I Cannot Breathe

It’s been a very long while since my last blog post, mainly because I’ve been trying to build my finance column on Selibeng.com  and YouTube channel which has been both exciting and tiring. My drive and passion for financial education keep me going, but even the strongest reach a point of no return. As if these two projects aren’t labour intensive, throw in a hectic 8-to-5 job in the mix, building a company and studying towards a postgraduate qualification. Chaos!!!

It recently hit me that I’ve been in Maseru, Lesotho since my return from the Mandela Washington Fellowship in the United States of America (USA) in August 2019. I haven’t been outside of Lesotho, except for an unpleasant and stressful trip to Bloemfontein, South Africa to write my last exam in pursuit of a postgraduate diploma in Financial Planning Law in September 2019. Boy oh boy, was this exam stressful!! Fast forward to October 2019, my life has been extremely busy with my corporate job, various speaking engagements, part-time lecturing, trying to create content and selling ice to make ends meet in January 2020.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and thoroughly enjoy what I do, but no one can function at this level consistently before things start breaking. As it currently stands, the walls that hold my “perfectly curated” life are starting to show the cracks. I can feel my smile slowly fading, changing into a bitter smirk. My drive and energy levels are also taking strain, as I struggle to pull myself out of bed every morning. I am not excited about being in Lesotho anymore. I currently find no joy in coming to work or doing any other work outside of my 8-to-5. It gets even HARDER when people depend on you to ignite and fuel their energy levels or help them get things done- be it at work or life in general; when I constantly feel like I cannot breathe!

A month ago, a colleague called me asking for help and our conversation ended in a shocking comment, with him saying “You are TKay, able to fix ANYTHING.  Although this was flattering, it was also indicative of the risk and danger of stretching myself too thin if I am not careful. So how do I find fix this?

Maletsunyane Falls, Lesotho -Photo by Napo Thahane (Mint Photography)

Learning to say NO!

In the last few days, I’ve proactively declined a number of requests asking for my help or involvement in projects that do not feed my soul. Sadly, not a lot of people will be okay with my responses or understand my reasons why. Accepting that I do not need to explain myself to everyone or justify my decisions has been a huge relief. I’ve also made peace with the fact that it is not everyone that will be happy with me or with my decisions. Equally important, learning to speak up and confront (amicably) situations that are not constructive has helped me deal and cope. 

Learning to walk away

I am of the view that too many of us compromise and settle for situations or relationships (romantic, family, professional or friendships) that are toxic, because we are afraid of walking away. I’ve suffered a great deal and to some extent compromised my health, because of relationships that were hurtful and toxic (maybe I was the toxic person in the relationship, who knows?). As a result, I found myself crying often, really unhappy and defeated most times.  In trying to fix and making these relationships work, each attempt was causing more damage to my health and emotional well-being. It wasn’t until I asked myself why I was tolerating this kind of abuse and deciding to walk away (as scared as I was)  that the healing process started.

Photo by Justice Kalebe

Travel, find yourself

For anyone who knows me well, my love for travelling (preferably solo) is unmatched. Having been stuck in Lesotho this long is ALARMING, but also taught me valuable lessons. I am extremely frustrated and genuinely unhappy and with my finances currently not allowing me to flourish, something has to change.  This change in my case, is appreciating just how beautiful our country is. I am realizing that I do not always need to go to other countries to find myself. So while I work hard to save money for an international trip, I’ve challenged myself to visit and explore Lesotho first. Fortunately, all the work that I’ve put in over the last few months should pay off and allow me a trip soon. I am excited about the travel plans on the horizon, so I can catch my breath again. I am also a stronger believer in the beauty of travel and finding oneself. Travelling helps clear your mind, re-energize and introspect. So if you ever feel like you cannot breathe or are suffocating- I urge you to save money, plan a trip, and GO! The danger of staying is that your whole life can come crumbling down because you’ve lost your passion for life. So travel (starting with Lesotho), find yourself and come back inspired! 

#Lesotho #TravelSolo

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