12 November 2017

Rwanda: The Adult Things I'm Scared to Face

opinion

On Monday evening, I attended to a few security details concerning my one bedroomed mansion.

Mansion because there is a lot of empty space where the things that I am too broke to buy should be. So of course there's hardly anything to steal. I shouldn't have spent on security. Anyway, I digress.

As I keenly supervised the men who were adding the security detail, I suddenly felt a sense of pride in this very adult thing that I was doing. But my pride didn't last long. My twisted mind went dark very quickly and soon enough I was thinking of all the scary things that I have yet to face during adulthood.

My biggest fear is coming to terms with my parents' mortality. On my part, I have already graciously accepted that sooner or later I will turn back into dust.

And yet it is daunting and even unacceptable to think that my parents will become frail and eventually die. At any age, parents give you identity, stability and unconditional love. You can't get that anywhere else.

And if/when my mother is no more, I have to be calculating and cynical all on my own. I have to learn to say one thing when I mean the exact opposite because apparently, as a golden rule adults are mostly distrustful and harmful and speaking your mind provides leverage to your enemies.

I am going to have enemies now. Gawk. To have to read into people's choice of words and undertones and silences is mentally draining.

Also, to separate genuine friends from those that want to destroy you is a scary task. And it usually occurs after you've been betrayed. You see during childhood, betrayal is simple as your friend snitching on you.

But adulthood betrayal is so advanced that it can be a matter of life and death. Your close friend could turn out to be hard-hearted enough to choose money over your life.

Speaking of money, I know that I, like many adults before and after me will one day need money in large sums and I will be compelled to borrow. But I fear debt.

That's why even now, when I run broke I prefer drinking water for dinner, to borrowing money. I fear staying awake at night worrying about how I'm going to pay back. And then there are phone calls and there is public humiliation.

But it's impossible to avoid debt when you're an adult, especially if you are responsible for other human beings. Children. And that's another thing that scares me.

To know that this tiny person's wellbeing solely depends on me. That everything they are and everything they will be largely depends on my choices.

So I have to hope and pray that I don't ruin their lives. But then I am a human being and so like many parents before and after me (if I should be so lucky), I will inevitably damage them one way or another.

I have heard that true love comes once and everything before and after it is mediocre and convenient at best. I really hope that this isn't true because Morris Chestnut is married with kids.

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