A shagadelic Casanova…

Ever met one of ‘em Casanovas? The ones that are shag-a-delicious? Utterly irresistible? Yesterday myself and my best friend were talking about memories from our years of travels. Travels that sometimes involved men. And you know those stories you’ve had with people – people who tickled your heart’s fancy for a while? Sometimes they ended peacefully, sometimes they ended a bit awkwardly, sometimes they ended more than a little bit awkwardly. And when you walk away (or run away) from each other it’s weird. It’s weird because sometimes you’ve stopped talking to someone who was a huge part of your life, or a small but important part of your life – someone you somehow felt connected to. Of course, there are sometimes those that were just a bit of fun – you really did not feel any more connected to them than you would…someone you met on a playground and played with on the swings for a day.

Sometimes just after the story ended, if it was a tad more than a day at the playground, it was a bit painful – either because the plot did not turn out to be anything like you expected it to turn out (instead of marrying Prince Charming you ended up picking up dirty laundry or worse: dirty women) or because the hero turned out to be the villain (stealing hearts is, after all, a crime) – and then you don’t feel too great about it just after it happened. However, looking back it all becomes one wonderful comedy of errors, filled with extraordinary battles that the heroine of the story (you) had to endure. Time has also left you without emotional ties to the characters in the story, so even if at the time you didn’t feel all that great about something someone did, you can look back and understand why the person did it and therefore forgive them, without feeling let down, or sad. You don’t see it as personal anymore. You may still wish that each story had ended by you both showing how much you care for each other, even if you did not wish to be together, but in actual reality few people are able to act nobly where they have their hearts involved in a story that’s gone astray.

Yesterday when going through stories we were laughing till we cried and wondering if we could write a romantic comedy about our experiences without being sued for describing actual events, if we removed anything and everything that could tie a person to a story (after all I’m not sure I want to see a movie about the times I personally screwed up in the dating arena, or heaven help us all: in the bedroom…). In the midst of this we got talking about a guy who I dated briefly in LA – a guy who, when he stayed the night the first time ended up sick, as all of us got the stomach flu. It was really a first night gone astray. I don’t normally end up poisoning guys on the first night, but boy, oh boy. Myself and my best friend were in bed for a week, thinking we might die from nausea afterwards. UCLA bug going round. Anyway, I couldn’t remember the guy’s name. It had somehow slipped my mind.

Today, as I do freelance work for X online dating conglomerate, I was looking for something for their social  media feed when I came across this pick-up artist who was doing a live interview for some Australian news show, as he’s one of America’s top pick up artists/dating coaches. Now I just stared and stared at the screen and sure enough, the guy whose name I could not remember, was staring back at me. So I went to check out my Facebook, just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, but no, it’s the same guy with a new haircut. So now he’s helping people pick up dates and I’m writing dating tips articles and doing social media for dating sites. Ain’t life wonderful?

You look back at stories and it’s weird the things you remember. I will always remember that guy because I’ve hardly ever felt so sick in my entire life as I did whilst we had that fucking flu. I also remember him because his career choices, even back then, were rather unique. He was interesting, but I wasn’t that into him, nor was he that into me…it was just no big deal. You know some people you like, but there’s just no fire. I’d hang out with him any day, I just didn’t see any pink clouds around him, nor red desire. My favorite memory of him is him calling me in between flights, when he had taken a sleeping pill to sleep on the plane so he was still all sleepy and just cute. I have a voice thing, I like voices, and he sounded drop dead gorgeous then.

Likewise, ages and ages ago, I dated this other guy. Well, dated is an exaggeration. We hung out a few times and made out a few times. But he sent me this message saying “Babe, it’s snowing.” And it’s like my favorite text message of all time. I don’t really know why. Maybe because I felt he wanted to show me something beautiful that was happening, or share a moment. Because when we see something we appreciate, or something special happens, we tend to tell the people we care about – we want to share our excitement. I really don’t know, I just loved that message.

