Until the Bitter End: a meditation

Every day feels like my spirit (my essence and truest form) and my traumatised inner child are fighting each other. It’s the most gruesome kind of cat fight: bloodied claws, sharpened teeth and ear wrenching screeches. Such violence, all within. My body occasionally expels the inner turmoil, in the form of tears filled with existential frustration, and I wince. The treachery of it all, the exhaustion of angst.

Secretly, I’m rooting for my spirit to win. Her fervorous fire is truly frightening; she’s doing her best and I am grateful for that. For in the end, if she is not the victor…
I’ll have died a most painful death.

Focus

I am in awe of the Universe and the magnitude of power that is around and within us.

God loves us beyond our comprehension, so much so that They give us signs to pay attention to that help lead us towards the different paths we are meant to take in order to fulfill our mission on Earth.

If you question whether what you desire is meant for you, chances are it most probably is meant for you. Tailor-made and customised beau. Just like how the signs God gives you are unique to YOU, so are the dreams and desires planted within you.

Try this exercise: Ask a close friend what kind of signs they see around them that they feel and believe are from God. This could be angel numbers, a repetition of colours, affirming words from strangers, anything! Take the time to share God’s magnitude and marvel at the uniqueness of your destiny with someone you care about!

The signs we receive from the Divine will not be the same and if you’re not sure whether what you see around you is a sign from God, ask God to reveal Themselves to you and pay attention to all that is around you.

Focus.

And a friendly reminder that you are so loved. Focus on the Self and start preparing your Self for what God wants you to do in this lifetime.

P.S. To me, God is non-binary and I’m trying to train myself to move away from gendering Them and not refer Them to the binary lines that we have established as humans K tenks πŸ™‚

Perceptions of perceptions, baby!

Sometimes I think of my spirit as a ball of energy that lives inside me and carries my body around from place to place. And it doesn’t just carry my body, it carries a body that is observed and perceived by other bodies (which possess spirits of their own). In a world that functions through the movement of the living – where our bodies drive the changes around us – our spirits don’t get to show their true essence.

We have long been able to naturally be observant and create assertions, judgements, thoughts and perceptions about everything around us. It is safe to say that being perceived by other people is unavoidable. It is part of the experience of living. The tragedy, I feel, is that most of us live in accordance to those perceptions, without even realising it.

It’s crazy to think about, because you don’t really know how people perceive you unless they explicitly share the thoughts and opinions they have of you, with you. I don’t know whether it’s social conditioning or a natural part of being human, but it is actually absurd that we centre our lives according to how we think other people perceive us. This is the “I wonder what people will think of me” thought, or “I can’t be seen here!” as you begin to imagine people in your head judging you for being wherever you’re ‘not supposed to be seen.’ Does this sound familiar to you?

Well, it does to me chile… despite my best efforts (this is a lie, I’m actually not even trying lol but I’m hoping this blog post will help) I still find myself looking through pictures of myself, sifting through to find which image/video will give people the best, or most positive, perception of me. This is a realisation I made yesterday, while performing this very act of narcissism, when I had earlier convinced myself that “I don’t care what people think of me.” This is a lie. I actually do care what people think of me. I know that I shouldn’t, but the fact is that I do. And you most probably do as well, fellow narcissist (winks). The narcissism doesn’t come from looking at yourself for an hour or more. It comes from you thinking that people pay that much attention to you, that you then feel you can’t wear certain clothes, or like a certain genre of music, or have an appreciation post of your bae (you know, the whole ‘hide your man/ hide your girl trend thingy-ma-bob). It’s the fact that you limit your self expression because you ‘can’t be caught slippin’.

Obviously, people will always have an opinion and have the ability to perceive you, but it is a danger to your essence and your expression to limit yourself because of other people. This is not a new message or idea: this really will set you back in life. It can extend to who you choose as an intimate partner, or even the career path you take. You might, for instance, want to start an OnlyFans as a way to enhance your self expression and become closer to yourself (or whatever reason you have for wanting to have an OnlyFans) while making some money, but you let what other people may think drive you away from executing your dream. Imagine stumbling the bag because of words that will potentially emit from another person’s mouth. Chile no ways. Sidenote: if you needed a sign to start your OnlyFans, this might be it!

