Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

State of The Burg Nation Address – Permanent Heartbreak & Zombies

October 10, 2012

A year ago I was sitting at home, unemployed, broke and no clue of what the future held for me. I was essentially happy. I knew I had a decent payout coming, a new job would find me, and I had high expectations that “next year would be different”.
So here we are….1 year later. What has changed?
The more I think about it, the more I get overwhelmed with a great sense of depression. It’s probably not the best time to analyse my life either, because I always get hugely depressed this time of year because of my birthday. And in two days time, when the day arrives, I’ll be forced to pretend I’m happy it’s my birthday, instead of having to explain to new friends and co-workers that I don’t celebrate it. So when questions and comments arise such as “what have you got planned” or “I hope you get spoilt” I will try and force a smile and come up with answers that don’t depress me even more.
Know me well enough, and know how I feel about the day.
I’ve been under tremendous stress lately, and really feel like it’s taking its toll. Health wise and mentally, its just overwhelmed me to the point where I feel my legs can’t even hold me up anymore.
The easy solution is I just need to take a holiday or go out with friends…

 

I’ve tried to avoid writing how woe is me, but I just don’t think there is any possible way to avoid it, and believe me, I don’t want to be THAT version of myself again.
A lot has changed over the last year, I know this to be true, and because I can see the difference I’ve made in my life, but the problem is, as I get older, I’m getting increasingly frustrated with the things that simply won’t change.
I gave the whole positive attitude thing a massive try. I made the effort with people, a big effort, but every disappointment I’ve had has resulted in a crushing punch to the ovaries. Which could possibly explain why I’m battling to even stand these days.
A friend and I chatted recently, and I call him a friend because of all the bullshiz we have gone through (and given each other), we still remain close. We spoke about the disappointment in people, and he pointed out that you literally can count the number of friends you really have one hand; the rest will always let you down.
What defines a genuine friendship though? We assign so much to that pedestal of friendship, that it becomes dangerous. Yes. Friendships are dangerous. I think this is why I try and avoid them.
However, over the last few weeks I seem to have fallen off the wagon and tried to believe in the romance of friendships…to my own detriment.
I’ve been accused of taking things too personally…which I do. Because friendship is the most personal thing there is. And if you can’t rely on the very basics of things like effort, commitment and honesty you, such as myself, will be in a permanent state of heartbreak.
And that’s exactly what’s wrong with me. I am in a permanent state of heartbreak. Probably for the last 30 years.
I recently reached out to a bunch of people I considered friends. I wanted to spend time with them, because I like them, and really needed to be around them to feel good about myself.
Scenario A, was friend I had messaged for years saying lets catchup, let’s get together, etc etc.. and she agreed that we absolutely would! She had recently returned from overseas and asked for me number saying we can finally meet up again. I let myself get excited about this prospect, and eagerly sent my details saying she must send me hers. About a month after that she finally did. Then we proceeded to organize a date and time. A Friday, lunch time.
As it got closer, I got more nervous, because people ALWAYS cancel on me…and normally just before the time. So about an hour before she messaged me saying she was running late but would be there about an hour after our original time.
That time arrived and she messaged me again could we do it in the evening rather.
I replied sure.
Then another message saying can we rather do it over the weekend, or the week after.
I replied sure…whenever you can fit me into your schedule.
She replied “Thanks! I’ll message you next week!”
That was three weeks ago. Nothing since.
The second scenario, just days afterwards, was another friend I had managed to track down who I hadn’t seen in over a year. We agreed on a dinner date for Wednesday last week.
On the Tuesday night I messaged her asking if we were all good for dinner the night after, she replied saying she was so sorry, she forgot and said we would have to move it to later in the week, but she would get hold of me to confirm. I still haven’t heard from her.
There are others… new friends, who I’ve tried opening up with, letting them into my life, becoming their confident, showing them that there is a better way of life in terms of happiness and love, only of course till they seem to get bored of me, and my romantic notion of how life should be, then going back to the crud that they think is happiness. I just don’t get it, and then people tell me that I will make someone very happy, or any girl would be lucky to have me…prove it.
These are not random events. This is how it ALWAYS is. Always. It’s impossible not to get heartbroken over these moments. They seem to shrug it off so easily, and to me it feels like I have no right to complain over petty little cancellations.

