Who is Gabi?
Hmmm, something I am on a constant mission to figure out. But I suppose I can give a little background info on myself so you know who you’re talking to.
I was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, with loving incredible parents and 3 sisters, yes 3 sisters, no it wasn’t all sunshine and roses because catfights are real when there are 5 women living in 1 house. Catfights aside, a life without my family would be a dull and boring affair and I would not trade them for all the money in the world.
My primary and high school years are not the most colourful. Let’s say I went through a bit of a tough time trying to fit in. Making friends was a difficulty, overcoming bullying was harder and figuring out who I was, was probably out of the question. But eventually, I came right… not by myself might I add.
My relationship with God took flight around 10th Grade while on my confirmation journey. From the moment I felt Him work in me when I saw how He worked through others and placed incredible people in my life who helped guide me to Him, my life was changed. I focused on what mattered, I tried to let go or not worry about what didn’t (still a constant battle might I add) and I grew. Life was not perfect, but I knew I had the father to guide me through, so it was definitely easier than doing it alone.
I was privileged enough to go to University and study, even though I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. *info blast moment: In South Africa, you pay for all schooling including University and so not everyone is fortunate enough to attend, but I have hope and God works miracles so hopefully that can change. With my mind jumping from becoming a doctor (not having the grades to do that), to being a chef (because this pallet and passion for cooking needs to created deliciousness) and the dream of being an actress (because I KNOW I was meant to be in the Happy Potter movies and am still devastated I missed the chance), I finally settled on the next best thing – Communication Management.
For those of you who have no idea what that is or are under the impression it involves working with telephones, don’t stress, I’ll explain. Communication Management is all about communication within companies, between companies, between companies and the public and so on. It is about managing brands, reputations and making sure the communication between employee and employer is happening. I know right, this was your next guess.
After graduating and getting my Honours finding a job in my line of study was tough. It is quite a saturated market and most of the available positions were in Johannesburg – so marketing became my starting point. I started as a Social Media Marketer and work my way to a Marketing Coordinator at the same company. A LOT of learning was done, not only job wise but learning to deal with different kinds of people, different management styles and overcoming many difficulties – those were definitely not the easiest times or the happiest times in my life, but it was one crazy growing experience.
*Info blast: the working life is not easy, people can be mean, you have to be an adult and there are often people who will make it harder for you. So always be the better person, be honest and respectful and learn from every experience. Not all of it was bad… in fact I met some of the most wonderful people there and they have become some of my closest friends.
Meeting “The One”
SIDESTEP back to my first year of varsity because that was the year I met Stew. One warm summers evening, young Gab Gab arrived at the church. #shoutout to Queenswood Catholic Church in Pretoria – thanks for being the starting point of my Faith, and the perfect place to meet my soulmate. Ready to hit the streets with her fellow Youth Group bringing soup to the hungry. As she arrives, BAM there he is… the new guy. Who is he? Can it be that guy from CSI? No, but close enough!
Stew joined our Soup Kitchen travels with a friend of his (who was a friend of mine, #thanks Marco for the introductions) that evening. It’s cliché to say it was love at first sight, but I am not kidding when I say, that when I saw him, something moved in me (no not just teenage hormones) and I kind of knew that he was going to be a big part of my life.
So he got my number, we chatted for a while, went on 1 date. Yup, and he asked me out on that date. I said yes of course. The next day I left for a month vacation to Austria with my family. Yuuuup, that just happened! What can I say, the heart wants what the heart wants. We dated for 6 years. Not all of it was easy, there were slumps and difficulties, but we worked through them together and grew stronger. There was also that time Stew took a 5-month internship in Austria, that was tough… but it was also where he decided he wanted to marry me so #worthit!
The Big Day
On the 27th of May 2017 (AKA the best day ever), Stew and I were married at the church where we met (also where I went to my whole life). Did I cry like everyone (including myself) thought I would? NOOOOPE, I could not contain the happiness in my heart, I was so giddy even the Priest commented on it. Did Stewart cry (like I imagined he would in my wedding dreams), no, but I swear he was close!
But all silly comments aside, this day was so magical. There we were standing in front of God and committing ourselves to each other. Saying our vows in front of those we love is something indescribable. I felt so overwhelmed with joy and love, and so grateful that God led me to Stewart. The excitement for this new life God had planned for us was overflowing! Nothing else mattered that day, we were celebrating each other, with God and those we loved. Wowza, I hope that you all get to experience that feeling someday.
After an amazing Italian Escape for our honeymoon, starting and ending a new job and moving to Europe… here we are! Sitting at the table in our Guest House Apartment, writing this blog, sipping coffee and figuring out life! I wonder where it will take us next.
What? That’s it? Not going to tell us why you are in Europe? Of course, I am, but then this blog would be a book! To find out the next part of my adventure and a bit more, check out “The Great Adventure”.
PS: Sorry for the lengthy reading experience!