Tuesday, 18 May 2010, Nairobi, Kenya--
It’s Tuesday morning, 18 May 2010. I’ve turned a page. I am an engaged woman, less than six months away from my thirtieth birthday, and still pretty fit considering my vices. My shoes are off, my hair is down, my watch is now set three hours ahead to reflect the correct time, and I am sitting in my guesthouse room in Nairobi, Kenya, sipping on a hot cup of Nescafe. I’ve just flown in from Ghana, where I’ve lived for the past seven months. I’ve moved here to work with refugees, which is what I want. My fiancé is matchless, my friends are loyal and my family is fun love come to life.
If I were reading about my life in a novel, I’d be bored. Blah blah blah. Another one of those women who probably eats organic and lives expensively frugal; who wears L.L Bean cotton and looks at the stars from her place in the grass as she contemplates her place in the cosmos. It also sounds like the kind of thing I’d hear amongst a cocktail hour circle for a non-profit benefit or something trendy that would make me pity the woman verbally vomiting on and on about herself. You know, both situations being the whole “I have it all, I can live rough and have love, listen to me deliver my exceptionality,” kind of thing.
Truthfully, I can’t stand what I’m saying sometimes. My life. What it must sound like to other people. It all sounds so swollen and grand. Arrogant. As if the life path I am on is a better choice than planting a garden in my backyard, raising healthy children and treating them to homemade pie, or reading a book on my porch as the sun sets.
Joke’s on me, I guess. Despite how things in my life may sound, I am 100% more or less 90% mess and muddle. I am a flipping disaster. I have essentially no idea what I’m doing. I can’t even tell you anything about myself without immediately releasing rivers of tears down my face. The man I love is in another country across a great, wide ocean. There’s a bag of wet clothes in my suitcase, and I tried to pay for a phone chip this morning with the wrong currency. Boarding passes and receipts and used, crusty Kleenexes litter my purse and pockets. I am here doing what I have struggled to be here to do because I want to do it, and yet somehow I feel flicked through and unsteady.
My life seems to be moving so fast. Most people, upon reaching a certain age, would agree that’s true. Life is something you breeze through. Maybe, momentarily, such an account sounds fabulous--life moving fast. But life moves FAST, whether you realize you’re on a journey or not. What I have not prepared myself for are the deceptive, basically split-second decisions you have to make as life whips you forward. Whether or not I am aware of it in the moment (yes and no), some of the paths I’ve conscientiously set foot on are paths I’ll ultimately have to choose between.
Ugh—again. I don’t want to have to stand it sometimes.
I suppose, at the very least, the truthful shit I’ve just put out there makes for a better read than the first paragraph, if we were developing a character and plotline. Sounds more interesting and dramatic, anyway. Given all that I've just laid out, where would such a character go? Africa, or what? What will she feel when she goes there? Where will her fiance go? Will she be okay?
I wish someone would turn the page for me so I could find out.