 

(I know there are those that will immediately say I never take them up on the offers to do something, or never asked them out etc, but lets be honest here, if I enjoyed your company THAT much, we would of already done something, so get over it, and get back to reading.)
I’m a good guy, I’m good company. I surely deserve better? I deserve chances…And screw all that “well if you think it’s going to go bad, it will go bad”…That is such a cop out answer, because what about when you think good? and you still get burned…
Sorry, that was a bit of a vent wasn’t it? Well…I feel better that its out, but my heart doesn’t.
Ah the heart…tell me, why do I even have this useless item in my body? And yes, I know it provides the basic function of living. But then…what if you are not living? I certainly don’t feel alive.
In fact, the only time I felt alive recently was that one week I spent it Cape Town. Because I actually felt like my heart did have a function. It’s possible I left it there though.
You know that girl I fell for? Well. What do I even say about that? I thought at least all the distractions and distance would help me not think about her as much. But the more we don’t chat, the more I fall for her. The more I don’t see her, the clearer I can see her. As I told someone yesterday…there is nobody else for me to push away while I focus on her…there are no dates…there is nothing physical…there is nothing…except what we both know. That there is “something” there and it hurts so much knowing we are not allowed to even try.

So every year, as my birthday approaches, I cannot think of anything other than how I’m getting older, lonelier and despite my best efforts, I may not get that chance at happiness and love. Despite everyone’s cliched pieces of advice, these are the facts. This is the reality.

I sit here in life’s limbo. Exhausted. Heartbroken. Functioning purely on some sort of Zombie instinct. The punches keep on coming, and the Universe is constantly beating the cr@p out of me, but I’m not staying down…and we all know, there is only one true way to kill zombie.

From Cape Town With Love

September 16, 2012

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It had been over three years since I had last visited Cape Town, and each time prior to this visit, my travels here comprised of nothing more than a “Friday work day, and a weekend for myself”…So when I planned on coming down this time, I planned a little more, and managed to turn it into a “five working day and weekend for myself” trip

Well, the work side of it certainly took care of its self and I ended up being so busy that my devious little plan to take some time for myself during those working days, simply just didn’t happen…however, that turned to be the biggest blessing in disguise.

My trip here was always two fold.

Firstly, I quite simply needed to breathe new air for a bit. Joburg was getting the best of me in so many ways, and I felt the anxiety settling in big time, I needed to get out for a bit, for everyone’s sanity.
Secondly, I wanted to test the waters in terms of working out the Cape Town office. As part of my overall smaller dreams bigger wins strategy, I wanted to see how effectively working out the CT office would prove. And lo and behold, I got probably about three times more work done in this week than I would of done back in JHB.

Most of my closest friends are down here and I’m glad I got to see them, some people really went out their way to make me feel welcome, and that goes so far in my book, If I couldn’t make it to where people where, they came and fetched me. Gestures of friendship are not lost on me, and I ensured that while I was down here I reignited my #BurgMoments lifestyle in full force, in fact I have setup several of these moments to take place after I leave this evening, in the hope that I will have left some tiny part of Burg magic in the City that has been so good to me.

Of course, the trip was not without its typical “pulling a burg” moments, which so often define my adventures, so if you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I’d like to share some of the highlights….
There’s nothing quite like a first day in a different city, as basic logic always seems to disappear and you seem to make the silliest of errors. Starting with my rental car…that took me 20minutes to start, because I couldn’t figure out how to switch on the damn ignition. So there I say quietly in my parking bay, trying not to look like a complete idiot, sometimes pretending to be on my phone with one hand, while the other frantically searched for some sort of switch or immobilizer that may be the trick to switching it on. Little did I realize, to start the car, it simply needed to be in gear. Pfff…technology.

That same night, I also managed to lock myself out the house, taking a walk down to KFC, and returning to the house only to realize I didn’t quite have all the keys I needed. I phoned a colleague who confirmed this to indeed be fact. As I waited calmly eating my chicken in the road, in the dark, and cold…she phoned me back with the genius idea of walking around the house and using the other door…which I had keys for.

One the Wednesday, I decided to take in preparation for my conference the next day, in order to see the venue beforehand and if it was walkable. I left with a colleague at about 5.30pm and took a breezy walk a few blocks down. Eventually spotting the conference centre from a distance, it was in fact walkable, but certainly not from the route I took, but happy with the fact that I know knew where it was, I headed back. Back where however, I’m not quite suite, as I didn’t realize I did not keep track of where I actually was. So what proceed was a looooot of walking to try and find my bearings. As the night got darker, and colder, I ended up being followed by a homeless man, swearing at me constantly for no reason. Ironically we would both make our way to the local homeless shelter, he was happy, I wasn’t. If anything, my walkabout took me to places I wouldn’t normally see, including the recent World Cup stadium . From there I made my way to the V&Waterfront shopping complex where I eventually was able to retrace my steps back to the home office. Now, ordinarily, a two hour getting lost walk is a great thing for me. However, because I had only planned on popping down the block and back, I had made the decision to wear my slip slops (sandals), the devastation caused by this decision is still being felt as I type this. I have no skin left on the top of my feet, and bubble blisters underneath them! I still walked to the conference the next day, and did several Km’s over the proceeded days, which each and every pair of socks being drenched in blood that poured out my feet. And let me tell you, there is nothing quite like having to peel a pair of socks off your feet and getting to do it all over again the next day.

