Out With The Old & In With The New: From Saying Goodbye Bitch to 2018 to saying HELLO BABY to 2019!

We are already hitting 2019 hard with us about to knock on February’s door and I’m only posting this now. Before you jump down my pants, I was still trying my best to get a clear idea of what worked and what didn’t back in 2018.

All I know is…

2018 was a total bitch! (And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way).

Last year handed me my ass and left my wig on backwards. Upside down even. In fact, non-existent because well, your girl doesn’t even own a wig. Shem!

2018 has been one of the most difficult years of my life. It has been an arduous journey.

What was meant to be a clear trajectory to the finish line (or 2018 at least), got all muddled up. Things were not what they were supposed to be and lifelong dreams coming true can mess with your head more than you can imagine.

Yeah, I did my justice training all while starting a new job, holding down a difficult relationship, doing the Miss Independent thing and managing not to sell the kitty for mad coin. A dream come true right?

Wrong.

Okay, maybe just a little bit of a dream come true.

Really, are we doing this? For real, for real?

Okay yeah, it’s kind of a must, to get a little bit of self reflection into the program. End cycles are such a crazy time for all of us.

Anyway, here we go…

For me, 2018 was particularly brutal and littered with so many B words. Bad words.

Breakups. Bye girl/s. Broke/n. Breathe.

I was broken. Heartbroken. And because of this heartbreak, I went to a place I never thought I would (again), and not once but twice! A mental place. Or jail, considering the fact that I was basically a prisoner of my thoughts and emotions. I was about to end it all guys, and that’s not even a joke. I felt life and it’s hardships on a deeper, richer, soul level. I sought out mental and emotional help.

I lost a couple of meaningful friendships. Lost my belongings (including one of my favourite jackets my boyfriend bought me). Lost love (and found it again) and a place that had been so important to me. Lost my entire sense of self. Who was I? I no longer knew but it was clear that something was forcefully directing me down a very different path.

I was also filled with a lot of regret. Regret for the choices I’ve made and for the various things I’ve allowed to continue, for much too long. When I look over my 2018 goal list, I realised how little I had actually accomplished. I felt defeated. And there it was yet again, staring at me with big black eyes…regret.

Like I said…Brutal!

I have to laugh at it now. It seems ridiculous to me. I’ve never in my life been “that” girl. Needless to say, it was a shocking experience.

But I’m lucky. The year 2018 wasn’t just about the bad and the brutal. It wasn’t just about heartbreak and loss. It was also about being brave. It was also about growing. It was also about learning and acceptance. More importantly, it was about putting my big girl panties on, and keeping it moving.

I learned that growing has a lot to do with finally being able to accept the hard truths of the lessons given – even if that truth is YOU were the cause of your own destruction.

I learned that acceptance is knowing that you will not magically change into the person you want to be. You need to put effort into it.

I learned that “keeping it moving” involved choosing with all your might to see the beauty I’m really difficult times. And the truest beauty is in how we choose to rebuild ourselves after being burnt to ash.

I feel as though I’ve gone through one of the toughest years of my life, but I’ve definitely learned a lot. The greatest lesson of all was learning about myself as I grow older and becoming more independent. I’m so proud of everything that I’ve achieved in 2018, despite everything I’ve been through, and how I’ve come out on the other side.

I may not have tangibly gotten everything on my list done, but I made it through the year, and that’s no small feat. I can honestly say I’ve spent the last month processing and recovering from everything in 2018.

Like I said, it was brutal.

For 2019, I’m gearing up for even bigger and greater things. In fact, it has started off on the right side of the track and from this standpoint, I can already tell that this race? This is my shit B!

How was your year? Let me know in the comments below.

Also? Don’t forget to like and give me a follow 😉

XoXo

– Opus

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Panoramic Views E01- Hope is on the Horizon: An 8 Mile Tale

No matter who we are, no matter where we live, we’re all bound by borders. Many of us are content to live within these borders – others are simply forced to exist within them. However, some of us need to break out, burst through adversity, even if what is on the other side is both frightening and unknown. From this comes a story about the boundaries that define our lives, and a young white man’s struggle to find the strength and courage to transcend them. Set against Detroit’s hip hop scene in 1995, the story centres on Jimmy Smith Jr., a young rapper, who struggles to find his voice.