Sometimes I really do think it’s a shame that you don’t honor the connection you have with people more – both by seeing the connection for what it is and not trying to turn it into something it isn’t and by exploring and honoring the actual connection. Looking back I can positively say I wasn’t a great fit for most of the men I shared stories with, because we didn’t connect all round, but I love the feeling that with each (well, almost each) guy there was something you connected with. Something that intrigued you. Something that mirrored or attracted a part, or several parts of you. Sometimes it wasn’t the prettiest parts of you, sometimes it was the worst. But all the same, those parts of you were understood. Somehow it felt like coming home, if to the wrong home, because only a certain part of you, or certain parts of you, belonged there.

I think genuine human connections, when we respect them, are some of the best life has to offer. Sometimes we experience them through someone’s art, sometimes through their words, or their presence. And I guess that’s what makes us care for each other, because in each other we find ourselves. Then again, another way of putting this (the less respectful way that I’m sure we’ve all gravitated toward at times) is: “Darling, our intellectual discussions were great, I could spend all day talking to you, but in bed? You were as stimulating as a vibrator that had run out of battery. Please recharge or consider using your device for someone who is a better match for low sex drive. Yours truly, Damsel in Need of Better Sex” or “Darling, you were amazing in bed. A shagadelic Casanova. But apart from that you were a fucking idiot. I’m glad we made a sexual connection and that afterwards you hitched a ride to Mars. With respect, Your Venus.” If we could only learn to respect and treat the people we end up in romantic confusion with better, knowing that some are shagadelic, some angelic, some both, maybe there would be less war? And more sex?

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The designer date…

Today I invented a new form of dating. Or I coined a term for it at least. It’s called couch potato dating (#CouchPotatoDating) and involves Netflix, a couch, sweats (cozy, very cozy hoodies that match the sweats are also extremely necessary. I’m wearing one right now. It’s not matching my mini-skirt, but that’s beside the point.) and pizza or a pint of ice cream (potatoes are not necessary, but you could have baked potato skins with cheese if you really felt like it). I invented it after reading a post on Pinterest whilst doing the social media for X online dating conglomerate. I’m not sure said dating conglomerate will like my sense of humor, but we shall see. If #CouchPotatoDating starts trending, you know where it came from.

I also think there’s another form of Couch Potato Dating and that’s online dating. You only have to exchange Netflix to an online dating site or app, such as Cupid.com, Match.com, Tinder, etc. You can sit on the couch whilst eating a pint of your favorite ice cream and browsing singles, living your own rom com instead of watching it. As I don’t want to be perceived as a coach potato I have, on the other hand, plans on meeting potential dates at the gym or on the beach instead.

In the process of creating social media posts about love and dating (something I do weekly and therefore know all dating tips you could possibly imagine, plus all random facts there are about love, plus the latest about dating on Buzzfeed) I also found this article “Ten Things You Need to Know When Dating a Designer.” Now we are talking. This is serious. You have to understand this if dating anyone who is creatively inclined. Especially the bit about not mixing the furniture. You have to keep it consistent to create the right mood. Of course, sometimes that does mean mixing furniture, but you know what I mean. As a #CreativeNutcase (I suffer Keynote Obsessive Disorder – if I open that program I will spend hours obsessing about my latest logo or presentation before I manage to shut it down – usually because I’m about to faint from hunger or similar emergency) I can attest to the fact that this article hit home on a few point. Then again you shouldn’t listen to me – I also find it sexy when guys buy raw foods at Whole Foods. I’m like “OMG, he’s a total match.” Yeah.

The sad bit in my life right now? I don’t speak Adobe. Can you feel the pain? It was one of the points in that article: all designers speak Adobe. I swear in Adobe. I speak Keynote. I speak Snapseed. I speak iPhoto. And I could be fluent in Pages as well. But Adobe? Merde! (Read: Looking for drop dead gorgeous Adobe teacher for crash course in Illustrator and Photoshop. I will look upon you with adoration and fluttering eyelashes when you show off your irresistible designer style. Really. I will. That’s what creatives do: they fall in love with creative geniuses, for better or worse. After all, it doesn’t mean that they are geniuses in any other areas of their lives.)

I think I have to take a crash course in Adobe. My life feels incomplete.

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What’s going on in that beautiful mind…

Did you ever wake up with a smile on your lips, greeting the new day with a longing to explore it? Did you also once or twice wake up with dread, feeling fear of what the day ahead holds? Or feeling like you have nothing left to live for?

