I am officially a freelance writer. Please view my portfolio at Freelanced.com.
Saturday, 5 May 2012
I am renting out my flat for 6 months (July - December) in Cape Town, South Africa while I go gallivanting across America!! If you know of anyone needing accommodation, please forward this page to them!
Please click on link below for more details.
I will appreciate your assistance!! :)
Please click on link below for more details.
I will appreciate your assistance!! :)
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Well, the day finally came. My last day at work and this was up at my desk when I walked in on Friday. It was so unexpected and really put a smile on my face. When I came downstairs to the canteen for the big farewell drinks, there were photos printed and stuck up on all the walls chronicling my journey over the years. Again, I was so pleasantly surprised.
I am so touched by the outpouring of affection that my last week at work showed me. I was not expecting all the fuss, all the tears from my colleagues and so much thoughtfulness in my send-off. Again, at drinks on Friday night I ended up in tears. Why? Because for years I was told the opposite. For years I was told that people viewed me in a certain way - moody, unhappy, miserable, etc. I was told all sorts of negative things that eventually I believed no-one really liked me. Despite the fact that I knew I had made many friends along the way, and there are still friends there that I will keep in touch with after I've left. If I was so bad to be around, why would so many people be friends with me? However, when you are told something over and over again, you start to believe it. In fact, it was part of the reason (not the main reason) I decided to leave. I got so fed-up with hearing all the crap, that one fine day I said to myself, well fine, I'll leave then and hopefully that will make everyone happy.
So the day comes that I leave, and there is all this fuss and hoo-ha - WTF?? So people actually did like me then. So many people leave that company without this much fuss. They even moved month-end drinks up a week just for my farewell.
For some reason, this company's management feels the need to break you down while you there, and only show you how much they appreciate you once you leave! Seriously. May I just clarify and say, the negative information was only given by my manager, not by all the people I worked with. She, however, made it sound like this was how EVERYONE perceived me, when really, it may only have been 3 or 4 people.
I received this text message from a colleague: "You do not realise how many people you touched and how many will miss you."
She's right, I didn't. But I do now. I am so humbled by that thought. How many of us realise what we mean to other people? And why do people only express that when that person moves on or when someone dies? In the case of death, that person can't hear all the good things you say in your eulogy.
I have gained an important lesson from this experience.
Believe it or not, I have not believed that before.I've learnt that I am someone special, that I do make a difference in this world and that I am worthy of friendship and love.
I have also learnt that it is important to express your gratitude and love for those around you while they are with you.
And somewhere amidst the drinks and tipsiness, I ended up having heart-to-heart chats with four people I had unresolved issues with; plus after 4 years of hating each other, me and one colleague finally made up!
What a night!
Sunday, 22 April 2012
I am exhausted, but tired or not, I must write this post. In my previous post I mentioned winning a book about how to go about making positive change. I have already started reading this e-book and soaking up every word.
I did not expect more good luck in the same week! Again, I am subscribed to another blog called Of Parchments & Inks - written by a lady who is a writer, blogger and also does life coaching. She was offering pro bono coaching to 3 readers. I took the chance and left a message. I am on a new path and while I know the things I want to do, at this point, don't quite know how to go about making money from it. I could do with some coaching, guidance, new perspective and suggestions from someone on the outside looking in.
She replied saying she'd be happy to work with me. Wow - two good signs in one week! I am already so impressed by the things coming way on this new journey! It makes me so excited because if these two things have come my way in such a short space of time, what other positive experiences and opportunities are coming my way. I just know good things are coming, I can feel it! :)
What excites me even more about receiving these free coaching sessions, valued at $990 (approximately ZAR7000), is that she has a similar story to mine. She gave up a secure, stable, unfulfilling job to become a freelance writer. This couldn't be more perfect - a little bit serendipitous, if you ask me.
Monday, 16 April 2012
I received a good sign today.
I'd love to tell you I am 100% sure I've done the right thing, but the truth is, I'm not. It's my last week in my job and it feels unreal. Last week I was feeling very emotional about leaving. This is hard. I've spent 6 years in that place. Six years of my life - that's a long time. While I may not have enjoyed the work, I did have plenty of fun, laughs and good times along the way as well, so leaving is still big deal. It hasn't sunk in yet. In my head I still think I will be back there on Monday morning. I've always worked. Even during the years I worked as a temp and work was sporadic, I was still nevertheless working. Slogging and slaving in jobs I hate. My brain has not been able to compute that I will no longer be working. No alarm going off in the morning. No getting ready for work. No driving to the office. No desk to sit at.
