Last year on this day Taylor Swift released a body of work that saved my life. That might sound hyperbolic, but if I am getting a tattoo of the album title clearly it is not.

My mum died 1 hour 10 minutes into Tay’s birthday last year. reputation was released a month prior but I only got around to listening to it after my mum died. And that album saved my life. For 55:38 minutes I thought about something else other than the fact that my mum was dead. I played it over and over and over. Sober or high, there was only one thing I wanted to listen to.

When I came back from burying my mum I started entertaining the idea of attending the Reputation Stadium Tour. I wanted to go for the rep tour sooo badly. But unfortunately there was no one in my life crazy enough to go with me. I am all for solo vacays, but within my country where I am relatively safe. The furthest I would dare to venture is probably within Eastern Africa. No way was I going to travel to the UK/US for the first time by myself. Not even for Taylor. So instead I have listened to the album only about a hundred million trillion times since I first played it.

I really do not think I would have survived my first Christmas without rep. Christmas is my favourite day of the year. Like, even-more-than-my-birthday favourite. Every year since 1989 (coincidentally Tay’s birth year and previous album title) my family has been celebrating Christmas at Carnivore. And then my mum just up and died 12 days before Christmas. What a dark, twisted take on the 12 days of Christmas. I listened to reputation when the clock struck midnight on 25th and for 55:38 minutes the first Christmas without my mum was bearable.

Christmas may be the only day I love more than my birthday, but I am obsessed with Leo season. This blog was deliberately launched on the last day of Leo season 2018. Since August 22 I have consistently put up a creative writing post every Wednesday to an audience of one. With every post I knew that when the right opportunity presented itself, I would take my blog public. But I needed some time to myself first. Time to establish the blog’s personality and gain confidence in my capabilities.

I am huge on dates. I tend to schedule major events around special days/dates (like launching this blog on the last day of Leo season). So of course I was particular with the day I would reveal my blog to my nearest and dearest. November 10 falling on a Saturday was nothing short of kismet. I texted my people and asked them to save the date. The plan was to have a reputation party that doubled up as my coming out party.

It took some time though between identifying the date and sending the invite. I kept rephrasing the text and once it was ready I postponed sending it for a few days. I knew that telling my people was step one in putting my work out there and that terrified me for two major reasons.

The first being that I have tried and failed at blogging before. I could write an entire post on why my previous attempt(s) did not work out, but no excuses. Right now it is the easiest thing to write for an audience of one. But the idea that people may be waiting on my posts every Wednesday is nerve-wracking. What if I run out of ideas? Or I am not as good as I think and everybody hates me. What if there is no progress in my work and I essentially flatline? What if nobody reads me? I know I can write and I know I have a very promising thing going here. But what if it is all in my head? It goes on and on and on.

The second reason is that I really wear my heart on my sleeve in this blog. That is not easy to do knowing that keyboard warriors will judge me. KOT can be nasty. But I am choosing to look at this as a character building assessment. One of my philosophies is life is too short to give unnecessary fucks. But everything I have done and experienced before has been on a relatively small scale. It is easier to control the fucks you give when your parameter is barely 100 people. My best friend is a very well-known media personality with 674,000 followers across her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. If she likes my work of course she will share it on her platforms, according me the kind of exposure brands pay for. This blog is me in all my damaged glory and it will be harder not to give a fuck when the parameter moves from barely 100 people to just under 700,000. But in life we learn and unlearn, and I will take all the lessons as they come.

Ignoring your intuition and denying what you know in your gut is self-betrayal.

That quote by Maryam Hasnaa gave me the final push I needed. Writing is my talent. I am convinced my talent will birth my purpose. I cannot foresee how everything will pan out but for now I aim to comfort and inspire through this blog. One of my dreams is that with time, through avenues I cannot see clearly now, this blog will be a champion for women economic empowerment and education of young children.

Are you … Ready For It? Let the games begin.

3 thoughts on “reputation

  1. Valerie Lwile,

    You are treasured.
    You’re blossoming to a beautiful masterpiece of a woman and I’m honored to be here to behold the beauty.
    Keep writing ma; and remember that done is better than perfect.
    I’m thrilled to have joined your audience of one…
    You are a blessing.
    Lots of love,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed this. And glad to have been there
    Ps- I up and up travelled to Europe (trip) by myself. You should totally just go for the concert!!!!


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