My private space

Daily prompt: One word challenge- ‘Suitcase’ One of the features of the colonial era in Southern Rhodesia then (Zimbabwe now) was the town planning. Houses built in what is known as ‘townships’ never considred the size of family. The houses consisted of two bedrooms,  a living room, a kitchen and a shower room  which was shared with the neighbours as the houses were semi detached.

Back then most families had a minimum of six children which meant that the children would share the one bedroom as the other one was for the parents. What this meant was the lack of personal space for the children. We were six children five girls and one boy, us girls shared the one bedroom while my brother through out his life slept in the living room. He never went to bed when he liked as the family socialised in the living room. It also meant that he never had a ‘lie-in’ becuse he had to make way for family to use the following day.

Each of us children had a suitcase not necessarily for travelling although we did use them whenever we travel to visit grandparents. The suitcase was mainly the private space for each child. My suitcase was the space I kept my treasures like my birthday presents and gifts,my personal private letters and all the things which I wanted to keep to my self because that is the only space I called my own.

A suitcase for me will always be a symbol of personal privacy.

Where it all started

In response to the Daily post prompt: ‘Street’ I have walked many  streets in my life most have had an impact on my life, there is one which will always have a significant in my life.  108 Norah Road is the street where I grew up, I looked through all my childhood photographs hoping I would get a good one of this famous street I could only find this one which does not clearly show the street but  our family home in that street.

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This is the street ‘where it all started’ for me on this street I ran bere feet playing street games with my friends, on this street I learn life skills like how to deal with life’s problems  of being isolated and rejection.

While the street has changed as it has seen three generations to date, I hold wonderful memories of my childhood. The community was a very caring one where all the adults whether they were your parents nor not looked out for us all children. This street and its community made me the person I became.  This is a very special street not an ordinary street I will always remember it with affection.

 

Personal

While the technology era is very welcome as it make life very easy as far as communication is concerned. You can reach the ends of the world whatever that maybe in relation to where you are in a second by simply clicking a button or key. However, e-mails texts etc are very impersonal as far as I am concerned.  There is something which makes a handwritten letter or postcard very personal and magical.

Even to this day I can still remember  vividly what letters written by my first ever boyfriend made me feel there was something magical about his handwriting. As soon as I received a letter from him I wanted to be on my own so I can read it in private. Letters hand written by close friends and family bonded you with them that is why a lot of people kept these letters and now and then they would open a box or tin where the letters were safely kept. That does not happen anymore with e-mails and texts. Besides you need to keep deleting your device to enable it to keep receiving more.

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While I love writing things electronically every peronal writing of mine like journals or reflections I use handwriting because I feel there is something personal when I am expressing myself through pen and paper. My writing is not great as you may see on the text above but I  just love writing by hand. You transfer something of yourself on paper, that is magical.

 

Longing to be heard

In response to the Daily writing one word post prompt: ‘Voice’ my reaction to this one word prompt was to think of the current debate about the ‘voiceless’. This phrase is often used to refer to people who can not express their feelings and longings in matters relating to how they are governed or the way  they can determine their destiny.

In our contemporary society the ‘voiceless’ include abused children,women, the homeless and people who live in countries governed by dictators to just mention a few. As a female  born and brought up in a patriachal culture women’s voices are denied and ignored. As if that was not enough as a black person I was brought up in a country that was colonised by  a western nation I had no ‘voice’ to determine my own destiny so I depended on other people to speak onmy behalf.  Through out my life I have longed to be heard hence my interpretation of this particular one word prompt. ‘Voice’ to me is about being heard.

Acknowledging Limitations

In response to the Daily post writing prompt: ‘Help’ In a world where self sufficience is celebrated and being able to do things on your own is encouraged asking for help is resisted at all  cost.

While this sounds plausable it must be noted that asking for help is not a sign of weakness neither is it a sign of being incompetent  rather it is acknowledging that you have some limitations. Limitations comes in all  forms it may be physical, mental and many other ways.

Asking for help in my book is saying in this partiular area or situation  I  am not able  I need someone to assist me that is a sign of strength  because you are capable of humbling yourself and admit that there are things you can not do.

