Reflections

rain, umbrella, and photography image

 

 

It’s been a constant thing this past year and a bit: Me looking in the mirror, staring at the person in it and not remotely recognising him.

It happened shortly after R’s suicide. When I lost a great part of myself. I would catch a glimpse of this person in the mirror and feel the chills run down my spine. I didn’t know who this person was anymore – and this was scarier than hell.

So, it’s safe to assume that I avoided a mirror as best I could wherever I would go. I was not up for the reminder that I was not the same person anymore.

Needless to say, my style and appearance fell a bit down a hill and soon I had to overcome this fear and stare into a mirror again. The same stranger was staring back at me, but at least his hair looked kept and his beard was trimmed neatly.

This continued. I had an understanding with this stranger in the mirror. I wouldn’t stare to long and avoided the dead eyes, while I would do my thing and go about my day.

Time passed by and soon I became comfortable with this stranger. But soon, he wasn’t a stranger anymore. I recognised him as the person who now was – not the one I remembered and wouldn’t be.

It’s been quite some time, but yesterday I woke up, walked to the bathroom and stared at this person in the mirror.

For the first time I didn’t avoid the eyes and I stared deeply into them. Somewhere far in them, a flicker of fire was burning. Small. But it was there. It was the first time in a while that I stared at this person and saw something that I had in common with him. We both might be so damaged inside, but there’ll always be a fire burning inside us that can’t be extinguished. I did the most impossible thing I didn’t think I would do next: I introduced myself to this person staring back at me in the mirror.

Through these past weeks I’ve faced a heartbreak, reliving ghosts of a loved one that has passed, demons inside my head and the terror of the dark side of this world. But, there was still a fire burning deep inside me.

The honest truth is: I will never be the same. Holding onto a hope that some version of the old me would return is now buried. I’m a new me – this is a rebirth of sorts. By taking all this pain I’ve endured, I’m just going to become a better version of myself.

I’ve only wanted one thing for this year. Only one resolution: To fall in love with myself again. I might have lost sight of it and took a detour, but this detour brought me to a point where I’m so much stronger now. And I’m finally opening my heart to the one person that really deserves it: Me.

Should you find yourself at a point in life where you’re at a low, shut out the world, reflect inwards and listen to your inner voice. Open your heart to yourself and be kind to that person trying to reach out. Always love yourself and always have your own back.

This in it’s own is enough to give you strength to face what ever troubles you need to face.

In the words made famous by The Help: You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

Love yourself.

Autopilot

[17 weeks]

I kept slamming at the dashboard. The light that indicated my plane was on autopilot had gone out and it was freaking the living crap out of me. Slamming the dashboard didn’t help and it sure as hell didn’t calm me down. It’s when the thought struck me: This is all on me now.

Using the metaphor of a plane on autopilot has been the best way to describe my life after R passed away in May. It was like a force of some kind had taken over my body and mind and had been directing me in the right way and making sane decisions that I wouldn’t ordinarily make under these circumstances.

Now, 17 weeks into this stint, my body had decided to leave the autopilot function behind. And it was becoming a torment and hell of its own.

Whilst on autopilot everything seemed more calm and collected than it was right now. Which to me and maybe to you could seem weird. Right after someone passes away, you shouldn’t be in the calm of the storm. The storm should be ripping you to shreds and tearing every inch of you apart.

Now, after I’ve been left to pilot my own plane, it seems to me like I’ve been thrown smack dab into the middle of another storm.

Whilst R’s death has its own set of crisis and issues I’ve had to deal with, my life crept on forward. And that creeping action brought along more and more layers of crisis’ and issues to deal with upon everything else. In this storm, I was swerving from left to right just to avoid hitting something or causing damage.

Let me not lie: this was tiring. Exhausting. Straining.

At this moment in time, I felt really defeated. It was not like me to just sit down and claim that I’ve been beaten to the side, but it was growing more harsher to get by every single day, fearing at the same time that something might happen to add to the growing pile of bulltwang.

My plane, with damage to its exterior, hull, engines and fuel line was still miraculously in the air. Despite all my problems and the storm raging on around me.

While I was claiming “defeat”, I’d not noticed my plane still powering ahead. Why was I so hung up over a stupid “autopilot” phase?

Fine, It might have been less painful back then and I was wrapped in layers of wool and cotton to be protected from the world. But, why would I wanted to hung up over a phase where I didn’t really register what was going on around me and act like a robot. This was not what life is about. Life is about living, through all the bumps and nicks.

Although I’m no expert pilot, I’ve managed to keep powering ahead in the storms heading my way and I have a sinking feeling that I will continue powering my way through these storms, till I’m back in the sunlight and ready to face the world.

Lesser to the fact that Indiana Jones has nothing on me, I know this chapter in my life will just be one I’ll look back at in a few years and realise what lessons I need to take out of this.

For now, I’ll get up on my feet and not admit defeat.

As for Life’s punches: She hits like a little bitch. I’m ready to hit back. Or even, while I’m on the ground, I’ll tie his shoelaces together and watch him fall flat on his face.

I won’t go down that easy.

fangirl me~

Guardians of my Galaxy

When I was a young boy, my mom use to comfort me with the tall tale of guardian angels when someone in the family had passed away. In this tale, she would tell me how these people were needed by God to build a workforce that was to protect us back here on earth from anything bad or evil…

As a 6 year old, I was more fascinated at how this concept worked. It seemed nothing more than amazing to me that theseĀ  people were called upon a higher power to protect us here on earth.