There is one last story I would like to share with you…

You see, I knew coming down here I would see a lot of old friends, however, I didn’t plan on making a new one…but boy oh boy did I.

I’m pretty easy to get along with for the most part, but every now and again I find someone I connect with on the clichéd “another level”. I can generally sense these people immediately, and just know that there is something there that needs to be explored. Such was the case with the person I met purely by chance I guess. We didn’t really talk much as first, but there was something lingering there. Something that needed to be tapped into, which we did, and much like her; it was nothing short of beautiful.

We did lunch, we chatted so much, we had so many revealing conversations about things we both loved and desired in the world, however the entire time there was this cloud of finality hanging over over…I would be leaving soon and this was all going to be over way too soon. She said she wished I could stick around longer, which just made my heart jump with joy. I wished that too. But the reality of our lives could not turn this into anything more. As the days went on, in typical Burg fashion, I found myself falling for her more and more each day, but not just her, rather the way she made me feel, and believe in my own dreams and desires again. The whole scenario played out much like an extended version of Before Sunrise/Sunset.

We spent most of Saturday together, where I got to meet some people in her life, including the reality check of the husband, who is one of those seemingly nice guys who makes you immediately think “well, there’s no way I can compete with this guy”. Then you immediately think well, I was never in with a chance anyways. Not that there was a chance of anything of course, but its just the head games one tends to play with ones self.

He eventually had to pop out for a while, and finally I got to just spend some alone time with her, we walked back to her place, and as much pain as I was in from my bleeding feet, it just disappeared when I was around her. We fetched a few things from the house then headed back to the beach, quite prepared for another painful walk, I was so happy that we were just together, then of course, that feeling was quickly replaced with disappointment as the honk honk of her husband in the car shorted our trip as he arrived to give us a lift back. My heart sunk, but my fake smile and humour came to my defence…

As the universe would have it, I ended up being stuck with him for a few hours, while she went surfing…. So here we are, two men laying on beach towels getting to know each other. I realized there is never a right time to say “hey, I’m falling for your wife, so just wanted to make sure that’s cool with you”…, so I just sat there getting more and more miserable, but never showing it, and instead offering genuine conversation and polite to the bitter end.

When she did return from the surf, a ray of sunshine brighter than the day’s sun that was beating down on me, they decided to call it a day and invited me to join them for dinner. Knowing I just couldn’t possibly torture myself anymore, I made an excuse to leave, and that I had someone else to see, then headed back. I didn’t have other plans.

Selfishly, I kept hoping she would send me a message asking if I was ok, or thanking me for coming or even “apologizing” for leaving me alone for so long, but none of that came…until about 2 hours later when I got a Facebook message asking if I had perhaps taken her phone. She had lost it….of course. The universe just loves playing these jokes on me doesn’t it.

As I sit here now typing this, I can’t help but wonder, was that it? Was that all I would be allowed with her? And as thankful as I am for the unexpected friendship, I find myself consumed with thoughts of “what ifs”, if I had said something else, taken a chance, just done something out of the ordinary…would it have made a difference? Would it have made a fool of me? I just don’t know. But for someone who lives by the words “Live For The Moments”, this is one that is stapled to my heart.

I’m a romantic, i’m a dreamer, but im also a realist and I know exactly how this story ends. I don’t begrudge these feelings at all, and I know that if our paths are meant to cross again, they will, in this lifetime or the next.

The truth is, I could write about her for hours, but the rest of the memories will be for me. So all that is left to say is…

Thank you Cape Town…we will do it all again in December…

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

September 3, 2012

If I have one flaw…it’s that I can be quite contradictory depending on my mood. (If I have two flaws, the other is probably my humility)….

And if there’s something that a run of bad health and stress does to a person, it gives one perspective, and an appreciation for what and who is in your life, and subsequently, who is missing from your life.

Over the last few weeks I’ve found myself really searching for some sort of comfort in friendships. And in the great spirit of burying the hatchet, and extending the olive branch, I’ve tried to make peace with those friendships I’ve thought lost.

However, some instances have been a complete shock to the system, and here’s where the contradiction part comes into play.

I’ve always said that I don’t give a hoot (owl speak) about how people think of me, and that I will always continue to live my life by my rules (geez give me a leather jacket and motorcycle and I’m a 50s rebel). However, recently I found out that there are those I once thought of as friends just don’t like me (anymore).

