I resigned from my previous job about four months ago. And it was a highly traumatic experience. And my ex-boss got to keep the kids. Restraint of trade means I can’t be with them anymore. To make it worse, I went to a competing agency, which is a little bit like infidelity. And my ex-boss made it clear that I had betrayed her. And I felt like a toad. Actually, I felt like a toad that had been run over by a truck.
The guilt was overwhelming. I nearly crawled back, begging for forgiveness. But the documents were signed and we were breaking up for good. But my little affair with my new job kept me going and I saw it through.
If a divorce is a bugger when pursuing greater things in your career, a real one must be a monster.
Then I saw some of my clients in the media, the final product of my work. And I missed them a little bit. I was a great parent and serviced the crap out of them. But I had to be a good parent to my new children.
Fortunately they were happy to welcome me into their family.
And the new job? It’s great. It’s a bigger family, and a warm and loving family. I’ve pretty much forgotten my past life. And I feel as though I have always been right here.
Did I betray my old boss? I don’t think so. I don’t think losing staff is much fun, but my new company is much, much better for me.
Am I a bad person for wanting something different? Absolutely not. It’s about growth and happiness and sometimes you need to be just the slightest bit selfish.
Do I have any regrets? Nope, none. I’m very happy.
I’m on a serious Riaan Cruywagen kick at the moment. He is the Chuck Norris of South Africa. Actually, he is better than that – he doesn’t even believe in Chuck Norris. Regardless, he’s a talented news anchor and a South African icon.
So I did a little reading on the man and have established the following:
1. Riaan Cruywagen wasn’t born, he thought himself into existence.
2. When he was three Riaan Cruywagen successfully reinvented the wheel.
3. Riaan Cruywagen’s first job was tutoring Pythagoras.
4. Riaan Cruywagen is an accomplished author and poet – though, humble by nature, he chooses not to write under his own title but prefers to go by pseudonyms such as W. Whitman, E. Hemingway, Proust, JD Salinger and G Chaucer – amongst others.
5. Riaan Cruywagen is fluent in twenty seven of the eleven official languages.
This is what I call an impressive CV! You can find a full version on Coda’s website.
His latest work includes reading the news and promoting the 2011 Loerie’s. You can watch the excellent video right here.
Japecake on WordPress.com has alerted me to something which has been on the peripheral of my thoughts lately. We are fast becoming a race of ‘likes’. This phenomenon is mostly visible on Crackbook (more commonly known as Facebook).
There is even an identifiable sub-culture of ‘likers’: people who never say anything or interact with you other than ‘liking’ something you do on the Social Media Giant. These are the ‘friends’ that ‘like’ that you just got a promotion (instead of saying congratulations), they ‘like’ the picture you posted of a cute puppy (that’s nauseatingly cheesey and lame) and they ‘like’ that a car has run over your foot and you are in hospital (thanks, Liker – that’s great).
And we as social creatures actually care about these ‘likes’. In business, we care about how many people ‘like’ our page, and as writers we care about how many people ‘like’ our latest piece, thus spreading it all over the internet like a virus. We care about how many hits our websites get and we need to have a lot of followers and friends on whatever social media network we are using – or all of them.
If we were Peacocks, the number of likes we have on a statement made online would be the equivalent of fanning our glorious tails. On the other hand, if we were baboons, it would be the same as being a female in heat, flaunting our bright red bottoms at the male baboon.
The Wall Street Journal posted an article on this too. This suggests that we all have fake online identities because we are so determined to get likes and comments. We need anything we post to be re-Tweeted and Stumbled Upon. Diggs and Reddits help too. We don’t care if it is vomit in someone else’s newsfeed. We care about that cute male baboon sniffing our bum.
During a busy few weeks, I was very inactive on my blog. I don’t know how many people noticed. During these few weeks I stopped obsessively checking my blog stats to see if anyone else was reading. To be honest, there was no significant impact on my life. I was working harder and after a few days I stopped thinking about ‘likes’ on my Facebook status and stats on my blog. They really make no difference. In fact, I was probably more inspired and more of an individual during that time because I wasn’t thinking about my next update or blog post. I was just me and I was being me in the real world.
My witty Facebook status updates are to provoke thought and make people laugh. My mobile uploads, blog posts and tweets are to keep people I don’t see up to date on what’s happening in my life or to share memories with those included. This means we’ll have more time for real talk and memories when we get together again. Small talk is boring.
I don’t get paid to write this blog, so it doesn’t really matter how many people read it. I don’t have time to write for money and besides, I don’t want to kill my hobby. I don’t have advertisers on this page, so who cares how many page impressions this page sees. I am glad that you are reading this, but let’s be honest, our lives are not changed by you reading with what I wrote.
It’s easier to do something about being cold. For example, you could put on a jacket or wear woolly socks. When you’re too hot, short of swimming, there is only so much clothing that can be removed before being considered indecent.
I find cold exhilarating and I don’t like to perspire. While the cold dries out my skin it is less painful than frequent sunburn from the African sun. Warm beverages are infinitely better in winter and red wine is a valuable aid in heating up your core body temperature.
