To Tash on your 33rd Birhday

To Tash on your 33rd birthday

 

So another year has gone by. Time seems to be racing away. I feel like I’ve barely blinked and I’m a year older. Edging ever closer to the big four-O! Age they say is just a number baby and I don’t plan on letting it stop me. It seems to be this time of year that I always berate myself for not being any further than I was the year before. I begin to feel like a failure. Perhaps I haven’t done everything I set out to do does that mean I’ve failed at life? 

 

Instead I’m going to reflect over the past year and the good things that have happened. 

 

Over the past year there have been some very special memories which I will always hold close to my heart. 

 

In February I got to see my gorgeous friend marry her wonderful hubby. The ceremony took place under the blue African skies, deep in the heart of bush. It was such a gorgeous lodge in South Africa, where the wedding took place. You know you are in the African Bush when you see zebra roaming around the lodge and in the early hours you could hear the roar of a lion in the distance. It was a truly incredible weekend, which I will never forget. It made my heart burst to see my friend find her happiness and to share in their special day. 

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While I was home I also got to see my beautiful friend and her group called MitzyGeorge launch their single called I am home. MitzyGeorge is a country girl group consisting of 3 extremely talented ladies. They are truly mesmerising on stage. Definitely check out their music. There is something so special and surreal about seeing one of your dearest friends performing on stage, doing what they are passionate about. Such a overwhelming sense of pride I felt. I got some quality time with my friend and her wonderful family too and I will always hold those memories dear. 

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Time also spent with my mom and family which was wonderful when I was home. I was able to give my dad a hug on his 70th birthday. I was so happy it worked out I could be there. We got to share at dance too at the Italian club. Some truly special times. 

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Another significant thing that has happened is that I’ve met a lovely man, with a very kind and gentle heart. He makes me feel beautiful and cherished. With him I can be completely myself. This is something I’ve never had before or felt I was really deserving of.

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Over the past few months there have been some wonderful moments we’ve shared. Including a first trip to the amazing city of Edinburgh and my first ever time at Roland Garros for the French open tennis. 

 

So I have a lot of things running through my head that I would like to achieve. In general I am quite a patient person but when it comes to things I want though, I want it all to happen right now.So for the year ahead I will try to give myself one big thing to try work towards. I will be a bit easier on myself and not have a list of 10 huge things to achieve within a year. Maybe that way it won’t be so overwhelming and I won’t set myself up for a fall so to speak.

 

Also I want to try not let the inner critic in me drown out every other voice. When I look at the person in the mirror staring back at me, I want to believe that they are worth something. I want to try be a better version of myself, and stay motivated. As they say you need to make your own magic. No one is going to write the book for me. I’m the author of my own story and I need to tell it. So for this year my goal is to finish or get a huge majority of that novel done. So go out and give it all you got! The only one stopping you is yourself. 

 

I know the world seems to be in despair at the moment with all that is going on. Watching the news these days is depressing. It’s so hard to keep positive and believe at times that it will get better. Being right near the area where the recent terrorist attack in London took place, it does shake your perspective up. It makes you realise what a precious gift life is. Every moment is a treasure and we need to make the most of it. Hug loved ones tighter and truly be grateful for them. I want to try not let these things crush my spirit or stop my love for life. Maybe my heart is naive in believing there is still goodness in the world but I can’t let the world change who I am. Our mind is a powerful thing. So I am going to try laugh more, worry less about the little things & stuff I can’t control(I mean worrying means you truly do suffer twice) and be less harsh on myself. I’m going make the most of times spent with loved ones. I won’t take them for granted. 

 

Here is to bring 33 and not letting go of those dreams. Here is to my 34th year ahead..

 

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I’m going to make lemonade if the months ahead decide to give me lemons. Cheesy I know but right now maybe a bit of cheese is just what’s needed. 🙂 

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To Tash on your 32nd Birthday

Dear Tash,

Today you have reached 32 years. I remember all your dreams from when you were younger. You envisioned by this age you would be living in your own house, you would be a loving mom and wife. You even would have a holiday home overlooking the sea. Yes a holiday home… I know that in reality this isn’t the case as yet but there are things that you have achieved.

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Perhaps it’s time to give yourself a little credit, for some of the things that you have done. With just a little bit of savings and nothing else but your suitcase you moved to a completely new country and have made it work for 5 years and counting. You earn a living and are able to put food on the table, have amazing experiences and travel. You completed your first ever marathon in beautiful Paris. You are working on your next one and still working towards the New York and London marathon

I know that you are plagued by self doubt on a daily basis, wondering if there is anything that you will ever be good at in life. Will you ever own your own home or get married. I know you don’t feel worthwhile at times as you don’t have a degree to your name or mortgage. You feel that you have nothing to show for your 32 years. There are frequent moments where you feel invisible and undeserving. The truth is you are worth something. I know you see people move forward in life and you wonder what is wrong with you. Just trust that you are on your own journey. You are not a failure at life that you sometimes feel like.

You have a family who you can laugh and share tears with. You love them with all your heart. You have friends who mean the world to you, who came into your life and to your surprise haven’t left it. I know sometimes with your naïveté you have taken people fully into your heart. Then they have just suddenly cut contact without any explanation and to this day you still don’t understand why. I know people’s attitudes can make you feel very sad at times but it still doesn’t stop you from being the giving and hopeful person you are. Never lose that positivity or let it squash your spirit. Other peoples opinions do not define who you are.

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I know if you buy yourself something you really want or you think about booking that dream holiday you feel guilty. You worry about taking away from your future. Sometimes we have to live life in the present moment and enjoy it there and then, rather than waiting for your life to start, once everything is in place. Wear those lovely shoes you love with pride! Try not to judge yourself all the time.

 

 

So go and live, book that dream holiday and marvel at the beautiful surroundings and be in awe of where you are. Allow it to fill you up and just go breathe in the moment. Don’t let yourself be ruled by doubt, guilt or what the future may or may not bring.  Go and get that novel published rather than thinking it will never be good enough. Go and do what you are passionate about and don’t feel it’s too late. You are deserving of love. Don’t let anyone make you feel worthless and less than you are.

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Happy Birthday, just be you.

A little thank you to London

5 Years ago today I said an extremely tough goodbye to my family at the airport and boarded a plane to London. I had nothing but my suitcase, £1000 to my name which I had saved; and a desire to better my life and make my dreams come true. Thanks to the generosity of my cousin and his wife, who kindly let me stay with them for a couple months while I got on my feet in a new country, I had a lucky start.

There have been extremely tough moments when I’m missing my family and friends so much and the impulse to pack everything up and return home to South Africa overwhelms me. Many nights I have cried myself to sleep due to loneliness engulfing me and frustration at myself at not being further in life than I want to be at my age.

There is a huge amount that I am thankful to London for. One of the biggest things it has given me is self-sufficiency. I am able to do things for myself and make my own decisions and this has given me a great sense of independence. I now have the courage to go out there and make my dreams come true and to take opportunities when they come. I’ve always been more introverted than outgoing but since I’ve moved to London I have found I have gained a bit more confidence. I am able to have a conversation with someone I haven’t met. I normally wouldn’t have had the confidence to even think of doing that. I am also so thankful for the wonderful friends I have made since being in London. You know who you are and I love you all so much.

Also since moving to London I have become slightly better at cooking, as I no longer have Mom’s home cooked meals. I find I can now actually make edible meals hurrah! I even bake cupcakes which don’t come out too badly. So I’m very pleased that I am not a complete disaster in the kitchen now.

Since moving I’ve had two huge dreams come true. I took myself to New York and Las Vegas to see Celine Dion’s show. I had always dreamed of seeing the sights of New York for real, not just from films and TV. I had also always wished to see Celine’s show in Las Vegas. Celine having been my favourite singer, since I was little. So off I went all on my own (I still can’t believe I was brave enough to do that) I wondered around New York taking in the sights, saw my lovely friend Lindsay who I met online and still thought it was so surreal that I was actually there. Then I flew to Vegas and stayed in the very Pink Flamingo hotel. I took a day tour out to the Grand Canyon which was incredible.

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I was on a plane and coach with one British couple and a Japanese tour group. Then it was the night of Celine’s show. I donned my sparkly green dress. Took myself off to Spago for dinner and then it was time. I was third row from the front. A video about Celine started playing and then the curtains opened and there Celine was. I could see her so clearly.

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I held back the tears as the enormity of that I somehow had made this happen for myself washed over me. I never thought I would ever get it right and here I was in Vegas and New York. Then I went to Celine’s show again on another night(I wasn’t going to go all the way to Vegas just to see it once!) and I ran into my lovely friends Cheryl and Curtis, which was a lovely surprise. Suddenly I didn’t feel so alone in Vegas.

The second dream I had come true was meeting my favourite author Marian Keyes. This was something I never thought would happen and I am beyond grateful it did. Marian not only gives so much joy through her writing and twitter but truly has one of the most giving and kindest hearts. Marian gives her time generously to all the people coming to see her. Her humility, kindness and honesty are truly inspiring. These memories I cherish forever. I think over that memory of taking a trip to beautiful Althorp house to meet Marian for the first time, with great fondness. Marian instantly makes you feel at ease and you can completely just be yourself. Marian has certainly brightened up many a sad or bad day for me.

