Tag Archives: female friendship

Books on Letters between Friends

Image resultImage result for dear ijeawele

About So Long a Letter

About Dear Ijeawele

In March and April I read these two letters between female friends. Both of them touch of womanhood and issues of feminism which although books are written almost four decades apart, are still so relevant and applicable to the plight of women. All in all, they are both great books so I will talk about the common themes that struck a note with me.

  1. Maintain your identity that is separate from your role as a mother, a wife, a sister-in-law. Maintain that single identity and I would even venture to say, keep pursuing those interests you have and love to do.
  2. Make your partner a full partner. From Dear Ijeawele, this is quite obvious and self-explanatory. From So Long …. it’s not quite obvious but I like Aissatou (the friend)’s response when her husband married a second wife, she held him immediately accountable and  left the marriage. Many called her names and wished something else of her but she held him accountable and did what she had to do.
  3. Both authors talk about centering marriage in the right place as a nice to have/do but not the penultimate accomplishment. Marriage is neither good nor bad, but how we aspire to it could be.
  4. Both writers caution each other against assigning certain roles to male or female children and the assumptions we make or impute. The future is not one where boys (girls) can do certain things that girls (boys) cannot. Also the language that we use when we explain the roles and responsibilities to kids also matters a lot.

The entire letter is an ode to female friendship which I totally loved and would therefore recommend both books. You can easily get through both in a single sitting or weekend.

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How I want to make Adult Friends

five women laughing

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

I have a friend who is a maverick at making friends. One on one, she seems incredibly shy but I love her attitude to making friends and how deliberate she is about it all. So when I think to myself that I would like to make friends, I always think of some kind of organised activity that brings people together on the regular.

When I think of this though I always wonder how I would go about starting one because it involves putting myself out there in some way or another which is not exactly my thing. But, if / when I get over this hurdle, these are some things I would like to do:

  • Listen to a key podcast each month and then meet and discuss
  • Start an article club – pick a Longread article and then chat about it
  • Pick a cuisine and then assign various parts of the meal (starter, protein, desserts, salad) to different people and thus have a supper club or a cookbook club if you are fancier.
  • Good old Book club
  • Board games with a group of friends, I really have mine eye on this one.
  • A cheese/ wine tasting club.

Do you live in Joburg, would you be keen to do any of this with me and meet some new people?

What’s making you happy now?

  1. A great cup of tea – my sister recently got me some passion and lime tea from Kenya and it is YUM!
  2. Long lazy weekends.
  3. Discovering a lovely little restaurant and liking it.
  4. Church services at 12 O’clock in the Fall/ Winter months.
  5. One-on-one heartfelt chats with friends.

What about you?

Gifts for New Moms

As friends of mine are in that phase of having babies, I enjoyed this post and felt inspired to copy a list of things I would take with me when I next go to visit as in that moment you are often at a loss of what is appropriate.

  1. Time – to listen, help out with her errands, carry baby, fold laundry or cook. Just time.
  2. Easy to warm and eat with one hand food. Also drinks.
  3. What food did she miss during pregnancy that she can now eat? Stock up on that!!
  4. A cozy gown as the new mom will be nursing or up in the cold of the day or night.
  5. Comfy chill at home shoes/ other clothes.
  6. Hand cream/ hand sanitiser because new baby = washing hands often.
  7. A beautiful mug or water bottle as she might be drinking a whole lot more if she is breastfeeding.

When you had a baby, what would you have loved OR what great gift do you get new moms?

Sunday Reads

“To all the little girls out there,
we will set fire to this world
that steals your childhoods
and stops you from being
everything you want to be,
and build you a better one from the ashes,
the kind of world that treasures you
for all your powerful capabilities.”

– Nikita Gill, Women’s March 2018

Recipes

On Kindness

Source

 

I Got You Friend

I miss my gal pals the most when I see stuff like this that we could do together .

I particularly think of the things that I have missed out on with my better female friends: baby showers, bridal showers, high tea, being able to do random things together, road trips, dinners, first homes, come meet my new guy, the new baby, watch a new show together and laugh about it – just a lot of stuff. Yes, IRL I have friends and people I do this but it’s also different.

From the blog post:

I particularly love #2,6, 9 and have done #3 – adult baking dates are awesome – 10, 13.

The comments as usual provides such gems and so here is my to do with a friend list.

