An informative beach day

As we turn the corner, that familiar scent smacks my senses – sea air. Going to visit gran was always a treat for that very reason. The cold wind of the cape crashes into our little cherry-red car drowning out the dreary song on the radio. It was only an hour’s drive away, yet, to my simple youthful mind, it felt like a road trip to some far away magical place. The place where the ‘seagulls fly backwards’, as they say, on account of the wind. After parking our car and making our way down to the beach, we find a semi-sheltered spot in between a few rocks. The wind doesn’t hinder my excitement – the enthusiasm that only a child shows for a beach outing, despite the weather. 

To a young, easily-satisfied child, the coast is a wonderful thing to behold – who knows what treasures are hidden deep in that massive blue mass or meters below the sand where I currently sit digging with my bucket and spade. Imagination runs wild.

As an observant and introverted child, I like to sit and watch others. I watch as a caring mother fusses over her child, a few years younger than I – sunblock, hat, water etc., while the child waves her away impatiently – I wonder if he knows she’s fussing because she loves him…

A little further along, a young blonde-haired girl sits glumly staring up at her father as he tries again and again to hand her an ice-cream cone that he’s bought, talking softly and calmly, but clearly perturbed. But no, she mumbles that she didn’t want that flavor and it’s not right, while she starts her next tantrum. I watch further as the father anxiously tries to calm his 3 year old, upsetting the child more. I wonder if she knows he is fussing because he loves her…

Directly next to me is a young teenager – earphones in – drowning out the world, clearly not excited to be there. His mother tries to say something to him about buying him something to drink, which he doesn’t hear. When she finally gets his attention, he mumbles that she knows he has earphones in and he can’t hear so why is she trying to talk to him; he is busy. The look of hurt on the mother’s face is evident a mile away and my heart aches for her. I wonder if he knows she is hurt because she loves him…

I notice all this in my untainted mind and I make a promise to myself…my thoughts are interrupted by my mother as she quickly smears my face with sunscreen and sits down beside me to help me build my sandcastle. That is love. She didn’t say those 3 words but her actions shout louder than those words ever could. I smile to myself and begin digging. I know she loves me, by her actions alone. 

So I implore you to notice the get-home-safes and the sleep-wells, they’re synonyms for those 3 words we all want to hear.

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My First Song on SoundCloud

A while ago I had the incredible privilege to record a song at a professional recording studio with some very talented people – something I have always dreamed of doing. I recorded the piano as well the vocal.I have wanted to share some music for a long, long time and have finally done it!

I would greatly appreciate it if you could give it a listen and tell me what you think ­čÖé

South Africa – What A Country

South Africa – what a country. I’m very proudly South African and yes, our economy sucks. And, yes, our politics is… um… laughable (to put it lightly). However, I really do love this country from the bottom of my heart.

We may not have all the incredible historical buildings or cultural history of, say, Europe – we’re a pretty ‘new’ country in that sense; but, boy do we have panache. We are nicknamed the ‘rainbow nation’ because of our 11 official languages and many, many cultures and I am so proud to be a part of it. If you want to meet some interesting people with a great sense of humour – come to South Africa. We’re pretty lovable.

Now, the scenery. Recently I’ve had the privilege of traveling across Europe and the UK and I’ve seen some spectacular sights, but there is nothing quite like coming home to Cape Town and driving past the majestic Table Mountain and looking out over the strikingly blue (and freezing) sea. And this is only one area in South Africa. I’ve been to countless game reserves and national parks and they never fail to amaze me.

Cape Town weather is wonderfully unpredictable and I love it. The summers are not too hot (usually) and the winters are not too cold. Our food – I’m up for a lekker boerewors braai any day (and if you don’t know what that is – find a South African ASAP). I love how passionate we are about Rugby and┬á braaiing and our slang that makes us so unique.

We so often complain (and yeah I know we do have a lot to complain about at the moment), but looking at all the incredible things about our beautiful country – I am Proudly South African.

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The Height of Knowledge or The Peak of Ignorance?

Have we reached the height of knowledge or the peak of ignorance?

I am young, yet the longer I live on this planet, the more I come to realise how foolish and utterly ignorant some human beings are despite the wealth of information at our finger tips.

Please note that this blog post is generalizing and of course there are numerous exceptions.

Some of the things I see posted on social media makeme want to both┬á cry of despair and laugh at the stupidity. Every generation has its flaws, but I feel like the one I’m part of is a new level of ignorant. Or perhaps it’s just easier showcased nowadays with such massive emphasis on social media and the internet.

Let’s leave social media alone for a second. Have you heard some of the things that people say/do these days? Recently I’ve come across a few moments where I’ve seriously wondered what on earth is going on in some people’s heads.

People so often argue; argue about trivial matters. People so often look for drama and if they can’t find it, they make some.

Even when people argue about significant matters, they make points and arguments with little to no knowledge of what they are talking about. I’ve seen too many ignorant people argue with no substance and no truth and this really bothers me.

