A reply from a stranger
An unsolicited reply to a piece by Anthony Azekwoh : “when the dust settles"
I guess it is indeed my turn.
For someone who hasn’t written anything tangible in months, there are probably gonna be a bunch of problems with this response.
Your fears are valid, going through different cycles of different attempts to cope with all that it takes to be yourself, that’s brave and that’s human.
I can’t imagine how hard it is for you or what life is like for you or how lonely you feel seeing as the world is as it has always been — full of retards and opportunists who only care for what you give.
Nothing is that hasn’t been, with respect to your successes and how they make people treat you. Almost everyone who is the main character of their own life, takes praises with a grain of salt and criticism with a hand full of gravel. But this is part of life.
What I would say is that the very fact that a lot of these new experiences that make for an otherwise splendid adventure suffocate you, stems from the fact that these changes were born out of necessity with all boats burned.
You are terrified of the very imagination of a day when you need to retreat but have nowhere to run to, no one to turn to. But that is that, and you already know that.
As promised at the beginning of reading your piece, here is my own.
For most of my years, it was basically invisible or perhaps nonexistent. The effects of growing up without either parent, that is.
Recently, I reached a significant milestone, one that reflected how far I’ve come as well as how far I have to go; I graduated from university.
My entire university experience seemed to be something unusual, starting from the fact that I didn’t have to choose my course of study based on any precedents or expectations from anybody.
It’s not been an awful life but a lot of decisions are a lot harder to make in the absence of that often well-placed concern, support and guidance — which comes in short supply as we grow older— that comes with having a parent.
The void left by their absence also comes with an almost eternal longing for the sort of love and intimacy that comes with being able to fully love and be loved regardless of whether it’s romantic or simply platonic.
Recently however, having that longing filled by my closest friends doesn’t seem to be enough as I struggle with contemplating all the paths as well as their potential outcomes in choosing what route to take to the ideal version of myself or at least close to it.
For a few years now, I have thought of the person I want to become a lot more than I’ve actually done anything towards becoming. The realization that time is in fact of the essence when it comes to being successful at becoming the person who is in my head.
This is my own struggle in this particular season. I want to be rich and buy nice things for the girl I like, I want to be sexy for myself, I want to be a well-traveled Nigerian prince, I want to be a Chef but I haven’t yet begun to walk a path that will lead to that outcome.
This is as much as I can share at this time. There are hardly any similarities in our stories. At least, not anymore. I don’t have any advice to give nor am I in a place to give any. I am but a fan, not a friend.
But, I think I speak for anyone who has read or seen any of your work when I say that you need to look in the mirror and tell a different story about what your journey has been.
Loneliness is abundant at the top but not because people are any less loyal than they are when you’re nobody. They are simply more comfortable being around a nobody because then, there is no reason to observe yourself and wonder why you aren’t doing better.
But keep holding on to the reigns, Anthony Azekwoh, one day, your sails will take you to a place where you can feel safe again.