I watched this film again recently on YouTube Go (awesome and handy app, just btw) for the first time in 3 years, which is a shift from my once-a-year routine. Anyway, what a great film! A real statement of its time. Everything that was bad in the US in the 1990s is perfectly illustrated – living in trailer parks, caught up in gangs (predominantly blacks against whites and vice versa). All this is the backdrop for some of the most precocious wordsmiths around, creating rap and hip hop music including one Oscar winning song (A song which has had much impact on my life since the first time I’ve heard it back in ’02).

A speck from the real life story of rapper superstar Eminem, this movie is very much in the tradition of other “poor kid with a dream” stories such as Saturday Night Fever and Rocky. The plot around these stories follow practically the same pattern: A talented character has to learn to take risks and believe in himself, encountering setbacks in the beginning but ultimately triumph is the order of the day.

Let’s not even kid ourselves: 8 Mile is the rap Rocky. Period. It’s Rocky and Apollo Creed, but this time the words fly by like fists.

Eminem wears the role like a second skin, but he’s not totally cleaning out his closet. He hangs with his multi-racial consortium of homeboys in Detroit. He scribbled lyrics on bits of paper on the bus, glowering over his rap career, his unhappy domestic situations, and the way his can’t-keep-it-to-herself attractive mom keeps flaunting her sex life – Ahem – “My boyfriend won’t go down on me,” she confesses to her son. “Aw, mom, I don’t need to know that,” glares Jimmy.

Like euwww.

Upon introspection, I realised that the very essence of 8 Mile was its non-flashy, keeping it real kind of setting. Honestly, I expected an everyday common rags to riches story, but this film is everything but common. In fact, most notably for me is Eminem’s enraged lyrics and 8 Mile’s vile candor (there’s just this something about brutal honesty).

Oh, and, in case you were wondering, there is rapping, and PLENTY of it. Expect rapping that is really top quality (cutting edge stuff), for the most part, which is so coherent to the script that it is quite evident that the characters want to and choose to rap, not that the script forces them to do so. The rapping is so natural and happens because it must happen to these characters at this time, and not because Eminem is a rapper.

Honourable mention: Brittany Murphy. R. I. P girl. Even though you did our homeboy dirty, we still got heart eyes for you. Keep shinning your light on us.

Let’s proceed…

This film says something about rap and the human experience that hasn’t been articulated this well many times before, harmonising the gap between rap and poetry significantly, making that gap look a whole lot smaller.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie (with every other hundredth time I’ve watched it, lol).

Some may not enjoy it as much, but that’s probably because they go into the movie with different expectations. If you’re expecting something other than a hip hop based film that subtly comments on social, economic and racial issues, and is a pseudo rags to riches story, then you might be sorely disappointed.

When you realise what the movie is trying to show, it starts to shine. When you realise the realness of the movie, it shines even more. Finally, when you watch B-Rabbit walk off the screen with a peace sign in the air, no better than he was in the start, with ‘Lose Yourself’ in the background, you know the movie is worth it.

The film ends not with a blast but with the peace that comes to a rapper who finds his voice at last.

Watch the movie, enjoy the battle scenes, listen and absorb the lyrics then you’ll see what I see. I can’t promise that it’ll be to everyone’s taste – but everyone should watch it at least once in their lifetime.

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Pistanthrophobia

(Fear of trusting people due to past experiences with relationships gone bad)

There he stands, the man of my dreams, in fika.

Suddenly, I’m overcome by cingulomania.

I step back.

And I breathe.

What’s this? A tear?

This right here, this moment right here,

nothing but a distant dream.

A far cousin,

falling off the branches of my messed up family tree.

Here before me stands the love of my life,

buried many times in my heart,

a funeral held in my head many times.

Never has the words of Beyoncé had so much meaning,

“Rest in peace my one true love…”

Another tear?

As I wipe away the words I’ll never say from my face,

I look at him standing there in fika.

And then, like clockwork,

this thought sprung into my head,

“…he will never know.”

– Opus

When She Writes

A woman who writes feels too much,

those simple yet target words.

As if fxckboys, broken hearts and regrets weren’t enough.

As if gossip, fake friends and lost friends were never enough.

She thinks she can warn the stars,

about how living in a society so sex driven has left it’s scars.

A writer is essentially a spy.

We spill the secrets of the world from our guts, into that ink and onto that paper.

She thinks she can warn the moon,

about the men flashing cards buying sins on the back seats of cars with tinted rolled up windows.

A writer is essentially a spy.

We’re out here to warn you my brothers,

that beauty comes off with a mere swipe with those N$8 wipes.

A woman who writes feels too much.

A woman who writes sees too much.

A woman who writes says too much.

Dear love,

I am that woman.

– Opus