Embrace Life

So I’m writing this when I’m in much conflict with myself and so I’m not sure if I’m writing this to vent or to give a message, maybe its a bit of both.

On Friday 6th of April I attended my Niece’ pass off parade into the British Army, surrounded by my brother in law & sister and other family members we watched her troop and two others, accompanied by the Band of the Royal Logistics Corps, the pride that we all felt I am sure has got to the point where it is now indescribable, for me anyway. But for my brother in-law, sister, and my other niece and nephew it must have made them extremely proud to watch my niece and God daughter who I once cradled in my arms on a hot summers day in November 1994 in Zimbabwe on their wedding day, combined with niece’ Christening – she is now all grown up and turned into a great young lady who, as an uncle I have always been very proud of and I would be, whatever she had decided to pursue. But now she is a soldier in one of the best Armies in the world, a soldier and watching her pass off and marching to the sound of the band of the RLC was incredible.

Now everyone who knows me knows I was once on my way to joining the British Army in 2006, where I attended my Army Presentation at an Army Careers Information Office (ACIO) not far from where I live. As I am from a family of infantrymen that is what I decided on, the regiment I decided on is the oldest English line regiment but sadly it did not happen for me. As a Commonwealth applicant I faced some bureaucratic issues but for a number of years  I did not let this stop me and I even went as high as the Secretary of Recruiting for the regiment and a friend of mine even offered to try enlist the help of the then (now late) Colonel of the Regiment who was a personal friend of his but after a few years I realised that this was the British Army I was dealing with and no matter how hard I tried, in the words of the then Secretary of Recruiting it is embroiled in red tape that I cannot go under, around or over and I guess this is what makes it the professional entity it is. I cannot hold the Army or the government at fault for my entry having been unsuccessful and never have – I at least got as far as just before my British Army Recruiting Battery (BARB) test before I could not proceed.

Prior to the pass off parade my brother in law & I were sitting at a table and he went ‘this could have been you bud’ and then after the parade my sister went ‘are you gutted this didn’t happen for you?’ Yes, I always was but for the last couple of years I thought that “guttedness” was gone but as I was aiming to be infantry rather than trade my basic training would have been 26 weeks at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) on a 26 week Combat Infantryman’s Course (CIC) rather than at an ATC (Army Training Centre). For a number of years I was gutted as it was a dream I had as a child that I lost somewhere along the way and it was a little too late when I realised that it was still what I wanted. The timing was right as I was in my mid-twenties, so in my opinion the right time and it was only paperwork that stood in my way, even though the standard entry recruits would have been six/seven years my junior but I had plans for my career which I drew out at a time when I studied everything I could for my intended future, which sadly didn’t go according to plan. But, as I said I hold no one or anything accountable for my actions (or inaction) but myself.

Life:

In life there is no secret remedy, we don’t have a hard reset button, no time machine, no Delorean, no little blue phone box, no magic pill. We create our own present and future, we create the world around us and in that time we all need to remember that this is one life we have been given that we need to live, we have one shot and it is up to us and our actions how that future is dictated, whether we choose to be a soldier, whether we choose to be a doctor, a lawyer, a firefighter, police officer; whatever we choose it is up to us how we use that time and we should use it wisely because we cannot go back and change things, as much as we want to sometimes – reality dictates otherwise.

Pro’s & Cons of Not Being Able to Change Time:

The biggest con this has taught me is living with the fact that being a soldier is engrained in me, it is something that will never change inside of me and I will always click with soldiers and officers alike, no matter how much I think it has gone from me (because I did think it was until Friday) but more important than that, the pro’s that is the people and the friends that have come and stayed in my life and that is irreplaceable, like losing out on a great career. In that time the best thing that has happened to me is the friends I have made in that time, this is the best substitute and that is one thing I will never change for the world and as I am set as an infantryman and still being willing to give my life for Queen & country and the freedom of our democracy I would not change the people who have come into my life. One such person has come into my life and when I think about my relationship there I also think about the Army and that person comes first before the Army, every time. I couldn’t change that for the world.

The Greatest Lesson to Learn from This:

Live your life and live it to the best of your ability and doing what your heart wants and remembering you have one shot, there is nothing that will change it so make it count, give it your best shot so that one day you do not have to look back and hold regret. Live, love and be happy. You have one shot, make it count. You are your own sniper and your target is life, every single bullet counts.

 

The Definition of a Zimbabwean.

As Zimbabweans we are more than a nationality, we are a people who live, eat and breath resilience, we are characteristically a strong people because of our lives, because of our upbringings. But, we still have a heart, we still hurt, we still love and when we do it is deeply, we can still break but every time we do we bounce back stronger, faster, wiser, sharper.

When we are given a reason to defend and protect that and those that are a part of our very being, our very existence, our very soul we do it fiercely, loyally and passionately. When we forge real and powerful relationships we are loyal to the very extreme.

Who are we, who am I? We are a people who learn what death is from a very young age, we have known what it is like to lose dear friends from a young age, we are a people who shelter those we love and appreciate from what we have experienced for the protection of their being.

The majority of us have lived lives that can only be imagined by others, or believed to be not true. Some would wish it, others would believe it was from a movie. Unbelievable lives, varied, from good to bad.

