Letter of Imperfection

November 27th, 2017

Dear sir/madam,

I am writing this letter in response to the “Perfection is overrated” position. I saw the quotation, “the more perfect people appear to be, the more they’re probably suffering, beginning with you” and I feel my qualifications make me a great candidate for this position.

The socially constructed perfection meter made me this way. No, I did not wake up like this. I definitely wasn’t born like this – granted my mother did call me the perfect cupcake so I don’t know if that counts *insert shrugging emoji here*. Forgive my use of emoji statements, there were no emojis for me to use and, did I mention I was imperfect? I have, time and time again, highlighted my imperfections but – from the outside – the perfection meter seems to rank me high on the “pretending to be perfect” indicator.

Religion (or should I say the legalistic aspect of religion – I almost went on a tangent, forgive me sir/ma’am. I’ll bite my tongue) has given me a label I cannot accept. Some seem to think I have my spirituality in check, look at me successfully pretending *flips hair*. I do realize, however, that I am flawed. I am a fallible creature with faith in an infallible God, constantly in need of Grace. Thankfully, this infallible God is willing to give me new Grace and Mercy every morning. Trust me when I say – ma’am or sir –  that if it wasn’t for the constant Grace and Mercy, I would have a front row seat to hell. I would probably have the master key even. Side-note, I still could have a free pass there as I write, being the imperfect sinner that I am.

I have created internal perfection rubrics that are simply impossible to achieve. See, what I did is, I mixed the social constructs, the religious expectations and the cultural success determiners to create an idea of the perfect me. I told me what I have to become, created a timeline, and constantly beat myself up when I miss the mark. If you do not agree that I am the perfect candidate by now, then I don’t know what you want.

Here’s the kicker though, I have said “MISS ME WITH THE 100% QUALITY”. If anything, this alone should be what gets me this position. I want others to see my flaws, because what human doesn’t have any. I want to be an imperfect human being and display the scars and bruises, followed by an extrapolation of the lessons received as a result. I have decided, success isn’t getting to 100%; it is merely moving further away from the 0% mark. The final destination? INFINITY (let me know, sir/ma’am, when you find someone who has reached infinity).

Benjamin P. Hardy says this of success: “success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate”. Sir/Ma’am, I have even left you with a powerful quote here. You really should just give me this position already.

I am not trying to be perfect, just successful. For me, this means constantly being better than I was yesterday and the day before… And I’m down with that.

Sincerely,

IMPERFECT SUCCESS SEEKER

#FakeItTillYouMakeIt*

*Or, Excitement over Fear – Faith equations

So I will be Twenty-Five in a Few days!! By few days I mean 10-ish, I’ll be 25 in 10 days (really, it’s 11 but 10 sounds cooler than 11 so yah)!!! I was telling my older sister how I’ve never been this excited about a birthday before and felt kinda weird but it is what it is hey. Go big or go home. I, hopefully, will be this excited about birthdays in the future too but hey, who knows. I have said it before (if you follow me on social media, that’s where I’ve said it – before you start asking me, where Nosi? Where did you say it “not now but before”? hahahah – also that last statement in quotes makes no sense but it is funny to me so I’m keeping it). Anyways, what I’ve said is:

I am looking forward to the best 52 weeks of my life!

I had/have to own my 25th birthday! No, seriously!! I saw myself slowly drifting towards anxiety and depression because “twenty-five is the peak and it’s only downhill from here”; because I always thought I’d be all figured out at this point: Finances, checked… Future husband, checked (future because in my grand 5 year plan he would be in the picture but we would be moving towards that husband place – Oh how we dream)… Dream career, check… That second degree, check… The list goes on and on, we can sit down and talk for the rest. Hahahaaaa. Anyways, I almost reached the (oddly expected) quarter life crisis. So, while I was watching myself watch myself get to that place I decided NO!!! I am not about to be about that life and I am not about to be the stereotypical young adult going through a “darn you social constructs for messing with my mind” place. I decided I would channel those emotions somewhere else so…. Here are some reasons I am excited for the BIG.TWO.FIVE

 

1 – I AM EXCITED FOR A NEW START

Yea, yea… God’s mercies are new every morning, I know… The New Year is for clean starts, I know… Any day is a good day to start again, I KNOW!!! It is more than that though. I believe that I am at some sort of peak. I have an idea of how messed up the world is but I have also seen how beautiful it can be. I have made my childish errors – don’t get me wrong, errors will definitely still be made – and I have learnt lessons from them. I am at what many call the peak of my young adult life (by many I really just mean my mum, or you if you agree).

