“Naaaaaaaaants ingonyama…. bagithi Baba,
Sithi uhm ingonyama…”
If you were born in the eighties, like me, this was hard to miss. My grandmother and grandfather took me to the cinema, and I blubbered like there was no tomorrow. Since, The Lion King stuck in my head – it became a symbol for the hardship I went through as a kid and the mindset I needed to survive. It inspired me to become larger than myself.
Looking for inspiration in the movie, themes such your inner power (“remember who you are!“) and the never-ending wisdom of Rafiki, including the scene where he whacks Simba and then tells him to get over it (“the past hurts“), I would never have imagined the uncanny ways in which I would indeed re-discover my “true” self.
In my head, I had imagined something else entirely. I thought that I would make an epic come-back to the scene of the crime, much like Simba had done, and then beat my past around a little bit and send it whimpering into oblivion. Instead, I left myself there – and stepped into a new skin, a new gender, a new role – even a new name.
It´s been less than two years, but already my “new” life feels so comfortable, so incredibly natural, that having lived before seems almost unbelievable. It´s as if somebody wrote a fiction story and inserted it into my brain, in lieu of actual memories -readers who have watched Blade Runner will get the idea. It´s as if my entire life before did not exist.
I am a newborn, barely there. Aside from some rusty old coping mechanisms, I can barely remember what it was like before, how I used to feel or how I used to think. The memories of being “her” are slowly disappearing – they are fading away in my mind. I find that I can think much more clearly now, that I am able to learn and remember new things.
It´s strange to be brand new. It´s strange to be old and yet new, the lines in my face attesting to the experiences she lived through. When people ask about my past, I want to answer that I have none. Because it´s the truth. Her past is not my past – my past is being written as I live and breathe.