 

Another surreal experience was attending a taping of Celine’s performance for X Factor UK. I again donned my sparkly dress and excitedly took my seat. In my defense they had said dress in something sparkly! The green dress was the sparkliest thing I owned haha! The stage manager came on before it all properly started and was chatting to the audience. Then he noticed my green dress and got me to come down on stage and do an Irish dance. I duly went and did an Irish dance. He had thought I was wearing the dress for Louis the judge who is from Dublin. It was great fun and the Tash before London, would never have done that in a million years!

The other thing I feel quite proud of is completing my first ever marathon in Paris last year. A few years ago the thought of even entering a marathon, wouldn’t have crossed my mind; never mind actually completing one. Now I’m training for my second marathon in Edinburgh and my 3rd in Berlin. We will see how that goes! I might be just a bit too ambitious there but I will be running for the lovely Starlight Children’s foundation UK, who I work for. So it will be for a worthy cause.

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Some of my other highlights are my trips to Ireland, still one of my most favorite countries. My trips to Belgium, Prague for the Christmas markets which was beautiful and France.

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I also can’t get enough of the wonderful west end shows over here. I’ve seen some incredible ones since I moved to London. Some of the ones that stand out for me are Matilda, Wicked, the curious incident of the dog in the night, Billy Elliott and of course Les Miserables.

So London a huge thank you! I owe you so much and am grateful as you have been good to me. I am sure there will be more ups and downs to come but I will find the strength to make it through. Here is to more incredible trips, experiences and dreams coming true.

One last special thank you to my best friend Kelly. You are my sister forever and always and I’m so grateful for you. I wouldn’t have made it through this long without you here in London. I love you millions my friend.

Happy 5 years London 🙂

31 years old and now what

So I recently turned 31 and I have to admit this year turning another year older did make me a bit sad. The reason being is I thought by this age I would have achieved so much more by now. Yet here I am still not quite close enough to where I want to be.

I don’t own a mortgage; I am not a mom yet. I am not even in a relationship yet alone engaged or married. I live in a house share in London and I don’t have a qualification behind my name.

I just always have had such big dreams and visions for my life. I desperately want to be a mom as I feel like I have a lot of love to give. I want to meet a lovely man to share my life with. I would love to have my very own house and to be a published writer. I’ve imagined lovely moments shared with my family, I’ve envisioned my very own book launch. None of it however has materialised yet.

I am naturally a very hopeful and positive person. I never lost faith that if I just keep at it and have patience it will happen. Never lose that determination. However recently it has been a struggle to keep my spirits afloat. Doubt, loneliness and sadness have clouded over my normal easy going and happy demeanour a bit. I see my friends moving in with their lovely partners, having children and getting engaged or married. Every time I am genuinely ecstatic and pleased for them, as all I want for them is happiness. However each time it chips away a little at me as it reminds me of my failures and how another year has gone by and still I’m far away from where I want to be. Each time it’s an adjustment for me, as I get used to seeing them or hearing from them less often. Life goes on and I have to accept that.

I think because I grew up as an only child, my friends became my family and I love and care about them so much.  Part of it is that I don’t have my own family as yet and so my friends are still a big part of my life. I almost feel like I’m being left behind each time but each person has their own journey to travel on. I know it’s a natural progression in life and I just have to try, not letting it get me down too much.

I know I have a lot to be grateful for and I do try my best to remember that when I’m feeling this way. I decided to move to London on my own from South Africa 4 years ago in the hopes of making a better life for myself. London has given me a lot of incredible experiences. I have travelled to Prague, Paris, New York, Vegas and Belgium. London has made me self sufficient and that is something I truly am thankful for.

Does anyone else feel like this? Have you been struggling recently? Let me know in the comments. Also want to say a big thanks to anyone who is taking the time to read my blog posts. I hope they get better as they go along and I hope you find them helpful or interesting in some way.

The ABC of me

The ABC of me

As a way if getting to know me a bit more, I’ve done an ABC of myself. Would love to see your ABC as well, so let me know!

A is for African. I was born and raised in South Africa. It is the most beautiful country and it will always have a huge part of my heart.

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B is for Books Since a very young age I have loved escaping into books. I think because I don’t have a brother or sister and also as I haven’t met the right man just yet, I can live vicariously in a way. In the books I can be a beloved sister. I can be loved so deeply by a lovely man. I can be anyone else but me. I can be the beautiful girl in the story.

C is for Celine Dion. Anyone who knows me will know how much I love her voice and music. She has been my favourite singer since I was little. I also love how family orientated she is and how devoted she is.

