Believe it or not, this used to be a travel blog (I called it missadventurer)… but I found myself ever increasingly getting lost in writing rabbit trails like the one you’ll read below. The angst was real.
What on earth is this blog for?
The thing with me is, I absorb information. Colours, impressions, feelings, patterns. Sometimes this makes me intuitive. Other times, it just makes me overwhelmed and confused.
There was a LOT to absorb in South Africa. I don’t feel at all qualified to even relay any of my thoughts or feelings though, because ultimately I was reminded of narrative — what do people say about us, and what do we say about ourselves, and what do we do when these ideas don’t align?
It’s interesting to me, then, that we can so strongly disagree with people on events that we all bore witness to.
Like family. Seems there’s always such a tension between family members. You love them, and yet there are times you despise them, too. Why? I think part of it is that your family knows exactly where you come from. They’ve been there for your story. They’ve seen you figure out your life and yourself in this messy world, and it most likely hasn’t been entirely linear — there have been bumps along the way. They know stories that could embarrass the hell out of you. And vice versa. Some of these stories don’t align with our adult selves, the story we tell ourselves about who we are. As we were growing and processing, we processed differently. Maybe sometimes that was subconsciously deliberate — an effort to differentiate ourselves from our siblings? Just like how a tree may veer in its growth, lean in a new direction, and really you can’t tell at the outset why.
Anyhow, I’m sure there are folks who saw me in all my non-cute awkwardness back when I was young (a precursor to my current old-awkwardness) and still define me today according to what they saw back then. I probably do the same thing to them, too. It’s not fair… but it’s a thing! We may have borne witness to the same things, but we’ve hung onto memories selectively, each crafting a different story around the very same happening.
So, how then, how on earth, can I rightly visit a country whose story I only know about, vaguely, from a distance, and then purport to be an expert, or even suggest that I understand it at all and am in any state to relay anything back to you?
So much to process, I will never be done.
Not long after I wrote this, Andrew helped me turn Missadventurer into Mennotoba. I had to first learn about my own people. And will probably remain eternally flummoxed by them/us.