Complete is a state of mind

In response to the DPP : ‘Incomplete’ It is interesting that ideas and attitudes chang with age. As a girl child I was made to be aware and appreciate that being married was the only way to complete one’s life. My whole life as a teen ager was focused on me looking out for a ‘mr. right’ because according to the way I was brought up and socialised getting  a husband was the goal when  you do get  a husband  your life would be complete.

At the time I turned 21 things began to change the time when it was all  about women’s liberation and then the focus changed it was now all about being educated getting a career be able to support  yourself is all woman needed to have an independent  and complete life.

I am priviledged to have experienced the two scenerios described above. first I managed to get myself to get an education which made me a qualified woman, I had money I did a fair bit of travelling and did all I wanted joined all the women’s oragisations which enhanced my life in all aspects but deep  down I felt I was not complete.

Single life was great,  however walking alone was never ideal, going out for a meal felt a bit awkward no-one to converse with at the resturant table.  The only times meals out could be worthwile was when you went out with girlfriends but that had its own problems because every one had their own lives and it did not always work trying to fit times to do things with girlfriends.

I got married at a late stage in my life and thought that would complete my life. Well even then I felt something was missing. I was an individual and  my life can never be completed by another person it can only be complemented by another person. I  would need to do things that made me fufilled as an individual things that even a husband can not  do for me. Completeness is a state of mind, life can never be complete while we are still  living as there is always something you aspire to do. My   life is still incomplete as there are many things even at this stage in my life I still want to achieve I  am still ‘work under construction,’ so I am still incomplete.

Game Up

In response to the DPP : ‘Shape up or ship out’ the brief of this prompt  is to write a letter  to a  personality trait you least like in your life.

Dear Procastination,

When you first appeared on my life scene, I bought into your ideas thinking you were a very helpful companion to help to avoid being stressed. You would whisper and say to me, “take it easy you can always  do that tomorrow”  You kept encouraging me to put off doing things at  the time they were supposed to be done for the next time.

I realise now how stupid  that was going along with your philosophy which is; ‘why do today what you can do tomorrow’ because I kept putting off doing things that could have made a difference to my career and the rest of my life.

Panic attacks are now the order of my life because I am now so  used to doing things the last minute which cause me to be anxious wondering if I would be able to meet the deadlines. You have made me not to give of my  best because I do not always have enough time to do things  properly. Sometimes I ommit important details simply because of shortage of time.

GAME  UP

I am not even asking you to ‘shape up’  I no longer want anything to do with you in my life period. I have had a lot of missed oportunities where  I could have achieved a lot, I have had a lot of brilliant ideas on various projects   which could have taken me to another level  in my life but because of you I have never implemented them. You are no longer welcome in my life any more because you have completely ruined all my prospects of success.

I do not want to follow your advice anymore, the longer you hang around the more I become a non-achiever.I want to realise the goals I have set myself to achieve with around you that is not going going to happen I want you out! I now acknowledge that the days has got only 24 hours not more and I now want to work in that frame work. I have put measures in place that will help me not be influenced by you any more. I want my life back.

 

Fulfilled

In response to the Daily writing posts prompt: ‘Money or nothing’ an interesting prompt especially to someone who  is coming to the end of their working life. From when I was age seven I kept telling myself that when I grow up my job should be with people not objects even though at that age I did not know what it meant but was clear that for me it was about what brought me fulfillment.

Life is about being able to earn a living so as to be able to provide one self with a roof  over one’s head, feed one’s self and be able to put some money aside for one’s future. I understood that  as I was growing up and going through my education. With the idea of working with  people at the back of my mind at the end my secondary education  I got a job as a beauty care consultant while I figured out what I wanted to do as a career.  This first job was with a cosmetic company which only paid you on comission basis so the big thing was to sell as many  of their products as possible. I had a natural beautiful skin I did not need and still do  not need any skin care products.

Everytime customers asked me if my skin was as a  result of my use of the  sckin care products I was advertising and selling, in order for me to make  money and earn more I just told them that I was using the  products. I hated the products and never used them on my skin. I earned a lot as I was selling a lot of the products.  I had a problem with my conscience as I was aware that I was becoming very good at telling lies and that did not sit well with my christian faith so although I was paid a lot of money I was  not fulfilled I left tht job after two years.