This morning I woke up to the news that Robin Williams has died – committed suicide after bouts of depression and addiction. I wasn’t surprised, but I was shocked. I had heard of his problems, so it didn’t surprise me. It still shocked me. He made so many people laugh. I was laughing at his latest series just the other day. I grew up holding onto Dead Poets Society with an iron fist. I wanted to become a director you see. A film director. And it wasn’t a popular career choice amongst family and relatives. The movie gave me hope. Allowed me to allow myself to live for my passion.

I didn’t have an easy childhood though and that’s why stories – books and films – meant so much to me. Often I still face ghosts when going home to Sweden. Not usually the literal kind of ghosts, although I believe this house hosts them too. TVs are known to turn themselves on and off here, amongst other peculiar occurrences, and it took me some time to make peace with those ghosts too (read: not freak out). Coming back this year was no different. Or maybe it was – I was more determined than ever to face my ghosts, both the real and the imaginary.

You see, life is what we make up about it. There are as many theories about life and what you should be doing with yours as there are people walking this planet. Yet, we are brought up with ideas about the goals we should achieve, what is deemed as success and what isn’t. Hollywood, more so than any other place I’ve ever been, is filled with people trying to be “successful.” And on top of that: trying to be more successful than most. It isn’t about finding a good job, it’s about finding one of about 3,000 jobs that lead to worldwide fame. It’s not an easy thing to try to live up to. To topple it off it’s all about self-promotion and presenting the perfect face to casting directors and the world. Me, me, me. Perfect me. As if that wasn’t enough, many actors fancy themselves method actors and choose to time and time again relive the difficulties in their own lives when acting a character. I find it insanity, acting is acting – thinking the thoughts of another character and thereby feeling their feelings – not reliving your own worst and best memories. Those have nothing to do with the character. Also, acting is acting for another reason – you are, as mentioned, thinking the thoughts of the character and thereby feeling their feelings, you aren’t the character. You have to understand the thoughts that make up the character. You don’t, on the other hand, need to take crystal meth to act someone who did (each person who does have an individual experience anyway). You don’t have to become gay, bi or straight to act either one of those. Then it’s not acting. Then it’s becoming. (I remember reading a book by Strasberg, or about Strasberg, where he says that the audience won’t know if you are crying because of a memory, or because the character’s dog just died, but I believe they do. Weirdly enough, as it’s contradictory, the very same guy advocated “living in the shoes of the character” which is why method actors go off and live as homeless when acting someone homeless.)

Funnily and tragically enough actors are often those who, whilst they can act someone else on the silver screen, can’t step into seeing the world from a different perspective when at home. They are trapped in their own emotions. They feel the acting is a veneer and their true selves are a flop. Many artists have these thoughts. As do many successful people, because so-called success and praise for your talents has nothing to do with your insides in many cases. What’s more, many get caught in the “wanting to be better, having to reach perfectionism” state of being. They can never just be happy with what they have accomplished – they are obsessed with achieving even more success or paranoid they will lose the success they have. Especially in Hollywood where you are only as good as your latest film and where good looks and popularity account for many a paycheck. People forget that they are something beyond talents and work. That their looks, paycheck, age, popularity and talents are just that – beyond that they have a heart and soul. A heart and soul that are happy to just be and experience life, learning from it, rather than having to achieve something. They may want to express themselves artistically, as well as meet kindred people who appreciate them for who they are, but that’s different from wanting others to love their art and being popular. Very different.

I did not understand this growing up. My mom’s death and my perception she rejected me on her deathbed, my step-mom’s rejection, the kids’ rejection in school and my grandparents comments that it was difficult to look after us because they were so old, combined with my dad’s obsession that I do well and hone my skills, led to me believing love was a measurement for success. That you had to be perfect to be loved and that there was some fault with me as the bullies and my step-mom did not seem to like me. I was obsessed with finding the fault and curing it. Not surprisingly I suffered from both ambition and self-hatred.

