February 1

A book I just finished reading took 7 years to complete. Homegoing is the name. It’s a beautiful book. Just very beautiful. I’ll probably read and re-read it, and give my kid(s) to read when they are old enough (this along with Narnia, Harry Potter, Alice In Wonderland, My Family and Other Animals). The British version of the cover jacket is so pretty. The author, Yaa Gyasi, did a wonderful job telling the stories. I felt so many emotions while reading it. I was afraid. I was moved to tears. I was left in sober reflection. It’s a beautiful book with beautiful characters and beautiful stories.

She took seven years to write it, and I’m not sure why I was shocked that it took so long. Maybe because in this day and age, where everything seems to be done so sharply, hearing that something took so long was startling. I seem to have forgotten once again that things take time, and just because I’m not where I am satisfied to be doesn’t mean I won’t get there. I guess all you have to do is start from somewhere – you know, roll with the punches and refuse to stay down.

I haven’t done a lot of serious writing lately. I write short stories when the whim catches me and I must be honest and say that usually, in an hour, I am done with the whole thing. Maybe it’s because subconsciously, I would have been writing. It usually starts with a line from somewhere or a scenario my brain cooks up or I’ve seen, and I’d ruminate on it ever so subconsciously, so that when the writing bug bites me, I have something to put down. But in the end, I give it out to the world a bit (or a lot) rough around the edges. I don’t know why I do that… Laziness, perhaps? Perhaps fear that if I look at it long enough, I wouldn’t ever put it up since I’d see all too clearly its faults.

Sometimes I wish I could step out of my body and mind and be someone else, you know, just to look at the things I’ve done and worked on with new eyes and know if I’m being too hard or too soft on myself.

Anyways, Homegoing inspired me to want to write an actual book. I have long-ass stories tucked at the back of my mind from when I was teenager, but I don’t think I want to work on those (yet). I want to write like a biography thingy but with a lot of what’s real and what’s not blurred out, till it makes a fantastic story. I kind of feel like writing this journal has been prepping me for that.

Now why would I want to write a story about myself and experiences? It’s not like my life is that exciting. Lol. But maybe that’s what people will connect with. I’ve always loved it when I connect with people via my art; when I hear them say “I feel the same way too” on something I thought I was alone on is soothing for me. I don’t think I’d be writing for fame or something, but for friends and maybe one day, for family too.

So instead of the scattered thoughts and pieces of my life, I will bring them all together and make it cohesive, and this time, instead of rushed subconscious work, it’d be more deliberate. I’d probably have to go back to the start of my journal and read it all. I expect to cringe a lot. Lol. Wish me luck.

***

I saw a Facebook update where someone was asking for advice. He was wondering if he should please his family and get married or if he has other options.

The comments assured him that his gay ass would be quite unhappy in the marriage. I agree, he is more unlikely to be unhappy.

But one thing I think they forgot to mention is that even him sticking to his guns might make him unhappy too. Not marrying is not a one way ticket to a satisfying purpose-filled life, especially when you don’t let go of the societal conditioning that you owe something to family, friends and everyone else, even if it’s your happiness.

A lot of things will have to be unlearned, like the reflexive shame you feel when you feel or are told that you are not like everyone else.

You will have to build defenses against emotional blackmail and learn to smell it when it comes in the guise of “it’s for your own good, listen to me, I’m your mother”.

Stuff like that.

Someone commented that even in your gay relationships, you aren’t guaranteed happiness. But here’s the thing: YOU HAVE A SHOT AT HAPPINESS IF YOU MARRY WHO YOU LOVE.

It might look like the lesser evil to just bend. But it isn’t. They will not leave you alone. Nobody ever leaves you (us) alone. They will want more and more and more from you with their misguided affection and you will probably give and give till you are drained.

See ehn, not bending to societal pressure for many people takes a lot of will and bravery, and there will be a lot of times when you won’t be happy and Egypt will look better than your freedom. Will it be worth it? I don’t know. But I have a feeling that one day you’d look back at it all and realise that the answer is yes.

If you are young and reading this, now is the time to actively decide to take your happiness into your own hands. Start now so that when the time comes and they are trying to bend you into a shape you are not, you will be strong enough to resist.

Written by IBK

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