I walk into the shower of the hotel I am staying in, with Adele’s new album blaring in the background. The water is comforting, but why am I standing under this shower nozzle when only 3 hours have passed since the last time I had?
What dirt could I have possibly accumulated in such a short space of time? Where do I need the water to reach this time?
An hour goes by, and I am still dripping wet from head to toe.
What am I cleansing? I realize that something deep inside me must need this as some sort of laxative.
My memory finally tarries to the previous night, when I took a walk with my best friend. I was telling her all about the writing baby steps I’d taken these past few months.
“You never finish anything you start”.
My friend accused, faulting me with strong conviction. The reminiscence echoing her words back to me, as I stand naked across the misty reflection of the mirror.
This was her response to the exciting news I was telling her that “I am waiting on a proposal for a book I’ve been approached to write.” In the same breath, I added the part about my most favourite author, asking me to write a foreword for his second novel and how he later sent me the manuscript to proofread.
This is a woman who’s seen me survive crippling depression, which claimed most of my young life. She is quite familiar with my social awkwardness too. The inconsistencies. The starts with no finishes. The deserted optimisms. The self-dug graves. The rock bottoms. The dismal fails. The discovered and lost attempts. The words siting unfinished in my drafts folder. She’s had front row seat access to it all. She is after all the best friend.
The accusation stings only because I know she is right, that is who she knows.
Even after my unnecessary and laborious shower, I still feel burdened by a simple sentence ‘You know, you never finish anything you start.’
A statement that seems to ask ‘Why am I kidding myself? What would possess me to think that I can commit myself to such overwhelming responsibilities that are obviously above my capabilities?’
‘She knows me better than anyone else in my life. She has every right to question me,’ I reason with my resentment.
I was being confronted by my closest friend, reminding me of a certainty that she’s convinced will always be my only reality. It is a chilling souvenir of a dark place I’m still teaching myself to acknowledge without any shame.
I’ve finally acknowledged that I am haunted by both darkness and light within me every day; I have to reconcile with the fact that whichever I might choose to nurture, there will always be an unforgiving audience to observe every step.
I must admit though that I’m still trying to redefine and pursue a better truth I can be proudly known for. The woman I am trying to become has a lot of undoing, seeking and consistency to learn. I am on an expedition of discovering my passions, owning the exciting opportunities and disentangling fresh new starts all the way to satisfactory finishes.
Teaching myself self-care, positive self-talk and embracing heart desires without the fear of possibly letting anyone down again. It is deliberate reclaiming of help-mates who are dedicated to seeing me reach every goal and appreciating the community committed to being part of my growth.
This is the only truth that is keeping me sane. The one I choose to believe and solely focus on even when my admirable attempts are being doubted and rightfully second-guessed.
Originally created for Sista Clinik
Photo By: Nhlaknipho Nhlapho