Does anybody really know me?

Who am I?

It's a pretty existential question, right?

As individuals, we are a combination of the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. Together, they form the essence of what the world *sees*. But *who am I*, beneath the veneer?

This post is an intro post to the Ecency community for the Dreemport-Ecency Challenge that is running for the next three weeks. You can join in here.

The beginning

1971 was a good year because it was the year that I was born. So yes... some quick mental arithmetic and I am 50 turning 51... no shit Sherlock...where did that time go???!!! I still feel like I'm about 40 ROTFL...

It's funny how our experience of time seems to speed up though. I think it has to do with how much responsibility we try to pack into our relatively short-lived lives. The older we get, the more adulting we have to do - with studies, careers, and families of our own. Before we know it... we are stuck in a routine of working, eating, sleeping, waking... on repeat.

My parents raised our family of 3 kids (me being the eldest) out in the countryside, about 30kms from Durban, the nearest city, and the place of my birth. My sister is 2 years younger than me and my brother is another 4 years younger than her.

I grew up in South Africa. I lived on top of a gorge and spent my days bushwacking with my friends and our dogs, following footpaths that took us into its cavernous persona. We would spend hours sliding down the smooth rocks in the local river that cut its way between the cliffs towards the ocean some 30kms away. We would climb up waterfalls using monkey ropes and sun ourselves on a giant rocky precipice with sheer cliffs that fell hundreds of feet into the valley below.

If we weren't adventuring in the valley, then we were on our bicycles cycling up to the sugar cane farms 5 km away to say hello to the farm workers, cycle off the beaten track, and sometimes come away with a piece of cut cane, gifted to us by a smiling harvester, to chew on, all the way home.

Our backyards became stadiums for world cup tennis tournaments, touch rugby, cricket internationals, and marathon days in the swimming pool under the hot African sun. It was a very blessed, care-free, and privileged childhood.

I grew up listening to John Denver, ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, Engelbert Humperdink, Diana Ross, Leo Sayer, Lionel Ritchie, Billy Joel, and Elvis (all my dad's faves)... and always always Boney M EVERY SINGLE CHRISTMAS MORNING!!! - we knew all the words lol. A lot of the soul of that music from those years has stuck with me through the years, although my musical interests have also diversified somewhat over time.

I also read a lot...

Some of my faves from my younger years include:

I am David
My Side of the Mountain
Bridge to Terabithia
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Hobbit
Green Grass of Wyoming (series)
The Famous Five

The middle bit

I faced the awakening and sad realisation in my teen years, as I grew up, that I lived in a country divided along racial lines, controlled by institutionalised Apartheid. I listened to once banned music recorded by friends of friends onto cassettes (songs like Asimibonanga by Johnny Clegg) and played ad nauseum until the tape stretched and unraveled into the inner workings of my radio cassette deck and had to be rewound back manually by hand using a pencil onto its spool.

I read autobiographies, Shakespeare, poetry, took part in public speaking, debating, wrote short stories and discursive essays and poetry, and belonged to running and karate clubs.

I went on my first trip to the mountains with my school - and still remember sitting outside in the dark under the stars on my coat, way up high, our wooden cabin behind us, staring out across the Drakensberg and the valleys below, thinking... this is just incredible. Such stillness. Such joy. Such peace. Such beauty. I could almost touch God... I fell in love with the mountains and they are still my happy place today.

I studied at University for 5 years, doing both Arts and Law degrees. I majored in English and Law in my undergraduate degree and then studied 22 subjects during my LLB. It was intense.

I worked for the IEC during our country's first national democratic elections in 1994 as an Election monitor - a fascinating insight into politics.

I voted for change.

And as South Africans, we were mostly a united nation under our beloved Madiba, Dr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, our country's first truly democratically elected president. A true inspiration.

I worked in commercial law for a large vehicle finance bank after University, met my husband at our local English pub in 1996 (I approached him haha), and got married in 1999. I resigned from the bank in 2000 to join my husband in China for 4 months, before we emigrated to the UK.

The other Middle bit

I have been living in the UK since January 2001. My husband and I adopted our children back in 2013/2014 and they are now 9 and 11 years of age and are the loves of my life.

I have been working for a Telco for the last 21 years - I retrained as a Certified Chartered Accountant (long story - I've probably written about it previously if anyone cares to look). I work reduced hours during the week so that I can do the school runs and spend time with my boys.

I spent a good part of the past decade trying to work out what my passions were... I went back to Martial Arts, I took up photography, bought a guitar, dabbled in writing on occasion.

It took long enough but I eventually knew that what I needed to do...was to write... and found my way during covid, onto a couple of blogging platforms... finally making Hive my home of choice. I am all about social capital before financial and love the engagement opportunities that Hive has to offer. Within a couple of months of arriving on Hive, I fortuitously landed in the best community with the best leader on the blockchain. @dreemsteem and @dreemport have given me more than I could ever have imagined possible within a single year. Dreemport and our dreemers are more than just an online community to me - they are a second family and I love them all dearly, and I am presently an ambassador with Dreemport.

On Hive, I also curate for the relatively new VYB (verify your brain) community.

My primary writing joys include... short stories, poetry, and discursive essays, although I will read just about anything if it is written well or written with heart, passion or humour.

I love writing to prompts in the Ink Well, @mariannewest 's free write prompts, Zapfics in Freewriters, and Word of the Week (soon to be relaunched as Dreem Word of the Week). When I can manage it, I also enjoy @ablaze Three Tune Tuesday (participated once but desperate to do so again!), @tattoodjay 's Wednesday Walk, @dswigle 's Market Friday, and @dibblers.dabs A Tale of Two Pizzas. Occasionally when the mood strikes, you will find me in Blockchain poets.

This past year has taken me on an amazing journey of growth in both my writing and my spiritual life and for that I have immense gratitude to those around me who have helped to guide and shape my life, and to God above and Christ, who have brought me home.

So as if that wasn't about 3 fun facts about me:

  1. Music is something I use to enhance the emotions I am feeling... my favourite band is Lifehouse, a Christian alt-rock band, although they don't publicly market themselves as a Christian band. Jason Wade, their frontman has one of the best voices I have ever heard. My other go-to artist is John Denver. I could listen to both on repeat all day long. If I am feeling super joyful and just want to dance, I will put ABBA or PINK on and dance around my lounge on my own or grab one of my unsuspecting kiddos. I do love a wide repertoire of music from alt-rock to country, pop to classical, Christian music to instrumentals, and these days listen to a lot of worship too. My last concert... Ed Sheeran at Wembley Stadium a week ago... with my 11 year old - his first concert and what a cracker it was!

  2. Team Damon or Team Stefan? I've met and hugged them both... yum! haha

  3. I took the first photograph of Wayne Rooney when he signed for Manchester United and sold it under non-exclusive rights to 10 different news outlets including Reuters and Sky News. I used the money from that one photograph to pay for my first SLR camera system.

Right... now finally... on to Ecency...

I used to use Proof of Brain for posting on Hive, but many months ago, my good friend, @wrestlingdesires extolled the virtues of Ecency for me and I was hooked. I use it almost exclusively for posting now.

As far as the challenge is concerned... here is my screenshot from earlier today of my ecency points position.

Feel free to engage with me in the comments... I am happy to discuss almost anything.

Cover image by Dimetrios Karamitros on Canva Pro Library

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