Thursday, June 18, 2009
I'm a fairly stable person. Slow to anger, certainly. And even when you piss me off, I don't shout or bang doors. Unless...you really get to me. Like when you compare me with someone else. It's one of those things I just can't stand. My voice falters. I react immediately and I feel a tightening in my chest. This is what will be going on in my mind. or if i shout, what I'll tell you. Well, fuck it, i'm not that person. I'm never going to be that person. I'm not even trying to be that person. Shit, that person and I are like fish and dog. That's what I told someone this morning.
Every day of my life, i'm trying to be myself. Find what I am, find what I like, find how i react, why i react as i do, what has my past got to do with it, what has my present got to do with it, what has my future got to do with it, what does truth and authenticity have to do with it, what does religion and morality have to do with it? Who am I, who do I want to be? Why do I want to be that? What's wrong with who I am now? And when i get there, then what? I'm always digging deep, into myself. Many hours of introspection. I try. I have to try, because this world will tell you what to want, what to like, even what to be if you don't answer that question for yourself. So I think part of the reason I react so violently when you compare me with another person is because it is so important to me to be me. the best version of me, certainly but me, nonetheless.
I was an only child for the first ten years of my life. With no siblings, there was no one to compare me with. I didn't have to be as smart as anyone else or as beautiful or as polite or anything. I was a smart kid, but I wasn't first in class...i suspect, mostly because I was careless and impatient. I'm still careless. I'm still impatient. But that's okay. Point is, my parents were alright with me. Report time was only a time to see how I'd done in school.No one ever asked me why I wasn't this or that. I wasn't expected to be anything but who I was. So i grew up thinking I was okay. However I was. And i think i turned out okay. I still think i'm great, and i know myself more than you know me, so that's the end of that discussion. When you ask me why i can't be like someone else...you're messing with a system i believe in. And you're telling me i'm not okay.
My response? Fuck you.
If you think think x, y, z rocks your boat, then go hang out with x, y, z. Don't try to get me to become like x, y, z, because i'm not even going to try. I'm not interested. I'm too busy trying to be more of me. How good of x,y,z can i ever get? Even if i tried, I'd never be x or y or z. I'll always just be me. And me is great, so love it or leave it.
Now that doesn't mean i won't ever grow or change but i'm never going to be trying to change to be like x. So you can tell me you think i'm too insensitive. And i'll consider your opinion. I really will. And if i think there's some value in being diplomatic, i'll try to be that. I'll try. But I won't be changing because you asked me to. I'll be changing because you brought my attention to something, i've considered it, and made the decision myself. But if you come to me and say Esi, why can't you dress like Ama. I'm going to tell you...I'm not Ama. Let Ama dress like Ama, and allow me to dress like me.
Yeah, this whole post is true, and it's about me. I know that this blog is supposed to be about Ghana and all that good stuff but some days, a woman just has to talk about what's foremost on her mind.
If forced to find a link between this entry and the general theme of the blog, i'd say sometimes i wish Ghanaians would discover what it means to be Ghanaian, create Ghana, be Ghana, instead of imitating. Sure, you can be inspired by something you've seen elsewhere. You can see someone carve a unity stand from a tree and you can ask yourself, given the same material, what would i do with it? what would i create? But don't take the damn tree and reproduce the unity stand...what are you thinking? what did you bring to it?
Wo se ekyir...nyE wo dEw, a, EhO ara na etafer is another way of saying...be yourself. you're all you've got.
But if you take away nothing from this post, take this: Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not. ~Henri Frederic Amiel