Jayne Lea with her mother and brother

G Day Stories: Jayne

Jayne Lea is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Inspire Virtual Magazine based in Cape Town, South Africa. We are honoured to share her G Day Story. Thank you, Jayne!

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Jayne Lea with her mother and brother

I would have to say that most of my growing up years were not filled with much emotional clarity. Having come from a divorced family at age 5 and thereafter living with my father as the youngest child and only girl in a household with three older brothers, puberty was a particularly difficult time in my life.

I don’t think I had very high self-esteem at that time in my life, and to a large degree, I felt unwanted and a little bit like an extra wheel. I only saw my mother every second weekend so I had very little female bonding and support, which I think was greatly needed.

I also constantly felt pressurized to somehow fit into the sphere of being “one of the boys” as I was surrounded by all my older brothers and my father and there was always a lot of focus on sports and male driven activities…this however never really worked for me, as still today, I have very little inclination towards sports. Hahaha.

I cannot say for certainty what my dreams and aspirations were at that point in my life as I was incredibly mixed up emotionally. I knew I wanted to be successful at whatever it was I did, but I think this thought process was more a result of the fact that my father is a very successful business man and I felt pressured to follow in the same footsteps. However, I have always been drawn to the creative fields and I know that singing and/or dancing were always high up on my list of passions… although neither of those ever came to fruition career wise – they simply remain passions of mine.

I always CRAVED the independence of becoming an adult. It was something I longed for more than anything else in my life. To be able to make my own decisions, fend for myself and come and go as I pleased. In fact I can recall having lunch once with my father at about the age of 10 and telling him “I cannot wait until I am 18 and I can live on my own.” As it turned out, I actually did exactly that and I did it at the age of 17. I have been very much independent since.

My family has always supported me completely and although I might have struggled with many aspects of how my growing up years unfolded, they have always been there for me – be it emotionally or financially. As far as community is concerned, I don’t think I ever really felt “connected” or supported by it. I always had more of an “I will do this by myself” type of mind set.

However, as I have gotten older, I definitely do see the value and importance of both family and community in our lives and despite all the many difficulties and challenges I faced growing up, I would not change any of it. It has made me an incredibly resilient and strong person in both the practical and emotional aspects of life. I am eternally grateful for all of it. Through many emotional and circumstantial challenges, I have learnt that love and forgiveness must always come above all else.

For every single challenge or difficulty we are faced with in our lives, there is ALWAYS a way to see it from a positive angle. There is ALWAYS something it can teach us and in turn help us to become a better person, so I always try to keep that thought process in my mind and in my heart…it is the one thing that has always kept me from giving up on myself and life in general.

Life is a wonderfully mysterious adventure and if we choose to look for the light, we will almost certainly always find it.

You can reach Jayne at jaynie@inspiresa.co.za and read the magazine at inspiresa.co.za.

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