Lalela, no one’s opinions are going to feed you, and I think it’s important that we remember that we all have to fend for ourselves eventually. One day you will be eating food that you put on the table with your own money and effort.

Direct your energy towards yourself and try your best to simply not give a fuck about energies and thoughts that weigh you down and do not serve the essence of your spirit. Okrr?

Love would never lead you astray

“When parents have specific goals for their children, this sets up a conflict in the child’s will. The child will be torn between [fear of] the parents, and the need to develop his or own power. If the child is loyal to the parents’ expectations, he or she will probably not find his or her own unique form of creative expression.” ~ Excerpt from Chakras: Understanding Your Inner Energy by Joy Garner

Confession. I changed a bit of this quote. The original part in the brackets says “love for” but I had a problem with that. It should be noted that the definition of love is, of course, subjective. People experience love in a multitude of ways. What’s love to one person, may be considered toxicity, control and manipulation to another. We are all different and it is important to honour our differences as human beings.

But I have an objection.

I, for one, would love to have the chat about how we are raised. When I say we, I mean those who share my context: ‘black, South African, female’. Or ‘Black [Queer] South African female?’ Or maybe ‘Black queer South African female [that isn’t a virgin]?’ Actually I’ve got it: ‘Black queer South African female that isn’t a virgin [and grew up in multicultural spaces with maybe a little too much exposure to Western doctrines and pollution from white people].’
That context.

Coming from that context is taxing on my psyche. It prevents me from being the “paradigm of feminine decorum” in the ‘African way’. I think Tsitsi Dangarembga really helped exemplify this through the creation of Nyasha in Nervous Conditions. ‘I… may have a Nyasha Complex of some sort’. This was a thought I had 5 years ago in high school. And, to my dismay, my psychological state has only worsened since then.

Sidenote: our parents really had it rough shem. Growing up black during Apartheid can NOT have been easy. I can’t imagine the trauma that they should be dealing with but pretend doesn’t exist because they were not taught about the importance of mental health awareness. This on its own deserves a blog (2021, I pwwwoooomisss). But today I’m talking about myself (and those who share my context lol) because New Years Eve equals self-reflection babyyyy.

Anywho, I don’t know how to say this eloquently… there’s really no cute way of saying this… but it’s our parents driving us further and further away from our gifts and talents for me. There’s just something about using violence as a threat to keep a child in check that screams ‘I’m exerting control over your entire being’ for me. It’s the blind obedience that follows suit because of years of trauma and pain, and the fear of more violence actualising for me.

It’s us fearing our personal power for me.

For me, it’s our fervor and eagerness to live and ‘make a mark’ turning into existential apathy. It’s the dwindling of our intellectual capacity and the dampening of our spirits. It’s the fear to participate in the world, and constant exhaustion at the thought. It’s blind obedience being called ‘respect’ and respect meaning blind obedience. (There’s some African saying about how respecting your parents allows things in your life to go smoothly or something like that). Fun fact: people respect their parents all the way to dreams that aren’t theirs and jobs they hate, people they don’t love but marry anyways because ‘you know the varbs’, until their dying days when they’re now filled with regret for not living the life they wanted to live for themselves.

You will be left alone on this earth with your resentment and regret. You will be left alone to deal with the anxiety, depression and trauma that has developed from your blind obedience. No look of pity from strange faces will cure you. And then, like everyone else, you’ll die. I’m sure there’s someone twisting in their grave right now from regret.

It’s truly frightening, especially when you think about how sacred life is and how small we all are in the grand scheme of things. I don’t think life is designed to be smooth, whether you live out your dreams or not. There will always be turbulence. I reckon it’s better if that turbulence comes from you reaching towards that which your spirit has called you to do on Earth… It won’t be easy, but it would truly be a shame for you to carry on this way. All shrunken and afraid. If you want to know what I think, Love would never lead you astray.

P.S. But then again what do I know lmaooooooooooooooooooooooo.

P.P.S. Jk, I hope the new year is a banger for you, yea?

P.P.P.S. Let’s fuck shit up with our masks on, yea?

P.P.P.P.S. I have faith in you and your dreams and I love you. Yea?

