Category Archives: Relationships

Adjusting…

Standard

It really seems that so much of my move to Berlin has been bittersweet – don’t you just love it when life throws oxymorons your way?!

I was on a complete high when I landed a week ago, but as I’ve started to come down from my high, reality has set in and it’s sometimes made me wobbly. I think…stupidly…in my mind I thought I’d arrive here and everything would be awesome. But you’d think that at the age of 28, I’d kind of know that life doesn’t always work that way – especially when you have a few OCD tendencies sprinkled with anxiety.

The reality is that I’m really missing my parents and my friends. Another oxymoron I had to deal with back in South Africa is that I prayed and prayed and prayed for friends for so long, and only within the last few months of me living there, did I get them – go figure.

I think everyone would tell me that it will take a while to adjust to a new country (and on top of that I still have to get through a wedding and all its stress and logistics), but part of me is a little disappointed…in myself. I kind of think I’m supposed to somehow be ‘stronger’ and ‘better’ at all of this.

What I’m hoping will happen though is that in a few weeks’ time (or months?), I’ll be a little more of well-adjusted Carmen and a little less of freaking-out Carmen.

 

Advertisements

Booty IN Berlin!

Standard

So, I made it!! I made it to Berlin!

Last Monday I received ‘The Call’ from the German Consulate to say that my Reunification Visa had been approved and I was free to move to Berlin 🙂 This was the best news I’d received in a while and my heart skipped a few beats. I was so happy that I had to ask the official on the other end of the telephone line what day it was! 😀 I decided not to tell Mani, because I wanted to just arrive in Berlin and surprise him.

But I must admit, between getting the news and getting to Berlin, some days were tough. Over the last few months I’d met some amaaaaazing people and started to form such wonderful friendships – and now I found myself having to say good-bye. As if saying toodledoo to friends wasn’t bad enough, I had to say good-bye to my family as well. And I just couldn’t help but thinking I’m just a simple South African girl – what do I know about moving to Europe and living it up in Berlin of all places…nevermind stepping into the role of being a wife!? Admittedly, there were a few times when I thought, ‘Can you do this’ – but that’s where God is so clever (actually…He’salways clever!)…He placed people in my life – friends and family alike – who supported me and spurred me on – people who gave me the necessary nudges in the right direction whenever I seemed to veer off my path 🙂

So after flying from Cape Town to Turkey, Turkey to Berlin, and not sleeping for about 40 hours…I’m finally placed my feet firmly on German soil. I surprised Mani at work (which in itself should be left for another post) and then made my way home. And as I walked to the U-Bahn, I passed some old buildings I remembered, and my heart seemed to feel a little lighter. Then, as I entered the U-Bahn and smelt its familiar smell, I couldn’t help but smile to myself and think, ‘You’re home’ 🙂 This is very reassuring for someone who’s left all she’s ever known 9,622.83 km’s behind…

And what better way to spend my first full day in Berlin than by doing some shopping for my apartment at IKEA! We don’t get IKEA in South Africa, so when I stepped into the store, I was so excited that I must have looked like a complete fool – wide eyes and mouth hanging open 😀 In fact, I was so excited that I accidentally dropped my jacket and didn’t notice until the announcement came over the loudspeaker. And well done to me for understanding the announcement was about MY jacket, because it was in German obviously 🙂

So that’s that…I’m in Germany, and now the next few chapters begin. Scary but exciting times!

 

Berlin

A Happy Birthday!

Standard

Today marks the birthday of a very special person…my Mani!

I’m ever so happy that God brought this wonderful man into the world all those years ago. It’s so funny to think that we grew up in different countries, but that our paths still crossed 8 years ago – a seemingly ordinary meeting that eventually developed into our very own romantic (and sometimes bureaucratically frustrating!) journey.

God really does create someone especially for you. I believe that now! Mani and I are evidence of that. Sure, our personalities differ like night and day…no, more like…honey and water…but we’re still perfect for one another. We balance one another out so well and our strengths and weaknesses, combined, are the perfect mixture!

