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The Art of Letting Go

Yesterday I did the most terrifying thing I have ever done in my whole entire life. Now to understand the enormity of the situation you need to know a bit more about me. So I am gonna be sharing part of my life story with you all.

My name is Hadlay and I am 25 years old. I was born and bred in Cape Town, though I have traveled to other parts of South Africa before I never really lived anywhere else. My parents divorced when I was two years old. I lived with my mom and my dad was never a really big part of my life. Now I never really felt that I was missing out on any special relationship with my dad because I could barely remember the first two years of my life. Who does anyway?
My father would occasionally visit on birthdays, so I grew up knowing who my father was but never really building a relationship with him. Eventually the birthday visits stopped happening, I think I was about five years old when I got my last birthday visit. After that I’d only see my father on rare occasions when we happened to bump into each other. You know when you see someone in the mall that looks familiar but you just can’t put your finger on where you know them from? That’s the feeling I’d get when I see him. We would greet and chat for a bit and then go our separate ways. He was a part of my life but he wasn’t in my life, if you know what I mean.
I’d be lying if I said that I never dreamed of having a relationship with my dad. And I was always hopeful until one night in high school when I asked him to help me with something and it seemed like I was just being the biggest inconvenience. Feelings of rejection always haunted me. There’s something to be said about the rejection of a child by its parent. I wouldn’t even wish such pain on my biggest enemy. No one deserves to ever feel that way. Yet here I was, feeling rejected, unwanted, unloved and like a waste of space. I really had to dig deep to pull myself towards myself and see my true worth. No I was not gonna allow a man who doesn’t even know me, to make me feel this way. I have a mother that loves me dearly and who sacrificed so much to raise me. I promised myself to work extra hard at everything I do and to never ask anything from anyone. If I wanted to succeed in life I was to do the hard work all by myself. And I refused to let anyone ever make me feel that way again. (Is RHCP Under the Bridge in your head too now?)

Fast forward to 2013. By now I’ve graduated, I’m following my passion and I’m doing what I love. I am saved and I try my best to live according to the laws of the Bible. It is admittedly not the easiest thing to do, because when Jesus says love your neighbor he includes the people who do you wrong. Loving your enemy is no small feat, know what I mean? God is big on family and asks of us to honour our parents. At this point I thought I had made peace with the lack of relationship I have with my dad, but I learned that there is a huge difference between acknowledging your father and honouring him. I really want to honour my dad, because despite it all, he was still my dad. I know that I can learn lots from him and if not why not right? So yesterday I decided to face my fears and send my dad a message asking him if he is willing to build a relationship with me. IT WAS TERRIFYING! It took me about 2 hours to type the message and another hour to actually send it. Immediately after that I went into a panic attack. I freaked out. I didn’t know if I was ready for the answer. What if he said yes? What would I do? Where would I start? But more importantly… What if his answer wasn’t in favour? How would I deal with that? What would it mean? I messaged some friends for support but every time I heard my message notifications I’d go into a fit. Alone in my darkened room, shaking under my blankets I thought I was gonna die of anticipation. Eventually I decided to do the one thing I knew that I was supposed to do all along. I prayed. It was while praying that I was reminded of all the good in my life. The blessings certainly outweighed the pain I was feeling at that moment. God doesn’t want us to suffer, he doesn’t promise that we won’t suffer either but he does promise that he will never leave us or forsake us. Last night I chose to believe that promise. I chose to believe that a painful experience such as this could still be used for my good.

A day has passed and I still haven’t gotten a response from my father. I’m a little disappointed but I live in hope. I sent that message and I opened that door. I am not gonna be upset, I am not gonna give up hope and I am not gonna stop laughing and being full of joy. It is sad that there are kids all over the world who have to go through this. There are others who will never have the opportunity to even message their parents. I just want those who have both parents alive today to appreciate and honour their parents. I have never made my dad a cup of tea. I would drop everything just to make my dad a cup of tea. Parents don’t ever allow your kids to feel this way. Let them know how special they are. Let them know that they are loved. I am grateful for the way my mother raised me because things could have been so much different for me.

