Blog

TRANSPARENCY

MICHAELA COEL  ||  Photography by   Rosaline Shahnavaz  for the   Guardian

MICHAELA COEL || Photography by Rosaline Shahnavaz for the Guardian

The other day, I looked through my Twitter feed and Instagram captions to see if I was happy with how accurate my digital footprint is:

Are those really my thoughts?

Do I actually sound like that in real life?

The answers were glaringly obvious. Yes. No. Why do I, then, write differently to how I talk everyday on these specific platforms?

I finally watched Michaela Coel’s 2018 James MacTaggart Lecture late in the morning last Sunday and was reminded yet again of just how powerful this woman is. She comes across as someone who knows who they are now, knows who they would like to be and is actively doing all they can to make that a reality. And not only is she doing this, she is allowing others to hold her accountable. When she wins, she acknowledges it. When she fails, she acknowledges it, learns from it and shares what she knows now with all who’ll listen. To me, she is brave. Being that vulnerable, publicly, scares me.

A question I find myself asking more frequently these days is: But really though, who am I and what is it that I want to do with my life? I am forever look at others and silently thinking, ‘Wow. Such-and-such is owning their space right now. Why can’t I?’ So, I am just going to come out and say it now: I, for some reason, fear that I am not enough. And sometimes this leads me to subconsciously try to be more like someone else, sound like someone else. But the funny thing is, I do know who I am and what I want out of life but I am hesitant to be all of me all the time in every room I am in. The question is, why.

I find it incredibly difficult to share my thoughts without thoroughly analysing them first; taking in all possible perspectives before coming to a conclusion that gives little to no room for any possible misunderstanding is a favourite pastime. And while this approach is not all bad, it usually means I’ve missed the window to share said thoughts as the conversation has since moved on to another topic and, therefore, I have contributed nothing to the group. Somewhere in this habit of mine, I am sure, lies the answers to the questions I’ve raised above.

Owning where I am now, being brave enough to fail graciously even in public spaces and remaining curious are aspects of my frame of mind I’m working on. Everyday. And although I am not sure of the exact nature of the effects this will have on my relationships, work and writing, I know in the long run they’ll only be positive ones. I have taken mighty big (and questionable, to some) steps towards creating a life that is far more me in the last few years and I think it is time to keep on climbing this ladder as the unique misfit that I am; it will be a far more comfortable journey. And I pray that in doing so I will truly believe that I am, in fact, enough. Yes, there will always be plenty of room for growth but this does not mean I need to continue to cower into the depths of some dark abyss and create Van der Waal bonds with my communities in the meantime.

I am enough.

You are enough.