Longings of the heart.

Author:Motswatswa, Kelebogile
Position:JO' BURG DIARY - Column
 
FREE EXCERPT

We are constantly comparing ourselves with our peers and judging ourselves by what we consider success. This can lead to intolerable pressures. There is a better way.

"Show up as you are in this moment and let that be enough"--Jamie Varon

One of the things that I love about being a writer is the fact that a lot of what I write comes from a place of vulnerability. This is something that makes it easy for me to connect with people of varying ages, in a way that invites them to be vulnerable and authentic.

What I appreciate about living with my heart on my sleeve is that it enables me to engage effortlessly with issues that not a lot of Jo'burg millennials feel free enough to open up about, for they fear being judged, ostracised or perceived as not having their life together.

I think this is odd because we all kind of know that no one really has their life together--and I don't actually think we know what that even looks like, having a life well-sewn together with no loose seams or missing buttons.

Many people who follow me on social media--friends, acquaintances and strangers have responded well to my posts about my struggles with mental illness, psychological agony and my constant, exhausting dance with feelings of inadequacy.

I have received private messages from people thanking me for sharing my story and for speaking 'bravely' about issues they don't know much about (such as mental illness) and issues they struggle with, who feel alone in their uncertainty, fear and unease.

It is these responses that encourage me to continue to write about human stuff that we all know is real but somehow pretend is not going on. There are cracks in our facades.

Ironically, we are living in an incredibly digitally connected world but many of us young people, not only in Africa but the world over, feel painfully alone and so disconnected from one another. So being able to communicate is one thing--being able to communicate effectively is something else.

Am I enough?

Another reason why I am completely enamoured with my craft is the study of other writers; I have been unshackled and healed by the musings of writers such as Maya Angelou, Jamie Varon, Judy Klipin, Rupi Kaur, and India Arie (who is an award-winning musician, but her lyrics have moved and nurtured me into radical self-compassion).

Inspired by the aforementioned women, I have made a vow to keep writing that which troubles my soul as a 30-year-old Black creative intellectual living in the hustler's...

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