About two weeks ago I held a Girls Night Games Nightat my flat. And like most of these get togethers, a few games and drinks later we attempted random dances off YouTube! And yes, Destiny Child – a crowd favourite – featured more than a few times. Duh!
One of my highlights was jamming to “May I Have This Dance” by Chance The Rapper and Francis and the Lights. At the time I didn’t really listen to (or to my shame, know) either artist. But now they both feature frequently in my life.
This song has such a cool-kid, super chilled, feel good vibes. It’s one of those songs that you want bae (or in my case future bae) to sing to you. And the dancing is AAAMMMMAAAAZZZIIINNNGG!
But the best moment in the song comes at 02:31 when Chance is joined by Francis for a next level #BESTIES dance!!
*Note: This is what I’ll be doing in my room for the next few weeks.*
Favourite lines in the song:
“May I have this dance? To make it up to you Can I say something crazy? I love you Give me both your hands. To make it up to you Let me spin and excite you.”
– Francis and the Lights
“You must have been born with two right feet I know you’ve been looking for something concrete You must have been born with two right feet.”
– Chance The Rapper
I’ve listened this song waaaaayyy to many times and also become a huge fan of both artist’s music. It’s my new happy song. Happy Days!!!
Some of the world’s grandest buildings, longest bridges, most epic gadgets and memorising sculptures were created with an incredible vision and design in mind. Be it architecture, science or art – the seemingly mundane repetition of not only perfecting one’s craft, but striving to understanding it holistically, has granted ordinary people the title maestro. But it is the hours and detail put in the designs that makes them look as though they were created with ease.
Merriam Webster defines design as the ability to, “to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan.” While Oxford Dictionaries defines it as, “A plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is made”. The outcomes of the above are usually for human indulgence and use in our daily lives.
And while the future of the physical design of our world is essential for us to live in, how can we fully appreciate it if we have not crafted and understood ourselves and our greater purpose first?
Although we can come to a majority consensus on what a well-designed car or device is, the definition of a well-designed life is intrinsically complex. This is because as humans we are all individually different, we come from various parts of the world and our preferences scale from a desire to live in solitude; to the busiest cities in the world.
To generalise, each generation’s definition of a well-designed life has been shaped by the circumstances of the time, as well as the desire to improve on the “limitations” of the generations before. *Side note for those interested, here’s a link to a Generational Differences Chart that I found rather interesting.
If you look at the Baby Boomers (1946-1964), a fulfilled life became based on things like: family, structure, routine, working your way up the career ladder and doing things “the old way”.
Generation X (1965-1980) are more career focused. This generation is seen to be very independent and focused on education.
Then comes the generation that I’m sure has had the most articles written on them and also the generation that most people have complained about – Generation Y, aka the Millennials. This group, born between 1981 and 2000, is one I am all too familiar with because I happen to fall in this bracket. As it is widely known Millennials are more outspoken and focused on happiness and feelings.
Most recently I read an eye-opening article featured on the Malaysian Digest on the fresh and focused Generation Z – the generation following the Millennials. It stated:
“Unlike the laid-back millennials, they have a passion for work, prioritizing more practical concerns of pay, benefits and mentorship because they grew up in a time of economic and political uncertainty and have watched their predecessors struggle to find jobs and do not want to share the same fate.”
With each generation being generally different, what then does the future of a well-designed life look like. What do the measurements or statistics say? What country should one live in for the happiest life? What music should one listen to. How many books should you read? Which Yoga positions should you do?
Sure, we can generalize but to attempt to find the perfect recipe for happiness, success or a well-designed life would be futile. There are multiple articles and books you can read on topics on the perfect life. However, I don’t think their intention is to tell you exactly what you need to do but rather give you the tools to help you create your ideal life. The one you envision when you dream.
At least, I think, we would all agree on one thing: That we desire to be happy. Whatever that might look like or mean to you.
I’ve been in enough conversations to realise that sometimes we spend so much time stressing about our fears and not enough time living.
