What an insane week. 🤪 Third post 🤯 Happy, sad, exciting, scary, empowering. A proper roller coaster of highs and low. Not gonna write about it all because firstly no one really cares but secondly who got da time for dat?!

ICEL conference. Presented my paper and poster. Met new people, made new connections and reinforced established ones.

Very significantly was reintroduced to a research methodology Prof Garraway mentioned to me three years ago!….. but only now I see its value to the PhD I’ve undertaken.

Activity theory.

I probably make sense to no one but me now. Anyway. I’m feeling energized. Let’s do this. Let’s go on. NRF rating anyone?


Dr Basitere…. chasing your tail #JustSaying. Eng Faculty Rocks

Beautiful Daniela…. truly one of my giants – allows me to stand on her shoulders

Bronwyn 4.0

Guilty, ashamed, embarrassed because I don’t have a boyfriend. Common sense in 2018 says that is absolutely ridiculous – but my reality is my reality.

To even type that makes me cringe, but also causes a lump to form in my throat and water to well up in my eyes. To face my truth is the path to growth and more than wanting a boyfriend, I want to, need to grow.

See life is good for me. Really good in fact. I have two healthy, loving and quirky kids. My minions are a constant stable source of joy and inspiration.

I have a promising career that is on an upward trajectory.

I have a great family. Supportive and loving.

I have a super set of friends. Funky, cool, supportive and genuine. And even besides my friends just in general, I am well liked and very popular with many people for just being authentically me.

There are probably some people who don’t like me, but I’m really not bothered by them. I am not destructive… those that don’t like me most likely don’t like me because they are insecure. And that doesn’t even matter to me. I really don’t need everyone to like me to be happy.

So I am happy most of the time because I am purposeful and loving.

So then Bronwyn why are you unhappy other times….. the single biggest reason is because I am single. Truth. Ugly embarrassing truth especially given all the beautiful things that I’ve just said about myself above.

And my nature, my core, my heart tells me …. you know what Bronwyn, unhappiness sucks. I don’t want to be unhappy. What can we do to stop being unhappy those times that we are, she asks herself.

After much meditation 🧘🏾‍♀️ I started believing unhappiness doesn’t go away by trying to replace it with a source of happiness.

I need to start a movement in my heart and mind by letting go of my unhappiness first. Softening to the emotions causing unhappiness. (Emotions = the overwhelming feeling of sadness materializes occasionally when I’m alone, that is also the symptom of my unhappiness) Once I’ve softened and stopped resisting them, I can then see the root cause. (First I thought the root cause was just loneliness, but with deeper guided meditation I considered all other possibilities, and the truth is I am ashamed of my single status).

This is interesting and slightly weird because a while ago I realized and fully accepted that I am not single because I’m flawed or broken. There is nothing “wrong” with me. I just am because I am. I also actively work towards loving and looking after myself – fulfilling my own needs. Treating myself with tenderness. And I also realized that single people are discriminated against. So I thought that I was in fact being wary and mindful of not accepting labels.

But an incident that happened this week permitted me to realize that despite my common sense, despite my personal growth and knowing what is logical and what is right, I still carry residual shame and embarrassment for being single.

A colleague labeled me as ‘single’ this week. Instinctively I wanted to tell the woman to fuck off. It was a big deal for me. Hhhhhhmmmm trigger much ….yeah it was. Instead of getting cross I should have actually just politely asked her “Why is it so important to you to refer to me as ‘single’ so completely out of context?”. But I didn’t, I just quietly got pissed off and in my own mind I labeled her as stupid. Tit for tatt…. gosh am I really 40 years old already?

I did that because I’m sensitive. But the truth is I am not going to change the way that the world thinks. I am not going to change the way that society was conditioned… the very way that I’ve been conditioned. In October last year I realized the reason for me having a rebound relationship last year and the year before was because of a misaligned value due to this very conditioning. Even though I worked towards changing the actual value I never realized that I have to work towards not feeling ashamed too! That just wasn’t common sense to me. I fixed one impact of that conditioning. It never occurred to me that there were other impacts too. And I just discovered another one.

So now, after all this analysis it’s time to let go. I’ve admitted my feelings and I’ve not judged myself. Comforted myself, now I must let go of what no longer serves me. And I want to accept what is because damnit I don’t have energy for any more unhappiness. I feel like smiling. My heart wants to beat strong.

So this is what I’ll do. And then, flowing along with the current of this river of life who knows what next uh, who knows 😁

Love lives here

There is no virtue higher than love.

There is no treasure higher than love.

There is no knowledge higher than love.

There is no dharma higher than love.

There is no religion higher than love because love is the highest power and the highest power is love.

Love purifies. Love transmutes. Love redeems. Love subdues. Therefore kindle the light of love in your heart (Stressfit 2018)

PhD matters

So this blog came about as a reflective tool for my PhD journey. Although I love ‘the extended life’ this blog has taken on, it is however only fitting that I periodically reflect specifically on PhD matters.

So last week I finished my final data collection for my PhD. ….. Moment

Last year I blogged about what a humbling and excruciatingly painful exercise it was to collect my quantitative data (questionnaire data). Some organizations (people in organizations I approached) were nice to me but mostly organizations didn’t have time for me, some came across as annoyed at me for bugging them, dismissed me, others ignored me and some were just plain rude to me. I accepted this was part of my journey, also part of the colossal growth curve and maturation I experienced last year. Life’s lesson to me – be compassionate Bronwyn.

Last year taught me to be compassionate, importantly, to myself first and then have the same compassion with others.

So anyway after getting through that, eventually getting some data then analyzing it, then designing a conceptual model from the results, it was time to do part two of my data collection. Part two was to present the model to selected knowledge expert i.e. the Heads of Quality Departments in three strategically located pharmaceutical organizations in South Africa and obtain their opinion on it. I finished transcribing the last interview data last night and earlier tonight I started doing thematic analysis on my interview data using ATLASti.

Now it occurred to me that I could potentially feel stressed about this – after all I have a deadline for the end of this month that I bloody know I’m not gonna make. I could also be worried because I’ve never done qualitative data analysis for a project this big and this important on my own before #NewExperience. My body instinctively starts to go tense at the thought of everything that is wrong and could go even more wrong.

And then a little voice from my heart spoke to me and reminded me “Bronwyn….. this is what you wanted, this experience is what your worked for and prepared for this is it! Where is the logic in being stressed out about a situation which seemed like a dream come true a few years ago?

I exhaled. Yes.

I must enjoy this moment. This is my journey. It is not easy but I am grateful. Tonight I feel very loved and supported. The universe is in my favour. I am in my favour. It’s time to finish what I started.