Hello! I’m Jonelle.
I grew up on a farm in a small town in a small country. I always felt like I didn’t really fit in there. Deep down inside I always felt that I needed more. Moving to Cape Town to attend UCT was the best decision I could have made. I was the first person in my family to attend university and the first to get a university degree! And I didn’t stop there.
After accumulating a string of degrees in various disciplines, I stumbled into my Masters in Community Development after I failed my first year of Law School. I had hated every minute of law school, the pressure to finish the year left me with serious depression. I felt like I had just given up. Defeated and feeling like a real failure for the first time in my life I applied for a Masters degree by chance and found myself graduating at the top of the class at the end of the course. That changed my life!
After over a decade at UCT, I had finally found my calling. Community Development changed my life and in it, I found a real sense of peace for who and what I was. A philanthropist at heart with the need to do my own thing and forge my own path.
Working for NGOs was a natural part of plan for me but at the end of 2014, I did something crazy, I quit my job with no back up plan. I was just so tired of doing things “by the book” and I needed to feel like I was just following my heart for a change. I don’t recommend this to everyone but it worked for me. I found that I could make money by working as a freelance writer and providing support to other women who are looking for jobs or trying to change direction in their lives. The best part about my education is that it has helped me to really understand people and how they function in society. There’s a lot you can do with an understanding of human behaviour!
What stands out the most for me, is that we live in a world where the expectation to fit in often means we sacrifice so much of who we are and what we value just to fit in with the crowd and the expectations of society.
“Creative people, especially those who are just starting out, feel that they have to conform and be a mass-produced product in order to be noticed. The truth of the matter is that genuineness and unconventionality is often what helps make a mark on the world.” ― Veronika Carnaby
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do that. You don’t have to be like anyone else. In fact, perhaps the best kept secret is that the easiest way to succeed is to find out what you’re good at and just do it! That’s really the secret to success. No one is you and that is literally your secret weapon!
Becoming a Mother!
In September of 2015, I had my first child, Oden. His journey into this world nearly killed me and I found myself in ICU and on life support.
I realised in that moment, that I am finally living my authentic life and being exactly who I am meant to be. After a life time of doing what I thought I should be doing, I made a promise to myself to never try to live up to anyone else’s expectations or try to be anyone I’m not.
I’ve finally learnt the art of self-acceptance and I’ve never been happier. Never again will I subscribe to someone else’s dreams.
I’m passionate about women’s empowerment and I write about living authentically and being resilient in the face of adversity. Tyranny of Pink is a space for real women with the passion and drive to live their best lives. I want to inspire women to be unapologetically themselves in the good times and bad.
Life, and parenting can be so tough, especially when you see all the Instagram perfect lives that other people are living but real life isn’t like that! Real life is tough and it’s challenging but it’s also so rewarding if you can have the courage to embrace both the good and the bad and remember that things might be really hard now, but you’ll get through it. That’s what this blog is about. A reminder to live for the good and the bad and know that life is about balance and making the most of every day!
Be Unapologetically You!
You can email me at email@example.com
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Oh you’re still here? Here are twenty facts about me 🙂
- I love road trips – I will literally get in a car and drive to anywhere with or without a plan for once we get there! Once I went on a road trip that somehow ended up with me going to South America! True story!
- I am absolutely obsessed with home decor. Like weirdly so… I LOVE Industrial style houses and would live in a loft in a heart beat!
- I grew up riding horses and I’m really good at riding like a cowboy (farm style).
- I’ve always had a million dogs. We had eight at one point while growing up (I lived on a farm and wish I could have that many here but city life says NO). We are serious animal people though – I have four pets now. Two dogs – Jessie (Bubby) and Jax (Jaxson) and two cats – Miley (schminkles) and Mr Charles (Charlie)
- I struggle with anxiety and depression – I get awful panic attacks but I know how to push through them so I don’t let them stop me from achieving things I want to achieve. Yay life experience!
- I have quite a lot of tattoos – people are always surprised about how much of my body is covered! I guess I don’t look like someone who gets tattoos?
- I have degrees in Politics, Anthropology, Diversity Studies and Social Development.
- I’ve always worked in the Non Profit sector. – My childhood dream was to work for the UN.
- Having another child is too risky so we are a one child family and we are okay with that!
- My grandparents raised me for a decade of my life. I was so spoiled – I literally had TWO bedrooms!
- I love being by the ocean but I don’t like the beach.
- I love wine – so much! You already knew this though didn’t you?!
- I took a gap year after my dad died – it was something we’d talked about me doing and as soon as I finished my first honours degree I went off on my own across the world. – I loved it!
- I’m afraid of spiders but my mom found me eating one as a baby (thanks mom!)
- I don’t believe in having regrets but all the regrets I have about my life are about not spending more time with the people I’ve lost.
- I don’t feel pressurised to be like everyone else. This is pretty cool – but when I was younger I always felt like an outcast. Now I embrace being unconventional.
- My favourite bands are still the same bands from when I was 13 (Guns & Roses and Bon Jovi Forever!!)
- I’m a super forgiving person! Water under the bridge.
- I’ve sky dived and been paragliding but I would NEVER bungee jump. It’s so not for me. I’m terrified of heights!
- My sons second name is Christopher. He’s named after my grandfather and my father <3