Speed Bumps

I remember when I was younger I was very naughty, or rather that’s what my mum tells me. She tells me this story where, whenever I was dropped home by the school bus, I would leave my bag at the gate of our house and go to my friend’s house. My mum didn’t like this at all, so she told me to stop. Now being the child I was, I didn’t understand what was wrong with leaving my bag at the door, not telling anyone where I was going and going to play ‘kati’ with my friends, so  I didn’t listen and I did the same thing the next day and the day after that and so on. Now, how it worked in my family was that my dad was the disciplinarian and anytime my mother would feel my siblings and I were being too difficult, she would send us to him, and we always would fear that. Despite warning me that she would tell my dad, I didn’t listen and just kept going into routine after being dropped off. So this one time, after spending the evening at my friends, I came home and my dad gave me a thorough beating, and I promised, no, cried out to him I wouldn’t do it again. Oh how I lied. The next day I did the same thing; I was dropped by the bus, placed my bag by the house gate and went to my friends. When I got home, I was given another serious beating. This happened like three times until I finally stopped. In retrospect, I see how my parents would have seen this as arrogance but, to the kid me, I was not allowing myself to be chained by these adults who just didn’t understand how important it was to play ‘kati’ after school.

Furthermore, as a child, I used to have the habit of walking around the house naked after taking a bath; how freeing it was to have the wind dry off the water droplets from the skin. Even when there were guests, I’d step out of the shower in my birthday suit and strut around showcasing my beautiful flawless body: I didn’t care what anyone thought at the time. But as I grew up, I started to care. Not of what I thought, but of what others thought. I would feel guilty and my naivety was taken over by all these adult emotions.

As adults we tend to care a lot about what others think about us, we become mindful about how we relate with others. But when we were younger, we lived in the present, doing things that made us happy even when we were told no; not caring about what others thought, because the others were also living in their present.

I accept that being an adult is more difficult and we can’t all be Peter Pan. Having being auctioned twice, I never thought that I would be where I am now. At the time nothing made sense, I felt like the universe was against me and my family. The first time it happened, the world stopped, my walls crumbled and I was just a wreck. The second time, it hit me but I almost immediately bounced back and now, I’m telling life ‘hit me with your best shot!’ What my dad taught me about it all is to always keep on going. He put it this way, when you’re on the road and you come across a bump, you don’t switch off your car and stop there; you slow down, go over the bump and keep moving. The same thing applies in life, whenever you’re faced with an obstacle or things are not working out, you don’t give up, you simply slow down, go over it and then keep moving-you put on your birthday suit and just keep doing it, well of course not literally.

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