The cynic in me wants to make this post about all the things I used to be proud of, but I was convicted by a deeper reality that “proud” is an adjective that cannot be related to “used to”. Being proud of something or someone is to find satisfaction in their qualities, and who they are; not used to be.
I’m proud of being South African. Regardless of her challenges, and the ways she’s raped by the people who’s supposed to protect her. She gave me life, and opportunities, and Table Mountain, and braai vleis.
I’m proud of being “human”; of not being either or; of being able to stand neutral, and not side with any specific group, even though “Coloured” people wants to stand for themselves. I don’t want to be a race, or class, or group. I just want to be human, that’s all. And I’m proud of that.
I’m proud of my flaws and the mistakes I’ve made over the years. I’m wearing them like battle scars, even the cowardly ones. I’m owning them all, as if I received a medal saying “proudly flawed human”. They’ve shaped me. They’ve tested and challenged me, to shrink back or grow through.
Mostly, I’m proud of proving wrong, not only statistics, stereotypes and stigmas, but also myself, for not having gone back to prison like everyone expected. For almost celebrating my 30th birthday as a healthy and whole member of society. For not giving in to what others said and what I almost believed about myself for so long. For believing that life and beauty and story and hope and dreams are not just for “them” but also for me.
I’m proud of where I was; where I am, and where I’m going.
I’m proud of myself.
Peace to you.