Red lights


Up until 2012 I heard that word a lot. “Arion you must be consistent.” Admittedly, my addiction was a masterful inhibitor of consistency in those years. Although I was consistently using, recovering or beating myself up because I was stuck in my self-flagellation through addictive behaviours. So often though that word was thrown around loosely when others were being inconvenienced or not getting what they wanted out of me.

But what happens when one chooses something different from them?

I cannot say whether I am accurate or not. You will have to answer that for yourself. In my experience though, few people seem to want to give room for all people to have a shot at achieving their own personal goals outside of themselves. 

I often think back to school. I was that odd kid, bright, lower middle class (although by white SA standards poor), geeky looking, skinny, a bit feminine and well….. just different. It was only until I was discovered to be able to sing, jump high, jump far, run fast and long and throw things reasonably well that I began to be picked for sports sides at school. 

It was apparent though that it had little to do with me as a person, but the personal gain of the team. How do I know? As soon as the gains were achieved, I simply was put back in the box I was already labelled with and ignored. I experienced this in rehab too. I remember us guys jumping from a 12 meter high ‘tree-on-rock-into-a-dam’ test of bravery.  Obviously guys being guys the next BIGGER act of bravery had to be attempted, the BACKFLIP from the tree.

With all testosterone eyes on me I did it. I came off OK…but had to redo it to show that I could do it better. I did and it was fine. The amazing thing was that I was only credited with a little bravery but the feat was used as a weapon to taunt the more sensible guys who put safety first before pride.

Often in my hairdressing career it has been the same. My successes used as a motivator to drive others; my failures as an indication of poor consistency and professionalism.


With more ‘sober time’ than ‘NOT time’ notched onto my belt I question whether much of it was about me at all. Why I say this, is simply this: I was welcome in the side when I was delivering on expectations but when I was falling apart few inconvenienced themselves to help me back up but MOST have something critical to say. Thank goodness that shame kept me trying to prove my worthiness in my particular career. There have been some personal hero’s along the way….and I thank them.

Thankfully my Dad and Mom who were survivalists in their own unique ways imparted a fighting spirit onto their four kids. None of us give up easily. So family feuds can be brutally hard sometimes….lol. I love my siblings dearly even when they are hard work.

I had an AHA moment in the kitchen in church yesterday where I have chosen to walk out my acts of service. 

Rickaal was going about the duties we are meant to do. At one point he quietly and understated re-cleaned a pie tray that a newbie had done, but not quite right. It struck me that Rickaal’s attention to consistent excellence was not lorded upon the new guy. He led by example.  

Isn’t that what consistent actually looks like. Leading by example.

For 5 years I have consistently been working towards personal goals. Sometimes it has meant standing up for the truth in spite of losing favour with others but gaining favour with myself and my Higher Power. I have had to tap into that fighting spirit in me that says I can achieve. For years my mantra has been:” GOD THINKS I AM WORTH IT.”

It is not easy going to work everyday, believing in yourself, when others belittle and underestimate you. Sometimes we need to take our dimmed rose tinted glasses off and acknowledge that it is indeed ourselves that are feeding the hand.

CONSISTENT DOES NOT ALWAYS LOOK LIKE A NEATLY PACKAGED PARCEL. Sometimes it looks messy, odd, tough and failing forward. 

I think, and it is a ‘BIG stretch’ think, that consistent has more to do with the ability to raise standards for all rather than self. The latter is dictatorship, isn’t it?

So from one human to another if a person only wants the best out of you with no interest in standing in your worst with you….maybe, just maybe they only want what they want. 

Just think about it….

Gladly I can say that my Higher Power knows the best, the worst, the bad and beautiful about me…..more than I know of myself. AND STILL THINKS I AM WORTH IT. It has shown me the power of unconditional love. 

My own ‘PIE-TRAY-LIFE’ is constantly being wiped, moulded and transformed from red light to green light. Yours is too if we look close enough.




• AJB • 


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