Hold the phone….someone doesn’t like me???

I know right…that’s just madness.

Off course, I can’t leave well enough alone and pursued these now former friends to find some sort of reasoning.
This first told me that she felt that I had used her has some sort of experiment to entertain the “new me”, and that I was arrogant about my ways in doing so…which struck me as just plain old bizarre seeing as they all we did was meet up for a fruit juice one evening when she was in the country and reminisce about the old days, then say our goodbyes about an hour later. How very arrogant of me I guess…making the effort to see an old friend when they visiting the country sure isn’t what it used to be I guess.

The second I had seen often over the years, but we had had a falling out while back because she didn’t like the fact that I didn’t like advice she had given me…

I had in the meantime become friends with one of her friends, who I still chatted with. I often asked about our common friend but never got much response.

So I mailed my long lost friend saying I missed our pop culture chats and such. The reply I got back was certainly not what I expected. She went on to say how I spoke shiz about her and called her psycho to her friend. I confronted the friend and showed the chat history, which she immediately denied and then said this is all so childish and she doesn’t want to get involved. It went back and forth a little bit, but essentially, I became the odd man out, and it was clear that the friendship was over based on a lie and hearsay.

Now, why am I so bothered about not being liked? I know I can’t be liked by everyone, and I’m certainly not the easiest person to be friends with, but there is something that bugs me to the core about people who have the complete wrong opinion of me, or allow other’s to make up their minds for then.

I like to be liked, but when someone doesn’t I just can’t let up until I know why.

There has thankfully been some really good outcomes with some friendships that have been given a second chance, which gives me hope, hope that you will always have the people in your life you are meant to have, and that sorry does still mean something to some people.

Can’t we all just get along?

Sometimes, All You Need Is A Little Heartache To Feel Good About Life

May 7, 2012

An old friend once said to me, that I write about such heavy sh!t; but where would I find my inspiration once I have no more demons left?

I’m paraphrasing of course, but he was correct.

These last few months have produced so little writing, and for the longest time I was frustrated because I didn’t know why I couldn’t get inspired.

Then, suddenly I had the strangest of weeks. From losing friends, to making new ones, from seeing old friends in a new light, to seeing new friends in a familiar light…it’s been a week of epic proportions.

My emotions were off the chart for a number of reasons; and then, it all seemed to click. My emotions ARE what inspire me. I’ve created so many #BurgMoments for people lately that I was in fact at risk of going overboard!

When there is nothing going on in my life I am uninspired. So for all the contentment that I settle for, I sacrifice my creativity

To create, I need to be troubled. I need to be sad. I need unrequited love.

I didn’t and couldn’t understand this; I felt so guilty about feeling troubled when everything was suddenly going right. Like I was supposed to be thankful for what I had.

Over the last few months I couldn’t speak about this to anyone, because quite honestly nobody could understand it, nor would I expect them to, I guess. I didn’t have that one person who “got me”.

Recently two things have changed in my life.

I reconnected with my dearest friend, who I truly love to bits, because we are two sides of the same coin. The year or so that we drifted apart ripped a hole in me that I thought would never be repaired. But over the last few months, I’m happy to say I feel we have become closer than ever, and I know now with great certainty, that she will forever be the best part of my life, and I will work tirelessly to keep her in my life. She gives me perspective, and allows me my nuances that would quite honestly offend most of the population, because she is exactly the same. So to have you in my life Ray Ray, is my single greatest achievement I will have …um…achieved. I know you will read this, and I know you will understand way beyond the words I have used here. Ours is a friendship destined to be.

The time we spent apart was the hardest and loneliest time I’ve ever experienced, (and I’ve been through hell a number of times!), I strangely don’t regret it though; because I feel it’s made us realise what we really mean to each other.

The second person is someone I very much doubt will ever read this, and that’s perhaps a good thing.

It’s been a long, long time, since I have felt any sort of affection for a girl. I’ve had passing crushes, I’ve tried to flirt with old friends, but everything was so fleeting.

Now I find myself in a situation where I have found someone I am so comfortable liking, that everything feels right about it. When we talk we go from joking conversations to serious discussion without the awkwardness in between.

When she touches my hand, or stands close to me, I feel all my troubles disappear, even just for that moment. And those who know me know I am not a physical contact guy in the least.

We think the same things at the same times, we make the same jokes (which is so important to me), and I find myself wondering what she is doing right now as I type this blog.

But here’s the kicker.

This will never come to be anything more than this. My heart will ache because of this, but it will not fall to pieces.

I understand it’s not reciprocated, and for the first time in my life, I’m ok with this. It’s the strangest dichotomy.

