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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Political correcting, here comes the game-changer.

This is the 3rd time I have changed the title of my blog over the past two months, however the plot has remained the same due to two very politically influencing events. I just haven't had the time to complete it but given the latest turn of events for South African politics, I feel that it is most important to complete this now.

As a born free, it's a struggle in my generation to find passion and depths of understanding of our democracy, the struggles, the oppression, the fights, the gift that is the present... let alone the importance of nurturing and maintaining our democracy, that so many have fought for and devoted their lives too.

When I woke up on the morning of Madiba's death, it felt as though I heard news that a family member had died. I'm a 23 year old, woman of colour, born in the month of our first democratic vote  I was never oppressed. It is me who the freedom fighters fought for and for whom they dedicated their entire lives for the life of equality and freedom that I posses.

"Whatever my wishes might be, I cannot bind future generations to remember me in the particular way I would like" _Nelson Mandela.

The thing about Madiba's death was that yes we had time to prepare for it to happen, but the memoirs and realization of his life's purpose had an unmeasurable magnitude not only on the world, but for us, his people...its not easy to prepare for that kind of loss.

I knew in my heart and mind that this unshakable loss, was about to have a game-changer impact on South Africans. 


We remembered the struggle, almost in a forced manner and much needed so to say, documentaries aired on all our local television channels, the discussions on the radio, the research that we did to learn more, the world mourning, the replaying of the speeches, the in-your-face remember what it is this country has been through and realize that it is important to maintain what it is our parents fought for. Madiba's life was a testament to the struggle.

I saw immediate changes of attitudes from people around me, about a month prior to this one of my close friends (same age as me) brushed off my concerning attitude towards her that she did not register to vote. I literally pleaded with her that it is of utmost importance that she did and that brushing it off has such a huge impact on most things around her. This one thing voting, is what we fought for... to have a say. She didn't budge much, she just "wasn't phased" by voting.

I think that alone was a brilliant example of how mindsets were of "non-concerned" youth were prior to the death of Madiba. After he died she indeed had a change of attitude, why? She remembered and learnt the importance all over again.

I'd like to term my political knowledge as somewhat "politically-challenged" because I do not know everything there is to know and I may be ignorant to a number of factors that make up our democratic government. One thing is for sure though: I know that the current attitude of our once humbled ANC, is no longer true to their it's initial visions... I'll even dare to go as far saying that they have disappointed their people.

Yes sure, what do I know? I am naive because I am young, right? I should listen to the opinions of the older generations because they lived Apartheid, right? They must be right, right?

NOT always. 

I recently had a heated discussion with a 30-something (correctly termed: previously disadvantaged) friend of mine, and I noticed a huge difference between mindset of the "scorned" and the "free'd".

Unlike me, he lived during the struggle and remembered the challenges his parents faced and as much as he tried to remain reasonable, he could not consciously help but steer towards a grudge against "the white man" and understandably so.

The discussion started with me asking what he thinks of Agang and Mamphela Ramphele, he told me that he didn't really know who they are and wasn't phased much by them. He also stressed the fact that black and coloured people deserved BEE because of the disadvantages his parents experienced, he was also adamant that white people need to be accountable for the damages they caused, at this point i realized the difference between the scorned and the free.

I understand the damage that was done but I explained to him that we cannot make an entire racial group suffer because of the mistakes of a regime, the regime should be punished but there were white people who opposed the struggle too. He seemed to have woken up by that way of thinking and I realized how deep-set this grudge was that it almost indoctrinated all reason for him.

“If the ANC does to you what the Apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the Apartheid government.”
~ Nelson Mandela, Cosatu Conference, 1993

I then went on to explain to him in further detail who Ramphele is and that I was particularly fascinated by her, I like what she stands for and she isn't just any black woman put into power based on her skin colour or rather BEE (okay, that's a joke, don't choke)... but she seemed to be a woman of abundant knowledge and experience, she was my perfect presidential woman.

