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You are home now.

Ten years. Ten years and home still smelt the same. Tammy looked up, smiled at the clear blue sky, and then took a deep breathe. She pulled her mask up and thought to herself how so far, the only thing that had changed was the name of the airport. She wondered just how many more things had stayed the same from the time she left.

Stock photo of unrecognized afro woman with suitcase using her phone.

A taxi driver pulled up in front of her, and she motioned for her two suitcases and duffle bag that sat on the trolley she was standing next to as she walked to the car. She’d carried four pieces of luggage because she left in a haste, there was literally no time to pack things up, fold clothes, put shoes in one corner and the gifts she’d gathered over the years in another. She had been hesitant on calling Dana to come pick her up, and she had decided that she would stay in a hotel until she was ready to let her family know she was back home. She wasn’t ready for the crying that would take place once she got home, then the singing and ululating, the calls to her relatives that she was home, the nagging as to why she hadn’t told them she was coming earlier.

A few days of peace and quiet was all she needed before she got to see her family once again. A few days of putting things into perspective, crying her tear ducts dry over the death of her father, though long happened and the freshest wound; what could have been with Ola. Ten years, and it was a heartbreak that got her on the next flight to Zimbabwe. She laughed at herself. How could she not? The only consolation this far, was being far away from Ola. Over the next three weeks, she would change to a local phone number, deactivate her socials, just in case he went that far trying to talk to her. But what were the odds he would regret what he had done and reach out asking for forgiveness, asking to her back together again. She swore not to check her email, just in case he wrote there too, and to avoid work messages too. This was the ultimate vacation she needed. 

The taxi driver hopped into his seat, and peeped at her through the view mirror. He greeted her, and asked where she was going. She mumbled Holiday Inn under her breath, and put her shades on. She did not want any weird eye contact or for him to see her tears whenever her heart would give out. She kept playing around with her phone, scrolling through the thousands of pictures. She had spent the past two days deleting Ola and hers pictures, many times stopping to sob. This heartache wasn’t going anywhere any time soon. Her gallery once filled with thousands of beautiful pictures of her Ola, was almost empty. That didn’t matter now, she was in the last place he’d ever come for her. She needed this, she needed to be home. Clear blue skies , fresh air, godly weather later her older sister and mother. Over the years, she’d forgotten just how everything was better with them. How the first time she’d gone through a break up, her mom and sister laughed at her crying and declarations that they would get back together with Lunga. They never did. 

She hoped home was the same place, the sane place. Hoped that it was as joyful as she remembered, love overflowing as it had always done. Then, and now that her father had passed. She hoped that his absence wouldn’t be so loud, and she would not dread being at home as much as she did. Ten years later, she hadn’t processed his death, and avoided home like the plague, but she was back her anyway. Her mother made it easier by not pressuring her to come home. But she did tell her over and over that she how dearly she missed him. Perhaps that was her way of letting her know what grieving was like for her. She wondered if the events of the past week were written in some star, that she’d have to lose the last thing that gave her a morsel of sanity for her to come running back home. To confront her demons, to confront her loss. 

“Do you go as far as the other end of Samora?” she asked the taxi driver and he nodded. 

“Please head to Mount Pleasant then.” to which he nodded again. 

Introduction to Adulting (a mini rant)

Hello dear reader, welcome to my blog. If you are a regular, thanks for passing by again, and if you are new I hope you like it here. . Well, this is a random article that came to me after a night out with friends (not the Global Citizen Festival where I got to see Temilade and SZA in 3D) . Fun Fact: I’m not really an introduction on blogs person, it makes me feel like a Youtuber so I normally use them as a way to actually start writing an article after a period of writer’s block. They say writing, in any manner and any content helps with writer’s block and I’ve realized this helps too.

I am at a very weird age, and so are most of the people around me. Its like we are in an Introduction to Adulting 101 course. The way life comes at you so fast never ceases to amaze me. One second ago, I was in kindergaten, building blocks, colouring and napping every afternoon and my life right now is solving equations, writing essays and barely catching an ounce of sleep. The transition is so unreal. Growing up has always been something I have looked forward to. I feel like life is structured such that you are always looking foward to the next day next stage so much mostly because there is some sort of promise of happiness, success; I do not know. It has always been looking foward to high school to looking forward to college to looking forward to working and for some looking forward to marriage. We are here ticking boxes for milestones and going through massive character development as we wait to die. You would even think that at some point a little past or at the end of the teens, theres a switch for the insanity to kick it. But really, thats neither here of there, my point is; I find this pre adulting or trial run of adulting quite intriguing for a good number of reasons.

