S[c]een

I’m going to paint a word portrait of scenes from my life that both do and don’t yet exist. 2020 (and beyond) is going to be filled with wonders unknown and I couldn’t be more excited to leap.

It’s OK that I’m leaving some edges behind in 2019 (it really came for them!) so we’re growing new ones. Call it a vision board, SWOT analysis (don’t), stream of consciousness or prophecy. Call it whatever you want it’s mine. I do encourage you to make your own.

I see someone standing beside me silently directing foot traffic to move around me because I’ve collapsed in another fit of laughter. This after they failed to catch me and chose to gently lower me to the ground instead. There are tears. I see someone asking no questions and holding me when my usually loquacious self bursts into tears because sometimes (rarely) there are no words. I see a get-well-soon starter-pack on my bedside table, forehead kisses and the gift of an empty house while I self-sooth like a caveman. I see me watching someone fall alseep, or more rarely, waiting for someone to wake. Translation: I’m laughing and you love me. I’m crying and you love me. I’m sick and you love me. I get to love you.

I see kindness being poured inwards. To the body that houses me, the mind that moves me and the spirit that is me. All taken care of as a lifelong passion project of self-discovery, self-care and self-improvement. Sweat blood and tears: tears of joy, pain and frustration. If you aren’t building yourself what are you doing? The world is rich with material and The Great Architect gave us the blueprint when He told us whose image we’re moulded in.

I can’t wait to widen the financial freedom circle. Figuring out business and experiencing the thrill and fear of investing in an idea and having money come from something I believe in. Taking care of debt: Mine, My mother’s. Preempting my sister’s and cousins’; teaching them to save. Helping my adorable nephews to have “College” funds by age 16. I see us coughing from the dust as we finally fix my grandmother’s roof and restore her livestock pens to their former glory. I’m looking forward to seeing another thriving harvest come from her soil. I can’t wait to only have to think once or twice about expensive purchases.

I see Sleepovers as adults. After we Florence (where we’ll be celebrating either my 30th birthday, my admission into the College or my Bachelorette party, whichever comes first) I think I’ll start an adult sleepover tradition. I see us strewn about my comically large couch tightly wrapped in the safety blanket of friendship and camaraderie; hungover with vulnerability. There are also comically large drinking glasses in this vision.

Guys, exams suck (see also: sleep deprivation, nerves, procrastination) but that feeling of finally understanding concepts that used to boggle your mind and mastering new information is unmatched. I see 6am study sessions before the house wakes up. I see dashes, last minute tweaks and speed reading before grand ward rounds. I see 9pm baths becoming my personal Journal Club and mastering the art of whispering the answers to students who have been put on the spot. I see many many PowerPoint presentations and slides on malnutrition and dehydration. I see myself transferring the abovementioned feeling to a junior when something you take for granted like bronchial breathing begins to make tangible sense to them.

I see myself literally hanging in my chair, overlooking a rain-soaked stormy day enveloped in a light blanket and the smell of books. I’m also picturing a (separate) office. I’m already so excited about decorating it!

I can feel my heart thudding away because I dared to bring a book into the world. After months or even years of hand wringing, imposter syndrome and actual writing. Seeing my name on it’s spine. Shivers. Elation. Pride. Relief.

I see myself watching people love what I love because I’ve given them permission to love it as loudly as they want to. Mentorship isn’t necessarily about being on the exact same wavelength: it’s an orchestra. Nobody loves like bass can, nobody loves like a flute but sheet music is invaluable to both: it creates order, it’s a shared template, it’s the difference between noise and a song. I want to write sheet music.

I see sore feet and food poisoning. The bravery and reinvention opportunities that comes with unfamiliar territory and nobody knowing your name or the fact that you don’t usually wear eye-shadow/clashing prints/those shoes. I hear delightfully unfamiliar music, new scents and the clarity that comes when the only constant is yourself because leaving your comfort zone brings you to your own attention. I see Bureaucracy, sniffer dogs, passport stamps and queues. I see myself snapping the picture for my memory bank (and occasionally for my followers) and then putting my phone away so that there’s an actual memory to enjoy. It’s a big world. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Forcing my mom to dance on the patio she worked so hard to restore; blasting music from the stereo she only uses on Sunday mornings to listen to Ntate Thuso Motaung. The smell of a braai and my sister giggling with her bestie (Tsholo) because mummy is outdoing them with her moves and they’re too embarrassed to admit it.

Well timed phone calls. Feeling my bathwater get cold because catching up isn’t always scheduled. Lifelong dinner dates, movie dates, market dates and the stress of realising that you have an embarrassment of riches in the brunch/Sunday afternoon outfit department but a paucity of freakum dresses (note to self: buy a freakum dress).

Holding my friends children, bearing witness to their unions. Being called aunty Ntoetse and struggling to keep up with the slang and cuddles. Figuring out what the kids are learning in school now. Making “Congratulations on your promotion/baby/anniversary(!)” banners (see: buying them). Laughing about our knees when whatever new version of the vosho comes out. Praying our way through life together. Sisters don’t have to be blood.

I can’t see a wedding, but one day I’m going to pledge my life to someone. Whether I whisper my commitment between late night kisses or in front of my family and God. It will be sweet, honest and shockingly brief. Blink and you’ll miss it. I will say it out loud.

I see myself like a balloon tied to someone. But with a looooooooong string and filled with a loooooooooot of helium. Like sometimes you can’t see me and it doesn’t bother you because you can see where I’m tied. And you never feel the urge to pull me down to earth. That’s what I’m looking for. A love that anchors but doesn’t weigh me down. Freeing, clear, deliberate and safe. I see friendship wedged comfortably in the thick of that love and intimacy.

The driving effect: realising that something that was once nerve-wracking (like driving) has become something you do on autopilot. There’s always something new to learn and our capacity to take former Everests for granted is limitless; realising and appreciating that a procedure that used to cause an involuntary sympathefic response is now a casual 6am affair. Teaching that scary thing to someone else and watching them take it to the fifth gear.
Kisses (my forehead in particular) when you’ve missed me. I also like the way that you pretend you’re not smelling me when you do. I spent a year thinking I was depriving you of aggressive PDA only to find out that you’re not a fan either. I like our unexpected late night chats; they feel like fast lights in my chest and I enjoy our strange honesty in parked (and moving) cars. Learning new things about you. Mastering a new skill. Several new skills. All the time.

I don’t know how yet but I’m going to Oxford. Mark my words. Literally that’s what I will be going for.

Getting lost. In my thoughts, in new neighbourhoods, in my work, in your eyes, in conversation, in foreign countries, on South Africa’s back roads when the GPS gets drunk and tells me to “head North” (?) with Ari Lennox blasting in the background.

Collaboration: with artists, mentors, mentees and children. People I never dreamed of meeting helping me bring ideas into the world; bringing dreams to life: my own dreams. Others. A rich tapestry around my soul.

This is the detail. This will be my life (of my actual dreams). I want it, it’s out there and I receive.

This life s[c]ene wouldn’t be complete without my favourite poem:

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