Tuesday, 26 July 2016

World without color

I’m looking for you in every face I see
Looking for the familiarity that used to be
Empty parking lots, bare wrists
What’s a picture without color; what’s me without you?
I’m running to you but you’re already leaving
I’m running faster, running to catch up with you
Running past wondering stares and pointing fingers
Running to stop you from taking another step, the next step…and the next
Running to make you see that we are all it takes
We are all it will take.
Wait for me.
Take my hand.
 Look me in the eye.
Believe me.
Believe me, I beg you…
You smell of home
Carry it with you as you go, leaving me exposed, un-sheltered, cold.
I can’t run anymore; I’m panting and sweaty
I can’t let you leave but I can’t run anymore
Why won’t you stop walking? Why won’t you look back when I call your name?
Tell me you see it too; how great we will be. How unstoppable we are together.
We will conquer the world, swallow them whole. We will make history.
We were born to be legends, can’t you see?
Don’t take that next step, don’t cross over.
If you go, you leave shadows. You leave a world with no depth, and no color.

If you must go, take my heart with you.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Part of something bigger.

I am a person who likes order. I have nothing whatsoever against systems; except for those that I feel do not work for me.
For people like me, deciding whether or not to join a system is usually a very big task. Take for instance joining my current place of employment. I needed to be sure; not that the place was suited for me, but that I was suited for the place. I did not want to be the employee who after one year or so, both you and the employer are wondering what on earth they were thinking. Naturally, I want to make things I come into contact with better. I also did not want to be a disappointment /embarrassment to all those that had pushed the process of getting that particular job along. I wanted to be sure, at least to a certain degree, that come what may, even after time had passed, I would still wake up daily and give 100%. I did not want to fail. So I weighed my options carefully, realistically and rationally and after what I feel was a thorough brain-storm session, it was decided that yes indeed, this employment would be advantageous to all those involved.

There has never been a moment in my life when I have regretted that decision. However, there have been several moments where I have forgotten what drove me to it in the first place. From a young age, it was always clear that I was following a different path in life. For some reason what I wanted was in direct and complete contrast to what everyone around me wanted. I questioned the way of things and I tried to map out my own path ‘too early in life’. I cannot tell you how many times I heard the phrase ‘That is not how things are done’ over the years. Don’t get me wrong, I was absolutely organized, obsessive about it even, just not organized about the things I was supposed to be organized about; just imagine preparing a very exquisite fish dish to perfection only to be told it was supposed to be beef. If you’re a young girl growing up in Africa, you can imagine the chaos that breaks out whenever you stray from the path, especially if it is a path that everyone else has walked with reasonable ease. 

Needless to say, it became a recipe for endless internal turmoil; trying to choose between doing what was expected of me and following my gut. I started to wonder if there indeed was something the matter with me. I started to mould myself after those I thought were doing it right. I tried to walk the way they walked and talk the way they talk and be the way they were. We all know how that story ends; major major blow out.

It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that there were other people who thought the way I thought; yes they lived a bit of a distance from where I stayed but hey, I wasn’t crazy, or at least I wasn’t the only crazy one. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that it’s OK to find another way out of the a thousand to kill a rat. I realized that in some places, this was something to be celebrated, it was all a matter of perspective. I also learnt that there is always a place of compromise; a system that could be designed to satisfactorily fit both extremes. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized what exactly it was that drove me to these unconventional ways.

It wasn’t because I didn’t know how to follow the already set procedures. It also wasn’t because I did not think the systems in place would not work. The reason was I wanted something…richer. Something with more. I wanted something that required my full dedication, something that would utilize the raging passion I had. I was curious about life. The more I knew, the more I wanted to know. I wanted something that would acknowledge my growth as an individual, something that would tickle my imagination; challenge me to think harder. I wanted to see the bigger picture, to be a part of something bigger. Something more lasting...

Over the years, I have learnt to harness this energy and turn it into being productive in whatever I am working on at that moment. Sometimes it works; it makes me spring out of bed in the morning and puts a bounce in my step and a twinkle in my eyes throughout the day. On those days, when passion is high and morale is at its best, I could probably sell water to an islander. But I’ve come to realize that there will be other days; those other days when you can’t bring yourself to remember why you started doing what you are doing in the first place. It’s on those days that I have to remember that in spite of everything, I still want to be part of that something bigger; something more meaningful and richer. It’s on those days that I need to remember that I, and only I, can decide whether I get to do that and how I live a life that will get me to that point.