Too many rules.
Too many women conforming to have some sort of protection, financial or physical. To have approval that they are beautiful or sexy or wanted. To belong to someone or to be valued through their work as wives or girlfriends.
When the patriarchal society considers you to be less deserving of their love or protection. To those whose brains are wired differently, fear always creeps in. Fear of ending up alone because those are the people you’ve known as family or friends for a long time.
I could live an entire lifetime without finding out who I am. That’s my choice. It excites me to find feelings that I never felt before. To ask questions I never dared to ask. To dream something I never thought would be possible.
I am the girl who has broken all the rules in both conservative and liberal societies. I wanted to date, love and be loved differently. I escaped the closed minded status quo. I learnt different versions of love and to be loved. I learnt to feel jealous too.
I think of mama sometimes. How she could never escape the violence or the abuse. If only she had a choice like I do now, she would be open and say Goodbye to the sad life she once knew. Was it really necessary only that her husband was allowed to be polygamous but her not?
Or perhaps become invisible. I remember once she tried to run away, and somehow she realized there was nowhere she could hide and she thought about her children.
But I did escape the circle of poverty and traditions. I ran as fast as I could. I didn’t want that life for myself. I just wanted to be free.
To live and make my own choices, good or bad and learn from the consequences. I left the village to the city. And then left the city to other cities. And then left the other cities to other countries around the world.
Running from the madness made me happier, bold and taught me never to look down on myself. I knew I would never lack money or means to take care of me and my family that I left back, as it was my responsibility. I also know my story is not unique.
So today, when someone asks me what is it in for me? I rather not answer them for they don’t understand the bigger story. They don’t understand the ways of love. They know only of a single story.
I can live through anything. Isn’t life about that? I look myself in the mirror and know that I made the right choice despite the consequences and the circumstances.
Knowing that I can live with the loneliness and isolation. Knowing that I am fighting for that daughter or son of the future. Knowing that my insecurities are those that other women like me all over the world share. Knowing that my heart and emotions are not for sale.
Because I represent a system that cannot tie me down to the narrative of the status quo. Because what drives me daily is to be an example to those who cannot escape and cannot endure what I have.
What drives me is to be a hope to my next generation of strong women who take the drivers seat.
I will go back strong and certain that the narrative will and must change. And i will be mad, angry and uncontrollable. Because no girl child deserves one story.
But I will also dance to the nice rhythm from the drums while the African sun bites through my skin.
I will dance naked to the sounds of the crickets and walk with my lovely breasts out in the open knowing that I love my womanhood. Knowing that my beauty, passion, free mindedness is pure and cannot be tied down.