For a while I have been discussing with friends, family and well pretty much anyone who is willing to lend an ear to my opinions on politics and about what it would take for South Africa to break free from the ANC pitfall. They always seemed to be a bit puzzled each time I answered that the only way our South Africa would trust in change is to have a black female president.

Why black, why female, why do I say this you may ask yourself... Yes I claim to be non-racist and colour-blind, but I have thought long and hard about this answer.

My ideology (speaking as a born free) is that like South Africa needed to be manged carefully when the transition from Apartheid to a being free from racial segregation, Madiba understood that white people also needed to feel safe throughout this change. Safe in that they would not have been attacked or mass murdered as a result of revenge, and that by giving them a share of power would make them feel safe.

The way I see it, we are at that same crossing once again, we want to complete the transition over to not only an absolute democratic justice system, but an absolute democratic mindset free of all forms of racial segregation whether it be black domination or white domination.. This transition for the vast majority of South Africans is as closely sensitive as it was 23 years ago and we need to treat it with the same gentleness.

Black South Africans (generally speaking about the vast majority of voters and ANC supporters), need to feel safe and trusting, in fact we all need to feel trusting of our government which for the most part we currently are do not feel. It may appear to be an ignorant or crude thing to say, but like the white people of the apartheid regime needed to feel safe in the walk to equality and hold a share of power, I think many Black South Africans fear this change too (rightfully so) but there also needs to be a feeling of safety.

During apartheid we needed a strong leader... pyhsically strong with the strong qualities of leadership, a fighter and a father figure... which we found in Madiba. I feel that in the age we are in at the moment and as a nation who has had to do a lot of healing from the trauma of Apartheid, what we need is a mother figure. Our country needs nurturing, kindness and a guidance which I believe Ramphele is capable of. Our nation has scars yes, even from most recent political and economical mistakes, but right now we need someone we can trust to heal the wounds, hold our hand and guide us and treat the sores.

Helen Zille (in my humble opinion, it's my blog so it's my opinion) has a great commitment to our cause A JUST democratic system, I just don't think the nation is ready and trusting of giving the power to a "white" presidential candidate (as revolutionary as that would be for us). She has a great background and I like the journalistic zest about her, although sometimes I too get annoyed with the ranting and moaning about crap, but what remains is that years on and she is still an activist for a free South Africa and with that she understands the community/social dynamics of this so much so that she was smart enough to hand her presidential seat to Ramphele.

Why you may ask? 

Well there could be 101 reasons why, we can assume that Agang's budget was failing, perhaps Helen helped save Ramphele's career who knows?

Honestly, I don't CARE.

What I do see is an opportunity for our youth's future to be corrected from corruption, distorted ideologies, holding onto grudges of the past and taking from Peter to Paul to rectify a highly unmeasurable imbalance of opportunity (BEE).

Going back to my conversation with my friend I mentioned to him that I found myself in a bit of a fix where I was considering changing my vote from the DA to Agang, because I believed in Ramphele's ideas that she had for this country. My vote for the DA would be because in comparison to any other party they matched enough of the criteria for the change we needed and were the closest to giving the ANC a ride for their money (trusting that the money is legit, lol) my friend agreed with me on the following:

As great as Agang was beginning to sound and as desperate as I was excited to have another political party on board that matched my criteria for a president (i.e strong education, business background, sufficient respect accrued in the community: being a DR, previous apartheid activist, ex-vice chancellor of UCT) ... ah as much as I wanted to give this woman my vote, the bigger picture or realization was that it would take a good couple of years for her to gain the amount of followers the DA has and the DA just has a bigger fighting chance than Agang. The focus I had (and many others) was getting the DA in power to allow other South African political parties to all stand an equal fighting chance rather than just being dominated by the ANC.

Sadly at this point I realized, I had to give my push to the DA and let go of Ramphele.

The idea behind our democracy was not just freedom for the oppressed but freedom for the oppressor too, freedom of the ideology of apartheid. I know the implications of the regime and "white supremacy" had devastating effects on many such as lack of proper education, restraints on human rights, loss of many lives and loss of dignity. It's hard, our nation was like a brutally physically and emotionally abused child and correcting that child's mentality and teaching it right from wrong thereafter is massively challenging...

