Man Crush Everyday (MCE)

Hmm I don’t know where to start for this one… A part of me wants to start from 2019 (today) another part of me wants to start from 2017 ( when I realized that love at first sight is actually a thing).

In February 2017 I started University. Before I go any further, can I just say University is nothing like in the movies, it’s not all fun and games; I mean it’s fun when you know people, but above all it’s challenging and very easy to get lost in the chaos. Anyway I had just started my Food Science and Technology programme which involved a lot of chemistry. I had no friends in my class, for a few reasons;

1. I was a “snob”

2. I did not talk much. People seem to like people who talk a lot.

3. I wasn’t big on being around people, when I could easily have conversations in my head when I was alone.

I had a bunch of modules that I did with people doing different degree programmes. So when I had lectures for organic chemistry, the lecture theatre would be packed with people doing Biochemistry and a bunch of other programmes. To be honest I only remembered Biochemistry because that’s what he (MCE) was studying.

When it all began…So this one day, I was early for the chemistry lecture and decided to sit close to the front, so I sat in the fourth row from the front; and guess who came in late, looking handsome as always and sat right in from of me!! He did. I cannot remember a single thing Dr Nhamo talked about in that lecture, but I do remember how the hair on the back of his head was coiled. I couldn’t take notes that day, and every other day he sat close by. I remember the first time I heard him speak, he sounded like an angel (not because I know what angels sound like, it was just beautiful), don’t get me started on the way his eyes smile when he smiles. I wanted to know more about him, but I had no idea how I was going to make that happen. I told my friends about him, and they suggested that I greet him and make things move forward, but I had a boyfriend and I didn’t really want things to move “forward”. I just liked the idea of him.

Weeks and maybe months went by without seeing him, and I hoped that giddy feeling would fade. That was a lie. I liked it. I had started attending Rotaract meetings regularly, and this one Friday I got the shock of my life when I saw him in the corner of the room. I think I had a mini heart attack. I couldn’t not look at him, but at the same time I didn’t want him to catch me looking. So I kept my cool and waited for everyone to introduce themselves. That was the day, finally this boy I had fallen in “love” with had a name. My heart was happy. Now I could do a love test on your behalf…I’m just kidding. I was overjoyed though. The semester ended and I hadn’t gained the courage to talk to you.

Then came the second semester of the year, I was the club services director for Rotaract. This was the one way I could talk to him without making my interest in him obvious, nothing exciting happened during this semester, except how my heart used to beat for him; in the most literal sense oh! and how he once passed an imaginary blunt to my friend and I. That was hilarious.

In 2018 I came back with a bang, I was so ready to pour out my heart to him ( mind you I knew nothing about him, except that he was tall, handsome, chocolate..like milk chocolate, funny, and handsome gosh! And that I thought his skin was soft)

In February 2018 he officially said hi to me, and we weren’t even in a Rotaract meeting! From that day onwards he would greet me every time he saw me; most of the time I was with my friends though, so maybe he was greeting them and not me; because he greeted them even when I wasn’t with them.

In March 2018 there was the Mahadan 3.0 Blood drive. I was disappointment because the nurse couldn’t see or feel any of the veins in my arms, so I didn’t actually donate any blood, but I stayed all the same and I got a sticker!

A few of us went outside to play soccer with a tennis ball, weird yes, but totally worth it. He spoke to me! Like not to me and the people I was with, but just to me. I wanted to smile from ear to ear, but I didn’t, instead I wanted to avoid having him kick the ball to me, so I was low-key trying to run away when he asked me why I wasn’t kicking the ball hard enough. All sorts of things starting running through my mind at this point, my mind was a jungle, but I played soccer and enjoyed it.

Every Rotaract meeting after this made me nervous, plus the way he says my name makes me happy, like he doesn’t pronounce all the letters in Tafara, instead he says it as Tafara ( if you didn’t read the Tafara’s differently, you don’t belong on earth!). Every time I saw him walking past my department, my heart would beat really fast and I would smile uncontrollably, whilst Tracy and Tanaka looked on, until Tracy decided that we should call him Man Crush Everyday. Which was so fitting. It was like every time I saw him felt like the first time I saw him in the organic chemistry lecture.

