Archive for April, 2012

The Zen of Burg – 10 Steps To A Happier Me (Part 2)

April 19, 2012

Right, so if you’ve read part 1, you will know what this part 2 is about 🙂

6. The New Me, Same as the Old Me

Over the years the most noticeable things to disappear from my life were my smile, my laugh and my self-confidence. Finding a picture of me smiling from the last 7 years is about as likely as finding gold in a hobo’s dentures. Over the last few months, all of those missing elements have begun to return. A lot of it can be credited to my new work colleagues who have a very similar sense of humour to me, and they truly bring out the old me that I know so many of my friends once knew. I laugh more, smile more, and have the confidence to be the person I really am again.

The me at home is VERY different to the me out in the real world, and for the longest time, the real me stayed at home permanently. I wasn’t fun to be around, I could barely hold conversation with people without getting annoyed to the point of wanting to drown them in a small shallow bucket. I’m at my best when I am funny and witty. I love to make people laugh and lighten the mood. That’s my gift. I make people feel good. When I couldn’t do that, I felt incomplete, and quite honestly worthless. Now I feel I can walk into a room and light it up again if need be. I walk with an air of confidence again, I take pride in the way I dress. It’s certainly not like this 24/7 , but now I don’t feel like the short fat kid who has to sit in the corner at the school dance anymore. I’m the short fat kid who asks the prom queen to dance again.

7. Live for the moments.

I am the KING of the big gesture, I used to do so many epic things for people (yes, girls), to try and win them over and convince them of my awesomeness, 99.9% of the time it backfired and I often didn’t get so much as a thank you. Yet I didn’t learn, I kept doing it, because I enjoyed doing those things, but selfishly I wanted something back from it, even if it was just a thank you. Those sort of things can be so draining to both your heart and soul. The easy answer was I was doing it for the wrong reasons, or so friends would always tell me, but then when the next “target” came along, I would commit the same foul.

Over the last few months, a light switch finally went off in my head that allowed me to admit that I was doing it for the wrong reasons. However, and this is a big however, so take note. This does not mean I should stop doing it. I ENJOY the big gestures, the work or research (called creeping these days), that goes into a big gift, or heartfelt gesture, so why should I stop doing it? No, instead, I need to change the reasons as to why I’m doing it. I no longer expect anything in return. I do it now because to simply make someone’s day is good enough for me. It makes me happy. Whether it be friends, a love interest or a complete stranger. I like to show that romance and magical moments still exist. Now I live for those moments. The moment of telling a beautiful girl in the elevator that she is in fact a beautiful girl, then simply walking away with no further interaction needed. Sending someone flowers, anonymously or otherwise, simply to make them smile knowing that someone made an effort for them that day.

So be warned, you may in fact be the recipient of a #BurgMoment… when you least expect it, something good could happen to you. You may get flowers, you may get your lunch bill paid for, you may have a clowns show up at your office, you may get invited to an all-expenses paid holiday. There are so few genuinely good moments in life, that sometimes you have to make your own. I notice everyone and I’m happy to say these moments have already started happening… so you could be next!

8. Don’t Give a Damn about People Opinions, But Stand Up For Yourself.

I’d always been “too nice”, too nice to rock the boat, too nice to complain, and too worried about what people might think about me, didn’t wanna embarrass myself you know. I had my pride. (This was always a very strange contraction to my outside appearance, with my tattoos, piercings and clothing, I always seemed to attract attention. I had an aura about me that drew people towards me). This effectively led to me being screwed over way too often and always coming out with the short end of the stick.

Then something changed. It might have been the 5 years in the music industry that hardened me, or maybe that was just part of it. But somewhere along the line I became a bonefide badass. You didn’t mess with me. If I am in the right, I will fight till the bitter end to make sure I come out the victor. Customer services and banks around the country know this better than anyone. I don’t accept cr@ppy service, I don’t accept being spoken down too, and I don’t allow people to be bullied. I stand up for those who feel they don’t have a voice anymore. I’m still learning the fine are of not going too far with making a point, and admittedly, sometimes I do push it too far, but I blame all the pent up aggression I have inside me. However, I’m glad I have hardened the eff up. And you know what? I have gotten more freebies, gift vouchers, apologies, and service than I have even had in my life. Score a point to the little guy.

9. Open to Trying New Things

I have always been so stuck in my ways. As much as a free spirit as I am, it takes a lot for me to break out of my own personal mould. It’s always been frustrating for people, because if my mind is made up, there is no changing it. Ok ok, let’s just cut to the chase, I will finally admit it. I am stubborn, fussy and hard to please….wow, I can actually hear about 400 people collectively saying “I told you so”. But I do admit it, and this is what has led to a lot of arguments with friends. Lately however, I have been so open to trying new things. Whether it’s something simple like a food I hate that I’ve never actually eaten, or maybe going out somewhere I don’t like with friends just to be with friends, or heck maybe even the reverse cowboy…I more than willing to entertain new things in my life. Maybe it’s something that comes with age, I’m not quite sure…all I know is that the way I’ve been living wasn’t making me happy. Of course I do all this within reason, it’s not like I’m living the life of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll now simply because being sXe wasn’t working for me, however I am now open to that cocktail on the beach in Hawaii or that beer in Germany…

10. I am Awesome.

To steal a catchphrase from The Miz. I am awesome, and I need to keep believing that to survive this crazy ride through the rest of my life. I’m a good person, and so proud of that, because there are very few of us left. In a world that is getter meaner and crueller by the day, it is us few white knights who need to keep the hope alive; the hope of something better out there, something good and caring.

