“I survived because the fire inside of me burnt brighter than the fire around me” – Felix H.

Too often we allow the circumstances of life to define our character. Yet character isn’t about the circumstances we have lived through; it is about how much we understand our value to God and how that influences us in the choices we make in those circumstances. That becomes the grit and the grace that fills us with determination not just to survive but also to thrive.

This year I challenged myself to new experiences and to give myself one year to live just for me. I say one year because as a parent to an adult with special needs, by default my life choices are always filtered by being her mother. To that end, I’m so excited to announce that I was able to change my career to pursue my dream.

I’m now a full time blogger, freelance writer and public speaker.

It was a big decision to make as I loved my previous career as an Assistive Technology Advisor. When I thought it through though, the aspect of that job which excited me the most was when I was teaching and training. So to have the opportunity to positively influence people through the medium of writing and speaking is hugely exciting.

This means I’m learning new skills that will help me to become better at my chosen craft. It means that after a year of experiences with this blog, and also entering the Mrs South Africa competition and then writing for sponsors; I’ve grown as a writer and public speaker.

Writing to influence people to live their best lives, to tell stories of human triumph and struggle that promotes self reflection and to influence society towards being kinder and more understanding is my great passion. Then as a speaker; I’ve always been a motivational speaker and I’ve had the opportunity to host a few events as an MC. Now I get to do that more often as a career. You can contact me via my website for my media kit or email me at desirae@amillionbeautifulpieces.co.za.

Having essentially felt like an outcast in society when I became a teenage parent then feeling the second wave of that exclusion when my daughter was diagnosed with a disability; left me feeling like an outsider in my own life. I know that when people have set backs or are on the road to picking up the pieces of their lives, it’s a lonely place to be if you don’t have people to champion you. I was blessed that along my journey I met people who reignited the fire inside me when it was in danger of burning out.

And that is what A Million Beautiful Pieces will be more about now. A place to find your strength and to know that you are not alone. Your life has value and you are valuable.

I’ve learnt this only in the last few years and what I know for sure is that: it’s a process. It’s taken all of my adult life to have the courage to pursue the career that I want.

In this process of becoming me, I’ve learnt this:

  • Be patient with yourself. It takes time to unlearn the unnecessary.
  • Self love is often confused with selfishness. Remember when you know how to love yourself, then only can you love someone else.
  • Oh man, this is what gets me out of bed in the mornings: This life… It’s yours. No one else can lay claim to how it is lived but you.

As I get up to face this last day of August I hope that the fire inside you burns brightly enough for you to live and love well in every moment of today.

That’s what makes life beautiful. ♥


Sharing my womanhood and motherhood journey of faith, hope and love as a woman who started out as a teenage mother to a daughter with a disability. I write on topics about womanhood, motherhood, disability and assistive technology (Journey to Communication). I am available as a motivational speaker within the South African region.

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