There, I said it.
This year has crept up on me like an unwanted pregnancy. I spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day helping my mom move to a smaller flat in the same complex. It’s exhausting. We got three guys to help us move the heavy furniture, but the two of us had to carry all the other things. As I’m typing this on Saturday night we’re still not done, but by the time you’re reading this I hope that we will have finished on Sunday evening. There are so many things. It’s amazing what you can accumulate over seven years of living in a place. We also had to let go of a lot of my late grandmother’s things which was particularly hard. But I guess it’s also a part of the grieving process.
Packing up the flat also meant packing up my last bedroom from my high school years. It was a lot of feelings all at once. I cringed at all the badly written short stories and poetry that have been lying dormant and forgotten for all these years. As a writer, I find that my present self is always horrified by the things that my past self wrote. Even when I look back at things that I wrote as little as a year ago I want to scream because of how bad it is. I guess it’s a sign of growth when you can look at your past work and recognize what you could have done better. Either way, I don’t like it.
The process was also very sad. It meant finally saying goodbye to that era of my life. I have a new bedroom in my mom’s new flat, but I don’t really see it as “my bedroom”. It’s more of a spare bedroom. The things that I didn’t throw or give away I packed in boxes and suitcases and they will eventually be taken to my place in Pretoria.
In between all this packing and moving I didn’t really realize that 2015 was drawing to a close. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t miss it. It was truly one of the most awful years of my life. I don’t ever want to relive it.
But the thing is: I’m not ready for 2016.
The last month and a half I’ve been on emotional autopilot. In Afrikaans we have a saying, Kyk Noord en fok voort. This pretty much translates to, Look North and get the fuck on with it. And that’s what I’ve been doing. Since my father died I haven’t had the time to deal with it. We had to pack up his flat. We had to deal with all the other stuff and people. We had to move. There were many times when I felt like sitting down and crying, but then I’d say to myself, No, you can’t cry. You can’t be sad. You have to pack boxes or move something. Then I’d simply put my earphones in to drown out the noise around me and in my head. And I got the fuck on with it.
Now that the move is almost over and the dust is beginning to settle, I’m starting to feel it. I don’t have so many things to distract myself with anymore, so now I’m getting lost in my thoughts. And I know that I need to think about because I’m the kind of person who needs to think about things. I need to feel it. Otherwise It’s going to be like one of those pain in the ass cell phone updates that won’t go away until you deal with it.
My point is that I don’t know how to deal with it. I can’t afford to break down. I have to work. I have to make money. Last year I had more or less a plan of what I was going to do. Some of it I got right and some of it not so much. This year I don’t really have a plan. I just want to survive. My quarter life crisis is beginning to draw to an end and I’m an adult now. I’m 24. Twenty-four! Who knows how much time I have left? What will I do with that time?
The year is 2016, you guys. How the fuck did that happen?