We are constantly being bombarded with voices. Certain voices scream at us, taunting us with our fears. Some voices whisper at us; it is barely audible and we hardly recognize them. Other voices speak to us as daily reminders of the things that are missing in our lives.
Advertisements. Social media. Family. Friends. Colleagues.
They all have a say in our lives, whether we want to admit it or not. It is up to us to decide whether those voices will make their homes inside of us, plant their seeds and watch it grow into gigantic, problematic trees. Some of these voices we have to fight against, others we need as good reminders.
But most of them we could do without.
We often don’t recognize the most important voice of all:
Our own voice, the one voice is that is constantly in our heads, speaking to us adamantly and most often unknowingly. We have these constant conversations within ourselves; we build up or break ourselves from within.
We create a second world within us, within our heads.
A world that is separate from this world outside of us, the world called reality.
I am starting to love and cherish all the ‘aha’ moments I’ve been having these last few months.
‘Aha’ moments are moments of revelation and clarity. The more I’ve started to focus on these moments, the more these moments seem to be coming my way. It’s as if they’re saying, ‘Hey! We’ve always been here, trying to communicate with you! Glad you’re finally taking notice of us!’
Maybe it has something to do with being thirty years old…?
The most recent ‘aha’ moment for me was a conversation that I had with Chumasande, a dynamic young woman that I have come to know through the Start-Up Grind* events in Bloemfontein.
She shared her own ‘aha’ moment with me:
‘As an entrepreneur, you’re always juggling these various balls in the air. The trick is knowing which ones are rubber balls, and which ones are the glass balls…’
With rubber balls, you can let them go every now and then. It’s alright, for you know they will always bounce back.
With glass balls, you have to be careful. Once you let them go, they can shatter into pieces and you might not get them going again.
Sometimes you can get those glass balls back again, but it’s been shattered into a million little pieces and it takes you twice as long to get that ball going again.
‘You are right,’ I replied to Chuma’s golden nugget of wisdom. ‘In my case, the rubber balls were all the advertising/marketing I did as Miss Deaf South Africa.
The glass ball was my writing. I did not keep it going, and that well stopped. Now I have to pick up the glass pieces and start all over again.’
The statistics speak for itself:
- Newspaper interviews: 91
- Magazine interviews: 41
- Radio interviews: 37
- Online websites: 36
- Television interviews: 25
- Newsletter interviews: 15
- Newspaper Covers: 13 times
- Magazine Covers: 8
- Music video: 1
Through marketing myself, I was a guest speaker at numerous places: Schools, churches, events, functions and universities.
The total tally of guest speaking opportunities I’ve had between 2009-2019?
My writing statistics are the following:
- Online Writings: 62
- Magazine Writings: 80
- Newspaper Writings: 22
- Newsletter Writings: 15
Total number of books that I wrote?
Two in total.
One was a memoir and the other a devotional book. I wrote the memoir in 30 days (40,000 words in total); the devotional within four days (13,000 words).
(I did contribute as a celebrity writer to five other devotional books. But they were not my own books.)
I don’t know why, but I always thought that my path would work out like this:
Participate in beauty pageants (I did 8 in total), write a couple of books (I had planned on writing more than just the two books), do photoshoots for magazines and newspapers (did too many of those), be a motivational speaker (which is great – lives are changed and people are challenged) …
and then get married.
Because you see, I was making money with my motivational talks and selling of books at said events, but I was not making enough to be able to stand on my own two feet. I was largely dependent on my parents, sponsors and family donations.
I thought that getting married would solve that problem; I could still do all the things I wanted to do, but my husband would provide for me financially so that I wouldn’t have to worry about a dirty little thing called money.
But now I am not married. I don’t have a husband. According to the world, I am very much ‘behind on life’ and not ‘where I’m supposed to be.’
All the girls I did beauty pageants with, they got married, had their kids and they’ve left the modelling world behind.
Some of the women writers I know personally, are married and so their husband supports their writing endeavours. The ones that are not married view their writings as a ‘hobby’ and have a regular 9-5 job.
And most public speakers I know of has some kind of broader platform on radio, television or even soapies so that they can carry on with public speaking.
My parents were the net that I could always fall on. They supported me wholly when I decided not to study at university, for journalism was ‘not creative writing.’
I did a gap year instead, and at the end of that year I won Miss Deaf SA.
The Miss Deaf SA title gave me the platform upon which I could build my creative writing, books and public speaking. It also enabled me to travel the world a bit with the beauty pageants that I did.
A couple of years ago I was engaged to be married (I’ll write more on this later). My father – I knew his heart and I knew he meant well when he said this, said, ‘Maybe this is what you need to do: to get married so that you can still continue writing.’
He also said to me: ‘If, by the age of thirty, you are still not financially set as you should be, maybe you should get a 9-5 job. You can know that you did try your best.’
I ended up not getting married. My father also passed away.
God has always provided for me; He has miraculously provided for me up until now.
But I know I want more.
And this ‘more’ cannot be dependent on one person, one man, a husband.
