Parts of myself

I am still avoiding who I used to be. And I am in denial of who I have become.

I’m currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I started reading it almost three months ago, and I’ve had to put it down so many times because it reminds me so much of myself and how I used to be when I first left home, how I am. For the longest time, before this novel, before I found that the words that I used to describe myself had already been strung together by someone else, I have felt a little empty. It’s not a gaping hole, like I’m used to. I would have wished for someone to arrive and fill up. It is a hollowness that I could not get identify.

There are whole parts of myself, of who I am, that people here will never recognize. And sometimes, I fantasize about going home and feeling whole again. But even then, home has grown just as much as I have, we may no longer fit together.

I am a Burmese South African living in Canada and there will always be parts of me that are unsatisfied–hungry. I’m waiting for my Africa to return to me, but it’s different here. You cannot be African if you are not black. But even then, the South Africa I grew up in was delicate and golden, I experienced something entirely unique and inexplainable. One of those “you need to have been there to get it” things.

I feel less like myself and less of myself every day. I want to fight losing these parts of who I am but I’m not sure I can. I’m not sure if I’m really worth it.

You are all the bad decisions I have ever made returned to haunt me.

It’s hard to acknowledge pain when you can’t talk about it in past tense.

Almost 21

I am turning 21 next week. I have thought about this with a sober mind and feel that there are some things that are worth addressing at this age of my life.

I’m not surprised to find that I haven’t come very close to living the life that I had imagined for myself five years ago, when I had dreamed about being at the golden age of 21. I thought that life would have fallen into place by now. But that isn’t the case.

I am, however, pleasantly surprised to find that I don’t hold these failures against myself. I am not angry at myself or sad that my life is in shambles, even at twenty one. Learning that this future me that the past me had dreamt up turned out to be a kinder me than I could have imagined is something to be grateful for all on its own.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that there isn’t something left to be desired.

I have tried this many times before and, although the endeavour is something to be admired, the results have always fallen short. I want to just live better and be better to others, I already learnt how to be kind to myself  but I still need to learn how to be good for myself.

 

Not in love

I have chosen not to be in love. Isn’t that such a wonderful thing?

I used to believe that I was a victim of circumstance and berate myself for failing to be in a relationship. That’s pretty messed up. But I have chosen loneliness over everything this time, and it is a luxury I would never give up.

I will admit, however, that this conviction stems from fear. Or more accurately, an aversion to falling in love with the wrong people. I’m scared of falling for a man who I want nothing to do with, someone I’d rather hate.

I have no patience for teaching a man how to love me, having to prove my worth as equal to his own. What if I fall for a man who denies the validity of human experience? What if I fall for a man who thinks transgender people are no longer human? What if I fall for a man who would love me but deny me access to an abortion, while still refusing to stay and be a father? What if I fall for a man who believes self-love comes secondary to hard work and hard will?

I’m an all-or-nothing kind of woman, so I probably couldn’t stop myself from loving someone who loved me back. So, instead, I err on the side of caution, and choose not to love. I would rather be alone than share my life with half-baked human beings.

I am fighting the urge
to make myself small–
compact and pocket-sized,
because you do not deserve
to taste me in pieces,
if you will not have me whole.

The man who wants to touch you

The man who wants to touch you
memorizes the taste of your skin,
leaving fingerprints on your lips as he traces the shivers down your spine,
and he will implore you to stand a little taller
just so he can reach down to kiss you.

The man who wants to touch you
does not hesitate to hold you when you cannot hold it together,
he forgets sometimes where your flesh ends and his begins,
and he will try to only stare
when you are not looking.

The man who wants to touch you does not need to be taught
how to love you,
and he will not deny the hardness of the ground
or how much it hurts to fall.
He will remember to breathe enough for the two of you
in case you forget.

But
the man who wants to touch you
is not waiting for you around the next corner,
he does not look for you across the room.
He is the stuff of hot winter dreams and bad days of the week,
he only dwells in the dark spaces that you have made familiar.

The man who wants to touch you
does not exist.
So do not reach for strangers anymore,
they do not know where to put their hands.
And they will never learn to say your real name.
They apologize instead for your mistake
and will leave the door open as they exit,
letting the cold creep in.

11 Things That I Like

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  1. waking up to the sound of birds chirping outside my window
  2. getting shoulder massages when I’ve only hinted once
  3. hearing my name pronounced correctly
  4. soft poached eggs for breakfast
  5. seeing the full moon
  6. feeling confident about my personality
  7. watching the clouds pass on a sunny day
  8. the number 8
  9. feeling sand under my feet
  10. racing the waves on the beach
  11. pretending to know the taste of your lips