CHANGES

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pictures taken at Babylonstoren, a Cape Dutch farm in the Western Cape of South Africa

Gosh it has been very many moons since I last found myself here. I just have not had the words to say,which is quite unusual for me. My life has altered in very many ways and for a long time I felt it only right to respect my current metamorphosis and just live in the moment.

What is there to say?

Over the summer I studied at Central Saint Martins and that decision was a pivotal step towards altering my career path. I had always seen myself ending up somewhere like the United Nations, but ever since my mother passed away, I suppose that I realized that I have nothing much to loose.So into the art world I dove. Presently I manage some artists at an international award winning pop-up gallery space and creative agency in Lagos. For the most part I have taught myself through incessant gallery visits, books,documentaries, chatting with gallerists and curators and ultimately shadowing the curation of live acts for West Africa’s first international art festival.I continue to learn everyday.

I miss London so. But more than I miss London, I trust life and God. I  hope to be back permanently in an unknown near future, when I’m wiser, smarter and have taken away whatever is at the cusp of this present time.

I’m surprised by some of the things I am still navigating my way around. Earlier this year I reached the mental space to end an emotional relationship that was detrimental to my well being. It still baffles me how words can bear so little weight,as much as you want to believe they are more than lifeless utterances. Maya Angelou was certainly right when she said ‘when people show you who they are,believe them‘. In addition, I watched a friendship wilt away with a lot of sadness,but also a lot of understanding,that you cannot hold people up to a standard they continue to fail to live up to, despite repeated promises.

I read some fantastic books towards the end of 2016 . My favorites were  Emma Cline’s The Girls, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me and Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime.

So that’s where I am presently. Attempting to immerse myself in work, possibly navigating my personal life better(I hope!) and longing for next month’s visit to London and then Vegas! Until then, here are some pictures from my time in South Africa a couple of weeks ago.

oh! I forgot to say one more thing.

I’m really happy to be writing here again 🙂

 

a measurement of intangible things

We certainly gain perspective when we gaily skip towards an unfortunate and unprecedented moment. The kind of moment that sees  our proverbial umbrella yanked from above our heads,leaving us absolutely soaking wet.

My life in Paris felt like a painting,but I eventually had to grow up.I applied for a position at just one place-an ex-American president’s NGO.  A Southern democrat with a passion for Women’s rights. There’s always this consensus that building one’s career begins at a painstakingly slow pace,but my experience counters that.Two months later, I got a call from the NGO offering me an opportunity, and so I temporarily moved to Atlanta,Georgia.Within a year,I had worked hard enough to start forecasting conflicts in Washington DC,amusingly for someone I had seen debating on the Al-jazzera news channel and had swiftly contacted and demanded a job with(he thought I was smart but a little crazy ). Life was good.My local sushi place gave me free sashimi several evenings a week and I felt happily overwhelmed by the 17 or so Smithsonian museums.That is until my mother quite suddenly died and this particular career path had to be postponed without a return date.

It felt like a fall and a loss of pride. I had been so strongly defined my academic intelligence and very little else. I missed the euphoria of my former life. Protests in front of the White House, getting first dibs on an insurgent movement in the Congo and meeting people who had revolutionized their country’s politics.I was now dutifully working for my family,within a profession that I had given up after a bout of depression,triggered by many things,including my disdain for said profession (ah the practicalities of law!)

But in the throes of mourning and as most things changed form,one thing did not. My love of books and reading.

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Being influenced by George Orwell’s essay Books v Cigarettes(this is a great read btw in relation to the essay), I one day decided to record just how many books I would/could read each year,to feel a sense of personal accomplishment once again. It was the spring of 2014 and I challenged myself to read 60 books by the end of the year, which I was successful at. With career projects in the works last year, I aimed for only 35 books and managed to read 36. Then I noticed something. My friends began to read along. I read so extensively that those who weren’t particularly bibliophiles knew they could get a recommendation from me to suit their restrictive dispositions. I would get a midnight text about some kind of emotional ailment for which I would prescribe a book.

“If you really feel like shit,perhaps some Maya Angelou will feel like a stiff drink(the kind of  black single mother that danced to Tchaikovsky and read Tolstoy whilst she breastfed her son at the age of 17) .”

“Do you want a life well lived? Do check out William Boyd’s Any Human Heart.

“Why did it take me so long to read Steig Larsons’s Millenium trilogy. Don’t deny yourself the bad ass feminist pleasure of knowing Lisbeth Salander.”

“Instead of Pamuk, Elif Shafak is just as great, because she is honest about the Armenian Genocide and does Ottoman Empire fantasy like a gifted witch.’

And so I became a reference library and there’s so much grace in finding confidence in something that is essentially a part of me and therefore, can never be taken away. Maybe we can think of every single book ever written as an infinite anthology on living or even an elusive map. By no means will the pages of our books jump out and exclaim that we must go left or right or do this or that,but their function is quiet and affirming.We read that in everything we must learn and that after some time painful things will pass. And even if they don’t,there will be some beauty in that breakdown and many good things will come.

Life is a school in which we don’t necessarily get an A,B or C grade to validate our efforts at living.Instead we get something more affirming.We get more life.