I am a YOUNG ADULT!!! Goodness gracious!!! No, seriously!!! At 21 you are barely legal, 22 is just a weird age and at 23 and 24 you are figuring out how to put one foot in front of the other but…. At 25!!! Good Lord!! You have made most of the mistakes you’ve made: in love, in friendships, in family, in regards to yourself. Trust me when I say I have ticked off a lot on my “not to do” list that I didn’t realize I had. Hahah… I have failed at love, I have failed at being a good friend, I have messed up at being a good daughter, a good pastor’s kid, a “good” Christian. I have done my fare share of messing up and I am ready to press the refresh* button.

*REFRESH AND NOT RESET BECAUSE I WANT TO KEEP THAT SEARCH HISTORY FOR REFERENCE WHEN I AM GOING THE WRONG WAY. *insert giggling emoji here*

 

2 – I AM EXCITED TO EMBRACE ALONE-NESS

I discovered this year that I love being alone!! I really do!!! I moved into my first “adult” apartment, by myself and goodness gracious!! There is something to be said about getting into your own space – a space that you can mold into whatever you want – and be ALL.THE.WAY.FREE. Like, you can come home and be yourself. You get to make (and break) the rules, you get to define the atmosphere and you get to create something!! You, ALL.YOU!!!

I always thought that I was a lot more on the extroverted side. Assertive, yes, but more chirpy, come-alive-in-the-crowd type. I am slowly learning that rejuvenation happens when I am by myself. I gain my energy that way, my creative side flows and my dreams find a way into my conscious. Alone-ness has allowed me to realize, in my head anyways, dreams I had forgotten about and some that I never knew existed. It has allowed me to create new ones, too. I have seen how small, and big, the world is as I spend time by myself. I am learning what makes me come alive, what gets me excited, what drains me! It is safe to say that I have discovered more about myself in the last few months than I did most of my college life.

 

3 – I AM EXCITED TO DREAM

Y’all, I am realizing the beauty of dreaming with God!! Seriously, looking at hopes and goals, and recognizing that they are possible has set my heart on fire in a way I never thought I’d experience. Sidenote, you are never too old to pursue your dreams. You are never too young either. The universe works in your favor and, once you set your mind to it – and work tirelessly towards it – it will happen.

So, this coming year, I am about to dream my wildest dreams. He says that he cares about the things I care about and I am ready to see if he really meant that. It is sad that we get to a place where we forget the things that brought us excitement when we were younger, the things that we thought would just happen simply because that is what we wanted. Oh, how I pray that I develop the heart of a child (not the mind though, I’ll keep an adult mind. lol).

 

4 – I AM EXCITED TO TRAVEL

If you know me, even a little bit, you know I LOVE, LOVE traveling!!! I haven’t done that enough this year though, so I am doing better next year – they do say do all the traveling while you are young and free right? I am currently at 31/50 in American states and 4/7 in continents and would love to see that increase. I am excited to learn how to create time to travel and explore with a work schedule that doesn’t always allow me to. Hopefully this year we can make it 40/50 in American states and Asia, I am coming for you next.

 

5 – I AM EXCITED TO WALK EVEN DEEPER IN MY PURPOSE

Learning what your purpose is a beautiful thing… Walking in it, now that is amazing and hard at the same time. This year has been a year of revelation in as far as my purpose is concerned. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still wouldn’t tell you much. I sure would tell you more than I did last year though, so that counts right? Hahaha… The fun thing about purpose is, in my opinion anyways, it is constantly being refined. It is like being at the optometrist and going through the letters, the letters never really change (aside from your optometrist moving to the next one) but your ability to see them does. The different lenses allow you to look and, as the right lens comes into play, you get to seeing the letters or numbers just right.

