What kind of teenager were you?
A very lost one……No. Just generally awkward and very into my books. Not awkward-looking or anything. I was just socially awkward. I sometimes joke that while my peers were sent off to socialising class – like while they were learning how to socialise, I was learning how to be alone. I’m still socially awkward. I don’t know…I’m really uncomfortable with socialising. I panic whenever I have to network or interact with new people. So, as a teen, especially from 14 – 16, I felt awkward a lot of the time. But there were books….and there was music and….I had a journal so…..
So you felt out of place?
Yeah, but I mean every teenager does. With me though, it was like, I was at a new school and I didn’t wanna be there. So I wasn’t tryina be cool or fit in or be popular or whatever. I didn’t date anyone. I kissed some boys though….
I was a serious teen. I’m still a serious person, so…But I had friends. We were the ‘uncool bunch’ if you will. I always ended up befriending the ‘misfits’. They were cool people. They were all about having fun and they weren’t trying to prove anything or impress anyone. They were just themselves. And I liked that. But we didn’t always get off to a good start. 🙂
Well, I’m reserved and that was misinterpreted. Some people thought I was stuck-up, which I’m not. My mother’s also like that. Very reserved around people she doesn’t know, but if she sees them on a regular basis, she’ll loosen up. But yeah, so I liked the fact that my friends were about just being themselves…..and being rebellious! I wasn’t really rebellious. Well, not as rebellious as they were. Like…I wasn’t really rebellious in my early teens. That only came when I was 16. I don’t know what it was about age 16 specifically, but I remember questioning everything. And I got tired of being molded, of not having enough freedom. I was questioning why school was the way it was. Why we were always being molded in some way. Being taught how to behave, how to dress etc. I questioned that. I just didn’t see the point of going to church anymore. Because I never felt this spirituality that they kept talking about in church. You know, this whole….holy spirit and being one with Christ? I never felt that. And I didn’t understand why because I felt like I was doing everything that I was supposed to do….And I was also unhappy. And very lonely at home. We moved to Queenstown when I was 14 and I never knew anyone there. So I was lonely whenever I went home. My friends and I used to write letters to each other over the school holidays. That was fun. 😀 I actually miss that. A couple of friends and I tried to resurrect it, but it didn’t really work. I only managed to write and receive one letter. I mean with Facebook and Twitter and stuff, who’s gonna really sit down and write a letter to someone?
If you have any questions or comments or anything you wanna share, feel free to drop me an email: email@example.com
You were married to a black woman. An African woman and….I remember our conversation in the car that one day on my way home when I was a teenager when you said that….that you strongly believed that everybody in this country should learn and know English and all African languages should only ever be used in a social context. It doesn’t undermine the other languages in any way, you emphasized. “They can still maintain their languages,” you said. And I remember suddenly feeling so uncomfortable as a 17 year old and I never understood why until now. Because if you as a white English-speaking man can marry a Xhosa woman for many years and have children with her and STILL not get it then I dunno…..I just don’t know……
“Always respect me. For I am the shameful and the magnificent one.” – Hymn to Isis
From the foreward for Paulo Coelho’s Eleven Minutes
At the Dancing In Other Words International Poetry Festival (this past weekend)
Because the creative process can only really come from within….
I write because most times I cannot speak. I write because I can’t not write. Even when I’m not writing, I am writing in my mind. All the time.