On Mondays, we regroup

I had such an intensely emotional weekend, something that has been happening rather often lately. The plan was to have an adult weekend comprised solely of boring self-care. You know; dinner for one made with ALL the love in the world, my favorite alcoholic beverage, movies with my feet up… the works. Did I succeed? Well, only for half a minute. And then fomo took over and I found myself fully dressed with my face beat and ready for an adventure. I used to be the most FOMO-free person on the planet. I have no idea when or how that changed…lol.

Anyway, as much as I fell off the wagon on that one day, I had every intention of carrying on with my self care plan the rest of the weekend. And I did. I spent Saturday by the pool -sunbathing and dipping interchangeably. It’s amazing how much a little vitamin D can do for your mood! Throw some cocktails and a book in there and you have yourself a full blown party for one.

Solitude can be difficult if/when you are an escapist. Your instinct says, “Keep going!” “Don’t stop the music!” “Run! Run! Run!” But at some point, all that stuff you keep out by following your instincts starts to leak from places that make them hard to ignore. Your eyes, for example, in the form of tears; your mood; hell even your body in form of random aches and ailments if you let it go so far. Pain sucks. Especially since there’s no quick permanent remedy for it. But you know what? There’s no short cut to recovery. And at some point or other, we’re all forced to deal with the pain that’s trapped inside of us. And it can get really really ugly.

So sit down with your emotions every now and again. Acknowledge them; Try to understand them. And then find a way to release them. It’ll do you a whole world of good.

Thanks for coming to my TEDtalk.

What are some of your self care routines?

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Wednesday morning grinching

Wednesday morning grinching

Today, I woke up and thought, “What a day to be alive!”

Waking up is always a process. Most times, I open my eyes and just stare, trying to decide how I feel on that day. On most mornings, it’s nothing, so I grab my to-do list from the night before and [attempt to] mentally prepare for my day.

On some days, that works. I get up and actually do stuff. Especially when I’ve eaten. Breakfast is ridiculously important to me. Do not even attempt to come near me in the morning if I haven’t eaten. Just nod and be on your way. In fact, I’d be perfectly fine if you didn’t even bother to nod.

But there are also those days when I wake up and realize that day isn’t going to happen. Mental, physical and emotional energy sometimes gang up on me and decide that we’re taking the day off. I kid you not. There was a time when I’d fight it, or try to, anyway. But these days, the most I do is try and understand how much my energy and I need the day off, and then most times, I oblige. I can’t stress how important it is to take time off for yourself in this demanding world.

So I’m having one of those mornings today. I woke up feeling nothing for the most part. The house is eerily silent (just the way I like it) and I’m holding my breath, hoping it will stay that way for a while (not very likely, considering I live with morning people). In a second or two, someone will be throwing the curtains open, another one will either turn the tv on or start talking at the top of their voice about one exciting thing or the other. It’s great, to be honest. That energy often rubs off eventually and in an hour or so, I could easily be mistaken for a morning person as well. (Who am I kidding, it’s the food. Breakfast has all the magic.)

Anyway, I’m attempting to have my best day today and I hope you are too.

Love,

Zeri xx

Not another Valentine’s day…

The 14th of February… such a scandalous day world over. People’s minds are blown, sometimes, others get terribly disappointed. Some have chosen not to believe altogether because it’s easier than accepting that nothing is coming through for yet another year in a row…
For me it holds so many funny memories from years past. From the little boy who got suspended from boarding school because he escaped to come and see me on that day (I didn’t even see him because my parents were home and I couldn’t get out of the gate), to the time I had more than one tentative date and they ALL fell through… to the time when my surprises came through well after 7pm and by then I was too mad to enjoy the treat (the perfect date, by the way). Then I remember the time when I came down from my building on my first day in Cape Town to find a boy with a puppy, red roses and a huge placard saying “Happy Valentine’s day baby!” And no calls or texts from my then boo. Thank God there were no blue ticks then . They could have started a world war, I tell you.

Now that I’m older (and much wiser), I find it absolutely ridiculous that so much would be tied to a single day, one with a very questionable history at that. I mean, it’s true that most of us need something to fuss over, to believe in, to look forward to; but frankly speaking, I think it would be much wiser to let the whole thing go altogether. I mean, what happens when nothing comes through? Or if you get the same old bouquet of flowers for the seventh year in a row? What then?

Call me a cynic but I’d rather have 365 days in which to expect nice things than have one singular one. There’s much less room for error with the former. However, with that being said, I do hope you guys weren’t too disappointed today. Surely some of your dreams came true, yes? We all know how much I love a good love story.

But for the rest of you who, like me, neither believe in nor celebrate Valentine’s day, I do hope you had a wonderful day at work/school/life.

Hugs and kisses…

❤Zeri❤

Write to heal (3 )

Write to heal (3 )

On some mornings, you wake up completely paralysed on the inside. It feels like you’re lying under a pile of huge rocks and  there isn’t much you can do about it. That’s the kind of morning-turned-day I’m having. 

I rolled out of bed (literally) and stood in the shower for about 30 minutes doing nothing. There’s something very soothing about hot water running over your body; especially in the morning.

Anyway, after the shower, I sat on my bed and opened my instagram notifications. And both my siblings had posted about my father, and how it’s been two months since we buried him. He was lifting one of my baby nieces in the picture. He looked so happy. And then I involuntarily started thinking about him, not the wisest thing to do before a work day, but I couldn’t help it.

