Divorce isn’t the End

11427726_10153045269419685_2935394529292535852_n

That title just made some people who know me extremely nervous *smile*

“When did Inge get married?”

“And when did she divorce?”

“How did I not know this?!”

Uhm…I didn’t. I haven’t. And we are probably not as close as you think if the third question went through your head.

But how can I know this then? I’ve never been married.  How I can speak for divorcees?

I’m not.

I’m not speaking for them. There’s so many things said about people who go through divorce on the internet, either by themselves or professionals. Not so much the ‘bystanders’.

And no I’m not going to comment on divorce in general. What I am going to shine a light on are the children, the grownup ones, who have to either pick up the pieces and/or deal with the emotional aftermath. The ones who have to resign themselves to a life of, “What can I say in front of my mother/father about the other, that in no way harms my relationship with both?”

It is funny how even the most amicable separations can turn sour, because even if both parties are okay with leaving, if the other one seems to have a way “better” time at moving on. Some bitterness sweeps in. And that bitterness, no matter the amount, has an effect on the children.

You can be the most well adjusted, emotionally intelligent adult there is, but when your parents go through a divorce…it wrecks your world. The experience tears something inside of you. You won’t realize until you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night unable to breathe because it feels like the air had been sucked out of your lungs. And as an adult, someone who’s thirty-three years old, people expect you to have it together.

You’re not a child that you lean on your parents support for everything. The bulk of sympathy goes to kids who still haven’t finished school. And trust me, I feel for them. They have absolutely no control over their lives; adults are making decisions for them. At least when you’re a grownup you can tell your parents, “Look I don’t want to deal with your drama anymore.” You can cause them to be shamefaced for the way they are acting, for the way they are having you be the grownup, when they raised you. Not the other way around.

So definitely an up and down side to being an adult with recently divorced parents.

Nevertheless here’s why I believe divorce isn’t the end for adult children with divorced parents, especially if those parents chose to get a divorce, rather than the one cheating on the other or being emotionally and physically abusive, etc. But rather them realizing that they’ve grown apart and want different things from life.

You can still be a family. Two years ago I didn’t think that would be possible. (And I know everyone’s circumstances/families aren’t the same.)

But there is hope of peace. Hope of everyone getting on well together. You don’t have to choose sides adult child of divorced parents *smile*

As we all know, a couple breaking up, most of the time, doesn’t have a direct correlation to the children. It’s their issues with each other. So don’t think that at any point in the future you won’t be able to pick up the strands of the relationship again. Yes, it’s going to be different. There’s going to have to be forgiveness and healing. You’re going to have to openly talk about your issues (if you have any) with each other. Because your mother is still your mother and your father is still your father. That bond isn’t going to go away just because your dad is married to someone new, or your mom chooses to live in a commune with people who dress in white and murmur affirmations under their breath. Just saying.  Through your connection, they are still your family. And that makes something like divorce not final.

Death is final. And I have to say, people who compare the two with each other, might not have any plans of ever moving on from divorce. I still carry the death of my biological father with me, but I don’t carry my parents’ divorce with me. To me, the two can never be lumped under the same heading. I can make peace with a living breathing person, but I can’t with someone who’s no longer there.

So divorce is not the end. It’s the beginning of another different kind of life. But still life.

C00228181_0f4767e0-fa25-11e5-b3ca-02000a1940ae

Putting Yourself Out There

a3611d9da60255784803a3217aa6b1fe

Whether it’s in a romantic relationship or business partnership, you take a risk putting yourself out there.

All parties come with their set of skills and issues. Yes issues. The ones you collected from previous relationships and partnerships. You literally tell yourself to keep an open mind, to not judge people the same. This venture will be different; you won’t be picking up the slack. You won’t be the one left hanging after the phone call. But then you precariously find yourself doing a balancing act that would make an Olympic gymnast look like an amateur.

Putting yourself in a position where you have to rely on someone else is always scary. You have to trust that they’d have the best interest at heart for you or for the venture. You have to trust that you’ve made the right decision of entering with them into a relationship in the first place.

And I’m not someone who easily does that *pulls face* No I certainly don’t. And it doesn’t help that past experiences has basically taught me that I’m better of doing everything myself.

So of course, since I am self-aware I know my shortcomings. That I’d rather work on my own than do a group project (that has absolutely no bearing on my romantic status *straight face*). Because it takes a village to raise a child. That’s an African saying. And it holds true for taking on certain projects…true for having a healthy fulfilled life. Sometimes you need a little help from your friends.

