tumblr_n6jxijsmh91tz08r7o1_500Yesterday my fiancé and I celebrated our seventh year of dating, only being 28 I feel rather blessed at this small feat. It was a beautiful evening! We spent it reminiscing about how glorious and magical these years have been! The fact that when we met it was the perfect movie moment and we were just, like, totally meant to be. We gushed all over social media on how flawless our relationship has been and the fact that we have created only loving, cherishing memories. All while of course, Ed Sheran was playing during our candle lit dinner. It was perfect.

Puuuuhlease!

I am a hopeless romantic and this, sadly, is often to my detriment. I do believe my aforementioned anecdote is possible, however the likelihood in my opinion is rather dim and generally during the wooing phase of a relationship. You see, it is impossible to have a perfect relationship for seven years and if you disagree with me, I am afraid to say either yourself or your partner are harboring some very unfilled (quite possible unbeknownst to you) emotional, physical or spiritual needs.

We say the advice over and over again: Relationships. Are. Hard. Work. Fullstop.

Then why is it still so easy to fall into the elusive trap of wanting more love, more affection, more roses and more ways to show off your relationship is better than Harry and Sally’s. Over our seven years we have screamed, shouted, hurt, accused, cried, left in the middle of the night, blamed, gone back to parent’s houses and even thrown a cellphone at the wall (most expensive fight of my life). Yet none of this was in vain nor has it been regretted. Simple because we have also bonded more than I thought possible, cherished, bestowed love, kept our own identities, stuck through the hard times, comforted each other through inconsolable pain, encouraged each others strengths, aided in building up weaknesses and remained best friends, rather than simple lovers. Believe me our relationships does not resemble attributes of Bipolar, rather we are reaping the rewards of a many challenging obstacles in our journey.

A few simple rules our relationship foundations have thrived on:

  1. Eliminate the words YOU ALWAYS or YOU NEVER when in an argument.
  2. Rather try replace them with this prototype example: “I feel you sometimes make me feel…when this situation arises. Or: “I dislike it when …happens.”
  3. If a voice gets raised, the outcome of the argument is likely not to be healthy or positive. Rather take a breathy, do separate activities and regroup when both parties are comfortable to revisit the topic.
  4. As long as your relationship is happy and content in the long term, you are already in the majority.

Please do not misconstrue my opinions, romance is still important but relationships should not be based on it. It comes down to whether your relationship is worth working on during the dark times and whether you are comfortable with the realization, practical relationship advice outweighs the ‘sweetheart high school love’ in functioning relationships. Personally, this was a toughie for me.

But then again this could still be considered puppy love; lets see what happens down the line…

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So I can stop obsessing over every online blog I come across showcasing THE wedding of the season, the elegant but hipster alternative backyard farm wedding, or the brave soul who hosted a winter wonderland wedding. Before I was engaged, I could spend hours going through image after image, dress after dress, fantasising about my Big Day, one day, and of course which blog would feature it.

However, now that I am engaged these fleeting fantasizes have been replaced with the terror of constant worry: “Will our wedding even slightly compare to my fantasy? Will our wedding’s décor even look adequate on the day? Or will it look as if we having a back yard cook out and managed to put some flowers on the table, while I stand around in a overly formal white dress”. Nerves, anxiety and stress this is your cue for center stage!

I have been fortunate enough to spend 7 amazingly, exciting years with my fiancé, who still gives me butterflies. I cannot wait to be married to him, but our actual wedding is another subject entirely. All the articles I have read that offer peace of mind for your special day are wonderful and I have picked up a few handy tips to assist the blushing bride. However, what about the anxiety stricken bride? Am I really the only one, or are we still living in the taboo stricken culture our poor parents were raised in?

With the momentum my nerves have been escalating with the count down to our Big Day I realized I needed to hike up those big girl bloomers and cut out my insistent worrying or it could ruin our day. So these are some of points I have been focusing on to keep the nerves at bay:

  1. I kept my anxiety bottled up. Until I realized I was experiencing mild breathing episodes whenever I envisioned the wedding. You see my anxiety is not about marriage, it is rather a social anxiety, being put on display, so to say. So I started talking. Every fear or worry was expelled out to my fiancé, bridesmaids, my parents or previously married women. The weight is still there, but now I can envision all my loved ones holding it up with me.
  2. Social media can be a treacherous thing! With each new wedding I came across online, it caused me to doublethink our wedding details, décor, my dress or even our seating plan. I am learning to have more confidence in my own style and desires, rather than constantly comparing.
  3. An unplugged wedding: That means no phones, iPads, cameras, zip, zero, niks. We are hiring a professional photography who is being paid plenty to capture our day and our guest’s faces, not various technology devices covering them.This is one reason I offer as an explanation, however, in reality it also means my fiancé and I have control of our wedding being splattered all over social media. It is our private day to share with the world if we so choose. This instills a sense of control, which in turn alleviates some anxiety.
  4. Tradition is very important to me, but enjoying our day trumps that tenfold. There is nothing wrong with designing your wedding to suit your needs, regardless if others may rebuke your thoughts. I love the tradition of spending the night before the wedding apart, but the moment my fiancé and I see each other for the first time on the day I consider to be a private moment. I struggle to be the center of attention in large groups, so to share this intimate experience in front of 80 people is not my cup of tea! Instead there is nothing wrong with us having a private moment before walking down the aisle, it will be our secrete moment to treasure.

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How much can honestly happen in a year? Now this question is not directed at celebrities or politicians, but rather your beyond average, middle class, middle aged white girl (with less than 500 friends on Facebook if that puts things into perspective). In my mind the following things are fairly normal:

a. get a another cat

b. accumulate more series than books

c. reinvent yourself and try awfully hard to be a natural hipster

or d. start going to gym

Now honestly I can say only b applies to me, but fortunately my love for books gives me a saving grace. Instead in 2013 I decided to redirect rather than reinvent myself. To reinvent entails forcefully trying to imitate a way of life that you are not naturally inclined to. Now apply this to your life and imagine how strenuous and tedious that would be to keep up. I know personally I have never achieved any of my goals while acting out a reinvented self. So instead, at the beginning of last year I decided to look at my life, with all its flaws and flares, and compare where I envisioned my future self.

In a beautiful ‘Aha moment’ I began to envision all these characteristics turning into little Oompa Loompas and merrily marching along a path with a life defining fork at the end. Along one fork path all my faulty Oompa Loompas gracefully bid their farewell as patriotic martyrs, au revoir soldiers and God speed, despite all your horrid ways. This leaves me with my good natured, salt of the earth kinda guys, my Oompa Loompa’s that will pave the way on my journey to my life of utter positivity and undivided love.

A little too “ya, like fully dude, wishy washy falalala talk”??? So what if it is, so what if it sounds like a cliché or typical feminine response to sorting out her mid 20’s life crisis. The rewards reaped will form a current sweeping through your blood, embracing your entire heart and embodying your mind. Treat others as you wish to be treated….is definitely not another inspirational quote. It is a whisper, an inner voice, a call from Someone to something beyond my expectations of where my good will is leading me to.

The redirecting of my self began with good karma, positive energy and focusing on my interpretation of others. I consciously became deeply aware of others situations, what goes on behind their closed doors, what are their burdens and emotional turmoil’s and are my negative interpretations even worthy compared to their life story? Slowly I began noticing an incentive I was receiving; inconsiderately I was not yet aware who my generous Sponsor was, He, however was waiting patiently for me. Continuously He rewarded me until I was lead to His home for the first genuine time. I walked in an annoyed atheist, of course there are many more important tasks I can fill my day with, however my control unbeknown to me was in Another’s hands. It only took that hour and a half to walk out with a whole new understanding of the phrase, oh God…. Christianity. So instead of accomplishing a meaningless check list of a,b,c or d, I redirected my life and rediscovered my true purpose.

Sunday mornings.

Feeling a smidge stunted today while I frolic about in bed still, thought this would be appropriate.

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The all-girls guide to how to piss off someone with PCOS: Never, ever, even slightly, insinuate that your child is nothing less than an absolutely god given miracle from the highest heavens, which you give thanks to every single minute of every single day.

A little over exaggerated? Or rather maybe a little envious exasperation talking?

Even though I have accepted my body for the hand it has dealt me, or rather the lack of two (excuse my sense of humor, resentment isn’t a pretty color on me clearly) nothing can be more infuriating than having to listen to a mother dish out her newfound complaints of motherhood. “Yes, yes, I understand. Oh shame that must be so tiring. No time to yourself? Ah that must be really tough”. Excuse my French, but harden the fuck up. Unless your child was an accident, which I then shall bestow my slightest empathy, otherwise may the Greek Gods gather together for all the strength I will need to hold my tongue and rather nod politely.

I comprehend motherhood is strenuous, exhausting and that you give up your last moment of freedom for the next 18 years, but if that is your choice then you have dealt your own hand. Now play the game. If you were one of those women who got pregnant as quickly as Bob’s your Uncle, out of your own free will, you will never understand how utterly heart breaking, soul wrenching and personality changing it can be to want something so badly you can never have. I could try make comparisons to kids in a candy store or husbands in strip clubs or being at a 50% Louis Vuitton sale, but I would only just be reaching the tip of this iceberg.

