Posts Tagged ‘south africa’

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…

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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…

The Truth Shall Set You Free

July 26, 2011

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of myself with my idol, Bret The Hitman Hart -one of the happiest moments of my life. However one person commented saying “you could’ve looked slightly more excited.” I was actually offended by the comment. I don’t really smile anymore, and I by no means have a big toothy Cheshire cat smile, however this was the happiest I’ve been in years. I don’t smile anymore. You won’t really find pictures of smiling.

I’ve mulled over that comment since it was said, and with the events of the last few weeks, the one question that I keep asking myself is, what makes me happy?

I’m not happy, I haven’t been for the longest time. I have fleeting moments where thing are tolerable. But nothing more than that.

My life has been a constant struggle and the truth of the matter is the sadness has engulfed me.

It’s very difficult to explain, and when I do try, I get copious amounts of advice about how things can’t be that bad, or how things will turn around, or that there’s something out there waiting for me. All words which people feel they should say to help “keep my chin up”.

Honesty has always been a very important part of my blog (and my life), and right now I’d life to address three aspects of my life namely Life, Love & Career.

Life

I’m tired…Of everything. I can’t do it anymore. Not the way I’m living it anyway. I get so many people making suggestions as to what to change in my life, but they don’t know the truth, and they don’t know the pressure I deal with while constantly having to keep my depression in check.

I can’t deal with the repetition. From coming home and having to hear the same stories about how the dog pee’d on the potplants or what the neighbours did, to hearing the same jokes from the same people.

I can’t deal with this country, the government, the strikes, the shortages, the service, the delivery, the lack of educated people.

I can’t travel on the roads anymore. I can’t deal with the complete arrogance and apathy towards the rules of the road. It’s bad. Real bad. It’s the wild wild west out there.

There are so many people that tell me that I must be thankful for what I’ve got, but the truth of the matter is I’m not. Their idea of happiness is a 9-5 job with an income, a house with 4 walls and a family. That’s not my idea of happiness. I believe there is more out there for me. Please don’t get me wrong, if this is what makes you happy, then good for you, you’ve found your element of happiness, but please don’t try and convince me your way is my way.

I can’t fake a smile, and laugh anymore. People have started to notice too. I fear I’m becoming bitter towards the world.

Love

I am so lonely. Unbelievably so. Being a 33yr old guy without a partner, lover, girlfriend is hard. (That’s what she said.). I’m so tired of people saying that “when the time is right”, “she’s out there”, “it’s better to be single” you know, all the clichéd comments. Most times they come from people who are trying to tell you they’re not interested in you so don’t even try, or they are somebody who is constantly moving from “The one” to “the next one”.

The truth is, there’s a very good chance I will be alone forever. It happens to people. You’re only trying to convince yourself when you keep telling me I’ll find someone. Stop.

There are people I’m interested in. They know it (some are probably trying their best to avoid it too). But I come with so much baggage that it’s over before it can go anywhere.

I’m not saying I’m looking for my soul mate, not by a long shot. I just wish I had someone to share my dreams and desires with. Someone I can spend time with, someone who makes me feel like a human being physically. Yes, I said it, I would like to knock boots with someone. I need to feel something in my life. And feeling wanted and desired is a massive hole (that’s what she said) in my life.

I’m so tired of serving my time in this world alone. There are so few people who truly understand how lonely and alone I am. I wish someone would show interest in me, realistically. I can’t be anything other than what I am.

It’s just that i think fighting this battle and chasing the dream would be that much easier and more believable with someone by my side.

Career

I’ve been working non stop since the month left High School in 1996. My movement from one vocation to the next has been well documented. I’d never spent more than a year and a half at a particular job, and constantly found myself wanting to move on to the next challenge. It’s those facts that make my 5 year term at my current job such an anomaly. I love what I do, always have, but the time has come to move on. I won’t go into detail for obvious reasons.

I’ve been dealt a hand that has forced me to play the role of husband, home owner, and provider. This saddens me every day that my life is slipping away without ever having the opportunity to make selfish decisions.

Being the sole bread winner taking care of a parent, a house, replace things that break, need to be fixed and debts that aren’t mine is a task I’ve been doing for the longest time. I just can’t do it anymore. When I tell people how much I earn, their first words are “how do you survive??”