In the second semester of 2018 my friends and I started this thing where every Friday we would dare each other to do something we wouldn’t normally be comfortable doing. Can I just say every time it was my turn I was scared I would be dared to tell him how I have had a crush on him since 2017. Thank God that never happened! But Tracy convinced me it was time, mum even chipped in and said “when you like a guy you have to make him know how you feel” that is easier said than done, she didn’t understand that. I nearly gave in.

I was extremely happy on this particular day, and so I texted him. Yes! I texted MCE. I mean we had texted each other before, but only about Rotaract related issues. This day was different. So I told him I had a few questions I wanted to ask him, and not about Rotaract. Then I told him I would ask him when I randomly bumped into him. Unfortunately, I never bumped into him and he seemed to avoid the questions all together. Tracy came up with the theory that I had scared him away. Honestly! Does that even happen over text? He continued to greet me in the goofiest (this may not be a word) of ways. A month went by and I had forgotten about him, not completely obviously, but enough for me not to smile when his name was mentioned.

In December there was a hail storm and I kept asking my friends if I should close the door, and they weren’t answering me, then he just walked past us and said “You should probably close the door” then he did this cool thing with his fingers. I melted. And I felt the entire zoo in my stomach. MCE was back! I never did tell him how I felt/ feel.

Today he called me. I didn’t answer my phone. I watched my phone ring. I had a mini heart attack. Then I opened WhatsApp only to see messages from him asking me about the senior lab technician from my department. I mean honestly! Are we friends? Because if we are I totally have a crush on my friend! I kinda like that he texted me though. Can I still tell him I’ve had a crush on him for almost two years now? Or would that “scare” him? He’s funny over text too! Oh and I’m totally smiling. Did I tell you our babies would be so cute! Gosh I sound like a teenager. smh.

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Friendship

Most of us say we have friends and unbreakable friendships, but what is a friend? More importantly what does friendship mean to you?

According to Wikipedia; “Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an association.”

Finding the standard definition of what a friend is, was a futile exercise. It is probably because it can be defined in many ways than one. What you consider to be a friend can be the complete opposite of what I think a friend is.

For me, a friend is someone I can count on no matter what, someone who is willing to accept my imperfections, someone who does not complain about late replies, because they know me well enough to know that the conversation can continue whenever, someone who respects me and my choices, someone who is emotionally available, someone I can send thirty consecutive texts about completely unrelated things and get a response for each of them, someone who is ready to take the other side of an argument, even though my side should be the only side to be considered, someone who puts as much effort into helping me solve my problems as I do for them, someone who helps me grow and become better, someone who is overjoyed when I have achieved something, someone I trust, someone who is down to make poor life choices as long as we have a good time, someone who listens to me complaining about how I wish I was the only child because siblings are so annoying, someone I can talk to about anything without having to worry about being judged for it and more importantly someone who is not afraid to tell me I am being ridiculously insane when it is necessary.

What Is a Friend? Someone has said, “A friend is a person who is willing to take me the way I am.” Accepting this as one definition of the word, may I quickly suggest that we are something less than a real friend if we leave a person the same way we find him – Marvin J. Ashton

I guess it is safe to say Ravi is my realest friend (Not to invalidate my other friends). Simply because he’s almost everything I look for in a friend. The only thing missing is that he does not laugh at my not so funny jokes. But I mean he’s good to me, I am good to him too. Can I just say he introduced me to The 1975, an amazing band! I will not delve into how I’m not the same person I was when I met him four years ago. When I asked him what friendship means to him; he said ” Friendships are harder than relationships, because there’s no intimacy to keep them alive when people grow apart. Also that friendships involves being emotionally available for each other, and having the same values.” Off the record he said I am the embodiment of true friendship! Okay maybe the last part is a fib, but he is definitely what friendship means to me!

