#Adulting in 2015

Taking the front-seat

Maya Angelou said:

"...It's the fire in my eyes,
  and flash of my teeth,
   the swing in my waist,
   and the joy in my feet."

I say, it's also the 'dlozis' (ancestors) that walk with me, constantly showing off, shining the spotlight on my path as I grow, manifesting their many gifts and blessings. I am blessed beyond imagination, living a charmed life and owe it to my ancestors.

This year, the most significant change in me has been that I haven't been 'allowed' to coast in this growing up thing. I can't simply sit at the back of the 'grown up taxi', slumping and hoping no one will notice me and give me any 'grown up' work to do.

This year, I got busted for being a reluctant grown up and got thrown right next to the driver. You know that seat in the middle - between the taxi driver and the passenger sitting by the door - making sure you don't escape that dreaded duty of counting money and giving people the correct change.

In my case, the taxi driver is God and my fellow front seat passenger are my dlozis. The passengers in the back are my family - nuclear, immediate, distant and adopted, as well as friends (close, lifelong and otherwise).

So I sat throughout this year in that hot seat, taking 'coins' from the back - mostly in the form of problems/challenges/ issues - and those I had solutions to I would send back as 'loose change'. Most of them were given to me with 'short-change' and some with large amounts that baffled me.

Perhaps one can say that my altruistic or Messiah complex grew stronger this year. Or maybe I just (reluctantly) decided to take more responsibility - given that much has been given to me and that I felt strongly that I didn't have a choice but to get more involved, where it mattered most (with those that I love). Besides, God was reluctant to have me give him the money without the correct 'change' and my dlozis side-eyed me, knowing they had given me enough tips to 'handle it'.

And so the journey continues...the  driver is not about to turn back and the taxi is not about to stop.

The Change

I found myself playing the active role in my family, as a 'makoti' (bride). We had a significant ceremony for the ancestors (anyone who tells me that they 'don't do those things' is kidding themselves. You can run but you can't hide). I learnt that I have this 'makoti' thing on lock! I even made umqomboti (traditional sorghum beer) that would put Yvonne Chaka Chaka to shame. This meant a lot because for most of my life, I was a spectator at family ceremonies, let alone host one myself. The experience stretched me in ways I hadn't imagined.

Then there was the mind. For a while I was reluctant to indulge in things that made my mind ache, wander, explode... grow.
This year, I did't stand a chance. I was selected to be part of the Young Africa Leadership Initiative. It's been 8 months of reflecting on purpose, dreams and my role in society; diving into the deep waters of philosophy, critical thinking and truth-seeking. And, most importantly, the push to follow-through on the promises made to self, fellows, society and the universe.Accountability has never felt so scary - and thrilling.

As if that 'burden' wasn't enough, I was selected to be part of the Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans. This made me incredibly proud, delighted, honoured and nervous at the same time. I don't take lightly that kind of honour. It's not just a badge, it's a duty/ a calling to go beyond the call of duty. No pressure!

I've learnt/ am learning that diving into the deep end requires some preparation not too much deliberation - the temptation to keep going back to the shallow end is very strong.
I feel like this year has been about that preparation to dive into that deep end. I'm quite certain that I have everything I need to not just keep afloat but to swim with everything I have.

A blessed festive season and wonderful entry into 2016. May all your stars align and dreams come true. Stay Awake!


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