You sexy dreamer, you…

The other day I found myself perpetually bored. I was working on a website. I love coming up with great copy, but I was working on extracting information for the website, not the copy.

A couple of years ago, when I was generally working on much more boring assignments and feeling much more creatively frustrated, as I hadn’t even touched a movie in years, nor directed a play, and was more than a little bit stuck with Magique (which I have since then managed to move forward with at snail pace — not how I envisioned it coming together, but after running around in circles walking in a straight line is rather delightful), I decided to live as much as I could in the moment. So I started drawing and writing poetry again, because it was instant creative gratification. I also became obsessive with doing what I could within my means instead of cursing what I couldn’t do.

Two years later, my life looks entirely different. Every day now, I make a conscious choice to focus on what’s working, as opposed to what isn’t. Apart from on days when I’m perpetually bored, that is. I have my weaknesses, including a fondness for challenging adventures and when they don’t abound I may get a tad bored.

Anyway, I was working on this website (still am) and it occurred to me how sexy people are who live their dreams as I was reminded of a conversation where someone told me someone else was living their dream and I immediately found them ten times more attractive.

Some people confuse their ego with their dreams — goals such as owning a five storey mansion aren’t exactly what I call dreams. Living your dreams means doing what you love, with the people you love, in a place you love. Dreams aren’t supposed to be about proving something, but about living.

Which brings me to my point. Are you living? Or are you just doing what you think is necessary to survive? Are you passionate, or walking around like a robot, hoping that the next episode on Netflix of whatever series you love will rejuvenate you, or the next drink will give you some respite? Or maybe just the next vacation?

The thing is, it can feel frustrating — you may be working on saving up to move to Thailand, so because of that you still work a job you hate. Or you may dream of running a hotel, but you’re working as an accountant and have no clue how to get from A to B. That’s when you need to start small — find something right here and right now that makes you live a little. No, it may not be that big shiny dream, but it will still be something that makes you come alive. Like my charcoal drawings and poetry, as well as walking at snail pace in a straight line with Magique, made me do. It wasn’t how I envisioned living my creativity (I tend to think big…), but it restarted my fire.

I also think that living one’s dreams is a lot about stepping out of one’s comfort zone. When fear dictates us we become cowards. The problem, of course, being that half the time we don’t even realize that the choices we make are so as to avoid something. It wasn’t until I overcame my paranoia about drawing the imperfect drawing that I started drawing again. And it wasn’t until I overcame my idea about “go big or go home” that I started to get a hang of Magique. I’m sitting on a gazillion products I developed that I can’t sell because I don’t have the money to put them on the market. I had to totally downscale.

I find it a lot sexier when people are living their dreams, than when they pay their bills and own a hedgefund, but have lost their sense of play and adventure. I’m also a sucker for intelligence and kindness. Yet, I fret when I meet new people thinking they’ll think I’m a loony bin, because my life, according to the nine to five standard, is so far from perfect. It’s more like a whirlwind.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that when we look upon ourselves, or the dreams we have, we want them to be perfect. We dont’ want to paint one acrylic painting a week if we dream of becoming an artist. No, we want to paint using oil, from morning till night. Only we have a day job and can only afford to buy acrylics and spend enough time to paint one painting per week. So we don’t do anything at all.

And when we meet new people we want to be that painter who has it all, including success. But life’s a journey. And what we fall for in other people isn’t perfection, but those little things that set our soul on fire. Those things we just tend to love about people. We all have our own favorite flavors. And one of mine happens to be people who live their dreams.


Are you living your dreams?

Are you conquering your fears?

Are you living beyond your comfort zone?

And maybe, as Oscar Wilde said, anyone living within their means lack imagination — so are you living beyond your means? Are you inventive with what you have?

For some reason I still think that being an artist means having an apartment in Paris, where you paint half-naked people and drink wine. While eating cheese. Naturally.


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I got lucky…

So, as the uncrowned queen of innuendo I should really play around with this getting lucky thing, right?! Right.

Well, I got lucky. But let’s skip the innuendo for a while. I got lucky, because I was out driving with my baby girl and my car stopped. I called my insurance and the car was towed to the nearest overnight place to be taken to the dealer in the morning and my girl and I were taken home. This was the day before the car was going in for repairs. And, of course, the dealership took a week before they were even able to look at it, because they were busy. My neighbor’s car had a flat wheel that for some reason took days to fix and my nanny’s car needed repairs, so we were all stranded and ubering about on a week when we were running the houses on a generator and in constant need of petrol. Naturally, the dealership charged an hourly rate twice that of any normal mechanic as well.