One of my colleagues felt it hit her today that next Monday I won't be there, and the person taking over from me, just doesn't have the same personality as I do and she won't have the same fun and laughs that we had. So in the kitchen at work we stood while she was in tears and almost angry at me for leaving! :) I have farewells coming up this week and I just hope I will not be balling my eyes out.
So yes, I do wonder if I've made the right decision. In an unstable economic environment where so many people are looking for work, I gave up a perfectly good, stable, secure job. I must be mad, right?
But deep in my heart I just feel it is the right choice at this time. I know it will probably be hard. I think I will have many moments in the next few months where I am going to feel lost and without direction. I think I will feel desperation as money runs thin - well hopefully it won't get to that point. Surely, new opportunities are to be found on this new path? This I firmly believe.
But I digress... on to my good sign!
I am subscribed to the blog The Bold Life. There was a giveaway to two readers of a book by Alex Blackwell called "Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for creating Positive Change". All you had to do was share it on Facebook and Twitter and leave a comment. So I did that and I thought if I win this book, that would be a good sign. Guess what - I won a copy of the book! In the midst of my angst, I got this small sign that I am doing the right thing. Here I am facing major change in my life, and I win a book on making changes in your life!
Something tells me this new road I'm on is going to bring many similar moments of surprise and astonishment! It's amazing what can happen when you open yourself up to new possibilities. I am excited to see how things are going to work out and fall in to place. I firmly believe they will.
Monday, 9 April 2012
My uncle had his leg amputated a few months due to gangrene in his foot as a result of diabetes. At the age of 73 he is also facing living out the rest of his life in an old age home. It is strange seeing a man who once could not be kept in one place for long, always on the go, always living life to the full, now becoming old and frail with reduced mobility.
I took him to visit my parents in Hermanus (approximately 1 hour's drive from Cape Town) over the Easter weekend. As I watched him slowly maneuvering his wheelchair around the house, it almost seemed unreal. Life really has moved on. Parents, uncles and aunts have grown older, some have died. Grandparents have passed away. Well, except for my one grandmother who celebrated her 100th birthday! Yes, 100 years! Longevity is in my genes - I am not sure that's a good thing! I have also become older - 10 months away from 40. That's crazy.
Time waits for no man. Time just does what time does - it passes. One minute to the next, one hour, one day, one week, one year, and before you know it your life is over. Gone, finished, done.
Given that life is short and over way too quickly, are we living every day to the fullest? Are we making choices every day that brings us closer to our purpose for being on this earth? Have we even discovered what that purpose is? Or are we mindlessly just surviving every day, wishing the hours and the days away because we really are not enjoying what we are doing. I experience this almost EVERY day at work. People count down the hours to the end of the day, they count down the days until Friday and the weekend. Everyone is just suffering through every day, every week, living for 2 days at the end of the week which, when Monday comes, and you ask them how their weekend was, they roll their eyes in exasperation and say "Way too short!". So another week begins that they count down to the next weekend. What an incredibly sad, depressing way to live. What a huge waste of time and of a life, because all these people are, without realising it, busy counting down the days to their retirement and eventual death and right now, in the present, they are living unfulfilling lives and wasting precious time suffering through dead-end jobs.
Yes, I too was one of those people. Unhappy, unfulfilled, miserable, going through the motions. Why? To pay the bills, because I had to support myself. I was stuck. I couldn't see a way out of this, what I call, the Slavery System. Like a hamster on a wheel running and getting nowhere - just more of the same.
I cannot tell you how many times in the midst of a horrible day at work, I'd sit at my desk in utter misery, muttering under my breathe, "Is this really it? Was I really put on this earth for this? Am I really meant to live a life being THIS unhappy?" I kept having this nagging thought come back to me, over and over again, "There's got to be another way. There's got to be a better way. This can't be what life is supposed to be about."
I acknowledge that we have rent to pay, food to put on the table, children to look after. I am a single woman, and while I don't have the extra responsibilities of kids, I still have bills to pay and rent due every month. I also acknowledge that chucking up a job to go 'find a better way' is definitely easier for someone without a family. I can get by on as little as possible. I don't have anyone else to worry about, to feed, to clothe, etc. Monthly expenses for a family is much higher than monthly expenses for a single person.
I do, however, feel that those with families and kids can still do this. It just takes more planning and more saving of money. You will need a lumpsum of savings to fall back on during the time you are either trying to start a business or getting started in a new career.
Since this newfound enlightenment of mine, I feel like I need to scream it out to the whole world! I wish everyone could WAKE UP! Yes, wake up! Because for too long the whole world has been fast asleep at the wheel of their lives! I see so many other unhappy people suffering through mind-numbing jobs, and I wish they could see the light. There is another way - there are plenty of people out there who found it. It is the path less travelled, but everyone who has embarked on that path has not regretted it. Do we not owe it to ourselves to find it? Do we not deserve to live an exciting life? Does the world not need our talents and gifts?
