Marriage for Dummies 101

JUST-MARRIED-HEART

One of the most profound articles I read came from ordained minister, motivational speaker, author, spiritual guru, etcetera- Dr. Iyanla Vanzant. I read “Telling yourself the Truth” during my varsity years and it made such sense that I tore it out of the magazine and stacked it up along with my self-help stash.

A lot of Dr. Vanzant’s work got me through my darkest moments, and the knowledge that it came from an equally broken place provided a bit of familiarity and comfort. When she spoke about how unsettling it is to tell oneself the truth, I understood. Nobody ever wants to acknowledge that they are probably not the person they thought they were. Dr. Vanzant wrote that when she finally told herself the ugly truth about herself; that she was a damaged, needy and broken individual she experienced a sense of relief.

It is always intriguing to observe people’s individual reactions to my assertion that I am not ‘marriage material’.  While others are interested in knowing why- probably because they assume it’s tied to my sexual disposition- others are quick to provide unnecessary assurance, “Of course you are!” they say, There is someone out there for you”. Others simply assume there is a lot of self-esteem lacking. All of these are rather patronizing, if you ask me.

Human beings are interesting creatures, aren’t they? I have observed that the preferred modus operandi would be for society to tell you what and who you are (and have you toe the line along that narrow-minded strip), instead of vice versa. When society has ultimately branded you “un-marriageable”, it is bound to have negative connotations.

Therefore, the assumption is that this revelation comes from a negative place as well. On the contrary, it comes from a positive and affirmed place; from a place of constant soul searching and huge doses of ugly truths. It is neither tied to any feminist rejection of the institution of marriage nor the role of men. Marriage has ample benefits, so does un-married life. It comes from the realization that not every breathing soul is engineered for marriage hence some get divorced.

One of the truths I had to tell myself relates to expectations: The more expectations I created in my mind about marriage, the more pressure I put on myself to be ‘marriageable’. Through shedding these expectations I learnt I could simply…live. A male friend simply laughed at me after I revealed my disappointment at not achieving the “Get married-have 2.5 kids at 26” goal. He said he would never understand why women tend to put so much pressure on themselves.

In wanting the best possible existence for ourselves, we must also strike a balance by being realistic lest we shoot ourselves in the foot. People so easily assume that loving and mutually fulfilling relationships begin with marriage. This couldn’t be further from the truth. They begin long before that legally binding expression of commitment. Therefore, I’m still open to the idea of marriage-it still on my bucket list, sure- however it would require that I confront my general impatient approach towards life, compulsion and lack of boundaries.

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Blogging…365 Days of Bliss!

Gomotsegang

My, oh my! How quickly time passes! I can’t believe it’s been well over a year since I embarked on this personal journey. What an eye-opener! Now I know what they mean by SEO (Search Engine Optimization), basically how being visible on the web can work to one’s advantage in more ways than one. There is plenty of other online communication jargon out there that is quite simple. Trust me.

I started blogging mainly because I just didn’t want my material gathering dust in some cupboard, waiting for someone else’s approval. I had grown tired of seeking approval that I was good enough a writer. I put my foot down and said, of course I am! CallmeGomo was a gift to me; one that continues to give me the wings to fly as high as I possibly desire. I also hope that in some way or the other, it has impacted on those who have read my posts.

The blogging community on WordPress has been wonderful in providing great insights and tips about getting the best blog possible out there. I still pride myself on being a quality, no-fluff writer. I am truly grateful for my followers from all corners of the world, I learn a lot from you guys every day.

The buck does not stop here; I will continue to write, to the best of my ability, what is relevant and intriguing. The journey into life, passion and the quest for happiness continues.

I thank you,

Gomotsegang.

On The Subject of Tender Bellies…

Unfortunately, the knock on effects of over-indulgence can be devastating. They say too much of something is no good. In theory I know this all too well. In practice, well that’s another story all together.

before the tender....
before the tender….

There are a lot of things that theoretically like budgeting (and sticking to that budget) and taking one’s time, that is, patience. Suffice to say, I’m still a work in progress…I’m in shambles! Yet again, being impulsive and impractical comes with the territory. I also know that modesty is always key, at least that comes naturally. Pity I got out of the shower one morning and with a full length mirror before me encountered layers of cellulite staring right back at me, “Where’s that modesty you spoke about, sunshine?” Weeks of taking eight flights of stairs have seemingly done nothing to reverse an expanding waistline and increasing body mass. Horror!

Come to think of it, it’s the same odd feeling I encountered after viewing a TV news clip of Julius Malema during his COSAS days. Seeing how his physique had ballooned a few years later during his tenure as Youth League leader kind of threw my head into a tail spin. Weekend newspapers also noted his dramatic change from being an overzealous teenage mosquito to radically transforming into a firebrand teddy bear. Money does perform wonders.

post tender...
post tender…

Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to just laud Juju like that. He isn’t the only one. You saw them at the SONA in February, yes-their legs squeezed into Froggiesand Green Crosses; their tummies desperately tucked into ama-bambazonke(hold-all’s) and lycra tights- our public servants; our representatives. I have never fallen for the illusion that age has much to do with it, it may be partly responsible for that but entirely…nah!

The state of our health is truly dismal. On a recent training programme, the facilitator quipped that if there is one thing that is a constant in the public sector it has to be meetings. Meetings about conceptualising strategies, developing them and then there are meetings about getting together so-called task teams; about implementing strategies. Then there are…meetings about meetings: So much time to talk, so little time to act. Story of our lives!