Anyway, I’ve been experiencing a myriad of emotions since November. To begin with, I was struck with terrible anxiety; the kind that kept me awake for over a month and killed my appetite for everything except KFC  (because fried chicken cures everything). Over time, that anxiety morphed into numbness. I think this has something to do with the fact that I had to go back to work which meant feigning some sort of strength lest you totally break down. In any case, there’s only so long most people can tolerate basket cases for. It’s been 2 months for crying out loud, are you seriously still crying?

And then there was the guilt. Guilt I was eventually made to realise was unwarranted. I could have gotten to the hospital sooner. I could have been the last person he saw before he closed his eyes. Instead, I was fast asleep because the doctors saw no need to let us know he was in critical condition. And when they eventually decided to move him to ICU, I didn’t get there fast enough. I was a few minutes too late. On the one hand, I know i said goodbye. I hugged and kissed him the last time i saw him four days before he died and that’s extremely comforting. I’ve always been so big on goodbye. I’m the kind of person who’ll reach the top of  the road and then turn back because I didn’t say goodbye. Thank God for that.

I dream about that morning many times a week, and each time, the outcome is different; he doesn’t die, he bounces back like he always did in the past.

Some days are worse than others when you’re dealing with grief. And on those days, it’s best to allow it. Today is one of those days. And I’ve allowed it.

Write to heal (1).

Write to heal (1).

​As human beings, we have a habit of walking away when our loved ones need us most. We are afraid of pain and seeing other people express it openly often unsettles us. We find ourselves unsure of what to say or do. And a lot of the time, that uncertainty keeps us away. “I’ll give them some time,” we say, “they’ll be alright.” My question today is, does this help? And why on earth do we think it does?

If you know me, you know I’d never cry in public. Not if there’s something I can do about it. Now during my father’s funeral,  i kept excusing myself from the crowd and locking myself in the bedroom to weep.

And when I was done, I’d wipe my tears,  wash my face and come back out to play host; poker face and all. I noticed more than a few people staring at my face, looking for signs of tears or some sort of emotion but I showed none. Because where I come from, you don’t show your emotions in public. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I was accused of strength as if it were a medal of honor. Once or twice, I explained that someone had to make sure everything was going okay considering there were only three of us hosting and attending to the hundreds of co-mourners. If I lost it, my mother and two siblings would probably lose it too. Then what? Another time, I nearly bit someone’s head off. But I won’t get into the details. People can be so insensitive.

Anyway, all through the four days, we received an overwhelming amount of support from our friends. Some of them dropped everything and sat with us all day and all night for the entire week, even after the funeral had ended. It’s the kind of thing none of us will ever forget. Thank you. To the people who have kept visiting us every day, calling us, bringing us food (because we haven’t cooked at all since it happened. Junk food has been our life), praying with us, praying for us;  Thank you so so much. For those who let us talk about our loved one (because that’s what our hearts need right now), thank you so much. My baby, Jojo, who held my hand for most of it, and let me cry on her shoulder even though she hates crowds and the tears probably made her uncomfortable, I have no words. But know that my heart fills up with gratitude when I think of you. But like you said, I’d have done the same thing for you.

I know it’s hard to be around sad people, and it’s hard to listen to the painful details of how we feel right now, but thank you for listening anyway, and for the words of encouragement  (for those who offer them). Thank you for holding our hands and helping us whenever and wherever you were able to.

We really really appreciate it.

The Honesty Series #1

Over the last few months, I’ve been forced to dig deep into my emotional stores for all that stuff I’d packed away in those boxes labelled “Danger! Never to be opened”. I’ve had some of my most difficult conversations this year and I think I just might be a better person for it.

Earlier this evening, I unpacked the contents of a  particular box whose exact location I thought I’d forgotten. It started with a casual stroll down memory lane, one I didn’t even prompt. Yet before I knew it, we were jogging and then running all the way down the lane. The words were out before I could stop them. And just like that, there my truth was in its full glory! For a minute there, I wanted to take it all back. I thought of every possible way I could take back everything I’d just said. I felt almost naked and exposed. Almost, because there’s one little thing I left out. Perhaps another time, if it ever comes.

Anyway, as I sat there thinking about what I could possibly say to lighten the mood a little bit, my date said something that left me completely dumbfounded. In that moment, it occurred to me that the person I was talking to had no idea what had just happened. I could have said “look, that cow has two heads” and they still wouldn’t have told the difference. A wave of relief washed over me for a moment. But it passed just as quickly when I realised there was something horribly, terribly wrong with that picture.

I vaguely remember uttering a few unintelligible statements about how much I’d give to get rid of my emotions. But I was lying. My momentary lack of emotions is exactly why I was sorting through fossils in the first place.  Who am I without my emotions? Nothing. No one. That’s who.  It’s true that I’m intense. I love and hate so fiercely that even I sometimes worry for the people on the receiving end. “Somehow” has never quite been my style. Not for lack of trying, though. I just always land on the extreme end of the scale. Always.

Anyway, at the end of it all, I packed up my little box and put it on the shelf because now that the cat was out of the bag, there was no need to bury it out in the field anymore. Who knows, maybe one day it will all make sense…