To me friendship is really deep. There is no in between. We are either friends or we are simply people who know each other. Some people just don’t deserve to be called friends and in turn they should not be given the honour.

I have very few friends, all of whom are good to me. Why are they so few? Maybe because I am a giver and the world is full of takers. Why can’t there be a balance between the two? There is the possibility that I have a handful of friends because I have not fully mastered the art of maintaining friendships.

So what does friendship mean to me? Friendship means love, loyalty, trust and commitment. And I do a really good job at “friendshipping” 💕.

Every time someone tells me they have a tonne of friends I always ask them how they maintain their friendships? I am still waiting for a satisfying answer to that question.

Holidays!

23 December 2018, Mum, Natasha and I are on our way to church, it’s almost Christmas. First of all can I just say I do not understand what the big deal with Christmas is, secondly, I don’t understand why the day has to be spent with family members who really don’t give a shit about whether you’re alive or not, okay maybe they do but I would like to believe you understand what I mean.

I hate Christmas. Why? Because for the past two years I’ve had to spend the day smiling and pretending to be overjoyed to be surrounded by family. I’d rather be hanging out with my friends getting high somewhere than to be with my family. Oh and when I say “family” I am not talking about mum, dad, Lorraine, Natasha or the few uncles and cousins that I like. I’m talking about everyone else in between.

On the 6th of March 2016, my grandma (Gogo Bwanali) passed away. I will not go into the details of her passing. It was a tough time for us, but more so for mum. I lost the only grandma I ever had. I remember this one time we went to visit her and I was wearing a terribly short skirt, and she didn’t hesitate to tell me that she wanted to burn it. It was annoying at the time, but now it’s quite funny.

Anyway when she died, we stopped going to her house for Christmas, my cousins moved to South Africa, my aunts and uncles in South Africa stopped coming to Zimbabwe all together. There was nothing else to look forward to.

Then mum decided we should spend Christmas at Dad’s mum’s (Gogo Mumba) house. I hate it there. I hate everything about being there. I would rather be alone for a lifetime than to spend the day there. I can’t explain why I hate it so much, lest my words get twisted; actually I will explain. In dad’s family failure is unacceptable and so there’s a need to be perfect and to conform to the norm. I hate everything about what’s “normal”. Who sets these standards? Are they themselves “normal”? Why should one person’s normal be everybody else’s normal? What’s normal anyway? Also I just hate small talk. Like why can’t we just greet each other and continue to not notice each other like before. Why does ” how’s college?” Have to come up every time we see each other. College is tiring okay! we do a tonne of things we don’t want our parents to know about, but it’s tiring all the same. I don’t think that’ll ever change; or “what are you doing again?” The fact that you have to ask me that question everytime you see me simply means my entire existence does not matter to you. That is why I don’t like going to Gogo Mumba’s house.

Anyway, midway through typing this, the radio presenter I was listening to asked the question ” what/ who is the one thing/ person you are grateful for now that you weren’t before?” Honestly I am grateful for Gogo Bwanali beyond words. She was so good to me and I wish I was as good to her as she was to me. I took all those personal things she wanted to talk about for granted. I hope I am half as cool as her 💕.

Am I the only one?

I am obsessed with human rights, but moreso women’s rights; why? Because women’s rights are ignored and considered to be unnecessary. If you are not aware the 16 days of activisim to end violence against women and girls ended on the 10th of December. I was totally hyped up about the movement, I even had my friends wear orange, just so I could take photos of them and be involved in the movement.#16daysofactivism #HearMeToo #orangtheworld.

I know some people don’t care about gender based violence, simply because they believe that it focuses only on women, but there’s a reason why it does. We are the most vulnerable.