It’s not one of those situations where “maybe” something will happen one day, it simply won’t. My line of ‘guys like me don’t get girls like her’ is in full effect here.

But for the first time in my life, when it comes to someone I find myself falling for, I am approaching it with my life motto of #LiveForTheMoments.

I am so happy when I’m around her, my heart beats a million miles a minute (yes, doctor friends I know that’s not how it works), she’s the sort of girl you could sit with in silence for an hour, and it would be the best hour of your life….well, unless we were being held captive like in a SAW movie, at that moment…but still, even with the torture going on, it would still be a pretty awesome time, just because I got to spend it with her.

Now each morning, I get up, with a smile on my face(book) because I know I will see her. I pack a good lunch because I know we will share it, and wear the good cologne because maybe, just maybe she will stand close to me…A guy can dream eh?

So to these two individuals, I say thank you, in your own ways, you inspire me in ways you will never know, you allow me to be who I am, and you bring out the best in me, most importantly, because of you I know who I am, and I feel complete. Demons and all.

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.

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…

Goodbye 2011…I Hardly Knew Ya!

December 26, 2011

The old saying goes, “What a difference a day makes…” but I’m pretty certain you can just as easily substitute it with a year.

That’s pretty much how I look back on 2011.12.26

Last year this time things looked so bright…After the most eventful year of my life, I was celebrating what I considered to hopefully be my last Christmas in this country, because my future looked so bright.

My employer at the time had turned down my voluntary retrenchment with the promise that they had big plans for me for the upcoming year, which included time overseas.

I was pretty well set financially, and I was at peace with everything and ready to pursue my new life and ambition.
As the year proceeded, those false promises became frustratingly clear, and for the next 8 months I was toyed around with unfairly, to the point where I realized there was no future where I was.

The year itself had been tough, with financial problems and being a victim of crime hitting me unexpectedly again, as usual, and the funds quickly started deteriorating. This wouldn’t have been a problem if said employer had actually come through on their promises about a change in my pay scale.

Of course, my plans for New York took several knocks, to the point of where I was getting so angry that everyone else was “stealing my idea” and making their way over there. Every time someone posted news or photos, it hurt me more and more. That’s how much I love that place.

Things went south very quickly. And as previously blogged, I decided to walk out on everything I had been doing for the last 5 years, because I had wasted the last year of my life.

The calendar year itself provided VERY few highlights, and of course, the last 4 months I have spent at home licking my wounds.

It pretty easy to pick out the two highlights of my year.

The first is very easy to pick out, as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for the last few years, and finally realized it since I had all this time to myself. In fact, I’m using it right now. I created myself, a man cave…or as I like to call it, the Burg Cave. It was fully completed this week, and I will post some pictures if I ever get a decent camera. It provides me with my own space to find inspiration again. It allows me to step away from my problems and sadness and find joy in the things that make me happy.

The crazy thing is, I haven’t had much human contact this year either, which is why the second highlight of my year is so important.

I finally saw an old friend of mine after 20years. We had a good dinner and watched a movie. One of the most simple things two people can do together, and it meant so much to me, because I don’t have THAT person in my life that I can do that with. She has always been one of my favourite people, and great company, so I’m glad I finally got the chance to see her again after all these years. The timing probably wasn’t great because it was a month before my pending unemployment, and of course the lack of income (and automobile), is a bit of snag, but I would like to take the time to thank Kim for being so patient and understanding in our new found old friendship. I can’t wait to see you again.

So that’s it. Two single highlights in a year that will be considered an utter disappointment, and a wasted year overall, some by my doing, but a most through the selfish actions of others.

I won’t even delve into the lowlights of my year, because that’s a story for another time.

It’s hardly surprising of course, 11 is my unlucky number, and for the last few years, I believed my untimely demise would arrive on 11/11/11.

It didn’t…and now I hope to make 2012 something special, and its starts with finding a new job, finding the confidence in myself and my talent again, putting in an effort with my friends, even if it means doing something I’m not used to doing. And hey, maybe I’ll even get some nookie next year.

The nookie, the what, the nookie, the what, it’s all about the nookie!

So good riddance 2011.

50 Primary School Memories – Especially for my BAPS clique

July 7, 2011

A while back i wrote a blog called ” A Burg Never Forgets, where i looked back at 50 childhood memories. What proved most popular was the memories from Primary School. Birch Acres Primary School in fact. It was the best time of our lives. I would like to revisit it here…the first 23 items are taken directly from that previous blog for those who missed it, and then i’ve added a bunch more…I guess this really is for that group of us that remember those days…I hope some of the below things stir up some memories (mostly good!).