KATIE - 4/25/13 - Celine Dion invited Katie Couric into her recording studio for an exclusive conversation about her family, her husband?s cancer diagnosis, and her brand new music, airing on KATIE, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Ronda Churchill/Disney-ABC via Getty Images)  CELINE DION

D is for Determination. This is a huge part of who I am. I have a lot I wish to do and achieve in life and I go for it as best I can.

E is for Endeavor as no matter how many knocks I have to face, I just keep trying and somehow keep going.

F  is for family and friends who I love with all my heart. Their support, encouragement, love and advice have got me through some of the toughest moments. My life would be meaningless without them.

G is for Guilt My old friend guilt follows me around always waiting to pounce. I feel guilty about anything and everything. Also my guilty pleasures are Pretty little liars, reality shows like Real housewives of Beverley hills, Made in Chelsea

H is for Height which mine is  1.40m tall. I am a short arse 😉

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I is for Improvement. I always try to improve myself. I am striving to be more honest with how I am feeling and not be afraid to actually express what I really want or am feeling. I am also trying to be more assertive without losing my natural patience and helpfulness.

J is for jewellery of which I have a few pieces which have a lot of sentimental value to me given to me by my Mom, Gran, family and friends.

K is for Keepsakes I love keeping photos of special memories and also I love mementos from my travels. At theatre shows I always end up buying a souvenir from it.

L is for London which I am very fond of as it has given me so much. I moved there 4 years ago on my own, to try and make a better life for myself and to achieve some of my goals. It has made me self sufficient and I’ve had some amazing experiences since I’ve been here. I couldn’t be more grateful.

M is for Marian Keyes who is my favourite author and has been for years. Her books are incredible and she is a wonderfully talented writer. I always am so excited for her new books. I have had the good fortune recently of meeting her for the first time and she is truly one of the loveliest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

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N is for Numbers which is a big part of my daily working life as I work in accounts.

O is for Optimism and hope for the future have had a huge hand in helping me through the past few years as well as the love of my family. I have my low days but I do my best to try not lose complete faith that I will get to where I want to be. That someday i will become a mom as I have a lot of love to give.  I’m hopeful I might one day become a published writer and people will respond to what I have to say.

P is for pet peeves which are when people don’t use common courtesy. With my height I also am constantly being bumped by backpacks and people shoving past and knocking me. I know im short but im still here! I just wish people would be more aware.

Q is for quote- “When life gives you lemons the last thing I want to do is make lemonade. Sometimes a horrible experience is just that, a horrible experience. – Marian Keyes in a Sunday times column. This is so true!!

R is for Running- this is something I started about two years ago and have found it very therapeutic. I did my first ever marathon in Paris in April 2015 and am planning my next ones in Dublin, London and New York if possible.

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S is for Shoes I love shoes! I cant get enough of them. Hoping one day when im old enough I can afford my first ever designer pair 😉

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T is for Turners syndrome which I was diagnosed with at birth. It definitely has had a part to play in shaping who I am today but it has never completely defined me. It hasn’t always been easy but I have come to terms with it. I cant have children so will have to look at adoption as a way to become a mom. Ive accepted this though and see it as i will be able to love a child as my own who needs it and hasn’t had it before 🙂

U is for Underwear which I don’t pay major attention to as I just tend to buy mismatching average underwear which does the job. I keep thinking whats the point as I have no one to dress for. Maybe it would be nice to have a sophisticated and pretty set to make me feel good.

V is for Vacation So far my travels have taken me to Ireland, Prague, New York, Las Vegas, Paris and Belgium. I still have quite a list of places I would love to see such as Italy, Greece, Spain, Norway, Switzerland and a few cities in America.

W is for Wish I have quite a few things that I wish for. Happiness and health for my family and friends. I truly wish there could be more tolerance and kindness in this world. I wish that when someone is tolerant and kind that it wasn’t taken as a weakness to be taken advantage of . I wish people didn’t take loved ones and genuine people who offer patience and kindness for granted.

X is for (Ex friends) I have had friends over the years and some of them have stayed and continue to hopefully and others have just cut contact without any reason I could understand. Each time though its chipped a little piece of me away. As time marches on you learn to let go.

Y is for Yes I am definitely the yes girl. No matter how inconvenient it may be for me I always try to help and never say no.

Z is for Zodiac sign of which mine is Gemini. I am torn in two a lot of times which is the emotional side of me and the practical side.

Hello

Hi there 🙂

I am a 31 year old South African girl trying to make her way in the world, having moved to London, UK.

I was diagnosed with Turners Syndrome when I was a baby and will be discussing that as well.

I’ve decided to give writing a blog a try and am hoping I will have some interesting things to say.

I will be talking about various things such as my travels, book reviews, films, beauty products, experiences in London and a lot more. I will also be putting my thoughts forward on all sorts of different topics

I truly hope I get some readers who I can get to know and interact with as we go along.

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