I’d given up on the 40 winks illusion around the time of my 10th birthday. Which technically means I’ve been sleep deprived for 36 years.
No wonder I’ve made the odd mistake. Like that first ex-husband. I clearly didn’t know what I was agreeing too. I was a beautiful bride, however.
It is estimated that 35% of Americans suffer from chronic insomnia. I wonder what the statistics for South Africa will be?
My gorgeous sister lives in Florida in the USA and besides the heat, she is not suffering from lack of sleep. She has air conditioning!
Back home in suburbia in South Africa, you may just get comfy, roughly throw your leg over your partner, let out a big sigh (the same one you make when you take your bra off at the end of the day) and bam the thought hits you… “Did I lock the back door?”
You will reason with yourself… but in the end, you will get up and go check. Yes, it is locked. Immediately you remind yourself that you have joined #ImStaying and you honestly should be more positive!
Sometimes there are so many things I feel passionate about that I feel my heart will explode. My mouth already can’t speak fast enough! Really do we need me talking more? Don’t answer that.
When I came to Johannesburg in December 1984, at eleven years of age, weeks after my father died, I hated it. It was grim, grey and dreary. The Hillbrow tower was the way I directed myself in the maze. Still. Today the feeling, it is my pulse. It gives me rhythm. The skyline brings me joy. The smiles of my people. The hugs of strangers, the smiles of friends. This is my City. Filled with contradictions – just like me.
I love being alive! So many things, people, sounds, books, food, art, joy, laughter, pain, tears – all of it.
To be vulnerable is to be alive. I would not live my life any other way. Nor would I write anything but what is my truth. So here are my perfect imperfections.
We easily share our smiles, what amuses us and definitely our successes, so why should we shy away from sharing our sadness? It is surely the other side of the coin? It is not a fault, a negative and certainly not a weakness.
It is the truth. It is living out loud. It is being you, abundantly without restraint.
If you want to live out loud, you do not handpick the parts to share. You own it. Every high. Every low.
In a world of pretend, be you! You only have this oneself, this one life. Be brave – throw every colour you have at it.
My parents shared they were desperately wanting a little girl when they were pregnant with me. Which is awesomeness cause I never wanted to be a boy.
As I understand it, my almost 20 year old father went to register me and decided Christine, the name they had chosen, after my Ouma Chrissie is not for me. See, he clearly already understood me them.
My mom tells me that my father was very much like my son Liam James. Charming. Good looking. Always busy with a budding business idea.
My father and the lady behind the counter decided Christel is a gorgeous name. My father thought my Oupa Mike also needed acknowledgement and added Michel. ( … a Beetles song I’ve had both sober and drunk men sing to me. #bless) Having dyslexia, my father did not go for the usual spelling of either name.
It was the age of the double barrel name, and when the lady behind the counter suggested it to my father, he could probably just hear how fanTy that truly is.
Christel-Michel is one name. One initial. Its not Christel. It’s Christel-Michel. Force yourself. The people behind my father in line is owed at least that.
Wenchy is who I am or who I became as life happened. If you love me and can’t imagine your life without me, then it’s Stel. I’m am Afrikaanse boeremeisie at heart and its Aunty Stel if you remotely younger than me and I am very old.
I do love the name my parents gave me. I do love Wenchy because it holds very dear memories for me. Most of all I just love how you say my name as if it’s just been born.