My Self-Esteem

To say I have a low self-esteem would be a lie, although I’m sometimes skeptical to call it high.
I think of myself as average in every possible way, and that’s just euphemism for dull as they come.
I do not drink, smoke or club, I spend most of my time indoors writing articles, reading books and watching documentaries on how to acquire wealth; I’m as dull as they come.

When I was younger I wasn’t a very fluent speaker, my aunt would imitate my sloppy voice that I grew up too afraid to voice my thoughts and feelings fearing focus would not be on my content but rather my “funny” voice, funny isn’t it?
In high school I was “slightly” overweight, and at home they treated being fat like a “deficiency”. I remember my aunt showing me the Eddie Murphy movie The Nutty Professor so I knew “the handicaps of being fat”, as if the tight pants that I wore in grade 9 weren’t enough torture, and the fact that a girl I used to crush on once spanked my ass because it looked like a girl’s, damn it.

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I have never been handsome, smart, excelled in academics or athletics that I was a center of attention, and Lord knows how desperate I have been to get noticed somehow.

Am I confident in myself though? I would like to think I am. I have made peace with my “deficiencies”, focused on maximizing my strengths, and realized that what really matters in life is how you impact other peoples’ lives whilst just living your own, hence I have made it a personal mission of mine to make people feel good about themselves.

Again, am I really confident? I am not confident that if I ever asked Beyoncé out she would say yes, but I am confident that with my words I can make someone feel good about themselves as much as I’d like to believe Beyoncé does about herself.

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My aunt really screwed me over, but I’m partly to blame, I should have known making one more sandwich on a full stomach was a bad idea.

I have really struggled fitting in the society, so much that when I think back of college I only imagine the weirdo my classmates must have figured I was, and as for the rest of the schoolmates I doubt they even noticed me as I was defeated by painful hunger pains, abusive background, bad choices and a paraffin stove odor; I have truly come a long way.

God has blessed me; I have been through a storm and because of it I have learned some of the most valuable lessons in life; some which are more valuable than everything I ever learned in college, combined.

And for the last time, am I really confident in myself? Yes, so much that I don’t even need to prove it to no one. My life matters, I know it, I believe in it and I let it shine through every fiber of my being without making it anybody’s burden.

Amen.

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Shame

Every time I hear the Zulu accent I fall in love
With a man whom I had once forsaken,
Almost forgotten,
Buried him under my fifty shades
Of efforts to be accepted.

I fall in love with a man I had once suppressed
Expressed resentment and shame towards
Because of his originality, uniqueness,
As cowards,
Had convinced me cowardice was life,
Death, life, lies, truth,
fake smiles in public, and real tears behind closed doors.

The person I had once forsaken, almost forgotten,
Forged death of, in a very dark night with no stars in the sky
Forging the “apparent” enlightenment for the “apparent” new me,
The new free, in shackles and chains
In a very dark night with no stars in the sky,
So dark, that I was so blind, that I couldn’t see again,
That the “apparent” new me was the reason I cry.

Buried in shame, suffocated by my efforts for acceptance,
Estranged, with whom I strive for acceptance of.
Every time I hear the Zulu accent
It reminds me of a man I once was,
were, now in despair, bruised and abused
Dysfunctional, in the dark night,
Shattered, my reflection on my broken mirror is pure darkness,
I cry, tears wet my black eye, under my black eyes
My black skin, black hair, black Pride,
Zulu pride, gone forever
With the man I had once despised
But now more than eager,
Desperate to get back.

Dear Zulu, I am ashamed
I was once ashamed of you.