It sounds pretty bad, but let me tell you — I got lucky.

I met a guy where my car stopped. A guy with bright blue eyes, a few missing teeth and a desire to help us. He was homeless, crashing at a nearby shelter. Told me he was a mechanic, but he couldn’t work because he had a brain tumor that caused epilepsy. His wife was pregnant. He was trying to collect money for the shelter for the two of them for that night.

I have no idea if his story was true. All I know is that he was a guy with bright blue eyes and a few missing teeth. But during a couple of days when everything seemed to be going wrong — from having no electricity, to the nanny being off and the car breaking down, he helped me realize how lucky I was.

I was alive. My baby girl was alive. The car stopped, but we didn’t crash. I had insurance. Sure, I was tired and I was worried about finances as it had been a rough week, but I was alive, I have an hourly salary most people can only dream of and all I needed was time (and electricity) to work again. There had been some hickups with the boy I’m raising and the visa and…I was worried. I was really worried some days. But did I need to worry? Or did I need to focus on what was working and creating more of that?

Life is a perspective you’re living day-to-day. Today I woke up alive, getting cuddles from the toddler in the family. The neighbor took two kids to school; the other is staying with his nanny close to his school. I had homemade apple and pear crumble. I drank coffee. I worked. I got compliments from clients. I cleaned — getting one step closer to actualy sorting this place out. I’m alive. And I have a pretty epic life.

So, before I start cracking some joke about getting lucky, I’m just gonna focus on being lucky.

Dizzy blonde, over and out.

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Cloudy with a chance of champagne…

I’ve been quiet for a while because, frankly, I hardly have time to sleep, much less blog. But sometimes words find me, pour out of me and end up of a paper (or digital version of such). Being back in SA’s forests poetry also seep out of me at random moments when my heart comes alive with wonder. 

Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on what’s good in my life…what’s great and wonderful and amazing. Sometimes it’s hard — we’re all faced with obstacles, some harder than others. But there’s so much to be thankful for; so much beauty and warmth and love to indulge in. 

Yesterday, when someone looked at me and said there should be more people like me in the world, I felt thankful. Not everyone take the time to stop and say that to someone.

Yesterday, I was also thankful being able to ask my neighbor to get me out of my boot. You see, the zip broke. And I was stuck in a boot that we needed to get a pliers to get me out of. Don’t say I didn’t say I’m blonde. I have a feeling I’ll get to hear about this one for a while… 

Sometimes I get super frustrated with my neighbors slash landlords. They’re completely disorganized and currently I have a generator instead of electricity in the entire house and I haven’t had hot water for months. It’s being fixed, but it’s taking time. A lot of time. But whenever I need them, they’re there to take my kids out, or, well, get me out of a boot. 

I struggle with the kids I raise as they’ve been through abuse and one of them has special needs and is very aggressive, etc. at times. He’s been diagnosed with ODD. And sometimes I just sit there wishing I could come home knowing no one will have a tantrum, no one will swear, no one will go bananas for nothing. I get tired and run down and want to punch the nearest wall (or kid, but naturally, I don’t do that), but if I look at where we were at a year ago and where we are today, it’s world’s apart. My kid with special needs is in school now. Sure, there are difficulties, but he’s got this brilliant teacher who has spent hours trying to help me. She’s offering to take him out this weekend. Just like that. Because he needs it and I need a break. 

Last year, I couldn’t get him into any school because of his problems and how far behind he was with schoolwork — now this. I have to keep building my positive energy until it transform him. It take a lot of discipline and energy on my behalf, but it is possible and I’m getting help now. 

Today I have to attend a prom in a township and I felt a bit reluctant about this. I don’t know everyone, I don’t know what to expect, my coat is with the dry cleaners, I don’t have the right clothes… But I’m so happy this young man’s family want me there and I have an opportunity to have a look into a way of life that’s not my own. And that’s where my focus should be, not my insecurities about showing up and being the odd one out. 

Someone today told me I’m the kind of person people make movies about. They’ve said that before. And it made me think, because in the past I used to want to scream: “Do you know what it feels like being the kind of person people make movies about? Because it probably isn’t something you want to experience. Because it’s hard.” Today I was thinking that maybe I’ll make it. Maybe I’ll get to the other side. To the happily ever after. That it’s possible to win the battles I chose to fight. Not over night, but step-by-step. And look at how far I’ve come. Look at the successes I’ve had and the person I’m learning to be. 

I’m sure there are hurdles ahead, but I’m thankful. Thankful for the many wonders and wonderful people in my life. Thankful for the roof over my head and the frog song in the woods. Thankful for being me and on this journey of life. 