Perhaps it’s time to reintroduce yourself to yourself. Do the inner work and study you. Love you with all your flaws and graces as you are right now. Not future you, but you today, at this very second. Unpack your thoughts and dig deep. Ask yourself how are you doing mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally?
That said. Breathe deep. Read. Binge watch your favourite series. Be whole. Love your family. Delight in laughter. Listen to the sound of the rain. Hang out with friends. Drink. Detox. Do yoga. Go on a hike. See the world and Travel. Not oceans away but take a bus to your neighbouring city. Walk slow. Run. Love long and hard. Fall apart. Stand tall. Sit and write. Be honest. Be not afraid of your inner power. You are great.
Design your life the way you want it. Become your own maestro. And remember the details of your blueprint are only perfected in the process.
*“This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader.
The hashtag #StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh is trending in South Africa. It comes as students, from the all girls school in Pretoria, would not stand against the racism they face because of their hair.
According to various articles on Times Live and News24 students had been told that their hair looked like a “bird’s nest” or were given a brush to neaten their hair.
I’ve been moved by the powerful images of the young women standing in protest. Standing up for themselves and for others who feel discriminated against because of the texture of their hair.
There’s an incredible clip where students are told that they will be arrested, however, they fearlessly respond: “They’re going to arrest us guys!” “You can arrest us!” “TAKE US ALL!”
Frustrated that we’re still fighting this battle and inspired by their defiant words, I began to write:
Take us with Our Big Hair, Afros‚ Bantu Knots‚ Dreadlocks and Braids.
Take us with Our Big Hair, Afros‚ Bantu Knots‚ Dreadlocks and Braids. Take us because we’re not afraid to speak up. Take us with our hands raised. Take us in broad daylight. Take us while people stand and watch. Take us to set an example. Take us to control us. Take us to instil fear. Take us because we do not appreciate being told how to comb our hair. Take us to silence us. Take us because you don’t understand us. Take us just because. Take us because we’re bold. Take us because we challenge the status quo. Take us because we don’t fit into the mindset you framed us. Take us as we were. Take us as we are. Take us for who we will become.
But before you take us, why don’t you ask us what we’re fighting for? Instead you claim to know us – yet you can’t lock eyes and hold a conversation with us.
The things is, you’d actually be surprised – that when you finally speak to us and not at us – instead of wanting to take us, you’d undoubtedly stand with us.
“We thought we could only arise and shine when we were strong but that’s actually not the case. We can arise and shine in our weakest state. It’s in the leaning. It’s in the leaning and it’s in the limping and the dependency on the brightness of His goodness. That’s when we arise and shine!”- Amanda Cook
About a year ago I joined the Cape Town Writers’ Circle on Meet Up. Time passed and although I’d never been to any of the writing sessions, I would occasionally check to see that the group was still active – you know, just in case. My excuses were typical: “I have to work late. I don’t have the time. Tonight I just want to be alone. I have a date… with life. I want to sleep.” And, but of course, the good old, “I’ll go next week”.
Over the weekend I had that self-motivating conversation. You know the one where you promise to “live better” which involves more writing, reading, waking up earlier and less drinking… In that moment I confirmed that I would be attending the writing session.
And then Monday came.
But before I could pick an excuse, one of my colleges that had seen my name on the list, gave me a high-five and admitted how excited he was to meet up with other writers. Now I certainly couldn’t say no and just like that I was hours away from my first writers meeting.
Let me say that I LOVE CREATIVES. Whenever you’re in the presence of a creative – and you get a glimpse of their inner world hold onto it, learn from it, bask in it because it’s magical.
Our first assignment asked that we let go and write anything and everything that came to mind. We were prompted by a word chosen by one of the writers, and every two minutes we would be prompted by the next writer’s word. We went around the room and after everyone’s word had been included we read it out the words on our pages.
Note:I’ve underlined the prompt words below.