I also suffered from depression – first when I was seventeen, which I came out of within less than a year thanks to therapy, and later when I was twenty-seven. Again, I cured myself within less than a year, but I felt really frail. And the gray days were there from when I was seventeen till I was thirty. Even if I was only really depressed twice (and those that have been depressed know the difference between feeling down for a while and being clinically depressed) there were many gray days in between and a wavering sense of self-confidence that often made me think I was mad because I was obsessed with, or petrified of, what others thought of me. I would walk into places thinking I didn’t know how to communicate with people, didn’t know how to socialize, didn’t know if people would really like me. I thought any time spent alone in a group was a failure; a sign I was unlikable. Likewise, there was nothing worse than being alone on a Friday night, reliving the feeling of being thirteen and not having many friends. Yet, I always made great friends as soon as I got out of the village I was raised in (i.e. away from my own reputation as a geek). I was always loved. But I didn’t feel it. I remember thinking I had a gazillion friends and still I couldn’t feel it. Couldn’t feel I was loved, or good enough to be so. It scared me.

I know what it is like to wake up and see no meaning to life. I don’t know what it’s like to want to die, but I know what it’s like to feel nothing for life. I was clear-headed enough to know my feelings where chemical reactions and that they would pass – at least the second time round. The first time round I had no clue what was happening to me. I soon learnt thoughts can lie; perceptions can lie. I knew I had big scars from my childhood. I knew I just had to find out whatever thoughts were out of whack and turn them right; whatever unconscious and conscious patterns that were wracking havoc (but that can feel rather petrifying as it’s like swimming in an ocean looking for that one wave that carries the truth, having no roadmap to find it). I knew all of that, but still…depression is terrible. So if you only feel that dreadful feeling that there is no meaning to life for ten minutes, go numb for only ten minutes, it’s the worst ten minutes. I lived in fear of myself. Fear the depression would come back. Fear I would never truly conquer it.

I finally did conquer it. In South Africa. I am a determined person. A childhood where you are taught to fight to do well may scar you, but it also gave me one hell of a determined mind. I was taught to fight. So I read personal development books. I took courses. I never touched drugs for depression, nor drugs in general. I never stopped searching for an understanding of love. I never let my mind fool me to think that some of its thoughts were real. I could see the misunderstandings in my childhood – see how I went from happy and popular to an outcast and why it happened. I could see the thoughts I created then were simple misunderstandings – how I came to believe I was unlovable and started hiding, shying away from people and thereby becoming disliked and filled with fearful thoughts about others. But by Jove it took time to conquer it all – when I was fourteen I said I was going to cure my shyness (i.e. lack of confidence), today, at thirty-two, I feel like I probably did. And still, only the other week confronting someone who owed me money, and still does, frightened me. I was scared a person I have known for so long, cares so little for me that they don’t pay what they agreed to pay for my work. They didn’t pay, but I finally realized it was them that had a problem, not I.

I don’t have gray days anymore. I still have scars and days that are difficult though, everyone does and that’s different from what I call a gray day. Since I came back to Sweden I’ve had a few weird days as I was facing my ghosts; my fears. My fear of settling down as I fear I won’t be welcome in a place, which I, in turn, fear will break my confidence. My fear of having a relationship with someone, as I fear they will break my confidence if they don’t love me enough to be happy with me. My fear of never amounting to something professionally, because I fear releasing my creativity to the world (and hence don’t). There’s two sides to this though – the yin and yang. On the one hand I fear failure as it would upset my ego, so I keep avoiding doing certain things. On the other I fear success as I don’t consider myself good enough to receive it, which is also why I avoid doing the very same things. I’m always obsessing with fixing myself, of being better and doing better and I always leave a little room for failure so I can think I didn’t do enough. That I’m not worthy something and if shit comes I deserve it.

I need to learn to stand up for myself and demand of people to treat me as they should. Stop being afraid of what they will think of me if I do. I also have to put my own work out there and stand up for that. I have to stop hiding away from both conflict and love. It’s my life. I have the right to live it as I choose so long as I’m not harming others.

And that, ladies and gentlemen is what I’ve been battling and embracing since being home in Sweden, whilst soaking up the gorgeous countryside landscape, working hard and seeing friends and family. For the first time in my life I’m starting to get the feeling I own my own life. That it’s really my life and I don’t have to defend myself for the choices I make – they are mine to make. It feels precious. Very precious.