I have witnessed mothers with the most beautiful souls and unconditional love for their children. It brightens my heart causing all the built up anger to be blown away and settling in its place delight and fascination this family has for its new kind of love. I salute these mothers, there is no envy or foul comments, they have a love that is so pure and unconditional I find it impossible to have one meager negative thought in their presence.

But if the world is represented in Yin and Yang, at the other opposite end of the scale we might find the tired mothers, ever so slightly forgetful of their daily miracle while they are throwing a tantrum or will not give them a minute of peace. These mothers I don’t doubt the love for their children for one minute, but then how am I supposed to react to their complaints when my womb is harboring cobwebs and dust bunnies?

When I would rather go through strenuous days, every day of motherhood, when I crave having a crying baby to sooth, dying to explain the world to a toddler’s enquiring mind, to soothing a heart broken teenager, how am I supposed to still have the emotional capacity to feel sorry for you, because you are a mother?

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While the world is expanding metaphorically, our cultures and wealth of knowledge are intermingling, blending and boiling over our potjie of rainbow nations. We are able to connect with a complete stranger at the click of a button. We are able to buy, order, pay for anything without leaving our homes. We are capable of affairs with no physical contact and to go as far as modernizing the old fashioned mail ordered bride. Yet with all this instant communication and wealth of shared genius at a fingertip, why are relationships so close to home dwindling. Look closer next time you are frustratingly tapping your foot in a queue how many self absorbed individuals surround you. Ironically myself included as I stand at the darken pit of home affairs. We are so wrapped up in our cyber lifestyles it’s almost as if we have reached our peaked in evolution and are slowly heading backwards. Have a few minutes to kill? Whip out your phone and indulge in your presumably alias life ( let’s be honest Facebook is a platform to accentuate your life to a fantasy level of awesome). While this is going on Mr or Mrs Right could be standing right next you, a potential business partner to make you millions, a new best friend, for all we pay attention it could be frikkin lady Gaga in her normal home wear attire. Yet as i critically point this all out I will walk out of this room I’ve shared with a hundred people for the last thirty minutes and i will not being able to point out a single person in a line up.

Studies have proven  new borns need physical contact and attention to thrive mentally. At the rate we going we may be all self soothing from day one. Just saying.

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My mother always taught me from a young age to trust my gut feeling, she explained as women we are blessed with the magic of intuition. As a naïve girl this gift sounds extraordinary and my mind immediately began wondering off to visions of how I would use my super powers when they came into play.

However, my intuition decided to sneak up on me one afternoon towards the end of my high school career to smack me across my womb.

I have pondered countless times on an educated explanation behind my epiphany, but alas the simple truth is I realized one day I would probably not be to carry my own child. Now as a 17 year old trying to explain this to my friends and boyfriend, I presume I came across slightly delusional and I’m rather convinced an attention seeker, especially when they tried to tackle the task of convincing me otherwise.

Fortunately I inherited a very strong, stubborn gene from my father and refused to be swayed in my prediction but rather decided to accept the harsh reality. My reasoning was simple: Why get my hopes up if they could be shattered? Shouldn’t I rather accept this childless life now and if my womb proves me wrong then wonderful! It was utterly my choice to think in this manner and therefore I did not want to be, god forbid, commiserated by anyone.

As time went by my prophesied reality becoming a heavier burden than expected, shattering my theory of “if I deal with it now while I’m young, it will be much easier and I won’t expect anything”. Yeah right, tell that to my uterus every time it skips a beat when I see a newborn. I will admit tears have welled up on more than one occasion when witnessing a mother experience her new miracle or a father attempting the various challenges of parenthood. With all these brooding emotions I decided to take the dreaded step and visited my Gyny, who had the supremacy to either confirm my intuition or dismiss my stupidity.

As if all the probing and prodding steps aren’t distressing enough, my consultation left me with a disconcerting increase in my medical vocab, polycystic ovary syndrome. In layman’s terms: there is a good chance you may get fat, hairy and struggle to get pregnant, or so says Google. Fortunately my forward thinking Doc. advised against conducting my own internet research, as with my diminutive body and smooth chin she was fiercely positive I was in the mild category (coincidentally the same as Posh Spice, now sporting a brood of four).

Even with her reassuring ‘pat on the back’, that night brought the first of many mild breakdowns but after all the tears have settled I am still beyond grateful for that little magic my gut holds. After two years of no contraceptive I am still as positive as ever I will be filling out adoption forms over birth certificates, but even though my gut may never hold a child, it holds all the courage and energy I never imagined. It is this positive energy that has allowed this journey to begin with slight more ease and grace.

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