Lindiwe_Mazibuko_talks_on_gay_rights_hate_crimes_jon_qwelane

Another constantis, of course, food. While the rationality behind the presence of food in meetings is to obviously be hospitable, it is also not have situations where people are out for a period of time more than necessary looking for food elsewhere thusone can easily fall into the bad habit of eating on impulse. On various occasions I would get to the office having had breakfast as usual and feel content thereafter, yet that would not diminish the inclination to stuff my face during a meeting. When you are 26 and starting to develop thetenderpreneur body, it feels a little uncomfortable. I don’t want to attract the wrong crowds by looking like I have money when I don’t!!!

I have swallowed the realisation that at thirty I may look like those women in Froggies like a bitter pill. While they may blame their lack of physical fitness on age and lack of time, I doubt my excuses will stick. I certainly don’t want to look like that, not when there’s still so much of me to give. If anything, serving the public is a privilege and a mammoth challenge that should be approached with vigour. I believe the absence of vigour and real interest in getting services to the public is really tied to how our leaders feel about themselves. They fail to be hands on because after those high level meetings with servings of prawns, caviar and countless pastries they simply want to hit a slump.

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I’m simply making a mental note to not give up on those stairs and to say NO to sponsored food. At least as a budding tenderpreneur, I know gym will form part of my routine in future. Grin.

 

Book Review

LOVE, SEX, FLEAS, GOD: Confessions Of A Stay-At-Home Dad      

Bruce Clark

Confessions of a stay-at-home dad

Bruce Clark’s book is possibly one of the funniest books I have ever read…and possibly one of the most heart-wrenching as well. It’s true, as a stay-at-home dad he covers all those aspects that brought him to where he finds himself today. He explores his relationship with his own mother and the detrimental effect brought on by her string of relationships. In one instance, he wonders why his mother got married at all.

That his childhood greatly influenced the type of father he became is very clear. I for one am glad that he is the kind of father he is. He attempts to instil the best possible foundation in his children while going through countless moments of, “Am I doing the right thing?”

I bought the book for purely selfish reasons; to see how women and men fare in the stay-at-home department. I expected greatly to find echoes of failure in Clark’s book. What I found was a reflection of myself, having gone through the motions as a stay-at-home parent.

I related every step of the reading experience except for when he spoke about Scientology. He also points out his disillusionment with the futuristic and useless practice. I like the fact that the book is so conversational and that a man who is apparently uneducated (in the formal sense, I guess) wrote such a concise and well-put confession.

Clark also touches on the Affirmative Action policies and his anger not being able to break through the mould is apparent. I had split opinions on that: On the one hand I felt Clark totally ignores the fact that more blacks than whites in this country face bleak prospects in this country. However, the desire to protect and nurture one’s family is also very real and one of the means of effective parenting emanates from being able to provide.

Clark has a cunning wit and his ability to remain devastatingly funny through tough and draining moments is astounding and makes the book such a pleasure to read. The message he drives home is that parenting is a set of processes: In the process of imparting learning, manners and values to the little ones- a parent also experiences some form of learning of their own. Therefore, there is no perfect parent out there. You don’t need to be a parent to read this one, if you have a sense of humour this one is a good read.

Publisher: Umuzi

192 Pages, R125

Dear Henke,Ever Heard of Mind Over Matter?

Now, I know I lambasted the ANC Youth League in my last post; a tongue lashing that they thoroughly deserve. That’s fine; I hope they now know that we are all allowed to be stupid sometimes, but not ALL the time! OK?

Of course I’m not going to be like a donkey with oogklappe (eye patches)-there is usually more than one side to every story. Anyway, a varsity friend stated the other day that “The Pistorius’ are such attention whores, blaming the government for their murderous son’s actions!” Thank you very much, Yandi’ I doubt I would have been able to put it as bluntly as you did. You nailed it.

I will not go into the statistics of children raped and mutilated in rural areas, in suburbs, in townships nor will I go into the numbers of women who are abused and violated by people they know. No. I will not even go into the numbers of people trafficked in and out of the country, nah! Road rage incidents? Not even that. Aren’t the statistics of crime in our country dizzying?

We are all affected. We all know someone who encountered misfortune in one way or the other. These numbers represent victims from all walks of life.

photo-courtesy mirror.co.uk
photo-courtesy mirror.co.uk

I find it absolutely appalling for the Pistorius brethren to put their stench at government’s door. Never mind feeling sorry for an innocent woman’s horrific death at the hands of someone who claims to have loved her. Never mind that the crime scene is located in an exclusive gated community-far away from the masses that may not be able to defend themselves against possible intrusion or to call the police for help.

Scapegoating? That is just so low class! I certainly find the lines between Oscar’s love of guns and them serving as protection-only to shoot his girlfriend- quite blurry.

While I remain critical of our flawed leadership, the buck stops here. I figure it is high time this lot adopted a remorseful stance and attempt to salvage whatever dignity they have left. All the empathy I initially felt for the athlete has completely waned. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their actions. Neither Oscar nor his father, Henke is the exception to the rule. I certainly think it was quite arrogant for the former to insinuate that substantial income means that an individual cannot commit crime or that they are too high and mighty to be rendered a criminal.

As for the latter, it’s about time that parents who lack basic parental instincts (parents who do not actively try to foster meaningful and healthy relationships with their children) realise their danger to society. Their actions not only have impact on the lives of children but threaten the nature of any future relations that they will undertake. Don’t believe me? Please refer to Santrock.

It is downright irresponsible and embarrassing. Our country is not your scapegoat, Henke!