HELLO FROM THE OTHER SIDE

Hello.

I feel so estranged from this space. Everytime I want to go back to it, a ghastly fear and relentless procrastination whispers not today bitch and then I log out and proceed, in this order: to feel guilty, eat, drink, my brain spasms and I automatically, like without stopping to think about what I’m doing as if I’m doing the life giving motions of walking or chewing – check and refresh Facebook or Instagram which I have juuust checked 40 seconds before.  I haven’t exercised in months. I’ve had a glass of wine every night for the last 21 days and I’ve gained visible weight for the first time in my life.  The other day I did something I’ve never done before. My best friend was sleeping over and instead of just being naked in my room while I thambisa in front of her, I did all the thambisaring in my steamy bathroom because I didn’t want her to see just how much weight I’ve gained.  WTF was I doing being like this?  I’ve always had the privilege of being a size 32 with a lightning fast metabolism so this was a new feeling and I’m in deep thought about how to reconfigure how I feel about myself now that my body is changing.

But am I unhappy? Hell No. And it took me a while to learn when to wallow and when to compartmentalize emotions versus facts and park the self shrinking. I make myself feel better about my diet by realizing that I’ve been very busy doing things that make me feel happy and fulfilled, that throw bones of ideas for people to chew on, that question, that heal and that are some kind of crumb that can say ”I was here”.  So no in the process,  I haven’t had the mind to eat properly and exercise.   I haven’t been able to visit Mam Refilwe, the vegetable farmer in Bertrams but I have been in love, been at the M&G for six months now, developing my documentary which benefited from hairgate at Pretoria High School, shooting a web series, traveling, giving talks, doing interviews, writing, managing people, being the girlfriend of someone who runs a bar and sometimes working behind the bar, taking care of my plants, finding time to read, getting into new music, reconnecting with an old friend, planning the future and trying to be honest about every day’s experiences, like this one last week:

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I haven’t seen a lot of my friends in a while and I miss them but feel guilty when they text or email because it’s a reminder how I’m not actually holding it all together and need to balance things out, how there’s always something to work on. I’m sorry Ashley, Buyisa, Thembi, Nana, Marion, Choci, Ntyatyi, Mary, Santilla, Singalakha for not talking you as often as I’d like. People’s kids are turning 1 and I last saw them when they were born, if even. Please know that I feel terrible for not making enough time. But I’m trying and learning that the course of my life will most likely privilege work instead of these wonderful friendships and that makes me sad and like I’m being made to choose. And also please, a shout out to the emails I have not responded to you yet.  When you have 5 email addresses, you just can’t do it all and it just becomes a process of elimination from most important to least important: money, invitations, personal friendships, people asking me for stuff, interviews. Which fucking sucks.

I’m sitting on my bed after eating my first healthy meal in a while (I cooked today which is a big achievement for me during the week), a cauliflower and spinach soup that I made from scratch and ate with no bread.  I cleaned my room and did some laundry.  I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve become a creature I used to judge in that my underwear now gets washed twice a week by me in a machine instead of by hand after a bath. I hope to reclaim this part of my upbringing. And I got back on here. These are big deals for a time strapped millenial.  But  I miss writing for writing’s sake and just sharing random things with an audience I’ve really grown to value even though it might seem like I said ”later losers” as soon as I started working a 9 – 5.  Work is cool, but you know it’s work and I never saw this blog as work.  In between all these tasks I’m also currently contemplating:

  • Sacrifice and what that means for me who has never really had to sacrifice anything major and whether my need to always get my way is linked to this
  • The word ”Gqi” which my friend and I spent a good time unpacking last night (it has no translation), discussing its linguistic, cultural and oral value and just how much those three little letters hold (I’m lazy to explain but also explaining it weakens the impact of it)
  • The concept of: ”iintsimbi ziyalolana, zibabukhali zombini” which sort of means ”when beads on a string grind against each other, they sharpen one another.  This is in reference to how to co-exist and how helping others makes everyone stronger. It’s an idiom my friend shared with me during a late night whatsapp session which was inspired by ”gqi” amongst other ideas
  • What the future holds in a world where the global north is living with robots and is so technologically advanced that they are miles ahead of Africa regarding their structural development. Should we chase Europe, North America, India and China in terms of ”how to be” or should we stick to who we are as Africans and offer them what we know, which is how to access parts of the human mind and abilities that speak to an intelligence that is directly linked to the esoteric, magic, spirituality and things that are more fulfilling than sitting in a perfectly designed chair or being able to ask a robot how much traffic there is on your way to where you will spend your day contributing to our capitalist miasma?
  • How the world needs to talk about Dubai airport and how European luxury fashion brands know they are dead and are just now looking for new markets to die comfortably in, places like Dubai where the obsession with brands is just a teeny weeny bit call the police bat shit crazy.  I was stuck there for over 6 hours and felt really sorry for the part of us as humans that makes us think that that shit is okay.
  • How I need to write but instead I’m on the internet procrastinating:
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    But mostly realizing how much of my parent’s child I am.

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