Every time something bad almost happened to me and it seemed like a miraculous stroke of fate had intervened, I thought back to how my grandparents I’ve lost were behind me, saving my ass around every nook and bend.

As I grew older, I questioned the theory more and more. There were flaws in my mom’s story and I soon started ripping at the seams of this fabricated lie she had spun my way. In true style, she still stuck with her story, but told me that I’d understand later in life and not ask these insulting questions.

So ladies and gentlemen. Here we are, later in life, and I’m back to square one. Having to believe a loved one was taken away from me to be apart of a calling to protect those here on earth.

When R passed away in May, I had loads of sleepless nights. On one of these sleepless nights, I was laying awake and staring at the ceiling. A thousand thoughts were crawling around in my mind like a nest of ants. It was almost like I could feel these thoughts burrowing their way through my skull or downwards into my spinal cord. Having the power to cultivate my thoughts is something I’ve not mastered yet, but I don’t really want to move off point now…

One of these ants, found his way into the centre of my brain. It seemingly got stuck there, because in a freak moment of clarity, that childhood story was with me again.

I won’t say it became the lifeline I clung to in the days that passed, but it really helped me a lot to deal with this immense and tragic loss I’d suffered. In that moment, you really don’t debate any thoughts or choices you make.

See it as a burning building. As you’re running out, you’re grabbing that which you want to hold close and dear to you, before it burns out and perishes forever. Just as I knew my brain would soon be defunct, I knew I was to grab hold of any lifeline I could to help me along.

My mom’s story of guardians also became the thing I thought about obsessively. I wanted so badly to believe that R had become one the newest guardians in my galaxy, it became a bit of a crazed delusion. Soon I forgot he died, and saw him more alive and by my side than dead.

But, this didn’t last.

Reality knew it had to caught up with me. When the bad came nipping me in the butt, this delusion soon came into question and I was back to asking why R had to die and once again I was poking holes in my mother’s story.

It’s about 3 months later now, and this past weekend was suppose to have been R’s 30th birthday.

I do not want to dwell on what a horrible day it was.

However, I do want to dwell on the realisation I came to over the weekend.

His friends and loved ones, who’d all lost someone as well, had become the guardians to my galaxy. It was something I’d not been fully aware of and took me some time to realise.

From his best friend Marisa and her girlfriend Cheryl, who’ve been there to help the healing begin to his dearest friend Anette who always amazingly knows what kind words to spread over my wretched heart.

To Wendi (who might of well have been R’s sibling) who still constantly checks up on me, bathes me in light and love, makes sure I laugh at least once a day and acts as my biggest motivator and fan, to Mike, who I’ve built quite a connection with…

Mike spent 9 years as R’s partner and let me into his heart and life without hesitation after R’s passing. Mike’s been a superman in his own way, by showing me the most kindness and humanity anyone’s ever shown me. He also continues to inspire me with his strength and I admire him for his outlook on life, even in the worst of times.

Each, with their own lessons and caring actions, have formed an allegiance in my life as the guardians of my galaxy.

This made a lot more sense to me and I couldn’t even poke holes in this story.

Of course, as much as they act as guardians in my life, I have also vowed to myself to be the most willing participant to their lives and also play my part to be a guardian in their universes.

The most important thing is to remember that life may be as bad as it comes, but somewhere, someone has planned for protectors to look over you and add to your life story.

I’m glad I’ve got a lot of Guardians to my Galaxy. It gives me hope and a little more compassion towards life, sharpening its claws for the next round.

Gotg

Back to the Basics

When all else fails, head back to the basics.

This is one of the lessons that I will always take with me through life, taught to me by my 6’th grade teacher, Mrs. Beukes.

When all else seems to have failed in my life, I always had to go back to the basics.

It was not some way for me to hide from facing the horrible truth that I might have failed, but in a way, this saved me from creating more failure along the way.

When it came to life decisions that did not go as planned, I returned to the basics by starting the decision from scratch. That time with more experience, confidence and smarter choices along the way.

In this modern day and age we have grown to over complicate things a lot for ourselves.

KISS – Keep it simple stupid!

When you are stuck in a predicament, return to the basics and keep everything simple. Less drama, less hassle.

I think I may have recently adopted this strategy again after I realised that I was over complicating things for my already wretched heart.

People who know me well, know I always say: “Romance is not my life.” But it actually is.

After going through a lot of stuff in my life, I have managed to keep my heart beating by staying strong and always heading back to the basics. When I got my heart broken, I always started by going through the whole process of dealing with it, and then I started from scratch. But, this has gone out of the window in recent times and I have to admit, no emotions and feelings were involved when I got my heart broken.

As cold as Arctic ice, I made sure my heart was protected. And this in turn, over complicated things.

Now, it’s time I return back to the basics. After heading back to the drawing board, I think I now know that this Stupid, has to keep it simple.

If it has to involve love letters, simple SMS’s saying something sweet, a long process of wooing a person, I am up to it. If it worked for the people in Downton Abbey, it will work for me here in the 21’st century. It’s all about keeping it personal, affectionate and truthful.

And, if I have to dispose of any technological means while at it, so be it.

Here’s to the basics. Sweet and simple.Image