I hope that if someone else reads this they will be strong enough to fight their depression and know it’s nothing to be ashamed of – life happens to us and sometimes we misunderstand it and thereby create scars that affect us psychologically. Even if your thoughts are running amok it doesn’t mean you can’t learn to control them. Even if you hit someone yesterday, it doesn’t mean you will do it today. You can take control over your life with a bit of practice. You are a heart and soul, never forget that. The core of your being is great, no matter what your past. And that’s what I wish to tell the whole damn world.

You can read my tribute to Robin Williams and some of his best quotes, here: http://costory.com/story/wdrwx-robin-williams—quotes-we-remember-him-for

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The midnight train to Paris…

The sound of waves gently caressing the hull was like a lullaby at night, whilst in the morning it would slowly awaken me, call me back to the world, together with the smell of coffee and sea salt. Living on a boat in the Swedish archipelago many summers as a child would bring me a sense of oneness with nature I would never forget – BBQs in natural harbors where the rock of the island was the actual harbor, fiery red sunsets at eleven o’clock at night as the sun dropped behind the horizon, experiencing a new island every day with the feeling of being an explorer, fishing for your own food and cooking in the outdoors, using the ocean as your bathtub and the sensation of living simply for the pleasure of another day was, as much as I’ trying to describe it, indescribable.

Those were my Swedish summers for you growing up. Of course, Swedish summers were a lot more than that though. Back then I was insecure and unhappy in myself. Today not so much. In fact, I’m pretty dang happy most of the time. Yet, sometimes I look back and think that from then till now I achieved nothing. It’s not true. I educated myself for seven years, I traveled the world, I started working as a writer, I started working with a charity and I got two foster kids. Not to mention I grew as a human. Exponentially. I became the adventurer I always dreamed of being, but I didn’t produce the art I thought I would, within the timeframe I thought, let’s just put it that way. And it made me sad – I want to be free to create what I want 24/7. Live my passion. Don’t we all?

Then I realized that time is now. This is my life. And pushing myself beyond the breaking point, or feeling stressed because I want to live the dream right now or I want to show something off to the world that I’ve accomplished – my movie, my novel, my photography exhibition, my company…just doesn’t serve me. Nor does looking back and thinking about what I should or shouldn’t have done. It’s not about failing or winning, it’s about enjoying this very moment. Because this very moment is my life.

As I said on Facebook:

Having celebrated my birthday this week I’ve reflected a lot over where that midnight train to Paris really took me when I left home thirteen years ago. Did I make the right decisions? Did I achieve what I wanted to achieve? No. I made some pretty crappy decisions. I didn’t achieve all I wanted. But I set sail towards my dreams full speed and God knows I did a lot of things, saw a lot of things, learnt a lot of things and traveled the world exploring life like I always dreamed of. It just wasn’t as easy as I always dreamed of – I didn’t have all the answers to the riddles along the way, at least not immediately. Looking at it this week, reflecting, I wondered if I was a success or a failure? Then I realized all I have is this moment. I hold life in my hands. It’s a precious gift. And it’s mine. There is no right or wrong so long as I don’t intentionally hurt people or the planet. There is really no greater achievement than just to live on your own terms, following your own heart. Measuring sticks belong to others. Your life belongs to you. Life’s an adventure, not an achievement – there will be obstacles and sometimes you will screw up royally, but you can still learn, explore and move forward filled with curiosity at the wonder and depth of this thing called life. And I highly recommend getting on the midnight train to wherever your heart wants to go…there’s just something about sleeping on a train and waking up where your heart comes alive with the adventure of your very own life story…the one that’s still unwritten…

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If I could be anywhere, I’d be naked with you right now…

Well, we can all daydream can’t we? And we can dream whilst sleeping too and given we sleep an average of eight hours per night (when we don’t have deadlines) we can have a pretty good sex life without having to do much anything at all.

That’s just the problem. Not doing much anything at all.

In life we want many things, but it takes will and action to get there. I don’t mean forced action – I mean going with intuition kind of action. Nonetheless, the mountain ain’t gonna climb itself. If you use your intuition right you might find a bus up the mountain, but all the same there will be obstacles. There always is. It’s called the adventure of life.