On Monday I was sexually harassed. This wasn’t the first time. I have been sexually harassed by men and women, several times; from being talked about in third person, as a horse by a group of boys, the one guy even had the audacity to ask who was riding the horse(me); to an attendant in a clothing store rubbing my thigh with the palm of her hand…But Monday was different. It made me feel worthless, a feeling I had felt before, but never this intensified. On this particular day I had gone to VID which stands for vehicle inspection department, I think. I checked on the internet and it said it’s short for video; which is definitely not what I mean. Anyway I had gone to book a date and time for my road test (which I passed by the way!). After that I had to get a Combi home, so I was walking anxiously across the combi rank along fourth street. I always feel like a zebra in a the wild, with lions watching at a distance and waiting to destroy me when I’m walking in town. I had almost made it to the other side of the rank without being harassed and provoked, I suppose I was relieved too soon. This man walked up right in front of me, blocked my way and held out his fist right in front me. I there about lost my mind, I was scared. Scared of how alone I was at that very moment. Scared of what could have happened to me. I had nobody to protect me from what followed. He insisted that I fist bump him, but I didn’t want to. He was dirty, I didn’t know him, I didn’t know where his hands had been, what diseases he may or may not have. More importantly I felt violated. He kept blocking my way, when I moved to my left he moved to his right hand side, and when I moved to my right he moved to his left; I stopped moving and just stood there. He didn’t move either. Eventually I gave in , I fist bumped him because I hoped he would leave me alone and let me go. He did let me go, but first he just had share what was on his mind with me; he said “kana apa handishandise condom, ndinotorova nyoro.”

I wanted to tell him that that wasn’t okay, it’s not okay for him to speak to me like that, like I had no feelings, like I had wronged him in any way. I wanted to tell him that I didn’t want to know what was on his mind. I wanted to ask him if he’d like it if some man had done that to his sister, his daughter or his niece. I wanted him to know that it’s totally unacceptable. I wanted to make him know how upset he had made me, and how I felt like I was worthless and belonged in the trash. I wanted to stand up for myself. The way I normally do. But I didn’t.

I cried. I had to get away from him as fast as I could, I did just that. By the time I found a comfortable seat in the combi, my eyes were overflowing with tears, like a river. I cried the whole way home, and I cried yesterday, I’m crying whilst typing this. I’ve never understood why people don’t say anything when they are being harassed, or why they don’t talk about it after it has happened. I understand now.

To be honest I didn’t want to write about this man who made me feel worthless, I wasn’t planning on talking about it. Well I wanted to at first because I thought that would make me feel better, but then I realized that I’d have to admit that I couldn’t stand up for myself, the very thing I believe needs to end. I was disappointment in myself. I still am.

You

So I am slightly nervous about my big test tomorrow, but here I am thinking about you. I just read messages from our chat, back when we knew each other existed… I wrote “I think the best things in life happen when people stay longer than the rest. But it’s totally up to you really.” And your response was “Fact’s I’m staying it’s decided”. But where are you now? What happened to you staying?

I remember the first time I officially met you. If this was a movie or a romance novel, I would have described what you were wearing. Luckily it’s not a movie, because I can’t remember what you were wearing. I do remember what I was wearing though. It was a Friday and for some reason I decided to dress up a little, and not stick to the typical dirty converse shoes, jeans and a t-shirt. So I wore a cute floral crop top and a beige pencil skirt, with brown sandals and a turquoise bag (which I later discovered was your favourite colour too). It was just after a Rotaract meeting and a friend of mine walked up to me and said ” Taf, my friend thinks you’re hot” and me being me, I said “oh well, good for him! What good is it if he can’t tell me that himself”. Then a few minutes later you showed up (I guess you were that friend who thought I was hot huh?) Then you shook my hand, if only you knew how confusing I find handshakes to be; like when is the shaking enough? But your smile made me forget about the awkwardness of handshakes. That was the beginning of the end.

We texted each other regularly after that, and hung out a bit, mostly by coincidence and also because surprisingly we know the same people. I enjoyed every second of it, well at first that is. I felt like when I was with you I didn’t have to say things out loud for you to understand, you just understood everything and it was so effortless. I loved that about you, I didn’t have to explain why I find things fascinating, or why I don’t like being stared at; and because I’m a sucker for good conversation about anything and everything, I soon found that you could turn my crappy days around, simply by talking about how messed up group assignments are, and how annoying people can be. I looked forward to randomly seeing you, and your smile… Gosh that smile.