I am learning that I have to go through the lens selection process. My purpose is unchanging but my viewpoint changes from seeing one angle and then another. I see what I have matured enough to see. The purpose stays the same but my maturity is the lens-selection process. Until I find the right lens, the purpose will be blurry! As someone who wears glasses, I know that the lenses selection process can be both scary and exciting! I refuse to be scared, I choose to be excited.

And that, right there, is pretty much it – the reason I am so excited about twenty-five. I REFUSE TO BE SCARED, I CHOOSE TO BE EXCITED!!! So here’s to an amazing year ahead!!! Let the countdown begin!!!

 

*Disclaimer: 31 Is a guesstimate. I haven’t been too good at keeping track, I just know I celebrated when I made it to 25 – then I stopped counting

#25andfeelingFINE

That one Time I wrote Jesus a Letter – Excerpts from my journal

Disclaimer: Personal blog post ahead.

Confession: Sometimes I question Jesus; I question my faith and I question the reason behind it all. I am glad, though, that Jesus can handle ALL.OF.IT!!! (I had to use multiple exclamation marks there so you know it’s an exclamation statement – I don’t even know if that makes sense. Hahaha). Sometimes, when I go through those phases, I am reminded that He says, “test me in this”. Yes, yes, I know He was talking about a different kind of test but it all involves faith, right?

Spoiler alert: He has proven himself 100% of the time.

Anyways, here goes an excerpt from a letter I wrote to Jesus (insert monkey hiding face emoji here).

 

I want that… “ooh he just gave me a hug” type of love. The love that gives me goosebumps when I think of you. Oh, no, wait… Butterflies. I want butterflies. Yes, yes, I want that goosebumps AND butterflies when I think of you kind of love.

 

I want that AGAPE -type business. That, I don’t care what you do for me, to me… I don’t care what you don’t do, even, but I just want to love you, to be loved by you, to please you. I want to serve you with every ounce of my being.

 

I want that, “running through my mind all day” love. The “all my dreams have your face in them” type of deal… My best dreams with you by my side, my worst dreams with you coming to the rescue.

 

I want that, “dreams and reality intertwined” kind of love. The “ride or die”, total trust, no fear when I’m with you kind of love.

 

I want it… But, you gave it to me already!!! I say I want it but I keep looking every other place for it. Every other place but you. (Insert sad face emoji here. haha). I say I want to give it to you but my actions say otherwise.

 

I say I want you, claiming the love is real… But I am constantly asking, “where are you at though?” I say I trust you, your judgement through the Holy Spirit, your plan and your leadership but I don’t act it.

 

You tell me you have the best plan for me, I say I ain’t listening. You say you died for me – and you would do it all over again – I tell you to “talk to the hand”.

 

I want you, I want to love you like you loved me. I want to serve you, no questions asked. You say, “make your desires known to me”. Mine is to know you more.

 

You say, “delight yourself in me”, I say “teach me how”. Teach me how to walk in faith! Teach me how to love my neighbor and serve like you served. Walk with me…

 

Walk with me in the valley of the shadow of death… Walk with me in the green pastures. Eat with me at the table you have prepared for me… For US… YOU… ME… US

 

I want more. I want more… I want more than I’ve had before. Lord, I want so much more!!!

 

How about that for Monday motivation! My prayer – and hope – is that we are all constantly wanting more…

“As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God.”

-Psalms 42:1

 

Confessions of a Woman Struggling to “even”

Sips tea… Can’t even!! Tries coffee… Nope, can’t even!! Brings out the wine… Nah, nah… Indulges in dog petting, baby admiring, meditation… hmmmmm, No… STILL CAN’T EVEN… The urban dictionary defines “I can’t even” as:

“The complete… onset of the cessation of brain activity, brought under the presence of acute stress, which fully affects the person only a short time after it strikes them. Said person, under the duress of the symptoms, demonstrates their affliction by alerting to others that they can’t even, in reference to their inability to deal with the symptoms, or their inability to perform simple actions which have been made impossible by their afflictions.”