Birch Acres is, the dearest name
The School that we love best.
We learn to work, with zeal and zest
and strive to do our best…
(ok it went something like that)

1) In grade two, we went to the zoo on a field trip. A group of us got hidings from Miss Du Plessis for stretching too far over the crocodile wall.
2) A bunch of friends once rode to my house on their bicycles, one of them called out “shaunie, fatty, come out and play”…my mom raced ahead of me a ripped into the kid and proceeded to tell him how fat his whole family was. I didn’t get to play with them.
3) I won our church fundraiser darts competition when I was just 12. I beat out the adults too.
4) I fell off the goal posts and broke my arm in std 5. I hid it for a few days, but when I had to glue a project together in class, everyone found out.
5 ) The opening line to my headboy speech in Std 5 was “Where we are going, we will no longer be a Big fish in a small pond, we will now be small fishes in big ponds”
6) During our Cape Town tour of 1990, I bought a nudie pen. You know the one you turn upside down the clothes fall off the girl on the pen. I sold it before the tour ended.
7) On the first day of that same tour, some kid through my old buck gin hat into the toilet. It was so embarassing I didn’t wear it for the rest of the tour.
8) My first best friend was named Ryan.
9) In std 1, I took gift bags to school for my birthday. My mom made me give the girls she didn’t like the worst toys. I remember having to give someone a …thimble.)
10) When I was named headboy in primary school, I got kisses from all the previous year’s female heads and deputy heads. Older women score!
11) In std5 we made perspex knives. Why I have no idea.
12) In Std 1, I earning praise from my teacher Mrs Holgate because I knew that Margaret Thatcher was called The Iron Lady.
13) The guy who first got me interested in my lifelong love for tennis was a guy named Stephen Budge. Possibly related to Don Budge.
14) One of our end of terms movies during primary school was The Secret of Nimh
15) We once had a fun fair at our primary school. I got sick on the spinning teacups because I had a whole packet of sherbet before I went on.
16) There was nothing better than spaghetti bolognaise from the tuck shop in primary school.
17) During leadership camp in Std 4, the song we all had to rehearse to was “We all stand together” …also known as the frog song.
18) At that same leadership camp, a boy named stephen snuck a drag off a teachers cigarette when he left it balancing on a chair.
19) I cried like a baby when I was announced as head boy. A guy named Allan asked me a few weeks later if I cried because my dad wasn’t there or if I was happy. To this day I still don’t know the answer.
20) At a birthday party I won a dance competition. It was legit judging too, because the host’s older sister and her friends judged. Older women score #2!
21) I was the tins in the bin champion for 2 years running. Tins in the bin is exactly was it sounds like.
22) In std 5 we once has to wear togas to a roman theme function. I flashed two girls. I know who they are, but I’m sure they don’t remember. Guess I made zero impression!
23) I got punched in the face by a bully from a visiting school in 1991. I didn’t drop…but I did take a martial arts stance immediately afterwards ….even though I never had a single lesson.
24) During night time functions, a few of use head prefects and prefect would disappear behind the school (close to the netball courts) and make out behind the building. I strangely always volunteered to be the lookout.
25) My friend David and I completed the longest long division sum known to man mind.
26) I was once so sick with hepatitis that I threw up on the corridor
27) We use to do crazy stuff like try and jump as many stairs as possible, or swing from the roof and try and catch onto the next roof railing
28) We once had “tunnel of horror” underneath our school stage during a fete one year. I scare a kid with a werewolf mask and she kicked me in the shins.
29) A guy named Richard once brought a nudie mag to school. Best. Day. Ever.
30) One day I didn’t do my homework and the teacher got made with me and asked me why. I simply said “because my dad died last night”. He came and picked me up and carried me to the office while I wept like a baby.
31) There was this other guy named Richard who always used to threaten to jump off the balcony whenever he was in a bad mood or someone teased him.
32) We used to get Yo Yo experts and mini soccer ball experts come to a display for us, then every one would try and do tricks for like the next month.
33) My friend Ryan’s mom had the coolest job in the world. She used to work for Beacon sweets, and he’d always bring the most amazing sweets to school.
34) King Stingers used to be the most awesome lunch time sport ever.
35) We all went to Gold Reef City once, but I don’t seem to remember much working. I did fall off a Penny Farthing though.
36) My cousin came to our school for about a year. During our sports day, we were so busy talking we didn’t hear the gun go off for our race, and when the told us, we just started running on the side lines.
37) Happy Acres was the most fun ever.
38) There was an awesome game the boys played, I forget the name, where we used to try kick each other’s feet, and if connected the guy was out, if you missed you had to stay in that stance. It was all very technical.
39) There were only two mail Library prefects in Std 4. I was one of them. I loved the library.
40) I used to love high jump practice, shot put, and long jump.
41) Marbles was a huge craze for us, and we used to try knock down pyramids, play eyenies and all sorts of bizarre games…schoolyard rules applied.
42) I still have the book prizes I won, they were the most awesome books ever.
43) I used to hate choir practice, but always loved the school plays. I of course played a wrestler one year. I wore a speedo and painted my face like The Ultimate Warriors
44) Sometimes the most fun you could have was just rolling down the embankments.
45) A guy named Scott was on TV in the advert for the opening of Pick n Pay Steeledale, he road up to the empty warehouse on his bicycle. Everyone thought he was cool after that.
46) The aforementioned guy named David had he parents appear on a game show called Telly Fun Quiz…
47) Sometimes at break I would play Gummy Bears with Paula and JoAnne and we’d bounce around like gummy bears.
48) In grade one there was a cute girl with the longest blonde hair id ever seen, and she had thoroughbred shaggy dogs…I wonder what ever happened to her…anyone remember the name?
49) The best part of being a prefect was getting to sit on the chair on the side of the hall or outside while assembly was going on.
50) I still see my primary school friends as the best friends I ever had. There was something magical about our year and the year before us.

