Fierce soul. Brave heart. Strong mind. She’s a warrior.

Baby girl,

Just over 2 months ago, you were diagnosed with major depressive disorder. So I decided to write you a letter to read to yourself whenever you feel that unpleasant darkness invading your mind. I hope it helps you return to the light and feel the warmth of life so you can live to fight another day, because you are a warrior woman.

Let me start by saying that it’s okay to feel like you aren’t doing as well as you are supposed to. So if you need to, take a second to breathe, to cry, to put your head down, stare out a window or go for a walk. Do that, without distractions. Give thanks for everything that you are blessed with, take a look at all the beautiful things around you, and be free from stress for just a moment.

When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with 100% commitment. That doesn’t mean 100% perfection. It’s important to know the difference. Start by making a plan. Write it down, memorize it, put it on a Post-It on the mirror. Do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses.

I know that you never imagined that you’d end up here. You had big plans and bigger dreams, and depression was something you never saw coming. It was silent, sneaky. It crept up on you like a lion going in for the kill. You didn’t see what was happening until it consumed you. But I want to remind you of 2 very important things:

Firstly, no one thinks less of you because you struggle with this disease. Even when it might seem that you are more alone than ever before, you have the support of a family that loves you endlessly and friends who love you wildly. There is an army assembled behind you, ready to fight the battle with you until the very end.

Secondly, the world would not be better without you in it. There is no laugh like yours, your voice cannot be replicated, and your smile is breathtakingly unique. No one thinks in exactly the same way, or loves in precisely the same fashion as you. There is no other you, and there will never be another you for all eternity. You were placed here by a perfect and unfailing God for a divine and beautiful purpose; you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Don’t take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better.

Choose happiness. There are so many things to be thankful for.

Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind.

Time won’t stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time.

Nothing will change your situation more than changing your attitude.

Perspective is everything.

Be thankful for your struggles, because there is a lesson to be a learned in the end of it.

Be strong and know that you are in God’s hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why the battle was worth it.

You can conquer anything you put your mind to. So breathe, take a minute, re-evaluate, and grow.

Love,

Me

 

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Young African princess, speak your truth

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Young African princess, why is your head hanging so low?

Don’t you know that is not its rightful position?

Don’t you wonder why it’s been hurting?

 

Young African princess, why is your mouth shut so tight?

Don’t you know that’s not how it’s meant to be?

Don’t you wonder why it’s so dry?

 

Lift your head up, young African princess.

Lift it high so you can see the world from a different perspective.

The perspective that says you have something worth offering to this world.

The perspective that says you deserve to walk tall along the city sidewalks.

The perspective that says you have a rightful place waiting for you to occupy.

 

Open your mouth, young African princess.

Open it wide for all the world to hear your opinion.

Share your views on how this world should be.

Share your thoughts on how you will mould your future.

Share your opinion on how great you will soon become.

 

Young African princess, your time has come.

Grab your opportunities and hold on tight.

You are about to embark on a journey that will see you discovering yourself in more ways than one. Because once you have discovered yourself, young African princess, then you have discovered the future of Africa.

 

Get up, lift your head high and let your voice be heard!

 

Poem by Molebogeng Maponya

The exhaustion of being a warrior woman 

Being a (Black) Woman is damn exhausting.

First we (together with a great number of black men) had to explain why #blacklivesmatter didn’t mean that other lives don’t matter.

Now we (together with about 176 black men whose egos are in tact) are explaining why #menaretrash means you as a man are an enabler if you don’t call your fellow men out when they treat women like literal trash (YES, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A MAN TO STOP THE TRASHY CYCLE).

So because we have now pushed your fragile masculinity buttons, you are attacking us by saying we are generalizing.

Face it, we as women are fucken upset, disappointed and mad as hell. We’ve had enough of your trashy ways. We’ve had enough of you treating us like trash and getting away with it because ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘don’t say anything, you might never get married’.

We are calling you out so that you stand up and take action against your fellow men. If you are not personally trashy, we thank you. But you won’t get a trophy until you help other men be less trashy, and eventually, not trashy at all.

Until we feel safe around strange men (because the non-trashy group keeps preaching how they protect their own mothers, sisters, girlfriends, daughters, wives), then we will keep screaming how trashy you all are because you as the non-trashy group are not doing enough to end the trashy cycle.

Are you touched? Let me get a trash bag to gather your crushed ego.

The gentle moments of being a warrior mother

5.45 am on a Sunday morning.

I get woken up by a sweet voice whispering ‘Mama’ ever so softly. My heart melts because I miss this voice when I am out in the city trying to ‘get my life’. I cringe  because I only got 3 hours of sleep. I am an insomniac.

“Mama, are you awake? Mama, where did you put my guitar?”

Heart melts again.

My 4 year old son has an ear for music. He picks up tunes so easily, it’s amazing. He shows his appreciation for a good song by humming away as he plays outside. It’s great listening to him. Not to brag, but I am either raising a music producer, or a child who will just be great at humming for the rest of his life. We’ll see.

As I get up to go make breakfast for my little muso, I wonder how many parents get to experience being woken up before 6am on a weekend to look for a toy. A toy that your child hid from himself the night before because he didn’t want it to get stolen. We are so often caught up in our adult lives and problems that we forget to truly take in these precious little moments that won’t last forever. Our kids will grow up and start wanting to live life without us – just that thought alone is daunting enough for me.

So I have vowed to be a present parent, no matter how hard it is. I have vowed that I will not curse under my breath as I have to function on 3 hours of sleep and give up the freedom of sleeping in on weekends. Why?

Because my child is worth it 💕