March 20, 2020

Over the last few months, I have been quiet on 44 because I feel that I’ve been going through a period of self-reflection and change. Last year, after living in Braamfontein for four years, I moved back to my hometown, Benoni.  I have been a little confused at times because what I thought would be an easy transition, has been difficult at times, and there have been periods where my self-esteem has dropped and I’ve been confused about my identity and self. These are both normal feelings one can get when going through a change though, and so I haven’t been too worried about it.

While I may write a blog on identity and self in the future, today’s blog has been inspired by the recent coronavirus outbreak, and the realisations I have made over this last week. If you, like me, are a deeply empathetic person, you may find this blog a reassurance.

In January and February 2020, I had heard things about the Coronavirus, but admittedly, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Truthfully, I t...

December 31, 2019

The last day of the year... A day of reflection. A day of planning the new year... For most of us, the new year is seen as a fresh start. A chance to be different. Better. To break old habits, create new ones, reach goals, have new experiences, meet new people...

In the past I was never much of a goal setter, and my attitude for the most part was just, "go with the flow and decide things as they happen." However, after I got to the end of 2018, and (in my eyes) achieved the equivalent of nothing, I realised that maybe this floating attitude wasn't actually working.

At the beginning of the year, one of my friends sent me a picture of her goals and habits for 2019, and so for fun, I sat down and decided to make a list of mine too. Really, it turned out to be a list of habits or tasks I wanted to adopt daily/monthly as opposed to any specific goals I wanted to achieve, and I believe that that worked better.

If I remember correctly, here was my list.

Exercise daily.
Practice 30 minutes...

November 30, 2019

Last week Wednesday, I packed my suitcase and looked out the window and onto the Braamfontein streets, knowing that that was the last time I would ever see the city from that perspective at night. As a taxi drove through the green robot (traffic light), I found myself feeling emotional, realising how something so mundane could end up meaning so much when you’re saying goodbye. After four years of living in the same flat, I was moving out.

What’s funny is that in the beginning of matric, I had never even thought about attending Wits or living in Braam. The plan had always been to go to Tuks – Pretoria -  and it wasn’t until one of my friends mentioned Wits in the middle of the year, that I actually stopped and pictured myself going there. A few weeks later, I attended a debate about organ transplants at Wits Medical School with my mom, and I remember standing with her and Dr Anna Sparaco in the parking lot at night, going on about how alive everything felt, and couldn’t they feel it? I a...

October 29, 2019

Three years ago I posted a YouTube video called ‘People I Find Beautiful’, and in it, I went through a list of around 50 friends, family members and acquaintances, and spoke a bit about what I found beautiful about each person. My reason for doing this was that I had watched another YouTube video a few days earlier that was a social experiment regarding beauty, and if I remember correctly, people were told that they were beautiful, and many did not believe it. It’s sad to me that I can see so many beautiful traits in people, but they cannot see these themselves, and so that was why I decided to make the video.

Three years later – so this month – I posted another ‘People I Find Beautiful’ video because of the new people that have entered my life and because I wanted to make the point that even if you are just an acquaintance, you have still played an important role in my life. I think sometimes people tend to view themselves as “just the Economics kid” or “the guy from work”, not realisi...

September 24, 2019

Hello. September’s blog is a bit … different. The power went out last night and I couldn’t use technology or see, and so I decided to write this blog. In the dark. (I mean I couldn’t see the paper, and was writing my sentences on top of each other). It’s far from perfect, and has no structure, but I like it because it’s different, and not something I would have ever done had the power been on.

 I’ve typed it out here exactly how I wrote it on the paper. - Wow, it was honestly so difficult keeping all the grammatical errors and spelling mistakes … When I typed this, I frequently had to stop for a moment to shout out, “OH NO!” and put my hands over my face in embarrassment. Contemplated fixing the mistakes, but I decided not to because I think I need to work on not being so controlled.

“So. Currently I’m sitting in Braam, in the dark. Because the lights have just gone out. I think something tripped. And its funny as I literally cannot see the words that I am writing. I can see the outline...