  • Volunteer together at a cause that’s meaningful to either or both of us.
  • More concerts – I watched John Legend with a pal and her cool mom and it was awesome!
  • Coworking sessions. Yes to these.
  • Sit together and read dates.
  • Sleepovers with no husbands or kids.
  • Pottery / learn something class.
  • Try and commit to an exercise class together.
  • Talk about podcast episodes we both love. Tried to get so many pals into this that I am glad I can do it with my sister and partly with The Mr.
  • Watch TV shows together and make comments in between, ideally together or even if separately, concurrently.
  • Same day road trips and do stuff along the way or at the destination.
  • Supper club where each person brings one.

In fact, I decided to have a little snacks and games afternoon at my place next month! Done!!

A Thought for this Monday Morning

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Source)

Psalms 103: 12  reminds us that God forgives fully and removes our sins from us as far as the East is from the West. This truth came up recently when I  met a friend to discuss the bible studies that we had both done separately over the BSF break, her Hebrews and me, James.

A theme that separately came up for each of us is belief and how it is also possible for us as believers not to take God at His word and put in caveats that are not there OR that limit our overall ability to enjoy the time spent with Him. And this way, practice unbelief. In my specific case, this came through in the area of prayers. For others in my life, I am able to pray big prayers and believe on their behalf that God is who He says He is and that He can do what He said He will but somehow somehow in my case my faith is muted and I doubt that He will do what He said He can. So my pal rightly asked me: “what’s that about?” And in that moment, I was reminded of the verse that exhorts fathers not to provoke their children to anger by how they treat them (Ephesians 6: 4 NLT).

We often approach God based on our earthly experiences rather than step out of those and experience Him as the eternal Father who loves perfectly. Who has been perfectly revealed through His son Jesus Christ (Heb 1:3) and His living word (the Bible).

This contrasts with the devil who speaks from both sides of his mouth. On the one hand he is the father of all lies (John 8:44) and in the other, the accuser of brethren (Revelation 12:10). However, we also know that Jesus has fully overcome the world on our behalf and though we will have trouble we should take heart and have peace (John 16:33). This means that I can overcome this burden of shame and this fear of intimacy with Christ due to past sin by entrusting my all to Him and believing fully in Him. Additionally, I know that Revelation 12:11 talks of overcoming the accuser through the words of our testimony. By what we declare and what we state can we be renewed and overcome his lies about us, God’s children.

Questions to Ponder

  1. In what ways do you struggle to take God fully at His word?
  2. What are some of your personal life experiences that hinder the development of a childlike faith in God the Father?
  3. How will knowing this truth of Christ now impact how you approach Him in faith?

Prayer

Lord we thank you that you are eternal yet unchanging, that your word is true and that you can swear by none but yourself which further encourages our faith in you. Forgive me where I have doubted your word in how I have acted, thought or spoken. Help me always to trust in you ( in the following specific areas of my life ) and believe even when my old self wants to doubt. Teach me how to hold onto my faith unswerving and this way to bring glory and honour to you. I thank you that you are a good Father who gives good gifts to His children and who forgives us fully and does not hold our past sins against us.

Sunday Reads

 

Dear Future Daughter

I generally hate letters written to future whatevers but today being Women’s Day in South Africa and because I just watched an advert of ladies giving advice to a younger self, I thought I would give it a try.

  1. Stand tall and work on fostering positive self (body) image. There is so much advise to women today about how they ought to look/ weigh/ what they need to do and this piles on the pressure. Filter out all of these and work with your body type, your likes and bring out the best in yourself.
  2. Work hard at school. Push yourself  extremely hard and do not dim your light so any guy around you can feel better about himself. Keep learning and challenging yourself to greater and better heights.
  3. Surround yourself with female friends that push you to your best and that you can do life with. Female  friends rock! FACT. We are not all in competition with each other (female) and do not all like to gossip and bring down a fellow sister. Work on being a good  friend.
  4. What makes you tick and brings out your inner feminine self? Don’t worry it varies from one lady to the next, find what works for you and foster that. If you wanna be like mummy, I love to read and to get my hair done.
  5. Work on your relationship with God. That’s the most important  and constant relationship you will ever have.

Overall, be confident. There is nothing as attractive as a woman who is confident in her skin and who draws out the best in the different people she encounters in her day to day life.

All the best!!

Every woman needs a friend …

little girl centre

  • Who lifts them when they are down.

  • Who can lovingly reproach and correct you when needs be.

  • Who challenges you to be more than you are or do better.

  • That you can call up on short notice and they will take your call or make the time.

  • With whom you can dream up big ideas.

