A Letter to my Friends. Please Read. It’s About You

A Letter to my Friends. Please Read. It’s About You

Moving is tough and I’m not talking about packing boxes.

I may never see all of you again. When I think of all your faces I think of all the value you added to my life.

There is this urgency in me not to go before you KNOW what you mean to me. That’s what I’m all about I guess: that people may know their worth. Maybe because some individuals have helped me find mine and now I can’t bear the thought of you not knowing the impact your life has made on me.

I’m moving far away and for a few years you have helped form me and guide me through the waves of life. And now that season is over, but what you’ve accomplished in me is not. Your marks made me stronger, wiser and happier. And you have to know that that is a legacy you leave in this world.

Yes, I know with the technology of today we’ll still communicate. But I’m going to miss the times around the kitchen tables and feeling your comforting hugs or seeing your smile. So here’s me trying to say thank you for all those moments.

Thank You for Making me Laugh

Is there anything better than making a serious, complicated person like me get out of her usual box of reference and laugh ecstatically? You made that happen. You made me see the lighter side of life. You made me ENJOY life when all I wanted was to ACCOMPLISH life.

Thank you.

Thank You for Being Wise when I Couldn’t be

I’m used to being the counselor and advisor. But there were times when I couldn’t be and I became the student. And wow, your authentic way of living and “practice what you preach”-ways and your experience made me trust your insight. Thank you that you had the guts to go through trials so I could learn at your feet for a change. I will never forget what you did for me.

Thank You for Listening

I prefer listening. I love hearing stories. But then occasionally I need an ear. And you were there. How can I say thank you enough that you heard my sorry stories without judging or even advising. Safe spaces are hard to come by in this world and you gave me one. Thank you.

Thank You for Drying up My Tears

I love crying. It cleanses me. It’s God’s way of getting all the junk out of my system. And you allowed me to vent. You made me okay again. Most of all you made me feel safe even though I was vulnerable. There is no greater gift a friend can give. Safety. Wow. I’m going to miss that.

But as God always sent you at exactly the right time when I needed you, I also know He will send me new safety nets in my new home. I pray that you will always find the right friends at the right time. You deserve the best.

Thank You for Making me Dream

You helped me realise dreams, dream new ones and encouraged me every step of the way. How do you say thank you to someone who saw potential in you even before you knew it was there yourself?

Thank you for bringing me one step closer to my God-given purpose. Thank you for the insight and inspiring me by chasing your own dreams. You’re amazing and I pray all your goals will one day be reached. I will be praying from afar. I will cheer you on always.

Will We Meet Again?

I don’t know who of you I will see again. I must make peace that seasons change. I don’t want unrealistic expectations because it hurts too much when expectations aren’t met.

But whether this is farewell or only ‘until we meet again’, know that the memory of you makes my life richer. It gives me the strength to move onto the next chapter of my life. You have been good to this person and may God bless you immensely for that. You have been His hand in my life and I have been so privileged to know you.

Today words aren’t enough to express my gratitude.

I hope we meet again. In my heart our friendship lives on. Thank you for the footsteps you left in this heart so far.

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The South Africa I love(d)

The South Africa I love(d)

So…they’re tarring the road that runs past our front gate. Yes: South Africa still has signs of progress. That is the first fact I want to impress upon you. Just down the road from me a stunning estate with a brand new school has opened. So in spite of our focus on that which is going south (no pun intended) in our country, innumerable lights jump up in the darkness. I’m referring to building projects, innovative people doing great things, entrepreneurs living their creative thoughts, charity projects helping the broken hearted.

 

All of this have not stopped…even though there is a lot of frustration with our leaders and a lot of hate speech doing the rounds, we have much to combat that negativity. Because I believe the only way we can keep on making this country better is to have hope that it CAN get better. And hope is fueled by current truths. So there you have one: progression. And here’s some more.

These workers outside our gate. I do not fear them. I do not simply tolerate them. They have become a happy moment in my day whenever  I leave for work (which I still have in this country) or the shops (these seem to keep on jumping up as well). The workers don’t hate me. Their smiles are genuine and their recognition of my car is followed by excited waving. The assistance I get from them is what I love of South Africa. Despite our racial differences we respect each other…because that’s our default. Even amidst students fighting and parliament frankly becoming a joke, there’s a group of South Africans-both blacks and whites-that do their utmost to live the value of civility and respect and love.

A few weeks ago I was late for work and so I entered the road well after the workers started their day. At the moment I wanted to charge down the road, the workers were just getting into wetting the earth and using the TLB (I marvel at how construction workers expertly manoeuvre these huge vehicles). I turned into the road and everything stopped. They stopped everything. For me.

I was disturbing their daily task. I was interfering with their schedule. But they did not hesitate for a second to move all the heavy machinery out of the way…and then they would not let me pass. Not until they smoothed the gravel to make sure my car was not hurt. I know they may have a foreman who would swear at them if they upset the locals. But this group of hard workers looked after me and my car in such a caring way at a time when they could have left me to my own devices or kept me waiting until they were finished.

