“I wandered around my early twenties, paying rent and reading classifieds and wondering why the lights were not turning green for me. My dream was to be a famous musician (I played the piano), but after several years of dark, empty nightclubs, broken promises, bands that kept breaking up and producers who seemed excited about everyone but me, the dream soured. I was failing for the first time in my life.” – Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom
A few months from now, someone will enter your life and make you question everything about it. She’s abrasive, but you’ll like her. Because she’s honest. She reminds you of what your life could’ve been if you’d had a different upbringing. She’ll make you reflect on yourself. You guys will grow close. You’ll get attached. She’ll be your best friend. She’ll leave after a year. You’ll cry over it. But you’ll email each other. You’ll lose touch. But you meet again years later and it’ll feel like she never left.
– Extract from Letter To My 16 Year Old Self
Thank you for being the above to me.
Thank you for making me question myself, for getting me to moisturise my feet. Thank you for being part of the “sexy 4”. For introducing me to The Roots. Thank you for letting me be your unofficial assistant editor for Chiasmus. Thank you for staying in touch when you were not busy.
Thank you for being brave. For being a revolutionary feminist. Thank you for being a fierce, proud black woman. Because “imperialist white- supremacist capitalist patriarchy”.
Thank you ad infinitum , Dr Lindiwe Diana Makhunga. You are at peace.
Someone just told me to leave all my sorrow
If that is true, I don’t know who to be
Could be these troubles are part of the plan
Could be we need the bad just to take a chance
So I forgive what was taken from me
I will be free from the picture you paint, you see.
Tell them:”These troubles are out of your hands”
Tell them: “You’re free to use them to clap and dance” – Pretend by Seinabo Sey
I’m 31 now
I’ve been saying this over and over to myself so I don’t mistakenly tell someone I’m 30. I’m technical. I like to be accurate. A blessing and a curse. I laugh when people ask when I’m getting married. Or why I don’t have kids. I laugh because I understand their perspective as well as mine. They co-exist peacefully and that’s ok.
I spent 5 years trying to return to a city I loved, but when I finally got there, I realised I no longer loved it. Because I had changed. Home is wherever I lay my head. I’m still living off of one bag between cities. Movement is the move. A nomad’s lament
I’m at the finishing stages of my Masters and I’m stressed. I cry when I think about it every morning. But I play happy music and I keep going.
I can’t complain.
I chose this.
The way I dress and how I adorn myself is my business. I should have more piercings and tattoos. But I’m no longer edgy or trying to be. That left with the anger. My shaved head was long overdue. I don’t miss my afro one bit.
I get anxious when I have a lot of money. And feel guilty when I spend it. What happened? I wonder.
For two years, I watched everyone’s lives evolve while mine stayed stagnant. I watch my creativity burn to ashes with my hands tied behind my back. I said a prayer though. Hoped for some phoenix-rising type shit
I’m envious, I guess. I fell prey to the illusions of social media. But I say nothing.
Because I chose this.
Mixed feelings consume me. I saw my memories on Facebook this morning. I remembered my friend who passed away. For the first time, I was able to scroll through his profile page without crying. I still can’t listen to his music. Baby steps, I suppose
20 000 women marched in protest on my birth date in 1956. They called it Women’s Day and declared it a Public Holiday in 1996. My 12th birthday.
Friendships are changing. Some are dying. Others stay strong despite distance and time differences. Such is life.
My homie is the one. 4 months apart. Two sides of the same coin. He attracts people. I repel them. They love him. I’m the her in “What on earth is he doing with her?”
I say very little. I keep to myself. Isolation beckons me. The hiatus is calling. As always, I say no for there’s no relief for people like me. Very few off-days. We find solace in almost losing it. In torn seams. In the aching of our backs. Knowing full well that no-one will ever quite understand. We look down from ledges. Hoping nothing tips us over.
And despite all this, I’m ok. I’m on the way to my greatness. As it is. As it always has been and forever more shall be.