Growing up, I had a sense of distortion, as though the lens through which I saw the world wasn’t quite the same as everyone else’s. Being the youngest in my family by many years, I was surrounded by my older siblings’ leftovers. I read Simone de Beauvoir and university-level poetry at ten; I listened to Nina Simone and Tchaikovsky and Tears for Fears. My mother made me listen to Charles Aznavour and Pavarotti. I developed a love for the performing arts and for stories. It seemed… normal.
It was normal, except when I was around people my age. My peers were puzzled by my tastes in music, and by my habit of talking to adults like they were equals. I tried hard to care about what was cool – like the Backstreet Boys and Westlife and Oasis. I bought magazines and CDs and picked a Backstreet Boy to have a crush on. But at the end of the day, Bolivian folk music was what spoke to me. I found very little inspiration in the tastes and loves of the people around me – I felt isolated.
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend a jam session that involved some incredibly talented and creative friends. I say lucky, knowing it’ll embarrass them (hehe), because standing in that room I felt small. I realised that finally, I was literally surrounded by people who inspire me on a daily basis. After a long spell of non-creativity, I finally felt the urge to create something.
And then they suggest I start a blog. Well, I thought, if you talented people believe I can – then what the hell. Maybe I too am a creative person. Someone like yourselves. So here we are.
(The title is also a tribute to Pamela Jooste’s fantastic novel, People Like Ourselves.)