The Evil Twin

I was on YouTube some months ago when I bumped into a video about how an artist turns pro. They spoke at great length about Resistance as the force that stops (or tries to stop) an artist from creating. What captivated me the most was that Resistance, though classified as evil in the video, was also recognised as necessary. Obviously, that got me thinking: are there other things in life that come with insidious forces? And that’s how The Evil Twin series came to be.

In this series, I will be writing about life’s necessary “evils” as I’ve experienced them.

The concept of the evil twin is not new at all. Perhaps the best and most popular representation of it is the Yin Yang symbol in Chinese tradition.

My understanding of the evil twin is that it’s something that’s unpleasant, or has the potential to be, that can’t be separated from something that’s amazing, or has the potential to be.

I’ll pause while you read that again…

The evil twin is something that’s unpleasant, or has the potential to be, that can’t be separated from something that’s amazing, or has the potential to be.

Got it? Good.

In my short life, three things have come bearing an evil twin:

  • My Muse

  • My Potential

  • My Choices

My Muse - these are all the creative ideas I have in mind. From writing books to directing films, I have big ideas that I would love to move from being little more than neuron signals in my brain to tangible products that can be read or watched by people all over the world.

As I mentioned in my intro, the evil twin to this is Resistance. This insidious force is the creature that lies between the idea and the finished product. It takes many shapes and sizes in my life. Sometimes it’s very easy to recognise. Other times it comes disguised as something else and it takes some real effort and skill to be able to spot it.

My Potential - this is everything I could be. She’s the woman I want to become, a role model, and an inspiration. She’s a go-getter and an expert in her field. She is loving, kind, prayerful, beautiful and presentable. All things considered, she is amazing.

So what could her evil twin be? The Imposter Syndrome. This treacherous villainess wears the face of my Potential. She judges me constantly and finds me unworthy. How can you possibly be classified as a go-getter when your first love is sleep? And oh my, don’t even get me started on being an expert! You don’t even have a degree, and you’ve made it quite clear that you don’t want to pursue a Masters. Expert? My foot.

She’s a meanie, alright.

And finally. my Choices - being a millennial, I have become accustomed to being “spoiled for choice.” If there aren’t more than two options available in most situations, I feel stifled, cheated and quite frankly I want to lash out at the injustice. I’ve made conscious choices in my life from the time I hit puberty. Choices such as what subjects I should study and the kind of bread I’d love to have for breakfast.

The evil twin for this one goes without saying: Consequence. This last bit is not as apparently evil as the other two. Perhaps that’s what makes it dangerous, because even the act of not choosing is a choice in itself, and Consequence will strike whether I’ve played an active role in life or not. Consequence, like Thanos, is inevitable. But unlike Thanos, it’s often invisible until it is too late. It’s also permanent - I can’t unchoose something that I’ve already chosen. I can only make the next choice and hope for a better consequence.

In recognising these sinister forces that threaten to make life unbearable for me, I’m slowly but surely gaining power over them. Just a few moments ago, I felt an overwhelming resistance to writing this post. I was in my feelings about everything that’s going wrong in my life, fighting to keep anxiety at bay and wrestling with the river of tears flooding my eyes. Yet here I am, a whole article done and anxiety all but vanished.

I’m no expert on how people should live their lives, but one thing is true. I’m definitely an inspiration. In my own small way, I am slaying dragons going for gold. And no evil twin, real or imagined, is going to stop me.

PS: Are the evil twins in your life the same as mine? Comment down below which one gives you the hardest time and I’ll feature your comments on my Instagram page (@tapiwanashe36).

1 May 2020