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The day I became an accidental porn star…

I was checking my spam folder today, to see if I’d received an email to the school my boy had an interview at. A special needs Waldorf school. Instead of finding a letter from the school, I found a letter that had one of my passwords as the headline.

The email started “I know this is your password…” The rest of the email explained that they had retrieved this password as I logged onto a porn site. They’d hacked my laptop and filmed me as I used the site. They were going to take this video, as well as the video of what I watched and send it to five of my friends. Because, of course, they’d hacked my social media too.

I had a choice though. I could pay them 800-something dollars via bitcoin and they wouldn’t send the message. I shouldn’t bother to respond, or tell the authorities, because they were untraceable.

If they’d told me they’d caught me dancing naked around my bedroom, or singing Alanis Morrisette’s Ironic on top of my lungs, I would have had cause to worry. As it were, besides the fact they only had part of my password, I have not, to my knowing, visited any porn sites lately.

That said, if you receive a video of me edited into a porn video, do let me know. Porn star would be a new kind of achievement to me. A very naked achievement, but still.

Blackmail is a funny thing. The truth is, I don’t know a single person that doesn’t feel guilt about something. Shame about something. Everyone on this planet has fucked up. Sinned. Done something wrong. And most have paid with regret. Hopefully, that regret made them change their ways and make up for their mistakes in whatever way they could. Which means they are no longer the person who fucked up, so they can stop feeling guilty about it.

Sadly, people who get caught in the guilt trap, keep beating themselves up and do things to prove to themselves they are as terrible as they think they are. In short, they keep fucking up.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about guilt and regret this week after an online friend of mine committed suicide. I’m going to share the lessons I learned from that in another blog, but if there is one thing I can say is that the people whose opinions we should care about are people, who, like my friend, lift others up. The people who make us believe in a better version of ourselves. Once we start believing in that version, we start acting from that place. And so, we become better people.

Don’t spend time listening to your inner blackmailer. If you’ve done wrong, owe up to it, make up for it and move on. Believe in a better version of yourself.

And if someone tries to blackmail you – don’t let them win. Personally, I reported it to Action Fraud. Then I told my Facebook friends to please forward any porn video they receive of me. So that I can see what I look like in action…

Your truly,

Dizzy Blonde

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I take my hat off to you sailor!!! In loving memory of Dave Stafford Finney…

Some years ago a dating site had me work on an article about Dave Stafford Finney — a sailor in the Australian Navy. It was an article about men in uniform. As such, I read his blog, which was a stunning blog about what it truly means to serve in a war, save people, and end up with the scars yourself. So I commented on his blog. I mean, come on, the guy sounded amazing, why wouldn’t I talk to him? 

The thing is, he looked me up on LinkedIn and messaged me. 

He had read my blog and sent me a super sweet message about what an incredible person I am. Over the year and a bit that we knew each other, we’d exchange a couple of messages/comments and I remember I reached out to him when I felt my life was falling apart. I was fighting like a mad person to get a visa to South Africa to get the rights to adopt kids I was already raising. I had, by chance, or misfortune, or maybe in the end: fortune, ended up in a legal battle to be with kids I started helping out in a township I was volunteering in. I had been told by authorities I could adopt them, then that I couldn’t adopt unless I got permanent residency. 

I had seen things and been through things in the township that most people don’t get to see. With Dave I felt a kinship about these things. How you go through a “war” and you get scarred. You see shit other people don’t. You see the abuse, the crime, the fucked-up-ness of life. 

We didn’t talk that much over the years, but I know I told him he should come to South Africa to volunteer like he did in Australia. 

And ever so often, out of the blue, I’d just get some message/comment saying I’m amazing. 

That was the extent of our friendship.

Today I found out that Dave killed himself. That the PTSD that he fought, very openly, finally won the battle. That the battle scars won. That the hero succumbed to his own demons. 

I was wondering why he didn’t reply to a comment I made on his post the other day. I was planning to send him a message asking if he wanted to be interviewed by me for a new platform where I’m now the lead editor for the lifestyle section. I just didn’t get round to sending the message. But I kept thinking about him during the week, looking forward to speaking with him. 

Frankly, I want to punch him in the face and yell at him, or something, to wake him up. From death. From depression. Neither would work very well. 

I was “clinically” depressed twice. For me it wasn’t the wish to die that frightened me, it was that I felt nothing. I remember the fear of that feeling. It would last for an hour, two hours, a minute…but it was horrible. Feeling nothing. No joy, no sadness, no nothing. 

It was petrifying. 

But I was one of the lucky ones. I acquired tools. I fought. I got help. I read books. I won the battle with my mind. 

