It’s true, I stopped writing. For many reasons. Some true. Some bullshit. You tell yourself an awful lot of bullshit to justify your actions and distract you from the real demons. Fact is, I have very sensitive emotional skin. I would not like to quote Dr Phil of all people but he once said that if you’ve been through a tough “journey” it’s like your emotional skin is sunburnt. And you know how sensitive skin is to touch when you are sunburnt? Well my emotional skin is like that. In time it will heal… If it doesn’t keep getting sunburnt, and people don’t keep poking at it.
A while ago, three “friends” took me on over what I am writing:
“Soulmates? Really?! You can’t possibly believe in such utter…”
Me and my sensitive emotional skin, we were hurt. I felt humiliated, ridiculed and exposed… Like I was standing naked in front of everyone – which is exactly what you do when you write – and people laughed at me. To be fair that is exactly what happened. My thoughts were mocked and ridiculed, so yes… I was 4 again and being teased for having baby fat. In there lies the clue. At 4 you are supposed to have baby fat, because you are a baby. And at 36 you are supposed to believe in love. To be honest, as a human you are supposed to believe in love.
Friday at dinner we talked about writing and I said to a friend,
“Well, I’ve quit writing the blog because I’ve realised…”
Watch me adding perfect logic and good reasoning right here:
“… that my feelings are private and they should not be shared on something so public as a blog. And so too are my actions and thoughts. They are my own.”
My friend looked at me, from the potato-peelings and said,
“Can’t you see? You’ve hit a nerve.”
Still, I was unwavering in my belief. I am not exposing myself so people can project their shit on me. Yes, it’s their shit… I get that. But I’m not their toilet. You feel me?
“They had a bad reaction to you speaking a truth and that is exactly what you should be doing. You’re doing the right thing, girl.”
At this point, I wavered… A long time ago, I just started writing. Post my degree, pre- knowing my arse from my elbow, Antjie Krog was giving a talk. Antjie Krog, for the people not in South Africa, is a famous South African writer / poet and she’s quite a heroine of mine. Anyway she was telling a story about when she just started out as a journalist. She wrote a piece and it was “soft”. You know the kind of writing you write when you don’t want to offend anyone – note I’ve used the word shit a few times on purpose – when you tread lightly near the truth and leave your heart in the next room. Soft. So her editor said to her:
“Do you want to write? Or do you want to make friends?”
She said, she made a decision that day and when she looks back, there’s a sea of the slain behind her. Only her husband has walked with her through the valleys.
I thought of this. I’ve been thinking about this since Friday night. I miss writing. It’s so much a part of me. I still write in my journal. And I write for a living… but my blog, I love my blog. It’s become like my confessional. Like the magnifying glass through which I look at the parts I want to write about and I write until I get there. My blog is personal. That’s what makes it beautiful and real.
At Friday night dinner, my friend said one other thing about me that struck me… Yawl know I’ve been saying the journey on “A Storm in a C-cup” will come to an end soon. Because in truth I did feel this cycle was done. I journeyed from love-lorn to beloved and adored, and for that I thank my soulmate who will always have my heart, and now a new journey starts.
My friend, Alex, with whom I had dinner on Saturday night has known me intimately since I was about 16 or 17. We were dance partners back in the dance days, we both studied English Literature, we both moved to Joburg and he’s seen me in both my wild days and during my mad existence. Not trying to be profound and in passing really he said to me,
“You are quite the idealist and Romantic for such an extremely realistic girl.”
This is the contradiction that is me, in a nutshell. My life has been too real for me to wear rose-coloured glasses, yet I do believe in the “magic”. Why else would I have survived? Why else would I keep going?
I’ve been toying with a blog that peels away the layers… What are you underneath the make up? What parts are you? What parts are more you than the parts you came with?
A week ago I stood at my grandfather’s grave. A lot happened for me over the two days that made up my grandfather’s funeral… I lost and gained a lot. Not just in that moment but over time, but the realisation only met with me and looked me in the eye in those two days. I stood at my grandmother’s house, she passed more than 20 years ago and her beautiful old house, unrecognisable, showed the decay. Why? Why am I holding onto her… let her go. Because for some reason I believe she is the last and only person who loved me, that is the truth of it. That is the belief I have built my reality on.
In my new “series” of posts, I will peel away these layers. Please join me on this journey…. If you are not afraid, I may hit a nerve. You’re welcome.
Photo by Germaine de Larch – http://www.germainedelarch.co.za