There has to be a better way, instead of waiting for this ‘rescuer’ to come and ‘save’ me.
Because that is not woman empowerment; it is woman belittlement.
The same evening that Chuma and I had the conversation about glass balls and marriage, was the same evening we attended the event sponsored by *Start Up Grind Kovsies, hosted by entrepreneur *Albert van Wyk.
Albert is a Pretorian who became a millionaire at 22. As he spoke, it was as if something within me shifted.
The more he spoke, the more I came to the realization that I have everything that I need to be able to stand on my own two feet.
Everything that I need is already within me.
I already have the capacity, the resources, the means.
And I realized that there had been voices speaking to me subconsciously throughout the years, voices that led me to believe that I did not have what I needed to start.
Voices that made me believe that I needed a ‘man’ in order to achieve my dreams and goals.
Albert started off by sharing with us his journey into wealth and wellness. After that, he challenged us with our own dreams and asked us practical questions to make those dreams become realities. He also gave us practical solutions, which really made things much clearer for me.
Albert said, ‘Be offensive when it comes to money; don’t be defensive.’
He asked us to define what success means to us, and to write it down. This is the statement that I wrote down:
I want to be content with who I am and where I am; not having to worry about money. To be a well-known published writer – as an author, with films and television productions, and with a magazine. To be able to stand firmly financially on my own two feet. To have the freedom to do what I want to do. To focus on my own path, my own goals, my own dreams – and not compare it to others’ successes.
He told us to write down the practical steps that would be needed to make those things happen, as well as the costs involved to make it happen.
He also said to ask ourselves, ‘How do I get the money?’
Educating ourselves in finances is a great must-do. I must to read all the financial books I can, listen to the podcasts of those who have financial wisdom, get different sources of income and to save as much money as I can every month (which I can then put into new business ventures).
All of the above is achievable and possible.
I also liked what he said about imagining that awesome version of ourselves, about asking how would we would be as a person if we were already where we wanted to be? And then to get up every morning and ‘pretend’ that we are already that person!
Albert also said that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and that we should pace ourselves. Otherwise we will burn out too quickly, too easily, and then give up completely.
I often dream about driving my car. But in these dreams, I am terrified because I am driving too fast and my car is out of control. Every time I get to a red robot, I slam the brakes – but of course, the brakes don’t work. I am nauseated, panicked and terrified throughout the whole dream.
‘Dreaming that you are driving your car completely out of control indicates that there is a situation in your waking life where you feel completely out of control.’
I am so used to having this dream, that in my waking life I sometimes panic when I have to stop at a red robot, thinking that my car is not going to obey!
A few weeks ago I dreamt I was driving my car again, but this dream was different.
My car broke down; I had to stop on the side of the road. I was about to panic, but then I remembered I could simply call my dad and he would come and help me.
He was like that in real life as well, always willing to go the extra mile, always there to help and support. In fact, one of his favourite quotes was, ‘You should never be without a plan.’
Just as soon as I started thinking about phoning my dad and boom! he arrived. He stopped his car next to mine, rolled down his window and said, ‘Can I help you?’ (another one of his favourite expressions that he liked to use)
Relief and gratitude overwhelmed my heart. My dad was here, and I knew everything would be okay.
I woke up from the dream feeling hopeful for a fleeting second, and then I remembered my father is not here anymore.
About a week ago, I was driving in town. I noticed that the car in front of me started slowing down, so I did the same. I rolled down my window to see what was happening, and I saw that the third car ahead of me had broken down, and someone was pushing the car to the side of the road.
Immediately it brought back a childhood memory:
I was still a kid. We lived in Worcester then, and we drove to Bloemfontein to visit family. For some reason it was just me, my father and sister who were in the car. My mom and brother had arrived in Bloemfontein a few days earlier and was staying with family.
It was a long drive – eight hours in total. It was pitch dark when we finally arrived in Bloemfontein. As we entered the city, our car broke down.
My father parked on the side of the road. There were no cell phones back then. My father tried to flag down a car to help us, but to no avail. No one was stopping to help us. So he tried fixing the car himself, to no avail.
My sister and I could see that my dad was desperate. He just couldn’t get us out of this jam. This prompted my sister and I to get out of the car, and we started walking up and down the sideway of the road.
And we started praying. Asking God to send someone to help us fix the car. I was 6 years old; my sister was 4.
I remember my father was almost in tears when he saw what we were doing; he was visibly moved.
Within minutes, a friendly man stopped, helped us tow the car to the nearest garage, and soon we were on our way to my mom and brother.
As I remembered this memory, I felt something stir within me, and it brought tears to my eyes.
And I knew:
Help is on its way.
*Start Up Grind Bloemfontein: https://www.startupgrind.com/bloemfontein/
*Start Up Grind University of the Free State: https://www.startupgrind.com/university-of-the-free-state/
*Albert van Wyk: https://www.millionaireat22.com/
My inspiration for the week regarding the magazine that I want to start:
Dumbo Feather Interview: