In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was fully God (John 1:1).

We all know the power of words. Words have the power to heal and to destroy. You have probably experienced how words can either help or hurt you.

Since this is my last blog for Countdown to Zero, I want to use my quota of words to reflect upon this journey that began a year and a half ago, when Countdown offered me a regular space to pen down my thoughts and my stories.

I must say the journey has been bittersweet. Delving into the past brought some sad memories.

However, I can also say that blogging taught me to be self-reflective, to take a step back and look around, inside and back. This is an exercise we can easily forget due to all the busyness of life.

How can you make peace with everything and everyone if you have not made peace with yourself?  Zandy Mqwathi reflects on her journey blogging for Countdown to Zero.

How can you make peace with everything and everyone if you have not made peace with yourself? Zandy Mqwathi reflects on her journey blogging for Countdown to Zero.

Since I don’t believe in coincidences, I choose to believe that there was a good reason why I, amidst the 6.3 million South Africans who are also living with HIV, was afforded such an opportunity.

Am I special?

Not really!

What may be special is that I have consciously opened myself up. I gathered my courage and shared my story with Countdown readers, a story which at times was neither happy nor pretty, but it is my story.

Criticism and doubts

At my church, some fellow believers who read my blogs misread my activism and my willingness to share my story and my HIV status as a lack of faith in the healing power of God.

I found myself constantly grappling with the dilemma, to tell or not to tell, to write certain things or not, because I have also publicly unveiled my love for God and my desire to live according to God’s tenets.

However, blogging evolved into something that I couldn’t have predicted. I realized that I can allow myself to be vulnerable and connect with my emotions and my past.

At times, I questioned my intentions of writing about that specific theme. Would the blog work or wouldn’t it? But things always worked out, from my very first blog on HIV positive teenagers and their challenges when dating.

I found myself glued to my laptop late at nights and over weekends, immersed in my quest to share my thoughts and stories with honesty and hoping to inspire and touch some one’s life in the process.

I hope that every time we need to deal with a difficult situation, we choose to take time to be still, to have a conversation with ourselves and our maker, and find the strength and peace we need.

May 2015 usher in a season of more connections among people and within ourselves.

Thanks, Countdown, for making this journey possible for me.

My poem

To close this blogging chapter in my life, I want to share this poem with you.

Sometimes words dishearten me
Leaving my spirit crushed
By the invincible layers that form me
How do you begin to make peace
with everything and everyone
when you still have not made peace with yourself?
At times life is complex
None of what is familiar still exists to me
Like the final curtain of a theatre stage
I am like a star that almost lost her twinkle
Truth is, Yes! I am fragile, vulnerable
just a girl trapped somewhere in between time
Can I cry now?
For all the times I chose to smile when it was hurting
For all the painful moments
that I managed to numb with distractive addictions
For all the losses
that helped me see the beauty in my life
Standing by the mirror, listening to my inner voice
reflecting back on my life and its catharsis.

Zandi Mqwathi

Zandi Mqwathi

Zandi “Princess Zar” Mqwathi is a confident, innovative young leader and a former radio personality with a zeal and drive to use her craft and experiences to educate and empower other young women.

Tagged with: