HAVE YOU EVER, LIKE ME, WONDERED WHAT YOU, ONLY ICONIC, WOULD REALLY BE?
I think I might just be. No, I don’t mean that arrogantly or even self-patronisingly….if that is even a word….it is now….lol.
It’s Sunday 1:40 am. It’s freeeeeeeeezing in Johannesburg. Well freezing for us. I guess compared to the UK or Antarctica it is a summers night. With my favourite blankie, a cuppa and the damn too bright kitchen light blasting my ‘wanna-sleep-but-can’t’ eyeballs I toss this word ‘iconic’ into the mix.
What makes someone or something iconic? Is it the amount of likes they get on their social-media pages, or the good they do in the world that so easily is forgotten, or the amount of art/ records or sportmanship they leave behind to remember them by, or the fact that perhaps they are born that way. I don’t know. Perhaps it is all or none of it.
‘The No Kiss List’ on Netflix rocked me this morning. Obviously the tears are a given and the awakening of my spirit has gotten me trying to figure out, the albeit a fictional story, why I am so deeply moved.
With the remnants of my ok but delish supper stocked up in the kitchen sink and my debt repayment plan looking good but both staring at me calling for attention, I force myself to just be with me.
‘The No Kiss List’ reflects on change, acceptance and growing up. The world is often hard and childhood dreams are forced to change for clearer perspectives to grab hold of us as adults.
I work next to a ‘new age exercise’ gym. I don’t know what one calls a place that puts electrodes on you that tense the muscles as one does certain movements. I am a bit old school regarding this but highly intrigued.
Which brings me to my point.
I am trying new things. Not revolutionary new things but things that I simply have not given myself the gap to really try. Like forging friendships that are honestly good for me. Look I have been incredibly lucky in that many people have come into my life that I will always love, deeply care for and hope to become a true friend of oneday but I haven’t let people in close. I feel sorry for my ex. The time with me must have been tough. I loved him so much that I wanted every bit of my being to be dedicated and absorbed into the him & I scenario. Which perhaps is not really possible for anyone. I think this is because I haven’t really allowed myself the opportunity to grow platonic friendships to a level that I can call them besties; so I immerse myself in love. IT IS CHANGING! My friend Ella is proving herself quite the force to be reckoned with. It’s both daunting and stunning as my fears are being challenged and being put into perspective. If you ever get to meet her you will understand why she is an iconic human. I am only now, at 43, beginning to get a handle on who I really am, what I like, don’t like, believe or not, desire and don’t and want to change or let go of both in me and around me. Rather late than never I guess.
Perhaps I may be remembered as iconic for all the mistakes I have made. Perhaps I am starting to walk in the shoes of iconic and will yet discover what it is still to be. But the most essential thing is being iconic to myself.
It has been a week of intense but thought provoking conversation in the salon. Clients/friends have opened up about their lives and I have been moved, surprised and have fallen that bit more in love with each of them. Yup. I am one of THOSE stylists. I don’t want to do hair for people who are superficial. I want to go to work everyday excited to do what I do for people I treasure. And yes when I hurt them I want to care that I have. Come now let’s not pretend that we haven’t hurt some people, directly or indirectly, and actually it didn’t bother us too much. As a kid I tried hitting my dad with a broom to stop him beating up my mom. I was glad that the wooden handle left a red welt on his back…..happier that it forced his attention onto me and got him chasing me down the street and off my mom. So you see sometimes we hurt others, like I did, intentionally and I was thrilled with it. Look, I am not advocating violence. I hate violence and am scared of it but the argument is a blurred line of many factors necessary for context before judgement is effectively made.
This week I have finally, after 13 years of guilt, decided to no longer go to church. Not because I don’t want to be a Christian, I do. But the constant pointing out of my personal shortcomings keeps me focused on guilt and not on the love I have for a God that is both God and iconic to me. I mean how does one mimic a love that still loves when we destroy eachother everyday. For now, it may change, I am happy to let my spirituality become a more exclusive affair without the constant negative vomit that gets flung at me in the mask of following a bible-based teaching. I have a bible. I read it. I pray and everyday I hope to be a bit more iconic like this God that has rescued my butt from myself many times.
So too have I decided to dance….actually dance. For years the guilt of ‘boys don’t dance’ coupled to ‘drug-induced-dancing-for-days-as-a-means-of-belonging’ has had me in a noose for too long. The short and of long of this rope is….I love to dance. It frees me and I am in my ordinary way iconic at it.
PERHAPS THE WORD ICONIC IS MERELY A DESCRIPTION OF HOW WE SHOULD SEE OURSELVES, INSTINCTIVELY, RATHER THAN THE CRITICAL EYE WE JUDGE OURSELVES AND OTHERS BY.
PERHAPS IF WE WALK IN OUR ICONIC SHOES REALISING THAT WE ACTUALLY ARE ALL ICONIC,AS THERE IS ONLY 1 OF EACH OF US, WE MAY NOT NEED TO DESTROY OURSELVES, OTHERS, OUR PLANET AND EVERYTHING AROUND US.
Perhaps as we let go of the childhood ideas of wanting what we want exclusively for ourselves we may as adults raise our thumb and allow the dancers to dance, the singers to sing, money makers to make money, runners to run and lovers to love as passionately for ourselves and others alike.
Perhaps then, ‘ love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Perhaps then we cut the noose that strangles the dreams of a world in despair. Perhaps then dreams can come true for the many and not only the ones whom opportunities are granted.
• AJB •