P.P.P.P.P.S. Okay bye.

Nina

Strong Winds

“To have people believe in you.
To have their faith, like a breeze, carry you.
Before you fall, strong winds surround you, every time.

Do you not know I want to die?
Why put your faith in me?”

~Ekechi

I don’t know how many seconds it took me to write the piece above (idc if quoting yourself is pretentious lmaooooo) but it’s just what my brain felt like squirting out. It was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend after watching something really amazing. That amazing thing that I just watched is what this blog is about.

Anywho, so I just watched a documentary about Nina Simone on Netflix called “What happened, Miss Simone?”. I don’t have many words. Her kind of brilliance cannot be aptly encapsulated. And I have to remember that this is a blog, my (free) blog, so I shouldn’t be tempted to write an elaborate essay of her brilliance. But seriously, I’m just in awe. Complete and utter awe.

Musically, I’m not very familiar with her work (besides the famous ‘I Put a Spell on You’ and ‘Feeling Good’ and maybe one or two others that I may recognise if I hear them played) but I am so spiritually drawn to her and the story I didn’t know I needed until today!

Nina, I think, was an existentialist (essentially someone who desires to explore the human condition). She underwent medication for a number of mental health issues as a result. Since a young girl, she felt alone and othered by her own skinfolk (practising the piano for long hours every day, there wasn’t much time to socialise) and, unsurprisingly, by white people. She had to walk to her music teacher’s white neighborhood for lessons and often felt terrified because of the colour of her skin.

‘The black girl that plays the piano’. That’s how it seems she was perceived by her black peers. Not a friend, but someone who could play an instrument and entertain an audience (them). I’m not going to spoil this for you, I encourage you to watch this beauty yourself.

But, to me, it’s obvious enough that she didn’t create music for fame. Singing, for her, began as a means to sustain herself and her family. But in it she was able to find her essence. She played the piano like an extension of her hand, just another part of her limbs. And she enraptured her audience with her voice; so unique. So raw and fluid. She became a star accidentally, you could say. Or maybe it was fatalism, I guess it depends on who you ask.

But she was an existentialist. The free-spirited kind, ‘born in the wrong time’ (the universe doesn’t really make those kind of errors). A soul, in her words, “sick of the social order, sick of the establishment”. A soul that lived fiercely, with vulnerability and rawness at the centre. An honest soul in a world built on lies.

You best believe imma cop some Nina Simone music ASAP. Wena, go watch the documentary and contemplate your existence while you’re at it:)

Sporadic sulk Sundays

β€’ Spring is my spirit’s favourite season and I’m spending it indoors at home
β€’ I love learning but I hate the education system but I have to stay in school
β€’ I’m sexually frustrated and have forgotten what sex feels like but I’m socially awkward and don’t really like human interaction that much
β€’ I’m struggling to see myself as anything more than a domestic thing; I clean and cook and look after a child. I wish I could put those skills on my C.V. but no one fucking cares about that
β€’ Consequently, every daily vision of myself that involves writing, directing, producing, editing, singing, dancing, fucking, smoking and laughing with friends seems too far away
β€’ Ugh, existential dread. Again

I.S. – the notorious BIG ass hoe

“19/09/19 – The day I overcame Imposter Syndrome (I.S.) at Elevate Education. Often times when we start a new job, we feel overwhelmed and underqualified. We are filled with self-debilitating doubt which, consequently, has a crippling effect on our ability to perform our tasks effectively.

Although I did have some good moments presenting to different students before this, never did I feel so at home than on this day. I had three back-to-back seminars at Pietermaritzburg Girls High School, and my last seminar was a new one that I’d never done before (and I had to record myself for a performance review!) Naturally, my anxiety was off the charts πŸ˜… but it ended up being my best seminar of the year! The Grade 10 girls were amaaaaazing; they loved the content and the vessel responsible for transmitting it ☺ (they made my day when they said I should start a YouTube channel πŸ‘‰πŸΎπŸ‘ˆπŸΎπŸ₯Ί). Awkward pose aside, I really felt like the gyel that day 😎…

If you feel like an imposter in your workspace, I wish I could personally tell you to stop. However, it’s something you have to work through by yourself and I know you will. You’re meant to be wherever you are right now. TRUST me, you’re not there by mistake πŸ’œ.

