Champagne Problems: Struggling With My Privilege

I wrote this the morning of the internet shutdown, right before we knew what was gonna happen. I wasn’t sure if I should share it and actually thought not to for fear of it being problematic and possibly insensitive . I remembered that I made a promise to myself to not move scared and speak with my chest. If this post is indeed problematic I’d like to be called out on it so I can check myself and my privilege. Here goes!

I possibly had the deepest meditation I’ve had in my whole life this morning. I  opened my eyes and felt something similar to post-orgasm clarity. 

You see, for the last few days I have been excited to start my day. I’ve been a present friend, sister, daughter, dog-mom and lover candidate. As a person that lives with severe depression and its associated conditions, days like this are few and far between for a good portion of my life.

I live for these days.

However in the last couple of days I have felt guilty for being fully present in the days I live for. At the moment , Zimbabwe, a great love of my life is in pain, anger, frustration, confusion, heartbreak and depression. As an empath Im going to be honest and say Im struggling to balance these rivalling emotions. 

Should you be this happy Lo when the city is literally on fire? Isn’t it insensitive to be sharing your good days on your instagram while folks are going through the most?

I feel guilty to have woken up with a smile on my face and joy in my heart when so many of my people are making some very critical decisions for their survival while I decide which Nike set im going to wear for my work out this morning. 

Last night, a coworker messaged our group to tell us that soldiers were walking through her neighbourhood beating people up. “Be Safe, Stay Inside” one colleague responded. 2 mins later another said  “ Switch off all the lights” 

This is the reality in the country I love and the experience of people I know and care about. I feel guilty because I can’t even wrap my head around that. I feel guilty because as she was switching off her lights and locking her doors at 8pm I was trying to figure out what I would watch on Netflix.

I feel guilty because I have purposely stayed off timelines and news channels because I don’t want the national crisis to fuck up the 7 good days I have a month because my Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder  decided to take a break at the same time as the nation was shutting down.

But should I feel this way? God? Help! 

Photo Cred : Zanele Mhlaba

My meditation was solely focused on finding a balance with these thoughts and emotions on how  I could  still cherish my little window period and also do what comes naturally and dutifully to me. A lot of you may not really be aware of the fact that the core of my work and that of my organisation is rooted in civil society , freedom of expression and development. Speaking truth to power is our lead gene. A group of us literally wake up and go to work everyday to come up with creative ways that we can positively raise awareness, inform, contribute to and develop  the society we live in and care about.  I hope that can explain my internal struggle.

But in these early hours I made a decision, Ive decided that im not going to feel guilty. I can’t. Its irresponsible. If I don’t have the courage to do what others are doing, I can have the courage to do what I can do.

I have light and clarity right now in a place where things are clouded in dank submission.  I’m sure I can do something with  that. Surely.

If there is any kind of light in you right now I encourage you and implore you to take a second to feed it.  Let it shine. Please?

We need it. We need to BE IT. If you have the safe space and time to gather your self and gather your strength while others are brave enough to fight and stand for us do so. Please?

Let’s balance each other. 

So I hope when you are down you find the reminder, distraction and sign you need to wipe your tears  & think of a better day. Even if its just for a second.

There will always be light.

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