That’s not to say I’m not still fighting. I do. My mind has a tendency to walk down paths that aren’t helpful. To find weird and dark alleys that it gets stuck in, mistaking them for reality. 

The truth is, once you come out of the alley, you realize you chose to walk in there. You didn’t go there on purpose the first time, you just ended up there, because life took you there, but then you chose to stay. Not because you wanted to, but because your mind didn’t know the other paths. The other roads. The other alleys. The ones filled with beauty. You could be standing there instead. 

To make your mind walk into the right streets…it’s not easy. Not when you’ve been to a lot of dark places. It’s a constant effort. I can only imagine what it’s like when you’ve been to an actual war. I had childhood trauma that made my view of myself screwed up. I kept looking at myself seeing distorted visions that made me hate myself. Like the dark alleys, I was stuck in a place of my own doing. 

The reality is, this world is filled with a shitload of crap. Of really nasty stuff and bad humans and miserable events. Once you’ve seen them, you have to choose to focus on the other stuff, or you get stuck. 

For some, it appears impossible to get out of the dark alleys. With all the myriads of roads this life presents, they are captured in darkness. Always living in the shadow of their own thoughts.

Right now, I’m betting a lot of people are fighting a hard battle because Dave died. People who actually knew him in real life and was touched by his joy and friendship. People who have an emptiness within them nothing will ever remove. People who now have to fight not to go to the alley marked with “missing friend.” 

At the same time, I bet that those who knew what hell Dave actually lived through and saw the extent of the darkness, know that he found peace. Not in the way that anyone would have liked for it to happen, but they know that there was an end to the suffering. 

I guess I recognized myself in a small part of Dave, as he recognized himself in a small part of me. We put our lives in blogs that revealed all. Dished it out. I had a strong belief that if everyone would just share how they actually feel, no one would feel like I did as a kid. And I admired Dave for putting it all out there. The real life. The real pain. The real joy. 

When someone dies, it feels like a missed opportunity. That you should have done more. Said more. Fuck, at least gone to Australia to say hello in person. Frankly, I was furious with myself and the world at large today because I didn’t get to explore a connection I felt with someone. Like it was a cruel joke. If I’d only sent that message I wanted to send a few days earlier, if only I’d been braver, if only something… I mean I wanted to get to know the guy, but when he first reached out to me I was scared. I was scared of depression. I felt a kinship, a connection and jeez the man was hot…you know, it’s like that online crush right. But I was scared. And when a year or so later I wasn’t scared, he died before I sent the message. And it hurts. I know I made a mistake. I ignored the obvious person right in front of me. Maybe we would not have connected well at all. I don’t know. It’s impossible to know, because I didn’t explore it. I could at the very least have told him his messages and blogs really touched me. However small those messages were, to me they meant something and I didn’t say that out loud. Because I was scared. So I have regret. Things could have been different.

But maybe that’s not the truth. Maybe the truth is, that we all play exactly the part in each other’s lives that we were meant to play. That we gave each other what we meant to give. Maybe this is exactly what I was meant to learn: that you should never ever try to predict how things could go. That you should open your door and explore. And you should speak frankly. Because when you don’t, you end up with regret. I never told that stranger I wanted to get to know him. Never told him I lit up like a pinball machine when he messaged me. And now I can’t. And I never again want to feel like I do right now.

How do we choose to focus our thoughts? 

I choose to think that Dave brightened some of my days, as I did his. A tiny twinkle in our lives. Not the big bright light of those close to us, but a tiny twinkle that makes the world more beautiful somehow. Or as I said to the Dave, in the very last comment I sent him this week as he shared the memory of losing his baby to cot death: “Sorry to hear that man. You’ve come a long way since. Life is filled with so many painful things. Thankfully there are many wondrous things too, including the people we do get to keep with us.”  

So let’s all look after those wondrous people. Make an effort to smile. To hug. To check in on one another. Dave touched so many people’s lives. He’s not one who didn’t have friends. Not one who wasn’t loved. So let’s all strive to touch others with our honesty. The truth about how we feel. But also the joy and care. Even the strangers we meet, who are angles in disguise. Let’s smile at them. Hug them. Give them a word of encouragement. We never know who they are, or where they’re going. If they’re living in their own personal heaven or hell. All we can do is to be a star. However small the twinkle. However fast the passing. Be a light. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the times you told me I was amazing. And thank you for listening when I was going through my own personal hell. You were a star man. I think you still are. Out there, somewhere, brightening the night sky. 

P.S. I stole one of your photos for this blog. I’m pretty sure you’d just wink at me, not sue me for it.

