TURNING 22

TURNING 22

January 31, 2020 0 By Tonny Ogwa

My greatest fear has always been change.

And even today as I turn a year older than one of my ancestors who died a teenager, I can’t help but timidly wonder what lies on the other side of the shore. The uncertainty. The Fear of the unknown and discontent with past.

I grew up a lonely child. And it does not suffice it to say that I’m an only child. No. But as the last born in a family where everyone is at least five years older, my childhood was pretty lonely. Or not exactly my childhood as the whole of it. I was lonely at home in a neighborhood with not so many kids my own age. In school however, the skys reflected a different shade of colour.
Amidst the sea of other bubbly kids, I was suddenly not the awkward introverted lonely kid back at home. I would become something more. Something else.

In school, I was outgoing. I was funny, witty. I was dope. And made everyone know that I’ll always be dope. Like all my ancestors and their ancestors before them.

So I became one person at home and a completely different one in school. Eventually I got to master the art of the double-face, which now sounds cooler than it actually is. I was two sides of the same coin- like the flash, or Super Man or your village’s Chief of night runners. This got to be part of me, all through primary school, highschool and now as a 22 year old campus student, I’m still double faced. So full of contradictions I hardly understand myself.

I’ve had struggles.

Some days I’ve been miserable. I’ve lost hope. I have been afraid. Disappointments have been my ever unwelcome guest. And I have lost opportunities because I was not confident enough. I’ve faltered.
But I’ve also met people. Others I’ve learnt from and sparked a lasting friendship with. Others I’ve told off to go hug a cactus tree. I have always learnt and unlearned. And I have never been ashamed to always yearn for more. For better.

Listen.

While I cannot say that all of my heart’s desire is on my feet as I turn 22, I have lived. And I know this because of the kindness I have recieved in the hands of people who don’t know my ancestors. I cannot find comprehensible words to express the impact complete strangers have had on me. Some have put smiles on my face during my gloomy days. Others moved mountains for me quite literally. For this, I will be forever grateful.

So. Should you spot this son of the village tracing his way around, kindly just smile and say hi. I’ll always be wearing a serious confused look made severe with my blue rimmed glasses. Also you could buy me coffee.
Now I hope 22 treats me with kindness so I can be kind to all of you. And I hope y’all continue spreading your love and kindness. Till your last days on this planet.

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