That’s what the Africa Online Book Fair reminded me of again.

There’s a reason sites like Facebook got so big. Mark Zuckerburg understood the power of social networks, the power of people reaching out to each other, the power in connections and relationships. They can help you build things. The right people, with the right intentions and work ethic can build something solid.

Of course there is a flip-side to this coin. To this perfect picture I just sketched. Because people have personalities, come with their view points and sometimes misconceptions of what the objectives are.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across the latter. If people aren’t clear on what the end goal is it can impact how tasks are executed.

And once in awhile I’ve come across a rogue. You know what I mean, that one person who goes upstream while everyone’s going downstream. The one who deliberately swims against the current and you’re like why? That’s way too much effort and time consuming.

Here’s what I’ve learned when I’m working with someone and I’m required to be the number two (or four *grin*); I take a backseat. And not as a backseat driver. No. They should take the lead; I don’t try to make a grab for the wheel. If it looks like they are heading for a cliff I, politely, in a very reserved tone and with a modicum of caution, tell them that we are heading for a nosedive down a cliff. Usually that works. Because even though I’m an introvert with extrovert tendencies (I have a sneaky suspicion I might have developed into a full on self-aware extrovert over the years) I get on well with most people. Have been described as charming and likeable. And not just by people my age or ethnicity, class or cultural background. Across the board.

You know you’ve got people skills when eighteen and sixty year olds count you among their friends.

But in spite of this…in spite of the other side to the coin, I’d still say put yourself out there. Do it for your growth, do it for the experience, do it so you can write a blog post *laughs*, but mostly do it because it’s healthy. It’s good to come in contact with personalities that are not like yours. It’s good to see something come about from nothing. You learn new skills, make new contacts, and find out that the world is bigger than your experiences of it. That’s the reward.

No one can take away the lessons, the improvements away from you. You’ll know how to go about things next time in a similar setting, similar venture…another relationship.

So go on…take the plunge, put yourself out there.

#happynetworking

 

Writing Poetry

Last year I did a post on writing poetry, how it’s one of the styles I prefer writing in and also the first type of writing I did as a child (following in my brother and sister’s footsteps *smile*).

I promised to feature some poetry on here every now and then, so in light of a recent *cough* personal blog post I did *smile* I decided to share the level of angst *ha* that went through my head at the time. I usually tend to stay away from posting the oh-so-close-to-home poems I write (those who are friends with me on Facebook knows this. I always put a disclaimer just incase someone tries to connect the dots, when there are none.) I’m a very close to the vest kinda gal when it comes to revealing all, even though if you went through my blog you might not think so *wink* I am.

So this poem is a snapshot of an issue I struggled with recently and I thought I’d share it here, you know because…ugh…why not? …lol

IMG_20160611_121643_edit3

 

I feel like I’m staring down a cliff

And I can’t make out what’s below

I’ve never been so conflicted

You want me to jump with you.

You’ve never been my safety

Even though I trusted you

But since you’ve been gone

I’ve made up for lost time.

 

I should’ve left it there

Because my feelings were hurt

I could’ve left it there

Because you wanted to move on,

I must’ve kept it there

Because I couldn’t just jump

When it came to a leap of faith

I just went out and took it.

 

I feel like I’m staring down a cliff

And I don’t know what’s below

Will it be the same old, same old?

Or are you willing to let go?

You’re skirting on the edge of things

Not touching what it was

Can’t really blame you for it

I don’t want to go there either.

 

You should’ve left it there

Because my feelings were hurt

You could’ve left it there

Because you wanted to move on,

You must’ve kept it there

Because I couldn’t just jump

When it came to a leap of faith

I just went out and risked it.

 

And I feel like I’m staring down this cliff

And I can’t make out what’s below

Are you for real?

Or will I get more torn from this?

If this is a measure of faith

Than I’m stretching mine till it gives

I’m just wondering,

Will it be worth the risk?

 

 

Do It For Yourself

1978707_10153082481373529_2271710799901460642_n

Whatever you do, do it for yourself. Not for anyone else. Don’t be motivated by what someone else says to you or does to you. Do what you love, have a passion for, for yourself.

 
In the arts that’s something to hold on to. Whether you’re a writer, painter, musician, etc. it becomes more than a mantra you say in the bathroom mirror. It becomes a prayer. It becomes an anthem.