  • You trust fully.

  • Who accepts and loves you as you are …

Is goodbye possible if you have their number crammed?

lulu

When we first started dating, the Mr had this theory about how girls shed friends in their 20s. Shed. His word, not mine. And always, I would scoff at him and state how I am too loyal a friend to ever lose a friendship. See, I know of myself that I am a particularly loyal friend. Loyal to the point of abuse or pain.

As a result, I am fairly ready to make amends and walk a mile in someone else’s shoe, try and be there for them, and basically to be the type of pal that I would want to have and the type of friend that they also talk of wanting in their life. As a result, I often struggle with when to let go of a difficult/ trying/ unfulfilling relationship. To be honest, I always start with never, you can try a bit more, come on, give it another go.

However, I currently find myself  pondering over this issue with a friend that I have known for over 10 years. In truth, the struggle was to allow myself to walk away and I am now at that place.

The best part of this friendship has always been the fact that we are two peas in a pod, kindred spirits in a sense. She and I have the same outlook in life. She has that gentleness in her that I know I can trust and that she will never take advantage of me. Which I totally loved and will always cherish about her. Having said that there has always been this doubt of my motives, what I say or don’t say and this has been the undertone of our entire friendship and led to many instances of not talking to each other or a lot of misunderstandings/conflict. This has been tiring and taken an overall toll on the friendship particularly now that we live in different cities and often rely on texts and emails that often don’t generally convey true meaning.

Another element of a great friendship is that as both parties get older, there is natural room for both parties to grow, experiment and come to terms with themselves in the new phase and both parties have to allow for this to naturally play itself out. Friendship cannot be rigid or imposing or it naturally dies away. As we have gotten older, I have also struggled to embrace all her choices and some of the decisions she has made have made me quite uncomfortable and I am struggling to be the friend she needs in this phase of her life.

More than that however is the fact that our friendship is steeped in the past. We are not generating new memories, we are hanging onto old memories but none of us is invested in going forward. In fact, if we did not have friends in common, we wouldn’t really know what the other was doing or what they were up to. I honestly think ten years has been great but we truly don’t need each other that much any way and so although painful, its probably the right thing to do.

Sunday reads

  1. Being professional means working with whatever tools you have access to.
  2. Working out as a believer.
  3. Our response to a couple that only wants one kid!
  4. Advice to young jobseekers on how to present your CV.
  5. The church in Ethiopia.
  6. 13 Rules for female friendship.
  7. Bullet journals seem so FUN.
  8. Travelling while Muslim.
  9. The cost of being a woman and doing fieldwork

Recent Pins I have loved

Fabulous :)

Love her glasses

Source Unknown

The Role Of Colors In Interior Design. Labor Junction / Home Improvement / House Projects / Pop of Color / Living Room / Design / House Remodels / www.laborjunction.com:

Love the pop of colour.

Source

A better view of the lights pendants lined up dining:

I love the lighting fixtures

Source

Natural Hair bride

Her make up is flawless!

Source

Family Nursery wall art Kids Art Art for Nursery by nidhi on Etsy:

Just the imagery of this ..

 

 

Friendships can be tough sometimes

Image result for an african city

Source

Since leaving home, I have had two kinds of friendships. Those that require little maintenance and those that we have to continuously work on to maintain.

And that’s been fine.

For the most part.

However, something I struggle with is when to let go of a friendship. I find that I become consumed by the memories and the fact that we have experienced so much together and that it would be such a pity to let x be the reason that we part ways. When do you just leave and let be?

Sunday Reads

  1. Books to inspire healthy eating.
  2. Taking care of your knives. I got so many knives as a wedding gift, so this is personally meaningful.
  3. Imagine finding out that what you think of your parents is not so.
  4. Considering all the stuff on HONY the past two weeks, this is so painful to imagine.
  5. Like her blog and this post because it had products that I could probably use.
  6. Probably the only review of Lemonade that resonates.
  7. Learnt a new word this week: syndemic!
  8. It is so true that children have to be taught to hate.
  9. This portrayal of beauty in Kenya over the last 100 years is NOT really representative in my eyes.
  10. I used to advocate for the death penalty.Not anymore.
  11. I really miss living in the same town as my best best friends. I said it!
  12. Love the show Blackish, very interesting to listen to the interview with the shows creator.
  13. Different recipes

Book Review: Happiness is a Four Letter Word v Men of the South

Following this summary of what is currently on my to-read bookshelf I have a couple of books that I would like to review.