Surviving is easy. I’ve done it my whole life. But I need to live.

I always felt my job would be my key to getting out. Out of this life, this country, this personal hell that saddens me a little more every day. I’ve given everything I have to it. The truth is, its not going to give back.

I get it. I’m just a spoke in the wheel. I will never be the wheel itself.

Sometimes I feel live I’ve given up on what make’s me ME. I’m a creative soul who needs to be inspired, and for a while now I feel like I’ve locked that part of me away.

These are the realities of my life. I know a lot of what I said above will anger people. There will be those who once again dispense advice and attempt to get me to stop feeling sorry for myself. They will say they understand. They will mean it.

All I know is I’m the loneliest and saddest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m making hard decisions every day of my life.

We all know what my dream is, but I fear I won’t survive long enough. So until then…the idea of finding a cabin in the woods to be alone in, you know to grow my beard and write my books, is a pretty decent second choice.

What’s in a name? Well it depends how it’s spelt…

March 9, 2011

It’s safe to say I’m getting progressively crankier in my old age…I don’t deny this. There are a lot of day to day things that irritate me…some more than others, but there is one thing that never fails to get me seething just at the mere sight of it.

My name is Shaun Myburg. (Burg to my friends.)

I’ve always had a big problem with my name being spelt wrong. The most common mistake is Shaun being spelt wrong…or an extra “h” being thrown onto the end of my surname…when people assume I’m Afrikaans.

Sure it happens. It’s no big deal right?

Well, when your entire career (and future career) depends on the cachet of you name…it’s darn important.

Ever since I was a kid, I was lucky enough win competitions on a regular basis, which by proxy, meant my name appeared in magazines or newspapers for the whole country to see. I loved that feeling of seeing my name “in lights”…it always just felt right.

It was a naturally stepping stone for my name being on a byline or in film and TV credits. I was a star in the making…ok…ego aside, who doesn’t get a rush from seeing their name in print? After all, that’s why we all Google ourselves these days.

That being said…every time there was a misprint of my name in the paper, it was equally there for the world to see…

A double edged sword if any.

All through school, when certificates were handed out I loved seeing my name spelt in that almost-old-English-font for achievement in this or that. I cleaned house in primary school with certificates, but as High School came around and my personal life took a tumble, the certificates stopped coming.

In fact, through my 5 years of High School, there was only one certificate I ever got…however it was a big one.

You see, I had the pretty remarkable record of never missing a single day of school. EVER. Despite everything I went through, I always went to school.

So come the end on my 12 year schooling career, I was to be acknowledged for a PERFECT attendance record. Some may be impressed, and others may think it’s the nerdiest thing ever…well newsflash, there were only two of us who got that certificate, and neither of us were anywhere close to nerds.

At the awards evening, when my name was called, it was all slow motion as I walked up on stage to receive this mark of achievement. In my head there was a standing ovation, there were people chanting my name and there was a beautiful girl awaiting to hand me my award. Of course, none of those existed in reality, but there was that piece of paper that made it all worth it.

I collected it, flashed my million dollar smile to the paparazzi and made my way back to my seat.

Then it all came crashing down as I noticed not just my first name, but also my last name were spelt wrong on the certificate.

So my 12 years of schooling is perfectly captured in that incorrectly spelt certificate.

The years that followed had their moments of frustration.

Like this one time when I was working at a computer expo for my late cousin, and the name tag they had printed out for me read

Shawn Mabuna

Every person who came to my stand asked my about my strange surname (especially for a white guy living in South Africa…). Of course I spend the whole time explaining it was a major typo instead of actually getting any business for our company.

As I entered the corporate world, things became even more tense.

From computer login names to my email address, EVERY first day was met with an incorrect spelling of something or the other.

On the first day I starting working at one call centre, they had a digital display board that not just had the stats of how many calls were answered, holding and dropped, but also a welcome message for the new staff…which would have been cool if it didn’t read: “Welcome to new staff members Sahun Myburg”….I was called Sahun for the rest of that day.

When my film, TV and print career eventually took flight, I became even more pedantic about having my name spelt right. This was easier to manage as it’s an expected concern within these fields. And thank you lordy lord, my name is correctly spelt on IMDB!