 
Early in my writing career, about the time when I joined all sorts of writing groups and started dealing with the industry of writing. Someone said something in a forum that kind of haunted me and I realized that up until a few minutes ago, their destructive words (even though they might not have meant them to be negative) had stayed with me. I had to battle them every day when it seemed like my writing was going nowhere, taking me nowhere. They said this (and I’m paraphrasing): You don’t have to be talented to be a writer, anyone can get published if they work at it hard enough, knock on that publisher’s door long enough, if they beg (it seemed to me) loud enough, if they perfected the perfect query letter regardless if the story was great, if their synopsis shone so bright, their poor grammar can be excused, and their mediocre story (that talentless story) will be contracted, not because you’re a good (great) storyteller, but because you hung in there long enough.

 

26563587ar1205d5

Yeah that’s a bit soul destroying and a very cynical view to have of writing (or maybe someone somewhere at one point told this person this. Said they were talentless, but could come up with a wicked premise and write good enough sentences so maybe they can persist and get published. I don’t know), somehow they’ve believed this lie and then took that poison and from their position of power as a veteran author, told this to newbies like me.

 
To be honest I resented this person. I was like “What?! Are you saying I’m freakin talentless?! That I can’t write to save my life. That even if I get that industry validation of a publishing contract that it means absolutely nothing because everyone and their mother can get one?”

 
Of course I didn’t say this to them. I stewed *laughs* I silently built up dislike towards this person. And when they landed a contract with a Big Six publisher I smirked, because even as they gloated and bragged (my filter here), I thought, ah the value of persistence. So this talentless author can get a Big Six contract, than I can too. Needless to say my attitude stunk! Like seriously stunk. Like all the way to the arctic and back to South Africa.
And I’m not a negative person when it comes to hopes and dreams. I like to motivate people. I like to dream for them if they don’t have a dream. I’m the first one to say congratulations to a friend, the first to say ‘wow you look beautiful today!’ I notice when people have done something amazing and I give honor where honor is due.

 
Yet this person had stuck their grimy little finger in a corner of my psyche that was still vulnerable. A place that still had to prove itself and stand up to the world. And as I was rising to do this. Gaining thicker skin. They just had to go and urinate all over it. (Please don’t be that person for someone. It sucks not just for them but for you. You’re heaping loads of bad karma on yourself.)

 

10620585_572662352860390_1519324603697148015_n

 

So this morning I woke up, prayed, read my Bible, and realized this: In spite of this haunting negativity that I thought I hadn’t internalized, I still rise. I still believe that I am talented. A good storyteller. That I didn’t start on this journey for people like this person. I didn’t write my first story to impress anyone at age fourteen. All I wanted was to tell a story. I had these characters I wanted to find out more about and then yeah maybe someone could read about them. But I wasn’t too open to that concept back then. They were mine. They belonged to me (selfish I know *grin*). I do this writing thing for me. No one else. Not for the ones who profess to NOT want validation from the industry and certainly not from the ones who believe that talent and natural ability doesn’t exist (in whatever form you have it aka music, sport, etc.) I’m doing this for me. And I love it. I don’t care if someone else thinks/feels differently, that’s their life, their demons to deal with. Their haunting. I’ve gotten rid of mine. I’ve thrown my demons out the front door and am pursing my writing journey how I want to.

 
And here’s another nugget: Just because you can’t see yourself achieving something, does not mean someone else can’t. If it hadn’t happened for you, doesn’t mean it won’t happen for them. Don’t rain on someone else’s parade. Don’t dismiss someone’s value. If it’s not your path, than it doesn’t mean it’s not theirs.

 
And now I’m done *smile* Just felt like putting it out there. We all need a little motivation someone times. xoxo

 
#HappyWriting

First blog post for 2015!

Hallo world! *shouts* Can you hear me, I`m back in the bloggers-sphere! LOL

I deliberately left my first post for 2015 to February, because I didn`t want to do a ‘new-year’s-resolution-writing’ post. I honestly don`t believe in them and while I`m all for goal setting and having a plan, resolutions always tend to be on the frivolous side of life. So I don`t make them. Never have. Never will.

Now back to my first blog post for the year 2015 *grin*

Falling-For-Mr.-Unexpected-banner

My first release, Falling for Mr. Unexpected hit all virtual stores on December 23rd and is now available in Paperback ( http://amzn.to/1z0vy7R ). To say I was excited would be an understatement. Any author would tell you that it`s one of those indescribable moments in life you couldn`t define even if you tried. Which is funny, because as writers we have a huge vocabulary to draw from. But I didn`t, all I could say was thank you to everyone who made the book possible, who gave the story a chance, who went out and bought it, who reviewed it! It`s more than a month after its release and it still feels like release day!