But most people disagree. I wrote about this last year to try and encourage people to be more cheerful – you can catch up or remind yourself here. For those of you who do not like winter, I have made a list of fun things you can do to pass time.
Set up correspondence with people from the Northern Hemisphere. Not only will they remind you of why you prefer summer, but you can gloat in a few months time about how warm it is in the Southern Hemisphere. They will be complaining about chill blains and you’ll be drinking Gin and Tonic from a frosted glass.
Cocoon yourself in blankets. Much like ‘swaddling’ which Lock taught Claire to try on her crying baby in Lost – this is very comforting. This then leads to the perfect opportunity to pretend you are a caterpillar and that you will one day become a butterfly.
Eat large amounts of cheese. You’re covering up all your skin, so you may as well allow yourself to gain a little weight.
Ski on frost. This is much easier than it sounds. You don’t need fancy equipment. All you need to do is walk on frosted grass, early in the morning and you will be able to slide around with the same amount of grace as a three-legged elephant.
Court your heater. This is an alternative to the cliché summer romance. It’s not nearly as memorable, but it will take the edge off.
Embrace your pale complexion. Not only will you age more gracefully, but you can pretend to be a vampire.
Attend a ‘Christmas in July’ event. It’s much more original than the standard Christmas. And be honest, you would rather eat turkey in the cold than on a sticky, summer day.
If all else fails, you could just hibernate and emerge in a few months, unshaved and grumpy.
Anyone that’s stopped at an intersection in Johannesburg will have received a leaflet from various doctors (not the medical kind) and professors (not the academic kind) that can solve all your problems. They usually have names like Doctor Num Num or Professor Mandasai (freshly qualified from somewhere I’ve never heard of). But none of them have fluffy names, none until Prof. Bella – The Spell Casting King.
Prof. Bella’s leaflet is small. And double sided on glossy paper. This is something new. Even though the spelling is poor and the general ideas the same, I’m really taken with what Prof. Bella has to offer.
The first thing Prof. Bella can help you with is the Money Spell.
I have no idea what Power Money Spells are and what he means by Financial Life, but I might be firing my firing my financial advisor. He doesn’t guarantee a Salary Increase or the Have Much in Your Business. But Prof. Bella does. Absolutly.
But if you’re not interested in money, you could try out the Love Spell.
I’m a little wary, because I do not want to get babies and ancestral healing sounds like something Marvin Gaye would do. I don’t really want a long illness and I don’t mind if people are jealousy of me. But for once he’s not saying how he can increase my penis size and give me a good, strong erection.
And the Money Spell must be great, because it’s reinforced on the Love Spell side of the leaflet.
Prof. Bella even has a non-existent website. Trust me, I’ve been trying to get onto it all week.
I haven’t called the number yet. But I should. He sounds legit.
Something unique and wonderful happened this year. The Easter long weekend was followed by a public-holiday-Wednesday and another long weekend. Easter weekend usually results in 85.7% of the Gauteng population heading towards the coast for a mini-break.
And I headed towards that little town I grew up in called Clarens. To get there I take the N3. And, unfortunately for me the N3 is the way to Durban.
So there were a lot of people on the highway and everyone was heading my way. This annoyed me, because I like to have my way and when other people interfere I get upset.
I got stuck in bad traffic.
When you’re driving 20km/h you have time to notice things. For example, the family with the heavily loaded car in front of me and their hamster. Yes, there are people who take their hamster to the coast on holiday. This means that either they don’t have an aunty to fill a food bowl or the hamster likes surfing. Either way, this poor hamster was packed up against the rear-windscreen and probably more distressed than I was at not having my way.
Then I did a little math. I was 40km away from the off-ramp I needed to take to get off the N3. Normally, that would take 15 or 20 minutes. But on 22 April 2011 it took me over an hour. It’s a good thing I had a sandwich and water with me, otherwise I may have died. Stopping at the One Stop was not an option.
Eventually I was off the highway. I looked back at the source of my torture and saw miles and miles of cars not reaching their holiday destinations. But it was okay, because I was in the Free State and there wasn’t much happening on the roads. I could drive without thinking about distressed hamsters and how many metres per hour I was driving.
And in certain pockets of South Africa, there really is nothing of interest.
And sometimes the roads lead to nowhere.
My trip back was fine. This was a good thing, because the following weekend meant I would be travelling to the bushveld.
Apparently The X-Files is more fact than fiction. The FBI have made documents available to the public on UFO crashes, sightings etc.
I have never doubted that aliens exist. The universe is that massive and chances are, somewhere out there a perfect set of conditions and circumstances resulted in the evolution of complex creatures capable of all sorts of exciting things. What they would want with our little planet is beyond me, but they exist. And they can travel through space – probably at the speed of light, or by using worm holes or something.
So a lot of Americans are not paranoid. And Chris Carter was on to a thing or two and he’s a genius that can see the future. And the FBI really does investigate hyper-cool cases.