In my current job, I’ve been here for 5 years, so there’s really no excuse for spelling my name wrong in emails.

It still happens though.
I hate it, and speak up about it, which probably makes people think “geez, relax guy its just a typo”…but after working with someone with 5 years, there’s really no excuse to spelling their name wrong in an email or document…right?

I’m very protective over my name…because one day I do believe it will be a brand. It may just be a pipe dream…but it’s really my most valued asset.

Burgsworld: The Essential Collection – Part 3: Surviving Love & Life

February 28, 2011

Welcome to the third and final partof The Essential Collection. This selection of blogs recollects the blogs that shocked so many people. From skeletons in my closet to details of the tragedies i have faced (and avoiding several of my own from suicide to being hijacked). These all took so much out of me, and opened myself up to a LOT of criticism. However, it also provided a lot of people with solace in their own lives. From dealing with abuse, or feelings of inadequacy, or even surviving a tragedy of their own, there were so many of you who contact me to thank me for being “brave” enough to write the words i did, and for that I will always continue to be honest in my words.

Part 3.1: Surviving Love

My 100th Blog post: XoXoXo – My Feelings on Hugs & Kisses
My 100th blog turned into something a bit heavier than I was planning on. My feelings on getting physical.

“Hey didn’t I see you out with a hot girl last night…?”
Yes you did. I still like her, but we haven’t seen each other since this day

The Dating Dilemma – An Anatomy of My Love Life
An expose into my current love life situation. It’s explosive…if somewhat embarrassing.

Back then we called it Charming. Today they call it Stalking
I’ve always been able to find out everyone about someone I knew nothing about…now it just seems a tad creepy.

I Fell in Like Last Week…
Pretty self explanatory right?

Burg’s Laws of Attraction – A Tale of Sex and Romance
Exactly what kind of girl gets my attention? Who am I most likely to pick out of a crowd? The answers may surprise you.

The Trouble With Love

Yeah, I’ve been in love. A few times in my life. This is one such time, and as usual…I was love’s beeyatch.

The Contenders – Take A little piece of my heart now baby…
I love the feeling of having a crush on someone…sometimes a few people at a time. This was a list of the 15 women I was crushing on a few months ago. As of today only 4 remain of that list (with a few new ones of course) The Columnist, The Newbie, The Girl and The Muse.

I Just Landed in NYC!!! A Look at Love, Sex, and Friendly Relations
Without a male influence in my life, my view on love and sex is somewhat…skewed.

The Guy with The Awesome Personality
OF course guys have body issues. I swim in a t-shirt for a reason. This is the blog guys don’t want you to read.

Dude, babe at 9 o’clock giving you the eye…
My original thoughts on signals girls give off…they clearly haven’t change much over the years.

The Little Green Guy (no not mini Hulk)
I’m a walking contradiction when it comes to love and friendships. This could be due to my bipolar disorder I’m sure….

Part 3.2: Surviving Life

You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry….

A terrible year in my life started off with a mugging…

Rich Burg, Poor Burg: A story about Money

The Riches to rags, to riches story of ….me.

How to leave a job – The Burg way…(Part 1) How To Leave A Job – The Burg Way (Part 2)
A classic two part blog covering almost 13 years of my life and the jobs I loved and left. A favourite amongst former colleagues.

What Would The Neighbors Think? (Part 1)

A deeply draining blog that reveals only a portion of the things that have happened in the house of Burg. I will come back to part 2 eventually.

High School Confidential: Part 1 – NEVER FAIL!
For the first time I revealed the pain and darkness I had to deal with while trying to survive school. Including the details behind my own brother’s suicide.

High School Confidential: Part 2 – When It Rains, It Pours
Part 2 of the hardest blog I ever had to write. The secrets continue to be revealed.

Hey, remember that time I tried to end it?
Yup. Another suicide story. This time I think we got the answers we wanted.

The One With All The Birthdays (Part 1) The One With All The Birthdays (Part 2)
Finally everyone understands why I hate my own birthday. A selection of the worst birthday’s I’ve had to endure.

A Normal Day in South Africa..
The day I got hijacked and lost the last remaining iota of love and respect I had for this country I’m stuck in. I have not been the same since.

