“Challenge accepted: Talk about yourself without mentioning academia!”

If you’re a “How I met your mother” fan like me, you probably read this blog title in Barney’s voice. If you’re not a fan of the show, I strongly suggest you switch to Netflix as soon as you’re done reading this post! Like many others, I have an array of series that I find myself repetitively watching (even though I know how each episode ends) such as Modern Family, HIMYM, Friends, The Big Bang Theory and let’s not forget about Charmed, the 1998 series about the sister witches. Maybe it’s the comfort in knowing how they end, or the homely feeling I have while watching them, but all I know is that a bad day can be fixed with one of my favourite series. What’s your go-to series that can make you smile or laugh on your worst days?

Believe it or not, I’m not JUST a couch potato. I love being out in the sun too. My family and I enjoy the adventurous side of life, river rafting, tubing, parachuting and the most adventurous experience of all, the Big Swing in Graskop, Mpumalanga. Just imagine the adrenaline as you roped up and told to walk BACKWARDS towards the 70-meter-high cliff above the waterfall. The best part of that experience was the tightening of the rope BEFORE we jumped off! Nevertheless, I still cherished the entire jump as my big sis was tied down with me…ride together, die together.

Certificate of jump, Graskop, South Africa

Speaking of whom, I would describe my sister as that really cool kid that has always got your back. She’s one of the most important people in my life, and because of her, I’ve got to experience the greater things in life. One of those being, the Ultra Music festival in Europe, Croatia (or “ooltra”, as they say in Split, Croatia). What a wonderful trip! From walking up five flights of stairs WITH our luggage (and back down when leaving), finding ourselves lost in the town…THREE times, dancing and singing along to Cheat codes and The Chainsmokers (who were literally a few feet away from us!) while partying until the morning light in a completely different country was a surreal experience. With a wholesome, fun family like mine, I know I can always count on my support system and they a part of my life that I am most grateful for.

Ultra Music Festival, Europe, Croatia

Adding to my active lifestyle, I thoroughly enjoy dancing! Perhaps it’s because of the mandatory dancing at Indian weddings, but when that music blasts, I’m off to the dance floor. It’s a great way of letting go of your troubles, moving your body and enjoying the MOMENT. I recently also joined a community Zumba class which I definitely prefer over the usual exercise at the gym. If you’re looking for a healthy way to de-stress while having some fun, I recommend joining a dance class, or just turning up the music once in a while, you won’t regret it.

Wow, when I first started writing this blog, I thought it would be difficult, I hardly talk about myself anymore, it’s just about the “A” word (see title). It feels great to focus on all the other areas of my life, some of which I haven’t even managed to capture such as my reading quirks, honey-sweet addiction, being a mother of two puppies (a.k.a fully grown Labradors) and being a horror movie fanatic. So, although this post is about introducing myself as “MYSELF” and not my work…I have to give credit to one of my favourite facets of my life, my work. Without diving into the details, I will simply mention why I smile on the way to my university every morning: I set my own time to wake up, I set my own work schedule, I set my own break time, I have a healthy relationship with my “boss” (a.k.a supervisor) and co-workers, Oh…and I get the privilege of performing experiments which could potentially save the lives of millions of pancreatic cancer patients!

Dogs are the best kind of therapy, meet Cuddles and Romeo

So, to all my fellow readers, that’s me, a woman who’s grateful for all facets of her wonderful life. No, it’s not rosy all the time, but life would be boring if it was. So, cheers to 2022 everyone, may we grow, conquer and love!

Someone Like You

“Who am I?” One of the most dreaded and difficult topics to respond to.

Most people dislike answering this question for some mysterious reason. It's as if they're embarrassed to talk about themselves, or perhaps they have no idea who they are.

When I first started writing this blog, I was in a similar position. It didn’t take long for me to start performing a thematic analysis of other bloggers’ representations of themselves. Isn’t it ridiculous? Answering the question “who am I?” could not possibly be that difficult — we explore more complicated research questions every day! Perhaps that is the issue; maybe our minds have become so accustomed to thinking in a certain way that it is difficult to return to the basics?

Who Am I ?

Anyway, my given name is Lucé (loosh-ay), which means “light” or “light provider” (meaningofthename.com). When I was younger, I wasn’t always enthralled by the numerous mispronunciations – Lucy, Luce, Lusy, Lush, and even Luke. Only people with unusual names will be able to comprehend this. When I was in high school, I went through a phase where I simply stopped reacting to people who mispronounce my name. Fortunately, I grew out of that phase and regained my brightness. Nowadays, I will respond to almost anything!

I’d always wanted to be a member of the health sciences community, but I wasn’t sure where to start. In 2009, I started a BA Social Work degree at North-West University with the intention of using it as a stepping stone into another field. I instantly fell in love with the profession and knew it was a good fit. Following that came my Honours, Masters, and eventually my PhD. I’m now wrapping up my PhD on client violence, the protection of social workers and policy development.

I started working in the field after finishing my Honours Degree and obtained a lot of experience. I was fortunate enough to launch a private practice a few years ago, where I offer psychosocial and psycholegal counselling to children and families, as well as medical and psychiatric social work and EAP services. In addition, while completing my PhD, I lecture part-time and conduct training abroad and within South Africa. Although I am really proud of my work, there is so much more to me.

Team sports have never been my thing, but dancing has always been my happy place. I began ballet at the age of three and have never looked back. I experimented with various forms within the genre as I got older, such as freestyle and hip-hop, then artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, but I always reverted to ballet. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time for it these days, but my ballet pointes are eagerly waiting for their turn. Meanwhile, I try to do Pilates once a week to remain mindful.

Music is also very significant in my life. I play the piano, guitar, and flute, and I feel that music can improve any situation. When people hear a variety of sounds coming from my residential area, they know it’s “one of those days.” I also absolutely love arts and crafts, which can include everything from painting to mosaic to decoupage to simply pouring glitter on something. It’s the realization that there’s beauty in imperfection, I believe, that makes it worthwhile.

Wow, I’ve revealed a bit about myself, what I do, and what I enjoy. Even so, who I am is not defined by what I do, achieve, or enjoy. I’m still stumped on how to respond to the original “who am I?” question, and I may need to revisit the thematic analysis idea.

Do you have any idea who you are and how to answer this question instead of describing what you do, achieve or enjoy?

Perhaps we should bypass all the controversy and issue a single statement. Mine will be the following:

I am Lucé. Someone like you.

(with a lot of sparkle)