August 16, 2019

Have you ever come across somebody that you instantly liked and wanted to be friends with, but because you’ve put them in such a grand light, you’ve believed that you’re not good enough for them? Admittedly, I’ve done this a few times. I’ve met somebody – usually from afar – and have admired certain qualities about them (usually their leadership style, humour and charisma), and then when they’ve actually become friends with me later, I’ve been really shocked and haven’t understood how that could be. It’s the whole ‘Well you’re so great, so why on earth have you decided to hang around me?’

I’ve realised that this ‘putting people on a pedestal’ mindset is kind of nonsense. Just because somebody may have a number of traits that you admire, doesn’t mean that they are better than you. In fact, you may possess those very same traits that you see in them.

 So, say that you are very shy, and you’ve just met somebody who is extremely outgoing and can capture a crowd. You may be very taken in by t...

July 26, 2019

Do you ever feel like you go through periods where your mind is drawn to learning a particular lesson or skill? Maybe you’re really focused on getting fit … or watching a lot of documentaries … or learning how to speak to people you don’t know. In July, I have felt very drawn to strengthening my intuition, and so I felt that it would be fitting to write about it.

Intuition to me is a strong feeling that I get that guides me on my next step. So, examples of this may be waking up and having a strong urge to send one of my friends a message, asking if they’re okay; writing on a particular topic; sitting in a different seat; or going out with my friends one night even though I would usually stay at home. It may also be a feeling that tells me NOT to do something. Don’t go out tonight. Don’t write on that particular topic.

Sometimes we may get an intuitive feeling about something, but will choose to ignore it because it doesn’t make sense.We may make the more logical decision instead. The rea...

June 26, 2019

When I was a child, I was very shy, and social situations were a nightmare for me. I felt uncomfortable, judged and awkward around people, and would often dread any upcoming social events. My mom was very extroverted and outgoing, and she encouraged (and at times, forced) me to speak to people. At the time, I hated it, but now I see that if I hadn’t spoken to people for all those years, my social skills would be poor/non-existent. My mom has always said that you cannot help the world by hiding under a rock, scared. Speaking and communicating with people is a necessary skill.

Today, I wouldn’t really consider myself to be shy. Sure, there are days where I’m more hesitant about speaking up, but for the most part, I can easily voice my opinion, participate in small-talk and perform speaking tasks such as: ordering the bill or booking a table. The funny thing though is that despite my growth, I still experience the same type of stress before a social interaction, and my brain often tricks m...

May 18, 2019

Over the last two years, I have discovered that I have a tendency of side-lining projects and tasks instead of tackling them full on. So, something will require my attention, and instead of sitting down and doing it, I’ll hold it off and focus on other things. The problem though is that while I am doing other things (procrastination usually), I’ll still be thinking about the abandoned task. Sometimes I can walk around for months holding onto this abandoned task, feeling worse and worse about it.

I don’t know why I do this. I’m guessing a large part of it is fear. The funny thing though is that usually the task is quite simple and could be completed quickly if I just sat down and did it.

The last responsibility I carried around for an unnecessarily lengthy period of time was asking for three recommendation letters. I knew who I was going to ask, but for some reason, I just wouldn’t do it. Looking back at it now, I really don’t know why I was holding it off, because when I did finally do i...

April 24, 2019

For the last three years I have gone into the new year with a phrase or motto.

2017’s was: Say Yes to Everything

2018’s was: Say No to Everything (Haha! Say no to the things that are not right for me)

2019 is the Year of the Voice.

This year I wanted to speak up more, do more videos, feel more confident and basically just have more of a presence. While this year certainly has been the Year of the Voice (well the first 4 months at least), another theme has emerged. Discipline.

At the end of 2018, one of my friends sent me a picture of her 2019 goals. I hadn’t written down goals since Grade 7 (minus the obligatory Life Orientation goals at high school), but I suddenly felt inspired to create my own. Sitting at the telephone, I drew up a list of random activities/tasks/goals I wanted to achieve. Most of them were habits or tasks I wanted to complete either daily or monthly. I started with four daily ones (meditate; complete Morning Pages; do Spanish; write three things I’m grateful for) and qu...

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