Teaching this child that trying to correct the perpetrators actions by doing unto them what they have done unto you and that granting an advantage at the cost of a disadvantage to others to rectify a previous problem does not make the new method any better than the old, we're doing it in reverse (again BEE). We need to start fresh and the only way to let go is to forgive. Forgive for the greater good, forgive for your child's future and do not allow it to be okay for your child to obtain advantages at the cost of another child's disadvantage... the people (kids) benefiting from this ideology are people who haven't even been a part of the struggle.

I am proud to say I that I think our nation has woken up to this realization and I am even happier that Mamphele is now the DA's presidential candidate.

I imagine that this must be what "ubuntu" feels like when we realize we have to work towards the greater good, together. The apartheid generation needs to find it in themselves to forgive and move forward, start fresh. The Born-frees need to step up and educate themselves about our countries political history and be an active part of the change, it is after-all the now that will determine OUR futures. 

This is my generations struggle and I feel like we are about to break free, it kinda makes me want to say... Amandla, Awethu.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Just another girl, in a tech filled world..... #ggdcpt #GEEKgirls

In walks the ambitious dev-dame.

Wondering if I was in for another lame social gathering in geek land, where man wore no shoes, spoke fluently in C# or Java ... blurted a burp here and there, with mumbles from beneath mouths curtained by majestic beards..I always kinda imagined that if this were an anime, the length of the beards would be a direct indication to the expertise & power of code the Programmer possessed & their lack of shoes would indicate that sometimes they could code using not only their hands, but toes too. These were the intimidating Alpha Males of the dev world...

SO up until now, the above was the only exposure or perception I had of the dev world. Feeling boarder line feminist activist / ambitious coder.... I was determined to either create or find a community of women in this world of devs or technology at least.

Feeling like a loner in a co-working dev space, this was how I discovered or was introduced to the unlikely world of technology.

Initially I studied Journalism & Media Studies, graduated ... used my communication skills to persuade people into buying shit and became an Online Sales Coordinator for a popular software company. Still feeling unfulfilled in my job, the search continued and the hunger increased... I enjoyed writing and the fantasy of journalism, but, there was always a but.

Uncertain about where I would place myself in all of this, was a battle of chemical warfare in my mind.

Fashion journalist? Nah, the dramatic fuss about a garment would annoy me. Investigative Journalism? Sure, but the hours required would not match my current obligations (family). Radio Journalist? Definitely, I have lots to talk about daily, but to be honest that is a "gotta-know-someone" or gotta win a competition and then lose to an air headed, sexy-voiced individual who hasn't studied at all. Mmm options? Copy Writer? Boring. PR? urgh (with an "R" yes, it's gotta "rah" when you say it), need I say more. 

Intuitively I knew it's what I enjoyed most at the time, but I was so blinded to the world of options. Programming would never have crossed my mind, in my cultural upbringing that was a job for an over-intelligent, video gaming dude. There were no women role models to look up to in this industry.

Throughout my life I always took leadership roles, class captain, team leader, captain of every single kind of sports team you can imagine. Ideas & initiative surfaced since I was kid... one of my very first ventures was at the age of 7 years old making birthday cards and selling them to my gran (a kind of sympathy purchase from her side, but still I made some bucks). And then a  rebellious teenager I was, gave my mom the kinds of grey hair that a a young 30-something mom should not have endured... BUT I was a risk taker indeed.

Never in fear to try something new (good or bad), tested the limits. A born creative with writing as a passion.

Why oh why did nobody asses all of this and say well Lisa you know... Entrepreneurship would suite you and maybe utilize those writing skills, passion and creativity to create. Computer Science could take you there? I would not have believed you for a second. 

So anyhow, almost a year ago I was offered a job as an Accounts & Media Manager for a (semi) Startup company and was kind of perturbed by the idea, but also intrigued by the small team and strange people (male devs, no shoes, long beards...refer to above).

