For the whole month of February, I will be posting a letter of gratitude to the people who have contributed immensely to the woman I am today. Some letters I’m thinking of sending to those I’ve written about and some I hope are never read. This will be the first time I post daily. So I am really keen on seeing how it will turn out, both for me and for those who follow this blog. I look forward to your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below. The theme for all the letters is that ‘We Are Stories’ and I will be telling mine in #29LettersOfGratitude for a whole month. If you would like to join me (PLEASE DO!!!) remember to link me in your posts.
Yesterday I came across a post that had me worried about being a leaker (always having a voice that speaks out loud through written word). It made me question myself; what is the motive behind my Living Out Loud? Is it a good thing for people to always have access to the core of who I am through my own words?
And I think that is the one thing that freaks me out the most about having this blog; where my muse is the one subject I know best and spend my most time inspecting, reflecting on and becoming; my own self.
Being a blogger demands speaking out my truth even to an audience that can have opinions I can’t shape. When I’ve published a post and it’s out there, then there is no going back. I have worn that scar, that opinion, and that thought for all to see and judge. I know this and I understand it. And that is where my biggest fear as a writer is deep rooted, in a place where this 20 something year old me is exposed with no filter.
There is the writer me who uses these bold scribblings as a way of expression. Loudly declaring that if you want to know me, seek me in my words because this is how I make sense of the world and all its people; this is how my thoughts are formed; this is how I grieve and heal; this is how I hoard memories and pour out my hurt; and this is how I speak up to the bullies and disagree loudly in arguments. This is all me.
Then there is this me who wants to be perceived as the perfect Christian who’s never known rebellion, disobedience, failure, or lust. This is definitely not the writer me, this is the insecure me, the me that wants to apologize for knowing love before marriage, the me that wants to give excuses to anyone who is willing to listen so that my writing is not perceived as romanticizing sin. This me wants to be everybody’s first before I am my own. Accepted for who I am expected to be but not showing a true depiction of who I really am, all my challenges, my stumbles, my aches, my breaks and all the seeking for my own answers first.
When I wrote this poem and posted it. I chose for my experience to be a painting on your walls. Keeping in mind that all my words, my over-sharing, my over-thinking, my introspection, even my silly attempts at poetry; all the scars, and this journey of being a diamond in the rough; They Are All Mine First.
I know that the writer me, the true me, the sometimes heartbroken me, the honest me and the baby stepping me is always proud. And that is the me that is always mine, the me that I go to bed with every night and the me that I get to live with every day. Everyone else only gets access because I choose to give it.
The poem is about a recent courtship split, back when this silly heart of mine was still expecting his return. I kept finding the depths of my heartbreak in all my words. I obviously wondered what he would think of me when he’d read all of my heart’s despair about his unexpected departure, would he think ‘oh how pathetic and weak of the great self aware Sinawo Bukani?’ Or would this be an ego boost for him, since he found the exit first?
Do you stay true to yourself when you write? Or is your audience always at the back of your mind?
Cover Photo By: Lutendo Malatji