Love Talk

But really? What do you even know about love? (daily question I ask myself)

Well for one I can tell you that it is powerful.
Its like a force that consumes you at times.
You initially believe its a choice but after while you begin to feel like you didn’t have a say to begin with.
Its like your heart wants what it wants and as much as your mind is telling you to run at the first sight of it your heart is sort of hypnotised and intrigued by the possibility
I’m 24 years in and I feel like I don’t have a clue
I’m still learning to love myself so really how can I know how to love someone heartedly without reservations or without the need to fix the things that I don’t like
We all come with our faults
With our scars and our bruised hearts
And like so many of us we still “choose” to love despite the fact

Another thing I know is that it takes courage
I’ve been single for almost 4 years and I told myself that the next person I want to date is the person I want to marry
What a tremendous amount of pressure she put on herself with that one? You might be thinking but I beg to differ
You see I’ve only loved once person so my knowledge is quite limited but I have a lot of friends and I’ve been around a ton of relationships so I think I might know a little something something
But I decided to pose the questions to friends and here is what I got

“It depends on the love. If your loving your friend or your husband. But either way it’s something that has to be worked towards. You have to learn to forgive no matter what. You have to want to continue to learn and grow as a person. It’s tender and kind. It’s happiness and joy” – Jameelah aka JJ

“Love is loving the things that you can’t stand about someone. Being amazed bytheir successes and their failures. Love is, moving mountains to give your support, to speak hope, to pray and to hold that person. It’s patient. It’s endearing. It’s full of energy that keeps the two connected (& God). It’s beyond a word. It’s that feeling that you never really have all the words for but you feel that shit in your core”- Twilight

“if I could explain love I’d say it’s embracing and encompasses taking all of a person with the good and the bad (even though traits can be worked on) it’s saying I know the best parts of you and the worst parts of you and all in al I still want to be with you. Love definitely takes more than one person because if it’s one sided it’s not love, I don’t think love is conditional but I also think in love some things cannot be accepted to dwell in (hatred, deceit, etc)”- Eli

I think love is passion, attraction, and attachment. When you love something or someone it feels exhilarating when you’re with them or doing that activity. You feel less stress and find yourself smiling just because you’re happy. And when for some reason you can’t do or be with the person you love, you can’t stop thinking about it and you can’t wait to get back to it. Love is this feeling you get cannot be extinguished when you feel excited, happy and at peace all at the same time over something tangible, be it a person or activity or object or animal”- Erica

Here’s what my heart says about the whole thing
Sometimes I find myself fleeting within.
Within to a place that lacks rules and understanding
Where all of the canvasses are blank and your thoughts float off into the darkness
There lies room for my next passion
Room for my next idea
You don’t fall for that bullshit
You don’t just let anyone in
I read something from Alex Elle where she said she had made a promise to stop looking for love anywhere that was outside of herself
I find that to be such a profound statement
I want to be selfish but my heart just seems so open to the possibilities of love
I had a conversation with my friend and we discussed the woes of being single
But he had a good point
He said that we are supposed to enjoy our singleness even if we are seeking to be married
It is in our singleness that we are supposed to grow closer to god and live in his light by learning to serve others
In our learning to serve others we are preparing ourselves for the choice of loving someone and moving away from pronouns like “I: but more to “We” and “Us”
So where do I go from here
It’s like its so much easier said than done
I desire to be married in the a few years like singleness in the way in which it has been presented to me through society seems like some sort of quest for experiences with other people
I guess I’m selfish with myself in that sense
Not everyone or just anyone is welcomed into my spirit
And I for damn sure ain’t letting you into my temple
I told myself that if I didn’t have anything else in this life than at least I have this body in which I promise to cherish and keep sacred
I guess maybe I’m equating singleness with promiscuity and sex but I think a lot of singles are seeking those physical pleasures that I personally reserve for marriage
I hate to generalize but that’s the sense I get
Like “how many bodies you got”
Is that really a question?
It should be how many people do you carry in your spirit?
Or better yet
How many soul ties you got?
Who you done let into your temple?
Love is what you make of it
So make it pure
Make it unwavering
Make it REAL

