This is me

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Bukumbi, Tanzania, a small village on the shores of Lake Victoria. In front of the house I grew up in. One of the houses I grew up in.

If you could step into this picture and you’d turn around the corner, this is what you would find. Huge boulders, towering high above our large, once-chalk-white house.  Home to vervet monkeys, klipdas and myths of ghosts and  hyenas. A perfect playground on  long, sunny days. Immensely scary when storms rolled over the land, filling a purple sky with the unforgiving sound of thunder caught between rocks.

Washing on the line. Soaking wet clothes, dry within hours. Sheets, towels and t-shirts stiff as a board, the fragrance of sun soaked into each and every fiber. At night, after we had washed ourselves with the cold, slightly brownish water that reluctantly ran from the tap into the bathtub, my mother would wrap a sun backed towel around us, giving the sun a chance to kiss us goodnight.

When I think about my African youth, I think in sound and smell more than in words these days. Maybe I’ve used up all the possible words to describe the place, as I’ve spend years trying to note down the right sentences to describe the pain that leaving this great continent caused. Ledgers full of detailed accounts, books full of poetry to voice the deep, desperate longing which held me captive for years on end. And while I was writing this all down, it never once occurred to me that I might not have been so desperately longing for Africa, but just for the child that lived there. The little girl that I once was. Full of dreams. Full of  hope. Naively confident that she was destined for greatness. Sometimes I think about her now and I wonder whether I disappointed her at all…

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The imperfect writings of an incurable perfectionist

I’ve been playing around with the idea to start a blog for months now, but as it goes with most of my creative ideas, there has always been a reason not to go ahead with it; not important enough, too simple or too complicated. And most of all; not good enough.

But, here I am; starting this adventure anyhow. Still afraid to fail, but what’s the worst that can happen, really?  First I was planning to post whatever I wanted to post, giving it little thought, in the hope of freeing myself from all the great expectations I usually start off with. But a perfectionist isn’t cured in a day. So, I decided to grant myself some structure after all.

The idea is to created a variety of blog posts, such as:

# The imperfect writings of an incurable perfectionist; my place to experiment with some freestyle writing. Good, bad, interesting, boring, funny, sad, anything goes. Or so I hope…

# She; an reflection on a girl who’s remarkably much like me

# Pictures & Poetry;  combining two things I love to do

# Paint & Pencil; room for my drawings, sketches and paintings

# Documenting Delight; an idea inspired by some beautiful online blogs, dedicated to documenting delight.

# Dated Delight;  old photographs of a delightful childhood

# Mind the music;  my life and this blog would be incomplete without a special place for beautiful songs & incredible songwriting.

More than anything, I want to make this a beautiful place; a place where you might stumble upon some inspiration, find that exact image that goes with your mood or where you may discover a new/old songs that simply makes your day. I want to try and write a story, my story; on being my- thirty-old-self way before I was ready for it.  I don’t know if I can do it, or whether this everlasting writer’s block will magically disappear, just because I want it to. But who knows what will happen…

She

There she sits; the incurable perfectionist trying to write her very first blog entry. And no doubt about it; it has to be perfect. No room for error, she edits as she types, hitting backspace, criticizing as she goes. As a result, hours pass, but no more than two lines have survived the cruel war of deleting and editing. She wishes she could be ruthless, less afraid, since she’s the only one reading this right now. But even this knowledge is not enough to cut herself and the poor creative mind some slack. She is locked within herself, determined to excel at everything she attempts. But deep in her heart she knows she will continue to fail as long as she doesn’t find a way to let go, loosen up.

The incurable perfectionist; here she is, presenting herself to the world. She will write about her life, about turning thirty, about being miles away from the person she thought she would be at thirty, about her childhood under the African sun, how this childhood formed her in uncountable ways, about becoming a writer in an age where no one wants to read or buy books any more, about having a persisting writer’s block, how she herself is that writer’s block and how she knows this, but is not sure how to solve the problem.

She is the unprecedented producer of self- criticism, the self acclaimed loser she promised never to become. She is growing older, but feeling smaller. Seeing more, understanding less. She is wide eyed and frightened yet determined to change. She is a stranger, alone in being herself, in a world where everyone attempts to be just like everybody else.

She is different, just like you and I, like him and her.

She is the incurable perfectionist and this is her story.