Anyway, I jumped in with fears of instability, despondent about the lack of benefits I previously received and unsure if this company was going anywhere, risk-taker kicked in and I was in.

This happened to be the best decision I ever made. The startup culture in tech, is definitely my calling. I thrive off the excitement of not knowing what tomorrow may hold, new developments and being and feeling part of team where you matter. You contribute and feel the success of the business, it becomes a family effort and not a singular one.

Previously, my monthly individual success in my job, determined my salary (the story of commission based jobs, urgh) and all that I focused on or gave a rats ass about was how much I achieved or who I had to sweet talk into a huge sale to make that comm for myself.

Startup culture changes all of that, here you focus on pushing hard for the success of the business. You take the knocks that come and you hold on because you want it to succeed. You live and breathe the project of growing the business. Everyone who works for a Startup is an Entrepreneur. 

So this is what brought me to discovering my ambitions for coding. 

Watching the devs do what they do and also because in a Startup your cross roles many times with your counterparts, I gained a keen interest in figuring out how they do what they do. The Startup began to feel like one of my kids. Then I decided that I needed to increase my value by understanding the architecture of the system (SaaS).

With some further research I discovered that the combination of everything that I have learnt up until now + my own personal attributes + my extensive passion for technology & creativity, the calling came and I knew where I was headed.

Fuelled up in search for and passionate about creating awareness for this culture and industry, I wanted other  girls to know about the opportunities in the digital sphere and to speak with women who are in the roles I aspire to be in. As a result I ended up with a sponsored ticket to the Girls Geek Dinner.

You know when you feel like you found your BFF? That moment when you see yourself in another person, they get you, they do what you do, you get the jokes & the outsiders looking in at you two are annoyed by your synchronization and favourite songs.

Well that's how I felt finding GDD, definite potential for a new BFF.

A whole community of women who can talk tech, fashion, business, kids and some more tech?? I am home :)

The Ambitious Hackeress?
What an awesome experience, networking with like-minded women. Meeting the first female-coder I know (she was un-bearded, had shoes on...hot heels btw). This gave a thorough kick-in-the-ass to the predominantly "male" stereotype of technology.

I left feeling pretty inspired by these women, knowing that it is possible to play these roles in this industry (and rock heels). I also believe that women will bring a new perspective into programing, perhaps creative edge or a detailed eye... maybe just the nurturing touch that will make a difference (and of course the right shoes).

I'll definitely be attending GGD in future & continue my ambitions for entrepreneurship, programming & technology.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Diaries of the Technology / Social Media Diet

Has this technology evolution really been any good for humanity?

Welcome to the age of Digitisation.

Here you are welcome to toss your school bag, make space in your living room by using all those books for firewood... in fact, just throw away everything (keep the couch), speak to the world from one place, understand any language, learn about anything and everything, know where and when your ex boyfriend's new girlfriend was last night and when she last ate Nandos, you can have an "affair" without actually doing anything, you can be multiple people at one time, you can also measure the distance between yourself and mars in a matter of seconds, you can walk down any street in the world and quickly get told what shops are where and who of your friends are close by... without actually being in that street, you can quickly voice your feelings / latest emotional breakdown to the world in a matter of seconds, you can even follow Beyonce around and she could possibly follow you back.

Best of all you can do all of this with out even moving an inch, a couch and the www is pretty much all you need....... And from the rumours I have heard, soon you will be able to toast your bread from one device too.

Amazing isn't it? James Bond movies cease to impress in this age.

Teconomically speaking, Digitisation has certainly revolutionised our world, from a personal to business perspective. We haven't even realised how much businesses are cashing in on our web-obsessed habits, the most of us aren't even aware of how we are influenced daily.

Actually scrap that thought, it is not just larger scale businesses cashing in on this, it is even the 17 year old high-school student who just designed a way to keep you seated at that couch... App's is what they call them. I recently chatted to a 20 year old guy who started coding at the age of 12 years old. At the age of 17, he designed a desktop application for a well known Instant Messaging Application, and well pretty much earns between 7-9K additional income per month for designing an app once & earning an income off advertisements.

