At some point in time I was highly interested in creating the featured image for each of my articles but I opened Canva and I couldn’t figure out anything. So these days I just pick random pictures I find interesting and I attach them to my articles, sometimes they have no link at all with the words I’m writing. For example this rainbow halo… I scratched my head today (Day 3 of the WinterABC) on what angle to go with in terms of the theme about creatives and I was stumped. Multiple ideas were pulling at me, so I decided to just post something raw from my drafts.
I’ve heard that everyone has at least one good book in them and the truly exceptional ones have more than one. So I’m proud to tell you I’ve been writing a book, well trying to write one. I always start then scrap the idea and start again, it’s a horrible cycle. But today I’m giving you a chapter from my latest attempt. I hope it makes sense. I hope you like it and just maybe I might finish the rest of it:
It’s probably only the mind of an extremely young child, or an enfant rather that doesn’t ask this question or questions in general. It’s that mind that doesn’t wonder as to the reason of things. That doesn’t pursue the mysteries behind how things are and how the world is. It’s just cry for food, cry to get your diaper changed, cry to be entertained and sometimes for no reason just cry to remind everyone you can cry and sometimes it’s 2 am and you just don’t want to be the only one awake.
I don’t know if this period when you don’t ask the question or you don’t question things is the true period of peace or if peace is only found when these questions are answered. I have more questions circling in my mind than most or that’s just an assumption. I have a memory of being five years old or was it six. I’m not sure but let’s go with five because stories are more intriguing the younger you are. I was at home one afternoon, during the holidays when there was no school.
I don’t know what I had spent the day doing but I had eventually arrived at boredom. I started trying to open the remote control for the tv and realising I wasn’t strong enough to rip it open, I started cutting off the buttons. The way my dad tells the story it was a proud moment for him (I don’t remember the pride but the lecture).
He got home and asked me why I had cut the buttons off the remote and I replied, “To see how it worked. What the button touches inside the remote to make something change on the tv.” He says he was proud my mind worked in such a way but he’s only saying that 2 decades later. At the time back then I had just ruined a perfectly good remote. Life is so much simpler now, you can just google how a remote works and answers are instantly available at the tips of your fingers.
Anyways I like to talk about myself a lot or is it talk to myself, maybe it’s a bit of both. It might seem like vanity but why not? Who can be more important to me than myself. And I don’t mean that in the manner of pursuing my own selfish indulgences but I’m talking about simply getting myself right with the world. A self correction or the pursuit of unattained balance.
Maybe that too can be a bit complicated. It’s too often that one getting themselves right with the world ends up as a person conforming to societies impossible views and standards. The endless list of dos and don’ts one person after the other impose on you. Yet I’m talking about finding balance. A peace between Tafadzwa and life. An end to the war of questioning whether existence is worth it or not.
That’s the thing about life. It’s always up and down, a rollercoaster, an inconsistent trampoline, you name it. It’s life but we see it as a lot of things. To one the new days sunlight creeping in through the curtains holds a promise of new chances and to another it’s the promise of fresh torture that must be endured. One step closer to a dream and on the other end one step closer to giving up.
I feel like I’ve known both sides and well as you would’ve guessed it the latter is extremely painful. I’ve often heard hope is not a strategy and as much I hate to believe that statement it’s true. You can’t hope yourself out of debt, out of illness or out of any other bad situation you find yourself in. But hope can be a fall back plan at least? I mean when hope goes we’re just left with emptiness.
Sometimes we just carry on because we don’t know anything besides carrying on. Movies try to tell us that you can pack a bag and journey through the Middle East to find yourself when all is lost. But our bank accounts tell us that if you don’t buy lunch and you pack something from home then you have just enough money to make it to work and back until the month ends.
A bad situation goes out of its way everyday to remind you just how bad it is. But more often than not what can you do? You just shrug it off because what else is there to do.
The mismatch between the picture painted by mind and picture of my reality is often the source of my anxiety. The anxieties grow in proportion and eventually depression has a hold of me. I’m sucked into this dark void and although I see people there’s no one really around. I’m just all alone.
I’ve taken it for granted too often that you should take care of your mind. Because they’re always physical battles waiting to be fought so the mental wellness takes a backseat. But the dreams and reality must always be on a collision course. If the picture in your mind doesn’t match the present reality then it should be changed. It’s either a change in what you envision or the actions you’re taking. It’s always said you should take control of the things you can.