—————————–
So that’s it…after 100 blogs, I’ve picked out the best of the best. Did I leave of anything you would of liked to have seen here? My book will expand on so many of these topics, and fill in a lot of blanks i have deliberately left out in some stories. I hope you will continue to support my work, because I really do believe these are the blog that helped me define who I am as a writer, and for the first time…I’m excited and confident that this is what I am meant to do with my life.

Burgsworld: The Essential Collection – Part 1: Rants & Opinions

February 23, 2011

My original plan for my 100th blog was going to be a retrospect of my 10 favourite blogs over the last two years.

That failed to happen for a number of reasons, mainly that I couldn’t choose between so many important blogs, but the idea sorta evolved, and whilst I’m working on the draft for my book, I realized that my blogs could easily be used to tell my “story”.

What I’d like to share you now is a retrospective of what I’ve written, how the blogs came about, what the aftershocks were and a few other fun facts.

They are not in any sort of chronological order, but will be something that will benefit new readers to my blog who don’t know where to start, as well as those who maybe missed something, or would like to revisit a blog they last read ages ago.

This will be a three part retrospective piece broken into different “categories” for lack of a better term

I proudly present to you – Burgsworld: The Essential Collection.

Part 1: Rants & Opinions columns

You know what I Hate? (The 3rd in a series)

I’ve always had a phobia about public toilets, and a severe case of “stage fright”, combined it made a perfect entry into my You Know What I Hate Series.


You know what I hate…(the 2nd in a series)

Driving on our roads is dangerous enough, but through in our street vendors and you have a new entry into this series.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
Am I gay? Or just a nice guy? Throw in a strip club story and I’ll tell you…

Did I ever tell you about…
Ever heard the same story one too many times? I have…

Me & My Mug – A Love Story
The blog that made me a global phenomenon, got featured on the WordPress homepage, and turning me into the third fastest growing blog on WordPress, Ladies and Gentlemen – the blog you want to be turned into a movie.

Movies Ruined My View On Life
I hate movies, but only because I love them.

10 Reasons I Hate Going to The Movie Theatre-Slash-Cinema
There are many reasons I avoid going to the cinema, but you only need to know 10.


Alexander Graham Bell Ruined My Life

I hate the telephone, and now you know why.

Five Rules To Surviving An Office Kitchen
Another one of those blogs that everyone can related to. Yet nobody seems to do anything about.

5 Reasons I hate South Africa & South Africans
This is the blog that almost turned me off writing forever. In fact no blog has stirred up as much emotion, hatred and debate as much as this piece, which is ironic as I still haven’t actually finished it. The comments continue on a daily basis.

——————————
So that’s Part 1, What do you all think? Any favourites? Any blog you feel should be revisted or expanded upon?

Happy New Year…Let’s Make Some Memories?

January 5, 2011


I gave a hobo 3 grand this morning.

….it was the most selfish thing I’ve done in a while.

Why? Well because I wanted to give him R10 000….but the atm would had a limit of R3000, and I felt that was more than enough for my experiment.

You see I did it for my own reasons…I wanted to see if I was the kind of person who could do that. (yes I know he probably bought R3000 worth of liquor)

Having come into a lot of money recently (I earned it the hard way in truth), I have been testing myself lately. Would money mean more to me than it used to?

I have learned the value of money, having lost everything and not even being in a position to buy a can of cooldrink if I wanted to tends to teach you a very hard life lesson.

I’ve been ok financially this past year, except for the odd unexpected expense.

But after losing 4 of my 9 lives in 2010, the year ended with promise….or rather a promise to myself.

I want to do good things with my life. I want to do good things for people, because that’s what makes me happiest…BUT….people need to be deserving of this.

Some people might be thinking I have a God complex, and I guess they wouldn’t be wrong (the controversial part of me wants to say God has a Burg complex)…but I do things because I can.

Looking through my material positions, I have everything I want. Except – a collection of happiness. I don’t have pictures of me smiling. I don’t have pictures of me with friends, heck I hardly even have my memories from the amazing things I’ve done in my life anymore – we have the hijacking at gun point to thank for that. Because those criminals clearly needed my external hard drive of memories from the last 12 years stored on it, more than I did.

