Ten Year Challenge.

Ah sweet Time. The speeding vehicle hurtling us towards the cold arms of death and regrets.

Social media is awash with people participating in the ten year challenge in which they put up side by side pictures of themselves ten years ago and now and marvel at the changes. I of course have not participated in this for many reasons chief of which is my intense fear and dislike of the passage of time and the sadness it leaves in its wake.

I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times; time scares me. The way it goes by so quickly: The days go by and turn into weeks then years, then in a twinkling a decade has passed and I am still here; unsure, unsteady and alone, always alone. Yes, I do not need a professional to tell me my fear of time is borne out of my intense dissatisfaction with my life. Another year gone is another year wasted, another year in which I may have achieved some professional accolades but in which I did not live life but merely existed and watched others live. Another year gone is another year in which I did not learn any skill or tick off anything on my bucket list. Doing the ten year challenge will simply depress me; being confronted with a picture of a teenage me and to know that I am not happier than I was then will be crushing.

I recently had a little foray into the past, by way of an old ipod which I found in my parent’s home. I was excited to see it and surprised that it still worked and so began my trip down memory lane. My God. Pictures of friends I have not kept in touch with (friendships I have not nurtured), lists of things I never did do, pictures of me taken alone in my room in which I know that I was yearning to live life and sad that I was not. Ten years later I have more degrees and certificates but the yearning has not been satisfied.

I looked in the reminders and saw one thing: practice French, and that’s when I turned off the ipod. I have been wanting to learn French for years now, a decade even. My reminders on my current phone are the same; learn french. I have french textbooks and novels, a french channel I follow on youtube, watch a french series, and even changed my phone language to french but I still do not speak French fluently. How depressing. I cannot ride a bicycle, cannot swim properly, still have not figured out what to do with my hair, still have skin issues, still battling with ingrown hairs, still spending most of my time alone, still no companion, still bored, still not happy.

The thought that another ten years will go by and I will still be in the same spot is chilling, even more so as it is entirely possible. The solution seems simply enough; Just go out and do these things. Do more of what makes you happy. But it is not that easy, I have tried, plus it is even more depressing doing these things alone.

What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don’t know and I am afraid.



Originally written on Sep 11, 2016.

Sometimes when I am in traffic, I look out of the car window and see a house. The light is on and I am overcome by a strange tightness- nostalgia perhaps, I am not sure.

Nostalgia: a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time. (dictionary.com)

I often feel nostalgic for a place or period that I do not know. I don’t know exactly where or when or what it is I am yearning for. Seeing the light makes me think there must be a family inside-or even just one person-doing things people do at home- watching television, eating, napping on the couch, laughing.

Home. The first thing that comes to mind when I think of home is cozy. I feel that I have been searching for a home. This is weird, because I do have a home, with parents and siblings, and yet I am searching. I need a place to be cozy in; to be happy and loved; to snuggle under the covers on a cold rainy day; to be alone and to be with company; to eat dinner while passing commentary on a movie; to laugh and be at peace.

It is strange that a single light bulb can evoke so many feelings. I cannot see what is going on behind the curtains. I do not know the kind of persons that live there. All I can see is that a light is on, and that is enough for me to feel a longing for home.

I feel this longing even when the home is not outwardly desirable. I look at people who live in squalor, with no electricity and no furniture; they laugh together and I am consumed by this desire for home. Could it be companionship that I crave? I have been an island for so long, a dedicated loner, and it is strange to think of myself as a person who wants others.

Home to me is not necessarily a place with family-although it would probably be best if family felt like home. Home to me has never been a place, more like a feeling. For the most part, I am my home, and I carry my home with me wherever I go. Home is where I am. It is for this reason that I never feel homesick.

Still, I feel the longing; the deep yearning for something out there. I am no longer enough. I need a home.

Nobody loves a genius child

This is a song for the genius child.
Sing it softly, for the song is wild.
Sing it softly as ever you can –
Lest the song get out of hand.

Nobody loves a genius child.

Can you love an eagle,
Tame or wild?
Can you love an eagle,
Wild or tame?
Can you love a monster
Of frightening name?

Nobody loves a genius child.

Kill him – and let his soul run wild.

-Langston Hughes

Some never awaken.

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”
― Anaïs NinThe Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

What of those left behind?

A few months ago, France won the World Cup and Africans everywhere rejoiced.

Wait what?

A huge proportion of the winning team are of African descent, a number of them were not even born in France. Seeing all the Africans on the pitch must have been nice, especially as none of the African teams made it past the first stage. France was quickly adopted as the last African team, and when they won their victory was a victory for Africa.  Needless to say, this caused a bit of controversy.

Comedian Trevor Noah of the Daily Show made a joke about this on his show; saying something to the effect of “Africa won the World Cup“.  This struck a nerve with the French ambassador who wrote:

“Unlike the United States of America, France does not refer to its citizens based on its race, religion, or origin. To us, there is no hyphenated identity.”

Trevor replied saying: “When I am saying, ‘They are African’, I am not saying it as a way to exclude them from their Frenchness, but using it as a way to include them in my Africanness.”

Trevor’s reply perfectly summed up the feelings of the Africans celebrating this proxy win. Everyone was just trying to “feel among”. Continue reading

A new dawn

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good.

I am writing yet another new year post, and even though I am terrified by time hurtling by, I am not going to drone on about getting older and passage of time as I usually do.

I am not even going to attempt to write down some things I want to achieve (learn French, perfect my swimming e.tc). I have one goal/motto for 2019 and that is to mindfully live my life; to live more deliberately and decisively.

I am very well aware of how quickly time goes by (welp guess I am talking about this) but up till now I had been content to watch it pass me by and then moan about it later. In 2019 I want to not only be aware of the minutes, but to also be conscious of what I do with them. No longer will I lie in bed doing nothing only to look up and it’s night time and I cannot say exactly what I did with the time.

I want to be more decisive; for someone who bangs on about how precious time is, I do spend a lot of it aimlessly starring into space under the guise of trying to make a decision. I will make decisions and not beat myself up about them after because; 1) the grass is always greener. The alternative is not necessarily better; 2) It really does not matter. It may be annoying but is the world going to end because I chose chicken when I should have gone with fish?

I realised in the last days of 2018 that one main source of the blues for me is the wastage of time. Time is so precious and once it is gone it is lost forever. So when I spend so much time doing nothing when I could be/should have been doing something it weighs on me and depresses my mood.

Up till now I was the kind of person who says she wants to do something and rather than work towards it, just lazes around swishing around the idea. Until now my motto was “We’ll see/I’ll figure it out” knowing fully well that I was not making any concrete plans.

Now when I want to do something I am not going to leave it till “later”, I will try to figure it then and there if possible. If I want to make my hair, rather than bore everyone else with tales of how I want to do my hair, I will actually sit down and think of what hairstyle I want, where I’ll do the hair, and when.

Key word for 2019: mindfulness.

So help me God.

Happy New Year! I hope this is a good one.