This weekend on the blog we welcome back guest writer and my friend Ruan van Rensburg.
As we find our feet at the start of another new year, Ruan's essay resonated with me heavily as it speaks the truth that not all about a new year is positive. New chapters also bring with them continued/new challenges to navigate. This may even lead one to feel guilt or even shamed when we share these thoughts for not feeling up-beat about it all. I firmly believe that it takes a level of Bravery to share the dark truths of how we feel. Maybe in one way or another it will help another Braver human feel seen. Astrid | Founder
It may be a new year but I remain tormented by the same old demons. Once more around the sun. A notion which once offered endless potential. A new chapter yet to be written. But enthusiasm fades with age. Spoken like a true 30-year old. Those around me fail to share the same sentiment, which is certainly to their benefit. I try, I really do. But confronted by the harsh realities of this country, I have fallen into the habit of seeing sadness where there was once joy. Despair where there was once hope. Resentment where there was once love.
I search, still, for a purpose that I have yet to attain. A grand adventure that justifies all the toils, the failures, the disappointments. There must be more to this mundane life than petty quarrels and fruitless labours? Do we exist only for our wages, our mortgages, and a two week paid vacation?
For many years I was able to resist this unyielding hopelessness. Through various methods I had succeeded in ‘a renewal of the mind’ so to speak. Upon reflection it pains me to admit to such naivety. But such is the innocence of youth.
One must reflect, and do so often. A new year presents a natural opportunity to do just that. This requires honesty, and demands transparency. One must rid oneself of the ego in order to find what is truly hidden within the deepest corners of the soul; and to pluck these feelings from their shadows and bring them into the sun.
I read through my past writings. I see those old words, and they ring hollow. They lack substance and transparency, and though at the time I believed them, they now leave me ashamed and disgusted. I do not recognize who I once was. He is a stranger to me. His views are not my views. His beliefs are not my beliefs. His experiences are his own. I have forgotten him. I have left him behind where he needed to be left behind.
Of course I realise that when I read this tomorrow, in a year, in ten years, I will feel exactly the same way. I will claim youth and naivety. But instead of being ashamed by this young stranger and his rash words, I may perhaps indulge him in his innocence. Knowing that he too is necessary, and that I shall have left him behind where he needed to be left behind.
“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame; how could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Rebirth, by Ruan Van Rensburg
Photo by Ruan
Other writings by Ruan can be found here