Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Wystan Hugh Aude
I am a therapist and have been ever since I could remember and it has become my identity, and I have never had qualms about my profession being a part of my identity but lately I find myself missing something. I find myself searching as though I have lost myself. It was not till I had a tiff with a friend a few days ago that I had to sit myself down and find out what is happening. What one needs to understand about this tiff of ours is that words were thrown out there and I can’t say I was offended at the time, but I was a bit irritated later. I mean the woman said I was no longer fun, all because the one time we went out and it was all hip hop,I dissociated and couldn’t wait till we went home, but then she went on saying I was not even bothering to compromise and I said, ‘it’s that time of the year’. I mean really, and she went on to say, ‘what do I mean it’s festive’. So I went home and came to the conclusion that I was a not fun friend and with all my complaints about my friend neglecting me, truth of the matter is, I am tired and I don’t enjoy some of the things I used to before. When did I become this person who looks for excuses when friends call up for coffee or a night out? As I sat to think about the person I have become it dawned on me that I am someone else, but where did I lose me?
I sat down and recalled times when life was simple, when I had my innocence and naivety and I was accepting of that, I recalled days when I could go to the park,throw a ball and run around and fall on the grass and look at the sky and see forms in clouds and just be content with that. I remembered days when I could still go out with friends and drink, jive and flirt shamelessly and come back on Monday and go out for Mogodu night. Those were the days I could laugh from my belly. It’s days when I looked at the Soweto light and felt I am going home and be happy. The truth is, being a trauma therapist, that identity has swallowed me whole. My world is no longer a simple black and white, it’s got grey linings now, even as I laugh from my belly my eyes have a tint of grey. I look for soul music now as hip hop does not make sense. I usually feel too tired and old to run around the park but once in a while I still see forms in the clouds, but it’s usually with the help of my daughter. I have in my head stories of people and at times I look for their truths in my world so that I can go back and we can have meaningful conversations. I may have become a bit more dismissive and boring, even my physical self has changed: I need navy beans now, but I have not lost myself, I have merely taken a different shape. My friend must get with the program.
Written by: Thembisile Masondo