Ps: I hope you leave behind fear and choose to love again, you know who you a

Daydreamer

The reoccurring theme of dreams keep me awake at night and alert during the day. Its like m some sort of dream catcher filtering each and every form of the word. From dream to dreams to dreamer and the list goes on. Its like are you trying to show me a sign god? If so let me know. I’ll keep you close in on my encounters with the concept. So for one I was scrolling through Facebook aimlessly as always and I saw a video with Lisa left eye Lopez and she was talking about your dreams being a manifestation of your thoughts. And how in following your dreams you are staying close to who you are. I thought that her statement was so profound and it stuck with me. I then was listing to the Steve Harvey morning show and he brought up the concept about Disney and how he is one of the most creative people we know. Imagine having a conversation with Walt Disney about mickey mouse and Donald duck and Aladdin. Like would you be able to grasp his ideas. You would think he was mad. Or maybe I would say to myself this guy is a little out there. But non the less the point is that sometimes you can’t tell your dreams to small minded people. There was a man who called into the show and had been working for a truck company and wanted to start his own company. He started his company and was struggling
Risking everything although we know its hard
We owe it to ourselves to pursue the parts of us that scare us the most
The parts of us that are unacceptable to what our parents and to what society has chosen as the norm for success
We must go to the foreign depths of the earth that call us in our dreams
Those places that we would have never imagined we’d wound up but find ourselves falling heads over heels at the sunsets weve taken for granted over the years
The friendly smiles that greet us as we enter the grocery store
The childrens laughter
Aww man how I love it
How I am reminded of what it meant to be free
And unbothered
And yet having the inability to shield ourselves from the perceptions of other that plague our dreams
The dream killers if I could be so open
Im in Swaziland. Yet the dream to come here was not clear in the beginning but if you know me than you know that I believe in god and that I know that nothing is by chance.

On the “Ground”

img_3773img_3758img_3770img_3794imageFeeling quite inspired and renewed in my myself and the potential impact that I could have here as a Peace Core volunteer. This past week we had on the job training and it was amazing. For my permanent site I am placed in the Lubombo region which is the hottest region in Swaziland but I’m not sweating it. Lol After living in Malaysia for a year, I can handle a little heat. I was paired with an awesome teacher at my school who serves as my site support agent. She reminds me a lot of myself because “she don’t play no games” and is truly passionate about the students. I have also identified my counterpart and he goes by the name of Lucky. I joke and say that I’m lucky to have Lucky which I really am because he is “the man”. By this I am referring to the fact that he literally knows everyone in the community because he’s lived and worked there his entire life and was a former teacher at the High School in which I will be working.
My town is called Mpompotha and I will primarily be working in the high school there. I am excited to engage with the youth and they seemed to really be excited to work with me. I actually got introduced to the staff and pupils during my visit and after a couple of attempts at speaking my broken Siswati (for now), the students and staff couldn’t help but embrace me. There is approximately 700 students at my school with a population of about 90% OVC (orphan and vulnerable children).
From my brief visit at the school, I noticed that the school has a ton of resources including a wood shop, computer lab, culinary room, metal shop, agricultural animals and numerous crops growing on the school grounds. This was so amazing to see considering my High School back in the states was much different. The only thing that I saw missing was the school library which I came to find is being used as a storage room. I am eager to see if it is possible to get the library up and running and potentially continue the previous volunteer’s book club or a writing club to improve students English. I
The community is pretty spread out and because of the drought this past year many of the people there are struggling to maintain livestock and other crops that normally grow. I am hoping to implement some of my newly acquired permagardening techniques in my community as a way to empower community members and spread the knowledge. So I’m a Mamba now. Before my name was Mpumelelo Tsabedze from my temporary placement site but now im Nosmilo Mphumelolo Mamba. Nosmilo means good and kind girl while Mpumelelo means success. I am so grateful for the names that my families have given me. I find them to be quite fitting. My permanent host family consist of about thirteen people; mostly children which is very exciting for me but also nerve wrecking. How am I going to manage all the children I asked myself? Lol. But I’m not worried at all. Some of my closest friends are children (Malena & Melanie you know who you are). I am excited for all of the different personalities, laughter, fun and games. They’ll keep me young over the next few years.

Umdeni Wami Waka Tsabedze

nompumelo-swazi-kidsnompumelelo-nonhle3IMG_3349IMG_3350Ligama Lami ngu Akirah Crawford noma Mphumelelo Tsabedze

 

Hey there so let me introduce you to my Swazi family

I am so fortunate and blessed that god has placed this amazing family in my life.

They have truly opened my eyes and have supported me in my transition to my new life in Swaziland.

From our daily debriefs about our days on the carpet of my bedroom floor

To the endless games and laughter we share over familiar games and my favorite show: Insidgo: the need

I love coming home each day from overwhelming sessions to familiar faces who always greet me with warm hugs, Sawubona, Unjani SiSi? and delicious meals prepared with love.

