Tag Archives: friendship

So what did you expect?

This morning the Mr and I had a little fight. I had to take my car for a service – something that in my horror, totally feels like a dentist’s visit what with the information asymmetry, pain (actual and to the wallet) and the fact that there is a specialist whom you trust but then again, information asymmetry. At the root of the fight though is that ugly word: Expectations.

Any one about to be married, or married for a day and an hour will long have heard the mantra that expectations kill a marriage and that the counter is communicate, communicate, communicate. Our little fight had me reassessing all the different expectations that I had regarding marriage and an assessment of all other expectations I have held since our marriage started.

  1. I expected a partner that would take charge of cars and who would directly engage with mechanics and basically inform me when I needed to do any car-related changes.
  2. Ergo, any fixing of stuff around the house. I would highlight any issues and he would oversee to the fixing – whether directly or outsourced, I am ambivalent. To be honest, a lot of the technical stuff I was happy to delegate away.
  3. All newly weds are told that they need to set time for date night or else … Consequently, I too came into marriage with this (fear-driven) expectation and very early on we both figured out that given the pace of our lives it would be infeasible to designate a specific evening to always hang out. Having said that, when one of us is hectic, there is no expectation to do stuff but when things simmer down, we often hang out.
  4. My family has a habit of starting to plan for Christmas from as early as August/September. His family? Not so much. Initially this made me feel slightly helpless. Besides the family tradition, my personality is such that, you can never be too prepared OR start preparing too early. What we now try and do to incorporate both our idiosyncrasies is to have a lose discussion in September and refine it in the following months. This is certainly imperfect (according to me) but it definitely helps somewhat.
  5.  I thought that I would hate meal planning. Turns out, I love it.
  6. Sometimes as wives we expect that our husbands will become our best (female) buddy. That’s not the case and surely it’s not the reason that we fell in love to begin with. So keep your buddies and work on building a friendship with your husband too.
  7. Before the wedding I had heard of brides that often felt a bit sad after the wedding because things had gone back to “normal”. Did I feel the same way? Emphatically, NO!! After the energy and time spent planning the wedding, I was only too happy to settle for normal.

I must say these lessons are over and above learning how selfish I am, how much space and time alone I require. All of that. Marriage is certainly not the penultimate goal, neither is it my most defining relationship but I must say I have learnt a lot and it has been very fulfilling for me.

Sunday Reads

So we would like to date you

IMG_3726

One of the things that I thought would happen with marriage is that we would automatically become part of a group of other couples and we would often hang out and as the babies came, they would all grow up together. Why is this important for me? Well, I believe that as a couple, it is important to have a community that you can learn from and you can be open with. Not the entire world but some people that hold you both accountable and keep you both encouraged in this game of marriage.

Two years later, I can’t really say this has been the case.

If I think about our friendship cycle, we have either had that one couple that always invites us over to theirs and that we have occasionally hosted or the ones we always invite to ours/ out to dinner but upon our initiation and not theirs. Very binary. We are both really puzzled as to how  other couples go about befriending other couples. Where are the best kinds of places/activities to meet and interact? In the past, we have invited people for dinner or lunch but it has tended to revolve around food. Another possible place is church but our local church has less than 40 people (clergy included) and is very old. Where else?

Who would our ideal couple be? This has been the toughest bit in truth. As we have no kids this rules out the flexibility of having another couple with one or two kids in tow to pop by at random. With single people, we have observed that they sometimes project third wheel vybes when we hang together. Which means that we either chill with our single pals separately or host few people sporadically. Our ideal couple would be similar in age, committed to being married and fairly authentic – separately and jointly as a couple.

So, have you got a couple pal? How did you meet and what is the benefit to you to dating/being married and having a crowd of witnesses?

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.

Making friends as an adult is tough

{sisters} #PardonMyFro #freelancer #digitalart #blackgirlmagic #illustration #afroart #naturalsisters:

This post on friendship has been doing the rounds which got me thinking about friendships in general. I love this quote:

What I’ve been telling my daughter is this: Yes, pray for and hope for new and closer friendships. That’s a good thing to want. But also don’t be so idealistic that you don’t see the opportunities for friendship right in front of you. The person in your life that you least expect might end up the answer to your prayer.

It looks like taking the initiative when we’d rather wait to be invited. It looks like pursuing that person already in our life instead of waiting for someone who might not exist. It looks like looking out for who might need a friend more than me. It looks like keeping healthy boundaries when we feel particularly vulnerable about all this (I’m looking at you, social media).