I guess it was too good to be true, because you let me down. I’ve told my girlfriend’s that I am totally over you, countlessly, but every time you messaged me, I found myself replying you with a wild smile on my face. I once talked to Mum about you, and how you’re always looking so comfortable with different girls, maybe I was just green with envy, but I wondered if I was just like one of them. I still wonder actually. Well Mum told me to see how things played out, because at the end of the day you were just like me, a handsome young man, who many people found attractive and so you didn’t limit yourself to talking to just one girl. All I wanted was your attention.

Months went by, we still texted each other, but not as regularly. On my part it was because I wasn’t sure if you liked me simply as a friend, or if you “like liked” me; so I was distancing myself, from the heartache that usually follows. But like I said, your smile was ultimately my weakness. We had flirtatious conversation that didn’t go anywhere, they just left me even more confused and wishing I could get into your head.

Eventually I gathered the courage to ask you what your end game was and you said you didn’t know, but making me happy was part of it. I even went on to ask you if we were just two attractive people who , had really deep conversations about everything else but our emotions.,you told me you talked about your emotions and how you felt like I knew that you were into me. First of all can I just say that I hate when people assume that I know how they feel when sometimes I really don’t. But I hated it more because I wanted clarity, I wanted to know if I was hoping for too much. That didn’t help at all.

Last month I finally did it! I just had to make you choose. I don’t like doing that to people, but I had to do it, for myself. I told you how much I enjoy your company and how you ignore me or whatever you want to call it, I told you that I was worth so much more than that, and I asked you to leave me alone if you thought otherwise. And you told me a whole lot of bullshit. Funny enough you haven’t spoken to me since then. What happened to you staying? I thought you were my soulmate like you once said?

Sometimes I wish I hadn’t told you to leave me alone, because so many things have happened that I wanted to share with you, but I can’t, well I won’t, because you’ve decided not to stay. I just hate that I found the way you see the world so attractive, I hate that you told me I was amazing and pretty all the time, I hate that white T-shirt you wore because it made you look so beautiful. I hate that we couldn’t have been more. I hope the thought of me makes you long for me. More importantly, I hope you’re happy.

Out with the old, in with the new!

