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Sunday, 29 December 2019

2019 Thoughts

As the end of the year approaches, one may as well find the time to reflect. This has been the best year I've had in, well, a long time. A lot of that has to do with finally feeling fulfilled in what I'm doing, and being taken more seriously as an artist.

Publishing my books in 2018 changed my approach to blogging and how I present myself online. I've deleted and edited some posts where I may have overstepped my boundaries in sharing things too personal or unnecessarily controversial. There are probably things floating around the internet that I've said and wish I hadn't, but it's okay. It's a learning curve and no one is perfect (also, what teenager doesn't post nonsense online?)

I started this blog aged nineteen; now I'm twenty-two, have my fifth self-published work coming out soon, an EP out online, and have been exploring other writing avenues. It all makes me feel very humbled. I wish people didn't always go on about my age, although I understand that it's pretty rare for a twenty-two year old to have published so many books. I feel as if I've been floating in an invisible bubble for ten years, and now the bubble has burst and everyone else can see me.

This year I've let go of something that has brought me incredible growth and strength as a person. I'm glad that I've finally allowed myself to move on from Alcoholics Anonymous, although my gratitude towards the 12 Steps and the fellowship is indescribable. Here's an article I wrote for the AA Agnostica website recently:

In a world overly preoccupied with the superficial, having something to stay passionate about is crucial. When it comes to colour and race, I always advocate that we see each other as one and look past the person's colour. It annoys me when I'm constantly asked 'where are you from originally' or 'what country are you from'. I'm from LONDON, mate. I originate from my mother's womb. My dad is Tanzanian and my mum's roots are in India, but ME, PERSONALLY? I'm from London, born and raised.

I didn't know black girls grew blue hair...
Being mixed-raced is tough; you're never truly black, you're not part of the white, and you're certainly not Asian. In my social and dating life I'm drawn to white people, and often feel alienated by the 'black community.' I think there's a certain 'class' of black people in the UK that feel this way. We're well-spoken, educated and open-minded; our parents didn't raise us to view race with a chip on our shoulder. We mingle with white people, go to universities where the majority of people are white, and seldom use 'the black card' as some form of emotional manipulation.

Yet something is always missing, and maybe as I get older I'll come to terms with this more. Truth is, I've never felt 'accepted' by the 'black' demographic like I have with the 'white' demographic. (The quotation marks are because these are generalized terms.) I find white people less likely to draw everything back to race and colour, and more accepting of a person's internal being.

I'm glad I've always had something to hold onto in this world and keep me going that transcends race and class. I'm so grateful to the universe for giving me strength, courage and humility to pursue my writing and music, and let it fill me up. I don't know what I'd do without it. This world is so cruel and disappointing; without something and someone to love, life just eats away at you.

Seven blessings, literature.
Nevertheless, let's round off on a light and cheery tone; here are all the books (fiction and non-fiction) I've read this year listed alphabetically by author:

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi: Half Of A Yellow Sun (didn't finish)
Binney, Petrina: Sex, Death and Canapes
Binney, Petrina: The Girl With All The Cleavage
Bukowski, Charles: Post Office
Carey, M R: Someone Like Me
Doer, Anthony: All The Light We Cannot See (didn't finish)
Flynn, Gillian: Sharp Objects
Highsmith, Patricia: The Talented Mr Ripley
King, Stephen: It
King, Stephen: Misery (re-read)
King, Stephen: The Shining
Levin, Ira: The Stepford Wives
MacKenzie, Jackson: Psychopath Free
Manson, Mark: Everything is F*cked
Martell, Yann: Life of Pi (didn't finish)
Moriarty, Liane: Nine Perfect Strangers
Niven, John: Kill 'Em All
Niven, John: Straight White Male
Pullman, Phillip: His Dark Materials (currently reading)
Rooney, Sally: Conversations With Friends
Smith, Zadie: Swing Time

May 2020 bring you much joy, regardless of melanin.

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
I've also published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: