By: Andiswa Machanyana

  • What kind of choices?
  • What kind of traditions?
  • What kind of story?
  • What then when the crayons break?
  • Most importantly what Legacy?

About Choices – One of my mom’s famous adage is ‘umntu yinkosi uzazi’ (Loosely translated – a human being is a master of her/his own thoughts) she would normally give you this right at the end of a conversation when you seem baffled by your own thoughts, battling with choices and  seeking her counsel. I never used to get it, but I get it now I totally do. While you know who you are, and what you are all about, you could easily find yourself lost, suffocated by the culture and people that have no inclination to being honest, being bare.

“And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own”—Paulo Coelo

  I am probably the most dishonest (not) person you will ever know.

For a while now I have been suffering from my own anxiety, an uncertainty and fear of failure (by society’s standards).I remember having a conversation with a fellow student the other day, I was telling her about my love and hate relationship with Accounting .She stopped me before I could finish the word failure. I get it, I get her it was her way of trying to encourage me and save me from quitting and ending up in the street corners begging for bread. We live in a world where being honest is seen as being weak and uncool. Nobody is being honest, no one is being true to who they are. Our relationships fulcrum on whether or not we continually fulfill a set of expectations that we often know about, sometime we do not. Our fear of honesty and change is rooted in no longer being acceptable, wanted or held in high regard by people around us.

 Dr. Cornel West once said “It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on the battlefield.” I can’t say that I am at a place where I fully know who am, where I have fully examined the dark corners of my soul. I have started a journey of being a star in my own life, critically examining myself to be the best me I can be, not in any cheap form of self-improvement but truly finding my voice in the midst of it all. I often hear people say if they were given a chance to relive their lives they would make the exact choices, they would not change a thing, because it’s through the wrong and bad choices that we make in our lives that we learn. I do agree with this notion to some extent, but there comes a point in one’s life where one need to be bare and that’s where I am right now.

About Traditions– While traditions are here as a guide sometimes they can be limiting to fully discovering why one is here.it takes courage, rising and saying “this is who I am, even if l get crucified for it,” Courage is the enabling virtue, you know the kind that Malala Yousafzai had. The one that doesn’t just liberate you as an individual, the one that gives you an understanding that, you are part of Gods plan for the world. Anytime you have to reexamine a dogma that you were born into, you know the very things that your aunt Dora taught you (how I love them including my aunt Dora), the elders have something deeper going on, and they know these things because they have lived. Anytime you give up, set loose assumptions and presuppositions you held, it’s a form of death in order to live more critically, more compassionately, more abundantly.

What of the story – “The unexamined life is not worth living,” says Socrates. And, “the examined life is painful.” Malcolm X.” One has to cut against the grain. When the story is going well characters never change, however when crisis emerges characters have no choice but to change. Pain has a way of changing our story line, when it ensues, you can cover it up, try a number of different coping mechanisms. See how covering it will be like working out every day and not gaining a muscle at all, I mean what’s the point? Or you can accept it, allow the story line to change. It’s the most excruciating experiences, but there are invaluable lessons there. In our lives pain is our friend, an unwelcomed friend a friend nonetheselss.Keep avoiding that friend (Pain) and see him chase you all over the place until you accept what he has to offer.

“But mom I think their potential of colouring is still intact” – I was helping my son with his school work the other day. I noticed that there were a few blunt crayons in his pencil case, some were broken in halves while others were simple not looked after very well. I could tell which colours he liked the most by how short some were in comparison to the others, so I asked and his response was” Mom I use all of them just not all the time”

The truth of the matter is that, in life there are no perfect crayons. It’s just us here.  Some of us have just been melted, pressed back into place, and had paper rewrapped around the weak spots, so the brokenness is just out there, for everyone to see.  I have mostly surrounded myself with people who are willing to put up with my breaks and protuberances where I got fixed.  They know that the paper isn’t hiding my other faults very well, but they don’t care, because they love me.  Everyone needs people who pretend the paper is doing its job.  We should be those people for the other broken people.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t know why I write, in a strangely comforting way writing does something for me, something I can’t really put to words(how strange is that?). Writing brings me to a place of healing not healing per se but I’m learning to be present. I am learning that the former will always precede the latter. The things that come, they come with reason. For now the word legacy sounds like one of those big words.You know the kind that you can only get by taking just one bite at a time, enchanting your time chewing and processing…

—If  I can be ruthlessly honest about my own fears ,expressing something that other people can’t, possessions  that only reside within me…I could well be on the right path towards…Finding my voice amidst a cluster of all sorts—

 Read more articles by Andiswa


I learn, I mom, I cycle. I write, I slave, I Love… I could seriously live on coffee. Visit my blog and follow me on Twitter:@AndzMac.

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