the goodbye letters (#3)

the goodbye letters

control

/kənˈtrəʊl/

noun

  • a means of limiting or regulating something
  • the power to influence or direct people’s behaviour or the course of events

Dear Control,

The funny thing is that my struggle to let you go is part of the problem, isn’t it?

On Sundays when I lie in bed and think of the week ahead, I like to know that I’ve already sorted out what’s coming ahead. But sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we plan for it to.

Sometimes life is the maybe, the what if, the in the event that. Sometimes life is full to the brim with variables, and all we can do is let it be.

That drives me crazy. I like for things to go according to Plan A, to be set, to be certain. To complete the sentence with a full stop, not a question mark. Finality.

I lowkey think I wasn’t built for the variable, but I know that’s not the case, hard as it is to accept this truth.

So I’m breaking up with you. I’m letting you go because I know that if I do, I open myself up to a life of adventure.

I know that if I do, there is an endless world of surprises waiting for me. Some are good, some are bad, and that’s okay. Both these will make me better, if I learn from them. If I l view surprises as art, then I can appreciate the creativity of life.

I know that that a hand that is closed cannot receive.

I know that a mind that is bogged down with details and blueprints cannot expand.

It’s not me, it’s you.

This is farewell, and I’ve sealed it with a prayer and a mustard seed.

So then, goodbye, old friend.

And good riddance!

Forever free,

Dusty

“For now he knew what Shalimar knew: if you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.” -Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

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Here’s to Your Hustle! – An Intro

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Sometimes I wish I was a baby. I mean, what’s not cool about being 0 years old? You are fed all day, then you nap, then you poop, then you eat, then you nap. You get carried everywhere – it’s heaven. Also, baby fashion is so awesome. WHY DON’T THEY MAKE ONESIES THAT COOL FOR ADULTS?! Really, it’s a shame.

That’s not the point.

Babies are forever taking whatever they can reach, putting it in their mouths, swallowing it, biting it, chewing it. Makes me think, what if I approached life the same way? What if I reached for whatever I wanted with the excitement and zeal of a baby eager to conquer? The point is I envy how unashamedly curious they are about the world, how hungry they are to take it all in. I want to approach life with the same zeal that they do, I want to live unafraid, eyes wide open. Carpe diem stuff, you know?

Being unemployed has been one of the most difficult spaces I’ve been in. I questioned my self-worth, believing that old capitalist lie that those who don’t bow at the throne of money aren’t useful in this world, and I despaired. But I came to realise that I am more than the Mandela money I make for my country’s GDP. I do have a job now (yay!) but even that, in a hustle-driven environment like Johustleburg, isn’t enough. No rest for the weary outchea. But I’m learning that the grind will grind you to a halt if you don’t rise above it. So I take in every moment, grab it like a ravenous child, chew on it and swallow it.

To celebrate and encourage those who are resilient, fearless, focused, passionate about their hustle even in the face of opposition, I’m kicking off a mini-series. Here’s to Your Hustle is about such individuals. One thing I love about each of them, is that they don’t feel like they’ve ‘arrived’ – they’re hungry for more, they want to push further. They want to chew the heck outta this life thing. Don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out. You’re on a journey.

So here’s to your hustle, at whatever stage/ level it’s at. Here’s to you.

Love and light,

Dusty

“She was tough in the best sense of the word. She’d taken blows, the disappointments, and had worked her way through them. Some people, he knew, would have buckled under, found a clutch, or given up. But she had carved a place for herself and made it work.” 
― Nora Roberts

This too is PURPOSE

I have said before and will keep saying to anyone who cares to listen, that like many of my favourite authors I am obsessed with the idea of “being” and “belonging”. We are always becoming, shifting and navigating the spaces in which we find ourselves, bending that space to accommodate that interesting (elusive?) thing we call “who we are”. If we find it difficult to bend that space, we often bend “who we are” to fit into that space instead. Something which some may call compromising our character. But I digress.
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Since I last wrote you (yeah I know, it’s been forever. Askies) I have gone through a great deal many phases of emotional testing. Some tests I have failed spectacularly, others I have triumphed over victoriously. At the heart of each misery – because each phase was a test of how I responded to misery – was whether or not I felt I was walking in my purpose.
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To explain that term – purpose to me has always meant that which we were born to do. I believe that to love is our greatest purpose. To give is part of loving, and so love is our supreme purpose. How we live out that purpose, or walk in it, how we use our gifts and our talents to give to the world, those are the details of the Reason for why we are.
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Now in those phases that I failed incredibly, the one ‘conclusion’ (it was really actually an assumption based on hurt pride) that brought me low was, “My life is insignificant to the point that God has forsaken me, and I am not walking in my purpose, never will, because I’ve never meant much to Him.”
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What I failed to understand is that a 9-5 does not constitute “walking in my purpose”. That is a minor detail. More than anything, I have come to realize that “purpose” is not what I do – purpose is a state of being. More specifically, it is the state of being where you are meant to be at that moment, which for me is in the will of God. I have never thought of purpose in that way before, and to be honest, that definition frees some of the tension of having to “prove myself” to the world. (To be clear, it is not a definition that replaces the one I gave before it, rather it complements the one offered previously)
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If there is one person who I can offer as a true example of someone who is the perfect cross between someone who exemplified the “being” and the “doing” of purpose, it would be the incredible Maya Angelou. I cried real tears when I heard that she had died. It affected me something fierce because she meant a lot to me. Unlike the death of others whom I have loved and admired though, I immediately received a great sense of peace shortly after I had cried my last tear. Not because I didn’t know her personally, but because I felt that I was satisfied with how she lived, that she used every ounce of the life she was given and left no unfinished business. Maya had to overcome so many hurdles in her life. If you had met a younger, angrier, more hotheaded Maya, you would have never guessed what she would accomplish later. And you know the darnedest thing is that her greatest gift to the world was not her singing, her poetry, or her literature – it was her hardship. Hardship is what gave her the material for her autobiographies, her poetry, her music, and so forth. Hardship is what showed the world that greatness is living inside each one of us waiting to be expressed, and hardship is what showed us that even dark days will do us some good in our future. Even in that moment when she was a pimp, a prostitute, a teenage mother, she had greatness on the inside of her. When she expressed this in such a way that the whole world could grow from it (her greatness I mean) we all understood the “doing” of her purpose.
browngirlsconnect

Preach, Maya. (Source: browngirlsconnect.com)

This truth about hardship was echoed to me the other day when I texted my mother an anguished complaint about how helpless I feel sometimes, about not having a 9-5 and being financially dependent on the generosity of others. Her response, “This too is PURPOSE. It is NECESSARY. It will pass. Make the most of it.” She read my mind. And she is right; just as Maya Angelou reminded us, every experience you have ever encountered, even the seemingly insignificant ones, prepares you for what is to come.
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Yours,
Dusty
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**I know I’m inconsistent with the entries in this blog. I’ve gone into a sort of writing cave past few months. Most of my literary energies have been expended on my novel-in-progress. Anyways this is the one place where I write and upload when I feel like it, not when there’s pressure to do so. Bear with me?
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GOD made everything with a place and purpose… (Proverbs 16:4 MSG)