I messed with their schedule again just a day or two later when I got stuck in some of the soft earth being prepared for tarring. The wise old workers deliberated, got everyone together and lifted my car out of the sand while making sure nothing is damaged, all the while communicating with me, smiling broadly. He could have been brash. I would have understood. They work hard and I’m simply a bother in a hectic day. But they weren’t. They were the most friendly people I came across that day.

Every morning I’m met by these workers(who are doing a very neat job of laying the road by the way). Every morning I’m reminded that South Africa has a choice. I am blessed by a group that chooses to live respect and that gives me hope. I smile back because I love them for turning our road into tar, for doing a good job and for making me feel safe and accepted when all around us everyone is fighting.

These people are what I love about our country. That different types of people can live love and friendliness…even when it’s not necessary. We do it because we can…not because we must. And sometimes we need to be reminded of the power within each of us to influence those around us…with love…not hate.

I know there’s a lot that’s wrong with this country. But not all of it is. Some aspects are so RIGHT. And I will passionately believe that it can outgrow the rest.

Easy? No.

Possible? Yes!

Don’t let this goodness die. Please.

Are we going to make our countrymen smile…or cry? You decide.

winter

Dance of life

It’s a wedding…one of the various I am to attend before my own big day arrives…whenever that will be.

One of the high-lights always – for my band of friends anyway – is the dancing: the opening of the dance floor, the fun and laughter as everyone joins in.  And then I start to wonder: what would my day be like when this time arrives.  I do not come from a dancing-kind-of-family.  Not that I mind: I like dancing, but I’m not an addict…or is it that I simply haven’t discovered the magic of it?

Here’s the thing: My friends consist of various couples who, when looked at as individuals are definitely not dancers.  Some I have known before they found their life-partners and then it always surprises me to find them on the dancefloor doing funky steps and quite at ease with themselves, where previously they would never have dreamt of it.

And then the beautiful picture emerges: so many of my friends found their dance-gurus in their partners.  Nerdy boys who are shy in so many respects, bloomed into self-assured dancers, learning steps for the sake of their wives, and discovering the joy of it for themselves.  Shy girls who  wouldn’t think of doing anything in front of a crowd, setting the dancefloor on fire simply because their other half is beside them.  Individuals with no beat at all, taking over the beat from their other halves – realizing the how to and when.

It is as if dancing is language and chapter of life all on its own.  To feel so at ease with yourself and the other person that you would let them guide you in a new, unknown direction…because that’s the flipside: the worst feeling is to feel uncomfortable on the dancefloor, to make a move and realize the rest are thinking you absurd…dancing in a group and being the last one left over.  But in the eyes of various couples I have seen that change to a attitude of “I don’t care anymore, because there is one person who LIKES my dancing, who ACCEPTS my dancing, who IMPROVES my dancing, who JOINS my dancing…and the rest don’t matter!”.

I pray that I can have that attitude about various things in life, and yes, more and more I hope that that same belief about God as the one inspiring these thoughts would become more and more present and reality.  But we were made to partner with humans as well.  God made us for eachother.  May we find (and choose) the ones who would make us…not necessarily EXPERT dancers…but CAREFREE dancers!

It is such a simple thing, but such a perfect metaphor for what our partners are supposed to be for us, isn’t it?  A teacher of what life can bring us if only we dare to venture out…showing us what has been inside us all along…and the best of all: to dance WITH someone is so much better than dancing alone: the sharing of life, makes life all the richer!

The dance of life: learning the steps and realizing you weren’t as bad at it as you thought you were.

Now, come partner, I’m waiting on the edge of the dance floor, ready to go.  All that’s missing is you!

I am learning to look after myself

I thought it was enough to give…I was under the impression that the great need I have to help others was enough to sustain me…I was wrong…so wrong.
No matter the amount of energy I gain from counseling and assisting…it does not keep me going…that’s just a fact of life I had to learn I guess.
…cause when you reach a day where you wish you had the guts to give up…to start over…to call a psychologist…to shout ‘stop!’…then you know you got something wrong in the equation….it all DOESN’T add up…
Or it all added up to too much.
Okay stop the rambling now…this is what I want to say.
Thank you for all the lessons I learnt through vampires who gobbled up my energy…to ‘friends’ using up my time…to baggage-carriers evading choices and dumping their issues onto my advice-giving.
Its not your fault that I was okay with being miss-used…but it is my privilege to move onto a better way of going about things.
I have the privilege of boundaries…of saying no…of choosing my time spent…of investing energy and taking up which responsibilities…and I will practice that right.
So thank you for the lesson. My future will never again by sapped of energy in this way.
I wish you all the best…and pray for the best…
But most of all…I choose the best for myself…balance…
Where I am also invested in…given time and energy and advice…cause guess what…I need it also…
love…safety…respect…friends…health…laughter…hope…a good life…

As I write I realise I have all the resources for this…but I keep finding my worth in what and who I can fix…no more…I will adjust my focus…

This train-of-thought….to be continued

That’s it.

Phil 4
And the peace of God will guard your hearts and thoughts…