Hold on to hope as we get through this one step at a time

27 July 2020 - 08:23
By , thabiso mahlape AND Thabiso Mahlape
Hold on to hope as we get through this one step at a time says the writer.
Image: 123RF/Aaron Amat Hold on to hope as we get through this one step at a time says the writer.

"One of the things I miss about being in my 20s is how bold I was in my convictions about myself and my capabilities. The gift of hindsight tells me it was naivety, but it is a feeling I miss none the less. What felt like guts back then, I now know, was a life lived with a seasoning of recklessness.

"It really was the best and worst of times, the best because we really were having fun and the worst because we really had no idea or clue about anything. Oh, the dawn of adulthood! When we could still party from Thursday to Monday and not skip a beat. Now, if you party one Friday you will only be able to get out of bed on Monday if you are lucky.

"There are many misconceptions that one holds about life in their early 20s. But allow me to talk about these two. One, that you eventually figure life out and live happily ever after, and that when you are an adult you stop needing your parents.

"I am 34 years old, and have come to realise the hilarity in the lies I fed myself when I was younger. As delicious as they were, they were still lies. I am midway to 40, a mother and have nothing figured out."

I wrote these words two years ago, I am 36 now. And I hate to say, that nothing is still figured out. I am still out here wondering what if the grand plan as I imagine it will ever come together in the way I imagined.

But I am somewhat lucky; even though Covid-19 makes it difficult to run one, I still have a business. While every day is a struggle, I am not altogether hopeless.

I have been wondering about the hopelessness that must have seeped into the consciousness of people over the past few months. I have seen posts on social media from people asking for simple things like food. I know friends whose businesses are tanking; friends who have taken salary cuts and others who have simply been told that the companies they work for are closing down.

In this world that is engineered to be so violently capitalist, the last thing anyone needs right now is loss of income; because capitalism strips you of your dignity when you don't have money to feed its beastly belly.

And right now, in the middle of a pandemic, the beast seems hungrier and hungrier even as our pockets are getting slimmer.

I may not be having it the worst of everyone right now but I can assure you it is pretty bad. I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me calm down during this time.

One, this is not my fault. I am not in this bind because I did something wrong.

I have had to remember that this is not just happening to me, it is happening to the whole world. Sometimes it is easy to get stuck in our pity parties and start to forget that we are not alone in this. No one knows what they are doing.

Back when I used to be an Oprah follower, she had a philosophy I liked that helped me move forward a few times. To always take the next best step. The next step isn't meant to get you to your final destination, it is a means for you to always remember that you have tried and done all that you can. And when you have done that, you take the next best step, again.

This is an incredibly difficult time, some were in a difficult time even before this time. Be kind to yourself, hold yourself gently and do the same for others. We need each other now more than ever.

Stay safe, so we can all be happy and hopeful again, don't lose hope.