Even the out-of-school, broke-ass-student cliche is over. Students no longer need to resort to budget jug nights, when they pretty much have more than double "minimal wage" recurring income for once designing an app. These kids are investing their ideas and creativity with hardly any effort.

This somehow reverts my thoughts back to: http://lisa-jehaan.blogspot.com/2013/06/30s-are-not-new-20s-kidults-20s.html

And so I suppose, the digital boom has added significant value to our economical evolvement.

At the foundation of all of this, we've witnessed great minds and ideas that sparked this digital boom, the "Einstein's" of our time such as Al Gore who contributed to the funding and development of the WWW and the development of the Information Superhighway........Technology Rockstar Jobs, was one of the greatest giants in the information age as Co-Founder of Apple Computers Inc, which introduced the world to the iMac and the first Internet ready computer and then went on to the iBook, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad.

That is naming only but two of the many, many, many intellectuals who have paved the way.

So it is pretty obvious how well this digital age has been for science and business development, my question is: Has this evolution been any good for our humanity?

I believe that we have become de-sensitised in the age of "touch" from morals, feelings, communication and I'll dare to go as far as thought.

Ironically speaking, the age of "touch" has contradicted it's own meaning. The feel of our boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, kids, emails, banking, a baseball bat, shopping, research, books have all mainstreamed into one description: cold hard plastic.

What effect has this unknowingly had on one of our most important senses touch?

Touch could be considered one of the more important senses, it is what helps distinguish between different textures, detect cold and warmth, softness and pain. Emotionally it helps us connect with each other, its the feeling of comfort, sexual satisfaction, reminds us of our humanity and that giving a broken-down homeless child a hug could make up for a worlds amount of lost comfort, it is the feeling we get when the one you love holds your hand, when kissing your wife after a week's business trip,a mothers touch and smell is how a baby recognises its mother and the feeling of warmth provides comfort and love.

We've replaced all the above with devices and mainstreamed this into what it "feels" like to : cold, hard plastic  the screen of your smartphone devices.
Flesh Light adapter to iPad.

Don't believe me? We "chat" to our friends more than we see them, our children are educated and baby-sat by our devices, we have relationships via skype, it even goes as far as touching our partners intimately via Skype using Durex's "Fundawear"  plug your undies / bra's into your smartphone device and touch the other persons genitals by swiping areas of their body on your device which sends vibrating signals to those areas, and to take it a step further...we can even have sex with our smartphones. Who needs a girlfriend these days?

Still don't believe me? Check it out:

About two years ago I decided to commit social suicide by joining the anti-Facebook campaign. It felt like a big decision, the kind of decision for which you need to prepare, you need to formally inform friends and family, you need to disassociate yourself, you need to hold your breathe and prepare for world domination- SHUT DOWN & non-existence...

At that same time, having the luck that I usually have, my Blackberry broke too.

Good bye world.

Suddenly months go by without hearing from friends, the strong urge of neediness to check on the world (statuses) subsides, you get a message from your mom, husband and aunt for your birthday and you're completely out of the loop.

Nonetheless, it's the best decision I have made.

I pay more attention to the important things in life and focus on the people that matter. Old school if you like, I'll call you when I think of you and give you 10 minutes of my undivided attention, you'll tell me things that matter and I'll no longer be informed by your constant nags, your every move and your 1002 profile pics. My birthday comes and few remember, but who cares about those who got "reminders" anyway. My dirty laundry stays in the washing machine in my HOME. My husband and I, we actually talk more, we're much more inter-active and no longer come home only to sit in the company of whoever we're chatting to, this was  usually followed by a "BB"- "So what's 4 supper?" 

