D(r)aft Glory

“Authenticity” – That’s a word I like to through around ever so casually. Especially when it comes to writing. I frequently catch myself saying things like “unapologetic, raw, honest”. They roll off my tongue like the lyrics to my favorite song. Easy and well rehearsed.

Yet when asked about my blog, when writing, when socializing, even when getting dressed in the morning, I constantly find myself floating around in the metaphorical “draft” section of life. Just waiting, checking, rewriting, tip-toeing around my flaws until we see ourselves fit for publishing, influenced by our surroundings and the idea of how we think others perceive us.

Proofreading and editing ourselves to make sure we don’t sound too sad, that we don’t act too clingy, that we aren’t talking too much or too little. That we aren’t wearing too much or not enough. That we share too much or we’re too closed off. Ricocheting between what if’s and could have’s and maybes and maybe not’s.

So – Note to self and anyone else who has been keeping up with my incoherent trains of thought and ramblings. Post the drafts. Whatever your draft entails. Cause lately it has been far more terrifying trying to avoid error.

Things aren’t always good, things aren’t always bad either, but I know it’s a whole lot easier when you stop constantly wondering if what you do or say or think or write is good enough. Life is too short to wait until things are neatly typed out and polished, because I don’t think it ever will be. Instead, it’s a dozen papers lying around with a hundred thoughts, ideas, coffee stains and different colors from all the different pens that decide to run out of ink mid sentence.

And if we fuck up – that’s okay. Make mistakes. Let people question what you say. Learn from your mistakes, make them a few more times and listen when people tell you what’s on their minds. Tell them what’s on yours. Change your mind, change your plans and talk about things you don’t understand. I promise you aren’t the only one that doesn’t know exactly what they want or exactly what they are doing, but at least you’re doing something.

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Confessions From A Couch

‘Confessions from a Couch’  will soon be the newest feature on the blog. This category will capture the intimate conversations, confessions and thoughts of the people surrounding me, through photos and short stories.

There are countless times that the afternoon sun, morning coffee and 2am crickets become spectators of what feels like the most important conversations of our lives. Conversations too important not to repeat and remember.

‘Confessions from a Couch’ will tell stories that catch a brief glimpse of the messy pile of topics, emotions and experiences that different people feel awkward about. Honest, raw and uncomfortable stories, straight from their questionably comfortable couches.

A letter to my mother(tongue).

Dear Mom

Remember that one sweater? You know, the one with the technicolor stripes? It was made out of the most marvelous different shades of colorful hand-knitted wool and it fit perfectly. It was warm and comfortable and I would wear it almost every day. That sweater reminds me of you. Warm, comfortable, colorful and most importantly, mine. As I grew up and as I grew tall, however, the sweater didn’t grow with me. It became all the more uncomfortable. Lovely, still, but something that just doesn’t quite fit that well anymore. Quite frankly a bit awkward to wear.

I know we haven’t spoken for a while. I know I sound different, I know I haven’t visited enough. I know all these things. Ek weet, mamma. But to be honest, to be heeltemal eerlik, I don’t know if I’m coming back home right now. I don’t know. Ek weet nie. I am so tired of not knowing anything. I am here and I am there and I am nowhere and I am everywhere at the same time. Sorry if I’m not making any sense. I know that can be frustrating.

I hope you are well though, I miss you. I miss you when my head’s a mess and I can’t find anyone else to explain it to except you. I miss you when I hear strangers who I swear sound exactly like you. Also, I do sincerely love when we bump into each other. You always seem to catch me slightly off guard here, but the world is a beautiful place to discover. Too beautiful to always be homesick. I hope you understand that.

I still have that sweater though.

All my love

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art of Getting Over Someone:

“A step by step tutorial on how to make yourself forget you were in love”

*disclaimer; this has never worked.

Step 1: Avoid reality: Turn off your phone/Leave it somewhere hard to find/Leave it at home when you go out drinking.

Step 2: Do lots of cool shit – Alone or with other friends. Distraction is key.

Step 3: Instagram photos of yourself looking fly af. Also, don’t like their photos. #petty.

Step 4: Sit alone with your thoughts and think about when you were together.

Step 5: Continue relationship in memories, thoughts and dreams.

Step 6: Consider going vegan, cutting your hair or moving to Thailand to teach English just for the aesthetics.

Step 7: Overeat and binge watch series instead.

Step 8: Message them anyway.

Step 9: Wait for a reply.

Step 10: Re-read every text message you ever sent each other.

Step 11: Angrily clear chat history. – Regret it immediately.

Step 12: Convince yourself that you never really liked them anyway.

Step 13: Realise you did.

Step 14: Be sad.

Step 15: Embrace the small things around you that make you happy. Focus on that.

Step 16: Stop talking about them for a bit.

Step 17: Live in denial that they ever existed.

Step 18: Stop thinking about them at night when you can’t sleep.

Step 19: Wait until you fall for someone else. (This might take very long).

Step 20:Repeat cycle.

Between the lines

So, here’s what I’ve been thinking, as I stare at an essay written in the 40’s by James Baldwin. His words titled ‘Notes of a Native Son’ comfortably rest next to my half torn notepad, which smells of hand rolled cigarettes from being left on the coffee (etc) table for too long.

I am thinking about words and their power, especially when put on paper. I use the same 26 letters in the English alphabet that Baldwin, Kundera and Kerouac used. Who am I to use their tools? What makes my sentence construction and phrasing worth reading? Rather than feeling intimidated, I am in a whirlwind of curiosity to find out. Their stories live on. I have found life in them. Death has always left me in a kind of paralytic fright – how it puts me at ease to find infinity in literature.

Bad at Blogging (and other things).

I lit a candle to ‘get in the mood’. The mood of a ‘writer’. I’m not quite sure what this mood entails, but somehow the closest thing to it, I thought, was a jasmine scented candle, which is now flickering next to the very bright light-bulb-charged bedside lamp.

“I write because, uhm, I can’t not write”. –  This sentence sat comfortably on the blank page in front of me for a fair amount of time. I laughed at how my own lumpy sentence seemed to be taunting me with its isolation, as if shouting “You don’t even know why you write, lol”. Charles Bukowski said, “There is nothing more magic and important than lines forming on paper. It’s all there is. It’s all there ever was”. I laughed again at my sentence and thought of how easy it would be if I could just repeat Bukowski’s sentence to anyone and everyone who asks me why I write (an easy cop out, I am aware).

The truth is though, ever since I can recall, my best days ended with the need to record the day’s events. Be it on the fragrance paper of my primary school diary, or the jotted down thoughts of a confused adolescent on perforated paper. Paper stuffed in the back of drawers and hidden behind a pile of clothes in messy cupboards. So, that’s what I do. I write, and my stories are messy and unpredictable and boring and happy and depressing and sometimes ordinary. Sometimes so beautiful I am left in awe.

I don’t know how to say the right words, my sentences are awkward and long, and I ramble about sadness too often. It’s senseless. Confusing. Grammatically incorrect. Awkward. Real.  Dwelling in every single emotion, saying things I don’t mean, being confused and feeling it and dealing with it. Whether the stories to follow are from personal experiences or about people halfway across the world. I want to write them and I want you to read them.