I found this quote this week: “I wonder why birds always stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the Earth. Then I ask myself the same question.” – Harun Yahya. I found it and I found it profound. Not because I necessarily think much about going anywhere (apart from France, haven’t been for a while), as it appears I’ve traveled the world for a very long time. No, traveling isn’t what it brought up for me, but what you do from moment to moment. You could be anywhere, do anything – what are you choosing to do?

The truth is most of us are lazy. And it’s easier to daydream than to do. There are all these visible obstacles as well, like the laundry, the dishes, the uhm traveling, the kids, the…everything! But have you ever noticed that when you are really busy you get so much more done in a shorter space of time, because you have to?

I think the answer is obvious why the birds don’t fly – either they don’t know that they can and are scared of what’s beyond their experience, or they already love where they are. But as humans, sometimes we don’t do something not because of fear, but because we don’t have to. Is it really easier to give up on our dreams though?

It’s nice dreaming about hot dudes, but there’s something about having them in your bed whilst dreaming about them…

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Skinny dipping in Sweden…here comes the naked Swedes!

The other day in the rain and in between bouts of thunder our neighbor ran naked across the road and out on the bridge and plunged into the water. Skinny dipping at its best. So today I decided it was my turn. Only I kept the bikini on. It was a bit too sunny for me to hide in the clouds and rain. I do like skinny dipping though. What better than a naked moment in nature?

Yesterday I found out that one of my foster kids in South Africa, the boy, has been beaten by a relative and another kid, the third T, who I have been mentoring, his brother has been stabbed in the leg by his mom. Also, Liezel, the principal at Little Angels, is suffering from health problems and this morning it was confirmed that to get medical attention for her we need 12,000 rand, but we have to do it or she might actually die. It’s in those moments I panic, I get angry, I wanna…well kick one of those big kicking things boxers have (I’m so educated I totally know the name for it). We used to have one in the garage in South Africa. Anyway, one of those.

The feeling I get after the anger, sadness and helplessness is that I want to be on the first plane back to Africa – I’ve been away for so long this year, first Los Angeles, then London, now Sweden. I know it won’t help though – the best way for me to help Little Angels and the kids is to sort my business and my life and to spread awareness. It’s to interlink my dreams with the dreams of Little Angels. It’s to create a business that supports Little Angels and to share the story of Little Angels with the world. That ain’t gonna happen if I run back to Cape Town every time there is a crisis. Nor will it help any of them if I give up my calm and happiness and sit around feeling bad about it. Liezel tells me time and time again that I’m a role model for the youth and kids – that they all talk about me and wanna be me. I can’t be a role model if I don’t live my dreams. Nor can I adopt the twins if I don’t make money enough to do so. But it’s hard being away sometimes. It’s really hard.

Sometimes these things hit you like a door slamming in your face and you look up all bruised wondering how the hell you can walk around happy when you are in so much pain. Is it possible? It’s not possible to ignore the pain. It’s not possible not to want to hug the kids and the people you love; to be there for them. You will long to do that. It is possible, to keep enjoying your own life though and you have to. You can’t give up your life because others suffer. There is so much suffering in the world and you won’t help it one bit by joining in with the suffering. To alleviate it you have to focus on making yourself happy and help those around you find as much happiness as they can under the circumstance.

So last night, before hanging up with Liezel, I decided to make her laugh. I talked about the first thing that sprung to mind – the ghosts in our house (long story about TVs that turn themselves on and off and other interesting things). I had her laughing so much I thought she might end up with a stomach ache from working her abs.

For myself, I decided to keep going with my career and enjoy myself as much as I can whilst I am in Sweden. I don’t get to see my family often, nor do I get to be in the Swedish countryside very often and I love nature and summer. I also love art – creativity. So I want to take this opportunity to indulge in my surroundings and allow the creativity that flows through me when I am out here to flow as much as possible. I want to create as much as I possibly can. And to clear my mind I will swim in the ocean as much as I can. So this morning I got up and did just that and there was this moment when I was floating in the water, looking at the sun and it was just me and nature and I felt perfectly alive. I wish to give those kind of moments to people, so I have to create them. I have to continue to inspire myself and those around me. Because that’s what I love.