 

**Edit: I originally wrote this on Monday evening. I battled with the idea of posting it but after sleeping on it I built up the courage to make it public. I still haven’t gotten a response from my dad but I live in hope. I am not mad or angry. I am actually in a really good place right now. I know that one day he will come around, and when he is ready I will be here waiting.

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I am… a work in progress

My name is Hadlay, I am a young aspiring entrepreneur living in Cape Town. When I’m not thinking up crazy business ideas to change the world, I keep myself entertained with short films, performance art and music. Seeing the youth in my community grow is what inspires me. This blog gives an honest look into the musings of an ordinary guy making his way through life in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, one step at a time.

Have a little faith in YOU

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To laugh is to risk appearing the fool To weep is to risk appearing sentimental To reach out to others is to risk involvement To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self To place your ideas, your dreams before a crown is to risk their loss To love is to risk not being loved in return To live is to risk dying To hope is to risk despair To try is to risk failure

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to do nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.

Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave, they forfeited their freedom.

Only the person who risks can be free.

I have been working on this blog post for the last three weeks now. So many thoughts and ideas ran through my mind while meditating on this poem that I found it hard to express how I really felt about it. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that I gave so much thought to this specific poem at this specific time in my life though. Having recently celebrated my 25th birthday and finding myself in the middle of completing my learnership at Grow Academy, I have a lot of decisions lying ahead. My head tells me to play it safe, stay on the shore but my heart knows better. It tells me to take risks, without trying you don’t have a chance, be great, dive right in. The heart wants, what the heart wants. It got me to thinking that there are so many people out there too afraid to take risks, afraid to step out of there comfort zones.

I don’t always understand those people’s reasons for playing it safe and shrinking down their potential but I have learnt to respect their choices. All I can do is live my life to the fullest, challenge myself to always be better than I was before and hopefully in this way inspire others to take that first step to believing in themselves and their abilities.

Set Those Bubbles Free

I generally don’t spend much time thinking about kitchen appliances. I know that I will most probably not be able to exist without my kettle or microwave but that’s about as far as it goes. But lately there’s been a change. As more of my friends are making the big move out of the nest I find myself wondering about these things more often. What would my kitchen look like? Who will be making my coffee in the morning? You know, the life altering questions we all ask.

Up until a few weeks ago the only kitchen appliance I was really after was a Nespresso machine. Can you imagine waking up every morning to a frothy cup of heavenly goodness? With the Nespresso Machine that could be my reality, and with minimal effort too. Personally for me, the best mornings has the aroma of coffee and fresh croissants in the air. So kettle, microwave and Nespresso machine, that was my ideal kitchen… until I got introduced to the new Soda Stream Source.

I attended the launch party during design week with my close friend, Shakira. Neither of us are appliance inclined or have much interest in using them but we were curious to see what Soda Stream had to offer. We were both blown away by the device. The Source is easy on the eye, slighty bulky but the sleek design and cool colours more than makes up for this. I could picture it right next to my Nespresso machine and microwave. The demonstration proved that the Source would be easy to operate, with just a touch of a button.

The Soda Stream Source has been designed to fit into the modern home. Easy to use and a simple design. All you need to do is choose your flavour, from a new wider range of syrups and voila you have a refreshing glass of soda just waiting to be consumed. Soda stream has even catered for the people who prefer sugar free sodas, so there really is something for everyone. I can not wait to get my hands on my very own machine.sodastream-colours

The Real Deal

I have been single for the longest time.  Most people don’t understand the reason behind this, and it isn’t always easy to put into words. I was introduced to the poetry of Brent Rice the other day and he managed to capture my feelings on relationships and dating perfectly.

