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.

Until recently.

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.)


5 thoughts on “peoplelikeyourselves

  1. I experienced this to a certain degree when I went to University, but as I got older I managed to surround myself with creative people whom I appreciate and love even more (“Birds of a feather flock together”!). Today I learn from friends, and the social circles that I find myself in challenge me to look at life in every weird, wonderful and twisted way that you can think of (and not think of). And I just have to say – didn’t we once bond over a moldy copy of Le Deuxieme Sexe? Haha! The good old days.

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