For the past month, I’ve stared at the emptiness of the ‘Add New Post’ page with an overwhelming urge to type but have struggled with words, sentences, structures. I left it open all day in case inspiration struck. I went to bed every day feeling as though I had everything to say and no way to say it in.
Cliché: I always said I’d write a book if I ever owned a working typewriter. Funny, when I don’t have the words to string a sentence together. There are some dreams that are really just flights of fantasy.
I’m not ready to leave Cape Town, but April 23rd is almost here and I don’t have the luxury of choice.
I’ve been drawing up lists in my head- things to do before I leave, books to post to my parents and books to give away, clothes to keep and clothes to donate, presents to buy and wine bottles to empty: lists keep me from collapsing under an overwhelming weight of bags to pack and goodbyes to say.
Dear SRHR, I love you and believe in you from the depths of my very being, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t filled with things that disappoint me on a regular basis. I know that the personal is political- of course it is- but when does the political become the politics that means that we abandon the very ethics and principles of feminist organising and inclusivity that underscores all that we do, all that we believe in? And what do I do when I am filled with such anger, such disillusionment, such impotent rage at all that I am witnessing? I don’t want to walk away from you, but how can I ever stay? Love, An SRHR Believer.
Job applications are designed to crush your spirit. It’s almost a game: how many more times can I re-write my CV or craft a cover letter that captures my dedication to sparkle motion development, conveys my ability to think on my feet and react decisively, and underscores how willing I am to take one for the team?
When I finished University, I bummed around at my parents’ house for two months as I tried to find a job that was ‘anywhere but here’. I sent friends e-mails from Abu Dhabi that were filled with misery, self-doubt, and the pressing fear of a mounting debt- fiscal and on my conscience. I’m not sure my e-mails will be much different five years later. In a terrible job climate, I don’t know how long I can stretch my Savings for, how long I can hold on to my extensive job criteria, and how long I can last in my parents’ house without dissolving into a flood of sobs and despair. It’s hard to feel as though I’m not regressing when this entire scenario feels like a whole lot of déjà vu.
Despite the fear, the worry about money; direction; decisions: I don’t regret resigning. It was time to leave, to create space for someone else, to step aside, to leave when I still loved rather than spiral into resentment and bitterness into all I wanted to do and being unable to articulate it or do it. I’m not entirely sure of what I want to do, only that this is no longer enough- no matter how much I love it. Despite the fear, the worry, the uncertainty, the doubt: I know I’ll be OK. I hope.
I am naturally cautious around emotions: take it slow, take it slow. And now, I’m spiralling and spiralling and every time I try to slow down; I wonder if I’m doing more harm than I am good and if my cautiousness isn’t necessary. I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t know what to say and someone, please, teach me to be a little bit more gentle when holding a heart?
I said I would run a half-marathon before I left, raise money for a non-profit that my friend runs and that I believe in. It’s a good note to leave on: a note on community, on belonging.