With this new moon.

At this very moment I am turning a new page. Possibly even a new chapter.

I am choosing to respond to  everything that I have ignored, abandoned and straight out rejected because of fear and not knowing my worth.

I am going after everything on the other side of doubt. I am taking a stand against all that has been keeping me down in the dumps. I am saying yes to higher vibrations. I am going after all that my heart desires and aches for.

I have felt the pain of not being in alignment and today I take a step toward healing it. I am committing to myself. I am committing to my inner child. I am committing to my healing. I am committing to love. I am committing to going deeper into my truth.

With this new moon, kuyavela ukukhanya. Kuba chosi, kuba hele.

 

Praise for my new apartment

Since this month has began, I have been living in a new flat. It’s new to me because I have just moved into it plus the building itself started operating two months ago as it had been shut down for renovations.

The new flat being newly renovated and under new ownership, is a many times better than the previous one. The entire building is very clean and so is the apartment I am subrenting from a lovely neat freak. I have two other flatmates that I share the bedroom with. We appear to be in the same age group and enthusiastic about meeting each other and making our time together as pleasant as possible. All of us are chatty and seem to enjoy spending time together. I did not have such a great relationship with one of my roommates at my old flat. I had been with her for a month before another roommate joined us. I guess our personalities did not gel well enough and my ex-roommate was not always keen on being social (specially just with me). The bad vibe in the room added a sense of urgency to my decision to move flats.

I feel very blessed (an adjective I rarely use when referring to myself) to have moved into the new flat. Besides the clean, new building and the high-tech security, I now stay in a homely apartment owned by a woman that I am possibly already looking up to. I have roommates that make our union feel sisterly. The landlady has two little daughters, aged 4 and 7, that add a bit more sunshine into the flat. I have never been able to call another place home until now. I do not feel like I am in the city when I am inside the apartment. The urge to be outside the apartment has decreased since moving here. The lounge (and cable tv) could be a contributing factor to that – we didn’t have that where I stayed. The apartment is small and cosy and the good vibes between its residents make it even warmer. I am getting acquainted to the shopkeepers from the small superette outside the flat.

I feel more independent in my new flat. I have my bed now that I am not sharing with any of my roommates. I have space in a more spacious cupboard in the bedroom. I no longer live from a bag. I also have my own designated space in the kitchen cupboards. Did I mention using a fridge that I am not sharing with anyone? Yep, I am only realising now too how trashy my old flat was (even though I am still paying the same amount for rent). I am so grateful for this little haven. I actually should drink to finding this gem.

Walking outside the flat makes me feel as though I am finally experiencing life in the city. Across the road from my flat is a quite a large park – like the ones I have been seeing in cities on TV. It has a recreational gym, stadium and a play area with swings, merry-go-round, see-saws and more playthings like a park should. People come there to play, relax, have fun and sadly it is home to other people. Right next to the park is a police station and it makes me feel safer as the area has quite a high volume of drug addicts who live under a bridge nearby. There are plenty of  shops and watering holes on every street. I stayed at the side of the city popularly known as the market – there were more vendors than stores on the side of town. I am closer to the CBD/city centre and the harbour.

Also, I no longer have to walk seven flights of stairs to get to my apartment. The new flat has a working elevator plus I stay on the ground floor. I think I will be here for a long time. I actually want to stay here while I build towards my own home. My landlady is already doing so. She has even inspired in me the thought of renting out my own flat one day too.

I wonder if my roommates and I will enjoy smoking weed together – if they even smoke.

PS: Will add pictures to the blog when I have a smartphone!

Probing wounds to heal

It has just occurred to me that I come here [to the blog] to probe my wounds and bleed. I guess writing is that for me: a safe space for me to explore and articulate all that goes on in my mind.

I have so much that pains me that I do not express verbally. I am going through a lot right now that no one knows about. I guess I do not talk about it because I am scared of visiting most parts of it… I sometimes feel as though no one will understand or provide some of the solutions that I so desperately need.