Unfiltered, uncensored, unedited and uncertain of what lay inside that would spill out I began:
“In the night I could hear him, the whisperercame to me. But I couldn’t hear clearly, it sounded like he was fumbling his words. Then out of breath I finally heard it, “Get out of bed”. And so, at first afraid, I did. I followed the voice out of my room, into the corridor and walked straight into the organza. As I tripped over, I hopped into a world that I had never been in before.
It was clear, the air was thick and new – a complete contrast to the state of my room. Everything white and a melody played lightly.
Again, I could hear the voice singing – the one that called me in the night. It called me to flourish here. On the blank white clear canvased room – lead by a simple melody – I was called to paint it. The lyrics, the words, the song got louder.
I had not heard of it or known how to include it in the scene. Fearful that I hit a brick wall – in the place to which I was called – I stopped. I paused. I no longer believed that I belonged.
The music stopped, the canvas turned grey, the whisperer stopped. It would be a century until I found that special place again.
The years in-between I spent wasting away, yearning for that place where I was called. I ran after things that looked like the place and sounded like the melody, but it was not.
Until in the night again I was asleep and it come to me, a similar whisper. But this time I stepped off my bed an onto an airline.
I was not the only passenger. It appeared there were many like me. I spoke to many strangers and at some point in our lies we had all heard the same whisperer. We had all reached the same point. The whisperer was not exclusivelyours but it was what we did with it that changes the course, of rather defined our destiny.
I closed my eyes, finally comfortable, no longer fearing my destiny or what lay ahead. I had no idea where we were going but I chose not to bother with the thoughts of my past or regrets. Every choice, opportunity, confrontation or circumstance merely added spiceto my life. It made it bearable. Bold flavours that stayed with me and lighter ones were merely a passing shadow.
As I was brought out of the dream I felt the plane stop as we had reached a part of the journey. I had no recognition of the time it had taken, but I realised that I was neither older nor younger. It was weird because, how could all of that time pass by and I had not changed. I realised that it was not I in my physical body but my dreams itself that had not changed.
I paused and smiled. All of time had passed in my midst but my dream had not died. It hadn’t changed. It hadn’t aged.
Wait!! It hadn’t grown either. But it also wasn’t going to leave me.
As I was about to get off the plane we were called back as I was not supposed to get off. I had more of the way to go. I got back in my seat where there was a different person sitting next to me and I began to indulge in everything around me. The food, the wine, the languages, the culture. It was liberating, freeing no judgement to behold. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced.
Variouspeople came in and out and eventually we got to my stop and I knew it was time to get off. I had, after all, become a little too comfortable. I took everything I had learned, the experiences, the people and found myself back in the room with the blank canvas and the simple melody – back at the place I was led to flourish,
This time I would be better. This time I would be bolder. This time I would be stronger. I would paint, write and sing out loud. I would flourish. If only I had the audacity.
And so with everything I was. I picked up a pen and began to tell the story of the girl and the whisperer in night.
You want to know how it ends? Well I’m still writing.
In the midst of telling the story someone got up and pointed out that there was great specious. In my story?
“How would you know?” I asked.
He stood up and smiled, “I was the one who whispered in the night.”
We spend a great part of our youth learning “how to live”. Our habits are fashioned by those around us and we’re characterized by the areas we live in, trends we follow and music we listen to.
It is here, in the words addressed “Dear Diary”, that we begin to create our default settings – the base of our beliefs strung together by the opinions of others.
“I am smart. I am beautiful. I am ugly. I am shy. I am talented. I am blessed. I am scared. I will never amount to anything. I am…”
Man, if we only knew the power of “I AM”.
As we get older we begin to question the tangled ball that we once astutely followed. And all it takes is one untangled string for the little voice to whisper “but why?”
Naturally, you tug on the string as your enquiring mind wants to know more. You become fascinated by the revelations of life all in the pursuit of happiness – your happiness. What does that even mean? What does that look like?
It’s a fight, the unravelling is a fight. It is a process where you unlearn the default habits that have kept you in the ball; to take on liberating principles with tenacity. It requires that you travel beyond the yellow brick road – but only if you have the audacity to do so.
The unravelling is not a destination it is a journey.