I am learning a lot about myself and just how much I truly love people.

I am not sure as to what I am going to do in August when I move to my permanent host family

But I try not to think about it too much as I work hard to remain present in the now

I am not trying to miss out on anything.

Hey Girl Hey!!

Hey you I see you
Even where it feels like the world stopped taking notice
It was weird to express your feelings to someone and not be validated
Its was like talking to a wall
Every way I turned you trapped me in this sort of road block
It was like you had some sort of tunnel vision and as much as I wanted to believe that you just didn’t understand
Something struck me across the face and it was the reality that you didn’t care
Keeping face seemed more important
If you can’t do it perfectly than lets not do it at all
And I get that
I really do
But what about the emotions that fester in the mean time?
Who will attend to those
I’m afraid that my experiences will become normalised
Minimised
And swept under the carpet
I’m afraid that eventually all of the oh no’s im sorry will eventually turn into
Suck it up, you will manage
What did you expect
Not this
Well you signed up for it
And yes I did
I’ve grown distant
Distrusting
And overall a little leary of you
You’ve proved yourself time and time again
So I don’t find myself to be unreasonable
But in the end I’m happy to have the supports that I do
They provide me with much needed laughter to lighten the mood
Because to be honest things get a bit frustrating
Damn near overwhelming and exhausting after while
Non the less I’m excited for what’s to come
And the growth that will accompany me on this journey
I am leaning on understanding
But judgement man
He’s not giving up without a fight

Will we ever be free?

When will we ever be free? Physically? or is that even a real thing?
I’m starting to think that it’s a un achievable concept when you have to hash tag racial interactions with #drivingwhileblack.
How about plan existing as a person of color?
The more we do to combat the issue the crazier I feel
Its like we can’t beat this system of oppression and the worse part about it all is that it exist outside of the US boarders
And im not speaking about European countries but could you fathom the idea of it existing in Africa
The motherland itself?
Like I can’t be free in America and I knew that because I was never intended to be free there
But I can’t be free in the motherland either
The origin of my existence
Its mind boggling the more I think about it
Like my experiences of navigating this country in the skin that I am in has been surprisingly challenging
I came into this experience with the anticipation that I would not only be welcomed by my people but that I would be embraced as their own but that has not been my experience
Not for all but for the random encounters I have with security officers as they follow me from aisle to aisle in some stores
To the guards at grocery stores not hesitating to yell Wota sisi (meaning come here sister) as they search aimlessly into my belongings for that product that I must of stolen
Like you are bringing me down
And I can only imagine these experiences to soon become the norm for me
This struggle for freedom is on going and forever
It runs deep from my ancestors to me
I’m burdened with this
I can’t stand the idea of disliking my own people because of the way they treat me
But it’s hard for me to understand how you could treat your own in such a way while “others” get treated like royalty?
Why make yourself inferior to that of “others”?
Money is truly the root of all evil
Because he or she has a certain shade of skin you assume that they are rich
Because he or she has a certain shade of skin they are essentially free
We ain’t free until we’re all free
It’s hard being American and being black
Like to me they don’t go together
We built this country yeah we haven’t reaped any of the benefits of our hard labour
Instead we are forced into these systems of oppression that leave a crack in the door
that will never be opened
I used to believe in Marcus Garvey’s back to Africa plan
Especially from my time in South Africa
But now after being here I’m not so sold on the concept
Although we come from Africa we will never be African
There is difference
I think it actually first hit me when I went to an African students associations party
Every one was mingling and introducing themselves by country
Responses included: Nigeria, Kenya, Burkino Faso and the list goes on
When it came down to me I said New Jersey
I wish you could of saw the confused faces
Like to be African American is a mystery
Like barely know our history
So of course other people don’t
And to hear celebrities and others talk about how roots shouldn’t be aired because we are always being portrayed as not successful sickens me
Like you need to learn your history and more importantly, the world needs to know
The fact that people in other countries don’t know that there are black people in America should be a crime
Like how when we built the country
On our backs, with bare hands
If anything we should be the topic of discussion in every single history class
Yet we become the laughing stock
The poster child for welfare and the image of America’s deepest fears
The black man that is
We are feared because we are fearless, fierce
The embodiment of what “others” wished they could be
We don’t break
We bend
And have been bending for years