Right now I am struggling with the fact that I have to go home next weekend. I have been avoiding home for a while now and my mother wants my son to visit them next weekend. I will not deny her the opportunity to see her grandson.

Going home means being in the same space with my father. For almost four years now, I have hated even the idea of being in the same space with him. I have been so angry at him.

In 2013 I was raped and I was silent about it. When I finally told my father, he said that it was my fault that I had been raped and that they did not know about it. He said I deserved it. He made a stupid statement about girls of other races not being raped because they walk in groups. He basically uttered everything he could think of at that time to pin this gruesome crime on me.

I hated him from that very moment. I was shocked and disappointed. No sympathy whatsoever for me. Months later he repeated his statement, emphasizing that his harsh response was actually not out of anger but he really meant what he said.

One of my close friends who has also been blamed and shamed by family for her rape, came to the conclusion that her mother could not deal with the pain of her daughter being violated in that manner so to cope (or defend herself from the guilt she perhaps felt), she blamed her daughter. I also came across this quote by Najwa Zebian that helped me put things into perspective regarding my father’s response: ” …If they caused you pain, they must have pain inside. Wish them healing. That’s what they need.”

I have come to understand that my father is a broken man. Neither of my parents are emotionally healthy and they are not used to express their feelings in a healthy manner. I assume that him being harsh to me was due to the fact that he could not accept that his daughter was raped.

I have come to understand many other things. I’ve realised how much this anger burdens me. I want to let it go. I want to go home and not be angry anymore. I want to forgive for the sake of my inner peace. For me to forgive, I need to get to a point where my father’s words no longer hurt me. I need to rise above everything he said. I am not a victim of his words or untrue thoughts. I must also heal so much that I no longer hold on so much to the pain of being raped.

Dear reader, how do I do that?

Being Anele

I believe that I could never fully know myself as I am ever-changing. I grow each day with new information and new experiences. I can say that my life changes every other day. With this blog post I  want to capture who I am at this moment and share her with you, dear reader.

My names are Sanelisiwe Anele Bhengu, but you can call me Anele like most people do. One of these days I shall blog about the meanings of my names.

I am 23 years old. I have not felt more of an adult than I have since turning 23. I say I am 23 with pride. Maybe that could also be because I do not look my age. Younger men hit on me under the assumption that I am younger than them or their age. My female peers baby me before I reveal my age or before we engage in a conversation that shows them that I am a lot older than I appear. I should also share a recent picture of myself one of these days.

I am a mother of a two-year-old boy. His name is Kumkani. Another thing I say with pride is my son’s name.  His name is a Xhosa word meaning “king”. He is currently learning to speak and funny enough, he speaks a bit of English already. He has learnt the language from watching a lot of Disney Junior. He is a huge fan of Puppy Dog Pals, PJ Masks and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, he knows how to count to ten. Look at his mother bragging.

At this current stage of my life, I feel I am running away from quite a number of demons. I have realised how much I do not want to be home. I haven’t been there since May and it is only 30km way. Right now my biggest reason for avoiding home is my father. I am no longer as angry at him as I have been for the past two years. A part of me now looks  at him with empathy. I  have come to understand that the people who cause us pain do so because they already have pain inside them. I feel a lot of sympathy for him right now as he is old, blind and quite frail.  I have also come to realise and appreciate the positive impact he had on my life while I was younger. I feel like I have been missing out on him in the past couple of years that I have not been talking to him. I miss him and I am not sure how to go about reconciling with him. I am terrified of talking to him. I am also terrified of him passing on before him and I make peace. This situation is the biggest source of my misery right now. I have not been able to articulate all this successfully until now. I am grateful I have had a  chance to put my fears into words today.

For a living, I work for an events and communications company. My title according to my boss is head honcho. I do most of the admin and marketing. I am still learning as I am still quite new at the job and in this field.

