Hypocrisy- a look in the mirror!

Hallo all,

its been a while l know. Well I have been struggling with penning stuff out lately, not that l didn’t have anything to say but just because l could not find the right words to say it. See writing for me comes naturally. On days like these, the words just tumble out and l type like a woman  possessed and in some kind of typing frenzy. Anyway enough of that, let’s get to the matter at hand. Today l want to talk about Hypocrisy, my hypocrisy to be exact.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, Hypocrisy is

 situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time:

There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.

 

As the new year begins, l like everybody else am trying to be a better version of myself. Built on the positives from 2017 and equally so, correct myself and learn from the negatives. So in the pursuit of that, l caught myself being a hypocrite on the following points. And l have decided to share these with you as l stare at this young woman in the mirror, hopefully it will be enlightening.

Perhaps a side note before we jump in, luckily for me l have a key trait which allows me to pinpoint my hypocrisy moments, and that is eye rolling. Oh honey l am the queen of eye rolling, it is so bad that l now actually do it even without noticing. It is now a normal reflex in the life of Cleo. I do it all the time, either out of boredom, sarcasm, irritation, ridicule, exasperation etc. In fact it is so bad such that my friends even joke about how one day my eyes will not roll back and l have this recurring nightmare where my eyeballs are just white.

So back to the matter at hand, l took time to analyse the moments when l do the eye roll, and l am so disappointed in myself because l found out that most of the times when l do it l am being a hypocrite. So here we go,

  1. Social media– oh this is a big one. Dear Cleo why do you find yourself rolling your eyes as you scroll down your timeline or people´s stories? Are you under duress to follow those individuals? Do you not post the same nonsensical coffee/ exercise/ Party videos showing what such a good time/life you have, although 99.9 % of the time you are just on the break even mark? I hate to admit it but yea l am the biggest hypocrite when it comes to this. Sad part is l am a social media addict, and l cant seem to separate myself from that very monster l despise at times. l don’t know how many times l have deactivated my account only to log myself in back a few minutes after, or have deleted an app only to download it again within the same day. Social Media Anynonymous, where are you? l need you brav.
  2. The 2018 Friendships Resolutions- oh boy another big one, lets tread now carefully shall we. About 80% of my contacts had a status that had to do with cutting off bad friends and negative vibes in 2018… and lo behold l just rolled my way through all your updates and even skipped some of them the moment l saw the word friend because it is such and old song. But, dear Cleo just because you renounced your freedom to openly declare your 2018 resolutions, simply out fear of failing to meet the sound of your trumpet, which you would have blown so loud as in prior years, does not mean you now get to judge others and the way they choose to express themselves. The friend song is a very old one you all, and try as we may, friendships and life are very complicated. So yea maybe let’s try and be more honest  and upfront with each other and break the cycle of always having friend drama.

l think l will stop here for today, its getting uglier in there, and want as l might to dive in deeper, if there is anything that l have learnt in 2017, it is to never use your podium to talk about things which may destroy rather than build. More often as we sit behind the keyboard, we so clearly see the wrongs of others or injustices that are being done to us and we forget to turn the magnifying glass on ourselves. We destroy with our words, rather than build. Hurt rather than heal.

Hence in a spirit of kindness, dear Cleo there is no one rule that applies to yourself and another one for everybody else. And with that, have a good year everybody!!! Stay true to yourselves and just get started with whatever it is your heart desires.

And as my former president would say,  Asante Sane!!!

 

 

 

 

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Things we do for society

I had a work meeting across the border the other day, in the beautiful Netherlands city of Arnhem. On our way back, l decided to  take the train instead and let my boss drive back alone, seeing it was a more direct route to my house.

Unfortunately for me, Murphy´s Law is constantly at play. If anything can go wrong, it will. So there l was waiting for my 18:29 departure, when they suddenly informed us that a goods train had broken down on the rails and no trains could travel to Germany at that moment. The next train would depart at 19:29.

Two hours later we were still stuck in Arnhem Central Station with no other possibility to cross over the border. Finally at around 21:30 they arranged for a bus to take us to the Emmerich city of Germany and from there we could then proceed with the train.