I started a contest last year to take someone to New York …flight and accommodation paid for. There were those that I thought would immediately deserve it…and those that I thought could earn it. However as soon as I stopped blabbing about it…people stopped making an effort to show me they deserved it. I was disappointed to say the least…I understood they had other more important things going on, sure. BUT it saddened me that I didn’t really have the closeness with someone I crave. Its nobodies fault but my own.

We can’t buy friendships and relationships, we build them. Which is something I clearly haven’t done…and let’s be honest I’m not about to start now.

That being said, the New York trip is still very much on (as may a surprise second trip to somewhere cool)…and I may in fact end up drawing a name out of a hat…like I did with the hobo maybe. Right place right time?

Back to the said money I won. I’ve done everything with it. Paid off any debts I had, splurged on my hobbies, invested in Art, saved, given money away, stocked the house with food, spoilt people etc. etc. etc…

There are goals to accomplish this year, which i will address in a later blog, but for now….

…let’s make some memories!

Dear New York…

November 22, 2010

Dear New York

Can you believe its been almost 13 years since we last saw each other?

So much has happened that I don’t even know where to start.

I wasn’t sure if I should write you again because at times I doubted you would even remember me.

I’m still in South Africa. Which is killing me (almost literally some days!), but I’m trying to work my way outta here. It’s proving difficult though, and there are more days of doubt than days of promise. I’d say I cry myself to sleep some nights, but I haven’t had a decent night of sleep in almost 8 years – I kid you not.

The last time I was over there, I visited you with my cousin Andre. Do you remember him? He unexpectedly took his own life several years ago. That crushed me. Andre was the one guy (other than myself), who like to share my accomplishments. He always praised me to family and friends. I miss his support and guidance so much. Especially after my dad and brother’s death so many years ago, Andre became the closest thing I had to a male role model. I don’t have that anymore, and there are days I feel completely lost with out it.

Work is tough at the moment. I’ve been at my current job for almost 5 years now – a lifetime I know! I’m not happy there anymore. I’ve lost faith in the people, and worst of all in my future there. I’ve done so much for them, and am still not taken seriously nor given the credit or recognition I deserve. I feel like they still see me as “the new guy” and forever will. My ambitions are so much greater than the company allows. They all see that place as a job, whereas I view it as a career. I always felt they would be my way to a greater future overseas, but it’s clear they will never help me get transferred to an overseas branch. Plus I just can’t survive on the salary they are paying me anymore.

Things are home are always tense. I still live with my mom. Most people laugh at that, and they don’t understand why I’m still here. Neither do I at times. The reality is she lost her job back in 2004 when I lost my job, and has since refused to work. I get angry with the continual burden I have to carry. I’ve spent the last six years here taking care of her, paying off debts, fixing the house (which seems to be never ending…) and feeding two people.

We play the hands we are dealt I guess…but it crushes my spirit. My life should have been so different at this point.

I’ve been watching everyone else live there lives. I see them falling in love, getting married, having children…and perhaps worst of all I see them visiting you. It seems like everyone else is living a life while I’m living a lie.

Gosh, this letter has been all about me…I’m sorry about that. How have YOU been?

I was sorry to year about your loss in 2001. I cried so much that day.
I wanted to write you, but didn’t know what to say…

Anyways, I know you’re busy, so I wont take up anymore of your time…Do you mind if I write you again soon?

Please know that I love you, and have thought about you every single day. I can still close my eyes and picture you, smell your perfume, and feel you against me.
Is that weird? Probably.

I’m so lonely here, and I know you’re the only one who gets that.

Love Always

Burg.

High School Confidential: Part 2 – When It Rains, It Pours

November 8, 2010

I didn’t think last nights blog (Part 1 of High School Confidential) would be as draining as it ways. Or make me feel as guilty as it did.

Mmm…doing something that leaves you feeling exhausted and guilty…sounds like something else I do – on occasion.

Anyways, enough with the getting sidetracked. You all wanna hear the conclusion of my story.

If you haven’t got up to spead, I suggest you click here to read Part 1 first .

You may now continue reading.

When we last left off, I discussed the events that led to the night my brother killed himself, and how a few years later I was about to experience something very similar.