I take this role very seriously; I like to bring hope to people but in an honest way. That has always been the purpose of this blog, and my life. I have seen it all and been through more, and it’s these life lessons that give others strength. There may be a touch of arrogance to what I say, buy my life has never really been my own, and I finally understand that. My experiences, the tragedy and the triumphs are given to me because I can handle them. I live my life openly, and this blog has never been shy of revealing things that most people are ashamed of, but I do it so that if just one person can relate to it, it’s been worth it. I’ve always seen myself as a person who comes into people’s lives when they need me the most. I offer comfort when others cannot. People tend to trust me and share their problems with me, which while overwhelming at times (especially when it’s not something I can physically help with), is something of an honour.

As my blog approaches that magical milestones of 100,000 views, I’d like to take this time to thank #TeamBurg old and new for supporting me, for loving me, for hating me, for having a reaction to what I say. I write because I feel I have something to say, and I always encourage you to do the same.

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The Zen of Burg: 10 Steps to a Happier Me (Part 1)

April 19, 2012


The path to happiness is different for everyone. There is no hard and fast rule on how to get there, and of course, one person’s idea of happiness may leave another scratching their head. So each to their own I guess.
Now that all the clichés are out the way, I can get down to this blog’s real purpose.

It’s been a tough few months obviously, those who follow me have seen the drama first hand, as I’ve never held back sharing anything I’ve been through. Lately however, I’ve been feeling a permanent state of contentment, and seemingly happiness. It’s not happiness by definition though, there is still a lot of issues and drama I deal with on a daily basis, a lot of which would make most people give up on life, but for the first time I have found some balance in my life, and for a Libra, balance is VERY important.

As I sat back and thought about what exactly brought about this change in me during a very significant time in my life, I was (much to my surprise!) able to identify 10 specific reasons why I have this sense of calm over me lately.

1. Big Dreams, Smaller Steps

You all know about my obsessions. The New York deal, the being a writer deal etc etc, and I know most people are sick to death of me constantly talking about it. Well, have a think about it, and you’ll actually realize I’ve been very quiet about it for the last few months. Not because I’ve given up on it, but I’ve realized that every time I get close to it, someone moves the proverbial goal posts further away. My solution to this is to make smaller goals, but more of them.

To achieve my dreams, I need to slice up life into just a few more pieces, this helps to avoid such big disappointments. There will always be an end goal, but for now, I’m content to chase smaller dreams in the hope that they will all add up in the end.

2. New Job

Another thing that was well documented was my unhappiness in my old job, and the people I with whom worked. The simple solution was to walk away from everything I knew for the last 5 years and start again. A silly, not very well thought out decision, but one that had to be made. And now 8 months later I can honestly say I made the right decision.

I have a great job, in a great location, and work with some great people. People I get along with, can joke with, and more importantly, people who have given me a fair, clean slate. Instead of judging me on things I have gone through. It’s a wonderfully liberating feeling.

3. Traffic vs Train

One of the worst things about living in South Africa is the traffic. Well, not so much the traffic, but the idiots on the road who get away with the most shocking disregard to road rules you will ever see. On a daily basis this would anger me, fuelling so much rage inside that I would be tense and irritable all day long. It was bad… very bad. I would chase down taxis who cut me off, forced me off the road, drove in emergency lanes… it was making me a very angry and hateful person. Not in a racist way, as some people liked to blame it on black drivers in this country. I don’t care if you’re black, white, yellow or green. An idiot is an idiot. However I just didn’t like the person it forced me to be. Also, not having my own car was a downer.

Thankfully with the new job, and the recent implementation of the Gautrain (a public train system for my international readers), I was able to change my way of travelling, and I can honestly say, this was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s changed my view on life in a big way. I feel more carefree, more relaxed and most importantly, it now gives me time to appreciate people more. I’m a big people watcher. I love seeing how people react to situations and such. It also fools me into thinking I’m living a New York or London lifestyle, which keeps me content for the time being.

4.More Time for Friends, new and old; Less time for People who Make Me Feel Bad.

This was a very important thing for me, and hopefully something a few of you have picked up on too. I’ve made a genuine effort to speak to my friends more, and in fact try and see them more. In the last 2 months, I have seen more old friends than I have in the last 5 years. I say yes a lot more when people ask me out, or ask if they can visit, and in fact I encourage it.

I still have promises to a lot of people I very much intend to keep. I still have a few issues with transport and such, but they will come right soon enough. I’ve also been open to making new friends, something I had forced myself to become too cautious with over the last few years. Thankfully, I have made friends with some wonderful new people which has made my circle that little bit bigger. As for those who have added no value to my life, I have taken the Scorched Earth approach to them and snuffed them out my life completely without compromise. It’s best for both parties. No longer do I beg people to be my friend, because the truth is they probably never will be, if I have to do that. I have learned appreciation for my friends old and new.

5. More Accepting of Help

Ok, this has clearly been the toughest one. Through all my struggle I have always tried to handle things alone…often with disastrous consequences. I always felt so guilty about accepting help from friends, as if I had failed or let everyone down (which in some cases I have), but now if someone offers to help, and I need it, I take it with a thankful heart, and a promise not to abuse that trust. I’ve learned my lessons the hard way in taking people up on their offers, but now I understand what goes into gestures like that. I am so thankful to #TeamBurg and I couldn’t even begin to thank everyone by name for fear of leaving someone out. I would not be here today if it wasn’t for you guys, and I always appreciate the kind words you have for me, and the encouragement you send my way, even if at times I come across as a cranky old b@st@rd.

Stay tuned for the part 2 of this blog later tonight…