At the current moment I am uncertain about what I would rather be doing if I wasn’t  doing my current occupation. What I know for sure is that I want to make enough money for me to live comfortably and earn that money doing something  I am passionate about. There is so much I believe I would do successfully but that is a topic for another day.

I think that is enough sharing for now. I am not one to share so much of myself, especially online. I feel as if a burden has been lifted off my shoulders now that I have shared even one of my biggest fears. I feel lighter.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

Lost, literary.

I have not read a fictional book in such a long time I had forgotten how it feels like to be so immersed in a story. I had forgotten the feeling of being lost in the story so much that you somehow feel disoriented when you have put down the book for a while.

I most likely had been getting lost in stories since childhood but I first became aware of these trips down fiction lane in high school, particularly when I was reading Spud by John van de Ruit. The book takes place in a boy’s boarding school set in the Midlands in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, in the early 1990s. As a young Black girl in Catholic boarding school in 2011, I found myself escaping into the adventurous and mischievous world of Spud. I felt some sort of disorientation when I had put the book down and was back in my reality. I had felt like I had known personally and was part of Spud’s circle of friends. His embarrassment and humiliation were mine. So were all of his emotions – the good and bad. I remember sobbing from the passing of his dear friend, Gecko. Months later, I would get lost in the lives of numerous adult Irish women beautifully crafted by Marian Keyes. Reading took me into so many places and put me into so many shoes.

For a years after that, I did not read much, especially for leisure. I read because I had to and when I  got back into reading this year, I was just reading non-fiction. Since my spiritual awakening, I had been reading to find answers to some of the questions I had and I thought fiction was a waste of my time as it did not have the answers I sort. Smh. I was missing out on the magic.

I am currently reading Fred Khumalo’s Touch My Blood: The Early Years. I am delighted to say that I am reminded of the joys of my early years – the joys of being lost in the life of the story! The memoir recalls Khumalo’s early life growing up in the township and his years as a young adult pursuing a career in journalism. I am journeying through life in the Mpumalanga township in KwaZulu Natal during the apartheid era through the eyes of a young Vusi aka Touch My Blood (names which Fred was usually referred as by family and friends while growing up).

I would love to offer young children an opportunity and a platform into this all-consuming, weird and wonderful of literature. Many children in the townships and rural areas miss out on this journey. I understand that reading is not for everyone but some children do not even get the chance to be exposed to books enough to decided or to realise if reading is for them or not. It breaks my heart to realise the benefits of reading that these children miss out on because of the lack of reading culture, especially in disadvantaged, black communities in South Africa.

Reading opens many doors for young minds. Books take you to places you would have never imagined.

My deepest fear no more

If there is anything I have writen about over and over, it is my lack of confidence and desire to write. And at this very moment, I am tired of sounding like a broken record. I now want to get down to doing the actual thing.

I recently realised that the confidence to write can be mustered through practise and immensing oneself in books. I realised that writing is like a muscle, it gets better and stronger through exercise. I can only become the writer I wish to become through writing daily – no matter how minimal ,and reading too.

I have had this blog for years but I have never published anything on it. I have written drafts, typed and deleted but never had the courage to click on “publish”.

I have just been afraid of being myself. If you have read anything I have written about my non-existence confidence and my desire to write, you would know that I see so much of myself in Akeelah from Akeelah and the Bee. For those that don’t remember the movie, Akeelah, like me (except that I am older now), is a bright girl who is exceptional at spelling but doesn’t really believe in herself. Her spelling coach, Dr Larabee points her to some writing on his wall. The writing is the famous poem by Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson that is usually wrongly attributed to the late Dr Nelson Mandela.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

When Dr Larabie asks Akeelah what the writing means, she says “That I’m not supposed to be afraid”. “Afraid of what?”, her coach inquires. “Afraid of myself”.

If there is anything I have been afraid of, it is my own power and shine. I am making a decision to delve into all that as from today. I want to test my limits. I want this expression of Infinite Intelligence that is myself to reach its fullest potential. I want to be myself enough.