Days to Remember 

It’s not the things we go through but how we choose to perceive them, deal with them and grow from them that shape who we become.

Darnit I still need to conquer ciggies….

Today I am 43. 7 years till 50. And the best is yet to come. 

In my teens I dreamt of being Micheal Jackson. My 20’s coloured by Madonna’s antics. My 30’s by a painful journey of re-self-discovery and reinvention, many times over. From 37 I truly began to live.

For years, in my attempt to not become my father, or his father, or any of the shameful behaviours of so many men, I lost parts of my own identity by becoming partly like them. (Not that girls are entirely blameless.) I became a man searching for truths in the most predictable copycat fashion….drinking, drugs and promiscuous sex.  I hated myself and everyone else as I just could not accept my failings. Success’s were usually smashed to pieces as a self-flagellation of poor self worth.

But there were days that everything worked organically. 

Days like today.

Besides the endless data being used to try respond to every birthday wish, it was pretty cool to be engaged in a different way. Today people were fed to the best of my financial abilities. I connected with friends over an impromptu dinner. My ex shattered my heart by not sending greetings. And overall the day was a delightful day of experiencing the beauty of the heart.

I am 43….wow! 

Over the last few weeks my heart has been tugged in every which way. Divisive political agendas. Unified marches. Gifts. Acts of service given and received. And minor disappointment.

But at 43 I have seen enough to know that some people; ok most people; have an agenda that works for them.

Today the janitor in our complex ate lunch with the gorgeous gym boys and security ate with northern suburb ladies. It warmed my heart that I could have a birthday, small and insignificant as it may be, that brought a teeny tiny moment of togetherness in a country unsettled.

Many a great person has had to learn that to create harmony one has to engage people until they can move past the judgement to a place of mutual understanding and perhaps inter-identifying relations that could ultimately create a brotherly bond.

Right now the hope that SA has is by defying the things that historically divided us. Once we do this and overcome the rubbish that kept us from truly engaging, we will soon see that each of us is more alike than different. 

WE ALL WANT TO BE LOVED.

Let’s be honest…..even within our very own flesh and blood families we are often at eachother’s throats because we have different ideals and approaches to things. But God forbid someone tries to hurt our family…..U KNOW WHAT I MEAN RIGHT?

My sister Charlie is an incredibly talented nail artist. But let me tell you as a kid NOBODY messed with her. She made ‘Madea’ look tame. Needless to say my sister beat any guy or girl up that picked on me. She was my own private ‘Special Forces’ what what. BUT COULD WE FIGHT…..EISH. She was and is still the cool one…I was always the nervy, odd and creative one. STILL AM I GUESS.

THE POINT IS THIS…..

South Africa we are eachother’s family. Sometimes we hate eachother, sometimes we love eachother. We all have been guilty of this….let’s be honest. I don’t always like being identified as a man when boys do so many bad things…. I don’t like being judged because I love men and not girls. (TRY BEING A GAY CHRISTIAN IN THIS COUNTRY…IT’S NOT EASY!!!)  I don’t like being judged a racist because I am white with an Afrikaans surname… (and I was raised English…. nogal). I don’t like being judged as stupid because I am a hairstylist…and believe me the way people treat me sometimes in a salon….they do. I don’t like being scared to go party in a township with my black friends in case I get hurt because I am white. I don’t like a government that is breaking us down more than we need.

MY WHITE HISTORY SUCKS IN SA….BUT I DIDN’T DO THAT. 

 But right now we are being destroyed by greedy politics. I just want to be able to be free to be a gay white Christian hairdresser in a country I love…..with every race group as my friend.

Can we not look past our family feuds….just for now….and save our house (our country) from the corruption and greed?

Can we not just for a moment….deal with the obvious destruction and then get together around our family table and discuss a more proactive way to address the wrongs of our past mistakes? All of our mistakes. And yes we ALL have made mistakes. Yes you too!!!

I WANT TO GO TO A CLUB IN SOWETO WITH MY FRIENDS AND KNOW THAT THE COLOUR OF MY SKIN WON’T GET ME INTO TROUBLE. I WANT TO SLEEP AT A FRIEND IN A NON-WHITE AREA OR WHEREVER AND EXPERIENCE ‘HOW MY FRIENDS’ LIVE SO I CAN GET CLOSER TO THEIR HEARTS.

I LOVE MY FRIENDS WITH MY WHOLE HEART BUT ‘GREEDY MINDS’  ARE DESTROYING THE BITS OF LOVE WE DO HAVE FOR EACHOTHER. MY FRIENDS ARE NOT RACIST AND THEY MARCHED WITH ME FOR CHANGE. 

CAN’T WE TAKE IT STEP BY STEP, HAND IN HAND, HEART TO HEART, FACE TO FACE AND SAVE THE FAMILY WE CALL SOUTH AFRICA.

I am willing to forgive all your prejudice of someone like me and try build a better tomorrow….are you?


Stay your amazing self!

•AJB•

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