I`m enjoying the journey so far and keep myself from going completely bonkers by NOT checking how my book`s doing on the Amazon ranks or any ranking system for that matter. I`m surprisingly sober about the whole process. But then again, when you grow up with a mother who has a mind for business and constantly reminds you that as an author ‘you`re also ‘running a business’ and that a new business shouldn`t expect to hit a home run from the get-go’, but to build up customers (in this case readers). With this piece of advice you do have a tendency to be very sober-minded about you`re first book`s success.

I`ve gotten great reports from fellow authors on how my book`s fairing for a first time author as well as from my publisher (Decadent Publishing). And it really builds a writer to know your publisher`s with you every step of the way. Recently I decided to write for another of Decadent`s Lines and as I queried the editor of the Line, she actually mentioned that she`d been one of the Acquisition Editors who read through my work and enjoyed it. My jaw literally dropped. Because as a writer you feel like you`re on an island and no one other than the handful of people you interact with on your manuscript, really know about your story and you. So, this was such a great compliment, as well as motivation to get into the story I was about to write and to do a great job *knock on wood*

It`s 2015, I started my writing journey in 2012. I`ve come far. There`s still people who ask me on whether I wanted to return to teaching and I unwaveringly say a resounding no. In these last couple of years since permanently putting on my writing hat, I`ve learned a lot about myself. I`ve become a student again, a researcher, an entrepreneur, a marketer and created worlds I hoped to hear people got lost in. My career path might not have been as smooth as others, but it`s truly been enjoyable. I love what I do, where I`m at. I love that I`m surprising people. I love that when I go to a party, I`ve got something to talk about other than how much I hate my boss or how mundane my day job was. I am my own boss. As demanding as running your own business can be, I wouldn`t trade the freedom it provides for my writing.

Dance-of-Love_banner

My 2nd book Dance of Love is set for release in April 2015, I`m currently working on another submission for the Ubuntu Line with Decadent Publishing, Falling for Mr. Right and writing a brand new story for their Beyond Fairytale Line. I`m excited for this year. Many people do not have a silver lining in their lives and I`m so glad that I have mine.

Thank you readers of Inside These Lines, I`m again, happy to take the writing journey with you in 2015.

Somebody to you…

ba4b6c6fde3530978873f25dae177b63Recently I read a blog-post about relationships and it left me a little…unsettled. The romantic in me sat up with a stomach turning notion. Have single women become so disgruntled that the only thing they have to write/moan about was other women and their desperate need to NOT be single? To bemoan the ‘not so strong, always wrong’ women who actually want relationships? The ones who, yes do go on and on about ‘finding the one’, but who in essence doesn`t really have the ‘so wrong’ end of the stick.

Who doesn`t want to be somebody to someone?

tumblr_inline_n75setZfvj1r84y6b

That`s the theme of this post *grin*

Personally I have no issue with people out there doing their thing, who`s on the journey of ‘finding’ that somebody. Honestly it must be the most amazing thing (next to having your children) to have someone say they choose you to spend the rest (or what`s left, yes I love ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ so sue me!) of their lives with.

fault-in-our-stars-landscape-poster

Relationships are tough, complicated, takes a whole lot of courage to sustain and even to walk away from. Not everyone`s able to do that. And there`s so many other things I could write on this but I won`t, because it`s not for this post.

By now you’re wondering, what was the post about that has me responding to it in this way. Well, the gust of it was unrequited love. How can a person still hold on when the other isn`t interested and then consequently sabotage that persons relationships because they`re sticking around in the guise of a ‘friend’, when they so clearly want to be more than that.

Yeah, sticky.

My sympathy lies with those who never set out to fall for their friend. Who just happened along one day and as you wiped cheese from his face, you realized ‘damn he`s got a great smile, and a laugh and his eyes…wow his eyes.’ The jolt comes, the Boom Clap and you`re asking yourself, what am I thinking? The classic trope of falling for your bestfriend.

I feel for these people, because it`s the ultimate blindside when it comes to love. You`re a mess. You`re lying awake at night wanting to dispel the truth. You think you might be losing your mind, it had been a very long winter and now it`s spring …and well, we all know what happens in spring. So you bury the emotions, you even stop spending as much time with them as you normally would have. But they notice and absence makes the heart grow fonder, so when he calls to ask why he hasn`t seen you in awhile, you cave.