and a special mention to when the school nurse used to visit and the boys and girls were seperated and sent to the sick room. We had to strip down to our underwear, and turn and cough.

*awkward silence*

Return Of The Burg – A blog that will enlighten and enrage

June 21, 2011

As a people observer, it’s always fascinating to me to watch how people react to something that’s perceived as out of the norm.

Do they overreact and panic? Do they become more casual than normal? Or do they simply take time to assess what’s going on and react accordingly.

I recently decided to take time away from everything and everyone. The blog, social networks and the cyber world at large I stopped cold turkey.

I didn’t go anywhere…I got up and went to work as per normal. For everyone who saw me on a daily basis, it was business as usual.

However, on the social network’s there was panic!
People were concerned I had done something stupid! I had decide to cash it all in!

There was a flood of emails, wall comments and BBM messages.

In truth nobody picked up a phone to see if I was “ok”, wait I lie…someone did, but they had an old number from before I got hijacked, so they are excused.

There were those that didn’t notice, and those that didn’t care.
It’s ok, people have their own lives. I understand that.

My choice to step away from all things online was a very deliberate choice. Maybe it was a lethal cocktail of burnout, pressure and just being totally sick of the fakeness of it all.

People annoyed me. They still do.
But I’ve all but turned into a hermit, so it’s not unexpected.

I’ve never hidden away from the openness of my life; I’ve always shared everything with you guys. Good, bad and controversial.

However for once, I needed to totally close myself off from opinions and advice.
I needed to take in and deal with the stress of the world, the tragedies I was dealing with and the frustrations that have me hanging on the edge.

There was a lot I could share with everyone to help them understand what was going on. But most of it was not my story to tell…not yet anyways. (when its turned into a thrilling tv land miniseries, then everyone will know)

My work has become my sole focus.
It’s my home away from home.
It’s my substitute of inspiration.
It’s my ticket out of here.

I’m now at a point I’m comfortable in my position and direction at work, that I feel the wheels are in motion for my future.

With that I feel ready to focus on other aspects of my life.

My New York trip will happen. Solo it seems. Unfortunately my “deserving partner” did a disappearing trick of her own and only decided to sms me several months later to see how I am. It always hurts when it feels like i’m chasing after someone to be my friend or to be liked. Taste of my own meds one might say.

I’ve seen the worst of life these last few months, I’ve taken a beating emotionally. I’ve made life harder on myself and I’ve fought the good fight.

However, I do feel ready to step back into life and try something different, because Lord knows the last few years haven’t worked.

My blogs will return to the focus of observing people and the world in complete honesty. I will offer my thoughts on topics most people shy away from, but i’ll always keep it honest, even at the good chance of being completely disliked.

I guess I’m more open to change now. More open to experiencing life. But ultimately more understanding that people will let you down, they will over promise, they will say things just because they think it’s the right thing to say, but in the end they do all these things because they are human, who am I to judge them because of that?

….well I am The Burg…and I’m back!

The Burgies: And the Winner is…(Part 3)

March 13, 2011

And we’re back for the final part of this year’s 1st annual Burg’s World Awards where the most prestigious awards of the year continue to shock and surprise us.