When all you have is essentially all you need

When all you have is essentially all you need
There are so many ways in which I could approach this post but I guess Ill start here. I thinks it’s so important for us to unlearn some things but also very hard at the same time. One thing in particular is our deficit thinking. How is it that we can walk into a room and instantly identify all of the things missing while failing to acknowledge the things that are there. We have such similar thinking when it comes to how we view others around us. We are so used to seeing what people lack that sometimes we find it hard to praise the small feats that people are making. This could be a generalisation but for me most times than not it’s a reality.
So many of you may already know but for those that don’t I am currently serving as a Peace Core volunteer in Swaziland. I am not yet a Peace Core volunteer but am instead undergoing intense training to become one. In the meantime I like to speak things into existence hence why I said I am a Peace Core volunteer. But back to what I was saying, I completely over-packed for this trip. Trust me I’m going somewhere with this story. I over-packed so much that my fellow peers were so kind enough that they took some of my things to put in their bags for me. I also had to buy an extra duffel bag from the airport and have another peer to check it for me because they had only packed one checked bag for the next two years. So what does this say about me? is the question that continues to plague my mind. Am I materialistic? Am I attached to my stuff? Why do I have so much stuff? How can others manage with so little? Most recently I noticed something about myself and that’s that I buy everything in two’s. Like what is up with that?
I think about it in this deficit thinking where maybe I feel like I have to have everything or a fear of not having the things that I think I need. But the word need is becomes so misconstrued with the word want. Want and need are two completely different words but for me they have become interchangeable. Like the fact that I’ve lived overseas and been without for years at a time and for the fact that I will be living two years in Swaziland land goes to show me that every perceived need is not always a need. The fact that you can live without shows that sometimes many and also all of those perceived needs are really wants. Things that make us feel secure or comfortable are not always necessary. We must learn to live without and be content with that because we have all that we need. Anything outside of what we have is extra. If I continue with this mindset than I think ill be able to slowly but surely get out of this deficit thinking that I’ve grown so accustomed to.
I truly believe that my glass Is half full and not half empty so I need to embody that belief in my everyday thinking.

We are Family

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The word family has become such a nuanced, every-changing, and ever-growing term in life. When I think of family, I don’t necessarily think of blood or kin or any of the other things that are typically associated with the term. Family to me is a little different. Family to me is knowing that you have someone in your corner who has your best interest at heart and who is willing to accompany you in this thing called life. Family to me is about being there to witness my evolution and knowing when to tell me “Girl you tripping” or “Get Yo life”. I am so happy for all of the special people that God has placed in my life. You all mean the world to me and have played such critical roles in where I am today. I love you all more than you may ever know.

Here are just a few pictures from my going away party, the weeks leading up to the big day and an overall compilation of pictures of loved ones. Enjoy!!!

 

Hello Mother Earth

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Hello Mother Earth

You embrace me with open arms

and take my mind off of the fact that it’s dirt

You reinforce the concept in my head that I’ve heard time and time again

“Dirt don’t hurt”

Yes mother you are right

You are kind to us and yet we have lost sight

I’m happy I found my way back to you

Come share my WORLD

Come share my WORLD

It’s easy for us to get lost in the vastness of space and time and love and possibility. After about six years of going back and forth with myself and  my thoughts I’ve finally decided to start a blog. Yes, I know what you’re probably thinking “Girl what took you so long”? I’m asking myself the same thing. But if I were to answer your question I would say “Vulnerability and my lack there of”. You see my writings are a glimpse into my thoughts and furthermore a view into my soul. I like to think that I am a very open person but sometimes when it comes to this social media era there seems to be no sense of boundaries or privacy. There is an overabundance of sharing. Sharing at times things that can be used to edify the lives of others but most times things that in my opinion could be  and should be left unsaid.

I like to get lost in my thoughts sometimes and rush home to my collapsed WORD screen where I let my words run wild on the screen. Unfiltered, unapologetic and unbothered by the idea of being grammatically correct. It’s freeing for me to just write with no purpose other than to get my thoughts out on paper. I’m not so concerned with sharing because it’s just for me. I still feel this way but I have been swayed over the years from the various looks of excitement on peoples faces when I share stories of my travels, dreams and thoughts about the world. I love their smiles, their curiosity and their genuine interest in my life. Who knew I was that interesting? LOL. But any who, as I fast forward to this moment right now and to my 24 year old self, I think it’s time. I hope you enjoy my thoughts, my experiences, my ideas and my view of the world. Peace and blessings always, Akirah!!