Pink button with white lettering that says “Adulting is Hard” on white fur background

First things first, these are the years we question most of what we have known, well thats for most. Slowly you discover that you do not really need to have concrete views, or have everything figured out. The dust settles as life goes on, new life experiences open our minds. No lie, it is such a scary experience, questioning in detail all the things that you have been taught life wise because for the most part you can’t argue with Physics formulae much and win. To some extent, the culture we exist in isn’t very accomodating where it concerns questioning beliefs and systems. This business of trying to find your bearing with religion, gender, sexuality, careers etc is way easier if you are taking the conventional path that is mostly sticking to traditional views and methods. Its like trying to make your way out of a very comfortable cacoon and attempting to face life and the world head on. A whole overhaul in perception and is rarely welcome, sometimes by ourselves but mostly by those around us. This is such a significant drawback to growth, and having alternative views and striving to align with them is top two of adulting challenges.

The character development that comes with introduction to adulting is surreal. More and more of our life is shoved right into our hands albeit without our consent. Its like being alive is enough consent. The age comes with more responsibility, for one’s wellbeing, actions and future. You find yourself dealing with the uncertainties of the world, and this time around you’re the one to come up with solutions to the problems. The COVID Era has been one of the heaviest introductions to adulting because the world as we knew and forecasted it has shifted so much these past years. Perhaps more than we would like to admit, even more than we perceive at the moment. That is just one of the jarring introduction to adulting challenges. There is financial responsibility in this messed up capitalist world. On the other end academic pressure does not stop firing. Its also the age of dabbling in dating and relationships; a heartbreak or two here and there. There is resounding failure and so much heartbreak possibly waiting, and somehow we’re supposed to figure things out and like show up as fully functioning adults. I wouldn’t exactly sign me out but I just-

I’m done adulting! Let’s be Unicorn! – shocking pink unicorn saying lettering poster. Funny typography with unicorn quote – card design. Horse with horn character for girls and women. Rainbow colors.

The world is a terribly crazy place to be a part off. Its difficult to wrap my head around how life demands so much from us, circumstances and stuff. The craziest of all crazies being leaving familiar territory. That is literally a core requisite of adulting in most cases, from leaving home towns to different cities to ‘settling’ in wholly different countries and continents. Its a sign of growing up you know, the whole a bird leaving its nest type of thing. Leaving home is exciting, however staying away from home for long periods of time isn’t as dazzling. Sometimes, its circumstances beyond one’s control, moving to whole different countries, navigating time zones, lifestyle and acclimatizing to the change. Thank God for technology because I can only imagine what it was like back in the day when you had to communicate with loved ones through letters, going weeks and months on end not knowing how they are doing. But again, thats neither here nor there. I’m just saying the changes that come with adulting can really be a lot.

This is all just a tip of the iceberg in my introduction to adulting, mostly stuff that I muse over randomly. Its not really as gloomy as it sounds, but when the going gets hard these are the things that remind me how unreal this whole pre-adulting phase is. On random days I remind myself that non of this really matters, and that I don’t really have to have everything figured out, thats literally what the years are for. Anyways, this is me signing of my mini-rant with a quote I saw from Mel; “There are years that ask questions, and the years that answer.” CIAO…………..

All I Know

all I know is that stories like ours end in heartbreak
they never make it to the greatest loves of all time
no matter how passionate or intentional we are
the love simply isn’t enough.

you know when they ask me to write love stories
they always end in tears
that’s all I know
that’s the ultimate outcome.

so pardon me,
for being a coward, and a pessimist
at the very thought of the possibility of our love story
i think of how things will end
all i know is i don’t wish to cry tears on you.

Broken record

Something is broken inside. You’re not the same person anymore. You’re not the sane person anymore. You’ve been sinking in quick sand on a daily. Hear the rhythm of the sand as it sucks you in. Some days you want to plan an escape, the daily convulsions have let go of you. Some days, you slightly hope it does suck you in. You’re not you, so why does it matter? In fact, nothing matters at all.

You badly want to know if things are ever going to be the same again. If your smile is going to light up the world again. If you’ll ever derive meaning and happiness from life’s events again. You’re wondering if you’re meant to be you again. Have good things happen to you too. Wish for good things and aspire to something. You badly want to know if that will ever be you….again.

Love is not dead

Time and again, there are inaccurate claims that love is dead in this generation. But is it really? If anything, I think our generation stands to redefine love and relationships as we know them. Here’s why……

There are quite a number of basis on which people make this untrue conclusion. First being the fact that relationships, marriages even no longer last as long as they used to back then. Second being the fact that more and more women love themselves enough to leave the table when love is no longer being served. And the other that has sparked so much rage in people is women simply pursuing freedom and personal happiness over marriage and like relationships with men. In pursuing these things, women deviate from the norm, they unashamedly explore their sexuality, leave dysfunctional marriages, choose celibacy and leading single life’s as opposed to tolerating men’s mediocrity. Women have shaken and continue to shake the table, disrupting the single idea of what and how a woman should be. Hence the birth of statements like “We are never going to meet women like our mothers” “Our kids will never have praying mothers” “What is wrong with this generation, our grandparents had everlasting marriages”. Throughout this discourse, I’m more than delighted to sip on male tears, cause the bulk of lamentations come from their side. Moreover they refuse to acknowledge the workings of patriarchy and the fact that these happenings are in fact breeding ground for better, healthier and balanced relationships.