However, due to time constraints, last night we handed out several award for technical achievements, please join us in congratulation the following award winners –

I Don’t Have The Guts To Ask You Out On A DATE Date Award – Kayan Amira Leung

If I Was Just A Little Bit Younger Award – Farah Barry

I’d Do Pretty Much Anything For You, Even Though You Don’t Know I Exist Award – Kriya Gangiah

You Might Actually Know More Than Me Award – Brennan Babb

Why’d You Have to Go And Get Married Award – Paula Fehrsen

The Impact Award For Outstanding Contributions – Susanne Weber

Best International Friend Award – Gordon Brown

*ad break*

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome our next presenter – Angelina Jolie.

Angelina Jolie – “Hello. There are millions of starving children all around the world, and we are spending time handing out these awards? For every winner tonight, I will adopt and African child…Ok, let’s get this over with. The nominees for the I’m Not So Secretly Attracted To You, And This Freaks You Out Award are”

Ika van der Vyver – There are few people I admire as much as this lady. A true icon in Burg’s World, she continues to set the trend for self empowerment as well as self improvement. How can that not be attractive to a guy? She is pure class.

Loshanee Moodaley – Beauty, ambition, wit and legs that kills. Yup, those boxes are all ticked. Which ironically are the same four boxes that put her WAY outta my league. But a man can dream…and most every night its of her.

Paula Fehrsen – multiple nominee already tonight, I keep thinking to myself….time machine…

Thamashni Naidoo – Gorgeous, pop culture savvy and sexy as hell. Her milkshake truly brings all the boys to the yard…and those boys would all beat the cr@p outta me before they let me close enough to every stand a chance.

Special write in entry Lori Jones – despite history, I will always think she was THE one. End of story.

And, the winner is…Loshanee Moodaley!!!

*ad break*

Please welcome your next presenter…Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson – “This is perhaps the creepiest category known to man….and if anyone knows anything about creepy…it’s me. Hey sugar tits, slow the prompter down so I can keep up. Here are the nominees for the I Know We’ve Never Met, But I Really Like You…A Lot Award

Farah Barry – she is so innocent it blows my mind. In a world where there is so much wrong, she brings a smile to my fave with the way she enjoys the simple things in life. I hope her view on life doesn’t change as she gets older, because she is a breath of fresh air in life.

Romi Moondi – In my dream world…she fits perfectly as the missing piece of my puzzle of perfection. Realistically she is the one person I will never meet in life, which I suppose is for the best as if we did…the world might explode.

Shaheema Barodien – People have told me that the only person I would ever be happy with, is a female version of myself. And hopefully she doesn’t read this and go jump in front of a buss, but she is the closest thing to the female version of myself. I have the utmost respect for her work, and like to poke and prod to test her tolerance, which I think annoys her immensely…but its like when someone pulls your pigtails in nursery school…

Aletia Naidoo – a mystery unto herself. This is what perhaps makes her to so attractive to me. There is so much I will never be able to understand about her, but so much I want to know. I hope I will get the time in this life or the next. Her beauty on the outside is matched only by the beauty of her soul.

Sheetal Magan – I watch her from a distance. Not literally of course…(that’s a different award), but her passion is a flame which will never be extinguished. The relationship she has with the people in her life is pure and honest, as she seems to be.

And the winner is…Shaheema Barodien!!!

*ad break*

Ok folks, here to present the final award of the evening is the man himself…The Burg!

Wow…what an evening it’s been. Thank you to everyone who has endulged me this evening. I love and appreciate having you all in my life no matter how close we are. There are those that don’t even know the impact they have had on me. We may not talk, or hang out, or even see eye to eye. But I am who I am because you are who you are.

Now I’d like to present the final award of the evening. …

The Burg Lifetime Achievement Award

Paul & Angelique Elliott – this two people have seen me at my worst, at my best and at my burgest. They have never judged, always offered a hand and a heart when I never knew how to ask. I am so happy that they seem to be happy in life, and the only reason I don’t know this for sure is because of my own laziness. I will make the effort to be a better friend to both of you.

Simone Ka-Ling Ho – Wow, so much has been said already. I mean every word of it, and now double so. I have turned down many an invite, and you still continue to be such a good friend to me. A lesser person would of walked away a long time ago. Of all the clouds up there in the sky, you are my favourite one.

Natasha & Stephen Prior – From boss, to tennis opponent, to friend. Two of my favourite people in the world. Supportive even at the darkest of times, they always seemed to have faith in me. Through my craziest comments, to my brutal honesty, they never once saw me as anything other than a friend. I cannot wait for you to come home. I need that energy.

And, the winner of the first ever Lifetime Achievement award is….Natasha & Stephen Prior!!!

That’s a wrap folks, congrats to all the winners, and thanks to my celeb friends for helping make this ceremony a success….see you again next year! Or whenever it seems appropriate to do this again.

See you at the Afterparty!