Today someone asked me what makes me happy. I told them – laughter. I am happiest when I am laughing. And I have found I laugh whenever I am with my girlfriends.
I think it is because I find safety, acceptance, love and compassion in these women. They know my mess and they love me regardless.
It’s Valentine’s Day today and I want to wish these special women, a Happy Valentine’s Day… they are all my Valentines; in their unique, wonderful and amazing ways.
And girls – wherever you are in the world, wherever you are in your journey of life and no matter how long we’ve been apart – I wish you laughter today and every other day.
And if things are hard, and I am too far away and my Blackberry is off, and I’m silent on Whatsapp and not visible on Skype or not available on Facebook and not accessible on G-chat and I am not responding on Twitter and have gone AWOL from LinkedIn… please remember every occasion we shared laughter and may the warmth of that memory sustain you til I am able to re-surface from wherever life and its schedules bury me.
And if the pain dulls the memories and you find it hard to smile through the tears – you have my permission to think of all the times I made a complete fool of myself – and laugh your head off (at my expense!).
I love you all so much. If you could all be combined, your intimate knowledge of me would give the most accurate portrait of the woman I was, the woman I am and the woman I am becoming.
Before I name (and shame you); every Valentine’s deserves a soundtrack don’t you think? So here’s my song to you all:
There is more than one kind of love by Joan Armatrading
Talema Moyo: For all the tears you wiped away, all the nonsense you scolded away, for believing when I couldn’t and mostly for the fierce love.
Confidence ‘Kisha’ Mshakarara: For laughing at me, for loving me, for laughing with me and for the ferocious loyalty.
Nomxolisi Ncube: For picking up the pieces when I was shattered, for loving me, for poking fun at me and making it impossible for me to grow a big head.
Destelia Monalisa Ngwenya: For taking me as I am, for loving the good and the bad; for being there when it counted – for the years past and the years ahead.
Samkeliso Belinda Ndlovu: For bearing witness to my pain and for understanding (probably more than others) what it cost and what it took for me to become whole again.
Maureen ‘Mossy’ Sibanda: For sharing the fears, for being strong so I could be strong too and for your incredible resilience that inspires me.
Simiso Mlevu: For claiming a space in my heart, for the laughter, the acceptance, the craziness and mostly for the amazing example of courage you have given me.
Thandekile Moyo: For being near even when you’re so damn far. For being quick to laugh, slow to judge and willing to empathize. And for always knowing the right thing to say.
Nomakhosazana ‘Zana Kay’ Khanyile Ncube: For the astonishing beauty of your soul, the sharpness of your wit, the steel of your will and for your beloved brand of ‘craziness’.
Fungai Rufaro Machirori: For knowing me as I am, accepting me and still thinking that I am wonderful (girl, quit faking! You know I’m a mess! Lolest!).
Natasha Msonza: For your wit, for your strength and for the courage with which you hold your convictions. For inspiring me with your word-smithery and for always making time to listen.
Koliwe Nyoni: For being a friend and a sister. For being who you are – you’re so crazy and I love you for it – because your craziness gives me permission to embrace my own kind of craziness.
Rumbidzai Sithole: Who vanishes and reappears; and picks up the conversation from wherever we left off. For understanding without my explaining. For laughing and letting it be.
Nshalati Khanyisa Hlungwane: Who happened out of nowhere, crawled under my skin and made herself at home. But mostly for never condemning and always having an understanding ‘nod’ to spare.
Shonisani Ndou: When someone can count their big sister among her friends -she’s blessed. You’re my own blessing. For knowing the deep, dark and dirty secrets (and quietly bearing the burden of keeping them). For being my big sister no matter what I do.
And there are many others, who’ve walked in, walked out, walked by and walked on… may life be kind to you all. May love find you and when love hurts you – may you have friends like mine to give you laughter when you cry and to always prove that there IS more than one kind of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my Valentines!