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.

Grandma Used To Say……….

As we set on a school-like bench next to a coal stove with heavy eyes, roaring stomachs and much anticipation, grandma would finally dish for us a meal of homemade mille maize and spinach we had picked from the garden earlier on that day, and we would all gather around the big bowl where all the children ate together every single night, and we would all appreciate that the soil had provided yet again, just enough to get us through another day, we’d be so grateful, and then grandma would say grace, and as we all let go of each other’s hands she’d look at us all and say;
“With gratitude my children, thou shall feast now”.

Conversations With Lucy #04

ME: Today I want to talk about materialism.
LUCY: Okay, what about it?
ME: I really do not have much, but as soon as my circumstances change, I really want to own skyscrapers for the heck of it, wear Tom Ford suits and smell of Gucci perfumes. And I often worry that it makes me a shallow person.
LUCY: Why would it?
ME: (looks down) Because the society perceives materialistic people to be.
LUCY: (looks up) The society looks down on people who let their materialistic possessions define them.
ME: (rolling eyes) But, what does that even mean?
LUCY: It means that a Gucci perfume remains just that, a Gucci perfume. It doesn’t make you any better anyhow than the person with a much cheaper one, if any at all. The thing about materials is, they serve a purpose, to make life easier or luxurious whatsoever, and as long as you acquire them for that use only, you’re still on the right track I guess, but the moment you use them to feel superior and more entitled to attention and respect than other people, then you’re getting derailed.
ME: (smiling) So there is nothing wrong with being materialistic then?
LUCY: Yes, only if you can afford that lifestyle. The problem is the price most people often pay for it, they often acquire it at the expense of other people, and that is not right.
ME: So rich people are evil?
LUCY: Being evil or not has nothing to do with your financial status, it’s in your heart. The thing about evilness is it is just an ill thought, whether exercised or otherwise.
ME: So, rich people do not have a responsibility towards the poor?
LUCY: They do, in the every same way the poor have the same responsibility towards each other, most importantly, towards themselves. Help another person in any and every way you can when you can, but always remember, their insolvency can only be truly averted by them and no one else, not even the “rich” (air quotations).
ME: Thank you so much Lucy (rubbing hands in excitement), but I feel like we’re drifting away from the topic now. So let me ask this once again, there is anything wrong with wanting to be rich?
LUCY: No, as much as there is nothing wrong with not wanting to be rich as well.
ME: So, it doesn’t make one shallow then?
LUCY: No it doesn’t, as much as being covered in rags would not make the next man any “deeper” than you, or me for that matter.
ME: So, loving materialistic possessions is okay then?
LUCY: (smiles) As long as you still love people more.
ME: Damn, okay, this is getting “deep” (imitates Lucy’s famous air quotations)……….. (thinks for a moment) So tell me, does it really mean…………………………………

[TO BE CONTINUED…….]

About Ubuntu

When I joined WordPress I never introduced myself properly, my apologies, I’d like to rectify my mistake, hopefully it’s not too late.

Ubuntu is my legacy. Most artists’ earlier work is never discovered, and I’d be dammed if the same happened to mine, so I’ve decided to store my stories, articles and poetry here, to make it easier for future literature scholars to discover them some day, and share them with a larger audience hopefully.

I have struggled a lot, from my parents leaving me to be raised by grandparents who never truly wanted to, as I struggle with sharing a sense of belonging to this very day. To living with my dad and stepmom, daddy was an alcoholic so he never truly was around and stepmom drew a line so vivid between “step” and “mom” that even a blind person could see it. Needless to say it didn’t work out in the end, so my aunt took me in, but reminded me every single day that nobody else wanted me, manipulated my gratitude and expected to be sung praises to like she was in fact God, The Book Of Yeezus. Mom only returned around my 10th grade, she and dad had reconciled by then, but he was then unemployed due to his alcoholism which significantly consumed him, so he was a nightmare to live with, not only were we that poor, but we were also abused, so picture being kicked in your “empty” stomach for no bloody reason at all.

Long story short, it is indeed a miracle to be sitting behind a computer screen and writing articles instead of being in a grave, or facing time in a maximum security prison. The day I had to grace prison, the victim dropped all charges. He gave us a second chance, as God did in countless instances that my crew “collided” with other crews and we came back in one piece. And God gave me a second chance, when he ensured my absence the day my close friend stabbed a man to death and was sentenced 25 to life.

My greatest tales are my greatest shames. No one has ever truly understood me, my high school teachers told me I had no potential to be anything at all, fellow students constantly mocked me and ostracized me, that loneliness has stuck with me to this very day, so much that in tertiary I only said about 10 words in a 3-year whole course, and in every job I’ve ever had I’d just read my book peacefully during lunch breaks that eventually co-workers would get me fired.

I’m currently unemployed, so this blog is to keep busy, make new friends and prevent insanity. I will tell you a lot about myself, assume a lot about you and the world around us, if you have so much time to yourself as I do, you happen to become very “creative”, trust me. Hopefully someone out there will relate, even it’s just one person, I will have fulfilled my duty.

I dream big, too big, and I want everyone with dreams as big as mine to know that they are not crazy, and to not let non-dreamers discourage them anyhow, even if it’s your best friend, lover or even your mama, they can’t tell you what you can or cannot be, the world is your oyster.

And to my dad, Rest in Peace Cowboy, we have forgiven you, forgive yourself as well. To my late son, daddy loves you so much, and he would have climbed mountains and swum with sharks just so you could have one good ass life, Rest in Peace young solder.

And to the rest of the world, I appreciated you reading this to these very last words, and hopefully it’s not the last time.

Thank you so much, and my apologies again for not doing this sooner.

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Count Your Blessings

2015 has been the worst year of my life so far, tribulation after tribulation, lost my job, home, friends and most recently, my unborn baby. In the last three months I have suffered a great deal of pain.
But, because of it all, I have learned survival. “Getting up” matters the most when you’re really going down and a smile is most meaningful when tears seem most sensible.
Count your blessings, especially when there seem to be not any, because believe it or not, that is when they matter the most.

I have a lot to be grateful for, these are not even half but I decided they are a good place to start, right? Let’s go. I am grateful for:
1. Waking up this morning- As long as you’re still blessed with yet another day, you can still turn your life around, trust me.
2. My satisfactory physical and mental health- My eyes that read this, hands that typed it, the brain that conceptualized it and the body that never tires of mobilizing me.
3. The country of my birth- A lot of us take this one for granted (with the exception of Americans of course), being born in certain countries provides certain privileges, so thank you South Africa.
4. Food in my stomach- If you’ve eaten something today, no matter how small it might have been, you’re far blessed than someone who has had nothing at all.
5. The family around me- Even when they’re not family by blood, people around us that genuinely care always make it all worth it.

I could go on forever, there’s just so much to be grateful for. Irrespective of your circumstances, there is always a reason to smile.

Amen.

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