Getting through 2019 with three words

It’s been very hard for me to try and write this blog without mentioning just how hard and terrifying being a woman in South Africa has been this year. The only time I fear sleeping is when I’m on a flight, I have serious height phobia so for as many hours as I am on a flight, I am fearing for my dear life. However, for the very first time in my life, before going to sleep, I triple make sure all the doors are locked. Whenever I get on an Uber, I share my live location, I struggle working at the office alone at night because I am terrified, I am terrified that I might get murdered or raped, simply because I am a woman. It’s really been rough, so even before even getting to this blog, I would like to take a moment for all the courageous women who have fallen in 2019, all at the hands of our fellow brothers. Rest easy goddesses. You will always be remembered.

So, let’s take a walk down 2019 shall we?

January (Homeless and broke – basically living off my savings.)

  • I have accepted a teaching job in China. I’ve ended my relationship, packed and ready to start a new life elsewhere. New beginnings.
  • Got to Cape Town for two job interviews and started re-thinking China.
  • Mhmm! Maybe I shouldn’t go to China anymore.
  • Went for my job interviews and got two job offers.
  • Changed my mind about China and had a very hard conversation with my agent. He basically just shouted at me on the phone for 10 minutes.
  • Accepted a job offer and started looking for accommodation in CPT.

February (Employed, Smitten and still homeless)

  • Started work
  • Decided to give love another chance! YEYY!!
  • Started a new gym routine

March (Independence… again)

  • Finally found my own place after staying with my significant other for about a month.
  • Started feeling more like myself again.

April (Unlocking my chakra)

  • Baecation
  • Started writing again
  • Went back to Yoga and registered for twerking classes (Are you judging me?)

May (Twerk! Werk! Twerk!)

  • Okay! So twerking wasn’t for me. I registered for dance class instead. Best decision EVER!

June (Another qualification?)

  • Looked in to doing my masters in creative writing or an MBA.
  • Work in full force
  • Ever so in love.

July (Boss moves and sickness)

  • Registered my business ya’ll!!
  • Diagnosed with Acne Inversa and prescribed antibiotics for 6 months

August (I am a Badass – period)

  • Registered for my third UCT qualification
  • Invested the last bit of my savings to get the necessary equipment for my business.

September (Another year beautiful-er)

  • Birthday. Finally got a typewriter.

October (Late birthday gifts)

  • 27 years of living and I FINALLY took someone home. I’m sure my parents had given up on me.
  • Maxed out my savings for some grown up late birthday gifts. Sigh! Adulting is hard.

November (selfish-less)

  • Hosted our second annual Empowered Women Networking Event.
  • Hosted our very first Khayelitsha bootcamp.
  • Made some great connections and partnerships that I am excited to see through in 2020.

Before you start asking me a lot of questions, let me address this. In 2018 I basically ran home to recover and during that period I wanted a “new start”. I applied for a job in China late 2018, I went through the whole recruitment process and I got accepted in October. I started having doubts early November and I applied for a Cape Town based job. Running away seemed was very tempting and it offered the escape I needed but I’ve come to realise that you can’t run from your feelings or your past, and I am no coward. So I decided to stay.

I started 2019 in the worst state I have ever been in my entire life. I still cry when I think about it. 2017 was soul crushing and 2018 was bittersweet. On one hand, I got a second qualification from UCT but I also lost so much more that I could never EVER get back. So 2019 started on a rough patch for me, I was basically on recovery mode for more than half of the year. My friends will attest to this, I’ve been extremely protective of my space this year. I actually have not spent much time with other people outside of my family, my partner and one or two friends. It’s been hard to try to explain this to other people, and maybe this makes me a bad person, but I didn’t care. My health and wellbeing was my priority. When your energy is depleted, you need to recharge.

You can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to take care of yourself first.

Three words have gotten me through 2019 and every other day they manifest in my life – “I am blessed“. Sometimes I forget. When life get’s a little rough I question it but 2019 has been such an amazing testimony for me. I have not only survived things that were meant to break me, but I have thrived. This goes beyond 2019, I am blessed throughout my life. I am the first and currently only person in my family with a University qualification (I have two, going on three. WHATS UP? ). I started working when I was 16 and by the time I turned 19 I was earning more in two weeks than my mom made in a month. I’ve never struggled getting a job. Actually I always sound cocky saying this but I’ve never gone to a job interview and not been offered a job – EVER! I am also the very first in my family to buy myself a car, CASH before 25 years. (Are you still judging me for taking twerking classes?). Shonda Rhimes has this book called YEAR OF YES and she says something so profound –

Lucky implies I didn’t do anything. Lucky implies something was given to me. Lucky implies that I was handed something I did not earn, that I did not work hard for. Gentle reader, may you never be lucky. I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.
― Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

I find it hard to say this because I always get in my head about “jinxing it” but screw it, 2019 has really been such a phenomenal year for me. I reached a great level of accepting love and reciprocating it. I’ve been loved so dearly and I finally accepted that I am worthy to receive love. In fact, I am more than enough. I’ve found a really amazing groove in 2019, only scratching the surface of balancing my work, my relationship and my health. It’s the first time since I started blogging where I can genuinely say I had a fucking amazing year! And every single day, I see it, I am blessed.

Here’s to starting another decade. I am looking forward to more growth, maturity, wisdom, prosperity and greater strength. May all your dreams come true!

Published by Sibahle Teyise

Mholo, Hello, Groete, Sawubona, Lotjhani, Dumela, Ndaa, Avuxeni! I’m Sibahle Teyise, JAGWAT founder and head content writer. I have an Undergraduate Degree from UCT majoring in Public Policy and Literature, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma from UCT specialising in Marketing, Events Management and Business Communication. I am an author under construction, working on my book to be published soon- "When It Happens For Girls Like Us". I started JAGWAT in 2017, following the success of my personal blog - Tales Of The Mute. The inspiration to start JAGWAT came after hearing the sad stories of women being murdered on a daily basis, the violence against women as well as the many stories of women taking their own lives because of suffering in silence. JAGWAT provides a platform for women to take back the power by sharing their stories on a public central platform and with this, they show other women that they are not alone. I believe that when women stand together great things happen. No women should suffer in silence and the more we speak up as women and create a sisterhood and support group, the more powerful we can become. I am passionate about communities with women from disadvantaged backgrounds and JAGWAT supports Women Initiatives as well as making a difference in various schools from the township by offering assistance to learners in the form of mentorship and tutoring. I am a self-proclaimed book-worm and although I am a shy person, I am a motivational public speaker. I was heavily bullied in primary as well as high school and I am extremely passionate about Anti-Bullying campaigns and initiatives. I read, I write, I gym, I pray, I cycle, , I hike, I run, and pretty much everything in between. I am a weight loss motivator having lost 16kg in the past 2 years, which is quite an achievement for someone who can’t cook. (Thank GOD for food that can easily be boiled!!) I am a firm believer that an empowered women can empower other women and JAGWAT aims to be that platform for Women Empowerment. On a lighter note: I have the worst music playlist in the history of playlists.

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