Yep, I quoted urban dictionary because why not. Life is a struggle! A joyful, entertaining and satisfying journey but a struggle none the less. Sometimes the struggle overwhelms you, sometimes you don’t realize there’s a struggle and, countless times, you are such a boss at managing the struggle that others don’t realize that it exists in the first place. Have you ever looked at someone and thought “wow, she’s got her life under control” only to find out later that they’re a hot mess. Isn’t it funny that, when you “can’t even” (let’s see how many times I can use “can’t even” in one blogpost), everyone else seems to have things in check? This blog post is for everyone who feels like they are struggling… Homie, you are not alone! I gots you!!

I can’t even ADULT

I said it. “Adulting” is hard! The act of making life choices is one that is delicate and deserves a “handle with care” note on it. Sometimes it requires us to create (or cut) relationships that we once thought were life giving. It requires us to think through the steps, to process, to create spreadsheets and graphs of the pros and cons of all the potential routes. I am quickly realizing that the process gets complex really quick! I know I often get to a place where I pretend those decisions are nonexistent. If you’ve ever piled up mail you know what I mean.

It starts slow: you put one envelop on the table and tell yourself it will be opened later. Next thing you know, there’s a pile of envelops and you are too lazy to open them all. I often do the same with tasks, responsibilities and decisions. I have been doing that a lot lately, actually, and I probably need to open up (and sort) the different “mail” in my life. Piling things up usually seems like a good idea at the onset until you realize it isn’t. My IB teachers used to call it getting to the “bottleneck” or something like that. If you’re on that same pile-up route, maybe you should stop reading and take care of ish, yes? Yes!

I can’t even CHRISTIAN

Raise your hand if you are a perfect Christian (or Moslem, or Babist, or traditionalist or spiritualist)… Basically, raise your hand if you are perfect in exercising your faith (or lack thereof)!! Oh, you liar!! I see you!! Guys, faith is so complicated. I mean, it is and it is not – which in itself makes the whole dynamic that much MORE complicated!! So, you see, there’s no winning.

I have been a Christian for most of my life at this point and I’m still not sure how to do it “right”. I see people doing it oh so well and feel like I am not even trying. I watch my friends successfully fast during Ramadan and think “Nosi, you need to do better”. I listen to people defend their spirituality, defend atheism, stand on the street corners and tell me why scientology is the way to go and I’m out here questioning God (and his plans for my life) over and over again.

I sin, oh boy do I sin! Sometimes my sins are small, petty even, and I defend myself and cook up justifications for why that’s “not too bad”. Sometimes they are huge and I hope that I can bury it all and pretend nothing happened. Sometimes a lady has to channel the inner Joseph and flee which, let’s be honest, is easier said than done. I use sin here as my personal focus but sin may translate to different aspects of failure: the times we act contrary to what is deemed morally right; when we break the law intentionally (and sometimes unintentionally). There’s also those times we act in a way that’s contrary to the ethical and moral standards that we set for ourselves. Yeah, you get me now don’t you? There’s that one time that I had a bar of chocolate after I’d told myself I was on a diet, sin against ‘self’ right there!

I can’t even with RELATIONSHIPS

Woah, now this is a legit struggle. Why is loving so hard? I’m not just talking about intimate relationships here, I’m talking about any and every form of “SHIP”. I have a great friend circle, my family is amazing and I have some pretty good mentors but, man, keeping up with “SHIPS” can be hard. Creation and managing ties gets complicated and sometimes I lack patience. I let friends go and return to relationships I should have killed a long time ago.

In different situations, we may pursue relationships with others from a selfish perspective. We seek fulfillment, joy that we believe we can only find from others. We don’t want to be alone, we want to be loved, we want to FEEL love and in order to do this we rope people along. We forget that “SHIPS” are a two-way stream and seek to take and take without giving back. Why are we like this?