It looks like continually keeping our eyes peeled for someone who fits our bill, but it looks even more like keeping partial solutions at the forefront of our mind when we desire companionship.

In turn this got me thinking about my friendships and I would like to reflect on this over a couple of posts.

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. These are my best friend goals for when we are 70-plus.
  2. All night after care facilities for busy parents. Very sad!!
  3. Vanilla coconut ice cream.
  4. Another pasta recipe.
  5. You don’t need a sandwich maker to make these cheese sandwiches.
  6. Such memories we all have about meeting our MILs for the first time.
  7. This is a whole post on the pressure of being a young adult now.
  8. So scary but very fascinating.
  9. A to-do list if you are looking to change your name post marriage.
  10. I am voting for jumpsuits as the official bridesmaid wear!
 

Sunday Reads

  1. Quick lunch/snack recipe: Chickpea “tuna” salad 
  2. Cooking with lentils & beans
  3. Don’t really like vegetarian burgers but these lentil meatballs sure look yum!
  4. This article made me realise why people do not share the names of their babys before birth, but clearly once they are born, the name is not safe either!!
  5. Pics of the beautiful Cape Town.
  6. Beautiful pics of the Festima Festival in Burkina Faso.
  7. Some non-traditional baby gift ideas.
  8. Breaking up is hard. Breaking up in the day of Facebook, is something else altogether.(NY Times Article)
  9. A better way to think of your to-do list.
  10. Get Tested. Be Faithful. Remain Faithful. Otherwise, always use protection.
  11. On buying friendship in Japan. Read this and thanked God for my genuine (free) friendships.
  12. This lady did what I always say to my single pals about putting themselves out there in order to meet a guy!
  13. Sad that the recently legalised Marijuana business in the states has a colour preference.
  14. How do you feel about motherhood?

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Friday Tunes

At my first job, we had a dedicated “DJ” that would send us Friday Tunes to stop us hanging ourselves get us all into the weekend always with the title “Friday Tunes” and this post is definitely meant to be a shout-out to those good old days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJr80jXCepc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4f2qkejlPjo

Enjoy and have a super duper weekend!

March Goals

In keeping with my 2016 theme to be more rooted and connected, this is what I hope to do in March.

  1. Reach out to close friends via calls, emails or messages to talk about what’s really happening in our lives. I mean group communication and Facebook is great but not all the time. Also, to get into the habit of praying for friends and family.
  2. Do more outdoorsy stuff and enjoy the last of the Cape Town glorious weather.
  3. Cook more and enjoy that time.
  4. Get data and finalise topic for school.
  5. Read more African literature (more on this later).
  6. Host a high school friend and her family for lunch.
  7. Hang up more pictures around the house.

Will post at the end of the month how it’s all going.

Some recent pics

Of the mountain from my office

Recently went to Paarl with a couple of friends, gorgeous weather and lovely views!!

Enjoy xoxo!

Sunday Reads

  1. Interesting to read that Chartered schools do not do any better for children in more suburban areas.
  2. Planning an upcoming Cape Town city centre adventure.
  3. Cooking with sweet potatoes
  4. Celebrating love, marriage and all things in between. Also, check out their podcast, season 2 is coming up.
  5. How to help a friend going through a rough time.
  6. On meeting your biggest idol!

Some wedding dresses for brides to be

Wouldn’t do any of these but I would love to be friends with the girl that could carry them off.
Penelope-1

164A9121

Agata-1

Luisa-1 Francesca Miranda FW 2016 collection

Yes, I still check out wedding stuff from some of my old favourites.

My favourites are number 1 and 4.

Love that #1 is playful but it could also be adapted into a long, short or midi dress. I also like the polka dots on the trail and seeing it again, it could be done into a jumpsuit!

#4 has the type of neckline that I just love and indeed, my wedding dress had an illusion neckline as well.

If you any girl that would wear these dresses, send her my way 🙂

 

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).

27. Putting yourself first

A close friend of mine and I often talk about how women always put others first in their lives and they then become a last priority. Also, how women’s self identity often lies with others: I am a mother, a wife, a daughter and never a broader sense of what they really are like. This was made only too real for me in recent weeks when a friend of mine was rushed to hospital seemingly suffering from stress-related issues that then became physical. This scared me and drove home the idea of self-love.

How do I take care of myself?