I’m still worried as all hell. I’m human. I wanna hug my little boy and girl right now and sweep up my mentor kid and his brother and protect them with all my might. To make it worse, my “other daughter” as Liezel calls her, Zennie, was hit by her mom the other week. She, on the other hand has gumption. Liezel took her mom to the police (as she will with the other abusers – in SA it’s normal to give someone a hiding, a smack on the butt, but beating someone is out of the question) and Zennie explained to Liezel that she wants to talk to me and tell me all about it. Zennie knows her rights you see. And she tells anyone who behaves nastily that she will send Liezel on them to take them to the police. And somehow that give me hope, because that little girl doesn’t seem to think it’s her fault, but the other person’s fault if they behave nastily. So many kids get scarred thinking their parents don’t love them, but Zennie, who is plenty loved by her gran and other people, think the person is bonkers if they behave nastily, because she was taught all about her rights at Little Angels. She’s feisty. I like that about her. I like it a lot. The kid does, indeed, have gumption.

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The pier

The pier

Fields #WhiteNights

Fields #WhiteNights

My roots

My roots

The green, green fields of home #Sweden

The green, green fields of home #Sweden

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A morning dip in the ocean

A morning dip in the ocean

Garden fresh berries #Sweden

Garden fresh berries #Sweden

By the ocean #Sweden

By the ocean #Sweden

Summer in Sweden #filter

Summer in Sweden #filter

By Maria Montgomery

Maria is a freelance writer and director, social entrepreneur and foster mommy to a pair or twins from the township. You can reach her via LinkedIn, Twitter: @OhMyMontgomery @LittleAngelsCT, or Google+

Check out the Little Angels’ Website – the place Maria works with underprivileged kids in South Africa.

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Filed under Happiness, Inspiration, Motivation, Passion, Stories

You look great with your clothes on. But I’d really prefer if you took them off…

I have met a lot of people. One does when one travels. Few of them showed up naked though. Many you have to spend a lot of time with to really get to know. Most, in fact, are so used to their own attitude they don’t even know themselves anymore.

Having polite discussions with people is often interesting, but I must admit that the rude ones are much more so. Non-PC. Naked. Uncensored. And sometimes you have those discussions and you see a little piece of someone else exactly as they are. That doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with them though. And it’s fascinating to think that you meet a ton of people you disagree with. We supposedly share reality, but we don’t agree on it.

Sometimes we find people. People like ourselves. Those that see the world the same. They may pursue different things, or have slightly different taste, but overall they see you, get you and get your world.

I remember discussing this with my two musketeers. We said, I believe the day we met, that we are the same. We are all different, but we are the same. Myself and my best friend are more the same though than the third musketeer.

When traveling and setting up lives in different towns I sometimes get frustrated because it takes time to find those that are the same. Those that totally get you. And I simply don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have my best friend. We may not always be together, but I know there is one person who gets me. Who sees the world the way I do.

I still think, till this day, the most beautiful gift you can give someone is to see them. Hear them. Feel them. We do so little of that. So very little. We are too concerned where we are going, how we are feeling, what we want, what the other person triggers in us. And it’s sad, because somehow we’ve stopped seeing each other. We may not all be the same. Not everyone will be your best friend. Not everyone will live in your world. Your little Universe. But we can all look at each other with all our senses and pay attention to what we see and feel. We can experience each other as fully as possible, given we usually still view each other through the lens of our own Universe. At least we can try to see people. Maybe then, we’d stop being so obsessed with where we are going and what Kanye West had for breakfast.

So often in my life I’ve been with people and shared beautiful moments like travelling, or staying up all night and watching the sunrise, and I knew those were special moments. But something was always wrong. I wished I’d been with someone else. I knew that what I was feeling, exactly what was so important to me, they didn’t understand. But I’m happy to be with you. – Celine, Before Sunrise, by Richard Linklater

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I actually found this image so hot that when I first saw it I almost fell off my chair. That’s my universe of hotness for you…

Image source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/507780926708898307/

By Maria Montgomery. 

Maria is a freelance writer and director, social entrepreneur and foster mommy to a pair or twins from the township. You can reach her via LinkedIn, Twitter: @OhMyMontgomery @LittleAngelsCT, or Google+

Little Angels’ Website – the place Maria works with underprivileged kids in South Africa.

Leave a comment

Filed under Friendship, People, Psychology