My mother taught me what  I consider to be a fundamental goal of any “SHIP” I may pursue. This goal: growth. Now let me break it down for you. Hahaha! Mama taught me that, whatever connection I create with another individual, I should be asking myself how that persons life will be better because I am in it. It is the idea that, whether a relationship lasts forever or 2 days, that person needs to look at the time they spent with me and feel like they became a better person because of it. At the point where they experience no change or, at the worst, a digression in growth then there is a problem.

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

Ok, so there are a lot of areas that I think “I can’t even” in but these three are some main ones. The beauty of it all, however, is that I am not alone. I have conversations with people in my life and realize that our struggles are oh so similar. If you are like me and often feel like your struggles are not experienced by anyone else but you, you’ve got it all wrong. We are here, we are many and we understand. We understand that sometimes decision making is hard; that loving and living can get complicated; that faith needs a lot of work and shortcoming should be met with love.

I believe in freedom albeit I find myself believing it for others more than myself. The existence of freedom means that we always have a right to choose and that, while we can wallow in our struggle to “can”, we have the freedom to work on the areas that we struggle in. I believe that freedom allows us to learn where we need to and continuously do better in areas where we struggle.

I believe in grace for others and for myself. I know that perfection is overrated and therefore refuse to conform to the expectation of a perfect me. Sorry not sorry!! It is often easier to offer grace to others and hold it back from ourselves. I listened to a podcast the other day and someone spoke on how she tries to reason (and have conversations) with herself like she was talking to someone else. While that is a little weird, hehehe, I love the concept because it, somewhat, makes you a tad bit nicer to yourself.

I am constantly learning how to exercise freedom in my life and have grace for myself! Every day gives an opportunity to do this better than yesterday. I advocate for grace and freedom to “self” and believe that success comes in allowing the days of struggling to be building blocks rather than opportunities to stumble.

So, this Monday, how’s about you cut yourself some slack, give yourself some grace and exercise your freedom. While you’re at it, I’ll be out here trying to do the same thing!

(P.S. I used “Can’t even” 11 times if you weren’t counting)

Tears Dry on Their Own

635903153360772396358155644_support-systemYep, this is one of those “why am I being too honest to the world” kind of days. I have been stuck in the living room for two days and the weather – apparently – is beautiful outside. I have seen the sun through the blinds and I stopped myself from self pity by typing up a blog. Yep, one of those days… Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Today marks my one-week footversary!!! Haha!!! Background my foot found itself under the wheel of a car and it wasn’t pretty… One week ago, I was counting down to my birthday… One week ago, I was thinking about how my birthday would be a week long celebration this year because 24 is the last year I will not be thinking about the socially constructed expectations that come with your age. You know, where’s the man at? Where’s the job at? Where’s the accomplishment at? 24 will be the last year I get to live like a college student and make college-student type decisions.

Yesterday I cried. I kinda don’t know why, I kinda know, you know those type of cries right? I spoke to my best friend about feeling unaccomplished. I told her how I felt like the Khumalo ancestors had turned their back on me. I reiterated the struggles, the failures, the mishaps, all the negativity that I felt at that point. Yesterday I cried. I cried for my foot that has to go through soft-tissue therapy for 2 weeks, I cried about the crutches I have to use, the help that I often need to get from one place to another. Yesterday, I cried because I realized I couldn’t do anything on my own!!!

On my own, by myself, a struggle. Yesterday, I should have laughed. I should have laughed as I realized that the last week has been filled with check-ups, food deliveries, phone calls, texts, snaps, sit-in aid, numerous “An African City” binges (believe me when I say I’ve watched the first 3 episodes of the 2nd season FOUR TIMES!!). I should have laughed as I realized how many people are on my side, how many people will “take care” of me without pausing to think about it. I should have laughed at the devil, at negativity, at any lie that tells me I am on my own.

Today, I almost cried… but then I smiled. I smiled because I realized 23 has been GREAT. Great not because it has been filled with good but great because, more than any other year, I needed people more than ever. Great because I have seen, and continue to see, people fight for me when I didn’t think I am worth fighting for, when I wasn’t willing to fight for myself and, more than anything, when I tried to pretend that there was no need to fight.