Now, I don’t know how to combat this issue, because people who are ignorant generally don’t want to be told otherwise and seldom take advice well. I suppose at some point these people will have to realise for themselves that ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is damaging to you as well as people around you.

We have extensive encyclopedias of incredible facts, discoveries and knowledge. However, the way we talk, conduct ourselves and treat others cannot simply be learnt through reading a Wikipedia page. That must be taught. That starts at home and amongst peers.

So, my plan: be an example. Don’t be ignorant. Don’t be foolish. Don’t sink to those levels. Self-improvement is key.

An “Attitude of Gratitude”

This is something that, I’m sure, has been the topic of multiple literature pieces – and, for good reason. The ‘little’, seemingly insignificant things in life are just so incredibly important. And, despite the number of times we’ve been reminded of this, we still forget this and take it for granted.

Today I sat and had a cup of tea with my dad in our living room. We chatted, discussing some of my school work and the rugby that was on in the background. Nearing the end of my cup of tea, I stopped for a moment where I realised how beautiful the moment was. We were both in a good mood. We were both just happy and enjoying the tea and each other’s company. How incredibly privileged am I to be able to do that?

This morning a friend texted me, asking how I was doing. But not the usual : “Hey, how’s it going?”; a serious : “How are you actually doing? I care about you”. This really got to me. A text that probably took about a minute to write, meant so much to me.

When I get home from a long day at school, the first thing I usually do is make a cup of tea or coffee and sit down at the piano to play a song or two, just to relax before I do more work. This small break is like a little getaway in my day and I love it. I have realised now how much I appreciate these short 10/15 minutes.

These three examples are three of many that I could’ve chosen to mention. And just taking the time to think about these have slightly altered my perspective on life to an ‘attitude of gratitude’, as they say. And I’m happy – happier having realised how blessed I am to have these things.

So, as a fellow human being who knows that life really sucks sometimes, I implore you: notice the small things and appreciate them. Acknowledge the things, people, places and activities in your life that make the tough times bearable and the good times great. Live with an attitude of gratitude.

Uniqueness

Uniqueness. An interesting, yet somehow difficult-to-achieve concept. I am still a teenager, and this constant quest to try and be special, memorable and ‘unique’ has, in modern times, taken a strange turn.

I look around me at my high school. What I see is 70% of the school’s students dressing, talking, acting, doing and looking the same. I mean, that’s what high school is all about nowadays – right? Fitting in. Being accepted. Being popular. Surviving.

Then I see 25% trying (too hard) to be different. These, in my opinion, are the typical teen rebels. They try so hard not to fit in to the other 70%’s norms, that they, each individual on their own quest, don’t realise that they aren’t unique. They’re just like the rest of the 25% who are doing the exact same thing – trying to force uniqueness.

Then,
Then, I see the other 5%. This small group of people are truly unique – without even trying. That’s part of their intense beauty. Each and every individual in this group is different. These are the people who are so comfortable within themselves that they are 100% themselves. They pay no attention to the norms and what others are doing. They don’t try to fit in, yet they don’t try not to. They’re too focussed on being and loving themselves. These people shine. These people are incredible.

And the great part about this group is that everyone and anyone  can join. It’s just a case of finding out, through trial and error I suppose, who you are and who you want to be. Once you are happy with that person – you have it. You’re unique. And happy.

Sadly, I don’t know which of these groups I fit into just yet. I strive to be of the last group. And I hope that one day I will be; however, I have yet to learn to find my own path and be myself in a world of clones. But I assure you, when I get to that point, I’ll be the happiest individual alive because I’ll be me.

3 Seconds to Make a Day

Have you ever wondered how many people have walked past you and thought you are beautiful? Have you ever wondered how many people have had a crush on you? Or how many have silently wished that they knew you better? How about someone thinking that they really like your outfit?

It’s a ┬ástrange but slightly uplifting thought because, guaranteed, at some point in your life, a friend, acquaintance or even a stranger has looked at you and thought something positive about you, anything from “Wow, she is beautiful” and “He’s hilarious!” to “I love those shoes! Wonder where she got them?”

Now wouldn’t it be incredible if we all voiced those positive thoughts? I, personally, would not only feel good about myself, but would probably have my day made if someone were to take three seconds out of their day to tell me they liked my outfit, or that they thought my hair looked good today. That’s all it takes – a few seconds – to encourage and uplift someone, if only a little bit.

That has become one of my goals of this year, and the rest of my life for that matter. I plan to tell people anything positive that comes to mind (tastefully, of course), because who knows what someone might be going through? That small compliment and a friendly smile could mean the world.

And, believe it or not, it not only takes nothing away from you, but adds to your day too. ┬áThere is no feeling quite like seeing a smile on someone’s face and knowing that you put it there.

So I encourage you – voice your positive thoughts and take 3 seconds to make a day…