Happiness is a Four Letter Word – Cynthia Jele

I loved this book, it deals with two things that I am particularly passionate about: Johannesburg and female relationships.

  • The book is what would happen if Sex and the City had been cast in a cosmopolitan African city. If you would love to see that, check out the YouTube series, An African City.
  • The themes are easily recognisable: love, family, beauty, work/ career advancement, marriage, female friendships.
  • The book is a really easy read, I started on Friday at 7 and finished the next day by 12.
  • Having said that, it is definitely a conversation starter and will have you thinking deeply about some of the issues dealt with for instance, what would I tell a dear friend that was cheating on her husband because she did not exactly marry him for love? Or a friend that rekindles communication with an old ex?
  • Only concern and I guess because of my personal views, I feel like the author portrays a very negative view of (Black) relationships and someone that is not acquainted with any Black people might take it as a given that this is how our love dynamics play out. Yes it’s a novel, but their portrayal is definitely very one-sided, what happened to “normal“?
  • Would I recommend it? Definitely yes!! I actually cannot wait for the author to release a second book.

Men of the South – Zukiswa Wanner

A bit of a preliminary disclaimer is that I read this book on the back of Happiness and the after-glow it gave me.

  • The book’s main theme is love and relationships (gender dynamics, hetero- or homosexuality, family and friendships) and it definitely deals with each of these in turn.
  • The book is set in Johannesburg and Cape Town, cities that I can safely say I am familiar with which makes the reading that bit enjoyable when I can understand the physical setting.
  • The book provides an entry point to have some difficult conversations for example, being a Black homosexual in a culture where one is expected to get a wife and settle down or what if I earn more than my husband and can take care of him, should he stay home while I work?
  • However, I think it attempted to do too much in a few pages and fell short. Hence, it was not as memorable as it could possibly be. I also felt that the first person reportage was not too helpful either.
  • Overall, the book was quite predictable and I would not recommend it unless you maybe had a few hours and did not want to be wowed but wanted to tick a book off your reading list.

Rachel’s Blue – Zakes Mda

I tried to read this book and failed to get into it despite trying. In light of my recent advice on how to read more books, I am giving up and will mark this is a non-read on my part. My biggest issue I suppose is that I love it when he writes about various aspects of South African people and the setting of this book was too different for me to adjust my expectations accordingly.

 

 

 

 

(Fleeting) Female friendships

I often talk about female friendships that are in many parts so fulfilling but sometimes so emotionally frustrating. Just today at lunch I was thinking about how fleeting female friendships can also be. In particular I was thinking of all the people that I am not longer friends with.

Of the friend that is a twin who felt the need to lie about her age. PS: her twin said his age honestly. Also, we were in our early twenties when age was not yet a thing.

Of the childhood friend that went through such a demeaning and embarrassing break-up and because we all knew of it, our friendship could never be the same again. We eventually made up and can talk but things are just not the same. Too much history there.

Of an old time friendship that is hanging on by the skin of its’ teeth because … who knows.

While they have such depth and can be emotionally fulfilling, female friendships can at times also change just as suddenly. Sometimes because we honestly outgrow each other or sometimes for no reason beyond the fact that its time to let go and move.

Today’s post is written in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt —-> Fleeting

 

 

Late Sunday Reads

  1. Google for kids? Kiddle
  2. Yummy tamarind chicken.
  3. Yummy Lemony Cream Cheese Pancakes with Blueberries.
  4. This colour thesaurus is so beautiful to behold.
  5. On how female friendships change with time.
  6. This is what it means to truly love someone. It’s a verb.
  7. Of the first AIDS patients and how most of them are now are in their late 60s and 70s.
  8. Oatmeal latte, anyone? REALLY not sure.
  9. Carrot cake for two?
  10. Welcome to poaching fruits.
  11. I happen to live with someone that could eat eggs for three main meals and as snacks in between. Here are some lovely dishes to try out.
  12. Sometimes our best motivation is external.

    Often, our best work happens when we’re in a situation we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves. The hard part is choosing to be in that sort of situation in the first place, the uncomfortable one where we have no choice but to do better work.

  13. Which would you want in a job, freedom or responsibility?

    Freedom and responsibility aren’t given, they’re taken

  14. I have friends with whom I share goals.

    A common trait among successful people is that they have friends who expect them to move on up.

On Female Friendships

Source

I can easily name a handful and a half of women that I would do this with/to!!

Missing my gals (and cheers to discovering a new comic).