He’s my best friend. My life partner. Someone I can sit and chat to until the early hours of the morning. Someone I can laugh with. Someone I can run to and cry with when things seem too much – but also, someone who always reminds me that He is actually the one I should always go to. How lovely is that? A husband who directs me to the One who has me in His hands, no matter what…the One who cared so much for me that He blessed me with the perfect partner. As I always say to Mani – we’re not perfect, but we’re perfect for each other…

So…happy birthday Mani! It sucks that we can’t be together to celebrate this day, but hopefully this will be the last time we’re apart on a birthday. Thank you for what you’ve meant to me and my family. You’ve been such a lovely example of someone who has a heart for many 🙂 You’re amazing! xxx

Image

The Waiting Game

Standard

I’ve never been much of a waiter. And by this, I don’t mean the person who serves you your food and drinks…no, I mean…I’m very impatient when it comes to waiting. I remember whenever I used to upgrade my mobile phone contract – I could never wait for the new phone. Sometimes, I’d even just go for a less attractive deal, just so that I could get a new phone sooner.

And now I’m being faced with one of the most significant waiting periods of my life. I need my unabridged marriage certificate from the South African Department of Home Affairs – once I have this, I can apply for my German Reunification Visa. I applied for the certificate on 30 December 2011 and was told it would take 6 – 8 weeks. I’m currently well into week 8. My mother called their offices yesterday to get a progress report and she was told the following: “You should’ve gotten it already?!”…yes, duh, thank you for that bit of information. Apparently they’ve ‘escalated’ the matter and it should be on its way soon. *sigh* Ok. Well, what can I do? Just continue to sit and wait (and cry and scream and curse the world).

I know I’m supposed to be positive and ‘strong’ – I should be walking around with a geeky smile on my face saying “all’s going to be ok, yaaaay” – but I just really don’t always feel like that. Have you ever wanted something SO bad, but you just never know when, or how, you’re going to get it?

The waiting game is not my favourite game – rather give me Monopoly or Scrabble any day! This waiting game is one that really can break your spirit and test you. I guess I’m not supposed to give in to it, but some days, I just can’t help myself!

Hopefully though, by the time I post another blog entry, I’ll have better news.

You clever little Bishop you!

Standard

So today is supposed to be the day that people intentionally remember that ‘someone special’ in their lives. I’m sure that for 86.87% of men, it’s the day that the reminder alarms on their phones go crazy – reminding them to go out and buy lovey-dovey stuff for that one special lady.

But who was the original Valentine? Well, waaaaaaay back in time, Claudius II was the Emperor of Rome and he was of the opinion that men who weren’t hitched made far better soldiers than their married counterparts. It was this opinion that led him to making a law that young, unmarried men were not allowed to take the leap of faith into marriage.

Then along came a Bishop Valentine. *Cue ‘saves the day’ music* He felt really sorry for these young men and decided he’d start conducting marriage ceremonies on the sly. But as with any story like this, his secret didn’t remain secret for too long and Emperor Claudius II sent him to jail. (In fact, not only was he jailed, but the Emperor also tried to get Valentine to start worshipping various Roman gods. Valentine’s response: he started trying to convert the Emperor to Christianity. The result: our hero was sentenced to be executed.)

Now in terms of the actual emergence of Valentine’s Day, there are numerous theories about how it came about. The most popular being that whilst in jail, Bishop Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. Then, shortly before his death, he sent this lovely lady a note and ended it with “from your Valentine” (as any good man would do…). Those who knew about Valentine found this rather romantic and shared the story with others. He become rather popular and eventually was promoted from Bishop Valentine to Saint Valentine.

After his death, he then became a Patron Saint and was considered by many to be the spiritual figure who oversaw a festival that occurred annually on 14 February – one during which Romans would send out cards declaring their love to those they had their eyes on!

