Being Brave

Bloganuary Day 2.

Today’s prompt: How are you brave?

I have been thinking about this question all afternoon. The Oxford dictionary defines the verb as enduring or facing (unpleasant conditions or behaviour) without showing fear. I think we all find ourselves in situations, and moments, in which we face unpleasant conditions/behaviour and overcome them without showing fear no matter how terrified we may actually be. These are just a few of the situations I have find myself in from time to time or daily were being brave is par for the course.

Being a woman

There is no doubt that being a woman in a man’s world takes a certain amount of bravery almost every day. Every time I walk out the door I run the risk of encountering a man who thinks he is entitled to cat call me, touch me/invade my personal space without my consent, ignore my inputs or belittle them simply because I am a woman or I am made the mistake of letting emotion slip into my response. Being a womansometimes needs courage in this world.

Being a single parent

Raising a child is not easy for anyone so if you are a parent, you definitely deserve a bravery badge. Raising a child as a single parent can require an extra bit of courage sometimes, especially since I haven’t always had a village close by to support me, let along a partner. Here’s the thing though, as long as I keep getting up each day and putting one foot in front of the other and crossing each bridge as I come to it, and have faith, somehow, just somehow, I manage to keep my son clothed, fed, safe, happy and feeling loved and appreciated. Yes I have had help along the way in the form of friends, family and very supportive managers at work, for which I am eternally grateful but when it is just the two of us at home, it’s all on me. Raising my son has being my greatest challenge and therefore taken the greatest amount of courage but I am so grateful for the opportunity.

Of course there are the challenges that come with not just being a woman but being a woman of colour in this world and those that come with just living in South Africa. The July 2020 unrest brought home just how quickly things can spiral out of control and the danger that comes with it. I don’t think there is single person that lives in KZN in South Africa in particular, who doesn’t still have a level of awareness of this danger in the back of their minds. Either we are brave souls to remain her or fools. Time will tell.

Lastly, let’s not forget the every day bits of courage that is needed to reach your dreams. As a hardcore introvert, I am terrified of public speaking. Last year I decided to tackle the fear head on so I volunteered to speak in big forums (ok it was online but they were still big forums). Phew, talk about being brave! My apple watch was even sending alerts that my heart was racing while I was talking…lol. At the end of it all, I was still standing. I was exhausted after each talk but I was still standing. With that episode in mind, the quote below pretty much sums up bravery and courage for me.

“Courage is about learning how to function despite the fear, to put aside your instincts to run or give in completely to the anger born from fear. Courage is about using your brain and your heart when every cell of your body is screaming at your to fight or flee – and then following through on what you believe is the right thing to do.”

Jim Butcher

This is quite a broad topic and I could go on forever but I will stop here. I would love to know your thoughts on the topic so I will be searching for the bloganuary + bravery tags to read through your blogs. Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments as well.

Bye for now 🌷


I am because We are

Today’s prompt is: “Write about something that makes you feel strong”. I looked up the word in the dictionary and was amazed at all the things that strong could mean. When I hear the word, I either think of physical strength or strength of character. Since I definitely am not the strongest person physically, I’ll talk about the other definitin that comes to mind.

Photo by cottonbro on

People call me strong and have done so for most of my adult life simply because I have always been single and appeared to do everything for myself. Becoming a single parent and raising what I would like to call, a well-adjusted son, just amplified this idea in everyone’s mind. The truth is that I am not really that strong. I do however have a support system of friends, colleagues and family that gives me the space to do what I need to do to take care of my son and myself. My network is small but it is big enough for me. My network though is not the main reason why I appear strong.

The main reason is because I have faith in a God who always has my back. This means that I can lean on Him all the time. I will not fall. He will not fail me or my son. I am by no means a church-going somebody. I do however believe in God because I see the evidence of all the good things He has done in my life. I often point out the evidence of it to my son whenever I become aware of an example. It blows both out minds to see God in action. On of the more recent examples is that of the kittens that came into our lives. He wanted a pet so badly that God sent them to our door. He was so dissappointed when neither of the kittens seemed to want his attention initially and now George is about the clingest cat I have ever come across 😂. I was just saying to him today that he clearly has a special line to God because God is always answering his prayers.

So in a nutshell, “I am because we are”. My network of family and friends together with my God, make me look strong. Without them, I would have nothing and be nothing. I am grateful for the wonderful network that God has blessed me with.

Becoming a non-smoker…again

Being a single parent is a challenge. Being a single parent of a son when you didn’t even have any brothers in the house…a bigger challenge. It’s a daily challenge though that I enjoy waking up to. If I had to choose one challenge to write about, it would be, becoming a non-smoker again.

Photo by Pixabay on

I started smoking when I was 18. I loved it. As an introvert, it gave me something to do in social situations and, once smokers were uncermoniously booted outdoors to smoke, it was how I made new friends and networked. Most smokers are awesome people so my smoke breaks were often my favourite part of the day. I smoked 20 a day. It was a lot. Then I became a mom.

I was always conscious of reeking of smoke when holding my baby but it took a while before it really started bothering me. When he was 4, 9 years ago, I eventually started giving it some serious thought. I did some research and Allen Carr’s Easy way to stop smoking sounded like a method that could get results so I bought the book. It sat on my shelf for another month and a half. I just wasn’t ready. I continued to contemplate it and eventually decided that I would never forgive myself if I got cancer while my son was young and I could possibly have prevented it by giving up then. I was also conscious of the fact that every time I lit up, my hard earned money was going up in smoke! It had to stop. So on a Friday afternoon, towards the end of February, I came home from work. I sorted my son out. Then I lit up a cigerette. Then I opened the book.

I was hooked by the end of the 1st chapter. I smoked as I read. I still wasn’t sure if I was ready to commit. I continued to read and to smoke. Halfway through the book, I stopped reading. It was late and I was tired. I also needed to think through all that I had already read. A lot made sense to me but I still wasn’t ready to commit. I went to bed.

Saturday morning. I can’t wait to start reading further. My poor son had to amuse himself after breakfast while I immersed myself in the book. I could hear ‘clicks’ in my head as I went through it chapter. I wasn’t addicted to smoking I told myself. I was addicted to the nicotine and the cigarette was merely the vehicle. I let these points and a few others marinate in mind while I lit yet another cigarette. By midday I reached the final chapter. I was so nervous. I still didn’t feel ready to commit but I knew I was closer.

I started reading the last chapter. I was encouraged to smoke one more cigarette. It was to be my last. Once I was done I would no longer be a smoker. I was so scared. Before I lit that cigarette, I reasoned through the why’s and how’s of what I was about to commit to. Then I lit the cigarette. I savoured every puff. I finished the book. That was that. It has been almost 9 years to the day and I am still a non-smoker.

The 1st 3-4 days were hard. On the 3rd day I found myself curled up on the couch feeling terribly ill. I asked my munchkin to bear with me that night and he did. I made it through. I kept telling myself that it was nicotine that I was addicted to and not the cigarette and that once the nicotine was out my system I would be ok. It takes Nicotine about 3-4 days to work it’s way out of your blood so I told myself that I just needed to make it through those first few days then the worst would be over.

I have to admit that I still miss my smoking rituals. I enjoyed them. I even investigated nicotine-free electronic cigarettes at one point but there are none that are completely nicotine free. I just wanted to experience the ritual again.

Becoming a non-smoker again was a huge challenge for me and I am very proud that I have achieved it.

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