Journey to Self
There was never a time I thought I would write this to you. There was never a time I thought we would even come this far. There was never a time I imagined we would come out stronger and more beautiful like we are right now.
There were days I left you at the doorstep and threw myself into the deepest of caves where humanity was strange. There were times I have left you curled up in bed at night, and hit the rockiest and darkest paths of my life. I have fallen so hard and lost my favourite parts of my body. I have tainted my image in ways only you know of, and finally lost the remaining pieces after all. I have cried when I slipped and fell into muddy waters, and gave others a reason to laugh.
There were days my own reflection in the mirror scared the shit out of me. I was ashamed of whoever I had slowly turned into, and before I knew it, the shame turned into hate. I hated myself for the things that happened to me, and those I let happen to me. I let the hate seep so deep into my skin I felt worthless on most days. I hated myself for being too weak when I needed to be strong, or too strong when I needed to be weak. I hated myself for crying when things went south, instead of fighting for whatever was mine. I hated myself for the way life was treating me.
Slowly, the hate turned into anger.
And the anger was too much I couldn’t even talk without feeling the urge to ram my head in the nearest wall. I was angry at myself for stooping too low and trying to be someone I clearly wasn’t comfortable being. I was angry at life for having nothing good to bring my way. I was angry at these streets for raising people whose hearts were made of stone; those who trampled on others’ vulnerability. I was angry at myself for being vulnerable at all the wrong times.
And when the anger was too much, I lost my breath. I don’t remember breathing for quite some time because in my head, I was as good as dead. I broke several mirrors because I didn’t like how I looked in them. I cried even more when I realised all the emotional baggage lay squarely on my shoulders, and I was the only one responsible for it all.
Day by day, like an epiphany, I started collecting broken pieces of me from places they weren’t loved or needed anymore. I tried my best, and got all the important pieces back, though not in their original shape. I draped my house in dark sheaths and slowly, started piecing the parts back together. And yeah, holding broken pieces of myself with my hands was the hardest things I had to do.
I let myself bleed on the pieces as they cut into my flesh, but I was determined to finish up what I had started.
It took a lot of time to come up with something I could smile about. Something whose reflection in the mirror I would love. Something I would look at every day and smile because I loved every bit of it. I remoulded my pieces into the person I am today; into a beautiful soul and a brilliant mind, one that is damaged in the most beautiful way the world has ever seen.
I am still coming into terms with the fact that it is okay not to be treated the way you treated others. That it is okay to fall and have a hard time picking yourself up. That there is a very fine line between stress and depression, and in most cases, the line is always blurred. I am learning, slowly, that it is okay to feel left out, and it is okay for people not to reach out when you keep your distance. That it is okay to not be willing to explain to people the reason for your backing out of all their activities, and it is okay, also, for them to judge you in whatever way calmed their hearts.
I am still taking up the fact that I am brilliant in most things I do. Excellent so to say. That I am strong in everything I handle. But that does not mean that I am free of failure. Neither does it mean that I am perfect. It means that I am human, and it is okay to feel all I am right now.
Also, I am beginning to understand the true meaning of friendship; and love; and laughter, and life as a whole. I am learning to smile when I wake up to good morning texts. I am learning to pick my calls, rather than assuming I didn’t see them. I am learning to accept the fact that I am the first priority in everything did, and it is okay to say NO to people.
I am learning that it is okay to be loved by someone, even when I think I am so undeserving of their love. That it is okay to give people a chance with my heart, even after it has been trampled upon before. And while at it, it is okay to be afraid of it, and to let my fears known.
I am still on the road towards finding myself and I am loving the ride. I think I am almost there, and all I can do is smile and thank God. Dreams and hopes are finally falling into place. I am learning to give myself all the love and care I deserve, to love people for who they are, and not for who I think they should be. I am serving my thoughts as raw as they are, and bracing myself for the backlash that might come thereafter.
I am learning to find peace with myself, to forgive myself, and to move on.
I am creating new heights and sliding all the way down. I am giving myself time to breathe and take a rest. I am reading one book at a time, and taking breaks in between to think about who I am and what I want to be. I am listening to my friends and cheering them on. I am learning to give a listening ear even when I do not have a solution.
I want so much, but I can only get one thing at a time.
But most importantly, I have begun to understand that ‘adulting’ is not as much a walk in the park as I used to think it was, but I want to embrace every bit of it.
And that is the one journey I am super proud of. And I am glad we had the chance to come this far all in one piece.
(This is the preface to my first book, Breaking Down. A copy goes for KSh800, with free delivery withing Nairobi CBD.)