The way life affects us all is always different. No one situation affects people the same way and the same situation is seen from totally different perspectives. Yet a suffering comes with whatever lot we have in life. Those in poverty suffer because of their poverty and those who’re famous suffer from the ills of fame and those who’re naive suffer because of it and so on.
Although we all rate situations as one being better than the other, there’s no pain too insignificant or problem too small because things hit us all differently. You know the saying about man, meat and poison. The end goal of it all is that we all deserve some healing because if you drown in 2 metres of water of 20 metres there’s no difference, you’re not any less dead in either situation (I read that from someone’s instagram caption).
So I write to share about the pain I’m in. I write to heal. I write to celebrate the moments of happiness. I write to express the sadness. I write to heal. Because at the end of the day life is worth fighting for.
I know it sounds a little bit cliche and oversimplified but life can be like that at times. And that’s my WHY? Why I write. I would love to say writing was an artistic revelation I discovered through my pain but it’s really just a coping mechanism. That’s not such a romantic story but it’s the truth and the truth often isn’t pretty. Why is often synonymous with painful experiences because pain is what we often seek to understand most or escape.
I think the first moment in life we experience pain is at birth (I know you’re thinking mothers have the real pain since they’re the ones who go through labour but then you can’t ignore how much babies cry). It could be the sudden change in lighting from the womb to the outside world that we can’t process or some other thing but there’s definitely some pain involved in someway.
So in those first few moments if you were to ask a crying baby “WHY?” they would probably tell you the outside world is painful. If they could understand you. The shock of it all, from new faces to a new way to breathe to new pressures experienced. I always imagine babies feel like they’re no longer as safe as they were. Unlike butterflies coming out of a cocoon, babies have no experience of the outside world before leaving their bubble.
At that tender age it’s the time we cry the most but we’re tortured with less in our minds. If anyone is asking “why” at that point it’s our caregivers, wondering why we’re crying now and having to figure it out. Somewhere along the way the question switches hands we’re now the ones wondering. We grow up and in exchange of acquiring physical independence we gain the mental load of life. Questions like “why” haunt us.
When I was 16 I once got suspended from boarding school, for something I was let’s say 30 % guilty of doing. I’ll tell you now 40 year old teachers were having beef with. Someone had snitched though. I came back to school after a week of suspension for a hearing with the headmaster and my parents. I 30 % owned up to what I did and well everything ended with my mum smacking me. She clearly overreacted. But well by the end of the year I 100% broke those hostel windows before I finished exams.
I never got caught for the windows and that was definitely satisfying (My mum might read this, my headmaster probably won’t but whatever). That was my chosen mode of expression at the time. I know it was a poor choice in medium but such can happen when pain overcomes us.
Pain causes the building up of emotional pressure and often if there isn’t a safe medium of expression we end up with unhealthy coping mechanisms chosen out of anger or hopelessness. It goes pain, anger and the need for some form of revenge.
Therefore pain is often the “WHY?” but it’s not good enough to justify everything. Let the reason people ask why make sense. The experiences that torture us and the burdens we carry around everywhere shouldn’t be an excuse but a driving force. I know that sounds like another instagram caption for those pretending to be deep but actually only showcasing their flawless skin yet it holds true. We often toss around what we’re going through like it’s a bulletproof vest to defend any and every action we think.
In 2014 after a near fatal car accident, I spent 6 months in hospital. 6 long fucking months. I think the experience shook something loose in my head. It was probably a line of 40 visitors asking the same question one after another, “So how are you doing?” and I had to repeat the answer to each one. Daily. Argh. It’s a wonder I’m still sane.
After getting home and getting to the point of being able to use a phone well enough, I went and started a blog. I needed an outlet. I needed to vent. The horror movies my mind kept thinking up only served to make the present reality of being a quadriplegic even more hell.
So I began writing and I carried on writing and I wrote and I wrote and I’m now almost good at it. Hence we are here now. If I’m asked why I write it goes back to my accident. It goes back to those 6 months in hospital and the adjustment of coming home as a quadriplegic afterwards and the years that have followed since then. Let the why make sense. The question shouldn’t be asked of you from pain you’ve caused someone else because of your own struggles but it should be rather in a positive light, no matter the suffering you’re going through.
As in why am I writing this book? The answer is mostly for the money but you’ve made it to the end of the first chapter so either I’m doing something right or we’re related.