#helpthekids #elevateeducation #performancepyschology #impostersyndromereallysucksandyouwillovercomeit”

I posted the words above (accompanied with a cute photo of my amazing colleagues) on LinkedIn, an app that I still largely feel like an imposter in:) oop-

As someone who’s anti-diplomacy,I struggle to post content that reflects the kind of person I am (and employee I’d be) because, honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of professionalism. To me, professionalism seems to exist in isolation of everything else in the world (misogyny, feminism, racial identity and racism, sex, sexuality, politics, spirituality etc.) Naturally, I find that problematic on so many levels. But this needs a separate blog post on its own so TBC!!!

Right now I’m here to remind you to stop feeling like an imposter, bitch. Kay? K bye:)

A Scholastic burp

“It’s a long one, folks.
It’s deep-seated and a source of great discomfort. It’s silent yet painfully loud, a screech AND a looming grey cloud.

It’s heavy, really, really, really heavy. But intangible, it only floats inside me. So it’s not real.

No one else can see it so it must not be real.

No one else can hear it so it must not be real.

No one else can feel it so I must not be real.”

~Ekechi

I was getting ready to wash the dishes one morning, when I suddenly realised that I don’t exist. I turned on the hot water and had a thought, as the water hit the silver of the sink; I’m not real.

The water is filling up and liquid soap is added – I’m not real.
A hand moves through the water to create foam – I’m not real!
The water is getting hotter, the sink getting full – I’m not real! I don’t feel real!
The water stops running and a reddened hand stares at me.

I checked my pulse and discovered I was having a ‘panic attack’, defined as “a sudden episode of intense fear and anxiety based on perceived threat rather than imminent danger.”

Tears then snot then saliva. I could no longer see. “Please help me! I don’t feel real!”

I’m in the kitchen, alone. There’s a sleeping, living 5 year old somewhere in the house.

But I’m not alive. I’m an object of an object, of an object’s object. I must be a tool, a machine to be switched off. Someone’s gonna switch me off soon, you’ll see.

Yet, I still walk. I can see one foot and then another and then the first foot again! I’m being led around this house. I’m cleaning. I can see that I’m really cleaning. The air feels different, smells different. Lemon citrus. That’s my favourite scent, I remember that.

I also remember that I’m supposed to be doing an online test. It’s the make-up test (I had decided that I wouldn’t do the orginal and it felt like the greatest decision I’d ever made! Had I ever experienced such joy? Impossible!)

Yet now, I was miserable in my own head. Questioning my own breath and wondering how I could make it stop. Elegantly.

D-day and I haven’t started my online test. The deadline passes and a minute later, something possesses my lecturer to call me. I think it’s called Jesus. She’s been quoting the bible to me and asked if I was a Christian. I didn’t answer her, and I hope she doesn’t ask me again. But I love her, and her Jesus. I love that she poisoned my brain with hope.
“Just try, Tamasha. You can still make it. Don’t let the devil win.”

And I cleaned, again. With vigour and more lemon citrus. I fed and bathed the 5 year old. We had to skip our 30 minute school session that day. He understood.

I sat behind a desk for two hours and did as much research on the topic as possible. The test question wasn’t difficult, really. I just needed time and will. I needed my level of care for academia to stop dwindling. But it didn’t stop. It smiled at me from the corner of the dining room entrance and politely asked if it could sit down. I invited it to sit right next to me and we had a rather lovely chat. It invited me to continue our discussion in my room, to which I graciously accepted. We laughed and cried together, and it lulled me to sleep.

Before the sun rose, I burped the worst essay I’d ever written. It lacked the colour and pungence and potency that one might desire from watching too many cartoons (there’s a living 5 year old in this house).

But it still felt good. To have something to let out? It was more than enough. To produce a bad essay and be aware of that. To be aware that I was doing badly at school.

That, folks, made me feel real.

She’s Gotta Have It

INT. TAMASHA’S SPACE – NIGHT.