When it comes to dating, my beliefs are very old school. I believe in getting to know some one well before taking things to the next level. I refuse to be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. I need someone that will respect me as an individual, I was whole before I met you I certainly do not need you to complete me. Instead grow with me, share memories with me, let’s create new memories and a future together. Love is a choice. Choose to love me with your actions, your words and with your whole heart. I want a crucifixion type love…

Here is the video of Brent Rice’s Crucfixion Type Love. My promise to my other half one day.

 

All the world’s a stage

The last few months has been a season of revelation, introspection and change. I have come to learn who my real friends are and who were just pretending to be in my corner all along. I came across this piece while compiling material for the youth camp I was helping to organise at our church. It questions whether the people we allow into our lives really have pure motives for being around you. I believe  that this is something that we all will experience in our lives here on earth. It has made me think more carefully about who I allow to have the honour of being in my first row and who I skimp to the balcony seats.

 

Who is in your front row?

Life is a Theatre….
Invite your audience carefully.
Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in your life.
There are some people in your life who need to be loved from a DISTANCE.
It is amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of – or minimize your time with – those draining,
negative, incompatible relationships or friendships.
Observe the relationships around you.
Pay close attention… Which ones lift, and which ones lean?
Which ones encourage, and which ones discourage?
Which ones are on a path of growth uphill, and which ones are going downhill?
When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse?
Which ones always have drama, or don’t really understand, know or appreciate you & the gifts that lie
within you?
Remember that the people you have around you will have an impact on your life, your values and your
income. So be careful when choosing the people you hang out with, as well as the information with
which you will feed your mind. We should not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed our minds
with negative thoughts.
The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you… the easier it will
become for you to decide who gets to sit in the FRONT ROW, and who should be moved to the balcony of
your life.
Ask God for wisdom and discernment, and choose wisely the people who will sit in the front row of your
life.
You cannot change the people around you… But you CAN change the people you choose to be around!

….WHO IS IN YOUR FRONT ROW?

 

Not another #BlackFriday

stop rapeJust over a week ago people all across South Africa decided that they have had enough of the abuse against women. Particularly with the violent rape of women happening at an alarming rate. The current stats point to one female being raped every 4 minutes in South Africa. That is ridiculous! It is terrifying to think that in the next four minutes my mother, aunts, cousins or even my grand mother could be a rape victim, their survival there after not even guaranteed.

So it was with this thought in mind that I decided to wear black with the rest of the country. It was symbol of me dedication and solidarity with the females of this country. We were creating awareness as a country and standing together, saying “No more! Enough is enough”. But have we done enough? Is it enough to just wear black or change your social media avatar for 12 hours? Many people raised these perfectly valid questions. After all, this wasn’t the first campaign against the abuse against women and I am sure that it certainly won’t be the last. But what has been done? Crime only seems to be on the increase and South Africans are left feeling more and more despondent about their future here. I couldn’t answer all the questions on behalf of the entire country but I had to redirect them to myself. What have “I” done to stop the increase of rape in the country? What has been my contribution to the cause? It was so easy to criticise all the “Stop Rape” campaigns but when the tables were turned and I examined my contributions I found myself lacking. Gandhi’s words rang loud and clear in my ears “Be the change you want to see…” . If I want to see something more being done to stop rape I  have to get off my laurels and do something. I can’t wait for others and point a finger at them when I don’t do anything but wear my black t-shirt.

Every day is #BlackFriday

Every day is #BlackFriday

Many believe that it is not their problem or that they can’t stop rapists after the deed has been done but what about before? There are many boys deprived of love, attention and the guidance of a stable parental figure who grow up without a moral compass. They are never taught right from wrong, never taught to respect a woman because they don’t see it displayed in their daily lives. If the parents are not showing them these values then who is? This is why I have made the decision to support homes for abandoned and abused boys. I hope by helping these boys in their early years, that they will grow up to be good, honourable men who positively contribute to society. I may not be able to reach all of them but even if one little boy’s life is changed for the better then I will be happy.

So…. a week after #BlackFriday, what have YOU decided to do for the cause? You don’t need to answer that in the comments section, you don’t need to advertise it all over the place but if you want to see a change in your country then YOU need to do something more than just tweet about it.