I am still on my way to this new life. Along the way, I've found some inspiration reading other people's experiences. Below are some blogs I've found helpful. Do a google search and you'll find hundreds of website and blogs of people who took a leap of faith.
- http://www.illuminatedmind.net/blog/ - tips on quitting your job and working on your own terms.
- http://joelrunyon.com/two3/about-joel - this guy's cool - I want to be like him! :)
- http://www.productiveflourishing.com/about/ - trying to start a business, go have a read through this blog.
- http://theboldlife.com/ - if the thought of taking that leap scares the living daylights out of you (and it will!) - Tess Marshall will help you face and overcome those fears.
If any of the above resonates with you. If you've been sitting there for a while with the nagging thought that you need to get out of a rut, quit your job, start a business, go travel the world for a few months, change direction or just need to time to 'find yourself', then landing on this page and reading this is YOUR sign. Stop ignoring your intuition - the quiet voice that whispers to us that something just isn't right, the uncomfortable discontent - these are all signs that you need to make a change in your life.
GET UP AND DO IT!
Don't waste any more time. Life is too short.
Don't waste any more time. Life is too short.
Sunday, 1 April 2012
The year 2012 has been the topic of much controversy.
Some believe that the Mayans predicted that the world would end on 21 December 2012. Others disagree saying this has been taken out of context and does not mean the end of the world, but rather that a major cosmic shift and realignment of planets will occur which will have a ripple effect on earth.
Still others believe this to be one of the biggest hoaxes in history.
Another belief floating out there, is that there is a planet named Nibiru (sometimes referred to as Planet X) that orbits through our solar system once every three thousand six hundred years. While there is no definite scientific proof of this, there are those researchers who agree that there appears to be a missing planet from the orbital rotation. Some even believe that the next time this planet’s orbit is set to intersect with ours will be in the year 2012. If this orbit interferes with our solar system it could cause a lot of problems, and these issues are what some people are anticipating.
And what he predicted is that a large comet will either strike the planet or pass very close by, causing massive earthquakes and other cataclysmic events. This too is predicted to happen around December.
Still another theory is that 2012 brings the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. With the beginning of every new age, astrologers say this has a profound affect on humanity.
I am an Aquarian, so this is going to be 'my' age then! Bring it on!
Then there is old fashioned biblical prophecy, which is the one I'm going with.
The Bible gives many very specific signs of the end times, most of which are already in play (increase in natural disasters, increase in crime & violence, wars, famines, diseases, sexual pervasion, children ruling parents, child on child violence, environmental crisis, etc) .
Do I believe we are living in the end times - yes. Do I believe the world will end on 21 Dec 2012 - no.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Matthew 24:36
Watch you therefore: for you know not when the master of the house comes, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning. Mark 13:35
Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes. Matthew 24:44Wait, I am getting to a point with all of this. What made me give this some thought is because 2012 seems to be a year of change. Something is happening this year, and what exactly it is, I am not sure.
I just find it very interesting and significant that so many people I know are making drastic and life-changing decisions. I am not the only crazy one.
These are friends and people I have heard of who are making life-altering changes this year:
- Fayruz - a friend of mine who is a doctor and has been working as a locum for years, has suddenly decided to step out on her own and open her own practice.
- Zhureena - who after listening to my plans to quit my job, promptly quit hers even before I did and is starting her own business. She said I inspired her!
- Steven - who since last year has been trying to get his own business going. This also borne out of the realisation that he has hated every job he ever had and would rather do his own thing.
- Lauren - an ex-colleague who is selling up all her stuff to go off and travel the world! Awesome stuff!
- Lara - who is embarking on her epic journey to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis and put it all out there by starting a blog! More awesome stuff!
- Bonnie - my American friend who has been a teacher for 16 years and has been informed her contract will come to an end in June. After years of problems at various schools, she finally feels it may be time to forge a new path and leave traditional teaching behind. The 'unknown' awaits her as well.
- Tamara - my Belgium friend who has been ill with Fibromyalgia and ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) or as it's more commonly known as 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome', has not been able to work for a year. She is slowly recovering and this year she too will be trying to find a way to a new career.
- Bernell - my cousin living in the USA has just lost his job due to company lay-offs. An unsettling time but also a good time to possibly consider relocating and starting afresh somewhere else. Another one facing the 'unknown' and new opportunties.
- Moira - another friend in the USA who has lost her job. Another one facing new challenges!
Whatever it is, 2012 seems to be the year of change! All aboard! Let's see where this train takes us!