The last three years of my life have probably been the hardest. I had a very difficult time accepting myself. Some might say I had an identity crisis, some might simply call it depression, I think I was extremely self-conscious. But in all honesty I would rather you call it whatever you see fit.
When I was seventeen years old I hated myself, I hated how I looked, I felt terrible; physically, emotionally and mentally. To “solve” my problems I gradually stopped eating. It all started with skipping meals here and there, then I started going for days without eating. When I did eat I would have a ham and cheese sandwich and on days when I felt good, I used to “spoil” myself with a Cadbury Moro; funny enough I drank a lot of water and Mazowe cordials, that is what pretty much kept me alive.
Midway through lower sixth I was slowly developing an eating disorder, to be honest slowly and developing are both understatements for what had become of me. Surprisingly I was starting to love myself, but not as much as I loved how hunger made me feel. If I was still the seventeen year old girl I was then, I would have described it as the most beautiful feeling out there. Yet whilst I was in this dark place, some people at school were still able to see me as perfect and so in my absence some people described me as perfect. Which was terrible. I was far from that.
I remember dad saying I needed to eat more and how it would upset me so much so that instead of me eating more, it made things worse. Dad’s sisters and my grandmother thought I was ill, and they always used to give me strange looks… if they really did care about me, why is it that they never said anything to me directly? Why did they not ask me if everything was okay?
By the time I was in upper sixth I had significantly lost weight (somewhere between twenty-five kilograms). The eating disorder had completely taken over my life. I always had stomach infections, I was constantly on a course of antibiotics which I hated taking because that meant I would have to eat three times a day. Despite the constant stomach pain, I felt beautiful.
Now when I look back, I think I felt that way because my boyfriend at the time never really cared about my wellbeing, then again I cannot be the one to speak for him, because only he knows how he felt. I would however, like to believe that he contributed greatly to this ridiculous belief I had that “being skinny meant I would be beautiful”. He always used to say things like “I like small girls, I’ve never really been one for thick girls” and so there I was, a beautiful girl, who was terribly naive, who just wanted him to like me, so in my head getting skinny would make him love me. It turned out I was stupid to think that he would love me more, if he loved me, even just a little, he would not have let me do that to myself. I thought I knew what love was. Anyway, that relationship lasted for twenty-two months; that is the longest relationship I have been in, at the end of it I thought I would never love again. He changed me and I hate that. I thought I would not be able to live without him. Well here I am almost two years later, living my best life!
In January 2017 I was accepted at the University of Zimbabwe for an Honours degree in Food Science and Technology. I hated that degree programme! But not as much as I hated eating… I was still terribly thin, but this time I was surrounded by new people, they did not know what I was like before, so I did not have to hear all the nasty comments about how much weight I had lost and how unwell I appeared to be; because I was fine and people accepted me. That is what mattered to me, it is sad to say, but acceptance meant everything to me.
I became friends with many people in first year, some of whom are not my friends anymore, but I am thankful for the friendship we had. I am happy for the friends I keep and grateful for the friends that keep me.
However, words cannot fully express how much I love and appreciate Ravi, he has seen it all, and accepted my imperfections. He always used to tell me to do things that made me happy, he taught me that is was okay to be selfish sometimes, as long as it made me happy; he made me feel perfectly okay with being weird. Three years later, I am finally happy and still terribly weird.
During vacation in 2017 from June to August, I gained a large amount of weight, I cannot say I was happy about that because I still felt that only skinny people could be beautiful. To be honest I hated myself, I was “fat” again, and I could not understand how I had let that happen again.
In all honesty, gaining those thirteen kilograms was the best thing that happened to me. Although that meant I would have to live with people acting like “you’ve gained so much weight” was an actual greeting. I would soon be okay with that.
The second semester of first year started and I changed degree programmes, so I started working towards an Honours degree in Biological Science; I loved it, I still do, I was happy and I still am!
I accepted that people would always think that I gained weight based on the assumption that I was getting some good dick (I still don’t see the correlation but anyway), I do not know what other people thought. Why are people always so quick to assume things? I did not care anymore, everyone has an opinion, but not everyone should be listened to.
I will never forget Lorraine saying I looked amazing, she still says that even now. To be honest thoughts of wanting to be thin still run through my mind. So it is the little things like this that keep me going.
Acceptance is no longer a thing for me. I met two lovely ladies who have changed me in ways I cannot explain, they are truly amazing and I hope our friendship continues to grow.
As the year progressed I was beginning to love myself fully, while adding value to my life and hopefully to the lives of the people I surrounded myself with. I wanted to be someone people would remember, and not just because of how I looked, but because I had a somewhat amazing personality; I tried very hard to work toward that. It was not easy because it entailed cutting some cords I never thought I would have to cut, but I had simply outgrown certain things in life. I wanted to grow and some people were not helpful in getting me there, so I had to take the big step. I do not regret that at all.
When I look at pictures of myself from before the end of last year, I simply cannot believe people let me get so thin, but what is even more shocking is that people still loved me when I could not love myself, those people were really God’s gift to me. I would not be who I am today without the love mum has never stopped giving me. I can never thank her enough, but I am awesome because of her.
At the beginning of 2018 I told myself I would not let people bring me down; which is really hard because so many people are full of shit. I was going to be okay with standing out, as long as I was happy. If people did not accept that, then too bad! I was okay with people not liking me, which would not bother me anymore. I probably became more “unapproachable” but who cares? I don’t!
Now I am twenty-one years old and I may consume a little too much cannabis, I am moody and a bit controlling, I may come across as cold, complicated, intimidating, as someone who feels too much, or for some emotionless; for those who don’t take the time to get to know me, I am simply weird, judgemental and antisocial; but for those who do get to know me, I am indeed weird ^-^.
I love flowers and all the simple things in life and I look forward to seeing what the years to come have in store for me💕.