First things first, the longevity of relationships in past generations had very little to do with love. Ask around, they will tell you. If relationships and marriages were so perfect, women wouldn’t have fought for better. Furthermore, the manner in which women were treated under patriarchy back then leaves a lot to be desired. It is not so long ago, as we have old (our grandmothers) and middle aged women (our mothers) detailing their experiences and at most times subtly expressing their regrets. Most of them were pressured into marriage both by society and circumstance. This is at moments when women did not have access to capital, land, property or anything to guarantee their livelihood independent of men. This is even why they encourage us non stop to get an education, get our own monies for when men start to men. They know it all too well. We’re talking about a time where your value even in your own family was defined by how many cows you brought home, a time where value was assigned dependent on one’s proximity to men. These values have become a part of our culture and such a view of women is still dominant. Some were hoodwinked, and did not have an option to leave. I’ve heard stories for days of women being married off because the men in their lives needed the cows, hoes, gold. Now how do you tell me that love was present in such an age, and is lacking now that women want better?

Love is not dead. It’s going through redefining and rebirth, by force. Healthy relationship standards are increasing, self consciousness as well. Women want better, and aren’t settling for less, therefore upsetting the masses. Comparisons are always made of women right now, and our mothers and grandmothers. Somewhere in the matrix, men saw their mothers enduring abusive behaviors and being the popular definition of “wife material” such that this is the dynamic that they aspire for. While it us very appealing from a patriarchal standpoint, we tend to forget that love and dominance can not coexist, where there is abuse love is lacking (cheers bell hooks). We did not inherit the silence of the women before us, while they may have been unsuccessful in revolting a good number of them subtly encourage we do, or at least have safety nets.

If love and life before was so perfect, women wouldn’t have fought and continued to fight it.

You’re looking at people who spent the entirety of their lives making themselves small so that the men around them feel big and worthy. To imagine what love looks like in such a scenario is impossible. We at least have to acknowledge the fact that for the majority love simply wasn’t present. Now this reality is difficult to fathom as we tend to internalize the things around us, and growing up hearing that married people love each other leads us to the conclusion that the people we grow around do to and use those as models for love. The status quo for most relationships hinges on on women being belittled, even dating advice to women is comprised of those same talking points. Fortunately, this is constantly being met with resistance, and by so doing only can we start to reframe love in meaning, talk and action. Relationships informed by patriarchy do not foster growth for women, they don’t offer safe spaces and room for self discovery, I’m happy more of the girls want less of that.

People are unhappy that women are choosing not to suffer in the name of love. Despite even the fact there still is a good number of women who really don’t mind. Claims that love is dead in this generation and like conclusions are scare tactics, and strategies at manipulating the narrative. Women coming out and demanding a fair end of the stick has men shaking in their boots and coming up with silly theories. By order of patriarchy, burdens of any relationship fall on women, and now enough women love themselves enough to denounce that and choose to not participate in relationships guided by such notes. For men it’s a difficult reality (not that I care tbh) that there’s more coverage of how much of horrible human beings they are and terrible partners and that women now have the means to get rid of them, finally. The abuse our mothers and grandmothers endured will end with our daughters because they will not undergo what women before them did, they will not put up with injustices and they will not tolerate shit. It’s seeing patriarchy and the behaviors they have seen, the relationships modeled in their eyes turning obsolete. It’s the refusal to fulfill their ends of the obligations as in a balanced relationship.

There are endless attempts at modeling healthier intentional and reciprocative relationships. Love, acceptance, growth and safety for both parties. If that’s not the advent of love, then you tell me what it is.

you should love me

you know people like me
when we love, we love hard
and that’s more of a character flaw
to believe in the sacred nature of love
reckless lovers.
time and again
the reward isn’t worth the risk
i fall in love in the most cruel way
i do not wish to get hurt
i’ve done this thing before
i know all too well how much it burns
but I’m not going to hold back.

i’m a prisoner to love
if I had known better
i would still have let myself fall in love with you
over and over
you loving me too would have been beautiful
you don’t have to
let me love you
that alone is enough

i lose you everyday
i come crawling back
great is the sin I’ve committed
choosing to love you, and no one else
you string me along
and as soon as I get on my feet
i follow you around
what a foolish heart i carry.
i can’t make you fall in love with me
the same way, unloving you is an impossible feat
i do hope though
that there’s a universe in which we are lovers
a universe in which you’ve promised me “forever and always”
a universe in which you hold my hand and never let go…..

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