And there you have it – a brief history of Valentine’s Day. Now go out and buy heart-shaped chocolates! (Even if you keep them for yourself! 😀 )

14-2-12

Standard

It’s that time of year again – every second ad on TV is about love and pictures of couples in loving embraces with hearts floating above their heads are popping up everywhere. Yip, it’s Valentine’s Day fever (and we haven’t even hit the 14th yet).

I never enjoyed V Day – probably because I spent the majority of them alone, doing one of two things: (a) contemplating sending chocolates and lovey-dovey gifts to myself, or (b) remaining defiant and swearing that “actually I don’t care…I’m totally unphased by Valentines’ Day! I’m happy for all the couples out there…”

Now you would think that since I have a significant other, I’d be looking forward to V Day – but really, it’s a little sucky because I’m in South Africa and he’s all the way in Germany. And you’d think that since we’re now legally married, we’d get to spend our first V Day together…apparently not.

So there won’t be any candlelight dinner, no popping of champagne, no cuddling on the couch with a DVD, and definitely no chocolates packaged in a heart-shaped container.

And so I have to say, theoretically Valentine’s Day this year is on 14-2-12…but I say, mathematically, 14-2-12 = 0. Therefore, Valentine’s Day is cancelled!

(Though actually…Mani’s taken the night off from rehearsal in honour of said V Day…so I have to admit, I’m excited!!! YAY ME! :D)

 

 

My real-life rockstar

Standard

A friend of mine pointed something out to me tonight: I’m living smack-bang in the middle of a dream girls normally have…I’m the wife of a real-life rockstar. I don’t think that ever occurred to me…perhaps because I’ve been so concerned with what that means for me – late nights without my husband at my side; dinners alone; Saturdays spent alone while he’s rehearsing…I’ve focussed completely on the unglamorous part of it all.

Tonight Mani has a gig and it completely infuriates me that I cannot be there (as his number one groupie!), cheering him on, watching his performance with starry eyes, feeling like the most important girl in the crowd of many. But what’s made it easy to get through not being there to share this with him, are the random sms’s I received tonight in which he reminded me that at some point, he’d sing a song for me 🙂 (Yes…romantic, I know!) Whilst many girls merely dream of having someone in their life who can write a song that’s all about them, I actually have that guy! And tonight, he’ll sing the song he wrote with me in mind:

 Long Distance

Verse 1:
Ten Thousand Miles from here
confusing mind that cannot rest

She’s got the strength to rise
The voices, in her head won’t stop

Her heart’s been dragged through the mud
Compassion fills the space inside

The world is between us
Love devours all of our shame

Our souls – groan – for
breakthrough – falling in dismay
It’s all – wrong – when
bureaucracy just takes her away

Verse 2:
3000 days apart
yet somehow we are of one heart

3000 lies will steal
a wounded soul takes time to heal

Chorus:
Long Distance, far apart
she’s left with a bleeding heart

Long distance, anxious mind
where truth is hard to find

Persistance in this trial
hold on for another while

Long distance, in this mess
When hope still carries rest

Bridge:
Oh she cries
When she’s alone
It’s just her and her weaknesses

Oh she’s crazy
My blue-eyed daisy
She will make it through

Verse 3
Her heart’s been dragged through the mud
Compassion fills the space inside

The world is between us
Love devours all of our shame

Our flame proclaims affections
haunting, it’s haunting me

Attachment, close affections and passion
haunting, haunting me.

Yip, indeed, I couldn’t have wished for a better partner in life…I guess I have to be someone’s crazy, blue-eyed daisy! 🙂

Trust your fiancé?? Never!

Standard

Carmen – super mad ninja organization skills.

Mani – super mad ninja procrastination skills.

Add the two together and you have a recipe for disaster. But hey – opposites attract.

So I’ve been on Mani’s case about designing our wedding invites because I need to get them out to people. In true Carmen style, I’ve planned things way ahead in advance and need everything to run in the order I’ve planned it. Only problem is – some of my planning requires Mani to set aside his love of all things delayed and actually do what I ask him to do (or…lately…what I have to beg him to do!)

