Inspirational, Tale Africa

Scared to take the first step

By Moleboheng Mahasa, South Africa:

Every few days on Facebook I come across this statement “Don't grow up, it's a trap”. I am not sure who originally coined that phrase, but it is clearly a statement that many people can relate to, and therefore feel the need to circulate it on their Status Updates.

Growing up can feel like a trap, although it comes with many other perks such as having the freedom to choose the way you want to live – to a certain extent anyway. You can also choose to get married, and if you are fortunate, you can enjoy every minute of it – almost.

I have been out of varsity for four years now. I have been working for three and a half of those four years. I had grand visions of how my life would turn out the moment I completed my degree. And believe me it was fancy and large and extravagant and all sorts of rosy!
For starters I never imagined that I would be sitting at home for the first six months looking for a job – and this nearly broke me! I knew that graduates did not necessarily get jobs immediately after Varsity but still, this was me, and I was different. So it was with great shock that I found myself at home, with a full time job of applying for jobs and occasionally going for interviews.

I finally found a job, started making a bit of money, moved out of home, and so on. It was to my surprise that within my first year of working I started experiencing feelings of restlessness and agitation brought about by this very thing that I had spent a significant amount of time crying (quite literally) about. But why would I start to feel bored, and uninspired, and edgy and cranky, and all sorts of negative vibes about the thing that was helping to pay my bills (and to have fun every now and again)?

Distraught by my utter ungratefulness and selfishness I experienced a fresh new set of “I feel so bad” emotions because in theory there was absolutely nothing wrong with my job.  I also truly believed that God had provided the said job for me.

My mind kept wandering back to a specific Sunday back in 2007 when God Himself told me that I was to be a writer. I remember that moment so clearly it could have been just the other day. For the months that followed I immersed myself in writing. It didn't help that I didn't know what I was writing, it wasn't books, and it wasn't poetry, it was just words strung together. But I liked it. I really enjoyed it. I was in Varsity so I had plenty of time to do it.

However, it wasn't long before the excitement faded, the passion subsided and the words floating around in my head pretty much vanished. I went quiet. And I lost a piece of me in the process. I wasn't even reading that much anymore, we all know reading stimulates writing (Or is it just me?). I put myself so low, that all semblance of writing inspiration seemed to have forsaken me for good! I wondered why God hadn't presented a clear cut path to being a writer. I certainly didn't understand how I could claim to have such passion, and yet at the same time entertain so much doubt about it that I was rendered useless really – as far as writing was concerned.

So this was the situation at hand – bored at work and scared to write. Dreadful situation really because writing used to be my escape. Whenever I was at church or anywhere where people spoke about following your dreams, tears would without fail, every time prick the back of my eyes because I had long buried my dream without any tools or equipment to exhume it.

Thank God for God, because one day during my quiet time, He began to speak to me about this issue. Firstly I was reminded that His grace is truly sufficient for me, so I could take the first step, knowing that He is there.  I was terrified of this! At this stage I was convinced that no good sentence could come out of me! The first step I needed to take was to read again. And so my journey began.

After a few months of making a good effort to read – despite being a new wife and all, I suddenly feel like I have something to say. I am slowly but surely finding my voice again. I am realising that I don't have to have the bigger picture all the time. Mine is to string those words and those sentences together, and to identify myself as a writer. Mine is to share my written thoughts where I feel I should, and to encourage myself in private where I must. Mine is to keep praying and believing God for direction. Even though I still feel deeply dissatisfied by my job, mine is to keep doing it until I have the resources I need to pursue my dreams! I am a writer, no matter how good or how bad I am. I need to see myself as one. If anyone asks me if I write, my answer needs to be a bold, unashamed, resounding yes! My biggest stumbling block has always been the person looking down on me in the mirror. But those days are over now, I will keep reading, keep learning and keep writing until I have perfected my craft!

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