I then went to the school of social work and trained as a social worker majoring in adolescent psycology and worked as youth worker at the end of my training. I loved my job working with young people being able to be trusted by young people to a point I became the person they turned to when ever they had problems which gave great satisfaction. My work as youth worker was in the church and was not paid a lot  however my job went with a house and a car as part of the package and that  was all I needed.

What I liked most about my job was that as  I worked with people it shaped me into the person I have become. Interacting with people made me get to discover more about my self. I got to know my strengths, weaknesses and  my limitations and that led to a very fulfilled life. Decades on I get humbling  e-mails from so many young people who are now adults and young excutives telling me what an impact I had on their lives. If that is not fulfillment I do not know what is. I do not have loads of money in the bank but I have had such a fulfilling working career which I would not trade for anything.20151202_141155

This  has been my  ultimate job working with people, I would not change one bit of it because it has been great being allowed into people’s lives.

SURPRISES

In response  to the Daily writing posts prompt: ‘Thanks, Hindsight’ what I like about this prompt is its brief. It  is about looking back to the past one and half months of 2016. The only hindsight I have at the moment is what 2015 was. Personally  I  am  one who has never done new year  resolutions neither am I one for predictions. For me life is about surprises.

I was raised by my maternal grandma who was  very God fearing so I guess my attitude to life was influenced by her. My grandma instillled in  me  that every year is a gift from God with  a lot  of wrapped up surprises, every year we gathered together as an extended family for  new year’s eve  which was always followed by celebration my gran  always said embrace what God has given you for this new year.

Through out my life I have never come into the new  year with predictions I come into  it  with an open mind daring  to face what life may throw at me. Like I said at  the beginning of this post  the only hind sight I have as I write this post is what 2015 was like, which was characterised by ups and downs.

Now to go back to what this post is about, how 2016 has been thus far for me. It all begun with a couple of health scares which I had not anticipated I am pleased that the doctors are taking care of that side of my life and  every thing is under control. As if that was not enough one after  the  other of my home appliances decided to pack up. First it was  my tv, followed by  my microwave then followed by fridge freezer it was like my flat had decided to give itself a makeover as I have now replaced all the broken down appliances. The only thing which kept me going was the  saying : ‘We cannot direct the wind but we  can adjust our sails’ by Maya Angelou. That is how my year has been thus far.

I  am grateful that I had not made any  predictions surely I would not have wanted to be responsible for all that has happened so far. I am still believing what my gran told me that every year is gift from God , I am embracing all the  surprises believing that it is a year full of wonderful surprises.

Whats in a name

I find today’s Daily writing posts prompt very inviting – it is about writing associations attached to one’s name. My two official names are  Mabel   Rudo ( this second one is in my native language  Shona which is Love when translated into English) I also had a nickname which I was given as I was growing up which is ‘Handikwani’ which means I do not fit. I chose to use this nickname as the username of this blog, for those of you who may have wondered what it meant now you have it. Apparently my head was very big that I had difficult fitting into my clothes. I am grateful that whatever it was with my head it righted itself with the passage of time I have a normal size head and I fit easily into my clothes.

Now back to my first and middle names, when I was born I was named Rudo (Love) one of those African names which is not a swear name. It is common in some African cultures to give swear names to get to their neighbours if they do not get on well. When the white missionaries heard the stories behind some of the swear names, they talked parents into giving their children English names at baptism. When I was taken for baptism and the minister inquired what my name  meant the minister was happy to baptize me with my native  name because it was not a swear name and reflected  christian values. However my mother thought I was missing out on an English name which had become trendy at the time, if you went to church you got an English name. The minister then named me Mabel  Rudo at baptism.

I do not think at the time my mum asked what my English name meant and I never sought to find out what my name meant. However all the Mabels I have known are as industrious and active as I am perhaps I am living the characterstic of my name. It was only when I turned 18 that I wanted to know what my name meant. I remember going into a bookshop and buying a book of meanings of names, that was the time I learnt that my name was not English but Latin.

Pronunciation -May-bel

Meaning – Adorable

I want to believe that the minister who gave me this name must have found me adorable. From then on I always corrected people who were spelling my name wrongly such as  Mable or Marble.  I love my first and second names including my nickname the associations attached to them are very special I would never wish to change any of my names.