As I said, Standard 8 was the year I completely let my mind slip in terms of school work. I was angry at myself for allowing this to happen. After all, I was the guy who was winning academic awards left right and centre in Primary school. Ah, those special book prizes…they really made me feel worth something. And being Head Boy was something I felt truly honored to be.

Sure it was under controversial circumstances, but I don’t think anyone can argue that I wasn’t a good Head Boy. Despite losing my brother and dad within a year, I lead pretty damn well.

High School was different though. I was lost and alone, and even though I felt I had a best friend, I don’t think anyone saw me as THEIR best friend.

Living out the area was tough as nobody really wanted to come to “my side of town”.

As I allowed my school work to suffer, I mistakenly created a snowball effect in my home life too.

Failure was NOT at option. Cliché alert!

But my mom made it clear even after what had happened with my brother that I needed to focus on my school work and if I ever failed, I was on my own…in more ways than one.

Talk about peer pressure.

Of course I ended up failing tests…one by one.

Now back then when you failed something or got in trouble, you had to get your parents to sign your diary or test. (Oh how I loathed those little red books!)

I’m a pretty brave guy…but there was NO CHANCE IN HELL I was going to show my mom a failed test…so, I did the only thing that made sense. I forged her signature on my tests.

Of course it was the worse signature imaginable, but in my head I always though it “looked pretty damn good”.

There was always that weird rush when a teacher checked the signed test. To be honest, I think they knew it was fake, but they had a soft spot for me and always let me get away with it.

It got worse and worse, and I got into the habit of “getting away with it” because it was easier than the alternative of facing my mom.

Till one day.

I remember the day quite clearly.

As I walked out of school one day, I put my bag in the car and got in the front said. As I wanted to kiss my mom hello as I always did, she ignored me.

Uh oh. This spelt trouble.

I asked what was wrong, and she coldly replied “Just you wait till we get home”.

My blood ran cold. What now?

The ride felt like it was over in two minutes and when we got home, the first think I saw was the red school diary on the kitchen counter.

I had inexplicably left it at home!

My mom question the forged signature immediately. I um’d and ah’d and came up with all sorts of excuses.
“what else are you hiding shaun!”

Seething with anger, she through the hardback diary at my face.
Then took my school bag from me and emptied it out.

She found some more forged tests. (why did I not destroy them!)

What I remember most was her finding some little plastic toy pigs in my bag.
My friend and I at the time were on a huge Bill & Ted vibe, and constantly quoted the Ziggy Piggy line in the movie. So the pigs were an inside joke.

Of course, Ziggy became the term that refers to this incident.

My mom became violently angry and grabbed me by my fringe (which was quite long at the time), she dragged me to the bathroom and began to cut the fringe off. She ripped at my fringe so hard that I swear it hasn’t been able to grow long since (because well it hasn’t).

It was about 2.30pm. and what began was one of the longest beatings of my life. Anything and everything became a weapon to my mom.

Of course it had been a rainy day, so what just happened to be laying about? Yup, you guessed it. An umbrella.

This particular umbrella had been one of my favourite things (not after this of course), because it had some decorative dice on it.

My mom proceeded to beat me over and over with the umbrella, until I could no longer stand. In fake the umbrella had bend practically in half by now, and the dice marks were embedded in my bloodied skin on my back.

The welt were so thick, that I actually stopped feeling the pain.

Angry but what “I had made her do” grabbed her car keys and said she was going to go drive her car into a bus.

Smashing ornaments and she left, she locked me in the house and left.

About an hour later she returned, with my aunt.

When she saw how badly I was beaten, she was in shock and asked my mom how she could do this. My mom of course was irrational (as she still is today), and asked to explain the story.

Which I did, and simply just said I was scared to show her a failed test.

The rest of the evening is a bit blurred, and I don’t remember much more than my mom telling me not to dare tell anyone what happens in that house.

Of course the morning, I was battered and blue, but nothing a school uniform couldn’t hide.

At school, I couldn’t hardly talk, let alone move muscle without being in pain.
Thought the excuse escapes me, I managed to get out of gym class.

I think I briefly mentioned something about the previous night’s events to my best friend, but with a casualness that never warranted further enquiry into my troubles.

The cruel humour that is my life leaves me with one moment that still makes me laugh to myself.

Someone said to me “ah man, you cut your fringe off.”

….yes….yes I did.