I am thankful for 23. Thankful for moments that broke me (who would have thought a heart could be broken twice in one year. Let’s just laugh at that), thankful for my degree(s) regardless of the tears that came with that. I am thankful for the job hunt (y’all, I’ve applied for 100+ jobs– the process is really humbling), thankful for the travels I got to embark on and the people who made those travels worthwhile.

Today, I choose to smile. Tomorrow I will choose the same! And the next day, and the next. Today I made a decision to recognize that I need MY PEOPLE, that my life would be so much less worthwhile without them. Today, I choose joy and positive vibes only!

“Smile! Especially in the most frustrating moments and you will unlock a whole new realm of positivity” – Curiana

Digging through the Mountains

I went camping  a week ago! Yep, I like camping. There is a lot to be said about being one with nature, even if it is just for a few hours, and getting to press that refresh button. I needed that! I was emotionally frustrated, physically and mentally exhausted and really just in need of some reflection time so the timing of it was perfect. Through reflection I was taken back to a moment I experienced over the winter break, here goes the sharing!!!

So, while I was in the beautiful land of the Swazis (Swaziland) I did a lot of dirt-road driving. I had to stop multiple times to appreciate the mountainous terrain. Now, if you’ve grown up around this it’s not that much to appreciate. In fact, you probably don’t like it very much because you, most likely, have had to walk it A LOT!!! But, having been in Oklahoma for a couple of years, the hills and mountains are that much more significant… See, PERSPECTIVE!!!

If you have driven on dirt roads, especially Swazi dirt roads, you know how frustrating it could get… Those potholes though!!!! But then it hit me, the dirt road I was on used to be a mountain. My perspective changed as I appreciated the fact that trucks (lorries, or whatever you call those vehicles that dig..hehe) had to grate through the mountains, a little rock and soil at a time, to make the road what it is now.

The trucks had to do the undone, go where no one else would dare to go. I’m sure there have been roads grated in other parts but in this new mountain, this act is the undone. Forming the road meant that trucks had to pave the way, literally; removing trees and shrubs, spending countless hours in ‘nothingness’ until there was light and the road was built. Think about that for a second. Isn’t it funny how we often find it hard to go where others haven’t gone and face the forests head one. We go through the motions and fear what is in our wilderness. We hide behind conformity, and fear breaking down the trees and shrubs that are between us and the goal. Isn’t it high time we all start to grate through our own forests – regardless of what they look like – and take a chance at making something out of the nothingness?

The dirt road we drove through had mountains on the side, rock and soil with different chemical make-up. Not to get technical or anything, but with the different pressure and composition of soil at different areas of the mountain there is bound to be variation. These differences do not change the fact that the road exists, they don’t change the fact that this used to be a mountain. I was there like, ok the HS, what are you saying? And he was like, you better stop acting like the different parts of where you are at – where your struggles are right now – convince you they won’t be over. He said, in digging through the mountain, the trucks attacked all the rock types with full force and that’s what you have to do. Of course, you may need different tools for different problems but they shouldn’t scare you. I was like, ayt then. Got you!! Seriously, I couldn’t argue with that.

The funny thing is, driving down the dirt road, the only thing I could do was complain. Complain about the potholes, complain about how rough the road was and everything in between. My first thought wasn’t to appreciate the job that the trucks (and the construction workers) did to get the road there. I did not appreciate how much work they must have put into it and how they successfully converted a mountain to a road and how much work was put into it. Humankind is configured that way though. I am sure we can all think about a moment, or moments, where blood and sweat was put into something and the final result was met with complaints from others (or even ourselves really). We (or they) didn’t realize how much it took, the risks that had to be taken, the trees that had to be uprooted. However, that doesn’t change the fact that work was done. Just take that in for a second.

