I’m sorry I missed last week. I had a mini road trip for work and during that time I learnt some pretty awesome stuff. Like for example it’s barely recorded how Mzilikazi died but he possibly died of leprosy and the only credible person who could have confirmed this was Robert Moffat but he didn’t. He was busy,probably plotting how to sell the country to his white friends mxm…How am I already in my feelings about this?

That’s just the thing with me. I take things way too personally, regardless of how impersonal they are. My head has this way of thinking that most things that happen around me are about me-they’re really not. The universe doesn’t care that much about me or anyone else at that. But still I let myself believe that I matter that much. Like during the shutdown in January, the entire time I was thinking “Tjo! Really awful about the fuel thing but can this end already…I needs me some Cheeseman ice-cream”. Literally, that was my greatest concern.

I call this being self-centered, my friend Earl calls it being entitled. I think he thinks I’ll grow out of it eventually, which is probably why he says things like “there’s more good than bad in you Nkosie”. Whatever the case, this self-centredness, this entitlement, this insane belief that the universe revolves around me-that. That is my toxic trait.

We all have those. Some people just generally have nothing good to say, some would do anything for attention, others will always be a little bothered by the next person doing well…We are all messed up somehow. But that doesn’t mean you chuck yourself in the bin Lucious and Jamal style (Empire reference, thank you very much). That just means you wake up everyday and rise above your toxic instinct. It wants to go right, you go left, it wants to stay down, you go up. And everyday you get a little better.

On my part, I have to practise empathy. I have to teach myself selflessness, I consistently need to remind myself that there are far more important things than me getting ice cream. I need to remind myself- and constantly to see things from other people’s perspective. I talk myself through it:

“Okay Nkosi, I know the icecream is great but with the price of fuel going up, the price of everything else goes up. That’s why people are so upset, do you understand that?”

“Oh. Okay. Makes sense. Cool”

And that’s it.

It’s a constant cycle of reminding myself what matters and what doesn’t. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. Most times I think it’s 50-50. But the first step is selfawareness. What is it about you that could offend other people or hurt their feelings. What do you do that just unnecessarily escalates things? What are your toxic traits? Know them. Learn them. Contain them.