Tuesday, June 5, 2007

4 years

Has it really been 4 years? The morning of the 27th May it still hadn't hit me until I was running around our apartment going crazy because I misplaced my graduation cap. When I found it, I saw the dangling, gold thing on the tassel that said "2007". I wanted to just collapse and cry. For all the things I had, all the things I lost, the things I left behind, and the things still to come. Manje, I had already ti-tivated with the mascaras and the eye shadows that I refused to ruin. Now, a couple weeks later, lounging in my favorite attire (wouldnt you love to know)...around my favorite time of the day when I've cooked the rice and beef stew, ive cleaned the kitchen, ive charged the ipod, ive watched a movie, ive gossiped all day with a Swazi friend, ive admired and hated pictures on facebook, ive listened to my favorite songs. Now...its time to think. I remember graduating from high school and someone told me, ahh...for you, college will be a breeze. I waited for the breeze for 4 years, thank God I dealt with the storm while waiting. It may be just me, but college isnt easy. Being thousands of miles away from home, family, people who speak your language and share your jokes, doesn't help either. Being in a country where all you are is your race and your body, your achievements and your mistakes, didnt quite hit it either. Well, I had my four years. I wouldn't say it was "the best years of my life". But I would say the person I came out as is someone I love to be. I'm a woman, I have insecurities, I cry, I laugh, I cook, I smile, I curse people out, I apologize, I love, I live, I wish, I pray, I dream....I'm proud of the person Ive become. I've always wanted to get as close as I can to the woman my mother is. I'm a far cry, to be honest, but the one thing I learnt through college, was to be able to step out of your skin and allow yrself to cry. And then when that's done, to dutifully pick up that pen and continue studying.

I learnt that family doesn't always reside where you grew up, and that people who do reside where you grew up are not always family. I learnt that sometimes it's ok to allow yrself to be weak, because that's actually when God's strength is made perfect. I learnt that being black does not always mean being African, and being African does not always mean being black...and that identity is something that is unique to an individual, how annoying as it may be, i've learnt to be tolerant that i'm expected to fit in that little box on the application form. I've learnt a whole lot about Neurons, their biochemistry, their physics, their anatomy, their function, their networks. Ive learnt an awful lot about economics and health in developing countries, about the dances of Ghana, the formulae of multivariable calculus, the mechanisms of ketones, acids and alcohols. Ive learnt how to drink responsibly, and when to put down the glass, or avoid it altogether. Ive learnt that loving someone sometimes means letting them go. Ive learnt that people who think you're beautiful dont necessarily love you. And that those who love you dont always tell you you're beautiful. Ive learnt to be content with being pretty, not hot. Smart, not a dime. Friendly, not sexy. Ive learnt that music can be your closest friend. Ive learnt that the way to get an A in college is to do a whole lot of work, and just as much sucking up. Ive learnt that its ok to cry all night, pray all night, complain all night, criticize yourself all night...and then get up in the morning and smile. Ive learnt that you dont always need someone's approval to make a go at your dreams. Ive learnt to not take myself too seriously. Ive learnt that 9am classes should end junior year. Ive learnt that you can work on something for a year, and not get your desired results. Ive also learnt that sometimes, not getting yr desired results is a blessing...that some of God's greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers. I've learnt that my culture may not be the same as yours, but I understand. I've learnt how to type a 5 page paper in 45 minutes. Ive also learnt how to do a 3 page paper in 2 weeks. Ive learnt that sometimes, like Greg says, "hes just not that into you". And often times, I'm just not that into him either. I've learnt to appreciate a phonecall, a hug, a smile, a chat, a kiss on the cheek, a compliment. I've also learnt that that is not always necesary to feel beautiful. Ive learnt that sometimes you'll just look bummy and who the heck cares. Ive learnt that I dont always need to find answers, I just need to know that God heard the questions. Ive learnt that mothers are angels. Ive learnt that you can get healing just listening to someone speaking to you in your language. Ive learnt that sometimes the wisest people dont have degrees from prestigious institutions. And in fact, plenty a time, all they have is the highest degree of loving you sincerely. Ive learnt that cooking 5 times a week is the best way to stay healthy. Ive also learnt that I hate the gym. Ive learnt that a night with my girlfriends chatting in the hall / by the kitchen table is a night well spent. Ive also learnt that sometimes its fun to flirt and let them know what they cant have!! Ive learnt to love when it hurts, smile when its annoying, work when its tiring, sing when its unbearable and encourage when you need it the most. Ive learnt all the bio u can imagine, and still cant remember a damn thing. Ive learnt that African music is the best on earth, and that even though I love R Kelly's rise up, I'd love to come back home to Malaika, 2face, Nameless, Antwi and Julianna. Ive learnt that its all the bullshit that makes you stronger. And its all the heartbreaks that make you love more. Ive learnt to think of someone else but me for half the day. And about me the other half. hehe...Ive learnt to laugh even when its not funny...to stand on a crutch. Ive learnt to constantly make plans to do something bigger, and better....Ive learnt that when something is really yours, you dont have to fight to get it. Ive also learnt that some things are worth fighting for. Ive learnt that sometimes its not about the finish line, it's about the journey. Ive learnt that I love Haagen Dasz ice cream, and that sometimes you just gotta have it with chocolate and caramel sauce on top. Top that with a milk shake and a coke. Ive learnt that being alive is a miracle. Ive learnt that its always the wrong ones that love you best (ugh)...and that natural hair actually does look great on me! Ive learnt to scroll down my phonebook and call someone I havent heard from in a long time. Ive learnt to be happy and to be strong...Ive learnt to be a lover AND a fighter. Ive learnt that my career passions lie in the health field in developing countries. Ive learnt that we shouldnt criticize Oprah for opening a wealthy all-girl school in South Africa. Ive learnt that we shd criticize ourselves for letting someone come all the way to our countries to do things that we can do best ourselves. Ive learnt that liberal arts has been one of my most valuable forms of learning. Ive also learnt that doing laundry with my mother while she lectures me on many things, far exceeds liberal arts. Ive learnt that people are human first, before they are Guyanese, black, homosexual, educated, poor, hot, athletic, or annoying. Ive learnt to never compromise who I am as a woman, for who he wants me to be. Ive learnt that in all things, God remains the same. Ive learnt to go through the fire, the storm, the rain and the valley with a smile on my face. Ive learnt that my name is the best name my parents could have named me. Ive learnt to make a delicious meal between classes...Ive learnt that classes are a pain but sometimes a pain worth going through. Ive learnt that people will always look for your faults, and its ok to let them find them. Ive learnt all this and more....and yet, I'm still learning.