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Solar alignment and soul connections…

I hung out with someone today. Someone I met nine years ago. At the time I lived in Los Angeles, but my dad gave me the gift of Easter with the family in Sweden and I decided it was the perfect excuse to stop by London to talk to someone there. That someone dragged me to a seminar as his “moral support.” And there was this other guy who was on stage that day and I guess we exchanged a few words. 

Fast forward nine years. We’re chasing each other around an ice rink in Athens, laughing and sharing memories of how we ended up where we are. Today I texted him saying “You know, there was once a boy who used to say “it’s magical Maria, it’s magical.” That boy dragged me along to a seminar. That boy, in a way, is the reason I was ice skating the other day. And you know what? It’s magical. It’s absolutely fucking magical. The people we meet. The memories we make. The crazy and absurd. The wonderful and weird. Friends. Magical, indeed. 

There are people we create beautiful memories with. Beyond that, there are people who have our back. When you combine the two, that’s when you know you’ve created something amazing. 

As I look at my phone I see messages from a friend from around the same time. He also lives in Athens. It’s really his fault we’re all here, because he set off a chain reaction when my best friend went to visit him. I see like five hundred calls to my best friend. I see messages from mine and my best friend’s best friend from back then. One of the three musketeers. She’s in Africa, helping me with some movies and working to convince us the three of us will be in Senegal together for Christmas this year. I’m voting for Cape Town, but hey! It’s been ten years since our last Christmas together. And I get happy. Because those people, those people are magical. 

And this blog, this blog that I rarely have time to write these days. This blog filled with sexual innuendo, swear words and all those things the woman who’s raising three kids in Cape Town really shouldn’t say out loud, this blog was started back then. 

I do, indeed, help raise three kids today. I have responsibilities I didn’t back then. I still love the movies, my friends and driving down Mulholland. I still have a potty mouth and a dirty sense of humor. Some things change, some don’t. And I’d like to create more of the things that I truly love. The things that never changed. The stuff that make me come alive.

Moral of the story? People are fucking beautiful. They make our world. But they also form part of a chain reaction. Whoever you meet, whatever you do, it sets off repercussions that echo back to you, and sometimes lead to events years later. It’s as if we form melodies when our universes collide and the notes dance in the ether long after the music played, leading to encores and events a long, long time later.

Want to read something a little more poetic? Want more frequent updates? Check out my Instagram:

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You’re sexy…

Does it ever suddenly hit you what a word truly means or where it comes from? Like there’s this Swedish word “gift” which means both “married” and “poison.” Just like “vind” means both “wind” and “attic,” maybe because the wind blows through the attic?

Yesterday I wrote a blog called “Amusing musings…” which led me to ponder muse, musing and amusing. So a muse is amusing and makes you muse upon things?

I don’t think I’ve ever pondered that before. And let me tell you it took me over twenty years to realize that married and poison was the same word in Swedish. I used both words for over twenty years without realizing.

In the same way I’ve asked people how they are, told them I love them, said I’m fine, and a plethora of other things, without really putting any intention behind the words. It’s been empty words.

In a similar manner we tell ourselves stories all the time, without really noticing what we’re saying. I just caught myself berating myself for where I’m at with my life, thinking I should be further along with certain things and will life ever get easier?

In the past year my coach has made me think about what’s working and what I’d love to create more of, as well as what I’d love to create in general. I’ve had to switch my faulty thinking patterns around. And it’s worked wonders.

The amazing thing is, we’re only partly aware of what we’re thinking most of the time. Like you walk around feeling a tad irritated for three hours, but don’t even stop to ask yourself why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and how you could think about it differently so as to feel better.

Similarly, one day you catch yourself having a thought only to realize you think that thought quite often, but you’re so used to thinking it you don’t even notice. Like when you tie your shoelaces — you don’t really think about what you’re doing, yet you have to think to be able to do it.

I used the same word for marriage and poison for over twenty years without realizing. I just never questioned it. Just like I never questioned some of my own thoughts, or the way I view the world.

Becoming aware is long process, yet it starts over night. Likewise, shifting one’s thoughts, or awareness if you so like, is a long process, yet it starts over night. You have to make a decision about what you’d like to think and where your focus should be.

I’m reminded of Trainspotting: Choose life, choose a fucking big television. Only I think you should choose your thoughts instead. Because really, that’s choosing life. The life we want to create. Personally I’m gonna go have a shower, pamper myself and curl my hair. Just so I can think I’m beautiful and sexy. I could contemplate my wrinkles instead, but that’s a lot less fun than thinking I’m hot as hell…

Dizzy blonde, over and out.


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