Technology is amazing and serves a greater purpose by being with you every minute of everyday. In my profession I am forced to market and interact with end-users using the social world and its great for keeping your business current with the trends and marketing by preying on the social addicts. #marketingkiller

But I think we all need to stop and take a look at the things that we have forgotten to be important. The simple things that now appear to be more of an effort. Technology is great, but don't allow it to consume all of your attention causing you to neglect what was once and still is the best forms of communicating. Sometimes the original wiring to communicate and think posses much more value and is guaranteed to be much more appreciated. 

So now go on and FB, Tweet and whatever the hell other mediums you use to share this :) Thanks!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

30's are NOT the new 20's. “Kidults” (the 20's generation) you've been misinformed about what is actually your defining decade.

After watching Meg Jay, Clinical Psychologist, in a TED documentary titled "Why 30 is not the new 20,” I finally felt that what I have been trying to relay and conceptualise for the past few years of my twenties, had been put together and boosted my inspiration to write about this.

Coming from a family lineage of strongly opinionated and “experienced” women, I find myself at the punch line of most jokes when it comes to speaking about "life” or "maturity." Throughout my adolescent years, I was always given an advance on responsibility and life, so it comes as no surprise that I can relate to and have an insatiable urge to give my input each time they have an “adult” conversation (I still laugh each time I repeat the infamous titled “adult” conversation, “The Tribe of The Wise,” as I like to refer to them).

There is no doubt that I respect their experiences, their knowledge and wisdom ranging from the mid 30's to early 50's.

"Life begins at 30," progressed to “Life begins at 40,” which inevitably went on to "Life begins when you're 50". Then the “You know nothing”; “When I was your age, I thought I knew everything too”; “You'll get here one day”.... as their years progress, so does this "maturity" and beginning of life of which I will never get to as long as they are ageing. Lol does life not inevitably end sometime after 50? (Okay that was a joke, don't get your knickers in a twist divas). 

In addition to this, (like many other women in their 20's), I also got married at the age of 20 and had my daughter just after turning 21. Shocker, hey? Hold on, I also chose a spiritual path for my life by embracing suicide bombing, religious scheming, subservient wifeing, Islam well that's how the rest of the world sees it right?

“Poor girl, her life is ruined”; “At 20 you are not mature enough to handle a baby and a marriage”; “You will have to obey a husband and fry samoosas your whole life”; “Change your child's nappy now”- (one of the most annoying ones I remember)....”You are gonna burn for turning your back on Jesus,” The bible bashers sang.

The older generation surrounding me may not have intentionally showed their lack of faith in my abilities or decisions, but it is surely felt through their subtle (or not so subtle) suggestions.

Point is, I do not think I know everything and I doubt I ever will. What I do know is that for the most of us, our 20's is where life is happening. And as difficult as it may be to fathom, this “adolescent" actually does know what she wants it wasn't handed to me without a choice. I am not making lemonade here, I picked the fruit I liked and went on to make a fruit salad that I enjoy.

So how does this bring us 20 somethings to unveiling our shutters of naivety to the decade we are in or the so called “extended adolescence”? Truth is, some of us have adopted some wisdom and fine tuned the “The Tribe of The Wise” advice.

Just because you're older, doesn't necessarily mean you are wiser.

To the disbelief of The Tribe of The Wise, could it possibly be true that some younger people do in fact posses a little more wisdom? For one the 20 generation are more open-minded and less clouded by their experiences which in turn form objective views. Some 20-somethings have lived and learnt from what they saw their parents do and know where they're headed.

A big portion of the 20 generation are getting married younger, buying houses at a younger age, earning higher salaries, people are even dying younger.

The other portion of the 20 generation, are hardly aware of how significant this stage of their lives are and how crucial it is in defining their character. This is the decade to do things that add value to who you are and is an investment to who you will become next. The decisions and experiences that occur within this decade will determine your 30 something self saying “should have”; “would have”; “could have”.

Ask any 30 something what they could have done to change themselves (aka defined them today), they'll jump right back to their 20's.

