yourself to the Eastern Cape, and not getting onto the first plane back home when you drive into a pole. Sometimes bravery is as simple as taking a deep breath, and saying yes. Before this year, I would never have described myself as brave. It was not a characteristic I identified with, because I always thought that bravery came with a bravado, and that in bravery there was no room for uncertainty.
But lo and behold, on an ordinary day bravery and I bumped into each other and we kind of hit it off and it’s safe to say, I haven’t been the same ever since.
On careers and jobs (or lack thereof)
At the beginning of the year I was masquerading as a Financial Journalist at the news-wire-agency- that- we-do-not -name(Reuters). To put it bluntly, I hated it. And at least 3 days out of 5 I thought about quitting. For months I thought to myself- what would happen if I just didn’t show up for work? but each morning I found myself in that office at 9am.
Apart from the obvious journalistic things, there is one very important thing I learnt from Reuters. Patience. When you have the worst job in the world-be patient and when you have the worst boss in the world- be even more patient.
After a couple of months of being unemployed and being rejected left right and centre, SECTION27 came into my life. And the only explanation I have for this is that, the stars aligned and there wasn’t anything else I was supposed to be doing. Being at S27 gave me purpose. For the first time in a long time, I had a reason. I had a reason to get up in the morning, I had a reason to believe and more than anything I had a reason to be Nomatter Ndebele.
S27 was the organisation I had imagined all through Journalism School, I always knew in my heart, that somewhere on this earth there was a group of people who were crazy enough to believe that they could change the world. When I sat in that interview and said “I just want to change the world,” nobody laughed, nobody asked how, they hired me and now we’re doing it.
Every day when I wake up and go to work, I am working to change lives, the country and eventually the world. So you’re probably thinking, Okay so what does bravery have to do with this? Here’s the back story: I was unemployed for three months, in that time I only had two interviews and one job offer. And when that Job offer came through- I said No. At a time where the unemployment rate was 36%, I told the only person willing to hire me that I was not interested. My Mother was legit done with me, and all other sources of sympathy quickly dried up.
It was just me, and a strange feeling that I couldn’t shake. A feeling that was telling me to hold out for something else, I didn’t know what it was, but I held out anyway. 6 months later- I was part of a team that showed the world that #TextbooksMatter, and I had my first national by line in the Mail and Gaurdian.
Bravery showed me that It takes one Yes to change your life, and million no’s to define it. Rejection builds character, and in the words of Steve Jobs: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do, If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle”
On love and loss (and very important Tinder advice)
When you are matching with creeps on tinder, be patient. When you aren’t matching with anyone at all, be even more patient.
But jokes aside, this has been a rather unfortunate year. Apart from almost falling in love with an Uber driver, there was a lot of heartache towards the end of this year and funny enough, almost just as much in the beginning.
The first half, was an ache that has been aching for years, one that I had hoped would go away. And when I chose bravery (which in this instance,was a simple action of answering a Skype call) I had an opportunity to reconcile with everything that happened. We retraced the steps, found each other at the point where we lost one another, and then realized it was okay to continue without each other. Closure is important, even if it comes 3 years later.
Having said this though, dont try be a hero, closure via the interwebs is an easier option than in person. Bumping into your ex and his new flame ( this is a very loose description of her #JustSaying #SorryNotSorry) and your mutual friend at your local coffee shop is awkward AF. Trust me. So if you’re looking for closure and the person happens to be in another country, dont wait for them to come home. Just do it on the internet, close the tab and let it go. But through all of that, I know this, it’s better once it’s happened, because once its happened there isn’t much more happening that can happen. And if *you are reading this please know that everything is okay. Live and let live.
Although I have finally made it to the end of one Journey. I am still sitting at another cross roads, and even as I write this,bravery is sitting on the other side watching me, and waiting for me to decide.
And I’ll be honest. I am hella scared. In the past 48 hours I have bounced back and forth through all possibilities. I close my eyes at night with one decision, and open my eyes with another in the morning. And each time, I am only more afraid than I was before . And that’s okay. I’m only human. The one thing I know for sure, is this: When you know. you know, and that will be the only answer you need.
On Adulting and friendships
Much adulting has happened this year, but I have also cried like a baby, because #IWasNeverReady. Its true what they say, that: “Adulting is like looking left and right before you cross the road and then getting hit by plane” And these planes have beeen hitting me. But, as horrible as this sounds, it brings me much comfort to know that my friends are getting hit by the same planes, some have even been hit by baby and marriage planes. So in comparison,my tax return planes are much easier to handle.
I am incredibly grateful for my amazing friends who have allowed me to adult with them,sometimes we get it very wrong, so wrong that we need to find answers at the bottom of wine bottles, and sometimes we get it so right,we deserve endless high fives. Only problem is we never know which it will be and when.(So it always helps to have a bottle on hand, just incase)
But wherever I find myself, I know I will never be alone. While I am here, a special thank you to my team, for forgiving me when I miss birthdays because I am off saving the world. Thank you for also loving me when the very world I am trying to save, chews me up and spits me out, and of course thank you for liking my Instagram pictures (Ya’ll are the real MVP’s) What would I be without you guys? (other than a little more sober.) Nothing. I love you all more than Generations and Instagram filters!
This year I have found that, If you can wake up in the morning, know what’s happening in the news, complain about the country and drink wine without gagging, people think you’re an adult. So just go with it. And last but not least, the real advice you should take from this post is this: When everybody you went to school with is getting engaged, getting married and having babies: Buy yourself a new lipstick and have another glass of wine,everything is okay. Seriously.
And finally, for anyone else who got hit by many planes this year, (except for the people who got married and had babies, you kind of did that to yourself. Next time- get off the run way)
Here’s to 2016:
I hope you can always win yourself back from wars, that when things fall apart you have friends to help you pick up the pieces. I hope you are patient with yourself when you are hurting and ,even more patient when others are hurting. I hope you have many reasons to laugh, and I hope that every time you look at the stars you remember that you are one of them, and the brightest of them.