I will start by being honest to say that I don’t always put myself and that when I don’t it does make me feel not so great. This is what I rather try and do instead:

  1. Exercise. It helps me to burn that anxious energy but it also forces me to be in the moment and to enjoy or even breath through the pain and after, I am more relaxed and more capable to deal with whatever the issue was.
  2. Prayer & journaling. Writing and praying also helps to start my day on a positive note, it helps me commit my actions to God and to trust that it will be well. I make a lot of lists and more often than not, they are useful because I don’t lose my mind.
  3. Evaluate priorities. I find if you keep doing stuff, people keep expecting you to continue with it and rarely will they report back and ask that you stop. So it’s up to you to really stop, step back and determine whether this activity is still as helpful for you. Same thing with money. Do you need to keep spending all that money? Does that debit order still make sense for you?
  4. NO GUILT. A part of me knows that I cannot do everything and that I cannot be everything to all people but sometimes I finish that sentence with, but watch me try. And when it doesn’t work out, guilt is an easy second feeling and I have to say to myself, no more! None of that around here.
  5. Sampling magazines and books at Exclusive Books. Particularly on a quiet evening when it is not too busy. Every so often, that’s my plan for the evening and boy do I look forward to it.
  6. Catching up with a friend whether via email or WhatsApp. So enriching and often empowering.
  7. Listening to Music. Whether an oldie or a new album. Something about music just makes me so happy.
  8. Tea. Because tea …

A couple of other interesting readings with a more conclusive list of things to start doing today to do better for yourself:

21. Love and some artwork that captures it

I love this lady’s artwork – Nidhi Chanani and have shared about that previously. I love her work because it reminds me of the Mr and all the stuff that makes us meaningful so enjoy these pics. Her work is available here.

We Dream #illustration #print #love #hope #couple #nidhiart:

So carefree …

after a long day (2011) its national #hug day! go and hug...:

Nothing a hug can’t fix 

Recent love-inspired illustrations - I am super comfortable with...:

I would rather be caught in the rain with you

Enjoy and let your loved one know you love them, today, tomorrow, always ❤

Yaaaaas to Women friendships

What a week to be a Black woman!!

I wanna be at this jam. I separately love each of these women then together and to imagine that Ava (only one name required) directed this clip for Apple Music!! I wanna be at this jam so bad!

Edited to add: Better video here

Book review: The Invention of Wings

 Buy here

I love Sue Monk Kidd and have read all her earlier works and so when I heard she had a new book out, I thought yay!! Good stuff. BUT, I wasn’t prepared for the beauty and the magic of The Invention of Wings. Just beauty.

Synopsis

From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a #1 New York Times bestselling novel about two unforgettable American women.

Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.

This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.

First off, I must start with the fact that I loved this cover and the fact that when you start to read about Hetty, you will see how the image on the cover totally resembles her. I totally judge a book by its cover and this would have piqued my interest even if I did not love the author.

My other overarching thought was how this book has such beautiful imagery, it must be converted into a movie or a series for TV. It simply must for the following reasons:

  • I mean if all these Vampire things can be adapted, why not such a beautiful story?
  • Without spoiling too much, quilting and dressmaking is a central theme in the story which I would love to see on screen.
  • Although painful, I would also like to see how they stage the beatings and the diverse relationships between the slaves and the relationship between them and their Owners.
  • Sarah is also a pivotal character and I would love to see who is cast to portray her and then how she develops over time.

All in all, the language was beautiful and it told a very emotional topic in a nuanced and sensitive manner which appealed to me greatly. I found out at the end that it was based on a historical figure, Sarah Grimke, and was slightly embellished. It was the best piece of writing on feminism that I have come across in a loooong long time.

I would definitely recommend this book as well as watch the movie when it comes out.

Gnovembers favourite things list

Currently listening to this album and loving it. A bit late but it’s been my work jam for some time now!

Recently read the following book: Review here.

Recently shopped at The Space in Rosebank. I love the shop, often has lovely clothes but of a larger size. Check it out!

Currently drinking Ginger Glace tea from Tea Merchants

Ginger Glace

I have enjoyed eating Tapas at Doppio Zero in Rosebank. My favourites, Chickpea fritters, fried haloumi, the calamari and chicken livers. Just yum and not too filling if you are having an early dinner.

I am ashamed that I watch the following reality shows but I so do love them:

Also, do reach out to a friend and enjoy the little moments. Life is too short and great friends are hard to come by so keep the few that you make

*All views my own