A revived article that appeared in The Inflectionist in May 2016.

Reading this article and bringing in some changes, it amazes me how far I had come in the five years since I have written it. It gives you a clear perception of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Multi-coloured perceptions in 2016

The last couple of months were exciting, although still in the sense that I wrote nothing my life had undergone some twists, each opportunity a learning curve. A discovery of me.

As a single mature woman, I realized my vulnerability. Before it, I lived in a very safe cocoon, allowing others to think for me. Since then, I made the bold step to stand on my own, taking responsibility for myself. Circumstances, the people and culture I lived in shaped my understanding of life. In short, I realized I wasn’t street smart to face the many opinions through the people I met. The way they perceived me and the way I perceived them was so different that I was often more shocked than not.

Until then, I perceived people in black and white with little or no grace towards them. Now those unyielding glasses had fallen away, and my awareness of life changed to multi-colour spectacles. Allowing room not only for my own mistakes but those I’ve met.

Because of this life isn’t rigid or set-in-stone but a kaleidoscope of laughter and passion, where I discover new opportunities at every corner. Venturing into the unknown to find incredible prospects and beautiful things along the way. I’m amazed at my boldness as I walk into places I would not have dreamed to do previously and made friends. My pioneer spirit revelling in the new person emerging from the cocoon.

It is okay to be vulnerable.

In my vulnerability, I’ve learned to trust my gut. I made several mistakes when I disobeyed that little voice who diligently watched over me. While doing this, I learned to have fun, laughing more than I did in a long time. I learned that it’s okay to mess up—no longer do I chastise myself in doing so—and eat some humble pie, but all of that taught me valuable skills to use in my daily life and work environment. I work with people every day and I experience the good, the bad and the ugly all in one week. We have different perceptions but when finely tuned in—making the effort—the ugly turns out beautiful, the bad good and the good sometimes bad. Life is a fine balance between them all.

In 2016, my love life had its own challenges, but I found it easier to compromise with the challenges which would have driven me up the wall prior to my own experiences. Again, it had to do with those colourful glasses that replaced the strictness. It had given me a better understanding of the situation. Maybe it is the streaks of grey dusting my hair… But life prepared me for the circumstances I had faced.

Patience wasn’t my biggest attribute, and I was very demanding when I felt I didn’t receive my due. Walking around with a sour face in utter silence. I’d learned to stand back, access, and wait. Slow to anger became another characteristic that had emerged from it all when I had to deal with the relationship I was in at the time, and its challenges. Although similar in our thought process, there were things we saw differently, and of course, each of us was in different stages of adjustment after a divorce.

When going through a traumatic time, you need to find your balance on your own. We had to learn to accommodate each other. At the end, it drove us apart. Although we tried to accommodate each other, the pressure of life didn’t give us the opportunity to do so. Financial pressure, distance and viewpoints sank the ship before it could port.

When two people meet, two worlds should come together effortlessly. Willing to work through the obstacles while they make a new life. Setting aside some old habits to accommodate new ones while remaining true. It is a change process as you find meaning in all the newness.

Perception changes each time you change.

What I really want from life while incorporating another human being into it without forgetting who I am.

The moment a relationship is part of the equation, you have another perception. One where you are faced with the old but wanting to do the new. Because of this, uncertainty becomes something I face often. Making life and any futuristic plans a confusing display of emotions and thoughts. Unsure of the next day’s offering.

I have learned to step back, reflect, re-evaluate before I say or do something that ultimately could destroy me.

In a second or third relationship, more work goes into it; today I realize it for the first time. Maybe I knew it before the process began, but it took a broken relationship to come to terms with it.

If you are in a relationship—maybe you still experience the beauty of it, or maybe you are in pain about it. I can only say, hold on. Take a step. Consider your life. Only you can make that choice.

I wish I can tell you it will be easier, but obstacles are difficult to overcome. Especially if there is one person in a team of two. Timing is everything. When to leave. When to stay. It comes at a cost. It is seldom that we take the cost into account. Maybe I could have walked away sooner (before my heart became attached). I stayed because I invested so much of myself in the relationship that it felt wrong. To walk away would have left me empty.

That emptiness is a terrible thing to experience. To settle means we have given up. To settle means you stopped loving yourself. To settle means you lose.

Passionate perceptions.

I never appreciated my passionate side. I never thought passion would help me to lose control. It became a drug I enjoyed to the point of shame and self-loathing. It took me a while to forgive myself. Personally, passion makes me vulnerable to life and relationships which created its own challenges. Yes, I had fun, yes, I was more inebriated than in all of my life while doing these things. When the one goes in (alcohol) the other falls away (clothes) and with it your consciousness and self-respect. It was a time of discovery.

In this stage, I’ve learned more about myself as I let go of old and wrong thought patterns. The price to find my balance high. However, I adapt so that I won’t get lost again.

It became another learning curve.

With all this said I simply want to leave you with the thought: Don’t be afraid to live, to dream, to love and yes even to make mistakes.

To be true to yourself takes determination and courage and you might be lonely, not sure about the choices or even the next step but looking at the bigger picture you get to know your own strengths. Discovering a world that would accept you for who you are. Your perceptions once again shaped by circumstances, people and culture. It seems it is an ongoing learning experience. The only way to move forward is to be yourself. Do what you love. 

Find your place. Leave all the crutches and discover who you can be.

Be true to you.


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