Just like Nina Simone in 1965, I'm feeling good. It's a new dawn, a new year, and a new life for me.

Last year was the worst year of my life in every way and every time I want to post an article that's my default topic. I've been avoiding writing recently because I'm trying to write about more happy stuff, there will still be time for the not so happy articles in future. It's easier to write about sad stuff than happy things so I'll just tell you why I'm feeling good.

I can feel again!!!

This may sound silly but there was a time last year where I was so numb, I couldn't even cry... Now I can feel again and I'll never ever take this for granted again. When I wake up in the morning I feel motivated to work even when I know the feature I'm working on is challenging. When I shower I feel the coolness of my shampoo as I was my hair (I use Gill shampoo by the way, been doing so for years except last year). I feel the happiness in my soul as I open the curtains and the sun shines on me through the glass door in the mornings, or through the windows. I feel the pain of others when they go through hardships. I feel everything. I don't ever wanna not feel anything again.

I have a job

It may sound like something simple but in the middle of a pandemic, knowing that you have a secure job and that the company you work for is stable is great for reducing stress. Everyone seems slightly less productive but that's expected, it's a pandemic after all. I'm just glad we're able to still work from home even though the entire country is locked down and that we can still support ourselves and each other. It's also nice to know that we're still working towards something greater and making the world a better place.

I have valuable skills

The world will never be the same and it's so important to have skills which are always valuable in any economy. Engineers (both hardware and software) will always be at the top of the list of most skilled people in any economy, I'm glad that I'm one of them. Also, everything is slowly (or maybe not so slowly) becoming digital and even just knowing how to use computers and other devices is beneficial, especially with all the hacking and scamming going on now.

Hip hop

I fell in love with hip hop at a young age but I only realised it when I was in high school. I guess growing up in the typical coloured neighbourhoods in South Africa, every kid wants to be a black American. We watched mostly black American movies, listened to their music and even tried to speak like them. My parents were really strict Christians and didn't even allow me to listen to secular music so most of what I learnt while I was a kid and in my early teens was from radio. I listened to T-bo Touch's Rhyme and Reason show religiously every Saturday, and spent almost all of my money every month to buy a copy of Hype magazine. I also smuggled in some cassettes that my friends would tape for me and later CDs. When my dad went to the deacons' meeting at church and my mom was at the women's meeting I'd get my weekly dose of hip hop music. From the time the left until they got back everything from Eminem to Skwatta Kamp to Shon G would blast at the loudest possible volume and make the place sound anything but a Christian home. Hip hop made me think, and rap music got me interested in almost every other genre. I used to wear my cap backwards, dress with baggy clothes, wear jewellery and wear almost everything you see in music videos. I love hip hop. After a couple of years out of school I started dressing differently just because of work and the people I spent most of my time with. I still love hip hop, I may not look the same but it doesn't mean that I'm not part of the culture anymore. I have so much to say about this but that's another article...

I'm healthy

I can't even emphasise this enough, people all over are getting sick and dying. I'm healthy and I'm super grateful for that.

I don't have many worries

I've been staying up late at night and not getting lots of sleep but I think that's due to my sleeping patterns being disrupted because of the lockdown and because I have lots to think about, but none of it worries me. I've been thinking of mostly happy and positive thoughts and I now feel like I can take on anything again.

That's just some of what makes me feel happy. Despite having a terrible year last year and living through a global pandemic, this is still the best year of my life and I'm slowly achieving everything I set out to achieve. This makes me happy. I love my life. I'm not where I want to be but I'm on my way there again and it feels good :)