I had an epiphany this morning. It was a very cool experience. I realised why I want to do what I want to do. That might sound a little strange, but it’s true.
For a while now, I’ve been at odds with myself. I haven’t been able to understand why I want the unsecure, uncomfortable life of a freelance writer. The freelance bit I’m still not entirely sure, but at least I get the writer part now. I’m happy to inform you that it’s my father’s fault. And in the words of my last boss, it’s great to be able to blame someone else!
My father is a very practical and hardworking man. He is also the biggest dreamer I know. He isn’t a dreamer in a fickle sense. His dreams are about lofty things like justice and equality. He dropped out of law school to go and join Zimbabwe’s war for independence. He returned after the war, but instead of going into private practice, he opted for the civil service to serve the country. Because of him I grew up watching films like Cry Freedom and reading books on people like Che Guevara. He taught me to look at the world from the perspective of the most vulnerable in society. He instilled in me a hunger for justice and a desire to learn how the world works. I inherited my heart from my mother. The desire to not just feel for others but to also want to improve their lot came from my old man.
So it’s probably not too surprising that decades later the son wants to be like his father. I too want to fight for the cause of the vulnerable. Thankfully I don’t have to pick up a weapon and go and fight a physical war, but I can battle against rotten ideas. And even though it’s a tired saying, the pen really is mightier that the sword.
It might not be an earth shattering revelation, but understanding a little more about who and why I am is pretty significant.