Everything goes back to how it was; only you’re carrying around this tremendous weight. And then plot twist, he falls for the New Girl at work. You meet New Girl and she`s not a bad person, in fact if she wasn`t kissing the face off the potential love of your life, you`d even want her as a close friend. But she is kissing his face off and you`re hurt, angry, irritated and unbelievably sad all at the same time.

And here`s where some women become gangster. Some try to sabotage; do things to cut the girlfriend out.

tumblr_mdcl5besgJ1qe8i7ko1_r2_500

Then you get those who with the ‘help’ of her girls drop a nuclear sized emotional bomb on the poor unsuspecting guy of Taylor Swift-you belong with me-proportions. And then there are the ones who silently suffer and well…there`s no way that can be healthy.

So the ideal (in my opinion) would be to walk away. You had your chance, you could`ve said something in those weeks you avoided him. BUT you were afraid. What if he doesn’t feel the same? What if he does and we go for it and the relationship goes nowhere, can we still be friends after? What if I`m imagining my emotions and they`re not real anyway. Ha!

We rob ourselves so much because of fear. And this made me sad, that in the blog-post written about this topic, the author couldn`t sense the fear that was so clearly evident in all the careful observations listed. Men and women who find themselves in these situations, the majority of the time, don`t plan it. You`re friends. That`s it. Yeah, she`s gorgeous but she`s my friend. Yeah, he`s the only guy I`ve met that can make me laugh like a lunatic, but he`s my friend. Friends are supposed to enjoy each other’s company. Who`s ever had a friend they didn`t want to spend time with, most likely you`ve dumped them by the roadside already.

Fear keeps many from uttering a truth we all have come to know…we want to be somebody to someone. You want someone to choose you *smile* All I keep hearing in my head (yes I`m nuts, now get over it cause this is good stuff! lol) is Julia Roberts saying, “pick me…choose me.” Powerful words and I`m sure many of us remember those exact words she spoke in Notting Hill, not because they`re easy to remember but because that`s what so many people want, for someone to pick them. And yes, we all love ourselves, we all have super confidence and egos and whatever, you don`t need anyone to determine your happiness blah blah blah. We all know. I`m not talking about ‘know thyself’ stuff here, I`m talking about heart stuff, the mushy place where love and to be loved resides.

I`m a romance writer so I have to think about these matters A LOT! lol And I honestly have to thank the profession because I don’t think I would`ve looked at relationships/people the way I do now. To literally put yourself in someone else`s shoes is already a big deal, but to inhabit those shoes, to ‘live’ their story, is something else.

So yes, I feel for these people. I empathise with them. I recognise their fear for what it is. I see their love. I know it`s not easy. And I would never simplify things just because I don`t agree with how they choose to handle things. In the end it`s their life, they`ll have to deal with the aftermath. But in the meantime I`ll say a little prayer for them, that the next time when the right opportunity comes along, they`ll be brave enough to say, “I want to be somebody to you.”

1157391_332244420254872_1670204602_n

#RomanticAtHeart

Be careful what you wish for…

 

Image

Because you might just get it and then some! You might be offered your dream on a silver plate only to find out, the plate wasn’t silver and not what you`ve dreamt. It`s counterfeit.

There`s a truth in patience, a lesson in waiting. It`s funny how you don`t understand that until you`ve fallen on your face and done the complete opposite.

And I`m one of those people, I learn through trial and error. For some reason the lesson`s more profound, and never to be repeated for sure.

Be careful what you wish for, be careful who you trust, be careful…be careful…mind the steps, the doors and even the hardwood floors. Make certain, take care…don`t run in heedlessly and even then, tread lightly. There`s truth in it, there`s wisdom found in caution. It keeps you from gliding on a wet floor, taking a nose dive …signing away your soul.

As someone who`s entered the writing world fairly recently, to have learned the lesson of caution so early on with all the dramatics of a Broadway play, I`m now more inclined to say, “Look right and left before you cross the street.”  Don`t settle for counterfeit.  Don`t pawn your hard work. When something feels wrong, don`t go there. Trust caution, it`s your friend in this line of business.

If you want your work to mean something to someone, if you want your dream to inspire long after you`ve left the living, then be careful.

“Your life is your message to the world. Make sure it`s inspiring.” (Unknown)

If it`s not in line with how you saw it…how you planned it…how it was created…if it`s counterfeit…you`ll end up getting burnt.

#lesssonlearned