Now, who are we? We are Zimbabweans, some African cowboys and cowgirls, others, silent warriors.

Breaking Point: Breakdown or Breakthrough?

So this is the first time I’ve touched my blog in a while and so with that in mind I must apologise to my readers/followers for my allusiveness, I am and have been working through something. I must also apologise to my host for not touching this for a while.

Anyway, as I have just said I have been and am working through something and instead of now just “trying” I have decided to do. For a while I have had a personal ethos which is “Try means won’t, do means will” and so I have now made a conscious decision to “DO”. So on my personal Facebook this morning I recorded a live video and the title was “Breaking-point” so, what is breaking-point? Doesn’t that mean when we’re just about to have a breakdown? I think it depends entirely on our personal interpretation of it, it can be breakdown or it can be breakthrough, breakdown, breakthrough.

I have been trying to deal with what I have for a while now and whenever I have tried to pick myself up I have somehow sunk back into my pit of despair and uncertainty and emotional pain. But then yesterday something happened and I can’t really put anything on it but to say that I finally think it is time to fix myself. And the lesson I’ve learnt from this is that we cannot be fixed, whether someone tries or we try fix ourselves until we are ready. We each need to be ready, it doesn’t matter how much spirituality or how much of God is involved. It is when WE are ready, we each need to be individually ready, no amount of talking about going for counselling, researching issues, hiding away from the world, talking to people, not talking to people, secluding ourselves from family or friends is going to help. In fact, those are probably all the worst things we can do. We just need to bide our time and wait until we are ready but at the same time remind ourselves of the damage that we are doing to ourselves, our relationships and friendships and realise how special some of those relationships and people are and are very special to us and so that the faults lie within ourselves, so before we drive people away it is time to reflect and cast realisation upon the fact that not only are we hurting ourselves but at the same time we are in fact steadily driving people away, whether we, or they do not realise it, it will happen because as humans our individual spirits, our mind, heart and soul can only take so much. No matter how much we say, it is fine – bare in mind that unconditionally does not always mean unconditionally because we are not wired to take too much, there will always be a point where too much IS too much. So, with all that mind I have decided that it is time I “DID” and not “TRIED”

So, to all those suffering with some kind of hurt just remember, give yourself time to heal, when you are ready your mind and heart will let you know. But please, do not do what I’ve been doing and shut people, friends and family out. Remember the old adage “Time is a great healer” – tis true…

Be kind to yourself, give yourself time…

Adapting and Change – Lessons from Horsemanship.

By no means do I consider myself one of life’s best horsemen, nor a horse whisperer, I am but a novice in this field – I find horsemen like Chris Cox and Buck Brannaman a major inspiration, whilst there are others I find more of a likeness in myself with Brannaman and Cox, and if I were to be put next to either I’d be like a student from the first grade, both incredible horsemen and in their journey to become the horsemen they have become they have also turned into incredible people; and if I were to be put next to the both of them, well, I’d be stood next to giants on the field of equestrianism. (and no, my height and the fact that I am only 5.5″ has nothing to do with it, for those that know me)

The eye of a horse is a window to its soul.
The eye of a horse is a window to its soul. It generates its own feeling, its own power, down to the very depths of its soul.

So anyway, I found a post in my Facebook memories that I shared from Chris Cox’ Facebook two years ago today which was the following, with caption:

Adaptability Sometimes your Greatest Asset is your Ability to Adapt to life's Challenges. The Instinct to Survive is greater than one can imagine. You will always be Tested in this Life. Its not what Happens to you but how you React to it that matters. In Horsemanship, Adapting is a very important part of Communicating. Remember, your Road may not always be Straight. Learn how to Adapt with Confidence and Grace. Many Blessing. From Your Horseman Chris Cox
Adaptability
Sometimes your Greatest Asset is your Ability to Adapt to life’s Challenges.
The Instinct to Survive is greater than one can imagine.
You will always be Tested in this Life.
Its not what Happens to you but how you React to it that matters.
In Horsemanship, Adapting is a very important part of Communicating.
Remember, your Road may not always be Straight. Learn how to Adapt with Confidence and Grace.
Many Blessing.
From Your Horseman
Chris Cox

So, this morning I’m thinking about this. I am having a big problem with change in something and have been handling it not so well and I am not sure if I ever will be able to accept these changes, or adapt, but it occurred to me, at the same time that I am not handling this from the lessons I have learnt in the past or the life lessons in my time spent with horses, I am handling this situation badly and though it is a situation which has hurt me maybe in order to help myself I need to remind myself of this from Chris and also because not every horse is the same and so not every situation or person can and will ever be or remain the same. There is always change, there will always be change and maybe change is what defines us and helps us grow. Perhaps it is the way we handle it in which shows our strengths or our weaknesses.

Anyway, just something I thought I’d put out there. Wishing you all a great and peaceful weekend.

Good Souls

Greetings folks, readers, followers, hope you’re all well. To those in the UK I hope your long weekend went well.

Yesterday I spoke with one of my best buds who lives in Devon in Exeter, one of the most inspirational, down to earth, caring people I have ever met. He’s got one of those souls that could cheer anyone up; he could turn a grey, stormy day into sunlight alone with his demeanour, one of the most focused people on the face of this earth that I have ever met and known.

Continue reading “Good Souls”