As the semester comes to an end (my undergraduate career with it) I have been having a lot of ‘those’ moments. I have been wondering if it’s worth bringing down the mountain, whether the ‘nothingness’ can be something. I, and others, have feared grating through because of the uncertainties, the possibility of failure, the complaints that might come because of ‘potholes’ . But, here is the thing, it is all worth it. We are all working (and walking) our own mountains. The path to road construction may be long and tedious, the work may not seem worth it sometimes but it is. It is all worth it. Like the little truck that could, we too can!!!

Go ahead then, dig through that mountain. Make something out of nothing!!!! 

 

Journey to SELF-Discovery (I promise I’m not being ironic)

I really wish I could have come up with a more original title but at that I failed. I am not that “original” unfortunately (insert laughter sound here. haha)…To give credit where it’s due, this post was inspired by a conversation I had midweek with a friend (thanks Manxo)… two claps for Manxo y’all!!

        I have heard so many people reflect on the “journey to knowing yourself”, how it reveals so much of who you are and how it allows you to “learn soooo much more about yourself”. That’s true, I think, and that journey differs from one person to another. Gosh, I’ll stop using journey now, it’s a little on the cliché side of life.Ha!! One of the coolest quotes I’ve heard – which has also become one of my favorites – is “the journey is the destination” by Dan Eldon. Boom, MIND.BLOWN!!!Or at least I was. My first response was, “what does that even mean” but, seriously speaking, this changed my perspective on a couple of things.

        First, the fact that if I get too focused on where I am going I won’t get to enjoy the process as much as is possible. There is so much pleasure that comes from realizing that there is forward movement or that situations are not holding you down and preventing progress from happening. Think about it this way, focusing on the end goal rather than on the process that will eventually get you there is like living everyday focusing on the day you will die rather than on the life you are living. Don’t get me wrong, the idea is not to live goalless lives, goals are important. Just as important, though, is embracing the process.

        I have realized that there is more to be learnt in the process of getting to a goal rather than the goal itself. For me, this realization has come with understanding that a goal is more like a landmark that prevents you from getting lost and living an idle life. I am reminded of how my parents (and most Swazi’s I know, really) give directions to people. They will be like, “drive until you see a school. Once you see the school, make a left turn and then a right turn at the big tree. Keep driving until you see a small market and then the destination will be on the left”. Goals are like the school, the tree and the market. They are not the purpose of the drive but rather the indicators of whether or not the drive has come to an end. I mean, when it comes down to it, we spend waaaaaay more time in the process rather than in the actual celebration of achieving a goal because once we achieve one goal, it’s time to move to the next one (unless of course we want to be idle then we can just relax at the one goal and not move forward. Where is the fun in that?).

        All this to say, I am constantly learning that the fun comes in learning, realizing that I know something that I didn’t know yesterday and then realizing that there is so much more I need to learn. Failure will happen when you get to a new thing. I for one have failed countless times when a new challenge comes my way and that has enhanced the path that I am on but, there’s nothing as fun as getting to a place where that same challenge comes at you down the line and you succeed without breaking a sweat. I always feel like such a winner in life when that happens!!!!

        So, for me, the “journey to self-discovery” is being reminded every day that I am on a journey. Hold up now, what am I even saying. haha…For real though, it’s understanding – or rather trying to understand (because goodness gracious it can be so hard to understand) – that the definition of self is always changing…And then embracing that. It is realizing that once I discover a part of myself, I have to discover something new that I didn’t realize was even a component of who I am. It is discovering that what we see as the core, the foundation, of who self is will be consistent, even unchanging, but the peripheral components of self are evolving. It’s also understanding that I can never resign myself to the self that I have “discovered” because that might,and probably will, change. The journey to self-discovery, well, we don’t have to push it. It’s a natural part of living and being so for me it is not a specific season of my life, it’s an all-day every-day occurrence.

        So next time someone says you have changed, let them know the core is still the same but that you have discovered a new component of the peripheral. Next time someone tells you they are in a season journey to self-discovery, wish them luck because that season might never end!!!

“God, your God, has blessed you in everything you have done. He has guarded you in your travels through this immense wilderness. For forty years now, God, your God, has been right here with you. You haven’t lacked one thing.” Deuteronomy 2:7 [MSG]