For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to live lightly. To be free. To always be on the run, walking towards somewhere, searching for something.
I wanted to be free of humans. To not have the burden of attachments. To not have to bid farewell to my love(s).
Because somewhere along the way, they taught me that to love is to sacrifice bits of yourself. It is to push down that part of you that wants, and find a common want.
But then I grew up. And faced the Me that I was running away from. She was wounded beyond recognition. Scarred. Scared. Frozen. Burning.
And we patched her up. From therapists to ugly cries to books to feeling so much pain I thought I would crack under it, we patched her up. And the universe saw to it that I lived to see the beauty of my soul. That I lived to see and feel myself alive. Truly alive.
It was one of those moments I never ever thought would come. Heck, I had never thought that I would be alive past 25 years. Not that I ever thought about it or decided that 25 would be my last year on earth, it just never occurred to me that I would live to see such an age. I had never thought of it.
And then came love.
Love that felt like freedom. Love that set me free. Love that has begun to actualise even the tiny dreams that I had. Love that made me laugh from the bottom part of my heart. Love that seeks to see each part of my soul authentically.
But somewhere along the way, Reality also checked in. Bills to pay. Traffic jams to endure. A job to go to. A house. A life- a normal life.
There is a part of me that was happy. After all, given the cards life has dealt me, I am doing considerably well. If anything, my life is progressing as any parent would want their child’s life to progress( the parts they know anyway).
And seated here, in my office, reading Yvonne Vera talk about Bulawayo, I am reminded that my life doesn’t have to be this way.
That I do not have to sacrifice my running. That my running wasn’t just from a traumatising past, but it was also towards the unknown.
And though the reality is the norm, it doesn’t have to be it for me.
I still want to Run. I want to walk in the market in Kampala, eat a Rolex, pretend to be a photographer and take shots of the colourful fruit stalls with a smiling African woman at the back. And post on Instagram because I’m vain like that. And write on my blog because I love my memories in written form.
I want to write about a woman whom I have just met. I want to one day ask the men that I’m always curious about, ‘ what is your life like’?
I want to go to deserts, wear a brown cloth that blends with my skin and my background. Find a sunscreen that works for my face as well. And picture the day away.
I want to come tell people about the beaches of Somalia. Take them to places they have never dreamed of going.
I want to tell them about Mali. About my obsession with films shot in Mali. How i sell Showmax as if I have shares there. How I once tagged someone who showed just a tiny bit of interest in African films, on all films that I have watched. Just for us to realise, that they love modern films, while I’m looking for huts, sand, desert palms, camels and anything that could take me centuries back.
I thought I would have to sacrifice this for my reality. Because that’s what people do. They work and live. They study and get promotions. They get more money and buy bigger cars. And get more children.
I still want that. Not all of it. The car that can traverse the roads of Africa. The Camera and lenses that I salivate after. The flight tickets and hotel rooms. The camping in deserts. And swimming naked in lakes no one in my circle has ever heard of.
I still want that. My dreams had never disappeared. They just went under. Under the weight of normalcy.
I wanted a short life. It’s what I thought a sad life like mine deserved. To be cut short.
But now that it seems like I’ll be around for a while, then I want to live by my own terms. I want life to be as I imagine it. To be as Magical as I want it to be. To be unrealistic as I want it to be. To be as out of norm as I want it to be. To be as out of this world as I want it to be. Beautiful beyond splendour.
If I’m alive, which I am, I want what I want.
And I always get what I want. Always.