Last night I entered another pleading-sighing-pulling-my-hair-out stage, begging Mani to work on the invites. (*Note: the ‘deadline’ for completion of the invites was yesterday…..they’re still not done. End of note). Eventually, he said he’d send over what he’d already designed to see what I think. This is what I got…

Yeah, never get a Mani to do a Carmen’s job 😉

A road of solitude

Standard

I guess it’s sad to admit, but there are so many things in my life I wish I could have done, or handled, differently. It’s only been recently that I’ve been so closely faced with the complete imperfectness of my humanity – with the reality that I am not, and will never be, perfect. And this is hard for me to accept. Not that I want to be perfect (because…really…what is perfect?); but rather, I want to know that the percentage of things I do right is greater than the percentage of things I do wrong. Come to think of it, even this post could be a wrong action – mainly because it’s borne almost solely out of hurt and confusion. I guess it’s my heart’s way of lashing out like a whip of words.

I sometimes want to hit my head against the wall so hard that all the faulty bits contained inside have no choice but to fall out – and fall out they will, because I choose to believe they’re not as strongly routed as the non-faulty bits. Yet still, my imperfections and faults gnaw at me like a rat gnawing at a rope in the dead of the night, in the hope of releasing something. But then I need to remind myself of this concept that I will fail again…and again…and yes…again. And perhaps, the sooner I accept that those times will come, the sooner I’ll be able to deal with the concept and it’s consequent actions more appropriately.

I believe though that part of my tendency to hold on to my past mistakes is the desire to want to undo any hurt I’ve caused. How can I undo any hurt if I don’t somehow stick countless numbers of plasters over the wounds that have been inflicted? Oh but how my soul cries out in desperation for those nearest me to simply understand that my intention has never been as bad as the actions, the words, or the deeds. In most cases, they’ve been mere cover-ups manifesting from a place of wanting to protect myself, guard myself, make sure the wound is not inflicted on me. But the irony of the situation is that at the end of the day, it is indeed me who is wounded. Over and over again. And the cycle of running around trying to fix things just starts from the beginning and ends the same way.

In the past while I’ve faced the darkest time of my life. Perhaps it has seemed to be the darkest, because I have a different insight into things and I can understand things on a different level. Before, I may have just glossed over things and not really understood their magnitude – but lately, the disturbing verocity and magnitude of actions, words, thoughts, feelings, compulsions and intentions have hit me squarely in the face. I can say that I’ve done well to still be standing in the midst of all that’s happened – and I don’t think a single person could ever understand just exactly what has transpired and how it’s felt or affected me – and for that reason, when I close my eyes at night I really can tell myself “well done…you’re getting there”.

It seems to be too much to ask others to be a little more introspective – to examine the things they do or say, to make sure of their intentions or the effects of what they’re about to do. This makes for a road of solitude at times – a sad reality I guess – but reality nonetheless…

 

But it’s all about me…right?

Standard

There’s something innately selfish about human beings. It’s a trait I’ve recently come to realize exists automatically and it’s something I don’t like very much – even though I fall victim to it quite often.

If this one factor were to be removed from our words, our actions, our decisions…I’m sure we’d find things to be so much easier – not that its removal is the solution to all our problems…no, not at all, but it sure would go a long way to making our stay on earth a little nicer! Selfishness seems to be the root of so many bad things – envy, jealousy, anger, annoyance, harsh words, harsh actions…to list just a few. I guess it’s ‘comfortable’ for us to function from a place of selfishness, where it’s all about ‘me and my situation…what I want’ – but it’s not really ideal I don’t think.

My challenge for myself this week (as if I really need another one?!), is to attempt to function outside of my selfishness – to pack it in a sealed box and place it on the shelf. (Will I succeed with my challenge…urm, I don’t know! We’ll see what the results are at the end of the week!)