If someone had told me at 19 that this is where I would be ten years later, I would have laughed. By that, I mean ‘living’ (of off one bag) between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, working part-time as a tutor while studying full-time with half of my things at home and in storage, in a long distance relationship and STILL not earning an income from my writing. But honestly, I’m fucking happy with my life. I panic sometimes because I feel like I’m not working hard and/or smart enough towards my success. There’re still so much I need to do. My family isn’t particularly happy about my life. Mainly because they don’t understand it. But I’m learning everyday how to not let this bother me.
I had the idea a few months back of doing a few Turning Thirty posts. Look, I don’t necessarily think that age is all that hectic. It’s just a reference point if anything. A rough guideline, if you will. And honestly I didn’t think 30 would be a pivotal age for me. But it turned out to be so I’ve gotta make sense of this growth spurt so I can move on to the next level in my journey. I’ve been scared of writing these Turning Thirty blogposts. Or even just writing in general. I had been feeling very fragile these last few months so I didn’t want to put myself out there because I wouldn’t be able to handle the ‘backlash’. Of course, not all comments to my writing are negative, but the negative ones really hurt. And so I wanted to wait until I was feeling a bit stronger to start writing again.
When I started writing about being in my 20s and growing up, I was frustrated. I was tired of hearing people dissing the 20s and referring to it as the time of cluelessness, naïveté, lack of self knowledge/ awareness and (retrospectively) a time of regret. I wanted to argue otherwise. It is often difficult to be introspective and go through the process of getting to know yourself when they are expectations. People in their 20s are expected to fulfil a lot of things. You have to be highly successful, earn a lot of money, support your younger siblings and/or parents. Just generally prove to your parents/guardians or whoever that your life is worth telling others about. It’s more about results and less about the process. Some get to travel and be supported in that. Others travel anyway despite any lack of support and so forth. I’m generalising of course. People are different.
So each week, I will be choosing a theme and reflecting on it. This is not meant to be a one-size-fits-all tips and tricks of the trade sorta thing. I believe people need to figure their own things out in their own time. And if sharing my thoughts can somehow help with that then cool. If not, then also cool.
Till the next post.