She dusts the cobwebs settling around – in all the corners and little crevices – and grabs a wooden stool, dragging it to the centre of the room, her mind. She sits and stares directly at the camera. You.

“Wazzzguuuud! It’s been an actual minute, hasn’t it? Well, I can explain. I haven’t felt like blogging lately… so I didn’t blog. There’s really no profound reason behind my silence. I did try to erect my thoughts constructively for the purposes of my Weekly Sunday Post but my brain told me to chill, so I listened. I guess it was reminding me that this is my space. I created it by myself and, frankly, for myself and there’s absolutely no need to feel pressured to write anything. Also, I’m scrapping this once-a-week-every-Sunday thing. I’m not a paid content creator yet so nje buzz off. Whenever I have a thought I want to share, however small, I will do so. Cool beans!

This Sunday, however, is a particularly spayzial one for me because it’s my 21st birfdaaaaay!” (*squeals and nearly falls off the stool*)

“Today, I want to talk about individuating, which is the process required for self-actualisation. I learned this word from a series called “She’s Gotta Have It”, which is a Spike Lee joint (yes, like the critically acclaimed ’80s indie film of the same name, but in contemporary times:). After trying to navigate life as a queer black woman with multiple lovers and a struggling career in the visual arts, Nola Darling eventually gets her big break with a massive solo art exhibition called “#IAmYourMirror”. One of her paintings (which she hides behind a red curtain and can only be viewed by one person at a time) causes much controversy. It is of her naked body being lynched by her own braids. Her body is painted with the American flag and is also quite bloodied. There are different emotions evoked by different people towards this shocking yet profound painting, with some praise but also lots of protest and criticism (even from those very dear to her). At no point does Nola waver from her artistic intention and feel the need to apologise or explain herself for causing a ‘stir’.

She has individuated, distinguished herself through her art and forged a new path to a higher sense of self.

There is no sbwl I sbwl more than this sbwl.

I see birthdays as a great time for self-reflection. The idea that a birthday is meant to be a day where you’re showered with gifts doesn’t really appeal to me (kodwa phela I do like gifts nami, I’m not ruling those out!). But think of it as a New Year, as a time to see how much growth has occurred and how much more still needs to happen. I am very proud to say that I am not in the same place that I was in last year when I turned 20 and that a lot of development has definitely taken place. I will forever want to improve myself and will always be a learner, and I’ve been learning a lot about myself of late.

My mind is my greatest strength but also my greatest weakness. I am plagued by anxiety, which allows me to live in fear of my heart’s deepest desires. It’s as if my spirit knows exactly what it needs to individuate, for me to become the essence of self, but my angst builds such a great wall in my mind that I feel physically restricted and unable to attain whatever it is that is meant to grow me and lead me towards a higher sense of self. Yerr.

So what I would like to work on, from now on until forever more, is mindfulness. I want to find ways of dissolving the ego and any misconstrued ideas I have of myself. I want to say ‘fuck you’ to self-debilitating narratives I have of myself but also the misconceptions that people may have of me. I want to give rise to the magnitude of greatness within me and operate from that space.

I’m exhausted just thinking about this. But individuating definitely seems like a lot of worthwhile work.

Sooo on Thursday, I stuck my vision board on my wardrobe for the world to see instead of keeping it hidden like I normally would. It may not seem like much, but now when I lay on my bed (which is a fond hobby of mine) I am constantly reminded of my heart’s deepest desires in picture form. I feel compelled to achieve the things I set out to do (after this Coco V mess, of course) and the thought of achieving said goals gives me great joy. I also started doing yoga last week (I have no cathartic revelations to express yet, but do check out the Yoga Workout app!) and I’ve really been enjoying stretching and breathing consciously. I’ve also been practising thought rehearsal/meditation, which is consciously envisioning yourself living out the desires of your heart. Fun times. I highly recommend it!

That’s pretty much it for now. I see that this lockdown has definitely taken a toll on my mental health and your girl has done zerrrooo school work (just a reminder to some of you that you are, in fact, a registered student). Plus my sleeping patterns are jacked as fuck.

I wish everyone a happy Sunday and I hope that you can join me on this path to mindfulness and meaningful living, for the purposes of individuating.

Hugs and kisses, from a loving Unicorn.”