The pedagogy of the isolated

2020 knocked us all flat on our backs.

Whilst I was flat out, I took the opportunity to do some reflecting on what I've learned this year... 

It's not "pants," it's trousers.  

I will never get this one. People are always correcting me. In South Africa, it doesn't matter what it is. If it goes over your legs (except for stockings of course) and buttons/zips/ties/belts up, IT'S PANTS. 

I learned to really enjoy cooking.  

In all honesty, this is probably THE BIGGEST thing I learned. I can't believe that I've completely swung on this. I used to detest cooking. Now I just love choosing interesting recipes and buying the right implements and ingredients. I love the preparation and melange of smells as the spices roast, the butter sizzles, and the onions pop. 

I now love my Sunday afternoon cook-a-thons. 

I am doing my thing 

I’m doing my thing when it comes to music. No more competing and comparing. Becoming OK with this has made life so much more pleasant. There’s no more pressure on me to keep up in a race that I've realized I don't want to run in anymore.

Some people can spend hours a day on social media. I cannot.

The anxiety of feeling left behind is gone. I can finally focus on what’s meaningful to me, which is music that resonates with me first and foremost. And that is key. 

I’ve kind of accepted that fame and fortune are probably not for me. And even if they were, that ship has long sailed. At this stage of my life, I just don’t have the energy or time to spend doing things that don't mean much to me or which are just resonations of my insecurities and fears. 

I’ve calmed down and learned to respect the muse inside me. I guess the muse been waiting all this time for me to be ready to handle it properly and treat it with respect.

No more rushing, there’s plenty of time. 

Singles take time to make and release 

To be fair, I knew this. But the experience of releasing Precious slapped me in the face. I crammed what should have been three months' worth of work into about...a month. Throw in several high-priority projects that I needed to complete at work and I was broken. 

For my next single, I'm working on a timeline of about three months. I've already started working on it and have the music and basic idea for it. I'm also going to be investing considerably more money into production and promotion to ensure that I get the best and show people what I can really do. 

I need to let go of South Africa

I’ve lamented on several occasions how much I miss South Africa and have spent considerable energy pining to go home. What's the point of this, really? If going home means so much to me right now, then I should go home. But I know that I would always wonder if I gave London enough of a chance. The cycle would just go on repeating, and what is truly most important is being present and embracing everything that the current moment offers. 

Letting go doesn't mean forgetting my beloved South Africa or turning my back on it. South Africa will always be there and so there's no point in holding on to the guilt and sadness I feel for having left if I'm not going to go back just yet. 

"I cannot imagine anyone wanting to love me" is just a thought that can be unthought

I've never felt very lovable, romantically speaking. I'm prickly, difficult, moody, weird, very ambitious, and I do not make it easy for guys to love me. I'm not sure if this is a reflection of not loving myself or the anxiety associated with being loved. Regardless, the impact of that thought is that I've never put my energy, serious energy, into building a loving relationship with anyone. 

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve lost that ability to fall in love, or if there's something wrong with me? 

I cannot imagine anyone wanting to love me. 

What I've learned this year is that those are just thoughts. They do not reflect a reality that I am actually unlovable. What they reflect is the need for me to work on myself to be able to put those thoughts and feelings to bed.

I have to remind myself of this every day. 

I do not want to be defined by these thoughts.

They can be undone, or at least minimized. 

I am a very good friend 

I am a good listener. I pay attention. I make an effort. When my friends need me, I'm there. I try not to be lazy in friendships. My utterly disastrous attempt at building a circle of friends here has reminded me that I am a good friend to have.  


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