Hero

I am currently experiencing a lot of things, most of these experiences are positive and moving me in ways that I have never been moved before. Yet, as all this is happening I still wake up in the morning asking myself why I have not disappeared yet? On most days I feel like crying, hoping that each drop aborts the negativity that I feel inside. But I know that it does not work that way.

When I was younger I would pack my bags during summer holidays and would pretend that I was going on a journey. I would pack a blanket, my favourite outfit, a pocket knife (that I “borrowed” from my dad’s office), a notebook, my pencil case filled with gel pens and a cuddly stuffed dog toy. I would then be on the lookout for my parents and siblings and would make sure that nobody would notice me leaving. When I was sure that nobody would know that I was gone, I would sneak out. We lived in a gated community. There were several lanes of houses and I would always enter the second lane and walk till the end of the road where there was a huge brick wall. I would lay out my blanket and sit under a tree and wait. I would wait for someone to come looking for me. Sometimes I would cry under the tree, but, nobody came. Nobody ever came. At one point I would wait and hope that I would somehow disappear. Other times I would wish for a hero to come along. I was 12 years old.

My hero came in the form of writing. There were these sentences that would form in my head and I would write them down. The things that were all around suddenly could speak to me through writing. Like the sunflowers that were growing in our garden suddenly became children of a mother that called her children sunflowers that woke at sunrise and fell asleep as the sunset.

Writing has brought me to connect with so many wonderful people. And I am so grateful for this, even if my depression can’t be written away.

One very impactful meeting in my life happened last night. As some of you know in September I will start a creative writing program. Last night, I had dinner with Professor Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and he wished me luck on my writing journey and he also shared a lot of wisdom with me. He spoke about how the core of bullying lies in the act of making the victim hate something about their body.  When the bully makes the victim hate a part of their body, that part of the body then becomes an internal weapon of self-destruction. As the bully turns one’s body against oneself.

I feel like my body is a self-harming weapon because of how parts of myself have been criticised in the past. Like the fact that I did not have a mother made me a rotten child, a child with no manners, A child without a backbone, I think that’s why I always hope to fit in and to be liked. Its like I stretch myself and mould my body into an unholdable posture and try to hold on for so long even when it is no longer good for me to hold on. As a child, I was seeking because I was ignored a lot. That’s why I would disappear and wait for someone to notice. When I would cry or self-harm my guardians would say “You just want attention, well guess what we don’t care, and you will not get attention from us”.

Me and Professor Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.

Starting a GoFundMe and performing my poetry has really shown me the wounds that this body that is fighting against itself has inflicted. I am truly grateful to everyone that has shown and is showing me love and attention. Yet, I also feel how this body is still fighting against itself. I have so many weapons in me that I must destroy and turn into instruments of love and healing.

>Maybe all these moves and changes will give me the superpower to turn knives into flowers and become my own hero for a while.

I got in to the Oxford Undergraduate Creative Writing Diploma

*this post can also be read on my gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/oxford-creative-writing-diploma *

On the 5th of March I wrote a short note to myself, saying “you did it! You applied for the Creative Writing Undergraduate Diploma at Oxford University today!”. Since the age of nine, I have always been writing notes to myself and documenting most of what I do. Writing to me has always been the best way to communicate with myself and often also with others.

Anyway, in the beginning of April, I was invited for a telephone interview. I was very excited that I had made it to the second round. During the interview the course co-ordinator asked me “what is your aim with writing”. This question threw me off! I thought about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her talk; „the danger of a single story”. She says that stories matter and that stories can empower and humanize. I had never really thought about what my aim with writing was ever since I had started writing stories. Most of my stories were about a girl that loses her mother and goes on adventures on her own and meets people along the way that fill her life with all sorts of wonders. I lost my mother at the age of eight to cancer.

During the interview I gave an answer along those lines. I felt like such an imposter, who did I think I was to tell stories to try and empower others? In short, I thought that the interview went horrible.

 Fast forward to the 15th of May I get an email saying that my application had been successful. I had a study spot. I called my father and he sighed and changed the subject.

Therefore, I am now telling all of you. I got into Oxford! Yet, since I just graduated, and I do not have any savings I cannot afford the tuition fees. Which consists of:

  • £ 2575 tuition fees for the first year
  • £200 acceptance fees

I know that this would be a great opportunity for me to finally tell the stories that I have always been wanting to tell. I appreciate each one of you for supporting me and my dreams.

link to my gofundme : https://www.gofundme.com/oxford-creative-wri

Cryptomnesia- Cashmere radio

I know this is way overdue.

But today I am sharing my radio performance on the cashmere radio segment cryptomnesia. The segment is hosted by Dayna Gross, a writer that is currently living in Berlin. Cryptomnesia is a show that features poets of the past with poets of the present that are residing in Berlin. The poet I was paired with was the queen herself, Maya Angelou. I was very nervous about the performance as it was live radio but Dayna was a really sweet host and was encouraging me all the way. Therefore, the end results turned out pretty neat- if you ask me. Have a listen to the performance here: 

https://cashmereradio.com/episode/cryptomnesia-9-guesting-esther-heller-featuring-maya-angelou-and-autonomous-loss/