I lay in bed, my body heavier than ever before, the weight on my chest, steadily and violently restricting my breathing. I was not tired, I am not tired, not ready to sleep. I was physically exhausted from the effort that I have used to attack this year. I was not expecting them, but they came, slowly, then suddenly as if from the immense sky itself. The tears, my tears.
At first I thought it was some sort of muscle memory reaction. I could not pin point my emotions. I thought that maybe it was just a response to how my body felt. They rolled from the corners of my eyes, away from each other, each pulled by gravity, in perfect unison, they reached my ears, some dripped off my lobes, others, still clinging onto me, carried on to meet each other at the nape of my neck and dripped as one.
It was silent. The silence was overwhelming and welcoming. It gathered me up in its emptiness and held me there as if allowing me to mourn everything that had ever happened, allowing me to mourn everything that would not happen . It held me there and soothed my tumultuous mind. I was spinning in silent darkness unperturbed my dizziness. There was nothing there, nothing to connect me or hold me.
I opened my eyes and allowed my thoughts to arrange themselves.
Why am I crying?
1. I have spent the past year of my life trying to navigate my way around the Cape Town theatre scene. I have performed in both of the Cape Town Fringe Festivals. I have performed in some of the new Cape town theatre spaces and in Johannesburg. Not once did I make enough money to live. Not once did I make enough money to allow me to watch theatre, not once did I make enough money from performing alone to apply to be in another theatre space. Not once.
2. As the end of the year approached I began to apply to perform in theatre spaces with the hope of using my savings from the day jobs to pay for the performance space. I learned my cruel reality. Theatres are asking for R 3000 per day others R 6 500 per week. These are the small intimate theatres. This means that the only people who are performing are those who are funded or those who are lucky enough to have wealthy families.
3. I am struggling with my love for the country and my hate for the government.
4. I am struggling with the constant and blatantly obvious racial divides in Cape Town.
5. I am tired of things being given to those who know where to take them from.
I am crying because I have chosen to carry on. I have chosen to keep on pushing. I have taken another step to bettering my future, my relationship with the world and my position in society.
I am crying because I know that this is not going to get any easier. I am crying because I accept that I have to change, nothing else will change without me first making a change in me.
But still I am crying.
6. Applying for funding feels like an invasion of privacy.
7. Not getting funding without being given a reason does not make sense to me.
8. There are only a few things in this world that are not smeared think all over with political toilet waste.
9. My people think that freedom is a colour, a class a way of being. Why are we allowing this false, harmful reality?
10. I was given a false sense of freedom. I was told that I could do anything and be anyone. I believed it with my whole heart. So I did. I allowed myself to grown. I became a black woman. I lived it, fully, nurtured it, spread my wings almost as far as they could stretch, before I was at my full wingspan I felt the bars. I felt patriarchy, I felt racism, I felt black on black hate, I felt women to woman hate. I felt everything but free.
I had answered my questions and felt lighter, bolder, more brave and more prepared for the next adventure, for next year, for 2016.
I have just received my letter of acceptance, paid my deposit and allowed the reality to sink in, 2016 marks the beginning of my next few years of study. From theatre to psychology. I look forward to seeing what 2016 holds for me. With no job yet confirmed for security, with no funding from the government to help me, I prepare and I cry but I do not give up. Others have it worse than me.