It was at this point that my evening gained momentum and 5 hours later l would still be baffled and confused about society and its norms. A fellow passenger and l struck conversation as we headed out to the bus, giggling on how we both were calm while all around us others were losing their heads in anger. We both saw no point in agitating ourselves really for it was not anybody´s fault nor did we have any other choice but to wait. An alternative route would have meant another four hours of travelling.

By the time we reached the front entrance, another middle-aged man had joined us and we amused ourselves with his statistics of how often this had happened and how accurate the reason given to us was, seeing he was a regular traveler on this route and apparently had worked for a train company before. Our trio soon grew to five, and we  soon set sail through the conversation seas tackling everything and nothing and even my former President and future prospects of Zimbabwe.

Anyway, the bus finally arrived and we hopped on, and of course the friendly man sat next to me with the remark,

Na ja, wir haben uns ja sehr nett Unterhalten, darf ich…?”  (we just had a lovely conversation, may l?)

to which l offered the seat next to me with a smile !!! Little did l know.

The bus had hardly driven off and he had already picked up from where we left.  Soon enough he was on about how the bus was taking a longer route to the highway and how we would not make our connecting train, before l could respond he was on to the history of this lovely city filling me in on all the pre war and post war details, before l could respond he had switched on to NRW German region and how it is badly governed, before l could respond…

This was just the first five minutes.

When we hit the highway, my fellow passenger switched on to full mode and this time around he was unstoppable l tell you. We were now on his court case, and fervently he narrated the events of how he and his friend had started a project and and and… I tried to be attentive at first and follow the story, but gradually my occasional grunts were replaced with nods and eventually nothing. His voice soared above the still night sky and above the hum of the engine. His tone was so emotional like one possessed. He talked and talked and talked, now even oblivious of the people around him and indeed forgetting his bearings.

The over-the-shoulder stares started to attack us from all angles, but oh dear l was now slurped in my seat, totally drained of all energy and l could not even. Throats were cleared, false coughs initiated, the usual grumbled grunts, but my fellow passenger was already in the Cloud. Only Siri could get to him now. My head was spinning, the bus was full and l weighed my options, to speak out or not to? And l found myself having this conversation with myself while fellow P provided the background soundtrack.

It was okay for me to speak out and tell him l was tired right? But the way fellow P was going on, l began to envision him being one of those cat man, just glad to have an audience for once. I could hurt his feelings? Maybe he was sick? Something was definitely not okay because we all can read situations, body language etc. How would he respond? aggressively? In the end l decided to let him be and l endured the forty-five minute ride. At some point a woman called him out and fellow P just acknowledged the disturbance and rumbled on immediately after as if nothing had been said. When l stepped off that train, one lady gave me a pat and said “ du hast was gutes getan!” ( you did some good). But did l really? Did l have to put myself through that?

Recently l have noticed l am beginning to struggle with communication. In the times gone by l have always prided myself in my ability to be blunt and call a spade a spade. But experience has continuously shown me that people say they love a straight talker but in reality nobody likes being on the receiving end and as l have learned the hard way it hurts people’s feelings.

What troubles me the most is, what then is the perfect recipe? l have done trial and error and unfortunately messed up some of the most important relations l had with people l care for very much in the process. l lost someone who mattered to me only because l went with the bottling approach and instead of the situation improving the lava seeped out disguised as anger and bitter sarcasm. Before that l tried the honesty approach but rather than resolve the conflict it set up a wall instead. For years l went with the being me approach, but the history books between mother and l can tell you that didn’t work out smoothly as either.

so how then does this communication thing with society work?

Lord 

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Psalm 121.

Being Grateful

My last week has been one of those filled with moments that allowed me to slow down, ponder for a bit and put things into perspective.

Gosh we have to be grateful!

So it all started as l was taking a walk down by the Dublin canal. Being the hopeless romantic that l am, l am a sucker for such tranquil moments. And it was during such a moment as l basked on a bench, coffee in one hand, watching the people go about their busines, that l had a serious flashback.

Suddenly l was in my room, in our four roomed house in Nkulumane, a location in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Perched on my bed with my diary in one hand and a book l had just finished reading next to me on the bed. l cant remember which one as such because l read anything and everything l could get my hands on back then, lf only my diary had survived l would have checked my read list. But thats a story for another day.

