That one time, a few months ago, when I took a blog break
After my last post on bullying, Beating the Bully-Part 2, I took a brief hiatus on the blog. Life happened and right at the forefront was bullying that needed attention. In living colour. Remind me to tell you what I really do for a living one day under the guise of high school secretary. Right now I should probably tell you about that one time a few months ago when I took a blog break.
I love writing. It’s what I’m passionate about. What trumps this is my love for women and girls empowerment. Helping women realize their full potential and teaching girls what it means to be women, is what I live for.
It’s ironic that the moment I decided to start a series, life presents an abundance of opportunities to write about the topic. The only problem is that I’m the live-in-the-moment kind of woman. That’s also why I don’t have any pictures of my youngest child’s first birthday. Eight years later the pictures in my mind is as clear as though it happened yesterday and that tomorrow is happening again in weeks. If you ever thought that the theory of “the third kid raises themselves” is a myth, let me assure you it’s the whole truth. Not relevant to this post and not that I want you thinking that I’m a less than stellar mom. I cloth them, feed them, provide a roof over their heads and make sure they’re not turds. I mother quite well actually.
The past few months have sent me on emotional roller coasters of note. Where I have fought to keep kids (girls) in school. Some battles I’ve won but there’s always “the one that got away”. In today’s life I get seriously annoyed when people reminisce about “in my day, kids…” or “you were everyone’s kid but now…”. It grates me because people talk about “it takes a village” but where are the villagers? Sure, not every parent wants to know about their kids misdemeanors and many of them will rather shoot the messenger because they suffer from “Not my child” syyndrome. It’s all pretty messed up really. I have found however that when you do it out of genuine concern, it is appreciated. They won’t necessarily say the words to you but they are grateful. No one wants to raise a menace to society.
In that last post, I touched on an episode of a girl at my school and a video that was posted on Facebook. That was my “one that got away”. I have never felt that defeated in my life. No matter what I said or tried to do, the onus were on her parents and right before the final exam she dropped out of school. A whole year of her life wasted. It didn’t matter that the school wanted to accommodate her and make special concessions for her to complete her exam, her parents had the final say. I believe that it’s their way of sheltering their daughter. We all want what’s best for our own kids. Emotions rules over logic sometimes.
The gut wrenching poem of an effeminate young man alerted us to his daily struggles. The abuse he has to endure. It was clearly a cry for help and a definite wake up call to many of us. Love is what is needed. Even though I’m an advocate for women’s harrassment and abuse I realize that there are MenToo who need a voice. In order for us to protect our girls and women, we have to educate the men of tomorrow.
Then there was the girl who wanted to drop out of school to work on a farm because her only friend she had at school dropped out to work on a farm. Yes, farmers need hands and any honest job is respectable, but really now? At this day and age? Why succumb to peer pressure and bullies by leaving behind your only carefree days you’ll ever have in your life to work for next to nothing? Matric alone does not a successful life make these days. It was a win win. For both of us.
Without planning it, I became the village and as time consuming and heart sore it is, I wouldn’t change it.
I’ve put myself out there and have been hands on with girls in my strive to empower. From whispering words of encouragement, to tough love and even babysitting one of our matric girls baby in order for her to write her exam. I’ve stood up for them and taught them little life lessons like taking a deep breath and asking a question even though the possible outcome may be a negative. “Whats the worst that can happen?” I’ll ask them, and answer my own question by saying “It can only be yes or no. They cant do anything to you. Now breath and go.” Reluctantly they’d suck it up and return shrieking “Thank you Miss!!!” then proceed to squash me with their hugs. Gosh reading this makes me seem somewhat Mother Teresa-ish. Which I’m totally not. I’m just practical. What good would it be to only write about it when I don’t practice what I preach? Also, I don’t think the good Mother Teresa smelt herself and wanted to faint after the countless hugs. Teenagers just don’t know how to strike a healthy balance with perfumes and sprays. Less is more. And one fragrance at a time. Geez girls! (Not so saint like after all, am I?)
Back when I started this blog it was to encourage and empower women. It still is. I have some brilliant generic posts that come from the heart that’s just waiting to be posted. The problem is that it’s generic. Not fake news. Real feel good stories. But even though I spent hours on writing those posts and taking plenty of pictures to make it visually appealing, my experiences these past months have made me change my course. I am not generic. I don’t want to brush off some carefully curated words and embellish it with images and platitudes that may catch your attention for a minute. Only for you to forget who you are the next. Because who you are is what matters. It matters to me.
“What rubbish is this woman on about?” You might be thinking. And you could be right because I don’t know–know you. Do I really have to though? To care, that is. The girls I love and protect are not born of this body yet I love them with my being. They may not be likeable most of the time but that doesn’t stop me from showing them love ‘in spite of’. We all need someone in our corner to believe in us. I’ve always had someone in my corner. Still do and it’s time to pay it forward.
The course of this blog has somewhat changed. I will be empowering the heck out of you. Try and stop me. Posts may or may not be few and far in between or I’ll probably swamp you with it. But one thing is for certain. You get to experience the real me. Not the filtered version of a saint like woman who is too much of a goodie-two-shoes offering platitudes. Although I am a sucker for those so you’d better brace yourself for that too.
When you don’t hear from me over here in my little space, I’ll be out there slaying and helping the women of tomorrow. Because when I look around me I see young ladies affected by socio-economic circumstances in desperate need of guidance. Girls need to know that when a boy hits her on the playground it doesn’t mean he likes her. I see too many boys with the entitled “boys will be boys” attitudes who will probably end up being real jackasses. They need our guidance too. We want real men of tomorrow not fake ones sporting just the anatomy. We need boys to know that when a girl says NO! it doesn’t mean she’s playing hard to get. There are so many myths that needs to be dispelled.
With the new school year upon us the Beating the Bully series will continue in due course. Wish me luck on the battlegrounds because with high schoolers and the new Grade 8 students, life will probably give me more to write about than I actually can.