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Dubstep Beatboxing

I know this video is old and that some of you have probably watched it a hundred times already but I only recently came across it. This is David Crowe, one half of the beatboxing duo “Heymoonshaker”. David and buddy Andy Balcon travel between different countries finding festivals and events where they can showcase and share their music. They call themselves the travelling creatives using music, photography and street art to promote their alternative lifestyles.

Up until I came across this video I never even thought about dubstep beat boxing. Yes, beat boxing has come a long way and has crossed over into multiple genres but dubstep? Really? Curiosity got the better of my skeptical self and I clicked the play button. Lo and behold the guy is actually really good and I click the replay button. Over and over and over again and then again once more before sending the link to my friend.

If you have seen David Crowe do his thing before, watch the video again. If this is your first time, then enjoy.

Daddy’s Home

Wow its been ages since I’ve been here, I feel almost ashamed yet happy to be back. Yep the last few weeks (months seemed a bit too harsh) has been quite a roller coaster ride. A lot has happened since my last proper post so let’s run the highlights package shall we.

The first major memorable event and basically the summer kick off was my bestie Nazli’s wedding. Nothing says “You’re getting old” more than a close friend getting married. I couldn’t have been happier watching Nabeel and Nazli walk into the hall as husband and wife. I know I’ve told you guys already but why not post it on the internet too, I wish the two of you all the happiness in the world together. May your relationship grow from strength to strength and may there always be room for me on your couch (I’ll settle for the floor too).

Christmas day was nothing out of the ordinary, spent time with family and had a feast that made my eyes waaaaay bigger than my stomach. It was still fun though, didn’t realise how much I really missed spending time with my extended family.

Next up was New Years, I worked on NYE. I think I only left the tent at 5am that morning. I was so tired but most of all starving, Meenesh and I went straight to McDonalds. YES! My first meal for 2012 was a spicy cajun chicken burger from McDonalds, OH THE SHAME Does it count that we had it on the beach? I think it does. We spent the rest of the day going from beach to beach all around the peninsula until finally reaching home 12 hours later.

I told you this was the highlights package so I’m gonna wrap it up with this one. My first camping experience in a tent. I was not prepared for the awesomeness. I barely even slept so the tent was really just a waste of boot space. Meenesh and I had so much fun this weekend that we’ll definitely be doing it again. The weather was great and the location scenic but next time we’ll find a camping site with a pool.

That’s it, just a few of the many adventures I’ve been on this summer. As winter slowly approaches and I ease myself back into a strict routine of gym, work and home life I look forward to what lies ahead and I promise to keep posting regularly. Don’t roll your eyes, I know you’ve heard that before but give me a chance.

Etta James: Diva Takes Her Final Bow

This week, the world was rocked by the death of soul legend, Miss Etta James at the age of 73. The feisty and abundantly talented diva lost her long battle against cancer and dementia on Friday the 20th January 2012, just a few days short of her 74th birthday.

Iconic: Etta James 25 January 1938 - 20 January 2012

The “At Last” singer lived a colourful life and was often called the first bad girl of R ‘n B but it is Miss James’ discography and her contribution to music, both as an artist and a mentor to others, that will most likely be remembered for generations to come. So much of her music was covered while she was alive by current artists, most famously Christina Aguilera, Beyonce and Adele. I can only hope that it will continue with the next batch of up and coming songstresses.

I have compiled a list of five of what is in my opinion her greatest works BESIDES “At Last”. Yes we all know its her signature song but there are  so many other soul stirring gems in her catalogue that deserves just as much attention and recognition. So here they are, in no particular order, Five Etta James recordings that’s worth listening to.

1. I Just Wanna Make Love To You

2. Something’s Got A Hold On Me

3. All I Could Do Was Cry

4. Sunday Kind Of Love

5. I’d Rather Go Blind featuring Dr John

Rest in peace, Etta James you will be sorely missed, gone but never forgotten.