Anyway l suddenly remembered how at that point, studying abroad, going for adventures in different countries, having the luxury to sit on a bench and watch people or read a book, cycling through a forest, going for jogs, participating in color runs or marathons, indulging in healthy diets, having my own unshared space, etc. The list is endless. All these things used to be but just a dream at some point in my life. They used to be things l desired and which l wished to grow into.
Fast forward to ten fifteen years later, and here l am. l have all of that and more. But why then am l so miserable. Complaining about the weather, no sleep, the food, being overworked, etc. Like really though. 

I think at times, we as humans are responsible for our misery with our unending hunger. It is wonderful to aim higher, It is important to tap into ones potential until we have exhausted our limits, but let us not let that keep us from being grateful. 

Because each time we achieve a step, our eyes automatically look higher and we begin yet again to ascend to that which we have seen beyond. But let it not keep us from being grateful for what we have achieved. 

l choose to be grateful, yes l am only human l will always complain, but looking down the road l have come. l should take several seats, stop making much ado about nothing, let go and let God.

Life as a Coffeeholic

Hello, my name is Cleo and l am a coffeeholic.

Caffeine completes me l swear.

Today l experienced that Aha moment, not that l did not know this already, but today was just special.

Being a lover of my own company l spent half of the day in bed with my kindle. I only stood up once for a cup of tea and a sandwich. Around five however, l suddenly remembered the shops were about to close and l still needed extensions fr my hair. So in the shower l hopped, slipped on my comfy leggings a blouse and my all-weather sweater.

PS* you need one believe me if you live under the German weather. Mine is an olive-green, neutral all-rounder color, suitable for all seasons. Light enough fr me to cope when its warm and warm enough for when the going gets cold.

Anyway, back to my coffee moment.

l made it to the city in thirty minutes max, got the extensions and fell victim as always to the Zara and H&M sale signs. Having spent a few bucks on some skinny jeans, one can never have enough of those now can they, l was ready to hit home.

It was at this moment that l spotted Backwerk across the street and remembered l had not had my coffee cut for the day. The minutes which then followed were bliss l swear.

Coffee in one hand, wind blowing through my hair, sun on my face. Gosh life has never been so perfect as that moment. Suddenly l swapped my resting bitch face with a big bright smile.  A spring came to my step and l was so happy.

This is the exact feeling l get when l sit at Starbucks, and take a sip on my coffee. Occasionally my eyes will close and l just linger on that high. l don’t mind the price, l am willing to fork out all my hard-earned cash for that Starbucks moment, and indeed l do.

Same feeling l get from that first cup at the train station while waiting for my connection. The world immediately goes still l swear, and for those few minutes l am at my happiest.

I don’t care if it is insane, l dont care if it is an addiction that has me licking out of the palms of its hands. I just know that l love my coffee.

Happiness in little things

Just the other day, someone expressed how there was such a tone of melancholy on my blog as compared to the person they see. To which somebody answered, yes that is also her. To which l will answer, yes that is also me. But mistake me not for sad.

My happiness is in the little things.

It is in that moment when l wake up and look out the window and behold the day unwinding with all its fresh things in store for me.

It is in that first sip of coffee as l stand on the platform waiting for my train.

It is in that morning train ride, kindle in one hand coffee in the other with all the familiar strangers in the train.

It is in that morning playlist that makes me start my morning closer to God.

My happiness is in the little things.

Those moments were l sit with my friends each engrossed in their own tasks but still sharing the same oxygen.

Those silent moments where the person l am with understands what l am saying without having to put it into words.

That one emoji my friends and l will see and be sent into spasms of laughter irregardless of time and space.

That smile you get when you look into the innocent eyes of a child.

It is all in the little things.

That heartfelt note left on your desk.

Those fresh flowers on a table.

That simple greeting or thank you.

The rays of the sun on your face.

The sound of your lover’s voice.

That compliment from your mother.

Every day, l find something to smile about, mostly in the little things.

So slow down, take a moment, look around you, and take it all in.

For happiness is in all the little things.