Author’s note –
Sorry for staring, but I can’t sleep. You see, it’s not like you mean to, but honestly, sometimes I feel like you boomerang all my thoughts straight back to me. All my questions and inconclusive thoughts.
I’m not sending them off to you in the hopes of an answer, but rather to clear my head. Can’t you hold them for a while? Can you move around the boxes in the attic and find some space for them?
And if the attic is filled up to the brim with childhood memorabilia and forgotten furniture, amuse me why don’t you? Make a deal with the lightbulb and take all my nasty thoughts and turn them into a flickering movie I can watch untill I fall asleep. Turn my thoughts that have overstayed their visit in my mind into shadow figures that fly on your surface like trapeez artists. Instead of just lingering over me.
If you can’t do any of that dear ceiling, and you decide to be a passive piece in my midnight monologue, atleast make yourself transparent. Turn yourself into glass, so I can stare at the stars and the night sky and put my fears into beautiful perspective.
Suddenly, three years have passed by, like the countless nights that was set on fast forward by the double vodka lime’s. Now you’re here. In between your little pseudo adulthood, wrapped up neatly with a bow and the security blanket of mom and dad making sure you’re still okay – and the nitty gritty reality of the real world.
I wish I had the answer – but instead, I will use my polished undergraduate humanities skills to try and romanticize my little existential crisis. If that doesn’t work, my next option is to deny the fact that I will ever have to face next year, and lastly, when next year hits me hard, like saturday morning hangovers, I will strongly consider becoming an academic and never leaving uni. – Sidenote: This would only be possible if I somehow manage to raise my class average to about 150% to balance out my neat, close cut 50’s from the last 3 years.
Another alternative, which is the one I am most drawn to (keeping the neo-colonialist teaching english abroad as a back up) is drawing up a letter to all future employers along with my CV (which will probably include me being class captain in 2nd grade).
It will read:
The great thing about growing up is discovering all these different parts of yourself. I mean, basically any coming-of-age movie makes it clear that we’re all trying to ‘find ourselves’.
*spoiler – They find themselves.
*plot twist – I’ve never been very good at hide and seek.
So, whilst moving from one existential crisis to the next, we get to know ourselves, right? We start becoming familiar with our self in relation to the space we find ourselves in. The shitty thing is though – not all of our parts are nice. Not all of them want to be found, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind not-looking for them either.
One of the little discoveries I have recently made is the ease in which I fall into self-doubt. This little bugger, however, is not shy at all and it was never lost. It knows exactly where it can and can’t go and just does what it likes anyway. I never went looking for it, it’s just been around.
Now that I have (or at least tried) to acknowledge my little partner in crime, I am trying to distinguish between my actual flaws and the blatant lies my brain tells my body.
The most recent lie in the saga of my mind has been the reoccurring theme that, no one likes me, no one loves me, no one will come when I need them and as soon as I leave the room there is a basic unanimous sigh of relief from the universe in general that I am no longer paining anyone with my presence. Melodramatic, I know, but bare with me.
We start believing it, and as soon as it’s stuck, Mr. self-doubt feeds on everything and anything it sees. We start perpetuating it in the things around us.
*CUE THOUGHT* – “It’s been like 2hours, why hasn’t he/she replied, I probably did something dumb again, why are they mad, are they okay?” –
and then there’s the reality that they’re probably just busy dude. Chill.
Second-guessing and doubt will get you absolutely nowhere when it comes to the things you can’t control or the people around you. Also, I am pretty darn sure that if someone loves you – the petty things you worry about is not enough to make them up and leave.
Therefore, in order to keep my sanity – I am starting to be as kind to myself as I try to be to others. You are human, You are trying your best, you’re growing and constantly creating yourself. Breathe a bit and let the people around you prove the poo part of your brain wrong as much as they can – and people will, I promise.
“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.
‘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.
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