The facts according to Clinical Psychologist, Meg Jay are:

  • 80% of life's most defining moments take place by age 35, this means that 8 out of every 10 of your defining decisions, experiences and ah-ha moments would have happened by your mid 30's.
  • The first 10 years of a career has the most exponential impact on how much money you are going to earn.
  • The brain caps off it's second and last growth spurt in your 20's and rewires itself for adulthood, this means that whatever you want to change about yourself- now is the time.
  • Personality changes more in your 20's than any other time in your life
  • Female fertility peaks at age 28 and then things get trickier after the age of 35.

Many people would agree that 30 is a better time to settle down than in your 20's, and this could be right for some people but getting married in your 20's is not necessarily a recipe for disaster.

Marriage is definitely hard work whether at 20, 40 or 50. Not for the faint hearted to say the least. I am married and I know that there is no unicorn who shits rainbows in this fairytale, but we are working at it. I am happy with the life I chose and wouldn't have it any other way. I do not fry samoosas regularly but I enjoy the structure and sense of duty I have. I haven't had a childish affair, dropped my baby in a black bag yet... sooo I think its fair to say there may be a sufficient amount of maturity in the bag.  I am building my first decade of my career and hopefully by my 30's I will be able to pull out the sail and enjoy the smooth sailing and reap the rewards.

What I have noticed about women in their 30's that I know personally, is cramming.

After living through the identity crisis of their 20's, spinning around for a while thinking “I'll start my career when I am 30”, are women who are 30 something trying to jump start a career, find a man quickly and have kids in a much shorter time. Then comes the realization that you can't have the career you now want, the children you want and end up looking back to say “What was I doing the whole time? What was I thinking.”

I'm sure you all have a picture in your head of someone like this.

“Dating in my 20's was like playing musical chairs, everyone was running around and having fun but then sometime around 30 it's like someone turned the music off and everyone started sitting down. I didn't want to be the only one standing up, so sometimes I think I married my husband because he was the closest chair at the time.”_Meg Jay, The Defining Decade.

I am in no way saying you should get too serious too quickly and have no fun. Sometimes trying on the “dress” that looks amazing but you know doesn't suit you... is good for the fun, but when you don't know what it is you want, you'll just keep trying on the misfits and wasting your time.

There probably is no real perfect age to get married as I see the same issues from 20-somethings to 50-somethings. When you feel prepared and also when you're at the right time to prepare, is probably the best way to go at it.

The thing I learnt as a young wife, is that these first few years are more about learning about yourself than your partner. The frustration or even shock when discovering yourself, now that, could be the recipe for disaster.

And so I have realized that the best time to start working on your marriage, is before you even have one. Knowing what you want is probably the first step.

We all know the old cliche, “You can pick your friends, but you cannot pick your family.”

True while you were growing up yes, but when you partner with someone, you actually do have the choice.

“Picking your family is all about consciously choosing who and what you want, rather than just making it work or killing time with whoever happens to choose you.”_ Meg Jay.

I am no Stepford wife, and yes marriage is not on the cards for everyone. For those who will wait to get married in their 30's, they should be aware to use their developmental stages in their 20's to prepare for when they do. What is guaranteed is that within this mentally and physical state of the twenties decade, it is the perfect timing to push yourself the furthest you most likely ever will, and if not discovering yourself for the sake of a future marriage, do it for yourself.

Use your 20's to invest in your identity capital, let go of the identity crisis and build yourself now. Do that internship and fuel your career and net worth for the future. Have some faith in that Start up idea you have, even if it fails, now is the time to fail and learn because a Start up is never a success without failure (even Apple had to fail a few times, Steve Jobs even had to get fired too) and this gets harder to do when you're older.

Surround yourself with like-minded peers with whom you can share ideas, thoughts and ambitions and network yourself to know the right people who will direct you to the next stepping stone.

I have realized that friends, well, they come and go and so you CAN choose your family now, you just cannot force your friends to stay.

Use this decade to educate yourself about yourself and choose to not be defined by “what you didn't do or what you didn't know” only to nominate yourself into the Tribe of The Wise and echo your should haves on to the next generation.